*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Introduce yourself!
My name is Donna. I live in Chicago, but I was born in Detroit and I grew up in the suburbs. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 and I am a current graduate student at Columbia College Chicago pursuing a Masters in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management. My focus is visual arts and entrepreneurship and I started a photography business, DONEDO Art and Photography, in 2010.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
I’m adopted so I grew up in a multiracial (black and white) family. When I was in elementary I was the only black girl in my entire school with the only other black kids being my younger brothers. I used to rock braids & beads but I remember begging my mom to let me wear my hair “down” like all the other girls. My mom finally gave in and let me get a perm in 3rd grade. I remember how excited I was to have long hair down my back, but by 4th grade it had all broken off and I had to cut my hair down to a few inches. Ever since then it has been a constant struggle to retain a healthy length while the chemicals were destroying my hair. Before I moved to Chicago for grad school in fall 2010 I had been contemplating going natural for a while. I knew that my hair would be healthier, thicker and more versatile, and I had a lot of friends who were already natural. Also, watching many natural hairstyle tutorials on YouTube influenced me.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
After coming to Chicago I was stretching my perms for 2 months or longer because I didn’t know any quality hair stylists in Chicago. January 2011 was my last perm. In the beginning I was mostly wearing my own hair straight with weaves or bantu knot-outs in the spring and summer and a weave in the fall. January 2012 I decided to start trying different styles that accentuated my natural texture. These styles have consisted of twist outs, flat twist outs, curler sets, and protective updos.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
I get a lot more stares and looks when I wear different styles, but it has mostly been positive. I get a lot more compliments on my hair and style when I wear my hair natural than when I straighten it. I can however do without people thinking it’s okay to just touch my hair without asking, and people trying to check and see if it’s all mine.

How would you describe your hair?
I guess my hair is a 4b texture. It is very thick, but soft when moisturized.

What is your regimen?
I try and wash my hair once a week and style it as needed. I use either Carol’s Daughter shampoos and conditioners, KeraCare Humecto Conditioner and I recently started trying out Miss Jessie’s Detangling Shampoo (that works incredibly well) and their deep conditioners. I use Shea Butter or Giovanni as a leave-in conditioner and Mizani oils and Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding for styling.

How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
I retain length by being gentle with my hair especially when detangling the two different textures and trimming off the relaxed and damaged ends. I moisturize my hair with leave-in conditioners, oils, and deep conditioners. I also try to drink a lot of water.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
The biggest mistake I’ve made with my hair is doing too much with it. I’ve had braids, twists, weaves, highlights, weaves the day after I have had a perm, perms right after I took down my weave, and they all have damaged my hair when not done correctly or not taken down with the right care. One huge mistake I’ve made after taking down my hair from a weave was not detangling my hair before washing. This resulted in a tangled, matted, mess where I spent at least 8 hours trying to detangle my hair until I finally went to a salon and they had to cut 4 or 5 inches off because of breakage.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
As far as doing a long transition, I think weaves have really helped protect my new growth. Conditioning and deep conditioning does wonders for my hair, keeping it soft and manageable.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
www.theDONEDO.com and Instagram: donedo


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

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67 Comments on "Donna // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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hi I am Dania and I was wondering if you can help me I have a white mom to and my hair is to my shoulders can you help me I want it to be longer to my back what do I us please reply back.

lottie b!

I’ve watched this GORGEOUS young lady many times on youtube. She is very skilled in styling her hair. Wish she were here in my hometown to spin magic on my hair.


[…] was featured on March 1, 2012 when she was more than a year into her transition to natural hair. We caught up with her to get an […]


[…] was featured on March 1, 2012 when she was more than a year into her transition to natural hair. We caught up with her to get an […]


ugh Chicago…how the blaze you combat dryness from this AWFUL cold…

How you did that twists going around your head?!


I try and keep my hair moisturized with deep conditioners, leave-ins, and oils. The winter can be a hard season on your hair. I just made a tutorial for that style the other day. Its posted on my blog: http://donedonaturalhair.tumblr.com/
and on my youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/donedo05. Hope that helps!


you said that when you were transitioning, weaves helped your hair growth and I was just wondering if you were more keen to the full head or partial weaves?


I had partial weaves but either one is beneficial.


I’m glad this story struck a chord with you. The soigolocist Gwen Sharp is also white and she talked with me about the struggles she faced as a little girl with extremely curly hair. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!Tonya


I am currently transitioning from heat damaged hair and I was a little worried about getting a partial weave, but I can’t do a full head b/c i work out and pull my hair back often. Do you have any suggestions for me? I though of curly weaves, but it seems that the ones that i have found would not match my hair.


Most people pull back full weaves in low ponytails?


She looks much better than Kelly Roland.; face and real hair!


You’re hair is so beautiful, I was just wondering what type of creams and conditions would you recommend to people who have just started their transition and have just cut off the permed and broken hair?
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Thank you! I’m still experimenting with different products but I use Keracare humecto conditioner, carol’s daughter deep conditioner, and or Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment, and shea butter leave-in or Mizani conditioning hairdress. Miss Jessies detangling shampoo really makes detangling a lot easier.

Yoselin Grose

wow, awesome post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.


You’re welcome!


Hey! I love your hair so much!I have been transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair and have gotten allot of motivation from you and other people on this site :)) Where are you from? And what is you hair type?


Thanks! I guess I have 4a/b hair. How long have you been transitioning? I was born in Detroit but I grew up in the suburbs.


Your welcome!, I have been for about 4 months now :/, i’m going to keep on getting a trim, so soon, all my relaxed hair will be gone. Is this a good idea? I think i am a 4b but i don’t know how to tell.:)


That’s the way to go, I wish I had cut off my permed ends more regularly!


Thank you!And it dm. Your hair looks really good anyhow! 🙂


So freakin’ gorgeous!!


Hi Donna has anyone ever told you you look like Kelly Rowland? I am newly natural and I’m also from Chicago I was thinking us natural girls can come together and show the confidence, beauty,and style that you can still possess being natural. I truly need help in these area I would love to see how others naturals Rock……
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Yeah, lol I get that a lot!


Very good looking woman, she deserves a kiss on the forehead to grace her beauty.


Thanks you guys!

Jules B

Your hair is just awesome and you are so pretty yourself.




I love this girl! Her hair is AWESOME!!!!! And intelligent to boot! She wears her hair in a lot of the same ways I do and has a similar texture to mine too! Hair twin?


wow do you make videos? Are there any tutorials on your hairstyles. I checked your site but i don’t see anything. Only pictures of other people


I haven’t made any videos yet but since people are inquiring I may try it out. My website is a portfolio of my photography. I’ve been experimenting with different natural hairstyles for only a month and I generally just make them up as I go lol. I just created this style last night =)
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Oh my. I adore this Donna. God has blessed you with creativity. You keep your hair and style (make-up/clothes) very chic. Wishing you the best in your new photography business. Maybe one day I’ll be able to hire you as my photographer (my future wedding). Lol! Whenever that is.

Peace and blessings!


Thanks a lot @Mia!


absolutely beautiful woman and pics! congrats on opening your photography business! how did you get into and did you work with/under someone? i would LOVE to do it as a side gig and eventually have my own photography business.


Thanks! I’ve always been into art and design so my sophomore year of college I took my first photography class. A few years later I created DONEDO Art & Photography after people started inquiring about my services and I work by myself. I wish you the best of luck with your future photography ventures!


Awesome style icon! Love the versatile styles in the accompanying pics.


It’s always refreshing to see a full featured black woman featured and affirmed. You are BEAUTIFUL!!! From the pictures, your whole presence is like BAM! Do it girl 🙂




That’s one beautiful woman!


You and your hair is gorgeous! I love that lipcolor too! Do you mind telling me the name of the lipstick in the pic bglh25?


It’s COLORsensational by Maybelline in 977 Rockin Fuchia

Bohemian Soul

Every look is Fabulous! Work!


stunning! can we get a tutorial on the high wrap bun in the two photos with the camera? Love it!


+1 PLEASE DO A TUTORIAL!!!!!!!!!!!
and i mean it, this is the first time ive commented on bglh


Thanks, I’m starting a blog so stay tuned!


Good! I need tutorials on those fab updos!


Thanks everyone for the compliments!

African Violet

Great hair! Also, you look a lot like Kelly Rowland. 🙂




WHOA (in my Joey Lawrence voice)!! Her hair is so gorgeous! I love all of the styles. Her face and skin are flawless! Goodness!


are you wearing foundation in the pic with the golden blouse? if so, what kind?


I’m wearing MAC foundation in NW45 I think


Wow this what I call hair p0rn. Her hair, photos, and face are absolutely gorgeous.


okay so your hair is hot & you’re gorgeous!


Wow, both your hair and makeup are gorgeous! What lipstick do you use?


It’s actually COLORsensational by Maybelline in 977 Rockin Fuchia


I think a lot of the lipsticks are actually covergirl if I’m not mistaken (the fuschia purple)

gisella francisca

Donna! U are gorgeous gal. Keep on the good style and pretty makeups!


Oh my your hair is so awesome and your beautiful with your inspiring styles.

How long did you transitioned for and how did you maintained it?

thanks Donna


Thanks so much! I’ve been transitioning since the end of January 2011 and I’ve maintained my length by limiting heat, wearing protective styles like weaves in the beginning and keeping my natural hair moisturized.



I’ve gotta ask, how’d you get the volume on the 40ish hairstyle? (The pic marked bglh 23 et al?) Did you use foam fillers? Did you stretch your hair with braids or use heat? I think it’s worth a tutorial! Anyway, all your pics are BEAUTIFUL!


Thanks @Ogo!

A tutorial is a great idea! The day before I had done a flat twist out (four large flat twists straight back) so my hair was already had a looser wave pattern to it. Then I just sectioned off the front to pin back an asymmetrical pompadour, did two flat twists on the sides and pinned the ends to the opposite side in the back.




Thank you @merry!


Wow, I can’t get enough of all the style icons. They all look so great 🙂

Donna, you look stunning! Your hair is gorgeous.


Thanks @BeautyIAM!