Tell me about yourself!
My name is April. On the web, I sometimes go as DearAuset. I am currently a graduate student studying for my Master of Arts in Women’s Studies. I am a Southerner, born and bred. I’m also a self-proclaimed feisty feminist, but it’s tempered by my commitment to maintain deep compassion for all sentient beings. A natural people person, socialite, and goofy personality, I love to talk, sing (which I do fairly well), and dance (which is so-so). Anytime spent alone is usually filled with plenty of yoga, which is one of my deepest passions.
Both. I transitioned from a relaxer when I was in middle school. I rocked an afro for a few years before starting locs, which I had for four years. I then Big Chopped my locs in May 2010, and big chopped again in February 2012. I’ve been growing my hair out ever since, with a few trims in between.
Had you always embraced your texture?
Definitely not. I used to hate my hair, wish for it to be curlier (more type 3), and have not always appreciated my hair in its shorter phases, but all that’s changed now.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
When I first stopped getting relaxers, it was because it was so damaging to my hair, so everyone in my family understood for the most part. Friends were not so supportive. I can honestly say I was natural before Curly Nikki and other hair blogs. I don’t say that to brag, just to point out that the natural hair community didn’t always exist the way it does today, natural hair wasn’t as common, and the resources for caring for natural hair weren’t as vast. Honestly, I started locs because I was frustrated with my loose natural hair, but didn’t want to get relaxers anymore. When I cut my locs, I had a little bit of backlash. People had become attached to them. They were beautiful, but I wanted to experience natural hair, unloc’d, especially since the resources for caring for it had grown exponentially since my first transition.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is very fine. It is practically baby fine. However, it’s also very dense. I have a lot of strands on my little head. It’s highly coily, mostly 4a. As for porosity, I have no idea. I just know my hair hates very heavy products, like raw shea butter. Any product I use has to have water as the first ingredient, and my favorite oil is coconut oil because it’s so light.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
Definitely, get a relaxer, permanently straightening the natural texture.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
Getting a relaxer. Getting too many trims and not seeing how much it could’ve grown in a certain amount of time. But from every regret, came a lesson. So I try to just embrace the way it is now.
What’s your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
When I wear a wash and go, I cowash my hair at least every two days, or that’s the goal. Sometimes, I cowash everyday. I use As I Am Coconut CoWash or Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. Then I condition with Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner or Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth, which I love but can never find. I ordered a few bottles online. I use Tresemme’ Moisture Rich sometimes as well. I go through a lot of conditioner, so I mainly use cheap brands. After rinsing out the conditioner with cool water, I plop with a t-shirt, pillowcase, or paper towels — almost anything other than an actual towel. After plopping, I apply products to damp hair, which is key. The products work better and it doesn’t take as long for my hair to dry. My favorite product to style my damp hair for a wash and go is the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Detangler. It likes a gel and moisturizer in one. I love it. It’s Holy Grail status. If I twist my hair, I use Kinky Curly Knot Today layered with a cream moisturizer, either something by Oyin Handmade or Shea Moisture, to make detangling easier while still having a moisturizing end look. Every now and then I use a protein conditioner for deep treating. My favorites are Curl Junkie Beauticurls Stengthening Conditioner and Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Masque.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My favorite hair style is the wash and go, because it’s simple and easy. And it comes out looking good. My second favorite is a twist pin-up, which I wear when I don’t feel like doing wash and go’s so much, or when I want an elegant look. I also like to wear cornrows, but since I don’t braid very well, I usually have to get a friend or family member to do this hairstyle for me. Sometimes I wear a stretched out afro, but since it’s more work than a WnG, I wear that only occasionally. I did a lot of research, trial and error before perfecting my Wash and Go. It’s very specific, and anytime I stray, the results aren’t as good. Curly Girl method helped me a bit, but I made a few changes to the method from my own experience.
Who is your curl crush?
So many people, including friends and family. My own sister is one of my hair crushes. Her Instragram is @cleocmc. Her hair is huge!. Curly Nikki, of course. Also, Nikki Mae of Natural Chica. I love her afro. It’s gorgeous. But my number one hair crush is Paula Almeida, the Brazilian model. I even made a Pin Board dedicated to her entitled “My Hair Crush is Paula Almeida.”
How do you maintain your hair at night?
When traveling, I usually wear a satin bonnet. When at home, I sleep on a satin pillowcase. But honestly, I’ve definitely done no more than lay my head on a pillow plenty of times. I don’t care as much as I used to, and my hair is still growing, so I don’t stress it.
How do you maintain healthy length?
One major step was I stopped combing dry hair. I don’t even really comb my hair at all. I detangle under the shower head with lots of conditioner, the pressure of the shower stream, and my fingers. That’s it. When I style my hair in twists, I use a wide tooth comb and only style on wet hair. Kinky Curly Knot Today and Shea Moisture Extra Moisture Detangler are great for wet combing and styling. Dry combing on my fine strands is such as no-no. Only wet combing for me. When I gave up dry combing, I saw much more length retention.
What’s the best thing about being natural?
Being natural! I love embracing my natural hair texture. I love having a simple regimen. I love getting compliments on my hair, knowing that it’s the way it grows out of my head. I just love everything about it. It’s so much a part of who I am.
Where can folks find you on the web?
My Tumblr page is DearAuset.Tumblr.com. My Instagram is @DearAuset. My YouTube is DearAuset. I’m looking to upload more videos soon!