M: My name is Malaysha, but most call me Lay. I was born and raised in Boston, MA the city of champs.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
M: I have been natural my entire life. The majority of the women in my family are natural and have very beautiful hair. Growing up my mom didn’t allow me to get a relaxer although at one point I really wanted one. I’m extremely grateful that she refused! She also refused to allow me to color my hair or get weave so I just learned to love my hair in its natural state. I didn’t completely take over caring for my hair until I went to college. In college my hair grew pretty long because I didn’t do much to it and wasn’t going to my stylist for straightening as much, unlike my senior of high school. I also discovered the natural hair community on YouTube and the rest was history.
How would you describe your texture?
M: I’ve never used any hair typing system to describe my hair. I have two different hair textures and about three different curl patterns. The back and front of my hair tends to have a finer texture and looser curl pattern, the sides tend to have a slightly thicker texture and tighter curl pattern, while my crown is kinkier with a very tight curl.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
M: A typical month of styling includes updos and braidouts. After washing my hair I apply my current styling product, which is the Whipped Cream by Curls, or Curl Enhancing Smoothie by Shea Moisture, then I proceed to finger detangle and put my hair into about 10–12 braids to air dry overnight. In the morning I take down my braids and pull my hair into a bun. Buns are my go to style for the workweek in the fall and winter to combat dryness and breakage. On weekends I tend to wear my hair down to give it a break from being pulled up.
What does wash day look like for you?
M: My hair routine changes with the seasons or based on what my hair needs. Typically, I wash my hair once or twice a week. On a wash day, I like to detangle my hair using coconut oil, put it in four sections, and apply my deep conditioner (I mix it myself). My favorite ingredients for my deep conditioner at the moment are avocado, banana, honey and coconut oil that I puree with ¼ cup of water for about a minute. That treatment works amazing on my hair; it makes it soft, moisturized and shiny. Then I hop in the shower and co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner or YES to Carrots Conditioner. Once I’m out of the shower I let my hair dry in my turbo twist towel for about 10–15 minutes, then I moisturize my hair using the L.O.C. method. I apply my oil mix (olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and lavender oil) or use the Restore Moisture Oil by Rule No.1 Love Thyself, then the Direct Leave-In Conditioner by Giovanni, and finger detangle. Lastly, I apply my Curl Enhancing Smoothie by Shea Moisture and style. My last wash day of the month I switch out my conditioner for my diluted apple cider vinegar to help get rid of any build up and style as usual.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
M: My absolute “never have a bad hair day”, as if that’s even possible is a topknot bun. It’s my favorite thing next to a big twistout and I love wearing my two strand twists in a topknot bun. My second go to quick hairstyle is just a simple half up, half down style where I do either a middle or deep side part; twist the front sections of my hair and bobby pin them to the back of my head. Nice and easy.
How do you combat shrinkage?
M: Shrinkage is public enemy number one because I love big hair! My strategy for battling it changes constantly. Lately, I like to lightly blow my roots out on a cool setting and then set my hair in braids to air dry. I find braids stretch my hair better than twists right after washing, and give me the perfect foundation for a twistout or bun.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
M: At the moment and for the last few months my hair and I have been in bliss. I give her what she needs and she gives me beautiful styles. However, when we were not in our on again, off again honeymoon period our biggest issue was detangling the very back (nape area) of my hair. It has a finer texture and tangles so easily.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
M: My hair definitely needs weekly deep conditioning treatments and dry finger detangling with coconut oil before starting my wash process. Skipping these two things is asking for my hair to be a web of knots and Sahara desert dry, which I cannot have.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
M: Tight, intricate hairstyles are just not for my hair. It does much better with simple and loose styles. And ponytail holders are not my friend; I use bobby pins to achieve most styles.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M: I’m pretty much all over social media; you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram as Laysummersloves. My blog is Laysummers.com and I model for Rule No.1 Love Thyself on their website, rule1lovethyself.com.