P: My name is Philece and I am a Fine Artist from Nassau, Bahamas currently residing in Atlanta.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
P: Relaxers were no longer getting my hair as straight as I liked it and I figured out how to achieve the same look with a blow dryer and flat iron. I wore my hair curly even with a relaxer, crazy I know, so eventually I was like what’s the point?! My hair is quite resilient as I have cut and colored more times that I can count, and not at the risk of thickness or length. However paying to have such harsh chemicals applied to my hair that no longer gave me the results I wanted and put my hair and scalp at risk of damage was no longer worth it. Overall leading a more healthy lifestyle did not exclude my hair. I didn’t think about it. Can’t even say I big chopped or transitioned. I wasn’t even aware of those terms back then. I frequently cut inches off when the mood hit, and I needed a change. At the time of my last relaxer I was growing my hair out from a pixie cut. My last relaxer was in January 2003, so it has been an interesting 10 years of learning, loving, sometimes hating lol and having fun with my hair!
How would you describe your texture?
P: I have never given much thought to hair typing, so if I had to guess I am somewhere around a 3c I think, with finer strands and high density. I’ve noticed my curl pattern has become much tighter over the past two years. I recently got my hair straightened for the first time in a year, which was the longest I have ever gone without putting heat on my hair. A huge accomplishment for me because my alter ego loves some straight hair and I was good for going straight at least every two months or so and even more before I buckled down and decided give my hair more TLC. It was so strange to be reminded of just how fine my strands are. My first glimpse in the mirror was awkward. I can’t get used to seeing myself without a huge head of wild curls! I forgot how big my head really is underneath all of those curls lol!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
P: I shampoo once a month with Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo, co wash 1–2 times a week with Suave’s Almond & Shea Butter Conditioner and I deep condition every week and at a minimum of every two weeks with Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque. Between wash days, if my hair gets a little dry or my curls become crushed from sleeping I refresh by spritzing with water and applying a small amount of leave in conditioner. I do a slight finger detangle, shake and go!
What does wash day look like for you?
P: Wash day for me starts by separating my hair in two or four parts, detangling on damp hair with coconut oil and for those days when it’s really tangled I add a little Suave Almond & Shea Butter Conditioner to the mix. After years of use I love this stuff because it has the best slip ever and smells lovely! I then co wash with the same Suave Conditioner, though I have recently tried the new Pantene Truly Natural Co Wash and thus far I am loving it, so I may be rotating with that and my trusty Suave. I then apply Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner as my leave in (which I once used as a co wash). Followed by either Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style milk or just some Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil (the brand I use is called Spectrum) and I seal with Aloe Vera from Trader Joe’s. Every few months I change up my co wash or my leave in so my hair doesn’t become too used to the same product, providing maximum benefits for my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
P: I have been a wash and go kind of girl pretty much all of my life, so it’s safe to say that is my number one go-to-hairstyle. But the high ponytail is in close second. Usually the results of being too lazy to take my pineapple down from the night before lol.
How do you combat shrinkage?
P: My shrinkage is insane and would drive me nuts if I let it. So I really just let my hair do whatever it wants. Besides this mop has a mind of its own anyway. After a few nights of a pineapple it starts stretching by itself and that’s good enough for me!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
P: Some days I am just plain lazy and can’t be bothered with my hair. Like doing that quick finger detangle mid week, especially since it’s mostly in a wash and go state. I deal with the consequences on wash day when detangling becomes a nightmare! I must do better!
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
P: Oh that’s simple…moisture and moisture! For manageability, length retention and overall healthy hair, I must maintain an optimum level of moisture with my hair. There is a reason I replied with moisture twice. It’s simply because moisturizers applied to the outside of the hair is important yes, but in my opinion even more important is what you are putting inside of your body that matters even more. So get that water intake up ladies. Your hair and skin will thank you for it!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
P: Being impatient with detangling is a huge no for my texture. My curls have become much tighter over the past two years and beautiful spirals can easily and quickly become a head of knots. I love my hair to feel light and free and volume is everything so I find that less is more with the use of styling products. Too much product and my hair just kind of hangs and my big hair days cease to exist!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
P: You can find me on social media outlets as thatArtista and learn more about myself and my artwork on my website at www.thatArtista.com.