CN: How long have you been natural?
I have been natural twice. The first time by default in high school (senior) through my junior year in college. I didn’t know then how to manage my natural hair, so I became a weave queen!! I permed shortly after then. It wasn’t until I started working for a salon called Natural TrendSetterz that I feel in love with my hair all over again! I gave up the perm in October of 2008 and BC’d February of 2009 and never looked back. So far I have been natural for year and half now!!!
CN: What is your current hair regimen?
In the beginning I was a PJM (product junkie maniac), I soon found out that my hair didn’t really need certain ingredients. My weekly regimen consists of:
I shampoo my hair (using SheaMoisture or Curls). Before shampooing I typically use tea tree oil with deionized water and spray it all over my hair for a prepoo. Next I use my Giovanni Conditioner to saturate and detangle, then shampoo. For my hair now, I prefer sulfate free shampoos and shampoos that are creamy like conditioners.
I use three types of leave in conditioners (depending on the weather and hairstyle).
I mix aloe vera juice, grape seed oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, deionized water, coconut oil, and any leave in conditioner of my choice, into a 12oz spray bottle.
Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In
SheaMoisture Leave In Conditioner
Sealants for my ends:
I am a big fan of my coconut oil, castor oil, and honey mixture. I find that my ends are healthier and less vulnerable to breakage.
I typically alternate every week. I use mostly homemade deep conditioning treatments:
Raw sheabutter (melted)
Avocado Oil and 1/2 Avocado
Aubrey Rosesuckle Conditioner and/or Oyin HoneyHemp Conditioner (this homemade I use a lot during the winter months)
My hair loves protein so a lot of the regular conditioners I use on alternating weeks are protein based:
Or SheaMoisture Deep Conditoner Hair Mask (with egg/mayo)
I do overnight deep conditioning or if I am lazy, I typically sit under my hooded dryer or steam for 20 to 30 minutes.
CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?
AGUA, L’EAU, WASSER, my glorious friend WATER!!! For that last seven months I have been in H2O heaven. I mainly mix everything I use with water. I drink at least 84oz of water every day. Since it’s summer I have been wearing a lot of wash n gos’; every morning I lightly dampen my hair with deionized water before leaving the house. I think I am more focused on the health of my hair rather then how long it gets…which actually results in longer hair. I believe that protection of your ends and preventing the weakening of your hair shaft is essential. I try low manipulation styling techniques and styles that wear longer then a week (but are still able to be washed and conditioned at the same time). When washing (prefer in the shower) I usually go through my hair (when in pre-poo stage), finger comb through and section off. I only detangle when my hair is saturated with conditioner. I usually use a denman brush (I took out some of the teeth to help with snagging), and brush through while my hair is under the luke warm running water. My only problem is my HUSBAND; he loves playing in my hair more then I do ( isn’t that cute).
CN: How do you protect your curls at night?
At night, depending on the style, I wear my satin bonnet ( I’ve sewn in an extra layer of micro fiber satin cloth around the elastic band to help with my edges). If I’m rocking a wash and go, I really don’t sleep with anything on my head.
CN:What would you tell a new natural or transitioning diva?
Never judge yourself by the texture of your hair or someone else as a matter of fact. Some naturals or transitioners that I have come across would tell me, “my hair is not like yours”, “you have that good grade hair so you can be natural”, “I don’t have the patience to do my hair”, or my favorite, “if I was mixed then it would be a another story”. I say natural hair is like those go to pair of heels you have in your closet- – once you put them on, you feel like a new woman. Have confidence and walk with your head held high. Society will only embrace you the way you identify yourself. If you are not confident then that will present itself to others. If you’re not one to rock a TWA then transition a little longer until you are comfortable with a certain length. But remember to research while you’re transitioning. God has blessed you with this head of hair for a reason and it is yours alone to know what gifts are still in the unseen.
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
This might sound very shallow, but I feel like the sexiest woman on this planet since I went natural. It’s the allure that it gives me! I am able to be free to wear what ever hairstyle I want, either long or short. I mean even on some bad hair days I can throw it in a pin updo and people would think I spent hours on my head. The best thing about being natural is having the opportunity to get to know ME better and reinvent myself as I desire.
CN: Anything else?
Thanks Nikki, I have been a huge fan of you and other natural divas on the net. I am starting my own company called “Naturals For Hire” that’s my project baby and the gift I would like to give back to the natural community and others wanting to join as well.