Meet Raven (aka Ray)… a rising senior majoring in Biology and current Charleston, SC resident.  She plans to get her masters in Physical Therapy upon graduation.  She loves all things music and natural hair.

How long have you
been natural?
The infamous question! On August 3, 2012 I
will be 2 years natural!  I did not transition, I have very little patience, so
I knew that wasn’t going to be a good option for me. I actually did a Big Chop
interview on CurlyNikki 2 years ago too!
What is your current regimen?
My hair regimen has been the same for about a year.  I believe
it has helped me a lot with retaining length. Ninety-five percent of the time I wear my hair in
braids/ braid-outs. I normally wear chunky braid-outs because it takes less
time at night to do. Braid-outs are seen as a low-manipulation style because once
you loose the braids, that’s it! Tension and a lot of manipulation is avoided.  I
do protective styles by wearing accessories such as turbans, fedoras, and
beanies to cover my chunky braids underneath a satin bonnet. 
As far as wash day, I wash my hair once a week (usually on Saturday
or Sunday). My wash day is starting to become less time consuming now that I
have it down! I simply detangle on dry hair with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and Aussie Moist
conditioner, shampoo with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose and deep condition with
Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose conditioner/EVOO/and Greek yogurt or coconut milk.  Next, I rinse with cold water followed by an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse.  Finally, I moisturize
and seal my hair, stretch it with curlformers (I love those things), sit under
the dryer for about 30 mins, braid hair in 8 big chunky braids, and DONE!! Lol, okay,
so it doesn’t sound that simple, but it’s like routine now so it doesn’t take as
long! 
At night, I re-braid my hair in the same big 8 chunky twists using
water/Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner as a leave in/ Qhemets Amla and Olive Heavy Cream/
and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (4 on each side), slap on a bonnet then lay my head down for slumber!

Do you have any
favorite hair care products?
YES! My love for Qhemet’s Amla and Olive Heavy Cream and Aubrey Organic’s
HSR is real! Lol! I’ve been using it since I BC’ed! I use
Aubrey organics as a leave in, conditioner, and a deep conditioner! I
LOVE IT! It’s
very thick and my hair loves anything thick. Qhemet’s AOHC is also a very
thick
product packed with all natural ingredients that my hair absolutely
adores. I use
this to re-braid my hair at night and seal my ends. I’m not a product
junkie at all and have stuck with these two products for a long time!
How do you maintain
length? Moisture?
Like I stated above, I believe low manipulation styling has
helped me retain length. I’m not really a fan of protective styling, but when I do
protective styles I usually wear turbans and hats and keep my hair in braids.
Turbans have become a summer love for me! Since it’s sooo hot and having this
hair on my neck is a no ma’am!  To maintain moisture I pack my hair with
PRODUCT!  As you may notice above, when I re-braid at night, I use Aubrey
organics conditioner, Qhemets AOHC, AND EVOO!  3 very heavy products but my hair love thick
products. It seems to behave better when I have a lot of product in it. My hair
is very thick so it soaks it all up! But because I do use a lot of heavy
products I make sure to shampoo once a week.
Also
to retain length I keep my hair stretched! I use my curlformers during
each wash to stretch my hair, and braided it each night to keep it from
shrinking. Stretch hair means less tangles, less SSK, less split ends
and less work for me when it comes to washing my hair at the end of the
week.

What has been the
worst/most damaging thing you have done to your hair?
Okay, I’m going to admit this now! I am not an
adventurous natural! I have never straightened my hair since going natural, I have no
styling skills, so mostly I just wear it down or in a puff…wait now
that I think about it,  2 months ago I decided to do a wash n’ go (a
style I never did before) and it was a FAIL! I was plagued with SSK and
had to cut an
inch off just to rid myself from them. I vowed to never do that again!
My hair
is way too thick and kinky for that style.
I do dye my hair jet
black once every 3 months, but I’m obsessed with jet black hair so I love it! I haven’t
experienced any damage from doing a black rinse. I also got a lil’ bored this
summer and decided to dye a section in the front auburn. I love how it looks
with the black.
The best thing about
being a naturally glamorous girl?
BIG HAIR! So I have this thing with trying to get my hair
as big as possible! And by being a naturally glamorous girl, it’s easily
possible.  Having a defined braid out is pointless to me if it’s not BIG… I rather
my hair be BIG and frizzy than defined any day!  And it’s so funny because back
in the day when I had a relaxer, I made sure my hair stayed in place. I liked it
to be down and laying perfectly! I would actually carry a comb with me to keep my
hair in check throughout the day… Smh.  Now my comb has been replaced with a
pick, and it does the opposite, instead of laying my hair down, my pick makes it
BIGGER and WILD! I love it!
Where can we find you
on the web?
I recently started a YouTube channel!! Check me out SimplyRay1! Also I am very active on Instagram: Naptural_ray1

Ladies, who have recently gone natural or thinking about it,
please be patient! With time comes experience, knowledge, and growth!