Tell us about yourself!
Hi guys! My name is Frankie and I'm a junior at Florida State University, studying sociology. I have been natural for two years!
Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I transitioned for about a year and a half, (Jan '11 - July '12) gradually clipping off my ends. I have always had long hair and I knew I would never be comfortable big chopping, which probably would make me not stick out my natural hair journey. I finally cut off all of my relaxed ends at the end of July 2012.
Had you always embraced your texture?
Not at all! As I said, I always had long hair and almost every week, my hair was washed and roller set. I was used to having smooth, straight hair. Even when I went natural, I tried flat ironing my hair to keep up the straight texture, but eventually I gave up and embraced my natural texture. Now, I absolutely love it!
Describe your hair.
I would say I have 3c/4a low porous hair. I have never been a fan of hair grease/oil growing up and before I learned of porosity and the porosity test, I never understood why. My hair is naturally soft and shiny because my mother always took good care of it while I was growing up. I have different textures throughout, but I would say the front half is more curly/wavy and the back half is kinky/coily. My hair is also very thick, which with the combination of different textures can sometimes make it hard to manage, especially when I'm feeling lazy. I am also very prone to frizziness where the two different textures meet, which is in the middle of my head.
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
Before informing myself about taking care of my natural hair by reading this and other blogs, as well as watching YouTube videos, I was using any and everything in my hair. Now that I know better, I am working to create a regimen that I will stick with. I usually wash/co-wash on Saturday or Sunday, using As I Am Coconut Cowash or Kinky-Curly Clarifying Shampoo. I have to wash/co-wash every week because the oils and products I use cause buildup and I have always struggled with itchy scalp. I try to detangle the night before washing my hair, but sometimes I'm lazy (which leads to suffering in the shower). Because of the thickness, I have to let it dry at least a day before wearing it out, especially with twist-outs and bantu knots. I have also tried wash-n-go's but my hair never usually lasts long. I suffer great shrinkage, so my true length never shows, which can be frustrating and makes it harder for me to try different styles. My staple products are the As I Am Cowash, the Kinky-Curly Clarifying shampoo, and what's remaining from my Mixed Silk products. I am now experimenting with cheaper but efficient products that are geared to natural hair, such as Pantene's new Truly Natural line. I also try out the different products I get from my subscription boxes (Curlbox, Curlkit, etc.) I do NOT dry using a towel, instead, I make a turban with a cotton T-shirt to help dry my hair a bit before styling. I have also been participating in YouTube user BlakIzBeautyful's (kinkycoilycurlyme.com) winter castor oil challenge, in which I use Jamaican black castor oil (which I mix in my hair) for at least three times a week.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
My silk cap is my best friend lol! I did try the pineapple but after a while my curls always came out stringy and started losing their form. I usually just put my silk cap straight on and refresh in the morning. I have realized that for me, twisting at night is time consuming (I commend you ladies that do this every night!) and also kinds of destroys my curls too quickly, leaving a big knotted mess. I also keep my silk cap on under my beanies, so that the fabrics and materials do not dry out my hair too much.
How do you maintain healthy length?
I haven't used any form of heat in my hair since May 2012 and it has improved my hair a lot! I also try to keep up with washing/cowashing so that my hair stays clean. Detangling is a must because having to struggle with knots can damage your hair. I just make sure to be gentle with my hair, trying to not to cause any stress, which helps to eliminate damage and breakage.
What's the best thing about being curly?
Definitely the versatility. If I wake up and I am having a bad hair day, I can always find a way to spruce my hair up. I love that I can wear an afro one day, a high bun the next and then switch to a simple protective style. I think being natural also helped build my confidence as well. You have no choice but to feel about yourself when you look and the mirror and see the hair you help keep maintained and healthy. I also love not having to stress about perms and hairstyles lol.
Where can folks find you on the web?