*Pre­pared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1Me­Nat­u­ral­ly

ant honey

Intro­duce your­self!
My name is Shan­ti. I am a Philly girl raised in Ger­man­town! Cur­rent­ly I’m a ful­ly devot­ed stu­dent in the rig­or­ous study of moth­er­hood to a beau­ti­ful, clever 1 and a half year old. I also blog when I find the time and ener­gy.

Antoinette: I’m Antoinette. I live in BROOKLYN! But I was born and raised in Philadel­phia and I rep Philly all day. I am a blog­ger, singer, an actress and I also sling plates as a side hus­tle at a Jazz Club in NYC to pay the rent.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al?
I have been nat­ur­al my entire life although for more than two thirds of it, I had no idea how to take care of it! I began my healthy hair jour­ney in Spring of 2009. I grew tired of always deal­ing with stripped crispy hair because I was a slave to the flat iron. I was tired of feel­ing dis­sat­is­fied with its health. I decid­ed to begin to learn how to prop­er­ly love my hair.

Antoinette: I went nat­ur­al because I hon­est­ly had no idea what tex­ture my hair was. My father did my hair as a child and his spe­cial­ty was pig­tail plaits. When he washed my hair he always blow dried it and nev­er let it air dry because he was always ner­vous I would get sick. When I got old enough to do my own hair the “ladies at work” told my mom about “Just For Me box relax­ers” so it was all over from there. In high school I was search­ing for myself while being influ­enced by just about every­thing around me. Luck­i­ly, I had pos­i­tive peo­ple around me and was involved in a pro­gram called Free­dom School that rein­forced black beau­ty. There, you were kind of the odd ball out if your hair was relaxed. Also a girl named Beth and her holis­tic crew (whose hair was and still is the bomb) put me on to the nat­ur­al hair game. She said some­thing like “You’re hair is tex­tured. You’re beau­ti­ful. You’d be more beau­ti­ful if you’d stop hid­ing it”. I looked up to her. So I stopped hid­ing it.

When and how did you tran­si­tion into nat­ur­al hair?
Although I didn’t tran­si­tion from permed to curly, I tran­si­tioned by relearn­ing prop­er hair tech­niques. I researched and con­tin­u­ous­ly exper­i­ment­ed with my hair until I felt I had con­trol and an under­stand­ing of my hair’s needs. I spent many hours in front of the com­put­er on great sites such as this as well as many hours in the mir­ror try­ing to fig­ure out styles, prod­ucts and tech­niques that best suit­ed my hair.

Antoinette: Oh God, I took a pair of child safe­ty scis­sors and start­ed to cut. I cut about 5–7 inch­es off that night. I decid­ed to wait to cut the rest until my hair grew a lit­tle more. So my hair was curly at the root and straight at the end. I looked crazy. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea. I just remem­ber being amped to do it. It was a right of pas­sage for me.

In what ways (if any) has going nat­ur­al affect­ed you?
I feel vic­to­ri­ous! When I was lost and con­fused about my hair I always knew with patience and under­stand­ing my hair would even­tu­al­ly reach its poten­tial. And I feel that it has! I car­ry the les­son that per­sis­tence, con­sis­ten­cy and lov­ing patience can heal and over­come all obsta­cles I may face. It makes me want to share my sto­ry with every­one else. I want to encour­age them to face their neu­rot­ic fears, their addic­tion to straight, weak hair and learn to love and parade the beau­ti­ful hair they pos­sess. I hear myself some­times and think I have become a walk­ing infomer­cial, but I digress….

Antoinette: It seems odd because many think “It’s just hair”, but it real­ly has giv­en me a bet­ter sense of self. It match­es my per­son­al­i­ty. It sets me apart from folks. It’s a salute to my Ital­ian Moth­er and African Amer­i­can Father. It’s what they cre­at­ed. It’s more ver­sa­tile. I feel sex­i­er nat­ur­al. I feel more con­fi­dent. I can play hard with­out hav­ing to wor­ry about roots and shit. There’s a free­dom in it. I mean there is some­thing to be said about a woman who is unapolo­getic about the way God made her. I have been attend­ing nat­ur­al meet-ups and I am always in awe of the women there. I find myself say­ing, “Damn, we look good.” Because we do! Imag­ine walk­ing down the street and hav­ing a sea of fros, twists, braid-outs and locs, etc. be the norm?! How empow­er­ing would that be?

How would you describe your hair?
My hair strands are medi­um in thick­ness and course, with a ten­den­cy towards dry­ness. My curl pat­tern is a mix of 3a-3c.

Antoinette: My hair is nev­er the same any day. It’s pret­ty unpre­dictable, but I have learned to just go along with what­ev­er it’s doing that day. I think we can set our­selves up try­ing to achieve the exact same look twice. I don’t even plan my styles real­ly. I just take what­ev­er this wig is giv­ing me and play around with it until it does some­thing I’m cool walk­ing out of the house with. But most­ly, my hair is thin but strong. I can manip­u­late its curl pat­tern eas­i­ly. Some­times it falls flat, some­times it’s pop­pin and full of body. The curls are an ‘s’ shape. It’s prone to knots and dries out eas­i­ly. But over­all, it’s healthy and hap­py.

What is your reg­i­men?
I wash my hair once a week with non-sul­fate sham­poo. I deep con­di­tion with Earth Science’s Avo­ca­do and Olive Oil Deep Con­di­tion­er along with hon­ey and olive oil from my home. I use Kinky Curly Knot Today or Gio­van­ni as a leave in con­di­tion­er, and dur­ing these win­ter months I seal with cas­tor oil. After my hair is mois­tur­ized (while damp) I put 5–6 flat twists through­out my head and keep them in over night or some­times for an entire day. I take them down and style. Easy breezy.

Antoinette: I don’t real­ly have a dai­ly reg­i­men. What­ev­er I think it needs, I give it. I wet my hair pret­ty much every­day. If it’s cool out­side I dry it with a dif­fuser. If it’s dry I do a deep con­di­tion­er and sit under my hair steam­er for 20 min­utes. I often make my own deep con­di­tion­ers from yogurt, hon­ey, bananas, and avo­ca­do. The recipes are on the blog. I always dilute my sham­poo and make my own mix. I use 1/3 Kinky Curly Come Clean Sul­fate Free Sham­poo, 1/3 a cheap con­di­tion­er and 2/3 water. I hen­na from time to time for some added strength if I start to see break­age. I sleep with it usu­al­ly up in a high pony­tail or in two plump twists. I detan­gle when it’s wet and drenched in con­di­tion­er. I ALWAYS use a dai­ly leave-in con­di­tion­er. I switch back and forth between a lot of dif­fer­ent ones: Gio­van­ni Direct Leave In, Kinky Curly Leave In, Karen’s Body Beau­ti­ful Sweet Ambrosia and Mixed Chicks Leave In.

How do you retain length and mois­ture in your hair?
I retain length by restrict­ing my usage of the comb or brush. I haven’t used a comb for 3 months now and I don’t plan on using one in the future. My detan­gling tools are my ten pha­langes! My hands are much more gen­tle and kind then a tough comb. I retain mois­ture by being aware of my hair’s needs. If it needs mois­ture I give it to it regard­less if I mois­tur­ized the day before. I always seal with an oil and nev­er fall asleep with an uncov­ered head.

Antoinette: I always use a leave in con­di­tion­er. There is a huge mis­con­cep­tion that oil is hydrat­ing. It’s not. It locks in mois­ture, it does not mois­tur­ize. So, it’s impor­tant that we use a good leave in con­di­tion­er.

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
My hair can’t tol­er­ate any type of heat. I just can’t do it with­out pay­ing a price. I also can’t rush when detan­gling and styling. My hair is uber sen­si­tive and demands TLC.

Antoinette: I bleached my hair and then dyed it almost every year. Ugh. It’s nev­er a good idea espe­cial­ly for thin hair. It just can’t han­dle being stripped. All my hair fell out and I had to start over. No bueno.

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
Keep my hair mois­tur­ized. Keep manip­u­la­tion low and my head cov­ered when I sleep. Boom! Sim­ple.

Antoinette: I lis­ten to it and love it. I give it what it needs. Peri­od. Our bod­ies aren’t fick­le like us. They know what they want.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Me and my ace boon coon Antoinette have a nat­ur­al hair blog A Curl’s Best­friend (www.acurlsbf.com) where our obses­sion with each oth­er, nat­ur­al hair, and the kinky, curly com­mu­ni­ty is shared for all to enjoy. Twit­ter–@curlsbestfriend

Any­thing else you want to add?
Mind over mat­ter. Change your thoughts about your hair and what beau­ty is and expe­ri­ence the free­dom, con­fi­dence and pride that nat­ur­al hair offers.


Just anoth­er lover of nat­ur­al hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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15 Comments on "Shanti & Antoinette // Natural Hair Style Icons"

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[…] Post­ed on Decem­ber 19, 2011 by Antoinette How cool is this? We are fea­tured as Nat­ur­al Hair Style Icons on Black Girl Long Hair. Check out the inter­view here. […]

Inspirational Quotes

Mag­nif­i­cent goods from you, man. I’ve under­stand your stuff pre­vi­ous to and you are just extreme­ly great. I actu­al­ly like what you’ve acquired here, cer­tain­ly like what you are say­ing and the way in which you say it. You make it enter­tain­ing and you still care for to keep it sen­si­ble. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is real­ly a tremen­dous web­site.

Lorine Mckinnie

Found this on MSN and I’m glad I did. Inter­est­ing arti­cle.

baby bliss flat iron

Attrac­tive por­tion of con­tent. I sim­ply stum­bled upon your blog and in acces­sion cap­i­tal to say that I acquire in fact loved account your blog posts. Any­way I’ll be sub­scrib­ing in your feeds or even I ful­fill­ment you get entry to con­sis­tent­ly quick­ly.

my spirit animal

Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daugh­ter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a her­mit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She nev­er wants to go back! LoL I know this is entire­ly off top­ic but I had to tell some­one!


OMG, I’m in <3! Lol. Going to their blog NOW


Thank you so much ladies. And no we aren’t dat­ing but that’s still my #1 boo.

Amma Mama

They’re real­ly pret­ty & I LOVE their bows.


Are they dat­ing? Cute cou­ple <3

Carol @ bigshowercap.com

Hel­lo Ladies, I would like for you to review my prod­uct. It is BIGSHOWERCAP.COM it is the biggest show­er cap ever for us nat­u­rals! Please for­ward your mail­ing address to me at: bigshowercap@nc.rr.com
Car­ol @ bigshowercap.com


[…] Shan­ti & Antoinette // Nat­ur­al Hair Style Icons via Black Girl Long Hair […]


I love their blogs and steal all of their cre­ative hair­styles!!


Love it!


You ladies are soooooooo gor­geous! We always appre­ci­ate your sup­port! Much Respect : ) Philly STAND UP!


These chi­cas are my fav blog­gers:) I love thi­er style & of course the hair.