*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
S: My name is Shantae and I am from Venice, Illinois but I currently reside on the East Coast.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S: I went natural after a bad experience with relaxer and bleach. I had always dyed my hair really light colors (sandy brown, golden, reds, red/orange), but this time I outdid myself with the bleach by mistake. It left my hair very dry so I decided to forego all chemicals. I have been natural for almost 4.5 years now!
How would you describe your texture?
S: I would describe my hair as in between 3c and 4a. My front is much more manageable than my back. My strands are coarse and my hair is very dense. I have trouble with plenty of SSK’s and detangling is one heck of a chore!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
S: This is what I do every 2–3 weeks. Prepoo with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner and almond oil (let that sit for about 30 minutes) and cowash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner. 99% of the time I wash my hair I always follow with deep conditioning for at least an hour. I do this by combining (here we go lol) Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner, Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner, almond oil, coconut oil, and Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Conditioner. I cover it all with a plastic processing cap and sit under a hooded dryer (with conditioner, oil, and cap) for 30 minutes. I then let it cool for 30 minutes. Then rinse. I style my hair by doing 8–9 flat braids or twists (which will turn into an updo or bun), medium sized loose twists, or flexi rods. I moisturize/style with Shea Moisture products, Cantu Leave-In and use coconut oil and castor oil to seal.
When I plan to wear my hair straight, the regimen is different with much less product. My straight hair gets REALLY straight and is easily weighed down by product. I wash with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Shampoo. I deep condition (still for an hour) with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner, Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner, and Aussie Moist Conditioner. I rinse, then apply John Frieda Frizz Ease, just a dime-quarter size, blow dry in sections, and flat iron.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
S: My favorite go to style without question is the high bun! So easy, fast, and cute. Wearing my hair in twists is always good too because then I can just pull them back with bobby pins and they last 3–4 weeks!
How do you combat shrinkage?
S: I have yet to find a product that decreases shrinkage and I have a lot of it! I have tried banding, but with banding my hair takes like 2 days to dry! So I prefer flat twisting or braiding to decrease shrinkage.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
S: My problem area is my crown. It is so dense there! I have to have major patience while detangling and I use a wide toothed shower comb.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
S: 2 Do’s: Use coconut oil and give my hair a rest by doing sew-in weaves.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
S: 2 Don’ts: Too much manipulation (I shed) and skipping trims.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
S: I have no blog, but my Instagram is Tae_Michelle_. Thanks dolls!