P: Hi guys! My name is Porsha, I’m 19, and I’m from Miami. I’m currently living in Orlando attending the University of Central Florida where I’ll be a senior this Fall.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
P: As of June 9, 2013 I have been natural for two years. I transitioned the last four months of my senior year in high school, and then big chopped the day of graduation. Honestly, I never liked relaxing my hair. How long it took, the smell, and those chemical burns were just too much for me. I got my first relaxer when I was six, and I think eleven years was enough. My hair was okay and still pretty long, but I just stopped seeing the point of getting my hair permed. Since I was going off to college soon I figured that was the perfect time to go natural, even if some friends and family members weren’t exactly supportive. Seeing the huge natural hair community online definitely eased the transition process, and going natural has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
How would you describe your texture?
P: Kinky. Curly. Coily. Frizzy. Lol. My hair is mostly 3c in the front and some parts of the middle back, while the rest of my hair is 4a with some 4b thrown in for good measure. My hair is great at mimicking other textures depending on the style (and whatever the Florida humidity has decided to do to it). My hair strands are fine, however there are a lot of them so my hair is VERY VERY THICK. Hairstylists always end up charging me more because my hair tricks them. Hair will just start popping up out of nowhere and Senegalese twists that were supposed to take six hours have turned into twelve. I’ve traumatized a number of stylists and a few friends because of that lol.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
P: My first year I mostly rocked my TWA and then twist outs once my hair got a little longer. This past year I stuck to protective styles for the most part (Senegalese twists, afro puffy twists, marley braids, etc.), so my styling regimen varies month to month. I always make sure to moisturize whether my hair is out or not.
What does wash day look like for you?
P: Wash day = #theStruggle
I make sure to get up a little early that day (normally a Saturday or Sunday depending), then start with a hot oil treatment, a mix of coconut oil and olive oil usually. After that I clean my scalp with a medicated shampoo for my seborrheic dermatitis. Once that’s done, I condition my hair in sections with the Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner from WEN (which is the only conditioner that has ever left my hair feeling moisturized and clumps my curls really well. I swear by it!). I leave in a little of the WEN, then wrap my hair in a t-shirt or towel to dry for a few hours. After that I’ll either do a braid out or twist out to stretch my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
P: I throw on a headscarf and run out the door lol. They have really been a lifesaver, especially on days when I have an exam, two essays due, and a quiz to take on top of everything else. I’ll usually do a little bump in the front, or I just add some water and Eco Styler Gel to define my curls.
How do you combat shrinkage?
P: I don’t really. It’s inevitable and I think I’m learning to work with it, even if I don’t love it. Sometimes I’ll stretch my twists or braids with scrunchies and that’ll stretch my hair out a bit more, but once the humidity hits it’s a done deal lol. I think the shrinkage is growing on me though, it adds to the versatility of natural hair. One day I’ll have a huge fro, the next it’s short and spunky. People never know how my hair’s going to be haha.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
P: My scalp is a huge problem area for me. While tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and a few other natural remedies helped a little, it took me going to a dermatologist to figure out exactly what my scalp needed to stay flake free and healthy. Since I’ve used the medicated shampoo I’ve noticed not only a difference in my scalp, but my hair growth as well. A healthy scalp is really important to hair health and length retention.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
P: Coconut oil and protective styling for sure! I love the shine and moisture coconut oil gives my hair. Protective styling has helped me retain my length and saves me time when school gets hectic. Being able to come home from a long day at school without worrying about having to twist my hair is very good for my sanity lol.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
P: Wash n’ go’s and sulfates. Wash n’ go’s make my hair really matted (and they take forever to dry), while sulfates dry out my hair.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
P: Heck yeah!
You guys can catch me on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/xoLoleetahox
Follow me on Tumblr: http://zora-neale-hurston.tumblr.com/
And Instagram: http://instagram.com/porsha_dee