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, 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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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


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