*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: Hello BGLH community! I’m Alexis and I hail from New York City.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’ve been natural for 6 years and I went natural for a combination of reasons. I was tired of having thin and unhealthy hair. I noticed that I was going through cycles of having great length only for it to break off with relaxing every 5–6 months. I wanted to have healthy hair and secondly I wanted to stop being afraid of what God gave me. I just reached a point where I began not to care if the boys didn’t find me attractive without the straight hair. At the time I felt like my life revolved around protecting my straight hair. If it was raining I didn’t want to go out, couldn’t sweat heavily while exercising, and swimming in the summer was such a chore. The needs of my hair became my reason for planning things. It was totally ridiculous. I wanted to be free…I wanted to be myself.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I would describe my texture as the happy medium between 3C and 4A. I have the curl pattern of 3C and the thickness of 4A. My hair is very dense and tangles easily. The curls are fine to the touch and behave nicely only when sealed well with a product.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: A wash n’ go is my absolute favorite style and how I keep my hair the majority of the month. I feel like the less I manipulate my hair the better it retains length. Every now and then I alternate between two-strand twists and roller sets. I keep my wash n’ go for at least 5 days at a time. Gel based styling products hold my curls best. My two staple products are Kinky Curly Curling Custard and Eco-Styler Gel (firm hold pink one) mixed with ¼ cup of aloe vera juice. The eco-styler/aloe mix gives me the same result as Kinky-Curly for a fraction of the price. Before applying product I also put on a leave-in conditioner. Either Kinky Curly Knot Today or Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream.
At night to preserve my curls I use the “pineapple” method and tie my hair up into a high ponytail then wrap it with a silk scarf. Every day I apply some type of moisturizer/refresher. To refresh daily I use Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm, Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme, or simply a spray bottle with ¾ cold water and ¼ aloe vera juice. Twisting and roller setting allows my hair to have a break from wash n’ gos. Twisting is great because it keeps my ends protected for a week at a time and the roller sets allow me to achieve a straighter look without the flat irons and blow dryers. To roller set I use very small rollers with caps that go over them. I make sure to make the parts very small so they dry neatly. My favorite product for the sets is Redken’s Smooth Down Butter Treat and for twists Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I co-wash once a week and shampoo every other week. I alternate between two lines for conditioning and washing. I love Devacare’s One Condition and No Poo Shampoo and Hair Rules Cleansing Cream and Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner. Everyone should always find a more commercially available and affordable product they like to use for wash day, so I make sure to keep a bottle of Pantene’s Moisture Renewal Conditioner and Shampoo for Curls handy in addition to my staple products.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: My favorite go-to hairstyle is a high bun! The look has become quite popular this season and it provides the perfect way for me to prepare my hair for wash day. You can also wear a nice headband, scarf, or clip with this style. I saturate my ends and roots with a mixture of jojoba and castor oil and wrap my hair up in the high bun. I only use hair ties to lock it in place instead of bobby pins, which usually get stuck on my ends and damage them.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I combat shrinkage by tying my hair up using a claw clip while it is still wet on the day that I style. This keeps the curls loose on the top of my head, but pulls at my roots while my hair is drying. This also loosens my curls and helps them to fall longer. Sometimes I use the banding method and sleep with multiple bands holding my high ponytail up to stretch my roots. I try to avoid using heat, but sometimes when I am pressed for time I will blow my roots on a low heat setting to stretch them as well.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: My problem area has always been the middle section of my hair. It is the coarsest part and requires the most time to detangle. I make sure to part my hair in 4 sections while leaving the middle as one 5th section to allow me to detangle it easier. I can get away without using a leave in detangler on every part except the middle, so for me having one at all times is a must.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Two absolute do’s for my texture are: 1. Get styled cuts while the hair is curly and DRY. Find a stylist trained in this technique. 2. Deep condition often. I deep condition at least 3 times a month so almost every week.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Two don’ts for my texture: 1. Sleep with no method of protection. You will find yourself having to wash and style often, which can dry out the hair very easily. 2. Wear ANYTHING with velcro. This sounds strange, but I have had to cut pieces of my hair out of velcro many times and now I wont even buy anything to wear that has velcro on it.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: Thank you so much BGLH! You can find me at Jonesin4Jonesy.com.