How would you describe your texture?
I have highly textured, kinky hair. My hair is very dense, has low porosity, with medium to thick strands, and has about 75% shrinkage. My textured tresses can be a challenge at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
Because, I have an 11 month old and I’m pregnant again I don’t have the time to spend countless hours on my hair. I generally do a Bentonite/ACV treatment every two weeks; I pre-poo with coconut oil and deep condition. In between washes , I ACV rinse my scalp and/or co-wash, or cleansing co-wash based upon my hair needs. (I really need to buy a clay wash for when I’m too lazy to mix and let the bentonite sit.) I do protein treatments every 4-6 weeks, as needed. I tend to vary my styles, mostly due to sheer boredom. I rotate rod sets, wet twist/braid outs/ dry twist/braid outs, twists, and straight styles.

What does wash day look like for you?
Before I switched to a clay routine, I pre-pooed with Coconut oil and water, washed, and conditioned. I now do bentonite/ACV treatments to wash my hair since I only use clay to clean my hair. ( I plan on purchasing Terresentials for my lazy wash days.) I first co-wash my hair with VO5 Conditioner. Then I mix up Bentonite Clay and ACV to a yogurt consistency using plastic utensils. I leave on the Bentonite treatment for about 25 minutes. (Make sure that it does not harden on your hair!) I then deep condition with or without a dryer for 20-30 minutes with a conditioner like Yes to Cucumbers.

Before I wash all the conditioner out of my hair, I detangle my hair in sections under running water. If I need more slip, I use V05 conditioner. I rinse with cold water to seal and add a leave-in like Giovanni Direct leave-in and proceed to styling. When I co-wash I often use V05 Conditioner or Aussie Moist. For a cleansing conditioner, I use Shea Moisture Purification Masque. To add some cleansing power and to help with detangling, I do an ACV rinse (1 part ACV, three parts water) prior to my wash routine.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
When I don’t have enough time to style my hair, I do a wash ‘n go puff or updo. I just co-wash, leave some V05 conditioner and and oil like avocado oil, style and go. I also do a “modified” wash ‘n go, where I will spritz my hair to dampen and add a leave-in like Shea Moisture Replenishing Conditioner and add an oil. (I’ve tried different conditioners and leave-ins, and certain conditioners work better depending on how I am styling my hair.) You just have to be careful with wash ‘n gos, because they result in more single strand knots.

How do you combat shrinkage?
The best thing I’ve done to combat shrinkage, is switching to a clay routine. Since the beginning of my journey, I’ve done bentonite/ACV treatments once a month. The other weeks, I used a sulfate-free shampoo. But as my hair grew, the shrinkage became more of a problem. I tried every trick, including washing in braids. ( I hated it because, I felt like I was manipulating my hair too much and my hair would always unravel while washing.) One week I was washing with sulfate-free shampoo, and remembered how much of a breeze my washing routine was with bentonite. That was the last time I used sulfate-free shampoo. I haven’t looked back since. Have I mentioned that curls are popping, less tangles, and more stretch?

My other means to combat shrinkage include: mini-pineapples, banding, culformers, braidouts, and blowdrying my hair. (I know…heat.. gasp. My hair has no issues with heat and curls back with a drop of water.)

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
The top of my hair is finer than the rest of my hair and has a much looser curl pattern. So I have to be careful when manipulating or placing heat in that area.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
1. Do limit unnecessary manipulation of the hair. I don’t personally do a lot of protective styles, but even without protective styling I limit manipulation of my hair.

2. Do try to keep your hair stretched. Because I’m pregnant and have an 11 month old, I’ll admit that I’ve been pretty lazy with my hair. Ideally, I should stretch my hair with curlformers, blow dry on low or cool, or do braidouts, but I do wash ‘n go puffs. But even when I do that, I try to keep my hair stretched while drying via mini-pineapples or banding. I’ve also mastered detangling following the wash ‘n go. Despite that, I recognize that I will get more single strand knots and will have to clip my ends more frequently.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
1. Don’t blindly follow bandwagons. Take the time to do your research. You should also base your decisions upon what has and hasn’t worked on your hair.

2. Don’t detangle your hair if you don’t feel like it or are in a rush. (Unless you want tons of breakage.) If I don’t feel like doing my hair, I don’t. I usually do a quick fix and tackle the beast when I am in the mood. Also, from trial and error, I’ve learned what is best for detangling. ACV rinses (3 parts water, one part apple cider vinegar) make a major difference in detangling. I also detangle in sections under running water. Since I don’t wash my hair in braids, I’ve adopted a wash method that limits shrinkage. I stick to clay washes. I used to do bentonite treatments once a month and it was a breeze. Then I noticed that when I washed with sulfate-free shampoo, it was a nightmare. So I stopped washing with regular shampoo and haven’t looked back since.

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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30 Comments on "Latoya // 4B Styling"

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This is absolutely perfect for me. I’m newly natural & I have all the products that you use. I want to start a good regime early in the game so my hair can grow in healthier. =D


I have dry hair and after tree braids it began tangled (horrible hand fulls of hair shed and tangled). I water and oil at least 5 times a week.

Question do you think the clay is too drying? Do you know the PH of clay mixture? I really need lengthen and detangle sounds like this is the best of both worlds.

Problem – washed hair to ear plat to should stretched too bra length. Suggestions. Thanks


OMG I just used the bentonite clay hair mask and I am very satisfied with my results… Like I my curls were popping and shrinkage was reduced. Bentonite is my new best friend…never going back. Thanks for the inspiration.


Your hair looks so good; I too have SUPER thick hair that is very loose and wavy at the crown area. I am very interested in this clay wash, can you tell me how exactly you use the clay (just with water?). Also i am not sure if anyone else has this problem, but my hair is NOT retaining any moisture and is constantly dry. I am not sure if anyone has any suggestions for a new natural???


I will definitely start trying the clays and co-wash methods. After more than 2 years, my hair has not grown to lengths or maintained health as I’d hoped going natural would have made it. I’m not sure that I know how to co-wash properly and the thought of ACV leaving my hair smelling acidic scares me. But if this works, given myself and LaToya seem to have the same hair texture, I may become a believer.


hi joy =)
The ACV smell will fade when it dries. My favorite ACV rinse: 2oz of Apple Cider Vinegar, 8oz of water (boiled then cooled), 6 drops each of Rosemary and Lavender essential oil. I often put this mix in the fridge a day before I engage in my hair rituals. Seals cuticles, adds shine and sheen, and makes for easy detangling even before I add my pH balanced leave-in.


I have also just switched to clay washes. My hair is shinier and retains moisture longer. Curls are also popping! I don’t think I will ever go back to shampoo…




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My twin! I’ve been wanting to try clay, but I don’t know where to find it. Any suggestions besides online? I like to hold things in my hand before online buying.


You can find it at vitamin shoppe and any natural food store


Wholefoods sells Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay


Lovely and refreshing! And what a beautiful baby!

Hmmm…looks like I have to try Bentonite Clay now…lol


Need an advice girls….I love my coils and never want to loose them from my hair since that is what makes the hair looks lively. However it means that I am unable to comb my hair otherwise then I will loses the coils. I do not know how long I can keep up with not combing the hair…..cos I am sure the longer it grows will require some combing


Toya is Co-Founder of the Delaware Naturalistas… see more about her journey at


Thanks Stephanie for the shout out! Please check us out. Now that our expo is over, we will resume regular posting 🙂


Beautifull woman/hair/family


Her hair looks great! Love the pictures! Cute family.


We have the same name:))) Love your hair!


I think I found my hair twin!


So does anyone know how to make a bentonite clay wash? The last time I used bentonite on my hair I applied it like a relaxer and washed it out. Is there another way to apply? I’m on a mission to use less products.


Beautiful family and hair! 🙂

I love Bentonite clay washes and I use ACV rinses after shampoos or shampoo bars. My hair definitely loves these practices. This whole post was really helpful.


Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful. Clay washes made such a noticeable difference in my hair routine. Love them 🙂


Gotta learn more about those clay washes.



What are the most affective and efficient ways you stretch and keep your hair stretch?


To keep your hair stretched, you can pineapple, retwist or rebraid, or band your hair.

Her issues sound similiar to mine and her texture seems similar as mine as well, now I am seriously curious about bentonite clay as a hair wash. I agree with her about the ACV, since I started doing them I have never looked back. Prepooing showed no improvement after washing so I just don’t do it. But my question to the “DON’T” suggestion number 2. “Don’t detangle your hair if you don’t feel like it or are in a rush.” ***What quick fixes do you have?*** I been trying to make a list of quick fixes that doesn’t require a… Read more »
My quick fix all depends on the situation. If my scalp needs a quick cleansing and I don’t feel like washing, I’ll put ACV/water in a dye applicator bottle. If I have an old twist out, I’ll lightly spritz for pliability and do an updo. Another option is to spritz with enough water to bring out your curl pattern and add moisture, but not enough to make your hair shrink. Or… I may co-wash and not detangle or finger detangle to get the major tangles out. It is a bit of trial and error to figure out what works for… Read more »

The hair regimen is so simple which is really motivating.


co-sign on the clay washes and masks.

and her hair is pretty.