A: My name is A‑Larenée Davis and I am a classical singer. I sing other styles as well, but I am classically trained.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’ve been natural for almost two years. I transitioned for six months and then big chopped on January 7th, 2012. I actually cut my hair three times after that to make my hair all even because I transitioned while having a short haircut, but was still relaxing my edges to sort of maintain my cut. Smh! Therefore, the middle was much longer when I did my big chop! Why did I go natural? Soooo…I got my hair relaxed when I was 18 months old. Yes you read correctly, lol — 18 months old! That sounds absurd, and it is absurd! So, my mom used to be a singer and when she was on tour my father struggled trying to do my hair, so he took me to my grandfather’s salon and let him put a relaxer in it. Yes, my grandfather is a hairdresser, lol! Needless to say, I have had a relaxer all of my life and had no idea of what it felt/looked like, outside of ‘new growth’. So, once I got to college I was soooo curious about it—I just needed to know. I almost felt like I would never feel complete as a woman unless I experienced myself in ‘the Natural’ at some point in life.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I’d say 4a‑c. Definitely multi-textured. Looser in the nape area. In the middle of the front 4a, and 4b/c everywhere else! And my hair is very coarse and extremely dense, especially if It’s not stretched out.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: When Monroe (my fro) is not in a protective style I keep it pretty simple: two-strand twist her at night and fluff and pick out in the morning. I usually spritz my hair with oil-infused water, plain water, or Oyin Handmade’s Juices and Berries, then seal with Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade and as of late, Shea Butter due to this cold weather. My hair needs something a lot heavier in the colder seasons. Simple is definitely the way to go, especially in this weather. My hair sheds more than my liking in colder seasons so manipulating it too much is not ideal! Thank god for protective styles.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I use to mostly co-wash my hair, but due to the amount of build up I tend to get and my occasional flaky scalp I have to shampoo it. Before washing, I part my hair down the middle into two sections. This makes it easier for me to handle. I then finger detangle with Kinky Curly Knot Today. Then I wash my hair section by section with a Black Soap homemade mixture my product junkie friend makes. It has all sorts of magic in it. Shampoos usually tend to shrink my hair to the max, but this potion moisturizes, keeps my curls loose, and clarifies my scalp quite well. She’s my go to Potion Lady: http://www.etsy.com/shop/YoursMyne?ref=search_shop_redirect. I then deep condition with Yes to Carrots conditioner or Tresemme Naturals for 40 minutes to an hour. Sometimes I may even add some coconut oil on top after applying my conditioner. I slap a plastic bag on that baby and sometimes do an indoor workout as I wait for the time to go by, ha. When I’m ready to wash out, I wash each section then apply a Kinky Curly leave-in mixture: Kinky Curly Knot Today, jojoba oil, aloe vera juice and Jamaican black castor oil. I then seal with jojoba or grapeseed oil and place my hair in two-strand twists to dry. Geesh, that was a lot, lol.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: Love love love a nice high puff/pineapple. Some days I’m not too in love with my fro and it just does not want to cooperate, lol. So a puff is always a good solution for me: cute, quick, and easy.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: Shrinkage can sometimes be The Devil. Especially if you’re someone who wants to maintain a big fro like myself. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with banding and that has worked wonders for me. I’ll often times do it wet after I wash my hair and even when I go to bed at night to maintain the stretch. I’ve used a clip/bobby pin technique as well where I two strand twist my hair then clip them all in opposite directions. This can give you a good stretch too. Also, putting my hair in a high puff tends to stretch it as well.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: My whole head is a problem area, lol. Well, it can be. My hair tends to get/look dry if I’m not spritzing and moisturizing at least every other day, so that’s something I have to keep up with.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Spritzing my ends and scalp, and moisturizing very frequently.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: I’m not sure why this happens to me, but the two times I’ve sealed with avocado oil it felt good initially and had tons of shine when it dried, but my hair felt a little hard for some reason. I guess Monroe doesn’t like it, lol. So, I only use avocado oil on my skin.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alarenee.davis