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Ashley // 3C Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jun 1, 2013

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Introduce yourself!
A:
My name is Ashley Pratt, originally from the DC Metro Area. Currently a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A:
I have been natural my whole life! My Mama never allowed my sister and I to ever get a perm, or a “kiddie relaxer.” I grew to fully accept and love my hair in 2006 and although I love my hair now, for a while growing up I just wanted straight hair. My Barbie dolls had straight hair that I could cut or color with a magic marker. My classmates had long straight hair too. Every night Mama would put my hair in a few ponytails. As I got older and had to do my own hair I tried all sorts of things, gel, hair grease, even lotion, and mixed it all together to put in my hair.

I started flat ironing my hair every so often in middle school and for every special occasion. In high school I was fed up with having to braid it all that I woke up the next morning, wet my hair, and walked out the door. That was the first time I had worn my hair out big and proud since kindergarten! I received so much positive feedback that it just became my style. Annually, I would wear my hair as big as possible by picking it all the way out into a glorious Afro. I’ve learned to love and accept the endless possibilities that I can do with my hair. Never gets dull. As an artist a lot of my work that I am most passionate about is identity based, which includes my hair. It is a symbol of beauty, pride, loaded with history and politics. My natural hair choices give me roots back to Africa, when I would feel otherwise cultural-less. Above all, it is my crown.

How would you describe your texture?
A:
My hair is predominantly 3C. It is thick and kinky-curly.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A:
Whatever style I use depends on my mood! I change my hair up sometimes just as often as I change my outfit. Most commonly it is a wash-n-go. I let my hair air dry and walk around with it wrapped in a towel before I mess with it. I try to keep the amount of product I use to a minimum. I love Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream and Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Spray Sheen to spritz my scalp. For Afro days I section off my hair and use a hair pick or a paddle brush to pull it apart and finish up with a hair dryer on low. During the winter months I tend to straighten my hair (so I can wear cute hats!) I use the Wet-to-Dry Flat Iron. With my hair brushed, blow dried, and separated I add olive oil, especially to the ends. I run a comb through my hair right along with the flat iron. This can last up to a month or two with a touch up to my roots here and there. That’s what I love about being natural I can change my look in a matter of hours.

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What does wash day look like for you?
A:
I try to wash my hair as little as possible. It winds up being maybe once every two weeks. I use Pantene Pro‑V Relaxed and Natural for Women of Color Shampoo and Conditioner. While shampooing I consistently rub my scalp and scrunch my hair. I detangle it with my fingers, then with the conditioner in it I used a paddle brush to run all the way through. I deep condition every one-two months with Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenisher.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A:
I just dampen my hair a little in the morning and add shea butter. If I want to go the extra step from my wash-n-go, I do a braid that goes across my head from ear to ear. Sometimes I bun it up, or do a half up, half down look.

How do you combat shrinkage?
A:
Sometimes I don’t bother fighting it. I get shrinkage after wash day so it is to be expected. I call it my “small hair day”. Depending on the occasion, I may blow dry it out.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A:
I shed like crazy! I always warn my roommates of possible tumbles of my hair around the apartment. I also have to keep my scalp oiled every day.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A:
DO use products that are creamy like shea butter that do not weigh it down. DO when in doubt always use the appropriate conditioner for your hair.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A:
While straightening your hair is nice DON’T use the flat iron every day. You don’t need a lot of heat to keep it looking neat! Also, DON’T wash every day. Wear a shower cap and try to avoid too much water. It will lead to a dry scalp and dandruff.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A:
Artwork: www.ashleyillustrations.com with a link to my Tumblr and Facebook page.

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About Meosha

Just another lover of natural hair and expression. - Style Icon Coordinator for BGLH

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locdnatural
locdnatural
7 years ago

Pretty girl with lovely hair, she kind of reminds me of that girl who plays the daughter on Meet The Browns- aka Logan Browning.

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  locdnatural

Thank you! 🙂

Sojourner
7 years ago

I love your hair and style. You can definitely tell you’re very artsy, I love it! Your art itself is stunning too. Keep it up! 🙂

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  Sojourner

Thank you so much I appreciate it!

Jax
Jax
7 years ago

Love the artwork! Hair is fly, too!

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  Jax

Thank you Jax, I need to get back in the studio and get to work 🙂

Jessica
Jessica
7 years ago

You are absolutely gorgeous! I love your simple regimen

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

Thanks so much Jessica 😀

Nikki
Nikki
7 years ago

Gives me hope! My 15 yr old daughter has never been allowed to chemically process her hair and wants to always wear straight hair at her age. Maybe one day she will just except her beautiful mane fore what it is and wear it big a possible someday too! ????

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

I hope to one day see more girls embracing their natural hair and the rest of society accepting it too. Nikki your daughter will grow to love it! It’s nice to try straight hair but naturally curly hair is fun.

D.K.
7 years ago

Girl, I’m loving everything about it! Whoo! Your hair, work, additude and outlook is just great, and kudos to your mom for no doubt helping you through your ‘rough’ patches of wanting straight hair. Go on being proud!

vertmoot.blogspot.com

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  D.K.

Thank you very much D.K. I wanted to cut and dye my hair too wasn’t allowed. Now I love my hair so much I don’t think I can bring myself to do it!

brown-princess.tumblr
7 years ago

Loved it! His story is somewhat similar to mine, I also have been natural all my life. You are beautiful!

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago

Thanks girl!

zyaran
zyaran
7 years ago

Your hair is gorgeous, and even the picture of the dog both head of hairs are very pretty in that pic.

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  zyaran

Haha thanks Zyaran, we had a Puppies event at my school when I saw that poodle I had to get a photo with him. *twins*

Shug
Shug
7 years ago

Her hair is lovely but I went on her site and she’s a very talented woman!

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago

Thanks Shug 😀

Latoya
Latoya
7 years ago

You have some beautiful hair. I’m an artist as well and my work deals with the concepts of Beauty and Identity among Black Women. When I saw your post I got excited becasue I saw that you are a student at MICA. I accepted a teaching position in the Foundations Dept. I start this fall. Hope to see you on campus!

Ashley Pratt
Ashley Pratt
7 years ago
Reply to  Latoya

Hi Latoya! Welcome to MICA. I am certain we will run into each other; I am very active on campus. See you in September 🙂

Skippy
Skippy
7 years ago

Woop woop for the DMV! 🙂 I live right near MICA.
LOVE your hair and style!

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