*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: My name is Adina and I’m a Knitwear Designer from Teaneck, New Jersey. I’m originally from The Bronx, New York Baby!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I came to a point in my life where I really wanted a change. I wanted to explore who I was on a holistic level, and that included my hair. I always believed that if I didn’t get a touch-up every 4-6 weeks my hair would break off, which kept me from exploring my natural texture. And I was never too handy with the flat-irons, curling irons and such. I wanted to focus my creative energies elsewhere; I’m a Designer and have my own Accessory line (http://www.etsy.com/shop/tightknitaccessories).
With the help of my beautician, I transitioned successfully for 8 months: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V1RAXdZndQ. I truly LOVED my journey! I was inspired by Sistas on the web, and encouragement all around me. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I would not change a thing. You can see more of my journey on fotki: http://public.fotki.com/Phatgrlslym/.
How would you describe your texture?
A: My hair is tightly-coiled, THICK with a capital T. I would describe my hair as 4b and very sponge-like. I’ve been told I have a lot of hair per square inch lol. It loves moisture. Shea butter and coconut oil are the key to sealing my ends. I trim my hair often and maintain a healthy diet. I believe it is essential to nourish your hair from the inside-out as well. Becoming natural definitely made me more aware of my nutrition and has made me a healthier/happier person. Finger detangling my hair and combing my hair in the shower with warm running water made a huge difference and cut back on breakage and time.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I set my hair with big braids or twists and seal the moisture in with raw shea butter and coconut oil. Until my hair dries, I usually wear my hair loose in the front and the rest under a snood, hairnet or headwrap. Once my hair is dry, I wear a braidout or twistout, then after a few days the shape starts to lose definition and I either wear a puff, bun or I’ll pick out the braidout and wear a fro. Throughout the week I spritz my hair with rosewater and seal with the shea butter/coconut oil mix. At night, I sleep with a satin bonnet or I’ll make big loose twists and “pineapple” my hair, depending on my mood or schedule.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I start off my wash regimen by finger detangling my hair, placing the hair in sections and then washing my hair with Raw Shea Butter Organic Body Wash http://www.sheamoisture.com/products/productid/142/organic-body-wash-raw-shea-butter. Also available at Target and Duane Reade ($9.99). Or I may do an ACV preepoo if I have been using a lot of heavy creams or butters. The ACV helps to remove any product buildup and makes my hair feel really soft and detangled. After, I condition my hair with Esencia by Samy White Lotus Hydrating Conditioner http://www.e-sen-cia.com/hyd-conditioner.htm ($6.99).
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
A: I love using accessories for days when I need a quick style solution. A quick headwrap, headband, or snood definitely gives me the freedom to have fun with my hair and not get bogged down with lengthy styling sessions. I love hair accessories soo much that I started making my own. Aside from that, the puff is my signature style. It’s fast, easy and always looks good. I always use the “ouchless” bands to create my puff, because they don’t snag the hair.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: Honestly, I don’t really try to combat shrinkage anymore. The only time I ever stretch my hair is after I wash it. I try to work with the shrinkage and let my hair do what it wants. I remember preparing to attend a natural hair event and I had done a beautiful braid out. It was shiny and my hair had great definition. As soon as I left the house I realized it was very misty outside and that I would arrive with a very different look. As I traveled to the meetup, I had no idea what my hair looked like. When I got there of course I rushed to the bathroom to see what had become of my braidout. It turned into a chunky, shrunken fro and at first I was a little annoyed, because I had spent so much time on my “perfect braidout”, but you know what? I received soo many compliments on my hair that night because what I hadn’t realized was my hair took on this really cool pattern, so from that point on, I just let nature take its course.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
A: Because I wear my hair out a lot, I have to be diligent with moisturizing my hair. I don’t keep my hair in protective styles very long so I am careful to detangle my hair at least twice a week, as I don’t comb my hair daily.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: I believe that moisture is the key for my tightly-coiled 4b texture. Also, maintaining a healthy diet and taking supplements (which I’m sure any texture of hair can benefit from).
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Don’t go to sleep with loose, wet hair. And don’t compare your hair journey/growth to anyone else’s. My motto to all my new natural friends is enjoy the stage at which your hair is now. I loved my whole process and I love my hair as much now as I did when it was short. There are unique things you can do with your hair at each length, don’t miss out by focusing too much on what your hair can’t do yet.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: For fun handmade accessories that won’t snag your hair or your wallet, visit me at http://www.etsy.com/shop/tightknitaccessories or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tightknit-Accessories/350896334923549. For more about my hair check me out at http://public.fotki.com/Phatgrlslym/.