*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

Leave a Reply

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

Notify of

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?
[imgcomment image[/img]


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.…..
[imgcomment image[/img]


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 =)
[imgcomment image[/img]


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!