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Iris from Pennsylvania // 4B/4C Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jan 10, 2015

Photo Jan 08, 10 02 39 PM

What is your name and where are you from?

I: My name is Iris Hopkins of Darby, Pennsylvania.

Did you transition or big chop? Share your natural hair journey with us! 

I: It all started in about 2008ish when I decided that I wanted to “go natural” – that to me meant no perms, no lye, no creamy crack, and no relaxer. This meant at that time in college, less money spent on something I truly could not afford to maintain. This was the start of my transition. There wasn’t a method to my process, I just knew at the time I wasn’t going to chop my hair off. I gradually cut my hair every chance I got – 1 inch here, 1 inch there. Then, in about 2009 I had a semi-chop. I went to Bubbles which at the time was on Walnut Street in Philadelphia, an up-scale beauty salon. This would be the first time I let someone other than a Black woman tackle these tresses and I LOVED it… The cut was exactly what I wanted, “a healthy cut”. My hair grew in nice and full, with a natural glow, and long. Without thinking about it at the time, I did a lot of protective styles because I love braids and big hair.

How would you describe your texture?

I: I actually had to look this one up as I have never put a name on my texture. But based on my findings my texture falls right in the 4s (laugh); I can honestly relate to that whole group. If I had to put a name on it, I am going with 4b/c. I have very thick hair with a full hair line, a little more than 50% shrinkage when wet which I love, and natural characteristics of a sponge.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month, and the rationale behind your various styling decisions.

I: Ha! In a month I am liable to have several styles. This has been somewhat of a trademark of mines by default. I go with how I feel, where I am going, whether it is a special occasion, or what matches my look for that day. Again there is no method to my process.

What does wash day look like for you?

I: Wash day looks like a day where I leave work on time, and I probably skip the gym. I like to get started no later than 7pm. I wash my hair every 2 weeks, or sooner if I’m changing into new a style. I shampoo – with Fantasia’s Tea Tree. I use Etae’ Products for my Carmel Treatment (all natural treatment done before the shampoo once a month) and Etae’ Conditioner. The conditioner is absolutely AMAZING, and it’s all natural. I also use Chi Silk Serum for its additional benefits during blowing drying. And lastly God’s gift to my natural, a Salon Tech 3000 blow dryer.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.

I: My chunky French Braid which is 1 or 2 braids joined into one and braid down, or my infamous pompadour. My pompadour has always been clutch, especially when my hair is dirty. I truly believe that dirty hair is the best hair to style.

Photo Jan 08, 10 01 52 PM

How do you combat shrinkage? 

I: Believe it or not, I have no issue with my shrinkage. My shrinkage and I have no problems. My shrinkage is a reminder that it’s still healthy.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?

I: Over the last two years I have experienced flare ups with Seborrheic Dermatitis of the scalp. I felt like this was the adult version of cradle cap that infants suffer from. This experience for me made me feel very insecure as my scalp developed thick oily cakey patches mostly along the hairline of my crown. I would part my hair and it was there. I couldn’t leave a style in too long as it would intensify the flaking and become very visible. As with almost all illnesses dealing with the immune system, stress and poor diet were definitely the culprits of this. But let’s be clear; there are several other reasons – I just knew these two for certain were mine. I did so much research on this, I was able to tell my Dermatologist exactly what I thought the condition was and had already proactively started to combat the issue with Apple Cider Vinegar. Today, I’m no longer dealing with it but I am very mindful of stress, putting crap in my body, consuming WATER DAILY, and exercise regularly. I literally used what the Dermatologist prescribed for about 2 weeks… it was expensive and I honestly couldn’t wash my hair every 3 days. I strongly believe my Apple Cider Vinegar hairspray mixture and daily consumption of 8oz of water with a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar worked.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?

I: Do my own hair! I learned to braid a plait, cornrow, and twist, as well as give myself a healthy blowout.

Being patient with my hair.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?

I: Not being a product junkie, and learning to not get consumed with everything that moves in the Natural Community. Not every technique, product, twist method, or hair gadget will make your twist-out better than the last or like the photos you see on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or Pinterest.

Is there a blog/webpage or social media account where we can find you?

I have two Instagram pages: @IMHopkins is my personal page and @IMHSWIM is where I showcase my swimsuit designs.

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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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Redseouls B
Redseouls B
5 years ago

What a beauty with gorgeous, thick hair! Thanks for sharing!

kia
kia
5 years ago

Those Bantu knots tho

cryssi
cryssi
5 years ago

Beautiful hair and I’m envious of how perfect she has those bantu knots

Shak75
5 years ago

This is one of my favorite hairstyle icon features ever on this site. The epitome of style.

Lola
Lola
5 years ago

Finally someone with actual thick hair.

Da
Da
5 years ago

she has to be one of the most refreshing natural hair icons that ive seen here as of yet. not only did her bantu knots give me life (I love wearing bantu knots too, not a fan of knot outs on my hair too much) but her answers to the questions had an air to it that I hope to think of about my own journey soon. LOVE IT!

Chat
Chat
5 years ago

Looove her hair and tips!

SheridaDaily
5 years ago

Woooaah! I’m quite speechless by this beauty — Look at those juicy bantu knots! Please sprinkle some of that goodness this way kthnxbye.

Hair Anomaly
Hair Anomaly
5 years ago

What a beautiful mane! I genuinely enjoyed reading her responses, especially to the question about shrinkage and what she said about not following every single technique and product recommendation.

Combat shrinkage?” I didn’t know shrinkage was akin to ISIS. Maybe it is to some, but not all of us mind it…some of us actually like it 🙂

Dee
Dee
5 years ago

I LOVE, love love her hair!! 🙂 Her bantu knots are BEAUTIFUL!

Lo
Lo
5 years ago

Her hair looks perfectly healthy! Its like every strand is in perfect place and all the same length.

Chante
Chante
5 years ago

Woooow loved the spirit of the interview and her hair- goodness how beautiful!

Ofentse
5 years ago

Absolutely gorgeous, I wish my bantu knots came out like this

Jennii
Jennii
5 years ago

OOOOO MMMMMM GGGGGGGGG! GIRL YOU ARE A BREATH OF FRESH HAIR! BEAUTIFUL!!

youngin girl
youngin girl
5 years ago

I’m speechless and in awe. Her hair looks so healthy, well taken care of and juicy. I agree that her hair is everything. When I saw her bantu knots, my eyes widened. It’s nice to see that she goes out like that. You would need lots of confidence. Her bantu knots looks shiny and it’s all in place and parted right. I like that she took photos of how her hair’s texture and character emphasizes versality and that she was able to showcase her creativity of what 4c hair can be able to do. That halo twist and pompadour is… Read more »

Adeola @ *The Mane Captain*
Adeola @ *The Mane Captain*
5 years ago

hair porn! such gorgeous hair!
http://www.coilsandglory.com

nononsense
nononsense
5 years ago

Wow, her hair is SPECTACULAR! I know it’s only mid-January but I want to vote for her as 2015 natural hair style icon of the year right now! #haircrush

Neeks
Neeks
5 years ago

Absolutely beautiful, thick, healthy hair.

melissa
melissa
5 years ago

Can’t wait for my hair to get there. Fighting for APL now.

blindie15
blindie15
5 years ago

OH WOW!!

Courtney Akinosho
5 years ago

LOVE her confidence, beautiful hair and style! Go Iris!

LaNeshe @Nesheaholic.com

Her bantu knots! ::drools::

jjac401
jjac401
5 years ago

Beauty with a Gorgeous mane!!!

Felicia
Felicia
5 years ago

Your hair is lovely. I frowned when I saw those bantu knots. Then my eyes widened when you took them down!!

Reece Wynter
Reece Wynter
5 years ago

Whoa

Jj
Jj
5 years ago

She is everythiiiiiiing!

Alicia
Alicia
5 years ago

OMG! I love your hair styles. I want to be as creative an versatile as you with your hair. It’s so unique and beautiful. <3

tbaby
tbaby
5 years ago

i just had a hairgasm!!!! new follower! she’s the truth when it comes to styling… in awe!

Yabbyrella
Yabbyrella
5 years ago

hair goals all over, such a beautiful head of hair!!!

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