*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
B: My name is Bri. I am from Delaware, but I live in South Florida currently!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
B: I just figured, “If I wanted to straighten my hair, I could use a flat iron. Why use these chemicals?” Within the previous year, the backs of my ears suffered 2nd degree burns as a result of a relaxer. Not to mention the time and money that I would save. I stopped relaxing in Summer of ’06. I wasn’t aware of transitioning and flat-ironed my hair regularly until Fall of ’07 when I started to wear it curly. One day in Fall of ’08, I just walked into a hair salon and asked if anyone could cut my straight ends off because they started to get annoying. Most of the straight ends had broken off by time I got to that point anyway.
How would you describe your texture?
B: I have no idea what my hair type is! My hair is thick and coarse. Family members who did my hair when I was young still go on and on about how thick and coarse it is. Maybe they are traumatized.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
B: When I started wearing my hair curly, I had no idea what I was doing with it. I am simple and spontaneous with my hair now! In ’09 I started wearing twists and found that they helped me retain 3” of growth in 6 months. Now, I generally wash once a week (or more as needed). And I twist or simply seal my hair with East African Shea Butter. I wear the twists for a few days, and then twist out. Occasionally I wash and go, but not often. I do try different products occasionally. I am contemplating switching my twisting butter to My DNA’s Shea Monoi Honey Butter. My hair loved it the two times I tried it.
What does wash day look like for you?
B: For months I’ve used only rhassoul clay. No separate conditioner. Now to save myself the time it takes to mix up mud weekly, I use shampoo bars that have rhassoul clay in them. I have just started trying a conditioner bar, but I don’t think I will continue to purchase it in the future.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
B: I work fixing computers throughout the week. Since my head is in and out of machines and I’m moving machines here and there throughout the day, I wear twists most weeks. I end up just pulling them back out of my face. I have to keep up with the guys! No time to be in and out of my hair all day.
How do you combat shrinkage?
B: I used to band my twists, but now I’m at a more comfortable length for myself. I blow dry occasionally, but have learned to very much appreciate the bounce that shrinkage creates. Twists are the most stretching that I do.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
B: Thick hair has its pros and cons. I used to wash in halves, but now I wash in sixths or eighths. I have to go all out to make sure my scalp is thoroughly cleaned. I’ve had weeks where I didn’t fully rinse a spot and it was itchy all week. Styling can take hours and there is no time for lazy days!
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
B: Do keep the hair stretched. You will save so much time removing shed hairs and detangling. Do seal the moisture in your hair. Dry hair is sad hair.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
B: Do not lose patience when detangling! You have to set aside time, grab some wine, and have a good playlist ready for styling thick hair. Do not rush to the finish line! Any step that you miss/skip will come back to bite you later!