What is your hair type?
What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
After using perms for many years. I asked a beautician why my head itched every time I got a perm. He was older and explained that i was allergic to perms. I decided that would be my last perm and I would be natural from then on. Permed hair was very expensive to maintain and my hair was thinning. I was very inexperienced with hair appliances. So I gave them all away.
How have your family, friends and co-workers reacted? What was your response to them?
Everyone loves my hair. My family, friends, coworkers, and strangers are always complementing me on my hair and asking me what do I use. I always thank them and share my products and techniques, but I always inform them that they will have to find the product that works for their hair type.
My mother was the only one that had a problem with my natural hair and would ask me to straighten it. But I noticed that hair was thinning because of the heat and color rinses she was using and I asked her to transition to natural. She did not want to because her hair was totally white, but she finally gave in and my niece gave her a nice style. She loves it now.
How did you transition to wearing your natural texture?
I didn't make the big chop, since my hair grows so fast. I transitioned by getting it cornrowed and clipping my hair every time I took it down to wash it and have it put back in cornrows I also wore a fake Afro puff to complete my styles. Over time, I've learned that I can handle it better naturally. It has been 8 years and I am loving my hair.
What is your current hair regimen?
In the shower - I put my hair in 4 to 6 sections (every 2 -4 weeks):
Pantene 3 Minute miracle curl perfection deep conditioner every time (sometimes I use plastic cap with a Heated Gel Cap)
Finish up with a small amount of the Detangling Milk on each section.
Twist out - I prefer Tropical Roots Twist Cream. It moisturizes and helps to cut down on frizz. I use the Claudio St. James oil on my hands when taking down my twist
Wash and Go - I use a curling mouse. It gives me great curl definition. Gels and creams seem to weigh my hair down quite a bit.
Moisturizing between washes - I use Claudio St. James Water Free Egyptian Sparkle Perm & Braid Sheen Polish with Conditioner every 2 or 3 days.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a big impact on the way your hair looks?
When I remove my twist, I always twist the strand in the opposite direction of the twist before untwisting the strand. This helps to maintain the pattern without the frizz. I experiment with large and smart twist.
I have found that when doing a wash and set finger combing is best way to keep the natural strands together to maintain the curl pattern. It also helps my hair to have less frizz. I add all products in the shower. I also use a microfiber towel briefly to keep my hair from being dripping wet.
Any advice you’d like to give other women who may be in the transition phase or need some encouragement in their hair journey?
1. Don't get discouraged.
2. Work with your natural hair doing your transition - keep it conditioned, maintain your moisture and get a great flattering haircut.
3. Do not use heat (if possible) - it tends to change your curl pattern and you will have straight strands when you decide to wear your hair in your nature state. (I've known women that have had to start their transition over because of this reason) I straighten mine once for my Mother's 70th birthday and I experienced quite a few straight pieces.
4. I don't recommend wearing weave. If you do try not to have it too tight. It will pull out your hair from the roots.
5. Be careful with color, it is very beautiful, but not for everyone. In my case it changed the texture of my hair. I've cut out all my color and I'm growing back with my nature color.