CN: How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for almost 8 months. I did my BC on August 24, 2010, about 13.5 months after my last relaxer in July 2008.
CN: What is your current regimen?
I can’t say that I really have a regimen, although I am trying to construct one. Essentially, I cowash my hair when I feel that it needs it. Sometimes it is several times a week if I wear wash-n-go’s; other times it is less. Generally, I shampoo wash every 2 weeks. I don’t DC nearly as often as I should, but this is something I am going to start doing. I really love deep conditioning treatments though. My favorite is probably: conditioner, olive oil, honey, and maybe also coconut milk. My hair LOVES honey.
In terms of styles: I try to do twists, which I will wear for a couple of days before wearing my hair in a twistout or some other style. When I get lazy I do a lot of wash-n-go’s, but I always quickly realize that it’s better to do twists because I end up with single-strand knots.
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I am not sure how good I am at maintaining length! Haha. I have been natural for less than 8 months, and during that time I have trimmed 1.5-2 inches. The initial trim was not my idea, so I don’t think it was really necessary. My strands at 21 months post are 9 inches long. I intend to maintain length by doing more stretched styles like twists and moisturizing with thick products. I love the Qhemet Biologics line but I am looking into trying new products that will fit into my college budget.
I maintain moisture mostly by doing twists. For example, when I twist my hair I often only use Giovanni Direct Leave-in + Qhemet Biologics Olive and Honey Hydrating Balm. Those two products alone leave me with super-moisturized hair. I want to try more oil based products for the remainder of the year, as my hair seems to like those a lot.
CN: How do you protect your curls at night?
If my hair is in twists, then I pin them up and tie them up with a satin scarf. I occasionally sleep with my hair out, which is very bad.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
I would tell her to hang in there! There are months that are worst than others, but with all the resources out there (hair websites, fotki albums, YouTube, hair tools), black women are becoming more and more innovative with hairstyles… especially natural hairstyles. There are definitely ways to manage every kind of curl and kink out there. The transitioning process is tough, but there are ways to make it easier. It is important to keep the hair moisturized, and detangled! The worst problems with the demarcation line when transitioning are a result of no detangling. A transitioning diva must provide the moisture and detangling necessary to help the two textures coexist with one another.
For a newly natural diva, use YouTube as a resource! I have become so knowledgeable with YT. Friends that have been natural much longer than I have will ask questions about how I style my hair, and I tell them that YT has helped me. I find product reviews there, tutorials for basic maintenance as well as fancier styles, and just general feedback caring for natural hair. It’s been great!
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
I absolutely love natural hair! I love the look of big fluffy hair and I think it adds a certain flair to a woman who is able to wear her hair out proudly and fashionably. My favorite thing about natural hair would have to be the body it has. I am a sucker for voluminous hair. Even when I was relaxed, the times when I loved the look of my hair the most were when it looked thick/heavy. With natural hair, that is a constant for me. Even when I have straightened it, I love that it looks heavy, but it still very bouncy and fluffy. That’s a look I had a hard time achieving when I was relaxed.
CN: Anything else you’d like to add?
I am very thankful for the opportunity to be featured on CurlyNikki! Websites like these are so valuable. I am so pleased to see so many young black women explore alternative ways to style and take care of their hair AND to communicate and learn from women who have taken the journey before them. The natural transition really is a movement out there, and it’s beautiful to see all the solidarity behind it. Thank you.