*Pre­pared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1Me­Nat­u­ral­ly

Intro­duce your­self!
Hel­lo! My name is Nagela! It’s up for debate how to pro­nounce my name. My fam­i­ly says Nah-yell-uh, but every­one else says Nuh-gel-uhh. My par­ents are Pana­man­ian, but I was born and raised in Brook­lyn, Prospect Heights to be exact!

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al?
Well, I’ve been nat­ur­al my whole life! My par­ents would not allow me to relax my hair grow­ing up. So my hair was either in plaits (braids), twists, or some oth­er hair­style. Occa­sion­al­ly I wore my curls out, but I did not dis­cov­er hair prod­ucts to keep my wash and go’s till high school. So before then my hair would just look unkempt…very unkempt.

Ini­tial­ly I stayed nat­ur­al because my mom told me I had to. But around 9th grade I final­ly began to see the beau­ty in my curls and I end­ed up lov­ing the ver­sa­til­i­ty. For high school I went to a Quak­er board­ing school in Penn­syl­va­nia (yeah…) and when the black girls were wor­ried about find­ing a hair styl­ist or get­ting a perm, I didn’t! I could go run­ning in the rain or jump in the pool when­ev­er I want­ed. I could be a curly head one day, but the next (after many hours of flat iron­ing) wear it straight. The free­dom I dis­cov­ered was fun.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
A mix between 3b/c…It is hard for me to pin point it exact­ly. My hair is wavy on my crown. Then the perime­ter is super coiled and curly. I would say I have thick hair. Is it pos­si­ble to have five hair strands in one fol­li­cle? lol My hair also has a lot of vol­ume.

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the month.
I am in the midst of my fall semes­ter in col­lege (last year!) so my rou­tine sur­rounds how busy I antic­i­pate my week to be. So my hair styling strate­gies vary a bit! Late­ly I don’t real­ly have the time to wash my hair more than once a week, although I wish I could. If it’s an exam week or one with a lot of assign­ments due, I wear my hair in braids that take me about an hour to do. I usu­al­ly do these braids on a Sun­day. I divide my hair in quad­rants, and each sec­tion has six braids. There are three braids on the top row and then three on the bot­tom row. These braids can last for about a week and a half, although I kind of push it to two weeks. When I take it out I have a braid out that I wear for about two days. I do these braids when my hair is sop­ping wet. When the braids are com­plet­ed, I then remove the excess prod­uct and water with a t-shirt and seal my ends with olive oil or a home­made shea but­ter paste my sis­ter made. I put the braids in a tight bun and wrap it with a scarf so it dries very slick and smooth. It stays in this bun or in a pony­tail. I use Shea Mois­ture Style Con­di­tion­ing Milk and some Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie for this. If I want a style that is boun­cy and some­thing I will wear out that is not as con­strict­ed. I do twists. I do about 10–12 twists to a quad­rant. I put them in a loose bun and sleep with them in a big bon­net. I also use Shea Mois­ture Style Con­di­tion­ing Milk and Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie for this style. And always seal with my home­made shea but­ter paste or an oil.

Some days if I need to wash my hair, but do not have time to do a lot of braids or twists I just do two big French twists in the show­er. It’s my favorite style because I like the curl pat­tern it cre­ates when I take it out. I wear this for a day or two. Each night I light­ly damp­en and mois­tur­ize the out­side and ends of the braids before wear­ing my silk scarf. I use Shea Mois­ture Style Con­di­tion­ing Milk and some Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie, or Kinky Curly Leave in for this style. I like Kinky Curly when I know my hair will be worn out that day or in a day or two.

If it’s a week where I want to wear my hair out it’s a dif­fer­ent rou­tine. When I get out of the show­er I just wrap my hair in a t-shirt while I’m get­ting ready (remov­ing some of the excess prod­uct and such). Then I wrap my hair in a pret­ty scarf or fab­ric and I’m off to my morn­ing class­es. By mid­day I take the head wrap off. With my hair mod­er­ate­ly dry I wear my curls out with­out my whole back being so wet! By bed­time it’s almost dry so I braid my hair in fours. I usu­al­ly do braid outs for the next three to four days. But there’s a secret for my hair and specif­i­cal­ly my ends to look fresh! Although my secret is not par­tic­u­lar­ly unique or orig­i­nal haha. I spray my hair with warm water, apply a bit of Jane Carter Curl Defin­ing Cream (it’s so expen­sive so I only use it for this), con­cen­trat­ing on the ends. After I do a few braids, I then roll/coil each braid up to about my neck (like you are putting curlers on the ends of your hair) and pin the rolled braid with a bob­by pin. So in the morn­ing it is curly and the ends are not straight. It looks great!

What does wash day look like for you?
I have not con­sis­tent­ly used sham­poo in about 7 years. So if my hair is dirty and dull because of a lot of build up I will cleanse my hair with apple cider vine­gar or bak­ing soda. Typ­i­cal­ly though I use con­di­tion­er as my “sham­poo”. My sta­ple is Suave Coconut Con­di­tion­er, with some oil in it. I put a lot in, scrub and mas­sage for about five min­utes and wash it out. After I use Herbal Essences in the blue con­tain­er (for the slip) when I need to detan­gle my hair. I’ve been try­ing to only use my fin­gers, and care­ful­ly remove the shed hair from my ends. I do use a comb (wide tooth) if it’s a bit too tan­gled and might go over it with a pad­dle brush to smooth the curls and ends out.

As I men­tioned above a bit, I cur­rent­ly alter­nate between four leave in con­di­tion­ers: Elu­cence Mois­ture Bal­anc­ing Con­di­tion­er (I’ve used since high school), Kinky Curly Leave in, Shea Mois­ture Con­di­tion­ing Milk, and Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie. If I use Shea Mois­ture and plan on wear­ing it out with­in a cou­ple of hours, I use the Shea Mois­ture Curl­ing Souf­flé on top. I use the Shea Mois­ture Con­di­tion­ing Milk and the Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie for my braids, twists and for mois­tur­iz­ing my curls at night. I like to espe­cial­ly use the Elu­cence when I plan on doing a deep treat­ment (because it is excel­lent!!!!). I have a heat­ing cap that I use for like 30 min­utes then I sleep with a show­er cap and plas­tic bags over night. I also always seal my hair with either extra vir­gin olive oil or Vati­ka oil.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
I just put my hair up in a loose bun. It’s so easy. I just spray warm water and put in con­di­tion­er. Or I’ll use Shea Mois­ture Coconut & Hibis­cus Hold & Shine Mois­ture Mist. Oth­er days if I feel my hair looks a lil’ too rough I wear a head wrap! Haha

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
I will admit I don’t think about shrink­age much. I pre­fer some shrink­age because I am still uncom­fort­able with how big my hair can look. I think my lack of con­cern could be attrib­uted to the fact that my hair has always been labeled long…so I guess attain­ing growth has nev­er been a con­scious goal. I DO, how­ev­er have PLENTY of shrink­age. My wet hair hits 1 ½ an inch above my butt and dries like an inch after my bra strap. That’s crazy! So I can under­stand how shrink­age can be incred­i­bly frus­trat­ing. But I noticed by the fourth day of a braid out my hair is very stretched. Also a cou­ple of times I have held the ends of my hair, ful­ly extend­ing my curls (stretched out), while run­ning the blow dry­er on low heat up and down. It dries the curl straighter and there’s less vol­ume- so maybe less shrink­age?

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
Good gosh- MY ENDS! Argh…I do not have any­one who can give me a decent trim with­out chop­ping off an inch or two, so I try to take care of them before it gets to that point. But I am not always suc­cess­ful. I try to trim them with my sheers when I have them in braids.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
1) Mois­tur­iz­ing it at night and at least putting it in two braids so in the morn­ing it is not frizzy.
2) Deep con­di­tion­ing! My hair looks notice­ably dif­fer­ent.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
1) Wait­ing over a week to wash it.
2) Not detan­gling fre­quent­ly!

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
I have a tum­blr! I update it here and there. Indiebeauty.tumblr.com


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

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23 Comments on "Nagela // 3B/C Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Very pret­ty!!!!!!

Kaylee MR

Gor­geous curls! A bit jeal­ous actu­al­ly!


Wow, beau­ti­ful hair, loved your sto­ry and con­grat­u­la­tions to your par­ents for insist­ing that you keep your beau­ti­ful curls :)


Thank you every­one for the won­der­ful com­pli­ments!




Absolute­ly beau­ti­ful!!!

Jo Somebody

Beau­ti­ful girl! I love the braids in the pho­to with the snowflakes in the back­ground. They look so healthy!
Your nat­ur­al friend in the pho­to with you both in yel­low also has love­ly hair! :-D


Love­ly hair

Black & Olive

Beau­ti­ful hair beau­ti­ful girl!


Gor­geous girl with beau­ti­ful hair. I always envy the young ones. I can only imag­ine how much fun I would have had with my nat­ur­al hair in col­lege. I know it sounds weird, but being nat­ur­al has real­ly allowed me to be myself unapolo­get­i­cal­ly in all aspects of my life. It is like a switch went off and it was okay to be who I am in more impor­tant aspects than just hair. I can­not imag­ine what I would have done with that self-aware­ness in col­lege.


Beau­ti­ful hair!


love your style


Very pret­ty


Love­ly love­ly love­ly! I real­ly enjoyed read­ing this one! Beau­ti­ful young lady with an awe­some head of hair. Good luck with your stud­ies!

Chic noir

Pret­ty lady with love­ly curls …que dra­ma.


Final­ly some­one like me who’s been nat­ur­al their whole life! I enjoyed read­ing this one.


Beau­ti­ful hair ! Beau­ti­ful girl!


That’s my sis­ter!!!!!!! So proud of you Nagi :))


Oh, I know Nel­da, I used to stalk your fot­ki!! Both you and your sis­ter have absolute­ly beau­ti­ful hair!


your sis­ter is very pret­ty!


I loved every­thing about this icon. I feel like I need more pho­tos to stare at her beau­ti­ful hair :) <3


I love her sto­ry, hair & smile!! She nev­er relaxed so her nat­ur­al hair is all she has ever known!! Im sure she nev­er wor­ried about hair typ­ing, grow­ing hair or shrink­age ’cause its all she has ever known. Those items stands out to us who has worn relaxed hair!


her hair is beau­ti­ful i love her tex­ture. she is def­i­nite­ly blessed with all that hair