I have been natural going on 13 years now. I went natural because my hair just would not take a perm any longer and would break off terribly. I remember standing in the mirror crying with my glory (my hair) in my comb instead of my scalp–I felt so hopeless about my hair because it broke off terribly in the back and was about as long as my thumbnail–Yep it was bad. In the late 90’s there was not much information about natural hair even though I researched and researched books at the library, there was just not enough information that was available that would help to show black women how to care for their natural hair. I’m not sure, but I don’t even think You Tube and Google existed at that time! For years long and healthy hair eluded me even though long hair is what I desired. It wasn’t until September 2010, that I began my healthy hair journey and never looked back. I researched a majority of the information that was available on the internet and watched tons of You Tube videos and took from each one what I needed to build my own healthy-hair journey regimen. My natural hair is longer than it has ever been and Healthier! I have grown a relationship with my hair. When I began to love her (my hair), she began to grow and wrap herself around my face and neck, and in return, she loves me back.
What is your current regimen?
One year and 4 months into my journey, I am finding that my hair is just like me…’It likes to be bothered but most of the time it doesn’t.’ So I keep it very simple. I wash/wet my hair weekly along with deep condition it. I feed my hair. Within my conditioning treatment I mix honey, olive oil, vitamin E oil, and eggs. I only use eggs when I want a protein treatment. I don’t buy anything off a shelf. I don’t buy hair oils. I use olive oil and flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil gives a wonderful sheen and mixes intimately with the natural structure of the hair chemistry. I protective style a lot, which I found did retain the length. But I also realized that there is a balance when protective styling. You can overdue it. My hair began to shed a lot even though I was doing everything right, and I realized it wanted to come down out of the protective style for awhile and immediately the shedding stopped. This is because each follicle within the hair is held up by a tiny muscle called the erector pilli muscle. Wearing my hair down strengthened this little muscle and decreased the shedding immensely. But there also comes a time when I know I need to rest my hair and that is when I tuck it away. I drink a lot of water to hydrate it from within and eat a lot of leafy greens, fruits, and lean foods (I’m still struggling with chocolate though:) I take a multivitamin and workout.
What is your signature natural hairstyle?
When I wear my hair up I wear a God-given tuck style. I haven’t seen anyone else with the style, but it works for me. When I just want to let it down, I wear a twist out and just let it do its thing!
What is the best tip you have learned throughout your hair journey?
Don’t give up! Even though there may be weeks where it seems like your hair is not growing, keep doing what you are doing and one day the growth will come and this growth will be an encouragement to keep going. Take pictures as well so you can convince yourself that it is growing. It takes Faith! I pretty much do not put anything on my hair that I can not eat. The only products that I buy are Suave humectant conditioner/shampoo and Paul Mitchell leave-in conditioner.