*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
C: My real name is Chanel, but I’m known as ImOnlyBlessed or Complete Blessings on the internet. I was born and currently reside in New York City.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I was on a healthy (relaxed) hair care journey when I came across the natural hair “community” on YouTube back in 2008. I quickly became addicted to the idea and watched hours upon hours of beautiful women with healthy natural hair. The thought of wearing my own natural texture never crossed my mind before because I had been getting relaxers since the age of 5. It dawned on me one day that I couldn’t say I was relaxed by choice. I didn’t know what the alternative was. Being a spiritual person as well, I wanted to learn to accept what my Heavenly Father gave to me. He made no mistake. The worst that could happen is that I didn’t like it and returned to relaxers.
As time goes on, I realize it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I still like to switch it up every now and then, but there’s nothing like knowing that YOUR texture is beautiful on its own. My last relaxer was in February 2009 (3 years and 8 months) and I did my big chop in June of 2010 (2 years and 4 months).
How would you describe your texture?
C: I would say 40% 4c, 40% 4b and 20% 4a. My hair is extremely dense, but most of my individual strands are fine. I have learned to appreciate the fact that I am the LITERAL definition of Kinky Curly. My hair is kinky enough to get defined twist outs and curly enough to get defined wash and go’s. I’ve learned to accept it for what it is.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
C: It’s difficult to use one month as representative of what I do to my hair overall. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in and the weather outside. My general goal is 50% in protective styles and 50% “free” styles. I love funky updos as well as wigs for protective styles in the winter months (or when I just need a break). I also love every “out” that you can think of (example: twist out, braid out, bantu-knot out, perm rod sets, etc). My “go to” styling products include ORS Lock & Twist Gel (for all of my “out” styles), Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (as a leave-in on wash & go days), Eco Styler Gel (for my wash and go’s) and either Jamaican Black Castor Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
What does wash day look like for you?
C: I start my wash day by shampooing and conditioning. Right now, I’m using Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner. My favorite has been Giovanni’s Triple Treat Shampoo and their 50/50 Balancing Conditioner. If my hair needs deep conditioning, I will usually add either honey or aloe vera juice topped with some type of oil (either castor or olive) to my regular conditioner. If I have it, I’ll use Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque. While the conditioner is in my hair (and I’m still in the shower), I detangle with a wide tooth comb. Occasionally, I’ll use a detangling brush (I shed a lot more than the average person). Next to last, I rinse and use either Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner or Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in. I also love Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner. Finally, I proceed to style as stated before.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
C: Puffs and head wraps are my friends when I don’t have time to do anything else.
How do you combat shrinkage?
C: It depends on what style I’m doing. If I’m wearing it in a fro and I want some “hang-time,” I will leave it in twists until it dries. Then I’ll take it down and finger comb the definition out (from the twists). If it’s a loose style with curl definition, sometimes I will do twists (as mentioned before) and sometimes I’ll blow dry the roots (lightly using the tension method). I’ve also tried banding, but it can get tricky. I’ve learned that doing that too often can lead to breakage where the bands meet your hair. My real goal is to grow long enough hair where I won’t have to worry about shrinkage LOL.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
C: My number one problem with my hair is consistency in my regimen (not really an issue with my hair per se). It’s making sure that I continue to do the things that I know will keep it healthy and growing. As life happens, being consistent becomes difficult.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
C: The first is protective styling at least 50% of the time. The second is learning what YOUR hair needs and listening to it. That’s the winning combo.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
C: The first is not to wear your hair in the same style all the time. Breakage will soon follow. The second is to not wish you had someone else’s texture. You have the best of both worlds. Appreciate that.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: I’m mostly on social media and occasionally on YouTube.
Also check out my Pinterest page for Natural Hair inspiration and updo styles: