D: Hello lovely naturalistas! My name is Derica Powell, born in Columbus, Ohio raised up in the small state of Delaware.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
D: Wow. There are so many answers I could give to this question. I can rant on and on about how my hair wasn’t healthy and how perms did so much damage, but we all know that story. My biggest problem with permed hair was shedding, but I’ve always had a head full of hair that everyone believed to be “fake”. My hair, although it was in good shape, was still damaged. My hair never grew past shoulder length. Once I realized I just decided to lay off the perms for a while. I started growing my hair out without even knowing I was actually transitioning the whole time! That’s when the breakage came full force. So one day while on YouTube I figured I’d look up ways to work with two-textured hair. Upon doing so, I stumbled over the natural hair videos. For days I studied the fundamentals and immediately fell in love with all things natural. It seemed so empowering. I was taken by the courage these ladies had to break away from society’s outlook on how we “should” wear our hair.
I received my first perm at 5 years old, so that’s all I knew growing up. The idea of natural never crossed my mind because I was never exposed to it. I received my last fix of creamy crack in February 2010, transitioned for 8 whole months and did my own big chop September 16th 2010. So, I have been natural going on 4 years in September of this year. I’m glad I crossed over because going natural has made me who I am today. Now because of my change I’ve become more open to taking care of my body along with my hair. I’ve also encouraged my mother and two sisters to go natural along with a few friends and other family members.
How would you describe your texture?
D: My hair is a nuisance. I have so many textures that I gave up on figuring out exactly which textures I have. What I do know is I’m predominantly in the 4 category with a splash of 3. My crown is more of a wavy texture, on the sides it’s more tight, kinky curls, and in the back I’m working with loose, silky, luscious curls, which hold the most moisture. Lastly my middle is a mix and the driest part that acts like a sponge. I have VERY thick hair. My strands are extremely dense and if I don’t moisturize daily it can become coarse as well.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
D: I’m a minimalist when it comes to everything, especially my hair. When my hair was shorter I tried more styles, but as it got longer I wanted to avoid manipulation as much as possible. My go-to style is two-strand twists. I absolutely love them! I get major love when I wear my twists vs. wearing my hair out. The whole “wow, look at all that hair, is it all yours?” statement gets repetitious so I try keeping my hair from being “big” as much as possible. Only time I really let my hair down is close to wash day. The only products I use are shea butter and oils (jojoba, castor, coconut, almond, avocado etc. Like I said, minimalist. I created a shea mixture, but sometimes I use the products separately depending on my hair needs. Another product I have added recently is Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and I’m looking to invest in a product for co-washing.
What does wash day look like for you?
D: Washing my hair takes a long time, a LONG time. Mainly because I like to make sure I don’t rush the process and also because I have thick hair. I take my time so I can be gentle. I’ve noticed my hair doesn’t respond very well to protein so I’ve steered clear of protein based products. Once I went all natural I opted for all natural products as well. My regimen is very simple and quite easy to follow. Weekly (bi-weekly depending on my hair) I wash my hair, not with shampoo, but with a clay wash called Terressentials Organic Hair Care (found online). Bi-weekly I deep condition using Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner, which I love because it adds so much moisture and leaves your hair feeling like liquid silk. Monthly I have started hot oil treatments. As my hair grew longer for some reason my scalp grew drier so I’ve been creating oil mixtures to add moisture to my scalp. Sparingly I do an ACV wash (apple cider vinegar wash) to combat buildup. Also, I started off co-washing my hair in the early stages, but as my hair flourished I slowly removed it. I’m looking to add it back for summer months though.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
D: As I said before I’m a two strand twist kind of gal. I refresh weekly when I wash, or in between depending on time and my mood. I’ve even perfected a method of washing with my twists in.
How do you combat shrinkage?
D: Shrinkage for me isn’t a factor so I don’t try avoiding it. I love that reveal when people don’t actually know how long my hair is. If I wanted more length I’d go for mini twists or a twist out on dry, but well moisturized hair.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
D: My scalp and my ends. I didn’t have any issues with my scalp at first, but as every natural knows, as our hair grows it changes. As far as my ends are concerned, they are very prone to knots so I trim my hair frequently. I’d say I trim at least every few months.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
D: Number one I would have to say is moisture. Daily moisture is essential. I spritz water on my hair to refresh with any style. I highly recommend co-washing as it also works wonders with moisture. Number two I would have to say sleeping with a satin bonnet/scarf AND satin pillowcase. Using both adds double protection because if in any case your bonnet were to slip, the pillow will be there for reinforcement.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
D: Do not and I repeat DO NOT comb your hair dry, it’s a recipe for disaster. Dry hair has no elasticity so you’re asking for breakage and knots. Unless you’re someone who flat irons then I suggest never to run a comb or anything through your hair while dry. With that being said, another thing is to refrain from sulfate shampoos. Although your hair may be clean it will also be stripped of its natural oils, so be careful when purchasing products. Be sure to read the label or look up reviews if you want to try something new.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
D: Not currently, but I’ve been asked why I don’t have one (lol) so look for one coming soon. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram: __munchiebaby (with 2 underscores).