I: My name is Ianthe’ Boddie and I was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix. I currently reside in Broward, South Florida.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
I: I’ve been natural since September 15, 2011. I was in a difficult marriage and wanted to go natural from the time my daughter was born in 2010, but was discouraged to do so. After making the decision to become a single mother, I thought then was the time to create a new identity for myself and go natural like I wanted to. The day I cut my hair off to one inch was the most liberating experience I’d ever felt. I felt totally free with a new start and lease on life.
How would you describe your texture?
I: I consider my hair manageably coarse and dense with a texture ranging from 3b to 3c.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
I: I firmly believe that simplicity is the key to healthy natural hair. I believe it’s true when they say less is more, that’s why I stick to my wash and go’s. If I have the itch for something different, I’ll do a twist out or twists to avoid the desire for extensions. My holy grail styling products are Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Pro Styl Protein Gel, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
What does wash day look like for you?
I: I cleanse my hair once a month with apple cider vinegar to remove the product build up and refresh my curls. I used to co-wash every three days, but I’ve reduced my co-wash to once a week. All of my styling is done in the shower on soaking wet hair. I like my hair to look effortless and not like I put so much thought into making my hair look curly. I feel like doing my hair in the mirror after washing when I’m doing a wash and go makes me put too much thought into styling my hair, and I don’t feel like that’s the intention of a wash and go.
I use a quarter size of each of the following products in the shower on hair sectioned off in 3 parts:
1. Aussie Moist Conditioner to co-wash my hair.
2. Shea Moisture Thickening Growth Milk with biotin and bamboo extract as my leave-in.
3. Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Pro Styl Protein Gel as my styler.
4. Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil to seal.
Once all products are applied I put my hair in 3 big twists. One at the crown of my head and one on each side of my ears all while in the shower. After an hour I gently undo the twists, gently shake my hair upside down, and let my hair air dry.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
I: My go to hairstyle is definitely my Afro. Corporate America may feel that us naturals should compromise, tame our hair, and keep it under wraps to look professional, but I say they should compromise for us!! For those nights that I’m extremely exhausted and I forget to pineapple my hair and wake up with Michael Jackson’s fro, I totally embrace it and rock it for the day with a red lip, gold hoop earrings and a cute outfit. You’ll be surprised at how rocking your fro on those rush days with a simple chic look will get you compliments galore!
How do you combat shrinkage?
I: Honestly I just embrace my shrinkage and keep it moving. It’s a part of being natural. But I have noticed that pineappleing nightly helps to stretch my hair.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
I: I don’t feel that my hair has any problem areas. It all seems the same with the exception of the texture and pattern difference in certain areas. I just try to treat each section of my hair with tender loving care!
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
I: Seal with coconut oil to maintain moisture no matter what hairstyle I’m doing.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
I: Don’t co-wash more than 2 times a week. When I didn’t know any better in the beginning of my natural hair journey watching a million videos I thought co-washing would help maintain healthy hair and it didn’t. It made my hair look dry and dull.