CN: How long have you been natural?

All my life. I look at it as being fortunate to have a mother who was also natural all her life and she kept the tradition going. She didn’t do a lot of extravagant styles but she kept me and my sister neat. I plan to do the same thing when I have children. My husband has locs so whether we have a boy or a girl, they will have some hair, lol. However, we will also allow them to change their hair if they want (when they are old enough). We don’t want to force our choices on them.

My husband actually had a huge impact on my hair journey. When we met, my hair was straight and a few months after dating he was around one day when I washed my hair and he saw my texture. He suggested I wear it like that more often. That was in December 2004 and I haven’t turned back since.

CN: What is your current regimen?

I co-wash weekly (mid-week) and also pre-poo with oil, shampoo, and deep condition at the end of every week. I try to never miss a week because this routine has yielded my best hair. After each wash session, I use a leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil or butter. I use coconut oil more than anything. I keep my regimen simple because I learned the hard way that complicated regimens and a lot of treatments just do not work well for me. I do henna twice yearly and I do protein treatments monthly because I do have some color in my hair.

CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?

I baby my ends. I don’t apply shampoo to my ends, but I apply my conditioners and oils to my ends first and then move up my length. I actually love protective styles, especially up ‘dos. I created tutorials of some of my favorite updos and put them on Youtube. I usually wear my hair out for events and on weekends. After a day, I am ready to put it back up.

As for moisture, I try to incorporate it in every step of my regimen. Before applying shampoo I make sure my hair is soaking wet, I use moisturizing conditioners, and if my hair feels dry I moisturize with “the juice” – yes, I use what many know as Jherri Curl juice. I prefer the S-Curl brand because it leaves my hair super soft and moisturized without the greasy feeling.

CN: How do you protect your curls a night?

Satin bonnets, scarfs, and pillowcases have been a lifesaver. I use them all so that on those nights when I am exhausted and I just pass out, I am at least still on the satin pillowcase. I even got one for my husband and now his locs are retaining length like crazy.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?

Listen to your hair. Don’t let someone tell you what you HAVE to do, it’s your hair and no one knows it the way you do. Trial and error will be your best friend for awhile and what works for one person may not work for you, even if you do have the same “hair type”. Have patience and love the hair you have. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because at one time most of us where clueless and had to ask others for help.

CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?

No longer feeling like an invisible mannequin. For years I wore a press-n-curl and I just felt like I blended in every where I went. Now, I see the stares when I walk in the room and no matter what they are thinking (good or bad) I finally feel like ME! My husband has even told me that I seem happier with my hair is in its natural state.

CN: Anything else you want to add?

I truly believe the natural journey is as hard as you make it. Before I discovered natural hair blogs/vlogs, I was taking care of my hair without a headache (although not retaining length). Once I discovered them, I started hopping on bandwagons and spending more time than ever doing my hair and I saw no results. I dropped all those “do that and do this” tips, made my regimen simple and my hair is now longer than ever before. I have actually cut it twice since starting on my journey (it would probably be WL now if I hadn’t) and it grows and retains length after every cut. Curlynikki has great info on her site and was actually the one that motivated me dump the bandwagons. Thanks Nikki for being such an inspiration!

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Twitter: @herbesthair