How long have you been natural?
Hi everyone! My name is Tree. I did the Big Chop in July 2009, so I have been natural for 2 years & 10 months. I’m approaching my 3-year curly-versary! I’ve been without a relaxer for exactly 3 years & 2 months.
What is your current regimen?
In the early days I was in the bathroom all day being a slave to my hair. After many epic fails, trials, errors and insomnia, I discovered less is more and simple is best. This “discovery” didn’t happen overnight and certainly is a rite of passage, because you have to take time to LEARN your hair.
Okay… so once per week I shampoo, condition (detangle using my fingers, then wide tooth comb & a quick run of the tangle teezer), deep condition, moisturize, style, seal and protect. That’s it. I have it down to a science and (depending on the style I choose) I’m done in 1 hour or so and that’s it for the entire week ☺. I will pineapple or re-twist my hair at night and throw on a bonnet. In the morning I use my curl refresher spray, fluff and go. I re-moisturize every few days or as needed. I keep it very simple.
Maybe every 2-3 or 3-4 or 5-6 months I will do a Cassia Treatment with conditioner and a pre-poo treatment w/ oils & honey. Just depends on my mood…#Kanyeshrug ☺
|Fluffy wash and go|
Do you have any favorite hair care products?
Umm yeah!! I’ve tried almost.every.single.product.on.the.market. Seriously, I was a known product junkie. Lots of products left my hair well defined, but too hard or gummy feeling & weighed down. I also struggled with moisture retention. My hair was dry and crackly, you know how you grab a handful of hair and it literally crunches in your hand? That was me. Don’t believe me?? See below….*bows head in shame*.
|Very early after my BC…Yikes!|
|1½ years ago when my hair was DRY, brittle, crispy, dead & NOT
growing. I still thought I was fly…look at how I’m posing.
I know…cray, lol.
My obsession for moisture has now become my passion for healthy hair. I began developing, manufacturing & producing my own products to share with the world. They have changed my life and the health of my hair. My company is Tree Naturals Inc., and they are the only products I use. A little goes a long way and my hair is happy, healthy, growing & thriving. My twist/braid outs & wash and gos are always defined, soft & springy. I have terrible hand in hair syndrome…and my hair always smells sooo yummy!
|(Wash & Go)…. I have major shrinkage ☺…but my definition is SICK!|
How do you maintain length? Moisture?
After I wash my hair, I ALWAYS apply my Rice Flower & Shea Leave-in Conditioner. It adds moisture, definition and smells divine. I swear it’s a growth aide & I absolutely can’t live without it. I use it as often as needed to re-moisturize. Next I apply Natasha’s Growth butter AND seal my ends. That step is crucial. Currently, I have no splits and I’m past BSL (Bra Strap Length) as of today! My hair absolutely adores water, so I spray it daily with my refresher spray. I get Single Strand Knots (SSK’s) from time to time if I keep a style in for too long. This is why I wash & style once per week. Last year I started wearing more protective styles and I can see the difference! I try to only wear my hair out on weekends, so for the most part Natasha (my hair’s alter ego ☺) is twisted/braided up, swept into a side bun or rolled and tucked into an up-do. I know for sure by keeping my hair protected helps me maintain length. I only color, trim & use heat 2-3 times per year.
Lately I’ve been eating lots of romaine lettuce, red onions (rich in sulfur, which can help with hair growth), pecans, almonds, apples, brussel sprouts, black beans, Greek yogurt, Fish, Turkey & Chicken. (I eat junk too, but try to have a good balance☺). I also drink tons of water & try to be as active as I can (still working on that, lol). I’ve learned that true nurturing of our hair starts from within.
|Pinned Twists…peep the moisture!…and my hair is fully dried.|
What has been the worst/most damaging thing you have done to your hair?
Obviously in the beginning of my journey coloring was not the best choice. I was already confused and coloring it did not help. Coupled w/unhealthy practices, my hair broke off terribly; (see hot mess pic above in green shirt, lol). My stylist ended up having to cut about 3 inches or so off. Once I stopped fighting my natural texture and trying to make it conform, I began educating myself and finally felt confident enough to color it again. Now, it’s the healthiest it’s ever been! My stylist agrees! I love color, but realize it may not be for everyone. It’s a must that I deep condition regularly. I use my Bamboo, Fig & Lotus Flower Deep Conditioner with either the steam from my shower or my Huetiful steamer, which I love. Quick Tip: Some of my curly friends apply the leave-in conditioner & then sit under their steamer to lock in more moisture! Then they twist/braid w/ their favorite butter/styler. I’ve tried it and love it! I tend to twist on very damp hair, so I wrap my hair in a t-shirt after my “steam session.” As for my color, I use Clairol Soy Professionals in a 7G & 8G (in case anyone was wondering). I get it from Sally’s.
The best thing about being a naturally glamorous girl?
I prefer to just let life flow naturally and my hair doesn’t hold me back, it too just flows with me. I love the freedom of walking in the rain, the versatility of going from straight to curly, wavy to blown out, braided, twisted, rocking a mean bantu knot out, obnoxiously BIG fro’s, up-do’s, buns, roller-sets…while being professional in the office. My options are endless and I can take my look from day to night in the blink of an eye. All I need is some lip-gloss and bobby pins! ☺ I love all the textures that make up this unique head of hair…every curl, ringlet, kink and wave. I control how defined, sleek, frizzy or big I want my hair. I love being an inspiration to others, especially the newbies who are just starting out. I hope my experiences can guide them on their own respective journeys.
|My first successful roller set|
Take the time to enjoy each stage of your journey. Take pics throughout (even on not so great hair days), so you can see your growth over time. This is your own path; full of discovery, learning, obsession lol, good days, bad days, respect, peace, love & JOY. I was given the side eye by family, co-workers and strangers on several occasions, but I always knew the end result would be worth it. Now those same folks are coming to me for hair advice. Never allow anyone to tell you “It’s Just Hair,”…it’s more than that. It’s a Lifestyle. Build a regimen, keep it simple, stick to it, keep your faith and keep it moving.
Curly Nikki rocks! This is my 2nd interview on this site and everyone is always so respectful and pleasant. I’ve met so many awesome curlies on here that I now call my friends. Thank you Nik for providing a place for us naturals to get together, learn, grow and exchange our stories and ideas. Sometimes it’s hard to find support or get your questions answered and this site does that! I check it daily and refer everyone I know to check it out as well!
I have tutorials of most of the styles in the pics above on my YouTube page if anyone is interested. Nik asked me to send lots of pics, so I hope it’s not too many. ☺ Feel free to keep up with me on my FB page, Twitter, YouTube and check out my website if you’re interested! (Be sure to sign-up to stay informed of specials, events, give-a-ways, natural hair tips & more!)