*Pre­pared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1Me­Nat­u­ral­ly

Intro­duce your­self!
My name is Melanie also known as Bel­la and I am from Atlanta.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
I decid­ed to go nat­u­ral after a big real­iza­tion. One day I saw a black wom­an well into her nineties with long hair and thought how amaz­ing it would be if I could keep my hair long until I got that age. This was so rare to see that I start­ed to become high­ly obser­vant about our hair, and I dis­cov­ered the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty on YouTube. It was then that I became obsessed with the movement…I loved it…my heart would race every time I went on a blog and saw a col­lage of nat­u­ral beau­ty from 4c to 3a…I fell in love! I loved see­ing all the beau­ti­ful wom­en with nat­u­ral hair and I knew I had to be a part of such an amaz­ing thing.

I fell in love with the ver­sa­til­i­ty of nat­u­ral hair and I took it on as a lifestyle change from my hair to my per­son­al style to even the food I eat. Going nat­u­ral made me want to “go nat­u­ral” in every are­na, and change my unhealthy habits. I believe what we put in our body deter­mi­nes our health and putting chem­i­cals right on your scalp to be absorbed in your body just didn’t make sense to me any­more. I went from the girl with long relaxed hair who did the same bor­ing style every­day to the nat­u­ral girl who has a dif­fer­ent hair­style every day of the week. I also liked the exotic fac­tor that nat­u­ral hair gives off. I love that peo­ple are more amazed with the hair that grows right out of your scalp than they are with the hair that has been chem­i­cal­ly altered and per­ma­nent­ly changed from what it nat­u­ral­ly is. I start­ed tran­si­tion­ing Decem­ber of 2009 and final­ly cut the last few relaxed ends off in 2011. So the whole process has been about 3 years. Nat­u­ral hair gives me free­dom, lib­er­a­tion and adds a lot of spice and edgi­ness to my life.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
I have actu­al­ly yet to offi­cial­ly find out what my hair type is. I would say it has a mix­ture of sev­er­al tex­tures. One side of my hair is sim­i­lar to 3b while the oth­er side looks more like 3c/4a. My hair is high­ly tem­pera­men­tal to the environment/weather—It has a mind of its own and my strands are very fine.

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the mon­th.
My mot­to is “if it aint broke don’t fix it” in regards to hair, so when I find a reg­i­men that works, I stick to it. Every year I go from April to Octo­ber with no heat all for health and length reten­tion. Dur­ing that time, I alter­nate between braids outs, buns, updos and loose hair—the key dur­ing this time is the less manip­u­la­tion the bet­ter which is why I don’t wash my hair exces­sive­ly. I wash my hair if not every week then every oth­er week and use main­ly a sul­fate-free sham­poo. How­ev­er, I incor­po­rate a sul­fate sham­poo month­ly to total­ly cleanse my hair. I usu­al­ly do my braid­outs on a week where I know there will be no rain and a low amount of humid­i­ty. On that old braid­out, I tran­si­tion to buns and updos where I usu­al­ly get real­ly cre­ative with the style I want for that day. Then right before I wash my hair I comb out my hair and wear it in a blow-out inspired style for may­be a day or two—Victory rolls in the front are the best for this style =). Dur­ing the fall and win­ter months, I alter­nate between my straight­ened and nat­u­ral hair. I use very mois­tur­iz­ing prod­ucts such as coconut oil, shea but­ter, argan oil and olive oil. I also alter­nate between nat­u­ral deep con­di­tion­ers through­out the year — I use hon­ey for mois­ture, eggs for pro­tein, and yogurt for itchy scalp. I try to just lis­ten to my hair and use the most appro­pri­ate treat­ment for that issue.

What does wash day look like for you?
Before wash­ing my hair, I detan­gle and go through each sec­tion and oil my scalp usu­al­ly with coconut oil or Africa’s Best Herbal Oil. While oil­ing my hair, I do a scalp mas­sage to increase blood cir­cu­la­tion which in return pro­motes hair growth. Depend­ing on how I am wear­ing my hair after wash­ing it deter­mi­nes the type of sham­poo I use. If I am wear­ing my nat­u­ral hair I use a sul­fate-free shampoo—my favorites are Shea Mois­ture Curl and Shine Sham­poo, Beau­ti­ful Tex­tures Sham­poo, and Curls Unleashed Sham­poo. When I am about to straight­en it I use a gen­tle sul­fate sham­poo. My usu­als are Herbal Essences Hel­lo Hydra­tion and Suave Nat­u­rals Sham­poo. I then deep con­di­tion usu­al­ly with Organ­ic Root Stim­u­la­tor Deep Con­di­tion­er, some­times mix­ing it with an oil (coconut,olive,etc.).

I usu­al­ly let the con­di­tion­er sit overnight and wash it out the fol­low­ing morn­ing. The pro­duct I always apply after every wash is Can­tu Shea But­ter Leave In Repair Con­di­tion­er for added pro­tec­tion. Every nat­u­ral knows you always need a good sys­tem to get the best braid out, twist out or wash and go, so I fol­low the same process every time. I usu­al­ly do 6–15 braids and keep my hair as wet as pos­si­ble. After apply­ing Can­tu, I apply Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie to define my curls, I then apply Eco Styler to hold the curls, shea but­ter to pre­vent crunch­i­ness, and cocunut oil to add moisture—this exact order of the prod­ucts mat­ters most. I let my braids air dry which usu­al­ly takes 24–48 hours to com­plete­ly dry. I try to avoid tak­ing the braids out before they are dry to avoid get­ting any frizz.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
BUNS! BUNS! BUNS! I absolute­ly love hav­ing fun with buns. Often times peo­ple look at my hair and try to fig­ure out how in the world I came up with a style, but it’s all freeplay. I usu­al­ly come up with best buns/updos when I’m in a time crunch and I have absolute­ly no idea what I’m doing. That is in fact the most beau­ti­ful thing about nat­u­ral hair; that you can take your hair from look­ing like a mess to a beau­ti­ful piece of art. The tex­ture with­in our hair makes it beau­ti­ful with­out hav­ing to try too hard.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
I must say shrink­age was the main issue that aggra­vat­ed me when I first went nat­u­ral. After many videos and arti­cles, I final­ly came up with a method that worked for me. After my hair is braid­ed in prepa­ra­tion for a braid out, I put a bob­by pin on the end of each braid. One by one, I take each braid and pin it to the oppo­site side of my head so that it is con­tin­u­ous­ly stretched as it dries. This method gives me a great amount of length in com­par­ison to not stretch­ing it at all.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
My ends!!! I real­ly baby my ends to ensure there will be no break­age. Also since I was a long-term tran­si­tion­er my ends are the most frag­ile. At the begin­ning of my tran­si­tion I was total­ly naïve about car­ing for your hair when apply­ing heat so I made the awful mis­take of straight­en­ing my hair more than need­ed in an effort to blend my roots with the rest of my hair—Lesson for any new tran­si­tion­ers! Because of that, the bot­tom of my hair shaft is much more thin and frag­ile. This area has improved due to my con­stant atten­tion to this area by apply­ing mois­ture and pro­tein con­sis­tent­ly to my hair.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
Def­i­nite do is lots of prod­ucts with mois­ture and pro­tein! My hair can with­stand putting a lot of prod­ucts in it with­out cre­at­ing any buildup. There­fore, after lots of tri­al and error I find that I get the best results iron­i­cal­ly when my hair is drenched in all the sta­ple prod­ucts I love…it’s extreme­ly hard to weigh down my hair. My hair loves to be mois­tur­ized dai­ly!

2nd do is as I said before, the less manip­u­la­tion the bet­ter. After get­ting to know my hair, I have learned my hair loves to be left alone…Let it be! Exces­sive wash­ing, co-wash­ing, and styling does not work for me. I noticed my hair feels amaz­ing­ly soft and retains length most when my hands are not con­stant­ly in it. It loves to be braid­ed or in my sig­na­ture updos and buns. Pro­tect­ing my ends is key to avoid­ing any unnec­es­sary break­age from my hair rub­bing up again­st my cloth­ing and being exposed to the ele­ments. When I let my hair do its own thing, it loves it and it shows!

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
Styling that requires a lot of manip­u­la­tion is a no no for my hair. A lot of my styles may seem like they require a lot of work, but they real­ly are all effort­less. Any style that requires me to just use my hands and a few bob­by pins is a good indi­ca­tor that my hair will respond well to it. When I first start­ed tran­si­tion­ing, I was sooo excit­ed that I did ban­tu knots, braid outs, and every oth­er sin­gle style you can think of on a dai­ly basis, and I soon learned it was caus­ing a great amount of break­age on my already frag­ile, col­ored and tran­si­tion­ing hair at the time.

I must say although this is a very pop­u­lar style for nat­u­rals, I do not like doing Wash and Go’s. My rea­son for this is sim­ply because I prefer to have my hair dry before I wear it out—it just seems like wet hair is way more frag­ile than dry hair. Plus I haven’t found a good method to not get frizz when doing this tech­nique. How­ev­er, don’t mock my words as I learn more and more about my hair and the prod­ucts that work for me this DON’T might just turn into a DO in the future…It’s been a long jour­ney, but I know this is just the begin­ning. Good luck to all the new­ly nat­u­rals and vet­er­ans in the game. I hope my meth­ods help you just as much the meth­ods of oth­er nat­u­rals helped me along the way =)

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Yes!! Please vis­it me at Insta­gram @theefairytail
Youtube: The­Fairy­Tail
Blogspot: www.beautifulmisfitlifestyle.blogspot.com
Twit­ter: @the fairy_­TAIL08


Just anoth­er lover of nat­u­ral hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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25 Comments on "Melanie // Multi-Texture Style Icon"

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What do you do when your aller­gic to a lot of the prod­ucts that make your hair grow????? I am aller­gic to any­thing with nuts in it, and every time I read about the hair prod­ucts that peo­ple are using, I have to move on.. Please Help!


I am too. I use a lot of olive oil and a few domini­can prod­ucts that don’t seem to both­er me too much but a lot of nat­u­ral prod­ucts seem to set my scalp on fire. If you aren’t doing the curly girl method Cre­ce Pelo and Sil­i­con mix work pret­ty well for me.


I’m in love with her hair, but her per­son­al­i­ty just shi­nes in this inter­view! All around awe­some!


You are gor­geous! I love your hair!


Thanks so much every­one for the love!!!! Hope it was help­ful =)!!! xoxo

For the Love of Curls

Her hair is beau­ti­ful. I hope I have that much growth in my third year.


arggh…i start­ed grow­ing my hair out in Decem­ber of ’09 too but made the awful mis­take of light­en­ing my hair towards the end of my first year. ;-( i had to cut a lot of my hair this past year.

her hair is gor­geous!


I enjoy see­ing oth­er young nat­u­rals and i also real­ly liked how she said she fell in love with the Nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty, Because I think we can all relate to that.
love­ly girl and love­ly hair


you look great!!!! i was won­der­ing tho if you ever cut/trim your hair because the pic with your hair straight­ened is high­ly uneven


Love this!! Beau­ti­ful!


Love it! The healthy appear­ance of the hair, the buns, and the style–Yass!


oooooo mmm­m­myyy­gosh, beau­ti­ful!


Great inter­view and I love your hair.


OBAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! M jus excit­ed. You look gor­geous girl :D


Wow! Total­ly cool girl! So young (you look about 12 years old) and elo­quent.


Wow,look at all that hair,beautiful.


Love­ly and a very full inter­view!


I real­ly loved this one. Not only is her hair beau­ti­ful, but I could also sense a gen­uine ope­ness and sin­cer­i­ty as I read through the inter­view. Nice!


ahhh thankxx so much!!!


i agree


love love love this! hope i’ll be like you when i will cel­e­brate my three years nat­u­ral!


Your hair is gor­geous! That’s a lot of pro­gress since 2009! I’ve been nat­u­ral almost the same time and I have not had that much pro­gress, I guess its because the first half of that time I didn’t know what I was doing. Again, gor­geous hair beau­ti­ful wom­an!


Thanks so much!!


Absolute­ly adorable!