S: Hello my fellow natural beauties! My name is Sarah Woldekidan, I am a proud Eritrean, and I hail from the lovely DM(V). I was born in Washington, DC but was raised primarily in PG County, Maryland. I am also a product of Virginia though because I received my Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, Go Hokies!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S: I didn’t have a huge epiphany or anything like that, but I did love the curls that were forming after a few months of not getting a relaxer. At first I thought I was doing the right thing by leaving the “creamy crack” alone, but after a while I started to see the damage the heat was also doing to my natural curls. I started going onto YouTube and seeing how I could curl my hair without applying direct heat, and that’s when I started doing twist outs, braid outs, and bantu knots. Then after I cut 12 inches off in August 2010, all I had left were curls and I finally started to embrace it and wear it out.
I have been natural for almost 5 years. I got my last relaxer in October of 2008 and after a few months, I just fell in love with my natural texture. I didn’t do a BC (Big Chop) but I did cut off 12 inches of my hair because I saw that I had a lot of heat damage, and a lot of straight pieces left, so I thought a haircut was necessary. I also just wanted a change; I’ve had long hair my entire life. I didn’t fully embrace the fullness of my hair until a few years ago. I was still flat ironing my hair all the time and applying a ton of heat to it without any heat protection. I slowly started to learn a better way to protect my hair, but I didn’t start wearing my curls out until fall 2011.
How would you describe your texture?
S: I really don’t know much about the categories that some people use. The best way to describe my hair is THICK. I have a lot of hair and I am very hard to miss! LOL I do have a few things going on with my curls though. The right side of my head has super tight curls and it doesn’t get too frizzy, but the left side of my crown is wavy and a bit more stubborn. It doesn’t curl as much and it needs a little more product than the rest of my hair. My hair definitely has a life of its own, but the one thing that is consistent about my whole head is that it sucks up oil like a sponge! I need products that moisturize really well.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
S: I am simple when it comes to my hair. I either wear it out in a curly fro or put it in a pineapple ponytail and tie a scarf around it. I love my fullness and I am embracing it. I have never really done protective styles because it never really works for me. Braid outs and twist outs diminish my natural curls so I shy away from them. I also rather not add onto my hair because my hair is extremely thick, and long as is. It can be hard work without any add ons! LOL I just wash-n-go or pin half of it up with a hair clip and call it a day. My favorite product is Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Even though I love my current product combo, I have been told to try the entire Shea Moisture line and after trying one of their products (and LOVING it), I don’t mind trying them all. I straighten my hair once a month, just to see where the length is and to switch up my style. It only lasts for a few days because I always get to a point where I miss my volume. But Ladies, please remember, if you are straightening your hair use a protective serum! Straightening your hair can really destroy your curls if it’s not done the right way! I use Fantasia High Potency IC Heat Protector Straightening Serum as well as Fantasia Frizz Buster Serum. They work wonders in protecting my hair!
What does wash day look like for you?
S: Wash day isn’t too bad because I use a great combo of products to help with frizziness, texture and moisture. I use Tresemme Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner. It really locks in moisture and it smells amazing. After I wash my hair, I part my hair into 6 sections and apply a small scoop of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to each section, then I twist each section and let them unravel. If I am going out right after, I use my Conair diffuser, but if I am going to bed I just let my hair air dry for a bit then put my hair in a pineapple ponytail and sleep on a satin pillow. Sometimes I use Palmer Olive Oil Formula Conditioner to help combat frizziness when I haven’t washed my hair in a while. I use it maybe twice a month. It might sound like a lot, but it is very simple and easy to do. I don’t like doing too much or adding too much product to my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
S: Nothing is more natural to me than allowing your curls to work their magic with very minimal products. I love to wash-n-go, get in the car, roll the windows down and let the wind do its magic. My hair always come out huge, but I love it!
How do you combat shrinkage?
S: I don’t. My hair never shrinks, it expands! Once any type of moisture or humidity touches my hair, it gets bigger. Sometimes I lose the definition of my curls, which can be frustrating if I am going for a certain look that day, but I usually don’t care. The bigger the better!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
S: I definitely have a problem with frizz. My hair doesn’t stay silky and shiny like I wish it would, so that is a bit hard to deal with. I also have issues with the left part of my crown because that hair is more on the wavier side than the rest. I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to help the curls, which usually helps but on the days I don’t want to use any products, it can be a bit frustrating.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
S: Moisturize your hair as best as you can. Use natural oils and products that help with moisture and de-frizzing your hair. Steer clear of products with unnecessary chemicals like sulfate, processed oils and paraffin. It just adds extra bulkiness and that icky, greasy feeling.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
S: Don’t wash your hair every day! That takes away from the natural oils in your hair. It will work against the moisturizing products you use. Don’t be afraid of trying new products even if you have a combo you like. Your hair will change over time, so adjust to it as much as possible.