D: My name is Dana Nicole Walton, I am 24 and I live in this boring little town called Plainfield, IL.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
D: I’ve been natural since 2007. As a kid I was forced to get perms because no one wanted or knew what to do with my curly hair. In 2007 when we moved to Plainfield there were no black salons that my dad knew of. So I choose to start doing my hair on my own, and all I could do was flat iron it or throw it in a ponytail. In 2011 I got tired of putting so much heat on my hair because I could flat iron it bone straight then go outside and have a fro in 2.5 seconds. So I started getting sew‐ins, then making my own u part wigs for versatility because I got tired of paying people to do my hair. I could take them off at any given time and wear my own hair. In 2013 I gave up the wigs to become completely natural. I really got tired of looking like everybody else, especially in a predominantly white town where they think women of color with weaves are all the same.
How would you describe your texture?
D: My hair is mostly 4a. In the front where my bangs are it’s more 3b due to loss of my curl pattern from dying and bleaching. My hair is BSL, but freshly washed it shrinks up near my jawline. My hair is fine and breaks very easily, however I think the density is right in between medium and low.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
D: I love having my hair down, so I’m pretty basic. I just mastered my wash n go’s using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner that I add EVOO to as my leave in. I then plop with a cotton tee and apply Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel as my styler. When I don’t do wash n go’s I do bantu knot outs, twist outs and twist and curls all using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I hate my hair in a shrunken state so I like using these styles to elongate my curls. I always have my pick on hand to fluff the heck out of all of my styles because I hate flat hair.
What does wash day look like for you?
D: Wash day for me is a 2 day ordeal. The night before I wash I separate my hair into 4 sections then prepoo with a mixture of virgin coconut oil and EVOO, with a little bit of tea tree oil (I have eczema and my scalp is always itchy). I warm it up and let it sit on my hair overnight. The next day I wash my hair with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo. My scalp is also oily, so I shampoo it at least twice a month. Since bleaching and dying my hair, the front is a little dry so I condition with Roux Porosity Control Corrector and Conditioner to balance my porosity, then follow with my all time favorite deep conditioner One ‘N Only Argan Oil Restorative Mask for 30–45 minutes, and finally detangle with my Goody detangling comb or my Denman brush.
Describe your favorite go‐to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
D: If I don’t have time I’ll throw my hair into a mohawk or big puff.
How do you combat shrinkage?
D: I’m not opposed to using heat, so I use a blow dryer to stretch my hair, or if it’s in twists I’ll pin them around my head.
Tell us about your hair color?
D: I dye my hair myself. I refuse to pay someone to do something I can do on my own. I dyed the top half of it with Clairol Textures & Tones Lightest Blonde. It didn’t get light enough for me, so I dyed the top and bottom half with Ion Color Brilliance Hi Lift Ash Blonde until the back turned brown and the top got a little lighter. Then I highlighted some strands on the top with Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit in Blonde. Like I mentioned, the bleaching and dying altered my curl pattern a little in the front, but it’s cool though. I like having two different curl patterns.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
D: The nape area is shorter than the rest of my hair, so I use castor oil every other night before putting it in a pineapple. Also the front is considerably dryer and more prone to breakage than the rest, so I make sure to condition it and use extra coconut oil.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
D: Definitely deep conditioning and stretching my hair. I despise shrinkage.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
D: Trying to detangle without my hair being completely under water. Deep conditioning overnight…I know, I know it’s bad, but sometimes I get lazy and fall asleep, then regret it because my scalp will be itching all week.