Where do you live?
I live in Nashville, TN. It is where I was born and raised. Cur­rent­ly I am a sec­re­tary by day, Cuban Sal­sa dancer by night! You may see me in your city at the sal­sa club. I try to go to a new city to dance at least once a month. This year me and my group (Nashville Rue­da) have per­for­mances lined up for Knoxville, TN, Huntsville, AL, and Atlanta so far.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al?
I was in under­grad and I was sooooo broke. I lit­er­al­ly could not afford a perm so that is when I made the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al. I made the tran­si­tion in 2004–2005 school year. I wore sew ins for about 6 months. When I took the sew ins out I cut off all of my permed hair and had a TWA. The tran­si­tion for me was not hard at all.

Being nat­ur­al has made me rich­er (no more pay­ing for perms!), made me more spon­ta­neous (sure I would love to go sal­sa danc­ing in the rain!), made me more accept­ing of myself, and changed my dat­ing prospects. I real­ized that some men
are sim­ply not attract­ed to perms, some are only attract­ed to nat­u­rals. I usu­al­ly get a lot of inter­na­tion­al men that try to hol­la.

How would you describe your hair?
My hair is very very nap­py. Less nap­py in the front and the nape of my neck more so in the mid­dle. It is medi­um thick­ness. It likes warm hot baths with grape­seed oil where I can lay back and dip my whole head in, it likes humid/rainy days where is can suck up all the mois­ture and water from the air. My hair likes long walks on the beach so it can soak up all the sun’s rays, though it does not like ocean water. It func­tions best in these con­di­tions. It loves to be two strand twist­ed with a shea but­ter coconut oil mix­ture.

What’s your reg­i­men?
My reg­i­men is large­ly based on how my hair feels. If it is dry I will sim­ply run wet hands through my hair and then put some grape­seed or coconut oil on it. Some­times I use Shea Mois­ture Organ­ic Raw Shea But­ter Recon­struc­tive Elix­er as an oil mois­tur­iz­er. I co-wash every week with Palmer’s Olive Oil For­mu­la Con­di­tion­er and Jane Carter Solu­tion Nutri­ent Replen­ish­ing Con­di­tion­er. I rotate these two out every oth­er week.

If I do a full wash with sham­poo it means my hair is gunky with styling prod­ucts. I have to use a clar­i­fy­ing sham­poo such as Herbal Essences Degunki­fy. Then I do a vine­gar rinse with 1/3 part vine­gar to 2/3 parts water. If I don’t do the rinse then my ends feel real­ly rough. I then con­di­tion with the above men­tioned con­di­tion­ers. I buy avo­ca­dos with the pur­pose of using them on my hair, but I usu­al­ly end up eat­ing them. I have used them before though and I got the best results when I actu­al­ly left bits of the avo­ca­do in my hair acci­den­tal­ly because I was too lazy to rinse my hair some more. I did a blowout and my hair felt super mois­tur­ized and smooth.

To do a twist out I use this shea but­ter cream I made. It is ¾ part unre­fined shea but­ter to ¼ part coconut oil. I put a bit of avo­ca­do oil in it. It seals mois­ture in won­der­ful­ly and I have not found a com­mer­cial prod­uct that works bet­ter. I put it on after my hair is tow­el dried and twist. In the morn­ing my hair is soft and the shea but­ter act as a set­ting lotion to help the twist keep their shape.

To smooth my edges I use Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie. It did not enhance my curls, but it does smooth my edges. I also some­times use good old fash­ioned Murray’s Pomade. I only use that if I am going to wash with sham­poo soon cause it builds up a lot. When I do a blowout I use the shea but­ter/coconut oil cream I make.

When I want to get the per­fect afro the best thing for me is to add the shea/coconut oil mix­ture to my hair, do a blow out or braid out, then let the hot water in my show­er run to be it all nice and steamy, then let my hair absorb the water. It shrinks into the per­fect halo fro around my head.

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
Okay ladies…..#learnfrommyfails
My hair does not like col­or. You see the beau­ti­ful fiery red fro hawk? I had to do a big chop 2 months lat­er.
My hair does not like to be straight­ened with a flat iron. I was in Philly for the pur­pose of get­ting a trim and she flat ironed my hair. The end result was a big chop. I did not learn my les­son and used a flat iron again on my hair, anoth­er big chop. So I have had 2 big chops since I went nat­ur­al. When I flat iron my hair, It does not go back nap­py and smells burnt all the time. Need­less to say, I will nev­er flat iron my hair again. Ever.
When using a vine­gar rinse in the show­er DO NOT shave first! If you vine­gar on a fresh­ly shaved body it burns like (insert STD joke here).

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
The best thing I have done is a sew-in. It just gave my hair time to relax. None of my real hair was out. I bought a satin hair bon­net to put over my head­rest in my car. Now my hair in the mid­dle back of my head has stopped break­ing off! Going veg­e­tar­i­an and organ­ic has helped my hair grow back quick­ly from all those big chops. Some nat­u­rals are so con­cerned about using organ­ic all nat­ur­al hair care prod­ucts but will then go to the dri­ve thru of McDon­alds or Taco Bell and eat chem­i­cal laced foods. Good hair real­ly starts from the inside, not from what­ev­er prod­ucts we put on the out­side.
Ladies, get on YouTube! Every sin­gle style pic­tured I have got­ten online.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find u?

Any­thing else you want to add
Yep! Ladies, don’t be afraid to make mis­takes and exper­i­ment with your hair. In the grand scheme of things, it is only hair, it will grow back.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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26 Comments on "Neytiri // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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i just wan­na clar­i­fy some­thing, is perming hair more expen­sive than wear­ing weaves?
she said “I was in under­grad and I was sooooo broke. I lit­er­al­ly could not afford a perm so that is when I made the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al. I made the tran­si­tion in 2004–2005 school year. I wore sew ins for about 6 months.”

Bitty Boss

The vari­ety of styles that you rock are mind­blow­ing! Who says nat­ur­al hair isn’t ver­sa­tile? :-)



He hair and tex­ture are gor­geous.

Her styles were Cute * 

http://beautyofself.wordpress.com/ (Cel­e­brat­ing Black beau­ty * Btw’ We’re hav­ing a Give­away)


Awe­some post! 

I love your hair, glass­es, make up and over­all style. I love you com­ment about nat­ur­al hair­care prod­ucts and diet. Going nat­ur­al mae me more health con­con­cious and led me to become a veg­i­t­ar­i­an.

I’ll be fol­low­ing your blog!


Love the hair and the styles!

LOL at your com­ment about avo­ca­dos. I have yet to bring myself to use one for hair…they’re just too good to wash down the drain. Same with bananas.

Annie L.

Love that bouf­fant! My hair dis­likes heat and col­or too. I had to BC after going nat­ur­al due to..yup, a dye job. And again after flat-iron­ing dam­age from a styl­ist (who also gave me the infa­mous perm/condish cock­tail w/o my con­sent). Sad­ly no more bright col­or for me :( but I don’t miss try­ing to mask the burnt toast smell my flat iron and curl­ing iron would leave IN my hair. Whole­heart­ed­ly agree on the nutri­tion. I’m a lapsed raw food­ie but my body is just in BALANCE and everything’s health­i­er when I’m eat­ing right.

Miss p

“I buy avo­ca­dos with the pur­pose of using them on my hair, but I usu­al­ly end up eat­ing them” So fun­ny!
Same here, I love avo­ca­dos! The idea of putting such a yum­my (a some­times pricey) stuff in my hair, instead of my bel­ly, makes me sad :)
Besides: I love the red lips!

Dawn Michelle @ Minimalist Beauty

I loved read­ing this post! I nev­er thought about using a satin cap for the head­rest in my car and that is bril­liant. For as much dri­ving as I do this is a must. Thank you so much! Also being veg­an myself I also agree with you about diet. Organ­ic veg­e­tar­i­an food is the absolute best!


I love all your dif­fer­ent updos




PLEASE CLARIFY THIS : so she doesn’t DEEP CONDITIONING ???? just cow­ash week­ly and sham­poo when her hair needs it..?


Nope, I hve nvr deep con­di­tioned. I’m not con­vinced tht it does any­thing. I mean, u rinse it off. Maybe some­one else can explain how deep con­di­tion­ing works.


Nashville stand up! I love hear­ing about oth­er Nashville nat­u­rals. :) And girl if we ain’t hair twins we are atleast hair play cousins. It would be nice to catch one of your per­for­mances in town.


Yay nashville! We r per­form­ing april 8 at lentz pub­lic health cen­ter at 7.…u shud stop by.


Nice to find there are oth­er black salseras!!!!!!!! Loved this arti­cle, and her hair–gorgeous!!!!!!


Anoth­er black and nat­ur­al salsera in the house! I went danc­ing in Kansas City last night and I saw so many nat­ur­al sis­ters there!


thanks for the sup­port ladies!

Christy Hyman

What a cool sista! I enjoyed this piece a lot. Don’t feel bad because my hair does not like col­or either. My length has become a lit­tle stag­nant since my last hair light­en­ing exper­i­ment (which was June) no more col­or for me either!

Robin Nicole

I love a fly chi­ca with a slick sense of humor lol. Neytiri, your hair is all types of amazin’! =)

I love your hair­styles (and I will be exper­i­ment­ing this week­end — espe­cial­ly those up-dos).  I have issues with the flat iron as well! And thing is I’ve been nat­ur­al for over a decade and there were times when I would use it week­ly. Now if I flat iron, some of my hair will come out in strands — what’s up with that?! And I don’t even put it on a high heat set­ting! Luck­i­ly, I’m not a fan of straight hair though on rare occa­sions I want to try some­thing dif­fer­ent. When­ev­er I do straight­en it (I believe I’ve… Read more »

I real­ly enjoyed this. You are hilar­i­ous. Thanks for the warn­ing on hair col­or. I am dying to go bur­gundy like Rih Rih but am ter­ri­fied. When I had a relax­er I lost hair twice due to col­or­ing so Im fear­ful that even as a nat­ur­al it will be risky. Any­way, gor­geous hair! Thanks for inspir­ing.


Wow, her hair is awe­some! I just fol­lowed her blog. Very nice styles. Lol, I thought I was the only one with a can of Murray’s in the hair prod­uct draw­er!

I thor­ough­ly enjoyed this post! You’re beau­ti­ful indeed, and the body of the post is infor­ma­tive and I enjoyed read­ing every last word. I DO love your fiery red, but sad to see that you had to BC soon after. I tried dying with Clairol Tex­tures n Tones, but it didn’t take, I guess cause I didn’t leave it on long enough, and I’m kin­da glad.  I HAVE been tempt­ed to pur­chase a flat iron, and had won­dered if it left a burnt smell like the iron­ing comb. Thanks for the tip. That smell is repul­sive, and I’d rather not! I’ll… Read more »

“Some nat­u­rals are so con­cerned about using organ­ic all nat­ur­al hair care prod­ucts but will then go to the dri­ve thru of McDon­alds or Taco Bell and eat chem­i­cal laced foods.”

That com­ment is so true!!! Now I love my Filet O’ Fish and the new shrimp tacos from Taco Bell *blush­es*, but I try to bal­ance it. I feel the same way when I hear of peo­ple (not just on hair jour­neys but in gen­er­al) tak­ing all­l­l­ll of these sup­ple­ments, you have to lay the right foun­da­tion to get the full ben­e­fits.


Yes! I preach diet and exer­cise on my blog and let me tell you it is some­thing alot of chi­cas do not want to hear about. Won’t drink water, the couch is your bed with a Hap­py Meal in hand. Your hair reaps what you sow.…



i total­ly agree. it starts from the inside first. 

i go to taco bell to sometimes.…so i can relate. i was talk­ing to myself too lol.