I have been natural about 4.5 years
CN: What is your current regimen?
I put my hair in about 10 braided sections, wash & condition with Trader Joes Sulfate Free NourishSpa, I detangle only on wash day with soaking wet hair saturated with conditioner (NourishSpa or Aussie Moist) or under a cascade of water.
I Deep Condition with LeKair Shea Butter Cholesterol primarily. If my hair is craving something specific I’ll either do my “go to” Mayo/EVOO/Egg or I’ll ask my mom for a natural Haitian Hair recipe and DC with it. If I’m pressed for time I’ll just do Aphogee 2min.
If my hair was airdried in a style like twists or pixie braids where it wouldn’t get messed up by being wet, I’ll spritz with a diluted leave in with IC Fantasia Aloe or Infusium and seal with a natural oil or butter or I’ll simply put shea butter or extra virgin coconut oil in my hair.
I straighten quite often in the New York winters, when I do, I use IC Fantasia Pink Bottle Heat Protectant Serum and Spray I blowdry then flat iron and pin curl my hair every night. I use my GNC organic extra virgin coconut oil whenever my hair feels dry.
I always sleep with a satin scarf and I’m always extra gentle with my hair.
*My long term plan is to replace all my favorite commercial staples with a product from a Black Owned Company that works just as well for my hair*
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I think one of the biggest keys to me retaining length is avoiding anything that would lead to tangling, knotting and unnecessary breakage of my hair. Washing in sections was key in that respect. Whenever I comb or detangle my hair I always try to do it as gently as humanly possible. And I never……EVER allow my hair to dry completely unmanipulated and loose that will lead to endless tangles and a setback, I learned that the heard way, it should always dry being stretched by braids or twists. I also always no matter what, sleep with my satin scarf.
As for moisture my hair actually doesn’t regularly feel dry I have oily skin so the benefit of that is that it usually keeps most of my hair protected and moisturized, the only places that may be craving moisture are my ends. My favorite item to use on my hair lately is extra virgin coconut oil its conditioning, light, and provides beautiful shine.
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
I love the versatility, I can drastically change up my look from a fabulous huge fro, to smooth curls, to silky straight. I always keep ’em guessing and I never fade into the background. I love the fact that not only am I wearing all my own hair, but I’m also wearing my own natural hair texture. I really enjoy it when strangers come up to me in the street and ask me for tips and leave telling me I inspired them and they feel refreshed to see a sista wearing her own natural texture….proudly. I feel liberated from the insecurities of my childhood with my hair. I look at my natural journey as an evolution of the spirit. If I can inspire other sista’s to feel that their hair is not a problem that needs to be resolved, but rather, a gift, then I feel I have made some change for the better.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
Welcome to the world of embracing your natural beauty! The styling possibilities are vast with your new textured hair. When you inevitably run into obstacles with your hair, don’t blame your texture for the problem, but rather ask yourself what it is that you’re doing wrong and what you can learn to rectify it.
Find out what your unique hair type likes and dislikes. I would recommend doing your best to take the majority of your haircare into your own hands. The products that may have worked when you were relaxed might not work now that you’re natural but that’s okay, look to people with textures similar to yours for an idea on what to use. Try not to get caught up in getting each and every product just because it happened to work amazing for the next natural, ask yourself if you’re actually missing a product like that from your regimen, if not, then resist the temptation.
Finally I would say, find sites or environments that you can regularly immerse yourself in that recognize and exalt the beauty of highly textured hair, it will help you along your journey and it will serve as a counterbalance to a larger society that may not be as encouraging. Good luck!
You can find me at my blog http://blackmasterpiece.com/ with video tutorials soon to come!
Thanks for this honor Nikki!
huge fro achieved thru a jumbo flat-twist out
Straw Set done with McDonalds straws
hair straightened with a press a flat iron