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Alesha from Nashville // 4A/4B Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Sep 30, 2014

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Introduce yourself.
A:
My name is Alesha Sullivan. I am from Memphis, TN and currently reside in Nashville, TN.

Did you transition or big chop? Share your natural hair journey with us!
A:
I decided to go natural in March of 2011. I felt that I had mastered my hair in its relaxed state. I knew how to grow and maintain my relaxed hair, and I knew that at some point, I wanted to try to do the same thing to my hair in its natural, unaltered state. I finally decided on day to go for it. It was time for a change so I stopped relaxing my hair.

I slowly transitioned from relaxed to natural. I transitioned for a little over 2 years before I decided to cut the relaxed ends. My hair was middle back length when I started my transition and I just couldn’t do a big chop, so I did mini chops every 3 months and maintained my hair at bra strap length until I grew my natural hair to a length I was comfortable with.

I finally decided to “big chop” one day randomly. I was detangling my hair and became really frustrated (I know we’ve all been there before. Lol), so I went to the store, bought a pair of hair shears, came back home and snipped a piece in the back of my head. After that, it was no turning back, so I kept cutting until all of my relaxed ends were gone. And I don’t regret my decision one bit. I have been completely natural for a little over a year now and I love it!

How would you describe your texture?
A:
I would describe my texture as a 4a/4b mix. My hair is mostly coarse and dense, but I do have some fine strands in the front of my head where the texture is a little looser. It can be a little unruly at times, but I am learning my hair and it is finally doing what I want it to do. Lol.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A:
My favorite hair styles are puffs, braid outs, twist outs, up-dos on old twist outs, and wash and gos. So I will do a twist out and wear it for a few days (3–4 depending on how much definition I achieved in the beginning) and then mist my hair with a water based moisturizer so that I can make my hair revert a bit so that I can wear a puff for a few days. Then it’s time for wash day again and I may do a wash and go or a braid out the next week, followed by a puff. So at the beginning of the week, my hair is in either a twist out, a braid out, or a wash and go. And by the end of that week, I’m usually in a puff until wash day.

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What does wash day look like for you?
A:
I am on a weekly regimen. My wash day is currently on Sunday evenings so that I can start each week with fresh hair. I am somewhat of a product junkie, so I don’t really have products that I use every single wash, but I do have products that I use in rotation. So a typical wash day would be something like this:

I wash my hair with Graced by Nature Peppermint and Coconut milk shampoo (love this stuff). Afterwards, I apply a deep conditioning masque. This step varies but currently I am loving Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil hair masque for moisture. If my hair needs protein, I will precede this step with Aphoghee Two Minute Reconstructor, and then the hair masque to replenish moisture. I apply a heat thermal turban for about 30 minutes to deep condition. Then I rinse in cool water while detangling in the shower. I then blot dry with a t‑shirt. Next, I will usually apply a leave in (changes weekly but I like Graced by Nature Leave in, Kinky Kurly Knot Today, Cantu Intensive Leave In Treatment, and Shea Moisture Curl Smoothie), followed by a sealant. My hair is super thick, so I have to use heavier sealants and butters. I love whipped shea butter for this step. Finally, I do a twist or braid out and air dry for a few days. This is my weekly routine.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A:
Recently, if my hair is still drying for a twist out, I will pile the twists on top of my head, tie a scarf around it, and make a simple twist updo. However, my number one go to when I don’t have a lot of time to style is an afro puff. I have different variations (maybe a side puff, a high puff, two puffs, etc.) that I will wear, but the puff is near and dear to my lazy natural heart. Lol.

How do you combat shrinkage?
A:
I don’t really try to combat shrinkage. I wear my hair in stretched styles to avoid knots and tangles, but once my hair starts to shrink, I usually just go with it. I just make sure that my hair is moisturized so that detangling my shrunken hair won’t be too difficult.

Tell us about your hair color! 
A:
My hair color is half and half at the moment. It is red in the front, and my natural color, dark brown, in the back. I do color my own hair with the L’Oreal HiColor Hilights in Magenta and Red. I haven’t seen much change in texture, but it has changed a little. The front of my head has always been a looser texture than the back, so adding the color did loosen it a bit more. But overall, my hair hasn’t really suffered from coloring.

What are some of your problem areas that require extra care and attention?
A:
The crown of my head is extremely coarse and thick, so I have to be extra patient and careful when detangling this section or I experience breakage.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A:
Two do’s would be:
Use heavy sealants like shea butter for sealing in moisture or my hair will feel like a brillo pad.
Washing hair in sections to avoid matting and tangles. Washing my hair loose is just asking for a tear filled detangling session.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A:
Washing hair without sectioning it off. With such a tight texture, my hair will matt and tangle badly if not sectioned properly.

Having a wash day when I don’t have the time to. I know how long it takes to wash, detangle, and style my hair. If I don’t have enough time to, I will wait because in the end, my hair will suffer if I rush through the detangling process. And with 4a/b hair, you have to be patient during the detangle process.

Is there a blog/webpage or social media account where we can find you?
A:
I am active on Instagram, and can be found at Instagram — Aleshanokeys

I also have a YouTube channel where I share tutorials, product reviews, etc. I can be found on YouTube at YouTube — Aleshanokeys

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About Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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tiyang44
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tiyang44

your hair is lovely,chica.

tbaby
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tbaby

Her hair is gawwwwwwjus! OMG

Britt Britt
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Britt Britt

Hair crush!

Amma Mama
Guest

Her hair is so thick! Lovely

Chrissie
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Chrissie

Loving the colour play! One of these days I’m gonna get brave and throw some colour in.

Sam
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Sam

Love her hair!

Transitionneuse
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Transitionneuse

Hair color game ON POINT !! I love it

http://www.elletransitionne.com

Jacky
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Jacky

I second that. I love her hair and her hair colour. Her hair is so thick and fluffy! Plus I love the half and half technique that she used to colour her hair, it’s unique and beautiful.

zimzam
Guest
zimzam

Hair, make-up, jewellery, clothes — so cool!!!

cacey
Guest
cacey

absolutely beautiful tresses. and i am just in awe of that vivacious hair color. very flattering!

nubiahbella
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nubiahbella

I am so jealous when I Naturals with voluminous hair *cry*
Her hair is so beautiful and she’s pulling off those bright hair colors very well.

Caramelcurls
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Caramelcurls

Nashville stand up! (I was born and raised in Nashvegas). 😉 Alesha is a gorgeous girl, with gorgeous hair to match–and I love all of the colors!

Ann
Guest
Ann

Yes!

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

WOW!! Look at that HAIR and that FACE–Gorgeous!! Density for the gods!
Afro puffs that would make the Lady of Rage proud!

Ann
Guest
Ann

Nice to see someone repping the Ville so well! 🙂

Caramelcurls
Guest
Caramelcurls

Agreed!!!

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

ok! Like how fabulous is she?

Deb
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Deb

this captures my feelings in a nutshell: http://www.imgnook.com/b3D6eo.gif <3

Bri
Guest
Bri

Her hair is giving me life! Beautiful 🙂

Melly
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Melly

Love this girl and her bad ass afro.….!!!! 🙂

iluvedges
Guest
iluvedges

I’m curious, I love the hair color…what is her occupation?

Mercy
Guest
Mercy

Her hair is great, but her links aren’t working.

Alesha S.
Guest

Hey loves! My apologies for the bad links! 🙁 If you’re interested, you can try the links below!

https://www.youtube.com/user/aleshanokeys

instagram.com/aleshanokeys

Cinnamondiva
Guest
Cinnamondiva

She is so cute and her puffy hair is the bomb! Her Afro pick earrings are cool, too…she is just a doll. And the rich red hair looks awesome on her as well.

youngin girl
Guest
youngin girl

Man, Those vibrant, bright hair colors is on game point! She rocks it and it compliments her face. That thick, full, and kinky hair makes my skin melt. I’m in awe. It’s like she can’t go wrong. The afro pik earrings is an eye-catcher. I remember a few style icon’s having similar earrings. Where do ladies get them from? They are cool and it emphasizes something. I see purple in your hair in 2, 9, and 10 which are my favorite colors!

Alesha S.
Guest

Thank you lovely! I think I got those earrings from pinktownusa.com. They’ve been sold out for a while now, so i don’t know if they will restock.

Courtney
Guest

Fabulous!

Jo
Guest
Jo

All i can say is — WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

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