P: Hi! I’m Paulah. I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan and I will be moving to Atlanta soon for grad school.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
P: My last relaxer was 4 years ago and I cut off my relaxed ends about 3 years ago. I went natural because my relaxed hair was really thin and short, and I wanted to grow long hair. My group of friends in college all went natural one by one, and I was inspired by how beautiful and healthy their hair looked.
How would you describe your texture?
P: I’m not too big into hair typing, but I think I am a 4b with some 3c/4a spots in the back. My hair is really coarse and thick, but that’s what I love about it.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
P: I usually do twist outs because they’re easy. Sometimes I’ll braid the roots and pin them around my head so my hair is more stretched. I use the LOC method for this style using water, coconut oil or JBCO, and Curls Unleashed Curl Defining Crème and Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream (I like to mix products). Lately I’ve been experimenting with flexi-rods and flat twist outs, which are both amazing. I’m trying to limit the heat styling as much as possible, but occasionally I’ll blow dry my roots just to give my hair more “hang”. Also I’ve really gotten into the Greenhouse Effect Method to increase my hair growth. Three times a week I’ll give myself a scalp massage with coconut oil and rosemary oil, spray my hair with a little water, put it in loose twists, put a plastic cap over it, and then tie my scarf around the whole thing. My hair is really moisturized in the morning.
What does wash day look like for you?
P: I’ve been trying to incorporate more oils into my regimen, so right now I pre-poo overnight with lots of coconut oil and Jamaican black castor oil. Then I wash with As I Am Coconut CoWash (or Pantene Pro‑V Shampoo if I need my hair to be squeaky clean for heat styling) and deep condition with Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise and extra virgin olive oil with heat for 2 hours. After I rinse out my deep conditioner and olive oil, I usually spray my hair with a ½ Apple Cider Vinegar ½ water mix, and rinse that out with cold water. That’s pretty much it!
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
P: My hair is starting to get too massive for a normal looking puff, so lately it’s been a simple bun at the nape of my neck.
How do you combat shrinkage?
P: I try to stretch my hair by braiding the roots (I call this a “bristout”) and pinning my twists around my head with bobby pins. Occasionally I’ll blow-dry my hair on the warm setting, but I hold the ends of my hair to protect them from the heat.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
P: Recently the ends of my hair were heat damaged and I didn’t want to cut them, so I had to be extra gentle and incorporate some protein treatments. I used the Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor. Then I decided that I wanted to stop using heat for a long time and heat damaged ends look horrible with a curly fro, so I went ahead and cut them off. I’m focusing on taking better care of my hair overall, and I’m hoping I can gain that length back fairly quickly.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
P: Henna Treatments – they make my hair so soft and strong and I retain length better after I do them.
Moisturize and Seal – my hair gets dry very easily if I go more than a day without moisturizing and my ends feel extremely brittle.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
P: Using a lot of heat – I’m usually fine if I flat iron my hair once when it’s clean, but if I keep applying more heat for touch ups, or curl it during the week, I already know I’m asking for heat damaged ends.
Sleeping without my silk scarf or bonnet on – my hair will definitely be dry and frizzy in the morning.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
P: Yup! I’m on YouTube at youtube.com/downlikejawn. I’m on Tumblr at superpauladenise.tumblr.com. My Instagram and Twitter are @DownAzzJawn. Follow/Like/Comment/Subscribe — All those things!