A: Hi! I’m Annisa LiMara Mitchell (pronounced Ah-nee-sah La-Mar-rah) and I’m 26 years of age. I was born and raised in Jackson, MS and have lived in Maryland/DC for 5 years.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I have been natural since 2005. I began my journey because of major hair breakage and thinning due to too many relaxers and frequent permanent colors during my senior year in high school. Looking back I had no idea I was “going natural”, I just considered myself going “cold turkey”. My hair had always been thick and medium to long in length, so seeing it severely damaged was heartbreaking to me. I started back getting relaxers 2 or 3 times a year when I was 13 until I moved to Maryland at the age of 16 where I discovered I could do my own relaxer and hair color…major mistake! I decided to big chop in 2012 due to heat damage, however it was an accidental big chop that at the time I was devastated over…now it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to my hair!
How would you describe your texture?
A: My hair texture is 3c/4a. It is has a highly defined curl pattern and is really thick, so it requires a lot of moisture. It’s also very frizzy. I absolutely love my texture because I’m able to tame my curls with product, but at the same time can wear a picked out, huge fro and embrace the frizz!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: Since my hair is frizzy, I normally style with Eco Styler Gel for my wash and go and I seal the ends with Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum and grapeseed oil, which works amazing to prevent breakage and add shine. I’m currently using more moisturizing products and less water since it’s cold out, and can cause hair my hair to become dry and brittle.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: Since my hair is thick and can easily become dry (especially in the winter) my current regimen consists of a deep conditioning treatment once a week using the “greenhouse method” which works extremely well since my hair soaks up moisture fast. I switch between U R Curly Soya Shampoo/Conditioner (a new natural hair care line) and Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner. For deep conditioning, I use Say Yes To Carrots Conditioner and my own personal mixture of castor oil, coconut oil, and a variety of other oils and butters from my local Whole Foods grocery store. This is when I detangle, which can take between 20 to 30 minutes. I then twist my hair and wrap my head with two plastic caps and a scarf to trap the moisture. I let it sit overnight, then rinse it out the next day.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: Wash and go’s! Since my wash day is so detailed, all I have to do is pick it out and go!
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: A diffuser and hair bands have become my best friends to combat shrinkage. I normally band before I diffuse my hair (during wash and style sessions) but if my hair is already dry I’ll band it in 4 or 5 sections the night before, pick it out and optionally use the diffuser again if necessary.
Tell us about your hair color.
A: Currently, I have Dark and Lovely’s Honey Blonde, which I did myself back in July 2013. I haven’t dyed it since. My hair is naturally a sandy, dirty brown with hints of copper, so it changes color once the sun hits it even when it’s dyed. So now it’s lighter than it originally was when I dyed it. It didn’t really change the texture of my hair, but I had to be extra careful to prevent breakage by deep conditioning with a protein treatment a day before application and a few days after application. I am trying to go a year without coloring my hair, so this will be a change for me since I’ve been dyeing my hair since I was 14.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: The biggest issue with my hair is dryness, especially since it’s sandy blonde and the color can easily read as dry, and is more susceptible to breakage. This is why I adopted the green house method, which allows the oils to really seep into my hair follicles and seal in moisture. Before this method, I would have to wet my hair almost every day and moisturize it several times a day, which was a hassle. But now it is much easier. I would recommend this method to anyone because it has made a dramatic improvement to not only the feel and look of my hair, but I can go several days without wetting my hair and it stays pliable and extremely moisturized.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Having a great conditioner and experimentation!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: No combing or brushing while dry and using too much heat!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: www.ilovealimara.net (still under construction)