*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
T: My name is Thaina Felisha Madere. I am of Haitian descent. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts but I’ve been living in Riverside, California for almost 7 years. I work for my father’s business right now but I’m in transition from undergrad to law school.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: That’s a great question! Lol. It really wasn’t intentional. “Natural hair” wasn’t as popular as it is today and I really didn’t know what I was doing. I had my hair cut into a short permed style when I first moved here. I got lazy and just didn’t keep up with my relaxers. With short hair it was easier to see what my natural texture was so I just made the jump. Realizing that my hair formed curls and that I could care for it was such a revelation for me! I’ve always been a fan of big hair, but assumed that my hair needed to be permed because it was unmanageable. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning like over-processing with color and such, but I’m definitely learning how to care for my hair. I love getting to know my hair and making healthier choices in regards to how I treat my body! I’ve been natural now for a total of 6 years and I big chopped twice. The first time I chopped to cut the perm off and 3 years ago I shaved my hair off as a result of heat damage.
How would you describe your texture?
T: I’m not too much into hair typing, but if I had to classify I think I have mostly 4b strands. The strands at the top of my head are a little looser so they may be 4a, but the strands in the back of my hair are a coarse and tight 4c. My hair is dense and soft to the touch as long as it is moisturized.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: I try to style my hair in medium twists for at least a week out of each month. When my hair isn’t twisted I wear braid-outs, a bun or a fro. I moisturize my hair with a mix of water, glycerin and peppermint oil. My hair LOVES water, so I spray my hair quite often. I seal with a shea butter whip I blend with glycerin, olive, avocado, peppermint, and coconut oil.
What does wash day look like for you?
T: I prep my hair for wash day by finger detangling my hair with coconut or olive oil then I put my hair in loose plaits to wash my hair in. I find that my hair sheds less when I wash my hair in plaits instead of washing my hair loose. In lieu of shampoo, I rub my scalp with diluted baking soda or I wash my hair with Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash. It doesn’t lather, but it does the job. I condition my hair with Shea Moisture’s Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner. After conditioning, I squeeze the excess water out of my hair and wear a turban or hat until my hair is about 85% dry. I then moisturize my hair and either put my hair in medium twists for the next week or two or I put it in tighter plaits for a braid-out.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T: Scarves, Turbans and more Scarves! If you know me, you’ll see my hair wrapped up at least 3 days out of the week.
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: I don’t worry too much about shrinkage. There really isn’t a way to fight it; however I find that after using the pineapple method at night my hair is stretched.
Tell us about your hair color?
T: I haven’t been to the hair salon since going natural. I picked up a Dark and Lovely permanent hair color in honey blonde from Walmart and did it myself in my bathroom. I was going for a really light brown, but I figured since I wasn’t using bleach, a blonde would get me closer to what I wanted. My curl pattern hasn’t changed, but my hair is a lot more brittle. Color has always made my hair dry, but I do it anyway because I love changing it up sometimes!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T: My edges tangle really easily, so when my hair is twisted I have to remove the tangles and re-twist them every 3 days or so. Since my hair is color-treated, my ends are also dry; which is why sealing my hair after moisturizing is so important.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: Sometimes mid-week my hair will feel parched so I’ll “hotbox” my hair. I spray my hair with water, put olive oil on my ends, cover my hair with a plastic cap then wrap it with a scarf for the day. After doing so, my hair is always super soft until the next wash day. I also watch my ends. I’m not afraid to trim my hair. If I notice that my strands are tangling excessively, I’ll blow dry and trim or twist them, search and destroy.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: Sleeping on cotton pillowcases and coloring too often have proved to be the demise of my strands, so I always sleep on satin pillowcases and I don’t touch up my roots after coloring anymore.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T: I’ve thought about blogging, but I haven’t made the step yet. For now, you can find me at http://instagram.com/adreamdiffered.