How To Protect Your TWA for Short Natural Hair Greatness

@arispella

by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

The TWA or Teeny Weenie Afro is more than just the beginning of one’s natural hair journey. It is a style all on its own. It can be dressed up or down-- fro'ed out, sponge curled, finger coiled, twisted or you can just rock your natural curls!  The style choices for TWAs are only limited by your own preferences but what should not be a preference is caring for and protecting your short hair. Make no mistake…short hair needs TLC too! While buns, updos, and braids are traditional ways to protect your ends, with a TWA you do not have that luxury so here are some easy yet effective tips on protecting your TWA or short hair.

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5 Winning Tips for Natural Hair Growth and Length Retention

by Ahava

When it comes to our personal hair goals, a lot of times they have something to do with growth and maintaining length. If you are looking for hair length retention remedies that are completely safe, natural, and easy to follow for the beginner to the experienced natural, then check try adding these to your daily regimen.

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10 Reasons You're Losing Length- Natural Hair Breakage



Breakage occurs by a number of bad habits within your personal hair care routine. Chances are, you may not even realize they are bad habits. Give your hair a rest from the damaging practices and watch the luster restore right before your eyes--in time and with patience, of course.

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Melodie Miller is Naturally Glam!


 

Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Melodie Miller (@getslimwithmelodie on Instagram) and I am from Delaware. I’m 20 years old and a junior in college, studying education. I love having natural hair because it is so versatile and beautiful. It feels so good to be a part of a community in which African American women embrace their natural hair and wear it proudly.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I guess you could say that I’ve been natural my whole life, but I suffer from heat damage. I’ve been transitioning from heat damage for almost 2 years. I had a really hard time embracing my curls. Coming from a predominantly Caucasian area, I often felt pressured to have long, straight hair. I was never comfortable with my natural hair, until I actually learned how to appreciate it. Now, I don’t know how I couldn’t see the beauty in my natural hair before!


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SHOW AND TELL- FIERCE FRIDAY

Hola Chicas!

For those of you that are new to CN, Fierce Friday is a way to celebrate our natural hair, displaying our dopest styles and best hair days... for inspiration and motivation. It was a way to show that natural hair is not a fleeting trend, but a way of life!

Wanna be featured? All you have to do is upload your favorite pics to Instagram (@curlynikki) with the tags #FierceFriday and #CurlyNikki. Be sure to share a brief description of the style, where you were headed, why you felt amazing, etc. I'll share 10 pics each Friday!

Still loving my cut. emojiemoji -@shainee06

Briana is Naturally Glam!



My name is Briana Alyssa and I am originally from Los Angeles. Both my mother and fathers side are from Arkansas and my hair is definitely a blend of both family's traits. My thickness is from my dads side and I owe having long hair most of my life to my mothers side. I am often questioned if Im "mixed" because of my curls but both parents are African American. I received my first perm when I was nine because my mom couldn't handle how thick my hair was. My last perm was when I was 13, I decided to just press my own hair because I hated how the perm made my hair feel so coarse. Being uneducated on the health of hair and doing my own hair was the worst mistake ever!

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Crystal P. is Naturally Glam!


Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why? 
I transitioned for five months, was completely over the two different textures, and unexpectedly big chopped after an incident involving a weave take down, not combing out my shed hair and washing with a shampoo with sulfates. That was the most interesting experience EVER.

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Mallorie C. - Naturally Glam Hair Idol

CN: How long have you been natural?
This is my second go at being natural. I big chopped for the second time in May 2009 after a 10 month transition.

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I believe that I was a short-term transitioner. I transitioned for about 10 months until I could not take it anymore. My hair had grown past shoulder length after my first big chop fail/relaxer relapse. Therefore, in order to lighten the shock this time, my mother and I decided to cut my hair several inches each month. By the 10th month, I had a cute chin length bob. However, I got sooo tired of pressing my roots…. Basically how I transitioned and not recommended. I spent so much time pressing or trying to do some kind of rod set to blend the textures, and in the end I did not know why I was doing it. I made up my mind that I would go for it and stop the blending. If I had to do it all again, I would have big chopped the moment that I made the decision to go natural.

CN: What is your current regimen?
My current regimen like most is a work in progress. It seems to change for me quarterly. However, I think I have found the groove that works for me.

Wash/conditioning:

I wash my hair once a month with shampoo and co-wash every two weeks in between. When I shampoo. I wash my scalp with a sulfate free shampoo (currently Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo) and let the run-off cleanse the rest. I just do one cycle of that. I detangle in the shower with a good, cheap detangling conditioner (currently V05 Moisture Milk Conditioner) and a wide tooth shower comb. I divide my hair in either two or four sections depending on how tangly it is. I section them off with clips and detangle from end to root. Then I apply a deep conditioner (currently Giovanni Smooth as Silk or Jane Carter Nourishing Conditioner) and twist each section and secure with a clip to prepare for sitting under my Heutiful Hair Steamer. I sit under the steamer for 20 minutes or until it goes off without a plastic cap. If it is a co-wash week, I use my cheap detangling conditioner to wash and then steam treat with a deep conditioner.

Styling:

After conditioning, I use a turbie-towel/microfiber towel to lightly dry my hair so that it won’t be sopping wet, but remain undamaged. I apply Kinky Curly Knot Today (staple product) to do a final run through detangle (really quick). I then begin twisting my hair. I divide my hair in either 4 or 6 sections and create about 5-10 twists in each section. The determining factor is my energy level and how much time I have since I usually do this late at night. I do not make them perfect because I don’t want it to be piecey-looking when I take them out. For each section, I use One N’ Only Argan Oil Treatment (staple) from Sally’s before twisting. I love it, it makes my hair so soft and easy to twist… it is also another great detangler. I then run my Denman Paddle brush over each piece, apply less-than dime size amount of a cream on the strand, and begin to two-strand twist. This whole process takes less than 1 hr for me. I do not have a staple twisting cream, I find that a lot of things work, as long as it is moisturizing. For my latest twist-outs I used the “My Honey Child Twist Out” cream because I am trying to use it up. I have also used Aloe Vera Gel or Shea Butter. My most trusted is actually my own concoction of shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil/ Vatika Oil, and a little bit of my Argan Oil treatment whipped together. I let my twists air dry. It usually takes my hair one night and a complete day. I leave my twists in for about one to two days and wear them in an updo or ponytail. I then take my twists out the night before…. Never in the morning because I don’t like the fresh look. I find that if I take them out at night and pineapple in a high ponytail that night, it turns out great in the morning. When I untwist, I mist my hair with Rose Water (staple) purchased at the local Indian store for $2.99 for a 12 oz bottle. I then untwist each twist individually with an oil by diving each strand into three sections. Therefore, one twist is six pieces. Once finished, I put both hands through my hair to the roots and pull up and out about 3 inches… once again because I don’t like the fresh look and it blends it well. I then shake my head around into the desired look for the day. I always finish with a few dollups of Oyin Shine and Define (staple) to tame and add shine. I don’t know what it does, but I always feel like my hair is perfect after using it!

This is my complete routine. My twist outs usually last me about 1.5- 2.5 weeks. I am a true twist-out girl…. I NEVER do wash and gos because my hair despises them and it is a headache at wash time.


CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I think that I have acquired and maintained length by not paying attention to the length and just letting my hair do its thing. I notice growth by the styles that I am able to do or the length of my twists. I think that my low manipulation routine helps as well. I never comb, brush, or finger-comb my hair except for when I am detangling it after washing. I wear my hair down and out 90% of the time, but I try to keep my hands out. Also, I never go to bed without prepping my hair with moisturizer and putting it up, and I never sleep without my satin pillowcase… ever. I do allow my mom to straighten my hair every quarter for a trim because the twist/trim and search and destroy is not effective for me.

*Disclaimer*: I will not even begin to act like I don’t get single strand knots. They are my arch-nemesis and, and I come to the conclusion that it is a part of natural life. Even with moisturizing my ends with oils, butters, low manipulation, shampooing scalp only with sulfate free shampoo, and using a Heutiful, I still get them. Every time I run my fingers through my hair, I always find one… and picking at them has replaced nail biting as my worst habit :-/ However, I am trying to work on that… yet I do think that it may stifle length maintenance a bit for me…. But hey, who cares!

CN: Night time routine?
I can maintain a twist out up to 2 weeks by simply misting my hair with Rose Water, applying a lot of a moisturizing cream (currently Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In, or Aloe Vera Gel sealed with an oil) to it at night all over, and then pulling it up into a pineapple bun at the top of my head. I put a satin scarf around the edges and sleep with a satin pillowcase. When I want to be sexy for my man, I lose the scarf and I still look hott that night and in the morning ;-) In the morning, I mist with rose water, shake my head, style and finish with a dollup of Oyin Shine and Define. It never takes me more than 5 minutes to do my hair in the morning with this routine… no matter what style I do. On “bad” hair days, meaning 2 wk twistout, I pull it up into my “ sporty white girl bun” (pineapple bun with a headband around it) or some type of pin-up look. Also, when I work-out, I do this same white girl bun and my hair looks exactly the same once I take it down and shake it out. I never retwist my hair at night because it is not necessary for the look that I try to achieve. I like the free look, and I find that I like my hair best after the first week. If I feel the need to retwist, then I will either wash it or apply a few twists to the top pieces that are driving me crazy for about an hour or so.


CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
Patience is the key. I have contributed my little tid bits to CurlyNikki.com throughout my journey. If you go way back you may find me. If you notice, my hair has slowly grown over time and my routine changes with the growth. It took me a while to get to this comfortable routine. To be honest, once I was able to pull it up into a pineapple, everything changed… especially with the annoying phase of trying to figure out what to do with your hair at night. I think we all go through it. I am just excited to see what new adventures my hair takes me on, and you too will be amazed at the journey… whether you are transitioning, newly natural, or a veteran embracing the health of your natural hair. To the transitioners: it would be wrong of me to tell you what to do… but so what…. Just go ahead and chop it off! Don’t waste your time with a long transition because if you are not careful, you may mess up the natural hair that you have been trying to grow during the transition with pressing or constant manipulation trying to figure out what to do with it. Also, I think you will find that your hair will probably grow much faster if you just let it start from scratch and grow it out the healthiest way… also, there is no better way to get comfortable in your own skin and reconnect with yourself than going through the TWA phase. You will appreciate the whole process so much more.

CN: What's the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
The best thing is definitely just being myself to the core. I know in my heart that I am embracing what God gave me, and nothing feels better than that. It is amazing that something as simple as embracing my natural hair has increased my self-confidence of my TOTAL self (not just hair) 150%. I think that when you are naturally glamorous, a natural light really does shine through you… and everyone notices it! Also, I know that there is no one else out there with my hair. Everyone says that… but it is soooo true. Lastly, being naturally glamorous has worked wonders for me in my career. I think that it shows that I am a leader and confident in my skin… at least that’s what managers have told me specifically in relation to my hair. Yes, I work in Corporate America for a Fortune 100 company. I work a desk job and I am the only natural in my area. However, everyone loves my hair. The non-black people love my hair. I get stopped every day in the elevator or on the way to the copier by someone telling me that they love my hair. Even Black people, sometimes we are our own worst enemy, but although a lot don’t tell me, I know they are feeling it too because I always catch them staring and overhear them tell others that they wish they could do that with their hair. I think that we need to get over the crutch of thinking that people are going to judge us by our hair. I believe that if you rock your hair with style and walk around with confidence with your head held high, then no one can tell you ANYTHING. I mean really… what can they say?!..... exactly *chirp chirp*… nada.

CN: Anything else you want to add?
As if I haven’t shared enough… I have a very comprehensive public album on Facebook that chronicles my natural hair journey. I have hundreds of photos during all phases, and if you look at the captions, I give step by steps for certain looks. If you want to add me, please don’t be scared… let’s be friends… I love connecting with my natural divas.

Also, I was at the Orlando meet-up. So if you are in the metro Orlando area (I live in Lake Mary) and you feel like you don’t have time, don’t know how, or don’t feel like twisting, detangling, or washing your hair… hit me up. I will do it for you for really cheap because I think it’s fun! Plus… you can try out my hair steamer!


*Mallorie's Transition Story

*Mallorie's TWA Stylings

Marsha D.- Naturally Glam Hair Idol


CN: How long have you been natural?
About 4 years this April!

CN: Were you a long term or a short term transitioner and why?
I went ahead and did the Big Chop. I love short hair (or really really BIG hair) and had it previously in high school. I like drastic changes or things that throw me into new situations and force me to adapt. I was also so determined to go natural that I allowed my relaxed hair to begin dreading and thus there was no turning back. I was so done with the process of burning my scalp, having that lye smell in every whiff of hair as I turned my head, and the tapping to slapping of my head to keep it from itching before I could get it relaxed and actually wash it (I just laugh every time I think of this). I got my first relaxer or I "creamed" my hair (as we Jamaicans say) when I was 5 or 6. My hair was jet jet jet black and the texture was like doll's hair or so my mom told me. I was nicknamed Pocahontas for that period of time until my hair started falling out in strands.......and then in clumps. So that little "do" was not going to last as long as I thought........after some months, my mom cut off all the processed hair and left me with a cute little afro that got stares upon stares but I reveled in the attention because I was going against the status quo in second grade. I didn't realize until now that I had my first BIG CHOP at the age of 6 or 7. Fast forward to freshman year in college. Some hair altering event happened somewhere in between the previous two memories. I had now had my hair relaxed since 7th grade. I would find myself beyond fascinated with the new growth that I would find after washing my hair. I just wanted to see what it would look like all by itself.


CN: What is your current regimen?
Ideally, I will wash my hair every week. Lately, I have been letting it go to two weeks but by the middle of the second week....its about that time. Unlike a lot people I see in tutorials, I detangle first and I saturate my dry hair with the conditioner (I will dilute it a little bit) because I think it absorbs the conditioner much better and gives my hair more slip during detangling. I try to use good conditioners. The more natural the better, I believe. I have been using Tresemme Naturals recently and I sometimes use the professional sized conditioners from the beauty supply store but I am still on the lookout for a really good conditioner and shampoo combo. I stay away from the cheap ones (Suave, VO5, etc). I just bought the Tangle Teezer and used it for the first time yesterday. I am not using anything else to detangle my hair. It actually doesn't pull your hair out like other brushes. Its just awesome. After I detangle, I will put my hair in twists or braids and then I will shampoo.

For my hair texture, I just cannot seem to wash it is unless I have just detangled it and massaged it really gently in the shower. Other than that, I will be at tangle central and not a very happy camper. This works for me and I know some other curlies do this as well. Once I finish detangling, I wash with my twists using sulfate-free shampoo. I do sometime use the sulfate shampoo when my hair gets really dirty and needs a good clean. I haven't been able to find my original Shampoo (Creme of Nature) that used to be sulfate free. I moisturize with a natural leave-in that I found online at growafrohairlong.com and a combo of shea butter and coconut oil. I just try to keep it simple and natural. I do use Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in from time to time. I then twist or braid or bantu knot depending on what I want but I mostly stick to twist outs. I am gonna get into protective styles and little more......trying to jump on that hair challenge!! :) . I also deep condition every week or two weeks.



CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I haven't really struggled with the length part of it but definitely with the moisture. I was seeing that my hair growth was beginning to plateau and realized it was as a result of a couple of things: Allowing my hair to dry, leaving it untwisted at night, not re-moisturizing the next day...basically foolishness. My hair grew the most when I was washing on a weekly basis without question. I am learning that with your hair, the more you put into to it, the more you get out. So now I am considering wearing more protective styles, especially during the winter when your hair gets drier faster and being vigilant about protecting my ends by sealing them every night. I do trim my hair from time to time but not on a consistent scheduled. I think trims are a good idea to just be preventative about any hair damage. The way I eat may also have something to do with it. I eat bird food as my friends like to tell me....yes, vegan. So no milk, cheese, meat...you know and lots of fruits and veggies and grains and nuts. I love eating this way. I just feel like I am doing something good for my body.

CN: Night time routine?
I sleep with a satin hair cap/bonnet with my hair in twists. I might wear another scarf on top just to keep it secure. If I really have no time, I will do a pineapple but I really suggest the twists at night because they keep your hair the most protected. I will make sure to seal my ends with some kind of oil (either shea butter or coconut oil).



CN: What would you tell a new natural or a transitioning diva?
You are beautiful, courageous and you are making the right decision. You don't need validation from anyone. A lot of people are going to have a lot of opinions but what always matters is what you think of yourself. You will experience an incredible sense of freedom and confidence because you know you are just being who you are. Wear your hair with confidence!! :) You never know....you might end up inspiring those same people who had negative things to say to you. But I think you will find that you will become more comfortable in who you are. Also, just enjoy your hair as it grows through the stages. People get so caught up in reaching waist length and it makes their hair journey burdensome. This shouldn't be the case. You are learning about yourself and your hair everyday and you should allow yourself to enjoy the entire experience. You can be creative as you want, so experiment with anything and everything (updos, twists, parts...everthaaang)!

CN: What is the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
PNB: Pure Natural Beauty in addition to Versatility, Bounce, Courage, Bigness, Strength, Uniqueness, Boldness....its just an incredible thing all around to wear your hair naturally. My hair can do whatever I want it to do and it fits me more than anything else. I love my hair texture!! I am still as fascinated with it as I was the first time I noticed it in freshman year. I literally have a head of coils. It forms the smallest but most defined curls I have ever seen and does not lay down even under water. It is so bold and big and bouncy. I think it represents me too well. :) I just love knowing that the hair coming out of my head is not altered in any way, shape or form. I also find that when women go natural, to me their hair seems to fit them perfectly. It is as God would have it and I feel awesome accepting that. I just love to see Black women with natural hair wearing it with confidence and grace. It is so empowering and just gets me all happy!!



CN: Anything else you want to add?
I will continue on my soap box about seeing Black women wearing their hair naturally..... :) .....It is really so beautiful. It just symbolizes a lot of strength and power to me! To everyone reading, you are unique and special in a way only you can be... so please add something different to the world and be YOU!! Thank you to CurlyNikki for featuring me and doing something incredibly awesome for natural women all over the world. You are affecting lives in such a positive way and doing it with style and grace in the process. They need to bring you on Oprah next... and then we will probably see you in a couple months with your own talk show. Love and Love!

Creating Your Regimen for the GOC



Luka!

Hola Chicas!

I've initiated and participated in many a natural hair challenge over the years. I've bunned, baggied, deep treated 2x a week, hell, I even did nightly scalp massages. I learned that no two heads are the same, and identical regimens may not produce similar results for everybody. There is one thing, however, that yields stellar results much of the time… consistency! Yep, all you have to do is develop a routine and product combo that works for you, and stick to it. That is the corner stone of our challenge. Be consistent!

With that said, later today or tomorrow, I'll share my tweaked regimen for the GOC. I'm kicking it off with a trim and I suggest y'all do the same! It'll make detangling and styling easier, and also help you to maintain the length you gain.

Below, I compiled some sample reggies (from past Hair Idols) that you can build on. Tweak them as you see fit- -more frequent washing if you're a gym curly, less washing if your hair doesn't like the manipulation. For product recommendations, see here.

Happy growin'!

Nik

Dry Bunnin' (for those who ends knot up when wet bunning)
  • Wash your hair bi-weekly with a low sulfate or moisturizing shampoo
  • Rinse and apply an instant conditioner as you gently detangle (fingers first, then with a wide tooth comb, modified denman, or Tangle Teezer)
  • Follow up with a moisturizing deep treatment with heat
  • Rinse thoroughly and generously apply your leave-in conditioner
  • Place your hair in chunky twists or braids to stretch it out
  • Seal your ends with an oil (castor, shea butter, olive oil, etc.)
  • Allow to dry over night
  • Remove twists, and using a Goody Ouchless Scrunchy, place hair into a loose, secure bun (high, low, to the side, messy… do you!), being mindful of your edges.
  • At night, you can either (1) remove the bun, moisturize, and twist the hair, (2) loosen the bun, apply pomade to edges, and tie with a scarf, or (3) remove the bun, moisturize, re-bun, apply pomade to your edges, and tie down with a scarf.


Wet Bunnin'
  • Wash your hair weekly with a low sulfate, moisturizing shampoo, or co-wash
  • Rinse and apply instant conditioner as you gently detangle (fingers first, then with a wide tooth comb, modified denman, or Tangle Teezer)
  • Follow up with a moisturizing deep treatment with heat
  • Rinse, and generously apply a leave-in conditioner in a raking motion to encourage curl definition and clumpage
  • Seal your ends with an oil (castor, shea butter, olive oil, etc.)
  • Pull hair into a high, loose yet secure bun using a Goody Ouchless Scrunchy, being careful not to stress your edges
  • Smooth your edges with product of choice and your fingers
  • Tie on a silk scarf for 10-30 minutes to help set your edges
  • At night, you can either (1) remove the bun, moisturize, and twist the hair, (2) loosen the bun, apply pomade to edges, and tie with a scarf, or (3) remove the bun, moisturize, re-bun, apply pomade to your edges, and tie down with a scarf.
**Whether wet or dry bunning, you can always take your hair down and execute a gorgeous dry twist or braid- out for a special occasion or when you grow bored.
**To smooth your edges sans brush and gel, click here.


Twists/Box Braid Routine

  • Wash your hair bi-weekly with a low sulfate, moisturizing shampoo, or co-wash
  • Rinse and apply instant conditioner as you gently detangle (fingers first, then with a wide tooth comb, modified denman, or Tangle Teezer)
  • Follow up with a moisturizing deep treatment with heat
  • Rinse, and generously apply a leave-in conditioner as you twist your hair. You may choose to use a styler to help hold the twists (a non drying gel, or curl creme)
  • Twirl the end of the twist around your finger to encourage the curl and to keep it from unraveling.
  • Seal your ends with an oil (castor, shea butter, olive oil, etc.)
  • Allow to dry
  • You can let them hang free or style in a protective updo
  • At night, apply moisturizer as needed and seal. Re-twist/braid any frizzy ones. Sleep with your twists/braids secured under a satin bonnet.
  • Some folks even rinse/co-wash in the twists or braids

Wash & Go

  • As often as necessary, wash your hair with a low sulfate, moisturizing shampoo, or cowash
  • Rinse and apply instant conditioner as you gently detangle (fingers first, then with a wide tooth comb, modified denman, or Tangle Teezer)
  • Follow up with a moisturizing deep treatment with heat
  • Rinse, and generously apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner and styler of choice in sections, using a raking motion to encourage definition (you may choose to leave in your rinse-out conditioner)
  • Seal your ends with an oil (castor, shea butter, olive oil, etc.)
  • Allow your hair to air-dry, or gently diffuse if you're in a hurry
  • At night, apply moisturizer as needed and either (1) pineapple, (2) gently twist, or (3) don a bonnet.

Twist-out/Braid-out

  • Wash your hair weekly with a low sulfate, moisturizing shampoo, or co-wash
  • Rinse and apply instant conditioner as you gently detangle
  • Follow up with a moisturizing deep treatment with heat
  • Rinse, allow to dry for 15 minutes (or until just damp) and generously apply a leave-in conditioner as you twist or braid your hair. You may choose to use a styler to help hold the twists (a non drying gel, or curl creme)
  • Twirl the end of the twist around your finger to encourage the curl and to keep it from unraveling (you can also secure each end with a roller)
  • Seal your ends with an oil (castor, shea butter, olive oil, etc.)
  • Allow to air dry overnight
  • Carefully release the twists from the bottom up, fluff, and style
  • At night, apply moisturizer as needed and either (1)pineapple, (2) gently twist, or (3) don a bonnet.
Also, remember Danielle's tips from last week:

With creating a regimen comes a bit of experimentation with products, techniques and timing. Some things to consider:
  • How often will I wash/condition/moisturize?
  • How often will I do treatments? (moisture/protein)
  • What will I use to moisturize? (how does my hair react?)
  • How often will I detangle?
  • How much time do I have to devote to my healthy hair practices?
  • How much effort do I want to put in to my regimen?

Finally, you may want to consider incorporating one (or more) of these into your routine:

-Pre-Wash Oil Treatment
-Dry detangle and shampoo in twists
-The Baggy Method
-Henna for strong hair!

I'll be back soon with vitamin and supplement info, as well as what I plan to eat, and... cough... how often I plan to work out ;)

So how will your routine change?

Bisola- Naturally Glam Hair Idol

Meet Bisola... she feels like the sexiest woman on the planet since going natural!


CN: How long have you been natural?
I have been natural twice. The first time by default in high school (senior) through my junior year in college. I didn't know then how to manage my natural hair, so I became a weave queen!! I permed shortly after then. It wasn't until I started working for a salon called Natural TrendSetterz that I feel in love with my hair all over again! I gave up the perm in October of 2008 and BC'd February of 2009 and never looked back. So far I have been natural for year and half now!!!

CN: What is your current hair regimen?
In the beginning I was a PJM (product junkie maniac), I soon found out that my hair didn't really need certain ingredients. My weekly regimen consists of:

Shampoo
I shampoo my hair (using SheaMoisture or Curls). Before shampooing I typically use tea tree oil with deionized water and spray it all over my hair for a prepoo. Next I use my Giovanni Conditioner to saturate and detangle, then shampoo. For my hair now, I prefer sulfate free shampoos and shampoos that are creamy like conditioners.

I use three types of leave in conditioners (depending on the weather and hairstyle).

Homemade Leave-In
:
I mix aloe vera juice, grape seed oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, deionized water, coconut oil, and any leave in conditioner of my choice, into a 12oz spray bottle.

Other Leave-ins:
Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In

SheaMoisture Leave In Conditioner

Sealants for my ends:
I am a big fan of my coconut oil, castor oil, and honey mixture. I find that my ends are healthier and less vulnerable to breakage.

Deep Conditioning:
I typically alternate every week. I use mostly homemade deep conditioning treatments:

Raw sheabutter (melted)
Coconut Oil
Avocado Oil and 1/2 Avocado
Olive Oil
Aubrey Rosesuckle Conditioner and/or Oyin HoneyHemp Conditioner (this homemade I use a lot during the winter months)

My hair loves protein so a lot of the regular conditioners I use on alternating weeks are protein based:

Aubrey GPB
Or SheaMoisture Deep Conditoner Hair Mask (with egg/mayo)

I do overnight deep conditioning or if I am lazy, I typically sit under my hooded dryer or steam for 20 to 30 minutes.

CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?
AGUA, L'EAU, WASSER, my glorious friend WATER!!! For that last seven months I have been in H2O heaven. I mainly mix everything I use with water. I drink at least 84oz of water every day. Since it's summer I have been wearing a lot of wash n gos'; every morning I lightly dampen my hair with deionized water before leaving the house. I think I am more focused on the health of my hair rather then how long it gets...which actually results in longer hair. I believe that protection of your ends and preventing the weakening of your hair shaft is essential. I try low manipulation styling techniques and styles that wear longer then a week (but are still able to be washed and conditioned at the same time). When washing (prefer in the shower) I usually go through my hair (when in pre-poo stage), finger comb through and section off. I only detangle when my hair is saturated with conditioner. I usually use a denman brush (I took out some of the teeth to help with snagging), and brush through while my hair is under the luke warm running water. My only problem is my HUSBAND; he loves playing in my hair more then I do ( isn't that cute).

CN: How do you protect your curls at night?
At night, depending on the style, I wear my satin bonnet ( I've sewn in an extra layer of micro fiber satin cloth around the elastic band to help with my edges). If I'm rocking a wash and go, I really don't sleep with anything on my head.

CN:What would you tell a new natural or transitioning diva?
Never judge yourself by the texture of your hair or someone else as a matter of fact. Some naturals or transitioners that I have come across would tell me, "my hair is not like yours", "you have that good grade hair so you can be natural", "I don't have the patience to do my hair", or my favorite, "if I was mixed then it would be a another story". I say natural hair is like those go to pair of heels you have in your closet- - once you put them on, you feel like a new woman. Have confidence and walk with your head held high. Society will only embrace you the way you identify yourself. If you are not confident then that will present itself to others. If you're not one to rock a TWA then transition a little longer until you are comfortable with a certain length. But remember to research while you're transitioning. God has blessed you with this head of hair for a reason and it is yours alone to know what gifts are still in the unseen.

CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
This might sound very shallow, but I feel like the sexiest woman on this planet since I went natural. It's the allure that it gives me! I am able to be free to wear what ever hairstyle I want, either long or short. I mean even on some bad hair days I can throw it in a pin updo and people would think I spent hours on my head. The best thing about being natural is having the opportunity to get to know ME better and reinvent myself as I desire.

CN: Anything else?
Thanks Nikki, I have been a huge fan of you and other natural divas on the net. I am starting my own company called "Naturals For Hire" that's my project baby and the gift I would like to give back to the natural community and others wanting to join as well.








Maria A.- Naturally Glam Hair Idol

Meet Maria A... a stunning natural that reminds us not to judge others by the way they choose to wear their hair.



CN: How long have you been natural?

June 2010 will mark my 4th year natural. My transition was pretty unintentional in the sense that it wasn't a conscious decision. It was my senior year of college and at the time, I was so fed up with getting relaxers that i kept putting off my touch up month after month until after about 4 months, which is when I officially made the decision to give up relaxers for good. I cut all of my relaxed ends off shortly after that. I recently did another Big Chop this February.


CN: What is your current regimen?
As I mentioned above, I recently did another big chop so my current regimen is pretty simple. Despite the fact that i've been natural for 4 years, I don't actually have a strict regimen. At the moment, I wash my hair about once a week with either Cream of Nature shampoo or Giovanni Direct shampoo. I cowash almost daily using one of my favorite conditioners which are Pantene Hydrating Curls, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, or Giovanni Direct Conditioner. After cowashing, I blot my hair with a towel until damp, then I apply Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner. After that, I apply about a quarter size amount of Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade throughout my hair, shake my head a bit and that's it. I deep condition whenever I feel like my hair needs it using Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Replenishing Pack. I also like Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask.

When my natural hair was longer, my regimen was pretty much the same as above except that I used Fantasia IC gel for my wash and go's instead of the Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade. Also, I used 100% Raw African Shea Butter for my twists and twist-outs.

CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I maintain length by keeping my ends trimmed and as healthy as possible. I maintain moisture by co-washing almost daily and deep conditioning whenever my hair feels dry. Shea butter also really helps in terms of moisture, but I've yet to find that miracle product that keeps my hair super moisturized all the time.

CN: How do you protect your curls a night?
I sleep with a satin bonnet on or if I'm not wearing the bonnet, I make sure to sleep on a satin pillow case. When my hair was longer, I would sleep with my hair in big twists.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
I think one of the most important things to know about going natural is that you need to be ready to accept your natural hair no matter what. There are a lot of women who are disappointed with they're hair texture once they are fully natural. Not everyone's natural hair will look like Tracy Ellis Ross's or like CurlyNikki's or like mine, for that matter, but that's no reason to be disappointed. By no means am I saying it's easy, but in a way, you need to change your mindset and prepare yourself to embrace and be happy with your natural hair no matter what. Stay strong ladies!

Also, I think that it's really important to focus on keeping your hair moisturized whether you're transitioning or fully natural. Natural hair NEEDS moisture to thrive and stay healthy. Take time to try different products and find one that helps keep your hair as moisturized as possible.

CN: What's the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
Although I do get frustrated with my hair sometimes, there's so many things that I love about being naturally glamorous. I love the fact that I don't have to panic and run indoors when it starts raining. I love the fact that I can scratch my scalp whenever I want to. I love the fact that I don't have to endure a burning scalp and the chemical burns that would usually follow my relaxers. I love the versatility that natural hair allows. I love the fact that I am showing the world an aspect of who I really am.

CN: Anything else you 'd like to add?
Just because I wear my hair natural does not mean that I look down upon women who do not do the same. I think that some women make assumptions about other women based on their hair which is unfair. I wear my hair in a way that makes ME happy and I think all women should do the same.



Sarah- Naturally Glam Hair Idol

Meet Sarah... a natural diva enjoying the versatility of her God given curls.

CN: How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was done in June 2005, but I BC’d in June 2006. I was very much afraid that my short hair would not fit my face but it turned out it was one of the best hairstyles I ever rocked. It was so easy and quick to take care of my hair and I was rediscovering it all over again. I had no idea if I would have curls or not. After my BC, I truly learned to appreciate and understand my hair texture.

CN: What is your current regimen?
Currently, I wash condition and moisturize my hair once or twice a week. I use sulfate-free shampoos and any sort of conditioner that will give me great slip to detangle my hair (e.g.: Giovanni, Hello Hydration or even Aubrey Organics). Then, these past few months, I have followed with some sort of protective style- such as big or medium braids and twists done on wet hair. I find it protects my hair well and help me keep it moisturized as long as possible. I also love how my hair looks in braid-outs or twist-outs. It’s very bouncy, fluffy, defined and moisturized :).

CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I seal in moisture with Virgin Coconut Oil and Jojoba oil. I always leave some conditioner in my hair and I do a lot of protective styles. Also, I try to do some deep treatments every now and then (when I’m not too lazy :p). I love hot oil treatments or deep treatments done with some heat (i.e. hot towel). I find that these few techniques have helped me tremendously in avoiding broken, dry or brittle hair. I miss wash & gos though. But I am waiting for the summer to bring them back ;).

CN: How do you protect your curls at night?
If I have my hair in protective styles, I will rub my scalp and ends with Virgin Coconut Oil or Jojoba Oil. If my hair is out, I will put it in chunky braids or twists and apply some oil (as described). Finally, I need my SATIN cap because I recently discovered that my hair will attract so much dust and cotton balls from the cotton pillows. I don’t realize it right away but when I wash & detangle my hair, I always find some cotton/dust tiny balls in shed or broken hair. I also need to find a satin pillowcase because sometimes my satin bonnet is either too small to hold all of my hair or it will come off at night :p.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
Be very patient and learn to understand your hair. Also find a routine and products that work for your hair texture. Finally, do not hesitate to do research and use the resources available to you, such as hair communities, forums or websites such as curlynikki.com :). These have helped me a lot.

CN: What's the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
The freedom of not having to perm anymore, or not being afraid of humidity or water :p. And of course, the VERSATILITY of our hair, I just love all the different styles a natural girl can rock- fros, twists, pressed, updos, stretched out….it’s all good and worth it to me. Finally, the fact that I am now conscious of what my body and hair needs. This has been a great experience that has led me to become more health-conscious all around.

CN: Anything else you'd like to add?
To all the natural or transitioning girls out there: Thank you! Thank you for being such inspirations and for continuing to empower and motivate other women. You can catch me on fotki: http://members.fotki.com/Nappattitude/about/.


Peace :).

sarah

As for the pics...

#1: Naked hair - March 2010
#2: Bantu-knots- 2009
#3: Pressed- March 2009
#4: Tiny braids- April 2009
#5: Fluffy braidout- March 2010






Fat Twist Updo- Natural Hair Style

Vee, a lovely transitioner shares with us how she achieves this divalicious low-mani, protective style.



Hey Nikki!
I am transitioning and my last relaxer was May 2009. I have been looking for a new staple style to rock during the summer months. I was searching youtube and found the cutest style. It is an inspired recreation of Chisellecouture's Fat Twist Updo. I found this style to be quick, simple and chic!

Products used:

Wide toothed comb

V05 Peaches and Cream Conditioner

Eco Style Olive Oil Gel

Bobbie Pins


Instructions:


Step 1
Hair was co-washed, detangled, sealed and air dried (in a bun overnight).

Step 2
The next day I parted my hair in three sections: first from ear to ear, then the top portion is parted on the side.

Step 3
The back portion is then parted into three sections. I then applied V05 and Olive Oil Gel to the bottom section, combed, seperated into two equal sections (so that it would create two twist).

Step 4
Continue Step 3 for the remaining sections of your hair. Depending on your hair's thickness and length you should end up with 12-15 twist (I had 13).

Step 5
Then gently grab a front section, swoop around and pin/secure twists at the crown of your head using bobbie pins. Do this for the other side also.

Step 6
Pin up the back twist at the crown of your head using bobbie pins.

Step 7
Pin any loose ends at the crown using bobbie pins.
I know it seems like a lot but it only took me about 20 minutes (mind you I was on the phone and tending to two children, at the same time). I hope these steps make sense. If not I would definitely check out Chisellecouture youtube channel.

Happy hair growing!!

Vee




BNatural-- Naturally Glam Hair Idol

Meet BNatural... loving her natural hair and schooling transitioners.

CN: How long have you been natural?
I transitioned for 10 months. Been 100% natural for 21 months...and counting!!

CN: What is your current regimen?

It begins with co-washing usually just to detangle whenever I change my hairstyle. This can vary from daily to every other day, maybe even longer depending on how I am wearing my hair or if I'm being lazy. Buns, ponytails and updos are done in the shower with hair loaded with conditioner, hair grease* is normally used to sleek the frizzes down ( don't want da guys touchin' up hard gelled down hair... it's far from sexy) followed by the trusty head tie. Twists, braids, flat twists and cornrows are done out of the shower with hair in sections (if I'm styling the front only - 2 sections, parted from ear to ear, if I'm styling the entire head - 2-4 sections), using conditioner to moisturise. Shampoo is used on an as needed basis and Deep Conditioner is used whenever hair is shampooed (if this is a word) and followed with my co wash conditioner.

Right now I'm lovin' HE Hello Hydration and Long Term Relationship Conditioner, Garnier Fructis Long & Strong Conditioner, ORS Hair Mayonnaise, Shampoo has not been replaced since last month... Dax Pomade*
* will change once I find another solution to keepin' the lil' hairs smooth.

CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
No. 1 method for retaining/maintaining length is detangling in the shower (OH YEA)!! The best creations since french fries!! Protective styles would be next because they keep the hair detangled!! Less tangles = less splits and breakage!! My hair naturally stays wet for days when in buns, braided ponytails or updos so all I do is make sure the ends are loaded with conditioner. When wearing twists, braids, flat twists or cornrows, my hair dries quickly so I wet them and squeeze conditioner into them daily.

CN: How do you protect your curls at night?

I style my hair at night for the next day, with just a lil' brushing or moisturizing in the morning. Can't sleep without tying my hair. Paranoia to the point that I carry my head tie in my bag just in case.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?

Moisturize, avoid tangles, protect the ends, avoid breakage and splits!! Transitioners don't wait till your hair is completely natural to take care of the curly hair. Moisturize your new growth daily or twice daily, detangle, protective styles are your friend but for a different reason than retaining length. They help with the terrible two's.

CN: What's the best thing about being naturally glamorous?

The FAT JUICY twists like... hmmmm!!! The PLUMPING of the braids like a moistened... hmmm!!! To describe such sexiness is orgasmic!! OMG curly hair is like waves of orgasms!!

CN: Anything else you want to add?
The decision to go natural is nothing compared to the decision to stay natural!! Very often I see people go natural then texturise or go back to a relaxer. Not hating I've contemplated it, contemplate it at least once every week and maybe will never stop contemplating it!! Who
cares variety is the spice of life!! ...so what's the point?? Don't feel pressured to go natural, don't feel pressured to stay natural!!





Fotki: public.fotki.com/halfindian

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