*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
C: My name is Clara, but most people on the web know me as Charisma.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: My ex-husband actually convinced me to go natural back in 2002. He was an avid reader and had read Hair Story. He found it confusing that I practiced a holistic lifestyle, but still put chemicals in my hair. I truly understood, so I started on my journey, a short journey. Nine months later I was back ‘straight’. There were hardly any products for natural hair back then, and surely no videos on how to transition. Online and book research only led me to info and products for locs.
Little did I know I would attempt being natural 3 more times for a total of 30 months from 2002 — 2008. I never did a big chop, however I did get a bob cut; my first cut in nearly 10 years. Over 10 inches of my hair was chopped to obtain the style and now I have been natural for 4 years.
How would you describe your texture?
C: I am oblivious when it comes to categorizing my hair. I just know it was thick permed and thick now, lol. It rebels just as much as I do!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
C: I’m a mood person, which in turn determines my regimen. Primarily I wear ponytails or wash and go’s with a scarf. For over a year I didn’t use any shelf products. I made my own concoction. It consisted of Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel, olive oil or jojoba, water and my choice of essential oil (usually a citrus scent by Aura Cacia). Sometimes I use Shea Moisture’s Hair Milk Moisturizer. I’m thinking of going back to Kinky Curly for a while too.
What does wash day look like for you?
C: I have psoriasis at my hair/neckline so I use Desert Essence’s Peppermint Shampoo, then I use their Shea Butter Shampoo. I usually wash twice a month unless I have worked out a lot, then I wash once a week. I deep condition nearly every time I wash using Filippo Berio olive oil and Desert Essence Shea Butter Conditioner. When I’ve worn a ponytail too long or when my wash & go turns into a ‘wash & went’ 🙂 I use Hello Hydration or Aussie 3 Minute Miracle to detangle. If it’s really rough, i.e. matted, I use a combo of aloe vera/conditioner, olive oil and water for small strands.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
C: When I don’t have time to style (everyday) I slather in some organic coconut oil or shea butter, spray with my concoction and I’m well on my way with my ponytail. I roll a square scarf to tie my ponytails or a huge elastic band to prevent headaches and breakage.
How do you combat shrinkage?
C: I don’t wrestle with shrinkage. I let my hair do its own thing. When I do want length, I’ve found that doing a braid out while dry by lightly spraying it gives at least an extra inch.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
C: The entire back half has always been an issue for me. It’s hard to handle because it’s in the back so you have to bring it to the front to comb.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
C: 1) Do what you want for your hair. Don’t spend gazillions on the latest product. Find what works for you, even if it’s homemade and stick with it. 2) Eat more natural foods. The same items that are used on your hair lead to healthy growth and shine when you consume them. Apple cider vinegar, lemons, avocado, flax seeds, coconut oil and olive oil all double as items for the hair and body.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
C: 1) Don’t get dehydrated. Drink lots of water. When I’m dehydrated my hair looks like the Sahara. My mother once said, ‘it looks like if I lit a match, your hair would go KABOOM!’. 2) Let your hair be free, even if it’s only at night. Let it breathe, especially in the summer or when you often wear ponytails. Thick hair tends to sour and you don’t want a mildewed mess in there.