N: My name is Nichole and I’m currently living in Houston, TX. I moved here in June from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: My last relaxer was in January of 2009 and I big chopped in May 2009. I went natural because I was experiencing a lot of breakage around the front of my hair. The majority of my length was about mid shoulder blade and the front had broken off to about eyebrow level from a bad relaxer. I was new to DFW from Colorado, and so I had someone use a box perm on my hair because I had done that in the past and had no issues. I think the combination of the perm and my hair adjusting to the water in Texas is what made my hair break so badly. I found a beautician through a coworker and I went to her with intentions of getting another relaxer because I was on that creamy crack every six weeks.
When I got there she said I’m not going to put a relaxer on your hair and you need to avoid heat because of the breakage. She gave me a cute bob, added a few tracks, and lightly pressed my hair. After speaking with my mom she told me I should go natural because I had beautiful curls when I was younger. At that time I didn’t know what transitioning was so I either had my hair slicked back into a ponytail or put on a wig. In May I was frustrated with the two textures, googled natural hair, read about something called the big chop, called the salon, and went to get my hair cut off. It was completely spontaneous, and I had absolutely no clue what to do with my hair. I came home and got back on the computer to figure out what to do next. Luckily I found the blog Tightly Curly to sort of guide me along. At that time natural hair wasn’t that common, so I didn’t personally know anyone that was natural and my curls weren’t accepted by everyone. Eventually the same women at my job that were against natural hair, went natural themselves.
How would you describe your texture?
N: I would describe my hair as mostly 3c, fine and medium density. Like almost all naturals I have probably 3 to 4 different textures in my hair. I like it though, adds personality to the curls.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
N: My styling regime is pretty basic. I have yet to master twists, flat twists, bantu knots, etc., so I’m a wash and go woman. Thankfully it works for my hair and I wash it about every 5–7 days. I use apple cider vinegar as a scalp clarifier about once a month and cowash the rest of the time. I try to DC every week or two since my hair is color treated and can get very dry. I subscribe to a natural hair subscription box so I’m always trying new products. My staple conditioner is Tresemme Naturals. I’ve used it for years, and even though they have reformulated a few times it still works on my hair. The Obia Natural Hair Care Curl Enhancing Custard is another staple for my wash and go. My favorite use for it is to slick my hair down. It provides great hold, but if I want to wear my hair down the next day it softens up and allows that. It also doesn’t have the drying effect that gel does.
What does wash day look like for you?
N: Wash day can take from 2 hours to about 4 hours. If my hair is dry and tangled I try to prepoo using a mixture of oils, conditioner, and honey. I might also do an ACV treatment on my scalp prior to getting in the shower. I detangle in the shower using conditioner and a wide tooth comb. I DC every 1 to 2 weeks for about an hour using my Heat Therapy Wrap.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
N: My favorite go to hairstyle when I don’t have a lot of time is my wash and go. I take my pineapple down, spray, moisturize, shake, pull, pick and go. That sounds complicated, but it only takes about a minute or two and I’m out the door.
How do you combat shrinkage?
N: Shrinkage can be your friend or enemy. Honestly it doesn’t bother me so much. It’s so humid here in Houston that shrinkage is inevitable. By the end of most days, I have a shrunken mini fro.
Tell us about your hair color.
N: My hair color is a mix of professional and at home color. My highlights were done professionally and I had no issues of damage or breakage besides a few pieces on the ends. The last color I applied was a Feria color and I feel like the color was too harsh on my hair, so I’ve decided to take a break from coloring.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
N: My problem areas seem to be around the front of my hair. It’s a kinkier texture in that area so that could very well be the reason it’s more fragile. I try to be gentler in those areas when I detangle and style.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
N: The two do’s for my hair are to moisturize and use lightweight products. I have high porosity hair so I’m always trying to moisturize my hair so it stays healthy. I do slack at times and I notice a big difference in how my hair feels and acts. Lightweight products are my favorite because I dislike weighed down hair. The bigger my hair is the better.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
N: The two don’ts for my hair are Jamaican black castor oil and aloe vera juice. The castor oil is way too heavy for my hair. I used it once and it was just too heavy. I was so scarred by the experience I never tried it again lol. And I have some sort of allergy to aloe vera juice because it makes my scalp itch like crazy.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: At this time I don’t have a blog, but I have several social media pages where I can be found. On Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube my name is Nikkibcurly.