J: My name is Jessica Fraser also known as Thee Shopaholic.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: I have been natural since January 1, 2012. I went natural because I wanted a new look. I didn’t experience a bad relaxer, I didn’t experience breakage, and I didn’t do it because it was the latest trend. I went natural because I wanted a hair cut! I had a short relaxed haircut three years prior, and I didn’t like the look. (I have a really big head lol) so I decided to do the short natural look in hopes of having a more voluminous short coif to match my voluminous forehead lol.
How would you describe your texture?
J: I have never really considered formal “hair typing” but if I had to describe my texture I would say it is a combination of all the 4’s. The back of my hair is super defined and curly and the middle section of my hair is more kinky/wavy. Almost like the definition you would get on day one after a twist out. And the front of my hair has yet to be determined… due to color and heat damage :(. My hair is quite fine, but I have a lot of strands. When my hair is freshly washed it isn’t very big at all, but has the potential to be a huge fro with lots of help from my trusty Afro pick.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
J: My hair changes far too much for me to have a distinct regimen, but my go-to style when I am wearing my hair out is a flat twist out. I wash my hair with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo if my hair requires shampooing, which I haven’t done in about 8 months… Aside from after taking down my braids. I mostly co wash with As I Am and currently Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash. When I first went natural and had a TWA I would deep condition every Friday night, overnight and then Saturday was wash day. But now that I have a bit more length I deep condition less frequently than I should. My favorite leave in conditioner of all time is Koils by Nature Shealoe Leave-In Conditioner, but it is quite pricey at 22 dollars, plus I have to order it online.
My leave-in of convenience is Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream. I seal with whatever oil I have on hand whether it came in a curlBOX or was picked up at a random natural hair event. I have yet to get my hands on a jar of coconut oil, but it is on my list of things to do. My go to butter is Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter. It has a great smell (I’m big on smells, which is also why I like the Koils by Nature Leave-In) but I have recently fallen in love with Oyin Handmade Hair Dew this winter. In terms of styling, I love the look of a perm rod set, and if time permits that’s usually my first choice. I set my hair with Entwine Couture Creme Jelle Styler. But if I don’t have a lot of dry time (I air dry ALWAYS) I will go for the flat twist out using just the Moisture Butter from Beautiful Textures and I will place the ends on a perm rod and set with Miss Jessie’s purple Curly Pudding.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J: My go to style is the flat twist out, and in an emergency I will spritz with water and twist with the Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter and let that set for a minimum of 4 hours. But the colored part of my hair has decreased porosity and takes the longest to dry.
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: I don’t really experience much shrinkage and am quite good at retaining length with my twist out. Thankfully my curls aren’t super tight and I’m grateful. Because of this I try not to use gels when styling because I find they elongate my curls too much and make it hard for me to maximize volume.
Tell us about your hair color?
J: My hair color was done in a Dominican hair salon so I am not sure about the particulars due to the secrecy of these hair stylists nowadays. Not to mention the language barrier. I pointed to a shade of blonde in a book and hoped for the best. My hair was processed once and rinsed out. The lift of color has definitely changed the texture of my hair and it was noticeable almost immediately. Since I only colored a small portion of my hair in the front where my texture is the straightest already it’s almost as if I relaxed my hair in the front. Some would argue that it may be a combination of heat damage from the two/three times I straightened my hair since my big chop. But it definitely changed mostly because of the color treatment.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
J: The front of my hair requires the most attention when it comes to drying time, frizz and loss of definition. To maintain a style I almost always have to reset and/or retwist my hair in the front. The colored parts require the most care, but thankfully I don’t have problems with moisture.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: Hair Do’s: Leave in conditioner is a must! Co washing is a must! My hair loves the moisture! My satin bonnet is a must! Lol my hair will turn into a parched, flat, tangled mess if I forget to put a bonnet on, forcing me to add an immediate wash day regimen if this happens. Wide tooth comb detangling in the shower only is a must! I’m working on mastering my finger detangling skills.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: Hair Don’ts!: Do not shampoo unless it is absolutely necessary! Do not use combs or any form of styling tools when my hair is completely dry… I spritz with water before attempting to detangle in between washdays. Do not go to sleep without a bonnet! After my twist out or rod set is completely dry and picked out DO NOT TOUCH! That goes for me as well. Lol
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
J: I have a YouTube channel: Thee Shopaholic and a blog: www.theeshopaholic.com and you can find me daily on Instagram: thee_shopaholic. Pretty much the theme here is “Thee Shopaholic” lol hope you enjoyed!