C: Hey everyone! My name is Corrie Gallien. I am an attorney/single mother to an amazing girl. I am from Opelousas, Louisiana. Shout out to you if you know where that is!!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I will say that I used to love my relaxed hair. It was healthy, long and full. The major drawback was that I could not manage it on my own. I had to do weekly visits to the salon, which was breaking my pocketbook. My daughter Melani was the number one reason why I decided to return to my natural hair. She was struggling to accept her curly hair and I was finding it difficult to encourage her to love her own hair when everyone around her, including me had straight hair. One day I had an epiphany: what better way to show her how to love her hair than to fall in love with my own. She thought I was crazy when I chopped off all of my hair, but now she loves my hair and most importantly, she loves her own hair. Now that I have returned to being natural, I love the fact that I don’t have to put damaging chemicals in my hair to achieve hair that I love way more than I ever loved my relaxed hair. My hair is versatile and beautiful; I wish I had never relaxed it. But lesson learned; I will never return to relaxed hair. It has been almost three years since my last relaxer, and I did the big chop in October of 2010.
How would you describe your texture?
C: I still haven’t really categorized it, but others have done it for me. Some have said it’s 3c, others have said it’s 4a. I say it’s thick, healthy, and curly.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
C: My styling regimen varies. I do not use heat in my hair (Confession: I did use heat one time since the big chop for a partial blowout, but that’s not the norm). I usually style with the leave-in conditioners I mentioned below, or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I use aloe vera gel or flaxseed gel to slick down my hair. I think proper moisture is the key to any great style. Dry dull hair will always ruin a style, even a pretty one. I always style on detangled hair and usually style when my hair is damp.
My go-to styles are twists of different sizes. I love twists because they are so versatile. I can do mini-twists, which I do from time to time when I want to give my hair a break from styling for a few weeks. It takes longer to put them in, but lasts much longer than big twists so it’s worth the extra work. I do medium sized twists when I want to wear my twists down, but don’t have the time to do mini-twists. And I do larger twists when I want to pin my twists up (also very quick and creates very elegant styles). I haven’t mastered the art of flat twists on my own hair, but one day I will conquer that style because I love how it looks on others! I do braidouts when I want to stretch my hair. I don’t wear braids as a style unless they are microbraids using only my own hair. I haven’t tried braids using extensions, but I am open to the idea of doing them one day. I usually avoid extensions because I hate to keep a style in my hair more than three weeks, so for me it’s usually not worth the time and cost it takes to put them in. I like bantu knot outs, but twists are usually easier for me to do on my own hair so I rarely do them.
What does wash day look like for you?
C: I try to keep my wash day as simple as possible. I co-wash every other wash.
I deep condition once a month and henna occasionally. So those wash days are extra special and time consuming. Here’s a look at my usual wash day. I usually shampoo or co-wash, then detangle while the conditioner is still in my hair. I use only non-sulfate shampoos and conditioners. I have been using the Organix line lately because I found a few bottles on sale. I use a padded brush to detangle. Then I wash out the conditioner and blot dry with a t‑shirt (I don’t dry with towels because they can snag your hair and cause frizz). I then apply my leave-in conditioner, which most days is Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner or Super Duper Hydrating Hair Cream. I detangle some more if needed, then seal my hair with olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, or a mixture of them. I then style my hair as desired.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
C: I love pinning my hair up in various updos because it’s quick and effortless and because I like to have my hair out of my face and off of my neck when I am at work. I also love wearing turbans and headwraps from L’amour Naturelle (lamournaturelle.com). These give my hair a much needed break while spicing up my wardrobe, so it’s a win-win for me 🙂
How do you combat shrinkage?
C: Twists and braids are both my way of combating shrinkage. These also help minimize the tangles in my hair. I don’t mind shrinkage. It adds to my hair’s versatility.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
C: Single strand knots are the major problem I come across. I finger detangle to remove the knots and minimize breakage.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
C: Do keep your hair properly moisturized and do keep the rest of your body healthy. Being natural should go beyond just your hair. I use natural soaps, skin products, etc. I try to make it a lifestyle. Eating clean and green is the best way to promote healthy hair.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
C: Don’t always compare your hair to others. Learn and love your hair. It’s unique and wonderfully made just for you. Don’t overcomplicate your hair regimen. Less is best! Find out what works and stick with it.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: I used to have a blog and am thinking about starting one up again in the near future. If you want to connect with me now, you can find me on Facebook (Corrie Gallien), Instagram @beautyofdacross and on Twitter @beautyofdacross.