UBB collage redone

Where do you live?
C:
The place I call home for the past 9 years is Brook­lyn, NY, Crown Heights area but I’m orig­i­nal­ly rep­pin B’more (Bal­ti­more, Mary­land). I am an artist, activist, clos­et styl­ist and new­bie blog­ger but what I do is work for a film com­pa­ny as a Pro­duc­tion Coor­di­na­tor and Cos­tume Design­er.

Why did you go nat­u­ral?
C:
I have only used chem­i­cals on my 4b-c hair at four stages of my life but as of now I have been com­plete­ly nat­u­ral for 4 years. My mom took such good care of my hair when I was younger and since I am an iden­ti­cal twin she had two sets of hair to deal with (whew, I real­ly have no idea how she did it with a full time job while attend­ing one of the top uni­ver­si­ties in the coun­try… plus my hair was twice as long then).


Baby Cipri­ana with par­ents

I do remem­ber being com­pli­ment­ed by adults and teased by chil­dren when I was younger. I know the rea­son my mom broke down to the leisure curl was time man­age­ment and years ago they pro­mot­ed leisure, which was seen as a less harm­ful alter­na­tive to the relax­er which I now know is 100% false.

In high school I had a leisure curl for about 3 years when my dad decid­ed it was too expen­sive (I didn’t under­stand then but was one of the best deci­sions for my hair at the time). At 17 once I stopped the leisure curl my hair start­ed break­ing off from the 2 tex­tures (but main­ly because I wasn’t mois­tur­iz­ing my hair prop­er­ly) so the only choice I felt I had was to cut my hair down to about an inch. I reli­gious­ly slapped grease on my strands and before I knew it my hair was grow­ing like weeds. In 3 years I had about 18 inch­es. I wore my hair in braid outs and sim­ple low buns. With­out real­iz­ing it I was pro­tect­ing my hair and ends with low stress hair styles. I know this was the key to my healthy hair growth.

I start­ed to col­or my hair and expe­ri­enced some break­age in the crown and towards the back. Not because of the col­or but due to a fash­ion shoot, the hair styl­ist had no idea how to work with my hair type and was force­ful­ly pulling on the ends of my col­ored hair for more length. I expe­ri­enced break­age the very next day in the area he was pulling at (I have to note that I was using col­or about every 4 months for 2 years with­out any prob­lems. But col­ored treat­ed strands can make hair more sus­cep­ti­ble to dry­ness and the fact that they had alco­hol based hair prod­ucts on set, I was doomed). So I stopped col­or­ing my hair so the back and crown could recu­per­ate.

Through the sug­ges­tion of an asso­ciate I tried a kid­die relax­er because she said my hair was “too thick and you couldn’t see my scalp” Need­less to say ladies I tried the relax­er and my hair might be thick but the strands are superfine and not only did I wash the kid­die relax­er down the drain but most of my hair as well. So after the fias­co which caused a long hys­ter­i­cal 911 call to my twin sis­ter, who came right over and assist­ed with my instant big chop to about 1 inch in length.

Before the creamy crack my hair in total was about 14 inch­es. After my bc I tran­si­tioned with weaves, twists (low main­te­nance, styles) and plen­ty of oils and water. As my hair gained length I begin to detan­gle it with plen­ty of patience like it was fine silk. My hair grew back full force and 4 years lat­er here I am. I now have worked so hard to get my hair to this point, noth­ing could make me go back to the relax­er. I love my hair and that took some phys­i­cal and men­tal work, time and expe­ri­ence but I had a good foun­da­tion and it start­ed with my mama. She was so gen­tle with our hair and we enjoyed the process so much my twin and I use to fight who would get their hair done first.

How would you describe your hair?
C:
Well I am a proud kinky 4b/4c nat­u­ral and my hair just cel­e­brat­ed her birth­day! She is 4 years old and 3 months since her big chop. My hair is about 21 inch­es long. The poros­i­ty lev­el of my hair is nor­mal espe­cial­ly since I do not use chem­i­cals, col­or or heat. My hair is extreme­ly dense and my strands are superfine, which leads to easy tan­gling. My hair is very healthy for the most part but I still expe­ri­ence some split ends here and there. I have not used heat for a year and 3 months.

In what ways (if any) has going nat­u­ral affect­ed you?
C:
The best way to describe it is a bit like falling in love. You don’t know when it will hit you or who it will be but when it does you know. In between my chem­i­cal stages when I saw the new growth I absolute­ly loved my tex­ture but didn’t know how to work with it. When I did my big chop. 4 years ago there was a cer­tain pride I felt when I rocked my nat­u­ral hair. A feel­ing of con­fi­dence and inner peace. To put it blunt­ly I knew with­out a doubt this was 100% for me.

What is your reg­i­men?
C:
I have been doing my cur­rent reg­i­men for 4 years now. I wash my hair with con­di­tion­er (no sham­poo) in 8 loose­ly braid­ed sec­tions (my strands are too fine to wash with­out the braids) every mon­th. I know some ladies are say­ing “ONCE A MONTH?!” but I am a min­i­mal­ist when it comes to prod­ucts. This works for my length, plus I wear updo styles 100% of the time. I also let my hair AIR dry in the braids but before I wash I detan­gle (a prop­er detan­gle is a great weapon for “War of the Hair”).

I detan­gle once a week with a mix­ture of coconut, jojoba, rose­mary and cas­tor oil which def­i­nite­ly aids in a smoother detan­gling ses­sion along with the use of some major “fine silk like PATIENCE”. Anoth­er weapon of war for me is the fin­gers (which doesn’t sound quite right now as I say it) but fin­ger detan­gling is a neces­si­ty for my hair, it just ain’t hap­pen­ing with­out some fin­ger action first.

As for my day to day hair­styles, I usu­al­ly where my hair in about 140 (yes 140, lol) LOOSE twists which gives me easy access and pro­tec­tion to alter­ing my hair­styles with­out the stress of hav­ing my hair loose. For the past 4 years I have been wear­ing pro­tec­tive styles basi­cal­ly non-stop. I love an afro as much as any­one and at one point in my hair jour­ney this was my sta­ple but it didn’t work for “me” and liv­ing in NY, espe­cial­ly with the wind and brick cold weath­er my hair suf­fered with dry­ness and split ends. Also for my hair type the afro just wasn’t low main­te­nance as my hair grew longer and I had to keep manip­u­lat­ing it due to an active lifestyle.

I mois­tur­ize reg­u­lar­ly with a mix­ture of coconut, jojoba, rose­mary and cas­tor oil but learn­ing how much pro­duct to put in my hair has been a learn­ing process. Back in the day I def­i­nite­ly had the Com­ing to Amer­i­ca “Soul Glo” (all uphol­stered fur­ni­ture beware!) but I can now say since I am becom­ing very famil­iar with my hair I am now 4 years “Soul Glo” free! In the past when my hair was dry I would just coat it with grease instead of water and nat­u­ral oils (though I’m not knock­in the grease, I have used Blue Mag­ic, Sof­t­ee coconut and John­son and John­son Ultra­Sheen for years). The grease would rec­ti­fy my hair for the day but wouldn’t real­ly solve the under­lin­ing issue.…..dryness. I also place a lit­tle more oil on the ends with water once a week since they are my elders I have to show them a lit­tle more respect which means extra TLC.

As for my night­ly rou­tine.…..Silk scarf, silk scarf and oh yeah a silk scarf.

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
C:
Real­ly? I’m not sure if there is enough room for me to list every­thing, lol. I think I have expe­ri­enced every spec­trum of hair dra­ma pos­si­bly imag­ined such as trac­tion alope­cia from weaves, burn­ing (and by burn­ing ya’ll I don’t mean my ends sim­ply dipped in a can­dle and a lit­tle bit was singed off, I mean my hair caught on fire as in actu­al flames shoot­ing from my head and peo­ple com­ing over to throw water at me! May the great MJ rest in inter­nal peace but it was some­thing like that. Not half as bad but very sim­i­lar! Sigh but this is a sto­ry for anoth­er time), singe­ing from curling irons, break­age from dry­ness, unin­ten­tion­al dread­ing, acci­den­tal hair­cuts and on and off chem­i­cal war­fare. I think the most impor­tant lesson I learned from all the­se mis­takes was instilled with­in me through my youth. My par­ents always taught me if some­thing goes wrong or if I don’t under­stand, nev­er be afraid to ask why? Why did my hair catch on fire (because I was using flam­ma­ble prod­ucts) or why is my hair dis­in­te­grat­ing in my hands as if it were a vam­pire exposed to light (Because for weeks I was neglect­ing in mois­tur­iz­ing my hair when I wore weaves). After all my mishaps I did the research to pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing again. After all “the act of insan­i­ty is doing the same thing and expect­ing dif­fer­ent results” and man believe me when I say I have been insane!

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
C:
Well the first of my 5 step pro­gram that I can’t live with­out for my hair are pro­tec­tive updo styles. The rea­son why I say pro­tec­tive updos is because any style you see in the pic­tures fea­tured here are always about 150 loose twists. You can have a pro­tec­tive style but wear it down as well. I def­i­nite­ly see a dif­fer­ence in mois­ture and over­all health of my hair at the end of the week due to pro­tec­tive updo styles.

The sec­ond would be MOISTURE and when it comes to my tex­ture more mois­ture is bet­ter. I began the use of all nat­u­ral oils about 4 months ago and must say I did notice less shed­ding, and itch­ing of the scalp has become almost non-exis­tent.

The third step would be wash­ing my hair in loose twist or 8–10 loose braids. My superfine hair can’t sur­vive a wash­ing with­out some type of style pro­tec­tion. So a wash and go for me is unthink­able for my hair type. With my hair tex­ture and length I could wash but my hair ain’t going nowhere!

The fourth step would be wear­ing a silk scarf at night. My man said it was some­thing he had to get use to but nev­er saw it as a big deal (but to be hon­est he real­ly didn’t have a choice, lol).

The fifth and real essen­tial step is PATIENCE espe­cial­ly when detan­gling (as my hair has grown longer detan­gling on dry hair works best for me). Try not to detan­gle your hair when you are extreme­ly stressed, tired or hun­gry because uncon­scious­ly you can take it out on your hair.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C:
One of my best friend’s Nik­isha and I have just start­ed a hair and fash­ion web­site called Urban Bush Babes where I go more in depth about my expe­ri­ence as a mod­el with nat­u­ral hair in the fash­ion world. We have also start­ed a Youtube chan­nel and a Face­book page as well under the same name Urban­Bush­Babes.

Any­thing else you want to add?
C:
I know as a black wom­an with type 4b-c hair that this hair type has been stereo­typ­i­cal­ly deemed the least attrac­tive of all the hair types (good ver­sus bad hair syn­drome) due to the lack of curl pat­tern. There­fore some wom­en do not want to claim it or they feel ashamed of the true nat­u­ral state of their hair. The­se wom­en should not be scold­ed but edu­cat­ed, because their mind­set is a result of years of bom­bard­ment of cer­tain types of images through social media of what stereo­typ­i­cal “beau­ty” is in this coun­try. Change is begin­ning to hap­pen with out­lets such as this but you can’t expect a change overnight. I feel for­tu­nate to have been instilled since a young age through a very mil­i­tant, polit­i­cal father and beau­ti­ful lov­ing moth­er that beau­ty comes in all sizes, shapes, col­ors and hair tex­tures. I fear if I did not have that edu­ca­tion my mind­set would not be where it is today.


Cipriana’s Mom (with the big hair :)

Peo­ple will always have some­thing to say whether it be pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive. Remem­ber peo­ple make fun of things they fear and do not under­stand. Not to say you can’t dis­like some­thing but it should nev­er be done in a tone to bring some­one down. I was com­ing home from a long day of work, I was tired and hun­gry (a dead­ly com­bi­na­tion) when I saw a group of teenagers (2 young wom­en and 3 young men) pass by. The two young wom­en start­ed laugh­ing and shout­ing to the young men, ‘Is that all her hair? What is that?! It looks like a hat!’ Well truth be told on this day my updo did resem­ble a hat. So I sim­ply said “You know you’re right. I can see how it does resem­ble a hat, and yes it is all mine.” Their expres­sion was price­less and they real­ly didn’t know how to respond so they didn’t say any­thing. I killed them with a stern kind­ness. So the next time you hear a neg­a­tive remark regard­ing your hair as the beau­ti­ful per­son you are nev­er fall to their lev­el. I think Mar­t­in Luther King said it best “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him”.

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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263 Comments on "Cipriana // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Alisha

Love, love, LOVE her hair! Beau­ti­ful! She’s like a hair inspi­ra­tion for me! Gor­geous!

cipriana

Thank you so much Alisha for the pos­i­tiv­i­ty :)

soyluv

gor­geous hair, style & per­son! kudos!

Cipriana

Thank you soy­luv :))

Cipriana

I love the pos­i­tiv­i­ty on this site. Thank you again and con­grats to the­la­dy :)

Chai

Loved this inter­view!! Real­ly got a great sense of who she is and her hair regime is on point!!

Cipriana

Thank you so much Chai :)

thelady

Your hair is gor­geous. I love your top 5 list of how you main­tain your hair. I’m a 4a with about 12 inch­es of lengthand I’ve found that most of the things you do work for my hair as well.

Cipriana

Thank you the­la­dy so glad you have found a method that works for you :)

mangomadness

Love­ly hair and style! I will be fol­low­ing your YouTube chan­nel and blog.

Cipriana

Thank you man­go­mad­ness :)

Cipriana

The read­ers of bglh are amaz­ing. Thank you so much again. To answer Jerica’s answer yes I do expe­ri­ence shrink­age. Every pho­to that is post­ed here my hair is in loose twist. The pho­tos where my hair is down, if I were to stretch my hair if would fall to waist lev­el. Also my hair is nat­u­ral­ly stretched via dry braid­ing so I actu­al­ly expe­ri­ence about 50% shrink­age, may­be a lit­tle more.

Kels

Wow! Some­one who actu­al­ly claims to have 4b-c hair!!! I swear, it seems like no one in the world has hair over a 4 a. EVERYONE is a 33a-4b. No one ever has tight­ly coiled 4b+ hair. I see peo­ple with tight hair like mine insist­ing they’re a 4a with a lit­tle 3b because they have some ran­dom lock of hair with a lit­tle bit of curl to it.

Thank you for claim­ing your tight tex­ture proud­ly!

Deena

That’s because 4c is con­tro­ver­sial since some peo­ple claim it doesn’t exist and is just combed out/stretched out 4b. I see many peo­ple online say they have no curl pat­tern what­so­ev­er and there are plen­ty of peo­ple who iden­ti­fy as 4b.

chic noir

Yea

I think Sera25(youtube) is proof that there is 4c hair out there. It could be that it’s not very com­mon among Blk Amer­i­cans. In con­trast to 4a and 4b tex­ture that is plen­ti­ful amongst Amer­i­can blks.

*shrugs shoud­ers*

chic noir
Cipriana
Well I am here to say 4c does exist, lol. Some peo­ple equate hav­ing no uni­formed curl pat­tern means “bad hair”. I did not state all nat­u­rals deny their true state but I per­son­al­ly have not seen many peo­ple claim 4C but this is just through my own expe­ri­ence. I remem­ber my hair through my youth and have pics on my blog and my moth­er did not use heat on my hair so to be hon­est in my youth a uni­formed curl was very for­eign to me in my fam­i­ly. Just try­ing to give some pos­i­tiv­i­ty to ladies who might… Read more »
Deena
Oh I’ve nev­er thought much either way of 4Cs exis­tence or lack of, when I first when nat­u­ral there was no 4C and peo­ple were dis­cussing 3C being added on. I was just sur­mis­ing that many don’t claim 4c because THEY don’t believe it exists. I don’t believe you were say­ing nobody claims 4b or 4c but didn’t want peo­ple to get the impres­sion that a major­i­ty or large num­ber of 4bs were doing what Kels describes. It both­ers me a lit­tle when peo­ple speak of 4bs and 4cs des­per­ate­ly try­ing to prove that they have a patch of 3… Read more »
Cipriana

Hey Deena. Yes that was not my impres­sion as well but you can not deny what Kels stat­ed does in fact hap­pen very often but this is what we see through lack of visu­al resources, what we don’t see is the many beau­ti­ful wom­en who are proud of their hair regard­less of type because all hair is beau­ti­ful. Bglh along with oth­er amaz­ing sites is part of the visu­al resources that is chang­ing this. I will check­out CNappy’s web­site. I love Ser­a2544 on Youtube as well. Thanks for the rec­om­men­da­tion :)

Cipriana

Lol you are too much Kels. I hear you but it all boils down to what peo­ple define as beau­ty regard­ing their self. If you don’t believe you hair is beau­ti­ful you most like­ly will not want to claim your true hair tex­ture.

Kels

Again, thank you. I would con­sid­er myself a 4b-c as well. I know hair typ­ing is not sci­ence, but some­times I have to roll my eyes when I watch youtube videos and some­one with kinky hair like mine, will pull out lit­tle ran­dom strands of hair that have a spi­ral curl, and then label them­selves 3b-4a. I find it very inter­est­ing.

But again, thanks. And you and you hair are beau­ti­ful.

Cipriana

Hey Say­what don’t con­fuse the baby hair for a looser curl pat­tern, lol. Your right you prob­a­bly need a closer look but I thought the pics were a clear rep­re­sen­ta­tion. To each his own :) I am not here to deceive any­one on my hair type lawd knows it takes a whole lot of work. Thank you so much every­one for your uplift­ing words they are tru­ly appre­ci­at­ed.

kindredb

O_o Amaz­ing. Cipri­ana, you and your hair are gor­geous!

I find it very, very inter­est­ing that peo­ple still cling so tight­ly to their belief that African hair of ALL tex­tures can’t grow– so much so that if a wom­an describes her hair as 4b/4c, but it’s super long, she MUST wrong about her hair tex­ture.

Any­way, TWINS!!!! I love all the throw­back pic­tures in this post.

Cipriana

Thank you so much kin­dredb. I just want to shed light on my hair jour­ney and the meth­ods I use which may be able to help some­one who is becom­ing frus­trat­ed along their nat­u­ral hair jour­ney. Yes my twin is my heart. Thanks again :)

Jerica

I’ve been wait­ing soo long for thus fea­ture! Her hair is fierce. I’m a 4b nat­u­ral and I hate pro­tec­tive styling, but I may have to get on the band­wag­on! No heat?? Hmm..do you expe­ri­ence shrink­age?

Cipriana

Thank you Jer­i­ca :) I am actu­al­ly going to do a youtube video on my shrink­age. I expe­ri­ence about 50% shrink­age.

Joslyn

LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! Hair is on point and kudos to you for tak­ing the time, patience, and ener­gy to cul­ti­vate your BEAUTIFUL crown of hair! This post is soooo encour­ag­ing and I will NEVER EVER com­plain about hav­ing to twist my hair again! (140 twists!?) Thanks for the hair inspi­ra­tion :-)

Cipriana

Haha­ha yes 140–150 twist. Thank you so much Joslyn :)

dgerika

This was a won­der­ful inter­view! You have very beau­ti­ful long hair and your words of wis­dom were very well received!

Lov­ing­Me­Tees

Cipriana

Thank you dgerika :)

naturalzu

CUTE OUTFITS! and i love your hair to!

Cipriana

Thank you nat­u­ralzu :)

SOJO

YAY!

I’ve been wait­ing for C’s inter­view since her pre­miere as a style icon.

Her tress­es are pure hair glut­tony.

Great inter­view. Great pics. 

Def­i­nite­ly worth the wait.

Cam

I too couldn’t wait for Cipriana’s i/v. Your hair is gor­geous and all that can be said is well done and thank you for shar­ing : )

Cipriana

Thank you so much Cam and SOJO :)

Saywhat

That doesn’t look like a 4B/C tex­ture to me at all. May­be I need a closer look, but I don’t see it.

anon

I don’t see it either, though she is of course, free to cat­e­go­rize her hair how­ev­er she prefers.

Littlesnitch
I do won­der what posters who make com­ments like this real­ly think 4b or 4c hair looks like? In the washed out pic­ture (2nd set) you can clear­ly see the 4b tex­ture yet it seems like the length has some folks miffed. Besides 4b or 4c is just hair with­out uni­form curls or coils and if Cipri­ana had uni­form curls or coils, I’m sure we’d see them and she as the own­er of that hair would not be on here try­ing to pass her­self off as 4b/c. Not every­one (is there any­one like this left???) is try­ing to be down… Read more »
Cipriana

Amen, Amen, Amen :)

Cipriana

Hey anon to each their own but you prob­a­bly need a closer look, lol. I’m not here to mis­lead any­one.

Corinthia

Why what does it look like to you? Is it the length that throws you off? because it looks like my hair and I iden­ti­fy as 4b tex­ture.

Glad Cipri­ana final­ly made it on here. subbed to her Youtube.

Cipriana

Thank you :)))

aiych

She undoubt­ed­ly knows her hair tex­ture bet­ter than you do…

Dee (durelene)

p.s I cant stand it when oth­er peo­ple try to tell you what your own hair tex­ture is. I don’t care if it looks 2a and the per­son is claim­ing 4a, there is a rea­son they are claim­ing it. ITS THEir HAIR!!

Cipriana

Thank you Dee :))

chic noir

ouch aiy­ch.

say­what, I’m preety sure she has 4b may­be 4c hair. Look at the youtube video. Com­pare her hair to her friend’s 3A-3B hair.

Cipriana

Hel­lo chic noir, thank you again :)

Beth

I per­son­al­ly think that the longer the hair is, the more it can “fool” you tex­ture wise. I only big chopped 7 months ago so my hair is short now and most would call it a 4a, but I remem­ber my curls as a child look­ing very 3c, or what­ev­er you call it. Any­ways, like aiy­ch said, she would know her hair bet­ter than we do and there’s no ques­tion that it’s GORG! (along with her :)

Cipriana

Great point Beth I believe the longer the hair the more deceiv­ing it may be to oth­ers. Thank you so much every­one :)))

Cipriana

Thank you aiy­ch :))

aiych

Oh, and your hair is the bomb dig­gi­ty by the way…in case you didn’t already know lol

cipriana

Haha, thank you for the bomb dig­gi­ness aiy­ch :D

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