CN: How long have you been natural?
M: I’ve been natural for about a year.
CN: What is your current regimen?
M: It’s pretty simple. I wash with Tiens Aloevera and herbal soap (got it from Nigeria) and condition with a really cheap conditioner like Suave naturals or Alberto Balsam once a week or every other week if I have my hair in twists. I deep condition every other week. I moisturize with CURLS quenched curls moisturizer and then I stretch my hair out in big twists or cornrows. Once my hair is dry and stretched, I either rock a ‘fro or put my hair in small or medium twists. Depending on how I want to style my hair, I use any of a variety of products. What I use most often however is a mixture of shea butter, coconut oil and aloe vera.
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
M: I usually have my hair in protective styles like twists and I trim my ends whenever they feel icky. For moisture I use the shea butter mixture I described above. It moisturizes and seals my hair at the same time. I use it on my ends every other day if my hair is in twists. If it’s out, I spray my hair with a mixture of the above, diluted in water, with a little conditioner added in. It really helps get rid of that dry, brillo pad feel. I wear my twists for a week and a half and then rock a twist out fro for a day or two before repeating the process. I also drink lots of water and I take (regular) vitamins when I remember.
CN: How do you protect your curls a night?
M: I tie my hair up in a satin scarf if I have twists, but I let them hang out of the scarf so that they aren’t all crumpled up in the morning. If I have a fro, I sleep with my hair out but on a satin pillowcase and just fluff in the morning.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
M: You have to be mentally as well as emotionally prepared for the changes that it can bring to every aspect of your life. Don’t feel pressured to be natural if you don’t want to be, it has to be your decision. Being natural might close some windows for you but it will open new doors. Don’t expect it to be easy, there will be bad days but being natural is a journey and a process. You won’t get there overnight, you won’t suddenly wake up and have a huge healthy fro. It takes time and dedication like everything worth having in life.
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
M: I’m like a goldfish in a bowl sometimes (not such a good thing) I get stared at and asked on dates when I have my hair out. Lol. But honestly, the best thing about being natural is being able to nudge other people in that direction too. Other women see me and start to question their own hair choices, they ask me questions and I’ve actually managed to convert a good few. The others that don’t convert at least start to think in that direction and maybe understand that they have options. They see that natural hair can be beautiful and that relaxing is not the only option they have. I also love the fact that I can do my hair myself and I don’t have to get anyone else to do it for me.
CN: Anything else you want to add?
M: I love coming to this site and reading the stories of women that you’ve inspired to embrace their natural hair. It’s like you’re bringing so much more real beauty into the world.
Pic 2 is a twist out that got messed up when I covered it with a scarf. To salvage it, I pinned up the sides and made a hump in front, then I pinned a flower on the side (not shown)
Pic 3 is my staple style, the twists
Pic 4 is the fro (it’s actually a bit bigger now)
Pic 5 is chunky twists that I pinned up at the back
Thank you so much for this Nikki. I hope it inspires some 4b naturals to play with their hair!