How long has it taken for you to “master” the care of your hair? Who/what helped you gain mastery?
I wouldn’t call myself a “master” of my hair, per say, as I think there is always something one can definitely learn. I myself learn something new about my hair all the time!
I would say my hair ITSELF helped me gain mastery. By that I mean really, truly listening to my hair and what it needs, likes, and doesn’t like. I think it’s important to take notes from the regimens of others, but not all the while ignoring what your own personal hair might like. Besides really listening to my hair, I would say other natural friends, natural blogs, and naturals on Instagram helped me through!
What is your cleansing hair regime (how often do you shampoo, condition, deep condition and with what products)?
I cowash with As I Am’s Coconut Cowash once a week, and maybe once every two months (or whenever my hair tells me I need to) I shampoo with Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo. I am a RELIGIOUS deep conditioner – it’s my number one thing in my hair regime and what I credit my health to! I deep condition once a week after every cowash (or shampoo) with either MyHoneyChild’s Olive You, Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque, or Camille Rose Naturals’ Algae Renew. I always sit under my Huetiful Hair Steamer when deep conditioning.
What is your de-tangling process?
I always detangle in the same way. After cowashing (or shampooing), I section my hair into 4 sections and then start by splitting one of those 4 sections into 2. I apply my deep conditioner thoroughly throughout that small section and then finger detangle by combing my fingers through, starting at the bottom. I work my way up to the root until completely detangled and then start on the next section until complete. One great thing about my method of detangling is that it ensures my deep conditioner is very thoroughly applied to every single strand versus just slapping some on.
How do you achieve your daily hair style (try to be detailed being as though others are gaining inspiration and DIRECTION from your process)
I tend to alternate just between 3 styles – a wash and go, a twist out (done on dry and very stretched hair), or medium-small twists (my version of mini twists, lol!).
For a wash and go, I do my usual cowashing, deep conditioning/detangling, and steaming. I then rinse out my DC and dry it with a t-shirt for 3 minutes. I don’t t-shirt as long as some as my hair dries somewhat on the quicker side and also because I like it to be pretty wet when styling a wash and go. I then split my hair in half and apply Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In to each section, followed by either castor oil or coconut oil on top. I then make my part and split my hair into 5-6 sections. I apply a mix of Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Kinky Curly Curling Custard to each section with the “praying hands” technique followed by finger combing through each section maybe twice. Then I just air dry and don’t disturb my curls! I’ve actually never diffused my hair and I have no idea how it would turn out, lol!
For a twist out, I almost always do it on dry and stretched hair. I just prefer the look and I don’t have to deal with drying time as well. My hair is pretty fine, so doing it dry also allows me more volume. After I’ve washed and deep conditioned, I split my hair into 8 sections and use the banding method to stretch my hair until dry, usually just overnight. That next day I’ll usually wear it in a bun or some sort of up-do which even further stretches my hair. Then that night (or maybe a few days later, after more buns, depending on how I feel) I create about 6-7 chunky twists using Oyin Handmade’s Hair Dew (a fav of mine!!!). I don’t fully saturate my hair with the Hair Dew as I don’t want it to revert and all my stretching go to waste. I then release in the morning for a soft wavy twist out that’s super stretched as my tight curl typically has a lot of shrinkage.
For my medium-small twists – my version of mini twists, lol – I don’t really have an interesting method. The same way I stretch by banding for my twist-outs, I do the same for my mini twists. I’ll split my hair into a few sections and just start twisting to whatever size I deem appropriate with shea butter and Eco Styler Gel (Krystal or Olive). There usually ends up being about 40-50 twists. I usually wear them for about 10 days and then release for a super stretched twist out. I hardly wear my twists down as my hair is fine and I just think it looks too scalpy, but I do cute ponytails and top knot buns with them.
Now that you are relaxer free, how do you perceive others that still have relaxed hair?
I mean this in the nicest way possible and I believe every woman should be able to choose how they want to wear their hair – but, in my head I always want to shout, JUST GO NATURAL ALREADY!!! Not out of judgment, but just because I’m truly an advocate of natural hair and I believe every woman’s natural hair is beautiful! It always takes me back to my relaxed days, and in comparison I just personally now feel much more free and much more “me” than ever. This is not to say that any woman with a relaxer isn’t herself too!
How did/do battle the internal voice that may speak words of doubt about the beauty and worthiness of your natural beauty?
It’s really a simple answer for me – this is how the Creator made me!
What hair product can’t you live without?
I have to cheat and choose more than one! * covers face, lol * Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In and Coconut oil. Moisture and a sealant – what more can my curls need?
Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the masses about natural hair?
Natural hair is not just a “fad” as some may think! How can us embracing our natural selves, be a fad?? – what a contradiction. It’s also about having FUN with it and more importantly, empowering one’s own self with it. ☺
And lastly, what makes you an Around The Way Curl.
Exercising my freedom to simply just be me. ☺ Thanks for all you do, Antoinette & Shanti!!! You really empower women in every which way, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this outlet you’ve created! Also, I love Instagram, ladies find me @ P___Q (that’s 3 underscores) ☺