-How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 9 years. I grew my hair out starting the summer before my senior year in high school until I chopped off the relaxed ends in June 2000. I am currently re-growing out my hair from another chop I did in April of 2007 due to heat damage. (Lesson learned!!!)
-What is your regimen?
I wash my hair weekly using a mild shampoo like Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint. I try to avoid anything with harsh detergents that irritate and dry out my scalp. I condition with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner. If I wear a wash and go during the week I will do a conditioner wash with the HE conditioner. I try to deep condition as often as possible under a hooded dryer. (This is the only heat I use, I never flat iron or blow dry.) I am always trying new deep conditioners and so far am not 100% sold on any one thing. I like most cholesterol conditioners for deep conditioning but I will use whatever I have on hand. I usually do two-strand twists that I let air dry. I twist with Fantasia IC hair polisher gel and raw Shea butter. I don’t use grease but sometimes I will use a light oil on my scalp. I wear twist-outs, puffs, a big fro, and low buns. I get bored easily so I am always looking for a new style.
Gosh, just be patient with your hair as you get to know it. Don’t compare textures or lengths with anyone else because this can be discouraging. Realize that most people wish they had the courage to go natural and so you are an inspiration to other women. Detangle with care! I struggle with this one sometimes – Don’t allow the uniqueness of natural hair keep your from wearing your hair big! It can be a little overwhelming as you gain length since our hair grows up and out, not down and people will look! Smile and be proud ’cause natural hair is the best!
-How do you maintain length?
I rarely trim unless I see those tiny knots at the end. I think the key to maintaining length is to minimize breakage. Detangling with care can be a pain but is sooooo worth it in the end. I only detangle with loads of conditioner in my hair and then I twist the detangled section as I work through my whole head. When I first went natural, I tore through my hair with nothing on it and I used heat a lot to straighten. Unfortunately I lost a lot due to breakage and I permanently straightened the front of my hair. I chopped again in April of 2007 and I will NOT use heat like that again! This has helped me almost reach the length I had before in a little more than a year and a half.
When I wear my hair in a twist-out, I re-twist my hair in large sections then wear my satin cap. If my hair feels dry I might twist with a moisturizing cream. If I had a puff I just cover the puff with the cap. Cover cover cover!
-What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?!
Oh my goodness, everything! Just having the freedom to live without worry of the elements, fear of being burned chemically or by the dreaded hot comb! I love having a unique look that I can do myself. Lastly, feeling connected to my natural self and appreciating and feeling confident in my beauty in the form God gave it to me.