CN: How long have you been natural?
100% natural, I’d say since 2007. I decided to begin going natural in 2004 after a beautician suggested I stopped perming, or get mild relaxers because of my soft hair texture. I began stretching my relaxers and getting mild relaxers every 3 to 6 months. At the time, I knew nothing about the natural hair world! I continued using the same, not good for my hair products!
By the end of 2006, I decided to stop getting mild relaxers. I had learned to maintain my “new” texture better. Throughout my transition I wore my hair straightened and cut a inch or so off every other month.
In 2008, I learned of websites about natural hair from my natural haired friends. This is when I learned about the whole “natural hair” world. I began trying different products, also known as becoming a product junkie. I began wearing my hair curly and trying out new styles! By the end of last year I decided to mainly use organic products and minimal heat on my hair. In February, I decided to stop dying and cutting it (other than trims), a hard decision because I love doing both! I wanted to see how much stronger my hair would be and grow, so far I am very pleased with the results.
CN: What is your current regimen?
I have a straight hair and curly hair regimen!
For curly hair I wash with sulfate free shampoo (or baking soda), condition with Giovanni conditioner or Trader Joes conditioner (every other week I deep condition with Pantene mask), and use a shea butter moisturizer that I make myself. Then style. If I am wearing a wash and go I skip the moisturizer and half way rinse my conditioner out, leaving a decent amount on my hair to control friz! The shea butter moisturizer consist of: Aloe Vera Gel, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba oil and Glycerin.
For straight hair, I wash & condition the same as above, I use Giovanni’s Frizz Be Gone, Coconut & Safflower oil on my hair while blow drying. Flat iron on low to medium setting.
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
To maintain length, I limit the amount of heat I put on my hair. I only comb and detangle my hair when it’s wet with conditioner (especially when wearing it curly). I also give my hair a break, by wearing braids or sew-ins for a month or so every so often.
To maintain moisture, I do not use sulfates on my hair. I use hydrating oils and products. Again, I limit heat on my hair. Also I stopped coloring.
CN: How do you protect your curls a night?
I wrap or tie it up EVERY night! Before tying it up I check my hair, especially the ends, to see if they need to be moisturized. If they do, I use my shea butter moisturizer or safflower oil.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
Be patient! Do not be afraid of trail and error with products and styles. Not every product and process will work for your hair! But you won’t know if it’ll work until you try it!
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
Versatility! I love all the style options I have! My hair is another way for me to express myself!
CN: Anything else you want to add?
Going natural was the best decision I ever made. As a result I have made better decisions about what I put on/in my hair and body!