Y: My name is Yasmin Harrell and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia but I was raised in Colorado.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Y: This December I’m very proud to be celebrating three years of being natural. I have to give all the credit of my decision to go natural to my Sociology 1101 class that I took my freshman year of college. We were discussing the dominant, negative cultural connotations connected with black culture, such as dark skin complexions and kinky hair. After this classroom discussion, I wanted to separate myself from white culture, and I strongly believed that by transitioning my hair from relaxed to natural would achieve immediate separation. I transitioned for 10 months and big chopped before the end of that year. Going natural has allowed me to become more conscious of myself and live in my own designated space; it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
How would you describe your texture?
Y: I believe my hair texture is 4b, but I’m not really sure. However, my hair is very thick, and my curl pattern is not consistent throughout.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
Y: I enjoy trying new products. I mean a lot of naturals are guilty of being product junkies. However, my go to products are Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and the Deep Treatment Masque. I use raw shea butter and coconut oil to seal my ends and apply to my roots. As far as leave-in conditioners, I use Giovanni and Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner spray. I try to condition my hair weekly and shampoo once or twice a month. After I detangle using conditioner, I usually do a braid out and let my hair air-dry. I never apply heat to my hair myself; I only get my hair professionally straightened once or twice a year and this is when I get a trim as well. Almost every 3 months I put a protective style in my hair, whether it is Havana twists, box braids, mini twists, or an updo. I enjoy keeping all my hairstyles natural based; therefore, the only hair extensions I will add to my hair is for braids. Other than that, I love allowing my fro to breathe and do its own thing.
What does wash day look like for you?
Y: Typically, a wash day includes using Aussie Moist Conditioner or any moisture based conditioner such as VO5 or Tresemme Naturals. I apply conditioner to my hair, rinse it out, and then reapply and detangle my hair. Once my hair is sectioned into fours and into four big chunky braids, I rinse again, leaving a little conditioner in my hair. I then apply Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie throughout my hair and seal my ends with raw shea butter and coconut oil as I do in preparation for my braid out.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
Y: My go-to hairstyle is the classic poof or just a high bun.
How do you combat shrinkage?
Y: A braid out in general stretches my hair, and re-braiding my hair at night continues to help me combat shrinkage. If I’m in a rush, I put my hair in ponytails to stretch it out a little.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
Y: The ends of my hair are definitely my problem area, so I make sure to keep them moisturized.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
Y: Braid outs and moisture.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
Y: Wash and go’s do not work for my hair, as well as twist outs.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Y: You can follow me on Instagram @say_yas.