*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: My name is Asherah and I am from Barbados, but currently living and working in Jamaica.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: Well I had started an internship at the hospital back home in Barbados, and rarely had time to go to a stylist to have my then-relaxed hair done. Also as a relaxed head I never did anything with it myself. I relied on a stylist to wash, treat, rollerset etc. So I got a weave, and that was that. Occasionally I would return to the stylist and get a new weave. So I didn’t relax my hair for about 6 months.
Then I moved back to Jamaica in Jan 2011 for work and was assigned to a hospital in a rural area. So now I was without my usual stylist and unknowledgeable as to how to care for my hair. So I got it braided and I wore braids back to back for another 6 months. During this time I discovered the hair boards, and a whole new world was opened to me. I learned how to care for my hair – deep conditioning, moisturizing and sealing, ayurveda, protective styling etc. And I dove headfirst into my healthy hair journey.
So in October 2011, while struggling to deal with the tangled relaxed ends at 2am, I wondered exactly why I was holding onto them (looking very thin and pathetic next to my new growth). I couldn’t come up with a good reason, so I picked up the scissors and chopped them off. It felt so good be 100% natural and I haven’t looked back since. I have been fully natural since October 2011.
How would you describe your texture?
A: My hair is a 4a/b mix. I have very fine strands at my nape, which are susceptible to breakage and must be babied. And at the front of my head including my crown I have thick, coarse strands – this area is also very, very dense.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I have learned to master 2 strand flat twists, cornrows, two strand twists and flexi rod sets since beginning this hair journey. In terms of styling, I am on an updo kick. I love them! It allows me to keep my ends hidden for 2 weeks at a time.
I always start with clean, freshly washed wet hair. I first oil my scalp with castor oil and I apply Silk Dreams Silky Soft Leave-in Cream to the length of my hair. Then I moisturize with Qhemet Biologics’ Amla & Olive Heavy Cream and add a little bit of their Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter to seal. Finally I use just a dab of Ecostyler Gel for added hold. I then go on to style my updo (which usually consists of flats twists and two strand twists pinned up) or do two strand twists alone.
2x during the week I will spritz with Oyin Handmade’s Juices & Berries and dab a bit of coconut oil on my hair. If I have worn 2 strand twists for the week, on the weekend I will wear a twistout.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: If I decide to do updos for the month, wash day is 2x for the month. If I do two-strand twists I wash weekly. Once a month I clarify with bentonite clay, deep condition with a rhassoul clay treatment (rhassoul clay + marshmallow root/burdock root tea/aloe vera juice/coconut oil). The other wash days I usually do a mild protein DC on dry hair with Aubrey Organics GPB, then shampoo (applied to scalp only) with Creme of Nature (green bottle). Do a tea rinse with black tea and that is followed usually by an ayurvedic DC – amla/brahmi mix.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: Well my hair is usually in an updo these days, so I never have an issue with having enough time for styling.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: To be honest when I do styles, shrinkage is never a factor. I actually don’t mind it because it keeps my hair off my shoulders (preventing friction and breakage). Plus I style my hair wet, so it definitely shrinks as it dries.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: The hair at my nape cannot handle friction on clothing etc. So I usually try to pin up the hair at the back.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: 1. Handle with care – Be gentle when detangling, try to use a product with LOTS of slip. 2. Low manipulation is key for the fine strands at my nape, so I always try to keep that in mind.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: 1. Wash and goes = Knot/tangle city. 2. Sleeping on cotton pillowcases – dries my hair out terribly.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: You can find me on tumblr…fortheloveofmyfro.tumblr.com. I just started a blog of the same moniker – fortheloveofmyfro.blogspot.com and I’m also on Instagram.