F: My Name Is Farah Fanta Diop. I am a Cosmetic Chemistry Analyst. I am also a hair vlogger/blogger and hardcore cooking-addict. I am a North-West-African who lives in South Africa, Schoemansville-NW. I am a proud Fulani woman, born almost 25 years ago by a “first generation Ivorian” Ghanaian mother and Moroccan/Malian/Mauritanian father. I grew up in a household that taught me so many languages, cultures and personalities, that I only learned to appreciate when I left home. I love anything related to hair — all hair types and all hairstyles. And I literally stalk hair vlogs/blogs of people with thick hair! LOL
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
F: After 17 years of relaxing my hair, I am 24 months relaxer free. On the 21st of September 2011, right after my relaxer and trim, I knew I didn’t want to do that ever again. It was time consuming caring for my 26 inches of hair and always needing touch-ups to my roots. I know that just because one has a relaxer doesn’t mean one must relax their hair every month, but my hair grew really fast and the stretch between touch-ups made my hair break badly no matter what “hair treatment” I did. I really detested the very thin bundle of hair I had (no matter how long it was getting). I really wanted thick hair, like an afro, something that is thicker than what I had on my head back then. I knew I needed a change but didn’t have the guts to go natural immediately, so I transitioned for 5 months and BC’d. I actually planned to transition for 24 months. Can I hear you say “Epic Fail”? LOL
How would you describe your texture?
F: Mostly 3c everywhere. I have 4a on the ends of my hair (one strand – two curl patterns) and 4a also within my hairline. My texture has kinkycurly, corkscrew, medium-thin strands, low porosity and medium to low density (thickness). It is very fragile during excessive manipulation, has a problematic hairline, and is extremely versatile (looking on the bright side).
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
F: I am currently on a 6 month Challenge of protective styling, so I spent 9 weeks in mini twists. I loved how my hair flourished. I am currently trying to figure out my ideal wash n go — so far so good. And I will be doing African Threading very soon!
What does wash day look like for you?
F: To be brief, my regimen consists of a co-wash and air drying before styling my hair however I want! In depth: I finger detangle my hair with oil (olive or castor oil) on slightly damp or dry hair. I do some sort of deep conditioning hair treatment using Fine Naturals DC Moisture or Fine Naturals Protein Treatment. I alternate moisture, oil, and protein treatments. I cowash my hair with Fine Naturals Conditioner Co-Touch. I leave some of the conditioner on my hair and I air dry my hair completely in big twists. I style as I please — wash and go, twistout, braidout, updos and buns (to name a few). Depending on my hairstyle, I make sure my hair is kept stretched at night with twists or braids. I also wash my hair with a soap bar once a month.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
F: I wear wash n gos, a curly fro, wigs, headwraps and high buns.
How do you combat shrinkage?
F: I make sure my night routine consists of twists or braids.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
F: My hairline experiences very slow growth and easily breaks. I had alopecia localis a few years back and my hairline has been very fragile around the same area ever since. I cannot do full sew in weaves or heavy box braids/Senegalese twists. My hairline needs my full my attention and very simple styles.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
F: I must condition and moisturize my hair the night before. I find that I get maximum moisture that lasts longer. Simplicity is the key to make my texture look healthy and retain length.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
F: Constantly using sulfate or sulfate free shampoos/soap bars etc. creates serious dryness for my hair. Detangling with a very thick conditioner takes forever to detangle my coils, so I stay away from that also.