June 12, 2014
My name is Rachael, Rachy to some, I am 26 years old from London,UK. I am a young creative entrepreneur who is dipping in a bit of everything!! I am ½ of UKnaturals, a Youtube and social medium that shares the love of natural hair. I also own a fashion jewellery boutique, Fairytale Jungle, I am a presenter for TV network BlackvisionsTV and I am also an artist Justrachyart.
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I have always been natural. It’s funny because I never used the term ‘natural’ until about 6years ago when I started blogging, I would just always refer to my hair, as my hair.
Had you always embraced your texture?
I have always embraced my hair, but found it harder when I was younger in secondary school. Until I was 13 I had my hair cornrowed, every Sunday. Then on my 13th birthday I had my hair straightened for the 1st time and it was about BSL length and it was just eye-opening for me to see my hair that long. Then when I was around 15 years old my mum let me do my own hair for school and I did every single hairstyle you can think of, but there wasn’t anyone in my school who had hair like me, and everyone would always comment on how long it was when straight. So I used to do a lot of straight styles because I didn’t know how to style it in its natural state. My regular hairdresser left the country, still pains me to this day!! Hehe! And when seeking for new salons, they never had a clue what to do. I would wanted to wear my hair curly and they would apply all these mousses and products and I would just look like a wet poodle. Or just tell me that it would be simpler to straighten my hair. I wanted to rock my curls so badly… but no professional knew how to care for them. But now I embrace my texture more than ever!! You can’t tell me nothing bad about my hair!! NOTHING!! Well, unless its damaged!
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
My family and friends have always been positive about my hair, it’s something they always give me compliments on. When I started my healthy hair journey my mum would comment that I was washing my hair too often and doing too much to it, but now she understands that it is needed to maintain my hair. A lot of people who know me who relax their hair will say to me, I can’t believe you are still natural, and they just get the side eye.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
I have a lot of hair but my strands are quite fine. I’m not too sure about the porosity of my hair. I know it is very strong, as it has been through so much over the years and hasn’t experienced any severe damage. I think that is due to me taking extra care of it.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
Erm, I haven’t done anything crazy to my hair. I have rocked some crazy styles when I was younger, but never anything outlandish. When I say crazy I mean, my mum used to cornrow butterflies in my hair, I use to put lollipops in my buns, just to be different!! A hot mess when I think about it!! Glad there are no pictures!! I get the itch to shave a section on the side, but then I think about it growing back and I’m like..nah that isn’t for me. I am quite simple with my hair now just because I did so many things back in the day.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
I don’t really have any life regrets, more life lessons. I think allowing myself to be influenced by others and listening to other people who didn’t know anything about my hair. Because when I was younger there were not many black girls with long hair, a lot of the black girls would always kind of tell me styles they think would suit me and I would listen, which lead to me doing too much with it. Also a lot of the ‘professionals’ I seeked for help with my hair, actually made my hair health worse. I have experienced some terrible cuts, and styles.
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
My wash routine is very simple. I usually wash my hair every 5days or depending how my scalp feels, as I do work out 3-4 days a week. I usually cleanse my hair with black soap weekly, or a sulfate/ clarifying shampoo once a month so my hair is CLEAN! Then I condition with Tresemme Naturals conditioner, which I love hands down. Or if I can’t use that I will use Giovanni tea tree conditioner. Then I deep conditioner with Vatika protein treatment because my hair has been bleached twice. This helps to strengthen my hair. I have been using this product for nearly 4 years and I think it has aided to my hair not breaking from colour or bleach. Then I apply a leave-in conditioner, usually Kinky curly knot today or Giovanni direct leave-in. Then apply an oil, I am loving rice bran oil at the moment. Then I apply a styler, usually Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothie, then a gel if I feel like extra definition. Usually eco styler or flaxseed gel. I prefer flaxseed gel for definition but the hold of eco styler gel. And then I let it air dry or diffuse about 70% if I am going to sleep, hate sleeping with wet hair. I usually re-moisturise with water and a shea butter mix thoroughout the week.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
The wash n go… I don’t have time for all the fancy styles. And that’s because I did so many different styles when I was younger, I have no desire to do them now. I prefer something that is simple and looks good for me. I used to wish and want to do twist-outs but they just don’t work for my hair and I have accepted that! But sometimes I will do a braid n curl to switch it up and if I am mega lazy a high bun will do!! My hair does not like a lot of things done to it. Even when I blow it out or try to straighten it, it will start to revert back by the end of the day. So I don’t even bother with heat!
Who is your curl crush?
Tracee Ellis Ross, I am a HUGE fan of Girlfriends, so watching that inspired me to rock my curls and I love the way she presents her hair so carefree and simple, but yet unique. She was the only person on tv at that time who I thought, wow she has curly hair like me.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
It all depends how I have been wearing my hair that day. So if its day 2/3 I will pineapple, and then any day after I will put my hair in a high bun and with a large satin bonnet on top and sleep. I sometimes pineapple, but a high bun recently has been giving me added stretch and volume.
How do you maintain healthy length?
I don’t do anything special. I just pay attention. When my ends look weird, or my hair feels weird, I trim. When it feels dry I moisturize. It’s all about listening and responding. I drink an excessive amount of water, I actually think I have an addiction, so that helps. I also am on a better healthy exercise routine so that has also helped immensely. Also just letting it be, a plant will grow if you allow it to just grow.
What's the best thing about being natural?
It’s all mine. I have always been happy and proud of the hair on my hair because it's mine. I love to embrace the features that God gave me and my hair is one of the best I have and I just love it so much!!
Where can folks find you on the web?
My personal instagram: www.instagram.com/justrachy
My VLOG channel: www.youtube.com/justrachydiary
My Blog: www.justrachydiary.blogspot.com
My artwork: www.instagram.com/justrachyart
All things UKnaturals:
Facebook page: UKnaturals