Big chop 700

How would you best describe your hair?

Naturally Coily

What is your hair type?

4a

What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?

My mom permed my hair at an early age so I didn't know my true texture. Before my hair had gotten completely straight from perms, I loved the volume of how poofy my pony tails were.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly/coily/wavy hair?

One day I noticed that the middle of my hair was half the length of the rest of my hair. I wrote friends at the time who posted about their healthy natural hair journey on Facebook to ask for some tips on growing my natural hair. Going natural for me at first was all about growing healthy hair because I felt my hair was damaged. The friends advised me to check out YouTube as well as other helpful tips and Naptural85 was one of the first naturalistas I found. I was sold on going natural after seeing her hair!

shanique 1 700

How have your family, friends and co-workers reacted? What was your response to them?

My friends supported the new look because they feel that I can rock anything. My family had jokes here and there about my hair being so short. It didn't bother me I would just laugh it off. At the time I did have a guy friend I was talking to and I could tell he didn't like it at all. I would reassure him that my hair will grow very long.

How did you transition to wearing your natural texture?

I was a short transitioner. I transitioned for 9 months and then cut my permed ends off. At first I had planned to transition for a year before cutting off the permed hair because I was afraid of how I'd look with short hair. But the longer my hair got the more annoying it got for me to blend the permed ends with my natural roots. And plus the more I saw my curls coming through, the more anxious I got to cut it. So I did it and I haven't looked back since.

What is your current hair regimen?

I pre-poo and co-wash my hair with Aussie Moist conditioner. I wash my hair every 2 to 3 weeks in 2 sections with Giovanni shampoo. I always follow up with a deep conditioner for minimum 30 mins or the rest of the day. Rinse out deep conditioner and apply a leave in conditioner. Then a butter like shea butter and a oil to seal for moisture. I trim minimum twice a year (I trim my own hair). I DON'T use any heat or color on my hair. I sleep with a satin bonnet. I incorporate a protective style at least once a year with wigs, twists, and braids for about 3 to 8 weeks. I don't play in my hair or do anything to it until it's time to style again every 2 to 3 weeks or 6 to 8 weeks if I'm protective styling. I style my hair and leave it alone!

shanique 2 700

Are there any techniques or methods that have made a big impact on the way your hair looks?

The foundation for all my styles are braidouts. A braidout stretches my hair without heat and gives my hair volume for any style. I braid my hair moisturized and damp for great texture and let it dry overnight or under hair dryer. The next day, I loosen the braids, fluff my hair and go.

Any advice you'd like to give other women who may be in the transition phase or need some encouragement in their hair journey?

Be patient and don't compare your hair journey to others. Time is everything! In due time your hair will flourish and you'll feel even prettier as you learn to accept your texture and how to style your hair. The journey is so worth it, you'll love yourself even more.

What's your hair story? Share your story with us here to be featured in our Texture Tales series.