*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
E: My name is Kartis Lewis. I was born, raised and currently reside in New Orleans.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
E: I have always admired the beauty, strength and versatility of natural hair. I loved my relaxed hair, but I knew it could be healthier, thicker and I wanted the option to wear it curly. In an effort to “try out” going natural, I held off on my next scheduled relaxer and wore braidouts to get a sense of the possible journey ahead. A month in, I made the decision to not go back to the creamy crack and my official journey began.
I am ridiculously excited because my two year anniversary is March 24. I can’t believe the time has flown by so quickly. Within the two years, I transitioned for twenty months, and big chopped in November 2012. I have been completely natural for four months now.
How would you describe your texture?
E: If I had to guess, I would say my hair is predominantly 4b and possibly 4a around the perimeter where the coils are looser. My hair is pretty coarse. If I properly deep condition, moisturize and protect it, my hair is pretty well-behaved without breakage, tangling and dryness.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
E: Currently, I don’t have a definite styling regimen as I am a natural newbie. I am really enjoying trying different styles for variety, and to establish my go-to hairstyles. If I am not trying out a new style, I typically wear a braidout. It’s easy, quick and fail-proof!
What does wash day look like for you?
E: My wash day starts off with a dry deep condition using Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing (GPB) Conditioner, or a pre-poo using a heated mixture of olive oil and honey on damp hair. Secondly, I cleanse with As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner. After the cleanse, I follow with Shea Moisture Purification Masque. On wash day, I usually style my hair in two-strand twists or braids. If I am going with braids, I do not use any detangling products or tools, as a finger detangle is sufficient. However if I am going with twists, I bring out the Denman brush and my detangling mixture (1/3 Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (aloe vera and avocado) and 2/3 water in a spray bottle). Following, I style with coconut oil, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and a little Shea Moisture Curling Soufflé on the ends to hold my coils.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
E: If it’s the night before, I would go with a braidout. On an old hairstyle, I would spray with a mixture of water and coconut oil, add Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and follow with Paul Mitchell Leave-In Conditioner Crème for added definition; which may be harder to achieve with dirty hair. However, my emergency hairstyle is the power puff. I style it with a mixture of water and coconut oil, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and EcoStyler Gel. Following the puff, I almost always have to shampoo to get the gel residue out of my hair. So, I try not to wear this style too often.
How do you combat shrinkage?
E: Usually I wear braidouts, which drastically reduce shrinkage. Pineappling at night is an added bonus as it stretches my hair even more.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
E: The hair at the crown of my head tends to retain the least amount of moisture. I apply oil to my hair daily, while applying extra to my crown area. On wash day, I apply extra deep conditioner to this area and it seems to help.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
E: Moisturizing: deep conditioning and applying oil throughout the week. Protecting: I try to pineapple every night and sleep with a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
E: Brushing/combing my hair while dry is a huge no-no. Also, going too long without deep conditioning leaves my hair feeling brittle, and more prone to tangles and breakage.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?