S: My name is Shekinah and I’m from Michigan.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S: It’s been about 5 years since my last relaxer and 3 and a half since my big chop. I was sick and tired of the same flat, straight, bob hairstyle and I also found Kinky Curly Queen’s blog and fell in LOVE with her hair. I wanted to big chop then so I’d have curly hair like hers. I know now this was not the right thinking, but ironically my texture is very similar to hers. My mom wouldn’t let me cut it all off, so I told her I didn’t want perms anymore and I unknowingly began to transition.
How would you describe your texture?
S: My texture is 3C in the very front and nape, and 4A everywhere else. There’s a mix of “S” curls and coils. My strands are densely packed, coarse, and thick in diameter. Basically I have really thick hair. It is also high porosity.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
S: Wash n’ gos have been my go to style since school started, just because they take the least amount of time and are easier to maintain. I achieve this style by co-washing with Eden BodyWorks. I finger detangle with VO5, deep condition with a Hask Naturals Hair Masque and apply a leave in (As I Am or Kinky Curly). I then seal with oil, shea butter, apply Eden BodyWorks Curl Defining Creme, and finish with Zotos Gel.
Lately though I’ve been wearing my hair in stretched styles like twist and braid outs to give my hair a break from the tangles wash n’ gos can cause. The only change with that is at the end I apply just an oil and use Eden BodyWorks Pudding Souffle for soft hold.
What does wash day look like for you?
S: Depending on how my hair is feeling, this varies. If my hair is dirty, isn’t too dry, or if I’ve just touched up my roots with color, I’ll use a sulfate free shampoo. If my hair is dirty but also dry, I’ll use a moisturizing cream shampoo. If my hair is just dry, I’ll co wash. I usually deep condition before I wash to help with detangling and manipulation while washing. I detangle with a cheap watery conditioner, apply my leave in, seal with oil then style with a curl cream or gel depending on the style. I spray shrunken styles like fros daily with a moisture mist and seal stretched hair at night with a cream.
Creme of Nature – sulfate free Argan Oil Moisture & Shine Shampoo
Naturally Silk Elements – Moisturizing Cream Shampoo
Eden BodyWorks – Coconut Shea CoWash
VO5 – Shea Cashmere Conditioner
Kinky Curly – Knot Today Leave In
As I Am – Leave In
Oil Mixture (Includes olive, castor, coconut, grapeseed, tea tree, lemongrass, peppermint, etc.)
Eden BodyWorks – Pudding Souffle
Eden BodyWorks – Curl Defining Creme
Zotos Pure Elements – Medium Hold Gel
Hask Naturals – Strengthening and Repairing Hair Masques
Shea Moisture – Hold & Shine Moisture Mist
Homemade Deep Conditioner
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
S: If my hair is in its wash n’ go state I’ll rock a fro or puff. If it’s in a stretched style I’ll go for a bun.
How do you combat shrinkage?
S: I let my hair dry completely, then I pineapple with a stretchy headband that will help elongate my back layers.
Tell us about your hair color?
S: My hair color I did myself. It took over a year to achieve what I have now, and I researched a great deal before taking the plunge. I foolishly used a box color before this research and it only left a tint of color and my hair dry. The product that kept popping up was Loreal HiColor for dark hair. Since my natural hair color is black, I knew I would need some stronger stuff. My goal color was a red, so I used “Red Hot” which gave me an auburn color. After a while, I wanted to switch it up and have more colors, so I added a brighter red to my crown area, and a golden color to the front of my hair. I used “Red Fire” which was a bright red, and “Honey Blonde”. To make sure the blonde wasn’t too bright, I mixed in a little of the ‘copper intensifier’ that is included in the color pack. Unfortunately, this process only turned my roots the supposed colors, the rest was still dark auburn. So I again went the box dye route trying to blend the ends in, but this once again left my hair dry and brittle… I do not recommend box dye.
After rocking the “reverse ombre” look, I got sick of it and decided to use bleach. This worked wonders and blended the dark ends with the roots. (Later on I got sick of the super dark back, so I bleached that too to blend in with my middle red color.) After some more time, I decided I wanted blonde highlights, so I called upon my friend Mr. Bleach again, and there they were. The way I parted my hair made for subtle highlights, so I recently added more chunky noticeable ones that I love. (This time I made sure to use a color corrector to try and mend some of the brassiness.) I maintain my roots by using Loreal HiColor in “Honey Blonde” for my front section, and a mix of “Red Fire” and “Sizzling Copper” for the rest.
As for damage, I have noticed the front section is looser than it was before. There have been dead ends that I’ve trimmed off, and some extra shedding. But there has not been significant breakage and only a bit more dryness than my virgin hair. I make sure to have a balance of protein and moisture in my regimen that has kept my hair strong through all of this processing.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
S: The top crown area is the thickest, hardest to detangle, and most tender area on my whole head. I have to exercise patience when dealing with this area, especially after wearing a wash n’ go.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
S: Deep conditioning and layering a lot of products to keep the moisture in.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
S: Glycerin and a lot of heat, like flat ironing.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?