A: My name is Anastacia (some may know me in the natural hair community as Nicapinica). I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’ve been wearing my natural hair loose since 2005. Actually, my last relaxer was applied when I was 16–17 years old. At some point, before the next retouch, my hair started to break a lot. Since I could not use more chemicals in my hair at that moment, I did some research and decided to go with box braids with synthetic hair extensions. I didn’t have any intention of transitioning to natural hair at this point of my life. After years and years of struggling with my hair, I finally could enjoy long tresses, change the color, length, etc. without actually changing my real hair. Box braids were so practical; I thought I would wear them forever! But in 2005 when I was 21–22 years old I got tired of the look, and decided to wear my hair loose. In fact, I’ve never had a big chop because as I didn’t take proper care of my hair during the time I worn braids, all my relaxed ends were gone (actually disintegrated!). I just had to get a haircut to shape my hair and get rid of what looked like scab hair.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I think I have predominantly 4A curls, but they are looser on the top/front of my head. My hair is medium density and my strands are fine, especially on the back and sides of my head, but the top/crown is kinkier than the rest. Also, my hair shrinks a lot, something like 65% of the real length when stretched.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: In the past I used to wash my hair once a week. Because I didn’t have much time to wash and style during the week I used to wear my hair naturally shrunken in a bun, which also worked as a protective style. Now I wash my hair 2 times a week, usually on Tuesdays and Sundays. Sometimes I wear my hair in a wash and go, but it’s getting more and more difficult because my hair is really long, shrinks a lot, and gets very tangled. So, in the last months, I have been wearing twists and twist outs to make things easier when detangling. I always set the twists with regular conditioner that I use as a leave-in, never hair gel because it makes my hair dry. At night I band my hair and wear a satin scarf to protect the strands.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: First, I separate my hair in at least 10 sections and finger detangle one section at a time, dampening the hair to make the process easier. Then I set my hair in twists to shampoo and keep the sections separated until the moment I style my hair. I apply a non-sulfate shampoo (Bioderm OroArgan) and follow with a deep treatment mask (Biolage Hydrathérapie, Matrix Relaxima Care, L’Oreal Masquintense, or Amend Anti-Age – I use the one I think my hair would benefit more from at the moment). I detangle my hair while soaking wet and coated with product first with my fingers, and then with a Goody mini brush. After rinsing I towel-dry my hair and do the LOC method with a mix of natural oils (jojoba oil, castor oil, almond oil, and coconut oil) and a regular conditioner that I use as a leave-in (Haskell Quina Rosa, Bioderm OroArgan Monoi or Elséve Liss Intense Extreme, which was discontinued). After that, I twist my hair in large sections (around 10 twists, made of the same 10 sections I separated before the wash) and let my hair air dry until the next day, when I wear my hair in a twist out.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: Definitely my go-to hairstyle is a bun, which looks like a donut bun, but is made just with my hair (no extensions or fillers). To get different looks I just change the accessories (headbands, flowers and hairclips).
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I’ve opted for regular or stretched twists. They give me amazing twist outs and show some of my hair’s real length. When my hair is in a wash and go, I like to put my hair in a low ponytail and band it at night so I keep my coils, but stretch them a little bit.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: I need to take extra care of my crown because it breaks very easily when I apply too much protein without the right amount of moisture. Also, my hair is very prone to single strand knots, so I’ve been avoiding wash and gos to preserve my ends.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Low manipulation and protective styles (especially when done on stretched hair to avoid knots and tangles).
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Wearing the hair loose and shrunken all the time and applying hair gel too frequently.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: I have a blog: http://ameseucrespo.blogspot.com.br. I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmeSeuCrespo and Instagram: http://instagram.com/ameseucrespo.