*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
M: Hi! My name is Melissa, but everyone calls me Mimi. I was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Miami, FL where I currently live.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
M: I never knew what my natural hair looked or felt like. I can’t even remember when I first got a perm. But I do know that I got tired of perms burning my scalp and my hair breaking and becoming thin. I wanted volume and health for my hair. But what pushed my decision to become natural is hearing my daughter say she wanted straight hair like mine when she has such beautiful, curly, spongy natural hair. I wanted to be a role model for her and show her that natural hair is beautiful, but I couldn’t show her that with permed hair. So I took a giant leap into the natural world and I love it! I’ve been natural since June 27, 2010.
How would you describe your texture?
M: I’m not exactly sure what my hair type is. If I had to choose I would say the majority of my hair is 4b. My hair is thick, but soft and manageable. The back of my hair has a tighter curl pattern and shrivels up more than the rest of my hair (almost like a 4c, but not quite) and the front middle section of my hair has a looser curl pattern that’s a bit more straight (more like a 4a). The rest of my hair is 4b.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
M: I usually wear twist-outs. I 2-strand (and sometimes 3-strand) twist on dry hair using Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter only. I spray very little water on my hair and apply the butter to each twist and leave the twists in for 1–2 days. I do about maybe 30 twists all over my head. I unravel them and separate them to my liking. To keep them looking fresh throughout the week, I twist my hair in bigger chunks (about six twists) every night and put on a satin bonnet.
What does wash day look like for you?
M: I try to make my wash days as simple as possible, but I have to dedicate a COMPLETE DAY to wash it. I wash my hair every 2 to 4 weeks (depending on how lazy I feel). I wash with Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash Lavender Garden. It’s like a mud mask for your hair. The wash cleans your hair of dirt, but keeps the moisture so I don’t have to use a follow-up conditioner. Once my hair is clean I moisturize with Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner and an oil mixture of Jojoba oil, Avocado oil, Olive oil, Castor oil, Sweet Almond oil and Vitamin E while my hair is still wet.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
M: Generally my hair is always out in a twist out so I let it flow. But for those days when my hair just doesn’t want to cooperate, I throw it up in a pony puff or bun.
How do you combat shrinkage?
M: My hair is usually stretched and sometimes blow-dried, so once shrinkage sneaks up on me I either bantu knot it, do a twist out, or pull it all up in one. Sometimes I’ll even wet my whole head with a spray bottle and let the shrinkage take over.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
M: I always make sure to take extra special care of my edges and my ends. My edges don’t always lay flat and I don’t use gel often at all. I usually spray my edges with water, apply a little oil (and on occasion some Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel), brush it down and wrap a satin scarf tightly around my head for a quick 5 minutes or so. When I remove the scarf my edges lay flat and last throughout the day. As for my ends, I always manage to spray a little water on them and run some oil on them to keep them moisturized. I only clip my ends probably once a year.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
M: Oil and water. They say the two don’t mix, but they work wonders for my hair. I keep the product level on my hair very low. Also wearing a silk or satin bonnet helps my texture keep the moisture.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
M: Combs and chemicals. I lose more hair with combs than I do with finger detangling. No matter how gentle I am with a comb, raking from ends to roots, I always end up losing more hair than with my own fingers. And I absolutely, positively keep chemicals out of my hair. I have never dyed or color treated my hair (relaxed or natural) and I don’t apply texturizers. I’m so protective of my hair, so I’m very careful of the things I put in it.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M: You can find me on Instagram: @ShyFlyQTPie