Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I was a transitioner. I became natural 5 years ago, but I wasn’t fully natural until 1 year ago. I used to wear weaves and perm my edges and leave outs. This absolutely broke my hair and now I have some areas that are shorter than the others.
Had you always embraced your texture?
No. To be honest it wasn’t until recently that I embraced my texture. I used to wish for looser curls. I would see all the YouTube tutorials of girls with edges that were “laid” and wondered why mine were not doing the same. I came to realize that my hair may not have sleek edges, but it is very tough and resistant…and that toughness is beautiful.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
My friends and family were embracing of me going natural. My boyfriend really pushed me and would remind me of how unique and beautiful my real hair was. Some friends were concerned about it affecting how people would treat me, and how it might affect the jobs I do, but ultimately this is who I am. At the end of the day, if someone is superficial enough to judge me by my hair, I don’t want to do business with them.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
I have 4c hair, so my hair is very coarse, thick, kinky, and highly porous… which means the shrinkage is real.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
The craziest thing I’ve ever done to my hair was perming my hair while I had a weave. This to me is crazy because it shows how desperate I was trying to blend my 4c kinky hair with a silky straight weave. This is the definition of insane. My natural hair texture wasn’t made to be straight, and trying to fool myself that it could is crazy.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
My biggest hair regret is not embracing my hair texture earlier. Natural hair requires a lot of patience and only once you truly understand your hair can you find creative ways to style it and express yourself.
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I wash my hair once month but also co-wash once or twice a month. I live in Berlin, Germany so I do not live close to any afro/black hair stores. I have had to resort to making all my recipes for my hair using natural products. I’m all about cheap, creative alternatives to natural hair products.
I wash my hair with Suave almond and butter moisturizing shampoo and conditioner (which is 2 dollars each at Walmart).
My 4c hair loves shea butter. I know it is very thick and can often leave white residue in the hair, but I use coconut oil and water to make it more smooth.
On a regular basis the only products I use are shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil. I truly believe if you are on a budget these three products can do wonders for your hair. I also spray my hair with water 2/3 times a day to keep it constantly hydrated, this is essential for my hair not to break.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My favorite hairstyle is mainly inspired by indigenous women in Africa. I love how they used so many creative ideas to give character to their hair. I love African threading. I love beads, and putting jewelry and flowers in my hair.
Who is your curl crush?
My curl crush is a supermodel called Milan Dixon and another supermodel called Hollis Wakeema. I love that they are amazing models who use their natural hair texture.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I braid my hair into 8 chunks or cornrow my hair into 8 rows. I add a lot of shea butter and coconut oil to my hair, spray it with water, then put a scarf on and go to sleep!
The most important thing isn’t if my hair is long more than it is healthy. I try and make sure I generally don’t leave my hair out too often. I do protective styling as much as I can and I also try not to touch my hair too much- it’s a bad habit of mine. If I get very stressed I have a tendency to try and “detangle” my hair…which usually just ends up in me pulling out small pieces of my hair. If I am going through a stressful time I wear protective styles.
What's the best thing about being natural?
The best thing about being natural is the fact that by my hair’s existence is already considered a form of rebellion. By being a natural hair black woman it is already perceived as somewhat radical. Afro hair by its nature is a resistant and tough hair texture, and when you find the symbolism within it and see those traits in yourself, it’s a beautiful thing.
Where can folks find you on the web?
I can be found on Instagram/snapchat at: Lynetteletigre