V: Hi! I’m Vanessa! I’m a 25-year old from Los Angeles, California.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
V: I have been 100% natural for just over two years. I transitioned for another two years prior to that, so my natural hair is a total of 4 years old.
I decided to go natural in 2010. Not only out of health concerns and a new found sense of self, but also because I went away to college. I was living 4 hours away from my family, and it came down to the point where as a broke college student, I had to decide between using my $80 to pay for a relaxer touch up and trim, or use those same $80 to pay for the round-trip train ticket to go home. I was on the verge of choosing to get my hair done when I thought…what am I doing? Am I really going to choose to not see my family for another three months just so I can get my hair straightened?
How would you describe your texture?
V: I have multiple textures. I think I have pieces that range from 3b (on the sides of my head) all the way to pieces that look and feel like they might be 4a (on the crown of my head). Some of my hair needs no help being defined, and other parts need all the help they can get! I’ve learned to work with it though.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
V: I will usually style my hair on a Friday or Saturday and wear that style between 4 and 7 days. My tried and true products for any style are Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream paired with Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I will use these whether I decide to do anything from a twist-out, to a wash and go, to a bun. I maintain my styles by sleeping with a satin scarf or by using the pineapple method and a satin pillowcase.
What does wash day look like for you?
V: I either use the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration line, or the Organix line of shampoos and conditioners. They work really well with my hair. I wash my hair with shampoo and then apply conditioner. Once my hair is sopping wet and really saturated with conditioner, I section it off into 4 big chunky twists while still in the shower. I detangle (from top-to-bottom, of course) one section of hair, then re-twist it before moving on to another section of hair. Once all 4 sections are detangled and re-twisted, I go through and un-twist all of them, then comb all of my hair together and make one big twist. I then rinse off the excess conditioner while my hair is still in this big chunky twist. I dry my hair with a cotton t‑shirt, and style as usual.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
V: When I have no time to style, I throw my hair into a high puff and slap a headband on. Very easy to achieve with no products.
How do you combat shrinkage?
V: For shrinkage, I will usually wear a twist-out or a straw-set (which was my favorite style when I was transitioning). However, my hair has gotten to the length that I don’t really want to combat the shrinkage…I love it in its shrunken state too!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
V: I have a little bit of an issue with dryness and breakage at the crown of my head and the frame of my face. That hair seems to dry out more than the rest. I try to keep it moisturized as best as I can, but it’s tough to combat.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
V: 1) Let hair air-dry versus using a diffuser or blow dryer, and limit straightening to 0–2 times a year. 2) I would say detangling while still in the shower is also a must for me. The extra slip from conditioner on sopping wet strands is just so much better and gentler on my hair.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
V: 1) Since I cut off my relaxed ends 3 years ago I have never once had my hair trimmed professionally – that’s probably a big “don’t”. 2) I think carelessly using heat tools too often, or using them without heat protectant is a “don’t” as well.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
V: I have a blog that I used to chronicle my 2‑year long-term transitioning journey. You can find it at goingnapptural.blogspot.com. I also have a YouTube channel that coincides with the blog: youtube.com/diimpulz. The social network I use to connect with curlfriends is my Instagram @diimpulz.