C: Hey BGLH! My name is Carmella Nicholson but everyone calls me Carm. I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio (What up LeBron! Lol) but honestly I consider Heaven my true home.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: About 4 ½ years ago I decided to go natural. I remember having the hardest summer of my life, and honestly me cutting my hair was a way to control something. So I cut little by little over that time, and then I googled African American hair, and came across blogs like BGLH, and other communities that showcased pictures of the most beautiful queens, and natural hair I had ever seen! So in August I decided I needed a change. I wanted to be free, and different! A friend videotaped me doing my big chop, and a local barber shaped me up Lol! My big chop and natural journey have been very spiritually symbolic for me.
How would you describe your texture?
C: I would describe my hair as 4a/4b in some places. The back has little texture, and is very puffy. The front and sides are a looser, softer curl. And the middle is literally like the jungle, a maze of curly, kinky tendrils! My hair needs a LOT of TLC. It responds well to tons of moisture, creams, and conditioning. It is easiest to manipulate when it is days old, and huge! I baby my hair when I can, and it grows really fast, but length retention has been hard lately because I live in Ohio, and the harsh winter has not been kind to it. My hair mops up water Lol and my strands are fine, but I have a TON of hair so it’s still very full!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
C: Over the month I usually wash my hair 2–3 times. Each time I usually put my hair in medium twists and rock that for a few days. I then stretch my hair by bunning my twists, and after a day or two of that I take them out and rock my twist out that gets bigger and bigger every day! In between that I might hawk it out, or try some other updo, but my twist out is usually how you will find me! When it’s old I usually pull it back for a day or two, then I am ready to wash again! My staple products include Organix shampoo or conditioner. I like the Moroccan Argan Oil, and Coconut Oil ones. I use Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream, or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. For oils I like EVOO, and coconut oil the most, and I love Olive Oil’s Deep Conditioning packets.
What does wash day look like for you?
C: Wash day usually begins with me crying about how much I loathe wash day (hate the amount of time it takes, love the results). I section my hair, and finger detangle it into about 7 big braids. Then I wash or co-wash it section by section. I turn the water off in between sections so that the water doesn’t go cold so fast. I leave my conditioner on for a while then I usually clean up my product bottles. I wash it out and do a final rinse over my hair with cold water, apply my products section by section and twist. I use water to refresh it if sections get too dry. I ALWAYS style my hair, and apply product while my hair is soaking wet. I have found for me it dries and seals better that way!
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
C: For days I don’t have a lot of time to style I usually either bun my hair, or do what I call a hump-hawk. The front of my hair is too long to wear a regular mohawk if it is stretched, so I pin the sides and back to the middle, and the front into a hump or pompadour.
How do you combat shrinkage?
C: I can’t win the war on shrinkage, but if I want my hair to stay stretched I stay away from water, and I don’t wear it out on humid days. I also braid it at night in big sections to keep it stretched.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
C: My edges need extra attention. My hair snaps a lot there. And my ends can get very dry if I leave them out too long, so I have to moisturize them often!
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
C: DO Moisturize, and then Do it again! And Do use protective styles in the winter!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
C: Don’t comb, unless for a light detangle! And Don’t rush doing your hair, it will make you tear out more!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: I am a missionary and a photographer, so you can follow these journeys on my Instagram: @carmforchrist. I have a missions blog: carmellanicholson.theworldrace.org.
Facebook: Carmella Nicholson