*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
P: Hi! My name is Polliany Rodrigues. I am from Brasilia, Brazil.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
P: I was raised in a family full of gorgeous black women, however they all relaxed their hair. So, I guess ever since I was little I had the idea that it was nearly unacceptable to have nothing but straight hair. Then again, back then curly hair was not accepted anywhere. So, by the time I turned 9 I begged my Mom to just take me to a salon and help me fit in. I know it sounds intense, but all I really wanted was to feel like I belonged. It wasn’t until 2009 that one of my aunts went natural that I started thinking about going natural. I guess I felt that I needed to see what my hair was like. I mean I couldn’t remember what it was like to have curly hair. Now, going natural was a LONG journey. I didn’t know what to do to try to even out the different textures (natural/relaxed). After 4 months, I gave up. Of course I had my entire family saying “Can’t you see how different your natural texture is? It won’t go back to how your hair used to be!” I tried to go natural 3 times and it was only at the end of 2010 that I decided to research how to work with my hair while transitioning. Black Girl with Long Hair and some YouTube channels such as Alodia80 and Naptural85 gave me the strength I needed. Plus, my boyfriend, natural auntie and best friend kept telling me I had to at least attempt to let my hair be itself, no matter what others said. That’s when I started the most intense journey of my life lol.
Initially I figured I’d transition for a year and a half (like Alodia80) and then big chop it. When my year mark came I couldn’t wait any longer. I just wanted to get rid of all those straight ends! I couldn’t take having to do twist outs and puffs as an obligation! So I did it. I chopped it all off. A week before my aunt had seen a girl at a mall and asked her who cut her hair (seriously when you see someone who’s got a nice fro you gotta know everything!) That’s when I picked up the phone and said “Can I come and see you? I need to set my hair free like, now.” I went alone, sat on the guy’s chair and asked for a cut that I could still have shape and at the same time not have all those strange textures. I must confess I was relieved, but with so much shrinkage it just seemed like I had no hair. I got into the car and just cried. I knew it was for the best, but I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t be able to do much with my hair for a while! Gladly my aunt reminded me of something “HEY! Look on the bright side, no more blow drying and flat ironing your hair every week!” Within a few months, I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. I had to let my hair show me what it was really like. I joke around saying that while I was transitioning it was just upset because I had mistreated it for so long, then when it noticed I was willing to be nice, it showed its true colors, which I simply love!!! It’s been exactly a year on November 18.
How would you describe your texture?
P: My hair is quite fine and yet it has so much volume, which I love! As many girls that are natural, I have different textures so it’s somewhere in between 3C and 4A. The hair on the front and top is drier than the back. I laugh at how the bottom is 3B though! I tell people it’s my Dad’s part of me (Dad is a 3A). As for porosity, it goes through phases. If I stay too long without deep conditioning it or use way too much hair spray, then I have high porosity and all products seem like they are worthless. That’s when I start doing night treatments like putting some argan or jojoba oil on the ends, never on the roots.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
P: Every now and then I have a problem with dandruff so I must wash my hair once a week with Head and Shoulders 2in1. Since it has a little bit of conditioner in it, I guess it doesn’t dry out my hair as much. I also noticed that if I take more than 4 days to wash my hair, detangling just becomes a hassle and it just seems that my hair becomes so vulnerable to breakage because I get all sorts of knots. So, making a long story short I shampoo and condition once a week and cowash once a week, just to detangle my hair. Also, when I notice that it’s getting a little dry I deep condition with Moroccan Oil Hydrating Mask.
What does wash day look like for you?
P: Patience. That’s the keyword lol. I start by prepping my hair with some conditioner on the length of my hair, then I shampoo with Head and Shoulders 2in1 by just massaging the scalp really well. For conditioning, I use Tresemmé Flawless Curls and leave it on while I shower, then I divide my hair into 6 sections by doing bantu knots with banana clips. Then I detangle each one under the shower with a wide tooth comb, SLOWLY from tips to root. As I finish each one I twist them so I don’t get confused. After I’m done I rinse whatever is left of the conditioner. As soon as I get out of the shower I just squeeze out the excess water and then put on Curlesque Leave-in Conditioner. It smells great and my hair really quenches moisture with it. It just feels super soft! When I wanna take it to the next level I also use their Curl Amplifier. I use it moderately, like a dime size, otherwise it’s too sticky. After that I dry it with a diffuser. Then I really don’t get any frizz, plus it leaves my curls super defined!
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
P: I spritz my hair with water and some leave in conditioner then I take part of the front and do a bump. Then I take a ribbon, or a string and start to tie it at the top while pushing it back up to where I feel like it looks good. I guess it’s kinda like a puff, but with a wider look to it. Sometimes I’m feeling flirty and I push “the puff” to the side. It gives the impression of a really full ponytail and it makes my hair look longer. You can see it on the picture where I’m wearing an orange skirt.
How do you combat shrinkage?
P: Shrinkage really bothered me in the beginning, but I learned how to embrace my hair, so I honestly don’t care. What I really like is volume, so I shake my head a couple of times, place my fingers close to the roots and rub to loosen the natural curl pattern.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
P: Like other Natural girls, I have some drier areas… The front and top part of my hair sometimes gets really dry. But all I have to do is deep condition it once a week and massage those areas with some extra attention. When I first did my big chop my hair was extremely dry and Pantene’s Night Treatment really helped! Also, my hair gets tangled easily and since it’s so fine, I have to be really patient when detangling it.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
P: Bantu knots work great! It gives a softer curl look and it has been my favorite forever, especially when I was transitioning. I do it sometimes and just let my hair be free! Updos with the front out. It’s unique and great for those days when I just wanna look different from the regular wash and go.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
P: Twist outs! I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t work for me! It either looks like I have a wig on my head or I get no definition whatsoever.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
P: You can find me on Instagram @pollycol.