Hi everybody! My name is Shari and I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I am a web/Flash developer by day and I also occasionally do freelance design work and I run an online t-shirt shop called Bon Bon Vie.

CN: How long have you been natural?
S: I’m a little fuzzy about when I actually first went natural because I never did a big chop, I only transitioned. I remember having a relaxer and being tired of the scalp burns and dry scalp that resulted. After about 6-8 months, I realized I had 2 textures of hair on my head and I had to make a decision! So, long story short, I went natural around late 2008.

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
S: I was definitely a long term transitioner. I just let my hair grow and I did a lot of twist outs, bantu knots and buns in the meantime. I got a few inches trimmed from my hair every few months until it was all natural.

CN: What is your current regimen?

S: My regimen is super simple. I used to be a major product junkie, but I realized that with my hair, less is more. My scalp produces a lot of oils on its own, so too many products for me = weighed down, flat hair.

I wash my hair with Trader Joe’s Refresh shampoo when needed, maybe about once a week. I previously tried co-washing, but it does not work very well for removing product buildup. I then take a medium to small section of my hair and use whatever flavor of Suave conditioner I’m feeling that week, and slowly detangle from bottom to top with a paddle brush. My hair is thick and coarse and it just drinks up conditioner by the gallon. Suave has a good consistency and it’s cheap, so it’s my go-to detangling conditioner.

I really only have about 3 hairstyles…twists/twist-outs, wash & go’s and buns.

For my twist outs, I get the best results when I use minimal product. I leave in a bit of my conditioner or use a leave-in such as Kinky-Curly’s Knot Today. I then section my hair off, sometimes with a comb, sometimes with my fingers. I usually end up doing about 15-18 2-strand twists. I let them air dry for about 4-5 hours. If I have to go out, I throw a hat on or if I’m really in a rush, I’ll sit under a hooded dryer. I untwist when they are still a tiny bit damp so I can keep some volume. And voila, that’s it!

My wash & go is pretty simple too…I wash, detangle, leave in a bit of conditioner or Knot Today and then I also put a medium dollop of Kinky-Curly Curling Custard in my palms and distribute it evenly through my hair.

And for buns & up-do’s, I distribute some Oyin Whipped Pudding or Burnt Sugar Pomade and throughout my hair and gently brush with a soft bristle brush, if needed.

CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?

S: The best way to maintain length is to heat style sparingly or not at all. Too much manipulation is also the kiss of death. I used to be very harsh with the way I brushed my hair and I noticed I was getting breakage in the front. I used to do bantu knot-outs pretty frequently and it was putting a lot of stress on my edges. Remember to be gentle with your hair and keep styling to a minimum. Avoid styles that pull and tug and put a lot of stress on your hair. Find styles that you only have to redo every few days or so. For moisture, I try to deep condition twice a month.

CN: Night time routine?
S: At night, I wrap my hair in a silk scarf…I just make a triangle and put it over my head and tie it at the back of my neck. I also occasionally do a high pineapple with a loose scrunchy. I also have satin pillowcases should my scarf fall off during the night.This usually does the trick for me.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
S: I would tell all the budding new naturals to stick with it. It can be really difficult to learn how to care for your new head of hair, but it’s so worth it in the long run. You will probably wonder why you didn’t do it sooner, I know I did!

CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
S: Being natural is awesome. No more worrying about getting caught in the rain or if I will sweat my hair out while exercising. I feel so much more carefree and natural hair offers me so much versatility.

CN: Anything else you want to add?
S: Everyone’s hair is different, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you! But no matter what type of hair you have, just know that it’s beautiful 🙂