CN: How long have you been natural?
M: I’ve been natural most of my life. I only had a relaxer in my tweens-teens. I got my last relaxer when I was about 17 years old, maybe. So I’ve been natural at 14+ years now.
But I don’t think this is the question that many people mean to ask. What they want to know, I think, is when did I start a “healthy hair journey,” as they call it. For many new naturals (which is most naturals), their healthy hair journey coincides with them going natural or even before, with a transition. But just like you can have relaxed hair and not take care of it well, you can have natural hair and not know what you’re doing, either. I started trying to learn how to take care of my hair in 2007.
CN: What is your current hair regimen? Staple styles?
M: My regimen is somewhat variable, and my hairstyles are very varied. Regimen-wise, the only thing I do pretty much without fail is wash weekly. But I guess what I often do is the following:
-Put conditioner or whatever on dry hair (which makes my hair slightly damp) and detangle my hair in at least 10 sections. My hair breaks more when I try to comb it completely soaking wet, and it’s just overall harder because it springs back really tightly.
-As I detangle each section, I twist it up.
-Get in the shower, wash my hair in twists.
-Condition in twists
-Once out, I can either divide each big twist into smaller twists and let air dry. Or I can undo each big twist, blow dry, and retwist for a twist out. I do various styles on the twist out. I can’t really say any one is a staple style, but I guess a twist out is the staple base to almost all my styles. I wear updos and buns a lot.
CN: What are your favorite products?
M: Fav products:
-These days I am using the Tangle Teezer to detangle. I’ve been using it for a month now and find it breaks less hair and does a more thorough job of detangling than anything else I’ve used before. Before that, I would use a wide tooth comb and/or my Goody Add+Shine brush and/or my fingers.
-Favorite shampoo by far is the Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa shampoo
-Favorite deep conditioner is Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Treatment. Runner up is Neutrogena Triple Moisture Hair Mask
-I don’t really have a favorite conditioner. Most of them are okay. I usually use Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa conditioner, though. It is very affordable.
-Favorite leave-in? Eh, I don’t know. I’m not currently wowed by anything. Sometimes I’ll just use oil. The only thing in my hair at this very moment is a little heat protectant from my light blow dry and castor oil. In the summer I like coconut oil if I can keep my hair off my face. I like Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Buttercream. I also like Kimmaytube’s (from YouTube) leave-in of mixing Kinky Curly Knot Today with aloe vera juice. I leave out of that mix the oil usually.
CN:How do you maintain length?
M: I don’t comb my hair often. Just once a week. And I’m pretty gentle, I think. The one time being tender-headed helps.
CN: Night time routine?
M: None, really. Usually I put it in a loose bun. I don’t tie my hair with anything or put any product on it or anything like that. Sometimes I just sleep with it loose.
CN: Any advice or tips for other 4a/b naturals?
M: Be gentle, and keep it simple. 🙂 I don’t have any more tips, but I want to say to try some accessories. They are really fun and a way to add interest to your hair. I like hair accessories more than products.