What is your name and where are you from? Introduce yourself!
F: Hello everyone, my name is Fifi also known as Blackbeauty kween. I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. I now reside in London, United Kingdom.
Did you transition or big chop? Share your natural hair journey with us!
F: I transitioned to natural for 12 months and I’m super excited because next month February 2015 is my 6 year nappiversary (6 years natural- relaxer free)! It’s definitely been one of the most incredible and liberating things I’ve ever done in my life ????.
I decided to transition to natural in 2009 when I was pregnant. Keeping away from harsh chemicals to protect my unborn baby just seemed like a sensible thing to do, but I must admit I was a little unhappy with the thought of not relaxing my hair for the entire 9 months( I looked a hot mess most of the time- big sigh!). After a few frustrations during my transitioning stage, I did some research online on how to grow and care for natural hair- at this point of my journey my focus was mainly to gain knowledge for healthy hair while looking pretty too. I didn’t think my hair could grow long at the time, so I didn’t even attempt to think about my hair being long and bouncy like the ladies on YouTube. But to my surprise, the more I cared/ nurtured for my hair the more it grew. I was amazed — and I still am????
How would you describe your texture?
F: I am not really keen on “hair typing” but if I have to describe my texture, I would say my hair texture is predominately 4b. My hair is quite kinky with very little curl definition — I know my strands look coarse, but they are actually fine. My hair is highly dense ( I have a lot of hair- enough to supply my entire village. LOL)
Give us an updated styling regimen sharing how you style your hair over the course of the month, and the rationale behind your various styling decisions. How has your styling changed since your last feature?
F: My styling regimen is still the same, I love keeping my hair care regimen very simple because it’s less time consuming and my hair thrives when left alone. I mostly style my hair in a twist out or braid out then re-style after 2–3 days and then twist it up again to stretch the hair. At this point I leave my hair in twists for a week, and once the twists look old and tired, I unravel them and wear my hair in a bun till wash day.
What does wash day look like for you? How has wash day changed since we last featured you?
F: Wash day!!! Hahahahaha, my washing routine has changed drastically since my last feature. Now that my hair is waist length, I wash it once a month and I don’t spend long hours in the shower to wash my hair( ain’t nobody got time for that!) — it takes me two hours max!
I start off by applying organic coconut oil to my entire hair the night before wash day. The following day I section my hair into six equal parts and apply L’oreal Elvive Full Restore Conditioner (used as a deep conditioner) and cover my hair with a shower cap/ plastic bag for an hour or so. Once done with deep conditioning, I rinse it out with warm water and add more conditioner to each section to detangle my hair under running water in the shower. I use my fingers first to detangle and follow up with a wide tooth comb. Once done with co-washing, detangling and twisting, I do a final rinse with apple cider vinegar diluted with cool water( 480ml water mixed with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar) focused on my scalp and hair. I allow my hair to air dry in twists, and once my hair is 90% dry I unravel one twist at a time and apply Tresseme Naturals Conditioner (used as my leave in) and I seal with my very own BBK Buttercream( used as a styler/sealant) and twist it up again to fully dry overnight and stretch.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
F: I never have time to style hence why I absolutely love wearing twist outs and braid outs, either hanging loose or tied back with a banana clip or even a simple high/low/side bun. In my opinion, these styles are fun, classy and stylish and can be worn in any occasion.
How do you combat shrinkage?
F: I absolutely have no issues with shrinkage. I do not experience much shrinkage, my curls aren’t tight so that helps a lot. Also, my hair is longer now so shrinkage is not a problem. I hardly see my hair in it’s shrunken state because I twist my hair immediately after every wash to stretch it out for more length and less tangles.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
F: The crown, the edges and roots- these areas get extremely dry. When I experience any breakage it’s usually from these problem areas, so I always make sure I thoroughly and regularly moisturize and apply less pressure on these areas.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
F: Hmmmmmm, moisturizing! I have very dry hair, so the more moisture my hair receives the more manageable it becomes and it breaks less too. I absolutely love silicone free conditioners, my hair can’t survive without it. Also keeping my hair stretched is a MUST, my hair tangles very easily so keeping it stretched keeps tangles to a minimum.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
F: Wash n go’s are a massive NO! My hair would laugh at me- it tangles like crazy once it’s completely dry when loose. I avoid products that contain silicones, mineral oil, petroleum and lanolin because my hair doesn’t respond well to those ingredients — my hair becomes dry, brittle and crunchy.
What has been your secret to maintaining healthy hair in the time since our last feature? Any major game-changers?
F: My secret to maintaining healthy hair is my simple hair care routine, consistency and techniques I use like:
1) Low manipulation- I leave my hair alone as much as possible.
2) Moisturizing regularly, thoroughly, sealing and being very gentle.
3) Embracing my thick kinky hair.
4) I try my best to eat well and drink a lot of water.