N: My name is Nelly and I am a Franco-Ivorian young woman who currently lives in Paris.
Why did you make the decision to transition to natural hair?
N: I’ve been transitioning for two years. My mother taught us (my sister and I) how to take care of our natural hair and she refused to straighten my hair until she gave up when I was 14. Relaxed, my hair had always been healthy, with enough volume and length, however in 2012 my hair started to break and lose volume. I must say that I had started to care for it less and using a flat iron did not help. In February 2012, I decided to stop relaxing my hair for 2 years without cutting the ends. The idea was to let my hair grow for a while before making the decision to completely return natural or getting relaxed again. The end of 2 years has arrived, but I’ve already made my decision. I love my natural hair.
How would you describe your texture?
N: I’m not really big on hair typing, but I’d say I’m a combination of 3c curly/coily and 4a. I’d say my strands are fine, but my hair is dense. My hair is rather soft and manageable, but my strands are very dry. They often need to be moisturized and sealed to keep them soft. I also noticed that when I cover my hair it remains hydrated.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
N: I always do hairstyles with twists that I keep during the week. I have a lot of hair and not really time for styling when I just spent three hours to wash it. So twists and updos are quick to do and my favorite. I always style them differently to avoid always having the same head of hair. For styling I use coconut oil and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
What does wash day look like for you?
N: I wash my hair once a week. Before washing I detangle my hair with my fingers then with the comb. I then do my prepoo that I keep in overnight. My prepoo can be a mixture of oils, or a mixture of an oil and a mask as desired. I use coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and Jamaican black castor oil. It depends on my mood. The next morning I wash with Garnier Fructis Shampoo (the one with mango). I dry my hair with a cotton t‑shirt, apply my leave-in and seal with coconut oil. Finally, I then twist my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
N: The evening before going to bed if my hair is not styled I do big twists in order to do a twist out the next day. Or a very high, big bun.
How do you combat shrinkage?
N: I separate my hair in about 4 or 6 parts and let my hair dry a little. After washing my hair, I style it directly before the shrinkage starts.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
N: My baby hair in the back of my head is thinner than the rest of my hair and also requires more care. So I moisturize it often.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
N: Moisturize everyday for softness and shine. Keep hair protected at night so the ends don’t get caught or pulled.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
N: Don’t keep my twist out or bantu knot out too long without remoisturizing my hair. Also, do not flat iron hair too often or it will become super dry.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: Yes, my personal blog where you can find my looks, styles, travels and other things: http://classandwomen.tumblr.com or my street style blog: http://nellybrown.tumblr.com/. You can also find me on my Instagram: http://instagram.com/nellybrownthemuse.