CN: How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer (I think) was around Dec 2005/Jan 2006. I was never that big on getting them done on time, I ALWAYS tried to stretch it out as long as possible because I was scared of overlapping my old relaxed hair, and afraid that my hair may fall out,lol. So, I was about 3 months into transition before I actually decided to go natural. But I had still been using heat straightening methods until then. So, about March/April 2006 I made a conscious decision to transition.
CN: What is your current regimen?
My (deep conditioning) routine is as follows:
To shampoo, I use liquid castile soap (Trader Joes ~ $2), and once in a while if I feel any buildup, I’ll add a small bit (like 1tsp-1tblspn) of baking soda to the castile to help remove it.
To condition, I use mayo (either store bought, or homemade), or other egg/oil based mixture (homemade) and allow to sit with a shower cap for anywhere from 15 min -2 hours, depending on how much time I have/how lazy I’m being, lol. I then rinse, using lukewarm water (careful not to scramble the egg in my hair). I then do a acv rinse using 1/4cup acv to 3 3/4cup softened/distilled water. I do this once or twice/week in the winter, 2-3x’s /mnth in summer. In summer I mostly co-wash using only a conditioner w/no cones/sulfates/parabens, and just detangle in the shower (with/conditioner in hair), rinse and go. When/if I feel buildup, I refer back to the shampoo routine above.
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
For moisturizing in between /immediately after washes, I use a homemade leave-in and homemade shealoe for twisting/braiding, in the winter (heavier moisture). In the summer I use a homemade curly pudding for wash and go hair (lighter moisture).
I’m discovering that as my hair gets longer, wash and gos aren’t what they used to be. I find myself wearing more stretched styles now (twists/braids/twistouts/braidouts,etc). They last longer, and it just makes it easier to maintain when it comes time to wash/style/detangle. Wash and gos only look good that day for me, then I have a matted mess in the morning, that’s a horror to deal with…
CN: How do you protect your curls a night?
I wear a satin bonnet, sometimes a satin scarf/du-rag if I have twists/braids that I don’t want to frizz at the top (with the bonnet over it so the ends are still protected). I also have many satin pillow cases that I change almost daily (for skin reasons)
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
Research & keep trying! Don’t get too frustrated w/your first attempts at new styles, they may take a while to get down, but the results are sooo worth it. There is so much more out there about going (and staying) natural than there was even when I first started my journey. Take advantage of it. Youtube, fotki, nappturality, blogs (like curlynikki!) galore! There is just so much out there for newbies now, so much support and love!
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
The absolute freedom. I NEVER did my own hair before becoming natural. Being my own stylist is so freeing and uplifting (to my mind and bank account, lol!) I’ve never had so many style options! It’s truly a blessing.