I received my first relaxer around the age of 10. I always had this thick, long and healthy hair. When I became an adult, I was getting a relaxer every 4-6 weeks. Every time I got my relaxer it would burn my scalp very quickly and the next morning, I would have those awful scars on my scalp. Enough was enough and I decided to go natural. I transitioned for about four months. During that time I wore wigs and sew-ins. After awhile I decided to leave the wigs and sew-ins alone and wear bantu-knot outs. Dealing with the two different hair textures was a challenge. I tried but I just couldn't work with the two textures and my hair was starting to shed. I had reached the point of frustration and decided to do a big chop in August 2011.
Had you always embraced your texture?
Once I was completely natural, after my big chop, I had mixed emotions. I had a few curls popping through and my hair looked like a q-tip. That's not what I saw on TV and in the magazines! I just knew my hair would be all curly but oh no, no, no, my hair had other plans. When I wanted my hair to be very curly I used Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Eco Styler gel. After a few months, my hair started to grow out. I loved and started to embrace my texture.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My family and friends were very supportive of my decision to go natural. I have always been the one to change my hair often. One minute I'll have long hair the next I'll chop it all off the next I may add color. This is my second time going natural. Back in 2005 I went natural but it only lasted several months because I was not educated on how to care for natural hair. I didn't know what products to use or how to style my hair. Mainly my family and friends loved the new me. Some of my friends were in disbelief that I would just cut off all my hair. I explained my reasoning behind cutting off all my hair (basically my hair journey) so they could get some understanding and I also told them it's only hair and it will grow back!
Describe your hair.
I would describe my hair as thick, coarse and thirsty! My hair is very diverse with several different textures, so I have curls, kinks, waves and coils. My hair stays thirsty so I'm constantly applying oils, shea butter and leave in conditioners to keep my hair moisturized.
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? favorite products! Deets!
My current hair routine is pretty simple. I co-wash my hair every week to one and a half weeks, and at that time I do a deep condition as well. I shampoo maybe once a month but I tend shampoo more if I have buildup on my hair from different products. I massage my scalp at the minimum once a day but I prefer twice a day. I love to style my hair in twist outs and rock them till I just can't no more! Lol! The older the twist out gets the more I love it because it comes alive! I LOVE BIG HAIR!! When my twist out starts to get old I call on my good ole friend bobby to help me out. I tend to pin my hair up in different styles, for example I'll do a curly frohawk and a puff.
My favorite products are-
Conditioner : Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Trader Joes Nourish Spa
Leave-in Conditioner : Giovanni Direct Leave-in and Kinky Curly Knot Today
Deep Conditioner : Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque (also use this for my twist outs)
Shampoo : Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
Oils : JBCO, coconut, rosemary, lavender, tea tree and vegetable glycerin.
Gel : Eco Styler w/ Argan oil
How do you maintain your hair at night?
My signature style is a twist out. To maintain this style at night if my hair feels dry, I rub shea butter throughout and then I proceed to retwist my hair in 2 strand twists. Retwisting every night is time consuming but it's well worth it for me because my hair looks fabulous the next day. I start to retwist my hair early in the evening while watching TV. If I wait till I'm tired, it will not get accomplished. I can recall one time I waited until late night to retwist may hair and I woke up the next day with only half my hair retwisted! After my twists are complete I then put on my satin bonnet.
How do you maintain healthy length?
I maintain healthy length by paying close attention to what my hair is telling me. When my hair starts to act out, I figure out what I need to change in my current regiment. I wash and deep condition my hair about every week to a week and a half. Scalp massages are important to me and I try to do those at the minimum once a day. I finger detangle to have minimum breakage. I get my ends clipped when needed. I always sleep with my satin bonnet on.
What's the best thing about being curly?
The best thing about being curly is the versatility! I love the ability to change my style whenever I feel the need for a new look! Change is so beautiful to me. You can create so many different, cool looking hairstyles. You can simply wear your own hair in its own natural state, or you can straighten it, do a twist or braid out, wear it kinky or coily, afro or even blow out.
Where can folks find you on the web?
I can be found on facebook on my hair page! The name of my page is Danni Rockin' Natural