Meet LaShelle McCoy, one of the Very Important Curlies at the 2012 NaturallyCurly Pool Party.
NC: What is your current routine or regimen?
LM: My current routine consists of washing and deep conditioning, with heat, once a week. I first use a sulfate based shampoo (currently it’s Jane Carter Solution Moisture Nourishing Shampoo, Aveda Shampure or Sally’s Generic Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo) to remove the week’s grime. I follow up with a more moisturizing shampoo like Mizani True Textures Curl Balance Moisturizing Shampoo or Karen’s Body Beautiful Ultimate Conditioning Shampoo. Then I DC with one of the following: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, Motions Moisturizing Silk Protein Conditioner (with Vatika Oil added) or Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque (with Vatika Oil added). After detangling, I apply a creamy leave-in conditioner (Giovanni Direct Leave-in or Lacio Lacio High Shine Leave-in) and Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream (BRBC). I then put in 12-14 two-strand twists and allow to air dry. And once a month, I do an overnight henna treatment.
NC: What are your favorite hair styles to wear with your curls?
LM: One of my favorite styles is a flexi rod set on blown out hair. It’s the only way I’ve been able to get volume from my fine, low density 3c hair. It comes out perfect every time! Not like a twist n' curl or twist outs where the quality of the style is dependent on how wet or dry the hair is, how much product you did or didn’t use, how many twists or twist placement….aaahhhh! Too many variables. My flexi rod sets are the bomb. Other than that, my hair is in some sort of an updo 98 percent of the time. I love buns and all sorts of pin-up styles.
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?
LM: Goodie ouchless barrettes and banana clips, a wide tooth shower comb, Qhemet Biologics BRBC and MTCG, Gold N Hot Heat cap (for deep conditioning), henna and a Loc-soc, newly added to the list. I bought it the World Natural Hair Show in April. That thing is brilliant!
The best thing about being a curly is having the ability to be truly unique. No head of hair is the same. Therefore, even if I copy a style from someone else, it’s going to look different with my texture and density. Also, the versatility is amazing!
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
LM: The best thing about being a curly is having the ability to be truly unique. No head of hair is the same. Therefore, even if I copy a style from someone else, it’s going to look different with my texture and density. Also, the versatility is amazing! I can wear it straight, curly, in a ‘fro, twist 'n curl, braid out, up and down and all around. I can rock a big voluminous Diana Ross look — I never could do that when I was relaxed! I can also get it wet anytime I want, knowing that water only makes it better.
I think that we spend so much time wanting to look and be like everybody else. Being natural can allow us to step outside the pack and stand out to be noticed and in turn, notice other unique things as well.
NC: What impact has being natural had on your life?
LM: Through natural hair meet-ups, I have been able to meet amazing people, some of which, I’ve become friends with and keep in regular contact with. And being able to help others with their hair woes gives me great joy. Please, if you have a question, ask me! I love to talk about hair. Even as a child, I’ve always been into hair and beauty culture, and this natural hair movement allows me to share my excitement and knowledge with others.
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
LM: If you, like I did in the past, struggle with accepting your natural hair — if you think it's not sexy, nappy and hard to manage — or if you think that other people will hate it, I say the following:
First, bump what other people think — they don’t pay your bills!
Second, take the time to learn all you can about your hair. Proper maintenance and hair care practices can make a world of difference on how your hair looks and feels, and it can also make maintenance easier! So many times I hear from other ladies, all this negative verbiage about their hair. Don’t punish your hair by talking bad about it. It’s not your hair’s fault that it’s dull, dry, brittle, hard to comb and not retaining length. It's your fault. It’s user error (don’t feel bad, we’ve all screwed up a time or two). I recommend The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. It’s a great one stop shop that covers all the basics without having to sift though tons of websites, blogs and forums for good info. Please remember, “good hair” is HEALTHY hair.
Thirdly, stop hiding your hair! How are you going to learn to embrace it when its jammed underneath a cheap wig or a very expensive sew-in? There’s no hands on time. No opportunity for you to learn what it needs and what it takes to make it thrive and look good. If you are still apprehensive, only try new hairstyles and techniques on the weekends.
NC: Tell us about your life and what you are up to!
LM: As I stated before, I’m a scientist at Kennedy Space Center. This summer, I’m thrilled to be a mentor to an intern for the first time. I have an exciting project planned and I hope that my quirkiness and wacky sense of humor won’t ruin him too much! I’m also looking forward to being a bridesmaid for the first time later this summer.
And lastly, I eagerly await my first trip to the continent of Africa. I’ll be meeting up with a college friend and her fellow Peace Corp buddies to travel to Mozambique and South Africa.
I’m so excited! This will be a summer of firsts for me.
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