*Pre­pared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1Me­Nat­u­ral­ly

Intro­duce your­self!
P:
Hey ya’ll, I’m Por­tia! I was born in Cal­i­for­nia, but I was raised in New Jer­sey by the shore! I enjoy going to church, art, thrift­ing, muse­ums, and read­ing. I also love make­up, fash­ion, and any­thing that sparkles. I’m obsessed with rhine­stones and sequins. I also have a B.A in Jour­nal­ism and an M.A in Pub­lic Rela­tions. I love to write and one day, I’ll pub­lish a nov­el. I’m cur­rent­ly work­ing in Social Ser­vices, but make­up and styling make my heart smile. I’m God fear­ing, a wife, and I’m always learn­ing.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
P:
After 7 years of get­ting relax­ers, I was tired of burn­ing and irri­tat­ing my scalp. I would lit­er­al­ly have scabs and sores on my scalp after a fresh relax­er and I just knew that it wasn’t some­thing that I’d want to go through for the rest of my life. Sure, I had hair. But would I still have hair in 20 years was what I was wor­ried about. I was clear­ly hav­ing some kind of reac­tion to the chem­i­cals and for me to keep putting my scalp and hair through that abuse would be insane. Not to men­tion, I’d prob­a­bly be los­ing my hair by the time I turned 40.

When and how did you tran­si­tion into nat­u­ral hair?
P:
I decid­ed to go nat­u­ral after my senior year of high school. I didn’t tran­si­tion very long. I just grew out my relaxed roots for about 3 months and then I cut my hair off. I didn’t real­ly know much about nat­u­ral hair so I only had one tran­si­tion­al style, a bun. I nev­er had short hair in my life and I didn’t real­ly care what it looked like. I was just tired of my scalp being abused. I had enough.

In what ways (if any) has going nat­u­ral affect­ed you?
P:
Once I let my hair grow out of my scalp the way God intend­ed it to grow, I felt lib­er­at­ed and free. I didn’t have to wor­ry about get­ting my hair wet in the rain or wor­ry about when I had to get a touch up. I felt like I was ME for the first time in my life. I didn’t blend in with the rest of the world any­more and I liked it. I liked know­ing that I could be Por­tia.

Because I was able to step out of the box with my hair, I was able to step out of the box with oth­er things as well. I began to wear the clothes that I WANTED TO WEAR and par­tic­i­pate in activ­i­ties that I had always been inter­est­ed in. I even chose a major in col­lege that I felt com­fort­able with. I didn’t go for a major that made the “big bucks”. I chose my career path based on what I knew would make ME hap­py until retire­ment. I also chose my grad­u­ate pro­gram based on who I was as a per­son and what I could see myself doing. I became an indi­vid­u­al and peo­ple noticed. My moth­er cer­tain­ly noticed. The first thing she said when she saw my short nat­u­ral hair was “You’re out of con­trol!” lol. Grow­ing up, I was the kind of per­son that asked for per­mis­sion to do every­thing and if my moth­er said “no”, then I would accept it. Doing the big chop was the first time I did some­thing on my own and with­out anyone’s opin­ion or per­mis­sion. It took my moth­er a while to get used to it, but she’s well over it now. She’s even gone nat­u­ral her­self!

How would you describe your hair?
P:
I have thick hair, but it’s not that dif­fi­cult to man­age. I can comb through it with my wide tooth comb quite eas­i­ly when it’s wet. My curl pat­tern is very tight in the back and sort of wavy and kinky in the front. I didn’t real­ize you could have two or three total­ly dif­fer­ent tex­tures on one head. I’m not real­ly sure what “type” of hair I have because I can’t real­ly get too deep into that. All hair tex­tures are beau­ti­ful in my opin­ion any­way. My hair is also very cot­ton like and fluffy when dry. It’s very soft and it isn’t heavy at all. It grows out, not down. I will nev­er have hair that flops down on my shoul­ders when in its nat­u­ral state. It just gets taller and wider :-) It usu­al­ly does its own thing. No twist out, puff, or roller set is ever the same. Some­times my hair can look super huge and some­times it can look not so huge. Some­times it is super curly and some­times it looks like a giant cot­ton ball. I enjoy its ver­sa­til­i­ty. It all depends on the day and the weath­er. I let my hair dic­tate to me how it’s going to behave. I’ve stopped try­ing to get it to do what I want it to do :-)

What is your reg­i­men?
P:
I wash my hair once or twice a week (depend­ing on how my scalp is act­ing). Because sham­poo is dry­ing on my hair, I only use sham­poo twice a mon­th and when I do, I like to use VO5 Clar­i­fy­ing sham­poo. It’s cheap, but for some rea­son my hair real­ly likes VO5. I also like to co-wash my hair with their con­di­tion­er. Some­times I switch up the sham­poo and con­di­tion­er and use Cre­me of Nature. I deep con­di­tion my hair once every two weeks. My hair needs a very thick and heavy con­di­tion­er, so I always use Queen Helene’s Cho­les­terol con­di­tion­er. My hair can be frag­ile, so this con­di­tion­er helps to strength­en it. Because I have dry hair, I like to use Extra Vir­gin Olive Oil (EVOO) mixed with a bit of tea tree oil as a hot oil treat­ment once every two weeks. I have seb­or­rhe­ic der­mati­tis so I can’t use oils on my scalp. Because I can rin­se the hot oil out, my scalp isn’t irri­tat­ed, but my hair is not dry (that tip was for any­one who may have the same issue).

I like to wear twist outs the most because it’s easy and func­tion­al. I’m not a wash and go girl because my hair retains water and can take as long as two days to dry com­plete­ly. I just don’t like walk­ing around with a wet head all day. I use Organ­ic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Smooth & Hold Pud­ding and raw Shea But­ter on my twist outs. When I want to be fan­cy, I use Kinky Curly Cus­tard. I sit under the dry­er to dry my twists.

How do you retain length and mois­ture in your hair?
P:
I actu­al­ly don’t wor­ry about the length of my hair too much. I fig­ure, if I’m tak­ing care of my hair the way I’m sup­posed to and nur­tur­ing it, then my hair is bound to retain length. How­ev­er, I do have some things that I do so that I don’t rip out my strands. I nev­er brush or comb my hair dry (unless it’s blow dried and I’m styling it). I always make sure my hair is coat­ed with Shea But­ter for mois­ture. I nev­er use small combs, only wide tooth combs. I always make sure I use a heat pro­tec­tor if I blow dry my hair. I always sleep with a sat­in scarf, bon­net, or pil­low case. This keeps my hair from snag­ging and becom­ing dry and brit­tle. I also like to let my hair free and not use head­bands or wear my hair up in a puff for too long. If I do, my edges get weak and I lit­er­al­ly feel stands of hair snap­ping in two. I also like to get my ends trimmed once a year. Some may feel that’s not enough, but it is for me.

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
P:
I used to com­pare my hair to oth­er nat­u­rals, but then I real­ized that all nat­u­ral hair is not cre­at­ed equal. What works for one nat­u­ral haired lady, may not work for the next. I just had to shut out every­one else’s opin­ion and focus on my hair and how it respond­ed to prod­ucts. Once I lis­tened, it start­ed to mor­ph into some­thing beau­ti­ful.

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
P:
One of my favorite things to do for my hair is to give it a break. Yes, it’s great that I have nat­u­ral hair that can be care free, but even nat­u­ral hair needs a break. Some­times dur­ing the year I will get a pro­tec­tive style (exam­ple: kinky twists, Sene­gale­se twists) so that my hair can have a break from manip­u­la­tion. My hair responds well to this and it thanks me by grow­ing an inch or two while I have in my twists. I recent­ly start­ed test­ing the waters with sew-in weaves (full head), so that will prob­a­bly be my next pro­tec­tive style.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
P:
Actu­al­ly yes! I’ve just been given the push to start a blog (huneybflyy.com). It’s in its begin­ning stages, but there, you will be able to get tips on styling nat­u­ral hair, make­up, and fash­ion for the every day wom­an. You can also find me on Twit­ter at www.twitter.com/#!/HuneyBFlyy and on Insta­gram @huneybflyy.

Any­thing else you want to add?
P:
I just want to tell all of the African Amer­i­can wom­en (who aren’t nat­u­ral) read­ing my inter­view to stop wor­ry­ing so much about going nat­u­ral. It is JUST hair and I promise you that it will be beau­ti­ful and grow if you take care of it. Kinky, curly, and wavy is exact­ly the way God wants our hair to grow. If He didn’t, He would have made it straight.

Meosha

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

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64 Comments on "Portia // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Linda W.

Por­tia,
You are a beau­ti­ful wom­an and so proud of you and your work! May God always bless you with the wis­dom to stand on those con­vic­tions that are right and mat­ter. When we feel good about our­selves, we can face the world with no reser­va­tions. Thank-you for this infor­ma­tion you share, that helps oth­ers vision for them­selves what is right for them and not what soci­ety says is good for us. We choose. God first, then what is right for me and mine. Vision.

Abeo

you inspire me!! i love your hair and your atti­tude. May God bless you :)

Dana

Beau­ti­ful inter­view, and a beau­ti­ful girl to match. You shine, girl! Go on!

Dallas

I’m in love with her vol­ume!

ema

just beau­ti­ful :)

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