*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
E: Hi my name is Ellie. I was born in Nigeria, grew up in Botswana and South Africa, and am currently living in Philadelphia, PA.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
E: I have been natural for almost 2 years. I made the decision to go natural due to many years of damaged hair. I went to a predominately white college where black hair care was non-existent, so for many years I permed my own hair and had weaves because this was the only way out. I didn’t really take care of my hair because of lack of resources. This damaged every area of my hair leaving me with bald spots and no edges. It had a long-term effect on my hair and I am still paying for it today. I decided one day it was time to take control and embrace my own natural hair. This could only be done by chopping off the damaged hair and starting over. Thankfully through my walk with Christ I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone (weaves) and not pay attention to the negative feedback I got from my big chop, or to what society called beautiful. I saw myself through God’s eye, which gave me the confidence to rock my natural hair like the queen that I am.
How would you describe your texture?
E: My curls are very tight and coarse. A mixture of 4B/4C or something like that.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
E: My strands are coarse and thick so it can be a challenge to maintain. I do a lot of twist-outs and bantu knots along with protective styles.
What does wash day look like for you?
E: I wash my hair once a week. I use only natural products on my hair because they can be nourishing to my sensitive scalp. I wash my hair with Aveda Invati Shampoo then condition with Aveda Conditioner. Once I rinse the conditioner I use the Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries Nourishing Herbal Leave-in Conditioner and immediately twist my hair with Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter along with the Curl Milk by Camille Rose.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
E: I just unbraid or untwist my hair in a cute curly fro and I am on my way.
How do you combat shrinkage?
E: I do African threading to stretch my hair and French braids are also my secret to combating shrinkage.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
E: My temple has become very sensitive due to many years of damage. I find the hair on that area to be a bit thinner than the rest of my hair, so I am very careful to not put a lot of tension on my scalp around that area.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
E: Protective styling and keeping my hair moisturized.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
E: Combing on dry hair and over-manipulation.