What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Olivia “Livey J” Johnson and I am from Detroit, MI, currently residing in Belleville, MI.
Did you transition or big chop? Share your natural hair journey with us!
I transitioned, and looking back I really wish I would have big-chopped! I started my transition on September 19, 2012 after watching a Youtube video by HairCrush. She was talking about how we should embrace who we are and not caring about what other people say. On that day is when I decided to embrace how God created me. I had thoughts about going natural in 2010 but I did not have the confidence to because my boyfriend at the time didn’t like my hair whenever I would wear bantu twist outs. I let people discourage me, and when I made my decision I made it for me and nobody else. I was tired of living up to other people’s standards and I realized I only straightened my hair for other people, because I hated the process.
How would you describe your texture?
I have three textures in my hair! I am 4c mostly, 4a in the middle and 4b at the nape. I love the wash and go concept but because I am mostly 4c my shrinkage is ridiculous! I tried a wash and go once and it looked like I had just big chopped (lol). My hair grows outward and is super coarse. It pretty much stays in place whenever I style it because it is sooo thick.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month, and the rationale behind your various styling decisions.
I am very simple, I usually wear the fierce puff or a twist out. I rarely switch it up because I get impatient whenever I decide to try a new style. I did finger coils once and it took five hours, and that was when I was transitioning — so I know it’ll take double that now. I just stick to the simple stuff because I am rarely at home sitting around. I am always on the go and because my wash days are on Saturdays (which are my busy days), I do a simple style. If I decide to switch it up from a twist out or puff I will pin jumbo twists, wear a frohawk, or a bun — still fairly simple J I use Shea Moisture products, and I will use any type of shampoo that is organic. I love raw coconut oil, and I use that to pre-poo.
What does wash day look like for you?
On wash days I section my hair into 4 parts, and make about 5 jumbo twists in each quarter. I spray my hair with water and apply raw coconut oil to pre-poo with, to make detangling easier. After letting the coconut oil sit for 30 minutes I jump into the shower and wash my hair by section, taking down the twists as I go. I have a lot of hair, so washing by section makes washing a whole lot easier. If I have a lot of product in my hair I use shampoo, usually Shea Moisture’s Smooth and Repair Conditioning Shampoo, if I don’t have much product in my hair then I just co-wash with Shea-Moistures Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser. After I shampoo or co-wash, I apply Curl and Shine Conditioner by Shea Moisture and let that sit a while then I rinse. After that, I dry my hair then detangle in sections. I use the LCO method because it works very well, and my hair stays moisturized longer when I use this method. I air dry my hair 99.9% of the time. If I want to rock a fro I will blow dry it, without using the comb to prevent breakage.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
The puff is definitely my go-to style, no doubts about that. You’ll catch me rocking a puff about 90% of the time.
How do you combat shrinkage?
I embrace it mostly, but if I want to stretch my hair I will twist my hair while wet and then pin them up with bobby pins. Sometimes I will section my hair into four parts and bun each section to stretch, and if I decide I want to use heat I’ll take a blow dryer to my hair to stretch it a bit, but even after the blow dryer I have a ton of shrinkage.
What are some of your problem areas that require extra care and attention?
My ends require the most attention, they can become dry and because my hair needs to be moisturized daily, I pay close attention to the ends to ensure that I don’t have any breakage.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
Trim and moisturize, moisturize, MOISTURIZE!!!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
I never put any chemicals in my hair, and I cannot detangle on dry hair, it must be wet.
Is there a blog/webpage or social media account where we can find you?
Yes! I can be found on Instagram @Livey_J and my blog is http://liveyjblog.blogspot.com I am currently working on a website and Facebook page for my brand coming this summer!