K: My name is Kezia Etienne. Everyone calls me Kezzy. I’m an island girl, born and raised in Abaco, Bahamas. Currently living in Nassau, Bahamas.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K: I permed my hair in 2005 at the tender, naive age of 16 for my high school graduation pictures. The perm had my hair touching my hips and it was “blowing-in-the-wind” beautiful! Love at first perm! Over the years my hair began to break and shed until it was at my shoulder blades. One morning in May 2009, I woke up and told my best friend to cut it all off. She (being natural of course) happily obliged. She intentionally began at the front of my head so I could not change my mind mid-snip. After several exclamations of “OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING?!”, with bouts of hysterical laughter and/or sobbing, my hair was 4 inches long.
How would you describe your texture?
K: I am somewhere between 3C and 4A. The texture is coily if uncombed and curly if it’s combed. My hair is thick and the strands are fine. It only behaves if it is wet. I have a very tender scalp and my hair cannot be manipulated or styled if it is dry.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
K: My styling regimen is very simple. This is because my hair is long and thick and my head is big. It is very time consuming and I prefer to let it do its own thing. Because I am tender scalped, I don’t do many of the “protective styles” that other girls wear. I have literally had my entire head braided a total of 3 times in my life. It hurts. If I have absolutely nothing to do for a minimum of 4 hours, I will twist my hair. It takes forever, and I always say half way through the task that I’ll never do it again.
My all time favorite is a low twisted bun. Otherwise, I will do one or two French braids (which may turn into a braid out), ponytails, buns, and if I feel like living life on the edge, I wear it out (with or without bands) <– This is rare because the detangling process takes too long afterwards and sometimes things (and insects) land in my hair and I can’t tell :’( . The products I use for styling are Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Moisturizer, and Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel if I’m going for a sleek look.
What does wash day look like for you?
K: Wash day for me is nearly every day. When I tell people this they are usually in utter disbelief. I began doing this after my big chop when I read Cathy Howse’s book: Ultra Black Hair Care 2 (good read). The two most memorable things I read in the book were the fact that most Caucasians wash their hair nearly every day and it grows, and that trimming hair has nothing to do with growth. Since then I have washed my hair nearly every day (unless it’s twisted or French braided) and since my big chop, I have only trimmed my hair once and straightened it twice (once professionally and one time done by me). My all time favorite shampoo and conditioner are in the Pantene Pro‑V Curly Hair line. Sometimes I leave the conditioner in all day until the next morning, or I rinse it out and apply Organics Olive Oil Deep Conditioner (love this product!) and leave it on for the day. Once a week I will detangle in the shower with a wide tooth comb.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
K: My go to style is hair pulled back to the nape of the neck, twisted into a bun and tucked in or held with a hair tie. This style is quick and isn’t too fussy. It hides the length and thickness of my hair and I have seen looks of astonishment when I unravel my hair from this bun. This was my Mother’s signature style and I learned how to do it from her. I’m actually trying to stop doing this so often to reduce breakage, but it is so convenient.
How do you combat shrinkage?
K: Unlike most natural women, I love shrinkage! I personally prefer for my hair to be “up and out” (like an afro) as opposed to hanging. Also, if my hair is twisted, it looks more full and thick once it has shrunken. And, it’s always fun to see looks of amazement when I show people how long my hair really is.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
K: The only problem I have with my hair is the little tiny knots at the ends of my hair. I wish someone would research this problem and write a dissertation on this issue.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
K: DO love your hair! It is not your enemy. It wants to be your friend. DO moisturize often and don’t ration out your moisturizer. Be generous!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
K: DON’T attempt to do too much with your hair when it’s dry. This will result in breakage. DON’T go product crazy. This will only result in product build up and weigh down the hair.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K: I’m not on any blog or webpage. I usually just read them.