*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
C: My name is Holly Cheyenne (I go by Holly or Cheyenne :)) I’m originally from East Orange, NJ and I currently reside in North Plainfield, NJ.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I had a few reasons. 1.) When I had a relaxer I always found myself trying to figure out ways to achieve big curly hair (in hindsight that made no sense at all)! 2.) I became more informed about what I was putting in my body and on my head. I started doing research on the chemicals that make up a relaxer and I was truly appalled by how much damage they cause. 3.) One day while playing in my hair in the mirror, I asked myself, “What’s the big deal about having straight hair?, Who said that straight hair is ideal?, What’s wrong with my hair the way it grows out of my scalp?!” That moment in March of 2008, I vowed never to put another relaxer or texture softener in my hair again…and I proceeded to cut off 5 inches of my hair! This is actually my second time going natural. I’ve been natural for 4 ½ years. The first time I went natural, I transitioned for 8 months before deciding to do the Big Chop and I was natural for another 6 months before I punked out and put chemicals in my hair (I was so mad at myself for that)!
How would you describe your texture?
C: My texture is a crazy blend of 3c, 4a and 4b. My hair is medium/coarse and quite dense. How does it behave? I would say it has its moments! The hair at the center of my head (which is 4b) requires more of my attention because it is drier, more fragile and has no defined curl pattern.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
C: My preferred styles are twists and twist-outs. They save me a lot of time in the morning! After shampooing or co-wash (conditioner washing) and conditioning, I divide my hair into easy to manage sections and I put a leave-in conditioner in my hair. My favorite is Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream. After that I moisturize each section. Right now I’m using Marguerite’s Magic Restorative Cream Hairdress by Carol’s Daughter. Once I finish moisturizing, I start twisting my hair with Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie (I love this stuff!). I usually rock my twists for 3 days to a week, depending on the size. If I do mini twists I like to keep them in for 3 weeks or so. While my hair is twisted, I moisturize daily with my own blend of oils and shea butter.
After wearing my twists for a while, I switch things up and do a twist out. My twist outs usually last a week, depending on the humidity. I may wear my hair loose and free flowing and accessorize with flowers, scarves, headbands, clips, etc. or I may decide to pin it into a fro-hawk. Again, I moisturize my hair with oils and shea butter and I cover my hair at night with a satin bonnet. When my twist out starts looking kind of “old”, that’s when I go to old faithful aka the afro puff! I spritz my hair with a mixture of conditioner and water, moisturize with Marguerite’s Magic, then brush my hair back and style with Shea Moisture Curling Soufflé. I use a wide shoelace or a black knee high to tie my puff and I put a little bit of EcoStyler Argan Oil Styling Gel on my hairline for extra control. When I’m done, I smooth the front and back of my hair down with a silk or satin scarf and leave that on until I’m ready to leave the house. I usually wear my hair in an afro puff until the end of the week so I can have the weekend to wash, condition and re-twist my hair all over again.
What does wash day look like for you?
C: I always detangle my hair before washing it so I always keep a spray bottle with my conditioner and water mixture on hand. I divide my hair into 4 sections and detangle each section individually. After detangling, I apply a deep conditioner, Wen Remoist Intensive Hair Treatment and my own oil blends to my hair, cover with a conditioning cap, and let it do its thing for 30 minutes. After deep conditioning, I use a solution of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap and water (mixed in an applicator bottle) applied directly to my scalp to help loosen up any product residues on my scalp. The peppermint feels so refreshing when you massage it in. Depending on how much product I’ve used leading up to my wash, I may decide to shampoo (with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo) or co-wash (I just started using Organix Macadamia Oil Conditioner). I always wash my hair in 4 sections because it’s easier to manage and detangle. After washing each section, I condition it with a mixture of Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner and Cantu Leave In. When I’m done, I add my leave in and moisturizer and proceed to style.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
C: My go-to style would definitely be the puff! It’s quick and easy. It takes me less than 5 minutes to do it and you can still jazz it up with a flower, a bow or a headband.
How do you combat shrinkage?
C: When I twist my hair, I use clips at the roots. I anchor twists to each other and I add clips to the ends. I leave the clips in until my hair is mostly dry. I also use the banding technique with several fabric-covered ponytail holders.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
C: The hair at the center of my head requires extra care and attention. This is the area with 4b texture. It’s thicker, coarser, dryer and has no defined curl pattern. The fact that there’s no curl pattern is puzzling and fascinating at the same time! Whenever I’m styling my hair, I always apply extra moisturizer and styling product and I always make my twists or braids smaller here to reduce some of the volume and achieve more of a curl pattern when it’s time to do the twist or braid out.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
C: Wet styling is always best for my texture and keeping it moisturized is an absolute necessity.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
C: I do NOT dry comb my hair. That is the worst thing you could possibly do and I learned that the hard way a few years ago. Waiting too long to detangle my hair is not good because my hair will start the locking process on its own. 🙂
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: Yes, it’s a brand new blog called Curly Girl Nation (www.curlygirlnation.com)! It features product reviews, tutorials, rants and articles focusing on natural hair. It will officially launch by the end of this month.