We featured Brianna in our albino beauty roundup a few weeks back. She’s back to share details on her natural hair regimen.
B: My name is Brianna Mann. I am a 22 year old ablino woman from Philadelphia, PA.
Did you transition or big chop? Share your natural hair journey with us!
B: For a long time all I knew was relaxers when it came to my hair. My mom wasn’t sure how to handle my hair without one because it was so thick and curly/coarse. Back in high school a family member who was a well-skilled hair stylist suggested that I stop getting relaxers and grow out my natural hair. She explained to me how the perms were unhealthy and damaging, so out of curiosity I decided to just stop getting them and have her help me transition.
Eventually all the relaxed hair was gone and I was left with newly natural hair. But at this time I still chose to wear my hair straight or in protective styles not knowing that the constant use of heat for styling and touch ups was still damaging to my hair. If I wore my hair out it was always straightened or pin curled and when it wasn’t in an out style I would wear protective styles like wigs, weaves and braids just to give myself a break. This went on for quite some time.
Fast forward to November 2014. Around this time I became fascinated with different curl patterns, curly hair styles, and the thought of what my hair would look like in a natural state. So I took to the internet and YouTube like any other curious women in my situation. After admittedly obsessing for some time I slowly but surely stopped blow drying and straightening my hair as often as I did. I noticed that the ends of my hair wouldn’t curl and were still straight and that’s how I discovered what heat damage was. I went back to the internet again to learn more about heat damage and how I could counteract or get rid of it and I came to the conclusion that I just had to slowly but surely cut it out just like I did my relaxed ends. This worked best for me because at the time I was so hung up on not cutting my hair and holding onto as much length as I could due to the amount of shrinkage I would experience.
Now that majority of the heat damage is gone I find the overall health and manageability of my hair is much better. If I had to put a date on it I would say I’ve been natural for about 8 years because that was around the time that the last of my relaxed hair was cut out. But I still consider myself newly natural because I didn’t discover proper natural hair care until late last year. Honestly I’m happy I decided to go natural because my hair is so unique and diverse that it allows me to be as simple or complex as I want when it comes to styling. It helps me showcase my individuality and makes me stand out.
How would you describe your texture?
B: My hair is VERY thick and dense and has a medium porosity level. If I had to describe my texture I would say that it is in the 3C/4A range.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month, and the rationale behind your styling decisions.
B: Depending on how I plan to style my hair, wash day can be as simple as 3 steps. I don’t use shampoo so if I’m looking for a deep clean I will do an apple cider vinegar rinse but the majority of the time I co-wash and LOVE IT.
As I Am Coconut Cowash is a good one for me because I find that it cleanses my hair very well without causing any dryness. Aussie Moist Conditioner is another good one for me because it is very moisturizing to my hair.
After that I typically go for a twist out using the L.O.C method with water as my liquid, coconut oil as my sealer and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as my styler.
What does wash day look like for you?
B: Wash day always starts the night before with some kind of pre-poo or hot oil treatment. I will use the Creme of Nature Argan Oil treatment or Shea Moisture Superfruit 10 in 1 Renewal System Hair Masque and have it sit overnight.
The next day I rinse and proceed with my normal cowash routine and deep condition with any conditioner I have on hand for 30 minutes. Then I detangle with a wide toothed comb, rinse the deep conditioner out and style as desired.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
B: When I’m low on time or just feeling too lazy to twist or braid my hair, my go-to style is a simple wash and go. After my normal wash routine I apply my styling products, give my hair a little shake and let it air dry throughout the day. This style is quick, simple, and easy to maintain since my hair isn’t that long just yet. I just spray my hair with water, seal with an oil and refresh any unruly curls with a bit of styling product.
Tell us about your hair color.
B: Due to my albinism, my hair is naturally the golden blonde color seen in these pictures. I did dye my hair back in 10th grade but sadly I never took and pictures of it and eventually grew the color out.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
B: The crown of my head would have to be my main problem area because my hair misbehaves the most there. It’s more coarse and prone to drying there so I try to focus a nice bit of product there.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
B: DO : keep hair moisturized at all times. Whether it’s just a light spray of water and oil or a leave-in conditioner, I cannot allow my hair to get too dry because it will be more prone to abnormal shedding and breakage. DO : Allow hair to air dry fully before styling. My hair puffs up and reverts back so fast when it isn’t fully dry.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
B: DON’T : Overly detangle because for me it causes unnecessary breakage and shedding. DON’T : Wash or style hair when tired, stressed or in a bad mood. Naptural85 gave this advice to her followers some time ago and I fully agree. I myself have done it before and the end result was hair that just didn’t come out the way I wanted it to.
Is there a blog/webpage or social media account where we can find you?
B: Instagram : Naturally__Bri