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Natasha // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Oct 17, 2013

refinery29

Introduce yourself!
N:
My name is Natasha Gaspard and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I am a first generation Haitian American!

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N:
I did my big chop in 2000, so I’ve been natural for 13 years now… Going natural for me came about through the process of self-reflection. At the time Lauryn Hill was a huge success and I really respected her talent and admired her beauty. She exuded an aura of confidence and commanded such power and a respect that was purely undeniable. I also noticed she was natural and wore locks, which were absolutely beautiful! I wondered to myself if I could go natural as the idea never occurred to me. At the time I didn’t have any issues with my relaxed hair. I wasn’t forced to go natural because of breakage, damage, or scalp issues. It was primarily a question of “Is natural hair an option for me?” I decided to look at the women around me in my family, around campus, on the train going to work. I didn’t see one woman wearing her hair natural!! I did not know one person that was natural. When I asked my friends and family if they would ever stop relaxing and wear their natural hair, they looked at me as if I had two heads! They couldn’t fathom it! A common response was…”In this day and age with every type of relaxer available out there why would anyone want to be natural?” I was stunned at the responses I was getting.

Those answers hurt me a great deal. I couldn’t understand why I was getting so much resistance to the suggestion that we wear our hair the way it grows out of our heads. Why was it such a big deal I wondered? Was our hair so bad, so unmanageable, so unattractive that it had to be hidden never to be shown again?! I didn’t want to accept that idea. As much as I didn’t like the pushback I was getting I had to stop and realize that I too had been conditioned to believe the same thing! Wearing my hair relaxed was so natural to me (pun intended!) until I began to question its validity. I began my journey by researching natural hairstyles because if I was going to do this I had to make sure I was going to be able to style my hair. The last memory I had of my hair being natural was when my mom punished me by not allowing me to get a touch up for the summer, and I had tons of new growth to deal with. I couldn’t do anything to get my hair slicked back into a ponytail and it was a nightmare! In my mind natural hair was a struggle that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was determined to change my mindset and give myself the opportunity to learn how to care for my natural hair!

How would you describe your texture?
N:
I don’t really subscribe to the hair typing system. My hair is dense and very coily more or less all over and is a bit more wirey in the front. The right side of my head has a tighter coil pattern than the left so I have to accommodate for that when styling so it looks even. My strands are fine and shrink a whole lot when wet!

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
N:
My styling regimen usually consists of a two-strand twist style. I love two strand twists! I can curl them, pin them up, wear them down, style with a hat…the possibilities are endless! If I’m not wearing a two strand twist style then I will opt for a twist out style, but usually worn in half up/half down style or a funky updo! Right now I’m using Shea Moisture products. I’ve been cocktailing the Curl Enhancing Smoothie with the Soufflé. I also love to moisturize my hair with Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia leave in…I love it! Her Super Duper Hydrating Hair Cream is the BUSINESS!!

IMG_8157

What does wash day look like for you?
N:
Wash day is usually an ALL day process! In a perfect world I would wash every two weeks, but realistically I’ve been washing 1x a month!! I try to listen to what my hair needs so if it’s tangled I will start off by detangling with a mix of conditioner and oil. Other times I start off with a hot oil treatment (usually with olive or coconut oil) I then shampoo with whatever I have (I really like Miss Jessie’s Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo…it’s an amazing detangling shampoo!) I usually skip the conditioner and go straight into deep conditioning! I really, really like the BEE-U-Ti-FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner from Bee Mine Products!! Talk about major slip! I also like the EDEN BodyWorks Deep Conditioner…the jar is huge and it really makes my hair feel like butter! It’s really thick and creamy so I find that I need to add a little water to my hair when it’s in so I can work the comb through, but I was very impressed with it!

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
N:
My favorite go-to hairstyle after two strand twists is a twist out with the front pinned up! I love this style because it looks so intricate but it takes no more than 5–10 minutes…all you need are your trusty hairpins and your imagination! I’ve learned though that natural hair has a mind of its own, so it will let you know what it wants to do that day…I’ve had many good hair days when I just go with the flow…lol

How do you combat shrinkage?
N:
I think shrinkage is a part of what makes natural hair so cool! It’s what our hair (particularly my hair) does! My twist out hairstyle one day can look totally different the next day based on shrinkage alone…that’s hot! Never a dull moment!

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
N:
Since my hair is coily, it tangles very, very easily. I notice that I experience lots of tangles when I need a trim. As much as I love my two strand twists…too much of anything can turn into a bad thing! Having my hair twisted for weeks at a time doesn’t allow for me to remove as much shed hair on a regular basis as I should, so not only am I experiencing tangling from the ends, I’m also experiencing tangling at the roots which drives me crazy! I now realize that I have to actually start combing (or finger detangling) my hair more often to remove shed hair.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
N:
My texture (as most coily textures) needs moisture! I use a homemade leave in (recommended by natural hair care expert Diane Bailey) of water, aloe vera juice, conditioner, glycerin and oil in a spray bottle! Also, regular trims will keep those tangles at bay along with regular detangling.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
N:
I don’t think there are necessarily 2 don’ts for my texture in a particular. In general all of our hair needs the proper balance of moisture and protein to remain healthy along with tender care…no detangling with a fine-tooth comb! I would also say that wash and go’s for tightly coiled hair isn’t the best move…at least it doesn’t work for my hair.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N:
You can view the natural hair videos I produce on my website, Mane Moves TV at www.manemovestv.com or catch me hosting the new online web series Make Me A Naturalista at www.youtube.com/MakeMeANaturalista OR you can learn about the natural hair advocacy group I’m a part of called The SuperNaturals at www.facebook.com/SuperNaturalsBK!

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About Meosha

Just another lover of natural hair and expression. - Style Icon Coordinator for BGLH

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Nancy
Nancy
7 years ago

Haitianne! Kampe! Love the hair!

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[…] Natasha // Natural Hair Style Icon | Black Girl with Long Hair The last memory I had of my hair being natural was when my mom punished me by not allowing me to get a touch up for the summer, and I had tons of new growth to deal with. I couldn’t do anything to get my hair slicked back […]

myblackfriendsays
7 years ago

very cute–and she rocks a ton of different styles too!

lagval
lagval
7 years ago

Gorgeous lady!

Dananana
Dananana
7 years ago

Lovely hair! I really like how genuine this icon was in her interview 🙂

Caramelcurls
Caramelcurls
7 years ago

Girrrlll!! That is some gorgeous hair and I’m LOVING all of the different styles. *feeling so inspired* 😉

geenie
geenie
7 years ago

She is so beautiful. I love ur hairstyles. Full and gorgeous hair

T.
T.
7 years ago

I have one of Natasha’s photos on my Pinterest boards, from a natural hair style tutorial over at Refinery 29! Happy to see her featured here too, and to see more of her lovely hair — it looks so soft and fluffy!

Nappy4C Rocks
Nappy4C Rocks
7 years ago
Reply to  T.

yes, I remember the R29 tutorial that was a great post…

Poster Girl
Poster Girl
7 years ago

I really love what you said about going natural and your experience with it! Great and relatable story. I also love all your different hairstyles, beautiful hair.

Sana
Sana
7 years ago

Nice hair!

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago

She’s super gorgeous and this interview was amazing. Her answers were very descriptive and precise, and there was so much enthusiasm! The hairstyle in the last photo looks awesome too (Nothing I think I’ll ever attempt though because it looks so complex!)

xx

Nini
Nini
7 years ago

” …my mom punished me by not allowing me to get a touch up for the summer, and I had tons of new growth to deal with.” I never heard of Black women punishing their daughters by withholding relaxers. Kind of hits home some Black people’s view on any sign of natural hair showing. Anyways, this was inspiring. I mostly do two-strand twists, but they’re getting old for me, which is why I love this post. My favorite pics are that fluffy afro and that ice cream-like bun. For the bun, I always see it done on straitened hair, so… Read more »

nellboogie
nellboogie
7 years ago

Gorgeous!!!!

Valerie
Valerie
7 years ago

Sak pase!!!

Tamara
Tamara
7 years ago

LOVE IT 4C IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!

krokan
krokan
7 years ago

I love her hair! I wish I could try some of those styles :C)
http://www.kinksandall.com

treece12
treece12
7 years ago

Gorgeous!

Jessica
Jessica
7 years ago

What a beauty!!! I wish my twists looked that full and thick… I’d wear them a lot more often!

Sjamie
Sjamie
7 years ago

Love you hair styles!!!

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[…] Natasha // Natural Hair Style Icon […]

lahblooplah
lahblooplah
7 years ago

I just found my hair twin and my namesake and she’s absolutely gawjuss.

Kay
Kay
7 years ago

THIS is a natural hair style icon. Girl you better work ittttt.

Melle
Melle
7 years ago

I love her hair and every hairstyle was on point . She is very pretty.

trackback

[…] Style Icon Natasha […]

Naps93!
Naps93!
7 years ago

Sak pase, my fellow Haitian American?! Love your hair and definitely found my hair twin!

Flynfab
Flynfab
7 years ago

Your hair is so beautiful! Mine seems very similar but shorter. I never comment on the icons, but I couldn’t help myself! And I love all your responses to the questions. BEST ICON INTERVIEW EVER!

Asana
7 years ago

Wow! Al that hair!
Simply gorgeous!

whatshetaughther.blogspot.com

Sabrina Antoinnette < link to instagram profile

I love this — I typically don’t post on style icon profiles, but this hit home in many ways! The way Natasha describes her texture as well as the look are quite similar to mine. Every coil and quadrant on my head is it’s own entity 🙂 which has made my transition a very personal experience. You go girlie…

Amazing hair!

zyaran
zyaran
7 years ago

Wow she is gorgeous, and all of the hairstyles are so pretty. I’m definitely gonna borrow some of those hairstyles and try on myself.

lablooplah
lablooplah
7 years ago

Even though I love the diversity of natural hair, it’s nice to see people with coilier/kinkier texture every once in a while. Infact it makes me appreciate my texture even more. Especially when you see someone rock their hair as elegantly as she does.

Soleilkiss
7 years ago

You’re easily one of my favorite style icons! As a fellow Caribbean-American, ‑Haitian mom and Guyanese dad- I completely understand. My grandmother was livid when I BC and went natural, as the damage was virtually unnoticeable to her since my hair was long(ish). My mom thought I was silly and my family in general thought of me as a hippy! It wasn’t until they saw my enthusiasm, enjoyment, vlog (youtube.com/user/soleilkiss) and growth with my naturally coily texture that they subscribed to the idea. In fact, a year after my BC, my mom actually did hers. She’s still not completely on… Read more »

Kristel
7 years ago

love your hair and the way you get very different hairstyles. I can learn from you. Inspiration: yeahhh!

Alta Angel
Alta Angel
7 years ago

My hair twin!!!!

You and your hair are fabulous! Please describe how you did your cinnamon roll bun…I will be hijacking that!

memarie
memarie
7 years ago

i gotta say that your twistout in picture 5 is the most nvious twist out i have very seen :O! also, im glad you dont type your hair, i feel like i can appreciate it for what it is instead of caring about the number-letter duo

Dotty
Dotty
7 years ago

Also my hair twin. Her hair looks super detangled in all her styles, mine never looks like that because I’m tender headed and hate thorough detangling.

mlank64
mlank64
7 years ago

those twist are to die for…so thick and luscious…and just plain gorgeous!

candy
candy
7 years ago

DAT THICKNESS THOUGH! soooo gorgeous!!

stace
stace
7 years ago

The best. Simply stunning.

the mane captain
7 years ago

wow, its nice to read her feature, knowing how popular the first picture is on the web. beautiful hair!
themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Chinelo
7 years ago

Wow! This is a 4c masterclass, truly beyond! 🙂

keisha
keisha
7 years ago

absolutely beautiful woman and hair!

kinkycoilly
kinkycoilly
7 years ago

Haiti stand up! My Haitian Hair Idol. Beautiful Hair and Face.

Pat
Pat
7 years ago

Great article and beautiful lady with gorgeous hair.

Chan
7 years ago

What a pleasant surprise! I Love manesmovetv!! I recently started following you on youtube,instagram, and facebook because I saw your hair in a shampoo video on youtube and realize it was the closest texture I had ever seen to my own! Gorgeous I love all of your hair styles so fluffy just like mine! : )

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago
Reply to  Chan

What’s her Instagram?

Chan
7 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

its manemoves

sammi
sammi
7 years ago

Beautiful!! I kept seeing her on tumblr pages and wondered who she was! I love that pic of her with the pink scarf!

Ambrosia034
Ambrosia034
7 years ago

This was a great read. I love the variety of different hairstyles as well.

P.S. I remember you from your natural hairstyles feature on Refinery 29–loved that too!

sheree
sheree
7 years ago

I’m so excited about this! your hair looks and sounds so much like mine!! Fine and coily so it gets tangled really easily. I’ll be keeping up with you to see what I can do better 😀

colalover
colalover
7 years ago

Such beautiful skin and youthful features. So pretty.

Ameilia
Ameilia
7 years ago

Beautiful face loveeeeed the side puff sat with my mouth like :0 looking at all the styles you had so beautiful

Camillia
Camillia
7 years ago

Very pretty!! I follow her on IG.

Kelcie
Kelcie
7 years ago

Hair twin!!! It’s beautiful and I’m glad to see someone else enjoys two strand twists like I do. A+++

Alwina
Alwina
7 years ago

Natasha is so cool! I always see her at different hair events in the city! Yay Natasha!

Betty Eliacin
Betty Eliacin
7 years ago

Finally i can relate. Im Haitian as well and i dont know how to care well, how to do my hair. I dont know the best product to buy and i dont want to go back to relaxer. Help
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/image-39.jpg[/img]

Natasha Gaspard
Natasha Gaspard
5 years ago
Reply to  Betty Eliacin

Hi Betty…just now seeing this message! Do you still need assistance with your hair? Where do you live? Send me an email: manemovestv at gmail dot com!

Shell
7 years ago

I love seeing a veteran natural hair girl like myself. Your hair is beautiful, Natasha I enjoy watching you onMakeMeANaturalista on youtube. I’m going to now check out your website Manemoves.

Youngin girl
Youngin girl
7 years ago

I liked how you explained your experiences. Your hair looks good and so does your interview.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline
7 years ago

My hair idol <3 you are beyond beautiful!

Saye
Saye
7 years ago

Lovely hair and I love seeing naturals who have been natural for 10+ years or all there lives.

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[…] Style Icon Natasha […]

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[…] Style Icon Natasha […]

wanda renee
wanda renee
6 years ago

Beautiful hair

Andiegurl
Andiegurl
6 years ago

Gorgeous girl and hair!

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[…] you recognize this beautiful face wearing this beautiful do? It belongs to style icon, Natasha, who was featured on BGLH last […]

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