K: Hi Curlies, my name is Kara and I am from London!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K: I have been natural since birth, but after endless run-ins with bad hairdressers and incompetent advice, I turned to the gurus of natural hair on YouTube in 2009. When my hair was straight, it measured at ear length! There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you desire, but I was trying to grow my hair. I didn’t want 3 inches cut off each time I visited the hairdresser!
How would you describe your texture?
K: I would describe my texture as being predominantly 4a. I know that there are constant disputes over hair typing, but I think it is an effective way of describing a texture. It is useful in finding other naturals with the same hair type through using a common known language. When I am searching for anything to do with my texture of hair, I type 4a, as I want to know what the best products are. That, and advice from other 4a naturals. I believe my strands are fine and medium in density. I would say my hair isn’t thick, but it is plentiful — if that makes sense?
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
K: My styling regimen is super duper easy and twists are my go to hairstyle. Small twists, medium twists, fat twists I love them all! If my hair isn’t in twists, it is usually in a protective style. Both styling options have contributed to my length retention so that is why I do them. Also, I have two kids, a full time job and a hubby, so you know…I ain’t got time for dat! When styling my hair I have to make it quick and easy, but presentable.
Products I use to style my hair, but not all at once are: Darcy’s Botanicals Shea Butter Curl Moisturizing Cream, Aloe Vera Gel, and Komaza Care Califia Styling Pudding.
What does wash day look like for you?
K: As my hair has grown a lot, I have had to modify my wash day regimen, so there has been quite a bit of trial and error recently, but I think I may have finally cracked it. At the moment I am dry deep conditioning with Bee Mine Avocado Cream Balanced Conditioner, and I add my own oil mixture to this. After this has been on my hair for about an hour, I’ll jump in the shower and rinse my hair, then cleanse. To cleanse I use Burt’s Bees More Moisture Shampoo with Baobab. After rinsing the shampoo, I finger detangle my hair in sections using Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner. I am switching between that and Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner.
Once all of my hair has been thoroughly detangled and is all twisted up in sections, I rinse all of the conditioner out with the twists in. I wrap my hair in a t‑shirt and leave that on for about 20 minutes, so my hair is damp when I go to moisturise after washing. I then add my leave in, Kinky Curly Knot Today, and apply Darcy’s Botanicals Shea Butter Curl Moisturizing Cream together with my own oil mixture on top of that. I lastly style into twists. This routine can last up to 3 hours.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
K: When I do not have a lot of time on my hands and my hair is loose (not in twists) I often go for a protective, elegant, low bun look. It is so easy to do I even surprise myself.
How do you combat shrinkage?
K: I combat shrinkage by keeping my hair stretched when I am washing my hair, i.e. having my hair in twists or plaits whilst washing, and after detangling re-twisting or plaiting. Personally I like shrinkage, and it works really well with most styling options.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
K: At the moment my problem area is my temples due to postnatal shedding. That hair is shorter than the rest and it sticks out, so that can be really annoying.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
K: Moisturise regularly and Detangle with care.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
K: Personally I don’t leave my hair in loose styles often because I cannot deal with the aftermath. I also don’t use heat often, but that is just my personal preference.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K: Most definitely — You can find me at www.naturalcurlies.com, YouTube: Naturalcurliestv, Facebook: Natural Curlies, and on Twitter and Instagram @NaturalCurlies, so yes I’m very social!