CN: How long have you been natural?
T: I first started going natural about six years ago. I had a brief return to the relaxer when I decided to go short and straight for a moment (after 15 years of having long hair), but ultimately just decided to keep growing my hair relaxer free. I did the BC about four years ago. I was totally clueless as to how to style my hair back then so that’s when I invented what I like to call BABOH (Big A** Ball Of Hair), also known as the two clips and a headband technique.
It basically goes a little something like this: take one big claw clip (I use the octopus clip) and gather all the hair in the back of your head, and clip. Then take a smaller clip and do the same thing, after gathering all the hair together in the front of your head. Tuck and secure ends with bobby pins. Tie on a headband. And vwwaah-lah! BABOH. I probably wear my hair up like this more often than not to this day!
CN: What is your regimen?
T: I’m mostly a twist out, TnC, bantu knot out kinda girl. I’ve been trying to perfect the wash n go, but my weird random straight texture in the front of my head makes my wash n go look a little janky. Honestly though, I think my descent into product whoredom has prevented me from having a consistent routine because I’m always buyin’ and tryin’ some new product (the first step is admitting you have a problem!). That being said, CN’s recommendation of Samy’s curl creme ain’t nothin but the truth! That and a little coconut oil is a great combo for me. And of course, henna. In a perfect world I deep condition once every week. (In the real world, I randomly remember like once a month to do it).
CN: What’s the one thing you’d tell a newbie to help her on her journey?
T: Patience grasshopper! Natural hair ain’t for punks. Ignore the naysayers who’ve always known you as a straight haired lady, and find yourself some natural friends (online or in the real world) to cheer you through. Wear what you think looks good on you. There are so many different ways to wear natural hair, but if you can’t look in the mirror and love what you see, then you’re defeating the whole point. And I know this might not be a popular opinion, but you’ll be less afraid if you remind yourself that the relaxer is still there should you decide natural hair isn’t for you. It’s OK to use that thought as a crutch for a little while No shame in it! (Even though once you go natural, you won’t wanna go back. Also remember that straight hair is still an option when you’re natural).
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
T: I’ve never really had a problem with length, so let me not even lie and say I do something special. But moisture? A sista could use some help. Still struggling with that. My hair’s always moisturized immediately after styling, but getting it to stay that way through the end of the day or even (dare I dream?!) through second or third day hair? Negatory.
CN: What do you do to your hair at night to preserve your curls?
T: Sometimes a satin pillow, sometimes a bonnet, sometimes I just say eff it and pass out and figure it out in the morning.
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
T: With the exception of when I have a blowout, not having to worry about the rain is rather nice. Love the versatility. And even though I live in Brooklyn, where natural hair is everywhere — Karen’s Body Beautiful is five blocks away from me, Carol’s Daughter is two blocks away — wearing my hair natural is a great way (amongst others) to express my individuality.
CN: Anything else you want to add?
T: One thousand thank yous to CurlyNikki for her generosity and hard work! I’ve been following since the naturallycurly.com days all the way through the curlynikki.com days and she has been so helpful on the journey!
Got follow-up questions for the lovely Traci? Hell, so do I! Head on over to the forum and chat with her there!