*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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fluffy in flight

What’s so arro­gant about what she said? Some peo­ple don’t wor­ry about length at all. Some peo­ple don’t like long hair, and some don’t care one way or the oth­er. Some of us project our hangups on oth­er peo­ple. Just accept peo­ple for what they have to say- don’t take it per­son­al­ly.

Anon

Spot on!

brunettefury

Great inter­view with lots of good advice and I LOVE her style!

J

+1

Antoinette Stewart

@ko I don’t sense any arro­gance -
My hair is still short, I haven’t wor­ried about length either just main­tain­ing my ends for may­be that one day of actu­al­ly wear­ing a straight style!

ko

She comes off as kind of arro­gant. “I don’t wor­ry about the length of my hair too much.” Of course you don’t, because it’s real­ly long!

merry

stop being green…

Rosina

I dont agree with you here. Her point is that if she takes good care of the hair, then it will grow long and remain long.
Ofcourse her hair is already long, so why should she wor­ry about it???

Anon

+1, not wor­ry about some­thing is not equal to arro­gance

Anon

not wor­ry­ing*

Cacey

i like this! her hair is so pret­ty. i too just decid­ed not to focus on length, per se. what i’ve now direct­ed my atten­tion to is just mak­ing sure my ends stay split end free, so indi­rect­ly i am still think­ing about length but it’s just in the back­ground rather than a fore­run­ning thought. And my hair is in corn­rows right now- i find, too, that my hair deserves a break from time to time!

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