-How long have you been natural?
Well…I grew out my relaxer in 2001…still was flat ironing because I didn’t know what else to do with my hair , thus I had tons of heat damage. So I stopped flat ironing, and slowly trimmed off the damage, and then August 26, 2008 I cut off the rest of the damage so now, no more crappy ends!
-What is your regimen?
As many of you ladies know, I am a product junkie and resident product pusher, but I strictly shampoo, usually with a shampoo bar or other natural product, acv rinse, deep condition for an hour with a heating cap, then use my preferred product of the day to do double strand twists, which stay in my hair for about a week, and then I’ll do a twistout. A few times a week I have different oils for my hair and scalp. I also dust my ends myself when needed, but I get a professional trim once a year.
-What is the one thing you’d tell a newbie to help her on her journey?
STICK WITH IT! Ignore adversity! Everyone and their mother will have an opinion about your hair, be it good, bad or indifferent. Don’t pay them any mind! At the end of the day you have to live with yourself. Also, hair does not make you. Yes, EmpressRi is saying it. Hair is fun, and it can help or hinder someone’s looks, but it is not your end all and be all.
Read, read and read some more. There is always something that you will learn that may surprise you. When I first decided to go natural, I poured over every website, article…anything I could find that would help me! I also asked a bunch of questions, and thank goodness for the lovely patient ladies that helped me through the transition.
Also, please let your hair grow on it’s own. Do not worry about using 50 million products to make your hair grow from 1 inch to 100 in less than thirty seconds. It’s not realistic. Once you leave it the heck alone, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that your hair will grow when it wants to, not when you feel like making it grow.
AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE, DON’T PUT VAGISIL/HORSE STUFF/MONKEY SWEAT/ANYTHING SUPER SILLY to make your hair grow. PLEASE?!?!?!
-How do you maintain length?
Twists! It’s a staple protective style for me. The less I have to fuss with my hair, the better it looks and feels.
Moisture is also key. I love using the richest, thickest product I can find to help keep my hair moisturized. Qhemet Biologics, Karen’s Body Beautiful, and Oyin Handmade make great products that I can always count on to keep my hair at it’s optimum level of moisture.
And I may ruffle some feathers with this one, but heat is NOT our hair’s friend!!! I don’t care what anyone says. Flat irons, blow dryers, curling irons, all of that jazz, is not your friend, be your hair kinky, curly, straight, wavy, long, short, whatever! If your hair could talk, it would probably say, “Get that (insert tool) away from me!!!!”
-What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?!
Knowing that the hair on my head was chosen by God for me to have! Natural is beautiful, and nothing can compare in my opinion. No two heads of hair are exactly alike, and I think that makes us so unique.
Want to see more of Ms. Empressri?
FYI- The Head Product Pusher herself will be posting reviews of her product exploits, and……… YOU can find them HERE!!! Keep checking back 😀
Hi, I just wanted to say I love Empressi Ri's product reviews on You Tube, very helpful! Good interview above and responses, keep it up!
I have been following your journey and the various hair lines that you use on your hair and wanted to know what products did you use when you were growing out your relaxer. At this time I am in the process of going back to my natural state but I want to do it with out shaving my head. I want to maintain a healthy regimen. Could you offer any advice?
Well…I usually find that people who become defensive are the ones using monkey sweat.
So how long have you been using it??
And I don’t know why monkey sweat would offend someone, unless they’re the missing link!
It was totally your right to voice your opinion on growth aids, though I do not think you were directly asked (I could be wrong here so bear with me.) It’s your opinion, cool, but why the use words such as monkeysweat? It’s simply that on certain forums which shall remain nameless, some feel the need to pass derogatory comments about growth aids. Now I have tried out boundless tresses (but the smell was more than I could stomach – I guess it’s the sulphur content) and megatek – will be starting this real soon. I don’t ever plan on using MN, MTG etc but if folks want to- I say do your research and be fully informed of the short and long term consequences. Then make your choice as an adult. I would not dream of asking someone who DOES NOT use any growth aid their opinion on what to do ‘cus they WOULD NOT KNOW – they may have some ideas/beliefs but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Certainly if I was concerned about my growth rate I would seek counsel (and do my own research) from ladies who have used it successfully and are willing to give me some advise, not those who refer to it as monkeysweat. When folks use words such as “monkeysweat” its kinda offensive and mocking IMO. I use growth aids and I am a little tired of seeing folks who don’t use it or plan to getting into the fray.
Live and let live is my motto.
Oh well, best leave it at that. Nikki’s forum is a place to celebrate our hair and I will respect her blog by refraining from commenting futher on this topic. Anyways, peace and God bless.
Justme, I feel you, but I’m against it, and it was my interview so I had to put it, because I have had MANY ladies ask me about using xyz product that aren’t for human use IMO, so I’m going to be honest and not fake the funk. Sorry! And last time I checked, did I name call or say anything out of the sort that would make me pass judgment on someone? Please highlight the area if so.
Candice, a thorough cleansing with shampoo works nicely for me because I tend to use heavier products regularly. Now I may cowash in the warmer weather, and even then I still use heavier products. Cowashing doesn’t get all of the butters and oil out of my hair, cause believe me I have tried! But I *LOVE* my shampoo bars!!
Yay! I love my EmpressRi! lol Great interview and Ri I love that pic of you by the pool. Simply gawjus!
Question: EmpressRi, I know you lean towards natural products, but why do you choose to shampoo as opposed to traditional CG cowashing?
Umm..people need to be free to make their own choices. If they want to put monkey sweat on? Cool. Nothing to do with me. I have nothing against some growth aids – if they work for you why not? Some of them have been carefully looked at by other women – for instance megatek to all intents and purposes contains the same ingredients many other products contain. Ii is stated on the bottle that it is safe for human use – heck! thats more than most manufacturers of so-called human proudtcs will allow themselves. Bearing in mind that we use stuff with parabens, ethanolamines various preservatives and colors known only by some alphabet like DDT666! I refuse to pass judgement on what grwon, intelligent women chose to do/live their lives. Even if my heart is in the right place…
**slowly deleting credit card number off the megatek website and backing away from the computer** =P
She is one of the most helpful folks on NC, I’ve interface with…her product reviews are so thorough. And her hair is gorgeous!!!!!
I looove her!!
thanks for this interview 🙂
did i tell you that i loove your blog?