…and we’re back On the Couch with Shake!

How long have you been natural?
I had a GORGEOUS head of long, thick, fluffy, natural hair that I didn’t value much past 5th grade. I begged for a relaxer for a while so my hair could “swing” instead of “float.” I’ve been natural most of my life. I had a short spell with relaxed hair in high school and hated it! My hair was breaking off like crazy, and I was super bored. I decided some time during 11th grade to stop with the relaxers and just let it grow out. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t known as “transitioning” then lol. I just knew I wanted my “real” hair back. Around this time of year (Oct/Nov) during my Sophomore yr of college, I cut my hair in an uber cute, uber short bob. By default all of the relaxed hair was cut off, which was probably about waist length. I’ve just been letting her do what she do since then 😉

What is your current regimen?

Yikes. The question of questions. Lol. Tough one because I don’t think about it much these days. This will be fun seeing it written out!

I’ve been keeping it simple for a while now which is working wonders. I wash about every 7-10 days. Maybe sooner maybe later. Just whenever it feels dirty or “producty.” If using shampoo, I’m liking this plant stem cell shampoo by Eclos that my mom introduced me to this past summer. I use the one for moisture, and I concentrate on my scalp and hope that whatever runs down my strands will be enough to remove all product build up and dirt. Whenever I use shampoo I deep condition for about 30 min to an hour or whenever I feel like getting back in to rinse. For past month or two I’ve been just adding honey and olive oil to Aussie Moist for deep conditioning. I slather it on in sections, twist each section (I almost always have 6 sections) and then put on a plastic cap, winter beanie, and then a large head wrap. All for warmth. When I rinse I add more condish, finger detangle (which occasionally takes forever but is saving my hair), and then use a wide tooth comb and braid each section. Then I just rinse the braids fairly well and squeeze excess water.

Oil always goes on first! What follows after that depends on the style. But basically it’ll usually involve any combo of the following: SheaMoisture Smoothie or Milk, Organics Carrot Oil Crème, Eco Styler gel mixed with oil, sometimes Olive Oil foaming wrap lotion.

How to you maintain length? Moisture?
Length: I’m back at waist length when straightened! 🙂 Finger detangling before grabbing the shower comb is magical. I love a style that doesn’t require much to upkeep like braid outs. Sleep and go styles, if you will. About once a month I get the urge to wash and go and then after a few days I’m so over it and back to my braid out. Braid out is my boo! Tried and true. But with that said, everyone around me says I change my hair A LOT. Like, my classmates are amazed at how many styles I’ll have in a week, so I’m not sure who’s correct lol.

Moisture: the first thing I put on my hair after washing and conditioning is a natural oil like olive, coconut, almond, or jojoba and this has saved the moisture levels of my hair TREMENDOUSLY. I was struggling this summer to keep it moisturized and going back to using oil first was key. I think of it just like the cardinal rule of nail polishing: base coat, top coat! Then, for basic stying, I use a moisturizer (lately it’s been SheaMoisture Curl Smoothie/Milk, Carrot oil crème, or conditioner) and then a bit of oil on top of that, especially on the ends. I love the SheaMoisture baby oil Nikki mentioned a few times. It smells divine! I replenish almost daily. With winter coming I will probably go back to shea butter as a top coat though.

Also, every once in a while when it’s starting to get dry, or I just don’t want to do any major styling for a while I braid it up or twist it up for moisture retention and protection.

What has been the worst/most damaging thing you have done to your hair?
Besides relaxing, definitely coloring. And then sun exposure after coloring. Ugh. Henna was Captain Save ‘Em in repairing and reversing the damage though!

The best thing about being a naturally glamorous girl?
Feeling wholly BE-YOU-TIFUL being exactly the way I’m made. Seeing beauty in the true me is the best part in all of this. Inspiring others to do the same is a spectacular bonus! I love watching all you beautiful birds fly!

Anything else?
I encourage all naturals to always keep in mind the value of their natural hair journey. EVERY part of it. There is much to be learned about self. There’s pure joy and beauty in loving yourself just as you are. Many times, unbeknownst to us we rediscover ourselves in a whole new way after going natural. Discover your own Authenticity! Remember that there are billions of different types of beautiful in the world and all are of value. Whenever you need to hear it, look in the mirror and say it to your damn self!

I’m toying with the idea of starting a hair blog just for tutorials. I’m not a huge product-trying person anymore. But my upcoming completion of grad school has postponed even the thought of taking that on! Also, I love to link up with other naturals!

I’m on Fotki: http://public.fotki.com/shake-shake/ and
Twitter: @Zulu_NewNew

Be YOUR OWN beauty ladies! Peace, Gods!