Z: My name is Zunyda and I’m from New Jersey.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Z: I remember making my mom perm my hair for the first time when I was about 11 years old. I was tired of the ordeal every time I had to get my hair done, and the smart comments from peers about my puffs being “too nappy”, etc. Looking back I realize I ruined a truly amazing afro. I stopped perming my hair about 4 years ago. At the time I was rocking a short edgy cut with tapered sides so it was fairly easy to transition. I originally decided to go natural because I wanted to dye my hair some vibrant colors without stressing too much about the additional sensitivity of dyeing permed hair. Additionally, I was annoyed with the cost of maintaining my permed short hair and the texture limitations that went along with it. Since going natural I haven’t been to a hair salon once. I do all my braids, twists, and dyes myself. I can easily straighten my hair any time I want to revert back to a straight style. At first I didn’t realize how “going natural” was more than just a physical change. I felt my mentality heighten as well. I’m loving that my personal hair journey was a catalyst for further cultural exploration and appreciation.
How would you describe your texture?
Z: My hair is 4b/4c. It’s extremely curly. I’m noticing just how thick and dense my strands are now that I am growing out all of the past color in my hair.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
Z: My styling regimen is very sporadic. Since I do my own hair I usually have a new style every 3 weeks depending on how I feel. For the first few years of my natural hair journey I wasn’t focused on growth. I maintained and experimented with numerous short hairstyles. Now that I’m working to retain length I’m always trying new products. When my hair is out I do the LOC method to keep my hair moist. I like to keep it simple with my hair regimen. I use raw African shea butter mixed with coconut oil. I’m an avid wearer of two strand twists outs.
What does wash day look like for you?
Z: For wash day I stick to using my Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner, and occasionally I seal my ends with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and water. I love that the Moisture Retention Shampoo is one of the few shampoos that doesn’t tangle and dry your hair out. Wash day is usually the only time when I really comb out my hair. There are times when I let my hair air dry and times when I blow dry it to lessen the shrinkage. Either way I follow up with a two strand twist out.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
Z: When I don’t have a lot of time I pin up the sides into a mini fro hawk or wear a head wrap. When my fro was shorter I could just get up and go, but now style maintenance is almost mandatory.
How do you combat shrinkage?
Z: I don’t mind shrinkage, but two strand twists or braid outs about every three days suffice.
Tell us about you hair color?
Z: Currently my hair is black at the roots and a light brown/red at the tips. If I recall correctly the very last hair color I used was Dark and Lovely Red Hot Rhythm. There was no drastic change to my hair texture with this dye. The only time a dye affected my hair texture was when I went platinum blonde.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
Z: In the back of my head my scalp tends to get dry often, even though my hair is moisturized. I’m still searching to find the right products to ensure my scalp stays nourished. For the most part my texture is consistent throughout however.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
Z: Keep your hair moisturized at all times! Shea butter is my best friend when it comes to moisturizing. Seal your ends with castor oil often to lessen breakage.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
Z: Don’t excessively comb your hair if you don’t need to. Never let it become too dry.