Y: My name is Yasmine, I also go by Yaz. I am a Haitian-born Canadian. Grew up in both Port-au-Prince and several parts of Canada (including Montreal and Calgary). I’m currently in Toronto.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Y: I remember my last relaxer being in late 2009/early 2010, then I transitioned for a year and a few months, and big chopped in the summer of 2011. I went natural for two reasons. For one I had cut my relaxed hair into the short Rihanna tapered-at-the-back-heavy-up-top do, and I was realizing how costly it was to get a touch up every time my hair grew. Second reason, when I started to speak to some of my loved ones about going natural, they reacted as if I was talking about shaving their eye sockets out of their face. This was MY hair on MY body. It bothered me that my decision to embrace my hair was unwillingly a “political” thing and it was soooo personal for a bunch of people outside of myself. Also I remember asking myself what I would do if I was stuck on a desert island. My first concern was how I was going to do my hair, and not food. I got concerned and then went all in. So I did it out of spite/anger, and personal curiosity and being broke lol.
How would you describe your texture?
Y: I don’t type cast my strands, but if I had to check a box I’d say it’s predominantly 4b with two random patches of 3b in the very front and back. Oh there’s also two patches on the side that seem to be VERY 4c/z lol. Overall my hair is mad dense, and I love it, most-times lol.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
Y: I wish I actually had a solid regimen for my hair that was consistent, but I don’t have one. Everything I do to my hair depends on what she tells me, and my time/capacity to listen or not listen lol. I try to deep condition at least once a month using either stuff from my kitchen (like honey, banana, avocado and olive oil) or I use Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment mixed with Amla oil, and try to clarify with apple cider vinegar or aloe vera juice, and shampoo when I feel like my scalp needs it. I use what’s cheap in my neck of the woods, which is Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream. (5$) …and in the worst of winters I make my own heavy duty leave in: a mix of Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave In, raw shea butter, some oils and aloe vera juice blended up. The rationale behind my hair decisions are entirely based on my time, budget, and mood lol.
What does wash day look like for you?
Y: I always start by separating my hair in 4 sections. I pre-poo with any conditioner that has a lot of slip like Herbal Essences, Aussie Moist or Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Conditioner. Then I wash my hair while it’s separated in 4 sections, which helps with the detangling.
I’ve been washing my hair with Giovanni’s Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner. I am a big fan of the tingly feel of tea tree and the squeaky clean feel of my scalp after shampooing, which I feel co-washing doesn’t do for me. I do this every week, although lately I’ve been trying to implement co-washing with As I Am Coconut Co-Wash, and I’ve been loving it. But my hair drinks it up, and I don’t have money to buy this stuff all the time.
While I’m rinsing the conditioner out of each section, I run my wide-tooth comb through, working it from tip to root to detangle, then I twist it until all the sections are done. I towel dry my hair with an old cotton shirt, while I lotion up. Then I braid the root for about an inch then twist the rest of each section. So that’s like what, a braid/twist out? I usually apply a leave-in like Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Cantu Shea Butter, or the As I Am Twist Defining Cream. Then I seal with grapeseed oil (I’m taking a break from my staple, coconut oil). Sometimes if I want big hair the next day I tension method lightly on a low-heat setting, then I apply my leave-in and braid accordingly.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
Y: I usually do one big massive milk braid all around. It’s fast and easy to do (when my hair is relatively stretched), it’s my go-to for this HORRID Canadian winter I’ve been battling, and when I go to the gym. Otherwise I do this thing where I put an elastic around my head and tuck the ends inside it lol. It’s hard to explain but it looks real old school, but maaad cute I promise 🙂 …best part is that it takes 2 seconds to do.
How do you combat shrinkage?
Y: Shrinkage is a part of the package, still learning to embrace it. I don’t fight it as much as I used to, but when I did/do I tension method using grapeseed oil to moisturize and protect, then go about my styling ways.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
Y: The temple and a little bit of the nape of my hair need some extra care. They seem to be the areas where I tend to get the most breakage and get dry the fastest/quickest. They are as a result the shortest in length. I read somewhere on BGLH that massaging castor oil in those areas would help, but I haven’t gotten around to doing it, just going on a prayer on that one and hoping for the best lol.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
Y: Moisturize/Protein balance = Happy strands | Stretched ends = No damn double stranded knots
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
Y: No Wash n’ Gos and Twist extensions (Senegalese twists, Havana twists) seem to do more damage than good to my hair. I always find that I need to do a major trim after my hair is in those types of protective hairstyles.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Y: YES! I’m everywhere. I recently started a YT channel called Yazbe (https://www.youtube.com/user/0Yasmine) You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram at: @yazbegrams and Tumblr: http://yazbe.tumblr.com/.