J: My name is Jennifer. I’m 23 years old and from Overland Park, KS.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: I have been natural for 3.5 years. In August 2009 I dyed my hair a permanent black and it was very damaging to my hair. I continued to get relaxers on top of that color and it only made things worse! I started watching YouTube videos of women with natural hair and I became so intrigued. I was always scared to go natural because I was unsure of what my natural texture was or how to care for it. I eventually got over that fear and in February 2010 I decided I was going to get my last relaxer. I was not very knowledgeable about transitioning styles at the time so I mostly wore my hair in buns. Then a few days before my 21st birthday in September 2010 I did the Big Chop!
How would you describe your texture?
J: I would say I have multiple textures within my hair. Framing my face I have looser curls, which are mostly 3a. In the crown of my hair I have 3c/4a and in the back it is 3c. My strands are pretty coarse, dense, and extremely thick!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
J: My regimen that I do once weekly is: If I feel that I have a lot of product build up in my hair I will shampoo with Silk Elements Mixed Silk Gentle Cleansing Shampoo. I usually shampoo 1–2x per month. I co-wash my hair with either Tresemme Naturals Conditioner or Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner. I detangle my hair with V05 Moisture Milks Conditioner because it has amazing slip! I detangle with a wide tooth shower comb and also with my fingers. Once out of the shower I will dry my hair with an old cotton t‑shirt. For my leave in conditioner I use Kinky Curly Knot Today and I apply that in small sections. Then on top of the small sections I apply Kinky Curly Curling Custard and smooth over my strands. Then I run my Denman brush through to clump my curls together. Next I finger coil the small sections and do this all over my hair. Typically I do this routine before bed, so I put my hair in a pineapple and put my scarf on. When I wake up in the morning I separate the coils and fluff!
What does wash day look like for you?
J: On wash day I first create my own deep conditioner using ingredients found in my kitchen. In a blender I combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 ripe banana, and apple cider vinegar. I put this mixture on my hair, put a plastic cap on top, and let it sit for 30 minutes. I then wash it out in the shower and condition my hair with either Tresemme Naturals Conditioner or Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner. I only use shampoo 1–2x per month if I feel I have a lot of product build up.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J: My favorite go to style is wearing my hair in a low slicked down bun. If I’m running short on time I hop in the shower, wet my hair, and then slick my hair down with Eco Styler Gel and my brush. That takes me about 5 minutes!
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: I don’t really mind shrinkage, but when I do want to elongate my curls I have noticed that wearing my hair in a pineapple the night before helps a ton. Also when I finger coil my hair then separate once dry that combats shrinkage as well.
Tell us about your hair color?
J: I used Manic Panic’s “Hot Hot Pink” semi permanent hair dye. I applied it myself and it was super easy! It has not changed the texture of my hair at all, and I am very happy that it didn’t!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
J: The crown of my hair is super thick and always needs extra moisture and detangling. Also the hair on the side of my hair behind my ears is super dry and is a 4a/4b texture that I have to blend with the rest of my hair.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: Two do’s for my hair are to ALWAYS put my hair up at night. A few times I have been lazy and left my hair out and it was a horrible mess in the morning. Also switch up the products I use because my hair gets used to certain things and it’s always good to switch it up.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: Two don’ts for my texture are to not use too much product when I straighten my hair. I usually do not put any type of hair product except a heat protectant and an oil. The 2nd don’t is to not skip deep conditioning!