*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: Hey everyone! My name is Alodia and I am originally from BK NYC, but live in the DC area now.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I stopped relaxing my hair back in November 2009 and transitioned for almost 19 months, doing my Big Chop in May 2011. So I’ve been growing out my natural hair for almost 3 years (November 2012 will make 3 years) and have been fully natural for almost 1 and 1/2 yrs.
My hair was sooo unhealthy! I had dryness, breakage, split ends and a horribly itchy scalp! Since 2007 I really wanted to go natural so I would stop relaxing my hair every August, but as soon as the next summer rolled around and my hair started getting frizzy from the heat and humidity I would run back to the hair salon and slap in another relaxer. November 2009 was my very last relaxer and I haven’t looked back since! It’s truly the BEST decision that I have every made for my hair!
How would you describe your texture?
A: My hair is predominantly 3C, but the back and the top of my hair are 3B. I have medium to coarse strands and my hair is very dense.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I predominantly wear wash and gos. This is by far my favorite hairstyle because of its versatility (depending on the products you use you can have an undefined huge afro or tamed curls). The moisturizers I love to use are either Kinky Curly Knot Today or Paul Mitchell -The Conditioner. What I will use over the moisturizer as my styler is my whipped shea butter mix, Eco Styler Gel, homemade flax seed gel or IC Fantasia Hair Polisher Styling Gel.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I wash my hair every Sunday (Unless my hair is in a protective style like 2 strand twists then it’s 2xs a month). The products that I use are:
1) Cleansers: Devachan No Poo (3 Sundays out of the month) and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle or Nourish Shampoo (1 Sunday a month to clarify my hair).
2) Deep Conditioners: I will use 1 of these conditioners so that my hair doesn’t get used to them: Jane Carter’s Nourish Retention Conditioner, Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner (silicone free) and Protein Conditioner “Curl Junkie Repair Me” (because my hair is colored I use this once every 6 weeks).
3) Leave in Conditioners: Paul Mitchell The Conditioner, Kinky Curly Knot Today and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
4) Sealants or Stylers: If I’m doing a protective style I use raw shea butter and if I am doing a wash and go I use the stylers I mentioned in the question about my styling regimen. Also to refresh my hair during the week I will use one of my leave in moisturizers followed by Jane Carter’s Nourish and Shine.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: My favorite go to hairstyle is a wash and go just because it is really fast for me to do and because I now know what products work for my wash and go routine. There are no surprises as to how my hair will turn out.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I don’t- I just work with it! However, I haven’t always. The right side of my hair is a tighter curl pattern and shrinks more than the left side of my hair. When I first became natural I was freaking out because all I pictured was me rocking a lopsided afro lol! So I was faced with a decision to blow dry the roots of the right side so that it could match the left side or just work with what I have. I decided to do the latter. So now for example, I never part my hair in the middle when wearing a wash and go because it emphasizes the difference in shrinkage on the right and left sides. Instead, I always wear a side part and by doing this I don’t really notice the difference in shrinkage too much.
Tell us about your hair color?
A: Back in February 2012 I got a little bored with my hair and decided to put color in it. I decided to go to Hair Rules Salon in NYC to get it colored. Since I did previous henna treatments (henna is a permanent reddish toned plant based color) the stylist used her professional judgment and mixed colors together so that when combined with the reddish tones that were already on my hair, I would get the color that I wanted which was dark brown hair with caramel highlights. The color has not changed the texture of my hair and I think the main reason for this is because I colored my hair when it was extremely healthy.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: The middle of my head has always been a problem for me even back in my relaxed days. It was always much shorter than the rest of my hair. Now that I am natural, I realize the best thing that I did for that section was to stop putting relaxers in it. Although it is still the most unruly part of my hair, it is now just as long and healthy as the rest of my hair.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Because I have coarse hair my hair requires a lot of moisture so one “do” is to put in a deep moisturizing treatment every week followed by using a steamer or heat so that it can deeply penetrate the hair. Another “do” is to moisturize my hair and seal with butter or oil often during the week.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Because my hair is very thick it’s very rare for me to use a brush. I mostly use my hands and a scarf to smooth my hair. Also because my strands are coarse I don’t use protein treatments very often. When I didn’t have color in my hair I would rarely use protein, but now that I am color treated I use protein every 6 weeks.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: I am on YouTube: Alodia80: (http://www.youtube.com/user/alodia80?feature=mhee) and I have just opened a Facebook page Alodia80: (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alodia80/340387936045197?ref=hl)