*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: I am Aquia Francisco. I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX but moved to Dallas almost six years ago from school and can’t imagine life anywhere else.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I went natural because I had seen the evolution of my hair from pre-relaxer to post. My mom relaxed my hair when I was about 6 or 7 years old and seeing photos of what my hair used to be to what it had become (short, brittle and unhealthy) frustrated me. So, I did something about it. I have been natural for a little over 3 years now. I made 3 years in September.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I never got into the whole hair-typing thing. I never had the desire to look into what 4a or 3b meant because I found it difficult to put my hair into one category – when in reality, it fits many. If I had to describe it in adjectives, I would say that it is wavy is some areas and curly in others. Some areas are fine and others a little coarser. I truly do have different textures and curl patterns throughout my head. At first it perplexed and even frustrated me. But I’ve certainly learned to accept it for what it is and learned what works for me.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: My styling regimen includes a lot of twist-outs. I wear twist-outs more times than not because it’s what works. Because of the texture differences in my hair (which are more prominent the longer it gets), I’m not a big fan of wash-and-go’s (though it would certainly make life much easier). I recently tried flexi-rods and I had such great results with them that I think they will become a regular part of my styling regimen.
While I hate to say it, it’s been three years and I don’t have many staple products. Aside from my holy grail shampoo, Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Moisture and Shine Shampoo, the product list changes with my mood. I have learned that with twist-outs, creamy-based products work best for me. Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Repair Cream are among my favorites, but I definitely pick up and try other similar products in hopes that eventually I will find THE one. The jury is still out on that one.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: Wash day is a day that has to be pre-determined and prepared for. It’s a day that I can’t have much on my agenda because it takes my full dedication. It’s that serious. Since I don’t do wash-and-go’s, I have to designate a day that I’m able to sit around and allow twists to air dry. I use the aforementioned products, coupled with a deep conditioning treatment that I make myself if I have the time. It’s usually some combination of avocado, mayo, EVOO and apple cider vinegar. I haven’t found a store-bought conditioner that makes my hair feel as soft and conditioned as my homemade version. I’m definitely open for suggestions.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: On days that I don’t have much time, I will whip out some sort of ponytail/puff or bun. And, if those options fail me, I turn to the old faithful turban.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I’m sure I don’t experience as much shrinkage with my twist-outs as I would with a wash-and-go, but I definitely do experience some. When I do, I use a blow dryer on low heat and blow my roots while I stretch my hair from the ends. Makes a world of difference.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: My problem area is my ends. Hands down. Even with regular trims and extra attention, they are the driest part of my hair and are very prone to splitting. I definitely try to pay close attention to them.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: 2 do’s for my texture, as mentioned before are twist-outs and definitely thick, creamy product that provide a gentle, but firm hold.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: 2 don’ts for me personally are wash-and-go’s (though I can get away with them up until my hair is fully dry), and thin, water-based products. They don’t provide any hold and my hair doesn’t stand a chance with them.