M: Hello, My name is Melissa. I live in Florida now, but I’m from California and Puerto Rico.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
M: I’ve been natural now for 13 years and I love it! I chose to go natural because I couldn’t remember what my natural hair looked or felt like at the time. I had been getting my hair relaxed since I was a little girl, so I didn’t remember what it was like. I let a little bit of my natural hair grow out before for cutting off all of my relaxed hair, so I started out with a mini fro. After having the afro for a few years I was looking for a new look, but didn’t want to go back to relaxing my hair. All around me were these beautiful people with locs, so I decided to try them out. It was great having them. It was interesting to see people’s reactions to my hair in different countries.
I kept my 89 locs for 8 years. Once again I was looking forward to a new look and the chance to have more variety of styles I could do without the locs. It wasn’t as easy to style my locs because they were thicker than most. When I cut them off it felt so weird but good to just comb through my hair. I actually spent a while just combing through it. It felt like a long overdue massage. It also felt weird holding my head up without all the weight of the locs…like a bobble head.
How would you describe your texture?
M: My hair type is 4c!!! I would say my hair is dense. I have a lot of it, and it grows pretty fast.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
M: I don’t have to do to much styling at the length that my hair is now. I just comb through it and put oil in it. With locs I didn’t style much. I would get these crazy headaches when I did, so for the most part I would just let them be free flowing. I retwisted with gel and towards the end I used no product to twist. The roots were twisted every 2–3 weeks, or whenever I would find a loose root.
What does wash day look like for you?
M: I would wash my locs every two weeks. They collect a lot of dirt so I would use Pantene Pro‑V Clarifying Shampoo to get all the dirt out. I didn’t use conditioner and I let my hair air dry. To give the locs some moisture and shine I used grapeseed oil, argan oil or coconut oil. The argan oil has a great scent to it, so when I want my hair to be perfumed I use that oil. Now that I have a mini fro, I don’t know if it’s because of the locs or not, but I’ve had to use dandruff shampoo since I cut them. I wash 2–3 times a week. For conditioner I use a tea tree hair mask. For moisture I still use grapeseed oil, argan oil or coconut oil.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
M: My hair now is too short to do much with it. On special occasions I’ll add a flower or a headband to change up my look a little. When I had locs I would just part the hair at a different place or tie them half up.
How do you combat shrinkage?
M: I don’t combat shrinkage at this point. I like my hair looking shorter while it’s growing. When I had my afro earlier on in my journey I would blow dry the roots with a blow dryer comb attachment.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
M: As mentioned, for some reason I have a lot of dandruff that I did not have before cutting my locs.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
M: If you have dandruff, comb your scalp in the shower to take more of it out while you wash.