–How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural since the summer of 2005. However, from then until October 18, 2008, my hair was pressed hard (bone-straight) every 2 weeks, with the exception of having cornrows or twist extensions during the summer months. I never did the “big chop” because when I decided to go natural, I was already wearing a very short, cropped cut.
–What is your regimen?
My new regimen, after being blessed to find the natural hair websites and YouTube videos is: 1) henna’ing once a week (thanks Nik!) with Punjabi Prime (PP) from Mehandi.com. I follow CN’s routine to the letter. I’ve henna’ed four times so far and it delivered everything it said it would, and then some…my hair is FAB!; 2) I co-wash with BioInfusion The Detangling Conditioner (Walgreens) or HE Hello Hydration, 2-3 times a week and DT once a week with Elasta QP PR-11, honey, coconut milk (Walmart), and EVOO; 3) when I henna, I wash one time, with a small amount of BioInfusion Olive Oil conditioning shampoo (Walgreens) and I detangle my wet hair with a wide tooth comb and my Denman brush; 4) I’m hooked on Nik’s Twist N Curl (see her video). I twist my hair using SheaMoisture and Organic Root Stimulator Lock and Twist gel on damp hair, sealing my ends with EVOO. I wear this style for 3 days. After the 1st day, I section my hair; run water in my bathroom sink; submerge my hand in the water; scrunch the water into a section of hair; apply more SM to each section; twist the sections (no combing/brushing); seal ends with EVOO, and roll them (22 twists:12 in back, 10 in front; takes about an hour). I go to sleep on satin pillow case or scarf; unravel twists in morning to find lush, tight, and shiny curls…absolutely gorgeous! After 2nd day, I tie loose satin scarf around curls and sleep on them; in morning I finger-pick my curls for a more full and beautiful look (I love BIG hair!)
-What is the one thing you’d tell a newbie embarking on her journey?
The one thing I would tell a newbie, since I’m a newbie myself (smile), is to research hair care products on both YouTube and the various natural hair websites to determine which ones work best, for most people. Then, buy that product on a trial basis. Of course not every product, works for everybody, but this technique worked for me and saved me tons of money in my quest to find what was right for me. ALL the products I mentioned above were recommended on YouTube and natural haircare websites and my hair loved them all, with the exception of Kinky-Curly curling custard. My hair hated it but my daughter’s hair loved it, there’s always a bright side!
–How do you maintain length?
I maintain length by adhering to what I call the BIG NO’s: little or NO heat (I learned this from my former hairstylist), NO chemicals (including dye; I use henna for coloring), and for me, NO protein. I also maintain length by conditioning often and trimming/dusting split ends every few months or so. When you don’t apply heat and chemicals to the hair, your ends won’t split as easily and therefore, you don’t need to trim/dust as often (I learned this from my former hairstylist).
–What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?!
The best thing about being naturally glamorous is that it’s ME in all my glory!!! I feel like so much of myself when I wear my hair the way God intended. Most of the time, I can’t stop looking at myself in the mirror (smile). And not only do I admire my own natural beauty but I could sit and look at pictures of other Afrocentric women for hours, and believe you me, I have…we are absolutely GORGEOUS! In addition, I’m free to walk in the rain; sweat my hair back, while praising my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and pamper my hair as long as I want, without having to be pushed through an assembly line at the salon. Last but not least, my husband noticed that my decision to go natural has contributed greatly to my mental health…and that kind of benefit is priceless!!!