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 😀

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