*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
G: My name is GG Renee and I live in the D.C. area. I’m originally from the Burgh.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
G: A couple reasons. I was tired of having flat hair. I’d always loved big hair, but relaxers took all the life out of it. It was long, but it didn’t do much. Also, I was going through a lot of turmoil in my personal life, and I wanted my hair to reflect that I was going through a change. It was really a very spiritual and freeing process for me. I’ve been natural for a little over three years. I was a long-term transitioner for about three years before that. I wish I’d gone natural years ago.
How would you describe your texture?
G: I’m not great at hair typing, but I know it can be helpful when trying to learn from each other. My guess would be that the front and back of my hair are 3C and the middle/crown of my hair is 4A. My strands are pretty fine but I have a lot of them, which makes my hair overall very dense. It’s also very dry and thirsty and loves to drink water and oil.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
G: I’ve gone through many regimens and they change with the seasons and with the length of my hair and my moods. I’m a working mom with three kids and a side hustle, so the hairstyle I rock the most is the curly top knot. Unless it’s a special occasion, I always shoot for low manipulation. With my fine strands and the length of my hair, detangling can be an absolute nightmare if my hair is allowed to go too wild for too long. I moisten it and protect it every night and I’m very protective of my ends.
As far as styling products go, I keep it simple. When braiding or twisting or even bunning my hair, I simply spray it with a moisturizing spray (Jane Carter Revitalizing Spray or Shea Moisture Hold & Shine) then moisturize with something creamy (Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer) or something buttery (Shea Radiance Moisturizing Hair Butter) depending on what my hair is telling me it needs.
What does wash day look like for you?
G: I wash my hair with shampoo at least twice a month and on the off week I usually do a co wash. My usual process includes deep conditioning first (Aubrey Organics GPB Protein Conditioner or Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose), then shampoo (Crème of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo), then oil rinse with extra virgin olive oil, then conditioner rinse (Tresemme Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner, which also happens to be my favorite co-wash conditioner).
After all this, I usually separate my hair into about 8 – 10 sections and apply a leave-in (Kinky Kurly Knot Today or Giovanni Direct Leave In) then seal with something thick like (SheaRadiance Moisture Rich Hair Butter) and cornrow it and twirl the ends around my fingers. I let it dry thoroughly. When it’s all said and done and I’ve taken the braids out, I either wear the curly top knot or where it down. It will be pretty tame the first day. Then it will swell and become less defined over the next few days.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
G: Definitely the curly top knot. It just always works. No matter what my hair is doing, I can pull my hair up to the top of my head and make myself look pulled together.
How do you combat shrinkage?
G: I have no problem with blow drying my hair before styling. I’m just gentle about it and keep it in moderation. I will sometimes pull my hair back in a low bun when it’s still wet and brush it down so that it’s very smooth and tie it with a scarf. When it’s left this way to dry, the roots dry straight.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
G: My crown and my ends because they get frizzy and dry so easily. I have to baby them or they rebel.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
G: Do stretch your ends with a roller and keep them trimmed to avoid splitting and knots. Do moisturize your hair every night. No excuses.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
G: Don’t over moisturize it. I know I said that moisture is a “do”, but you have to find the right amount. Also, don’t wear it down all the time. Find one or two fun protective styles that give your hair a chance to be left alone.