S: My name is Stacey and I’m originally from Irvington, NJ but I currently live in Atlanta, GA.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S: I stopped getting relaxers in 1999 when I was in the 8th grade because I was sick of having to get super strong relaxers to straighten my very coarse hair. I would constantly have scabs all over my scalp from burns from the relaxers and it wasn’t worth it to me. Around the same time I realized I could cornrow my own hair, so that kind of became my go to style, funky cornrows in the front and then buns or a braid out in the back. Although back then I didn’t realize it was a “braid-out”. And if I ever wanted to change it up, I would get a press and curl.
How would you describe your texture?
S: My head of hair is pretty much a mixed bag: I would say that in the very back I primarily have 4a ringlets, at the crown I have slightly looser 3c curls, at my temples I have more 4b/4c kinks, and at the front top my hair is more wavy. For the most part my hair strands are coarse, except for the very back where it’s more on the fine side. As a result that area tends to get matted if I just sleep with it out and not in twists or a some kind of protective style. Also, I have low porosity hair, so my hair has a harder time absorbing product and takes forever and a day to dry.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
S: If I’m going to do a wash and go I’ll apply Curls Crème Brulee as my leave in, then Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel as my styler, and Curls Passion Fruit Control Paste as my finisher to avoid the crunch. I’ve found through trial and error that my best wash and go’s are a result of not applying too much gel, so my hair doesn’t take 3 days to dry anymore (literally). I distribute all products with my hands. I don’t use tools at all because I would get massive tangling and matting after a few days when I would brush the products through with my Denman, modified or not.
If I’m doing a twist out (I rarely do braid outs, just not a fan of them on my hair) I still apply the Curls Crème Brulee and then on top of that I apply Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque. I love this for my twist outs even though it’s actually supposed to be a deep conditioner because it’s really thick and creamy, which my low porosity hair loves. So even like 3 or 4 days later my hair still feels super soft. Love! On top of that I’ll apply a bit of olive oil or coconut oil.
If I’m straightening my hair, I apply Carol’s Daughter’s Chocolat Smoothing Blow Dry Cream (UH-MAZING!) to my damp chunky twists and let my hair air dry overnight. After that I will blow dry my hair to loosen it up and smooth it out so I don’t need high heat to straighten it. Then I flat iron using my 1 inch Sedu Revolution Flat Iron. I adore this flat iron! I’ve had it for over 4 years and it still works perfectly! I then maintain my straight hair by sleeping in flexi rods and applying a light oil every other day and I never have to touch up with my iron again. Some people have issues or apprehensions about using heat, but it works for me and I’ve never had an issue with heat damage. You just have to do what you’re comfortable with. Different strokes for different folks, right?
What does wash day look like for you?
S: First and foremost I usually wash my hair once every 2–3 weeks, but I will mist it with water and seal every 2–3 days. On a typical wash day: I dry finger detangle with either olive oil or coconut oil to remove shed hairs. On top of that I apply Tresemme Naturals Conditioner to ensure my hair is fully detangled and softened, then I section my hair into four and do about 5 chunky twists per section. Next I hop in the shower and rinse the oil and conditioner out of my twists. I apply As I Am’s Coconut CoWash to my scalp and work it down to the ends, then rinse. Every time I wash I deep condition and I alternate between Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner or Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner to maintain a good protein/moisture balance.
If I’m straightening my hair, which is very rarely (like once or twice a year): I will detangle as usual, but then I shampoo and condition with Tresemme’s Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner. In this case I don’t mind the sulfates in the shampoo. I don’t apply a lot, and I only apply it to my scalp and let it run down to clean the rest of my hair as I’m rinsing it out. I use this conditioner because it has proteins that coat the hair, which are a good barrier for the coming heat styling. As a deep conditioner for straightening my hair I love TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask. It has some silicone in it, which I prefer because that’ll block out any potential humidity that could make my hair go frizzy.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
S: My go-to, 10 minute or less hairstyle almost always includes some type of pompadour in the front and a bun or French braid in the back. A pomp and a French braid automatically make any hair style look way more interesting and intricate.
How do you combat shrinkage?
S: For twist outs I will retwist my hair for the first 3 days or so after washing and I’ll pull my twists back into a ponytail/bun for maximum stretching. For wash and go’s using a gel with a hard hold is key because it freezes my curl pattern in place. And at night I always band my hair with about 8 ponytails or so. So my hair gets bigger with each day instead of getting compacted, which I love.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
S: My front edges are super kinky and very fine so they’re prone to breaking if I don’t handle them with care. And my hair in the back is curly and prone to matting, especially when I wear a wash and go, which is why banding is also helpful instead of pineappling.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
S: 1) Banding my wash and go’s instead of pineappling. 2) Using heavier, creamier leave in conditioners for my low porosity hair.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
S: 1) Washing my hair while in mini-twists (DISASTROUS!!!) 2) Conditioner only wash and go (I’m jealous of anyone who can do this, sigh…)
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
S: My Hair Instagram: Hopelesslydopehair; I also collaborate on some photography projects with my brother and that can be found on his Instagram: GVSPRD; and one final shameless plug (lol) is the amazing custom handmade jewelry company I work for (specializing in engagement and wedding jewelry): www.lauriesarahdesigns.com.