CN: How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since January 2008. I didn’t realize that I had curly hair because I had been getting relaxers since I was about 5 or 6 years old. With three other sisters (pictured), my mother had her hands full and had no choice but to tame our manes. Finally, I missed my 10-week routinely scheduled “perm”; Caught up with my new job and my disdain for going to the salon, 3 months had already passed before I noticed a coil sprouting from the nape of my neck.
CN: What is your current regimen?
I co-wash my hair 2-3 times per week. While in the shower, I essentially partition my hair in four sections to allow the conditioner the maximum access to my strands. My conditioner of choice, Herbal Essences Totally Twisted (purple bottle) or Hello Hydration (blue bottle) Conditioner. I apply a generous amount to each section from root to tip. I allow the conditioner to sit for approximately 3 minutes, then I’ll run water over my hair, enough for the conditioner to penetrate throughout and leaving about 70% of the conditioner in my hair. If it’s during the (warm) day, I’ll pat dry with the towel and let my curls free to air dry (picture in the garden, white dress, sunglasses). If I wash at night, I’ll double-strand twist my hair and sleep with a bonnet.
I wash my hair with Pantene Pro-V Shampoo (brown bottle) approximately once a month and will follow up with conditioning routine as I mentioned above.
Products in my cabinet:
Herbal Essences Totally Twisted/Hello Hydration Conditioner (Wal-Mart)
Pantene Pro-V Shampoo (Wal-Mart)
Cantu Shea Butter (Wal-Mart)
Coconut Oil (Grocery Store)
CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?
I’m guilty of running from the salon; when I do get there (once every 3-6 months), I’ll get a professional trim. Otherwise, I’ll take a pair of shears and look for split ends myself. I do try to maintain a protective style at night to prevent breakage, I travel with my satin bonnet and/or scarf wherever I go and I apply cantu shea butter the 2nd-3rd day after washing my hair, double-strand twist at night, then fluff in the morning.
CN: Night time routine?
For the most part, I will wrap a scarf around my hair at night for a bit of protection and for a different dynamic to my curls, I’ll apply Cantu Shea butter to my hair, double-strand twist, bonnet, then unleash in the morning (as noted above). Sometimes, upon releasing my curls from the twists, I’ll allow moisture from the shower to mist my hair, to revive the fullness.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
This may be the best thing you’ll ever do. Be confident, smile, and walk proudly with your new look. Be mindful, not everyone’s hair works the same way. Find out what works best for you by experimenting here and there (particularly when you don’t have to go to work the next day). Look forward to rainy days in the forecast where you don’t have to worry about your mane, but instead your new shoes ;0)
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
The best thing about being naturally glamorous is the versatility, individuality, and fierceness of it all. When traveling, your luggage is a lot lighter; no blow dryers, flat irons, or brushes. Just buy a bottle of conditioner at your destination, and viola…you have everything you need.
CN: Anything else you want to add?
I transitioned for about a year and a half before chopping off my hair. One day after training in my beloved art, capoeira, I washed my hair around 2am and noticed the disastrous look of virgin hair with relaxed tips. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I picked up the scissors and chopped off my relaxer, not knowing what I would look like the very next day when going to work…there was NO turning back. Because of the spontaneity, I had to ask a coworker to trim off the rest of my straight ends when I got to work in the morning. 😡
At first, I didn’t see my hair as a big deal, then I quickly realized that it was to other people. Strangely, it seemed to be the most unusually fabulous thing people ever saw. I love that I brought a splash of color and a pinch of flavor to my straight limp hair. Embracing my curls, defying the “norm”, and even being embarrassingly recognizable when I walk in late for a meeting or returning something to the store, has been the best thing that I’ve done.