*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
N: My name is Nicole and I am originally from Silver Spring, MD. I have lived in NYC for 7 years.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: I got my last relaxer 13 years ago, and I have been completely natural for 12 years. I went natural because I wanted to see what my own texture looked like. I was looking for something different. I always kind of marched to the beat of my own drum, so breaking away from relaxers seemed like a fun challenge.
How would you describe your texture?
N: I never knew about the whole grading system until very recently. I have about four different textures in my hair, which include 4a, 3b, 3c and a mixture of whatever would be in between. My strands are definitely not fine, but not coarse either. They fall somewhere in between and my hair is extremely dense.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
N: My styling philosophy is that less is more. The only thing I put in my hair, besides shampoo and conditioner, is Knot Today by Kinky Curly. Of all the dozens of hair products I have tried, this one works the best because it is not too heavy like a gel, but it’s not too light to give me definition either. It is the perfect consistency, plus the ingredients are all natural and organic.
For my monthly regimen I wash my hair once a week using shampoo about every other wash, and using just conditioner for the other two washes. I comb my hair only when it is soaking wet, full of conditioner, with a wide tooth comb. While I am still in the shower and the hair is still wet, I separate it into four braids. This will keep my hair wet as possible while I prepare to add the Knot Today to it. Then I undo one braid at a time, and thoroughly work some Knot Today through each section. I make sure to finger comb it throughout so every strand is completely covered. I then put this section back in a braid, and repeat this for each remaining section. Once I am done, I let my hair dry in the braids for about 3 hours. This is just long enough for there to be partial drying and some added definition to my curls. I then undo the braids, which are still about 50% wet, and let them air dry the rest of the way. By letting my hair air dry for the last half of the drying process my curls are able to take on their natural pattern, as opposed to just having the wavy pattern of braids.
What does wash day look like for you?
N: I have never been too particular about the shampoo or conditioner I use. I will use pretty much any shampoo, and focus more on the conditioner. My favorite line right now is by Organix, with the Tea Tree being in first place.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
N: My go to style is just to tie a scarf in the front into an asymmetrical bow, and leave the rest out in the back to do its own thing.
How do you combat shrinkage?
N: I don’t worry about shrinkage. Being that my hair has so many different textures in it, I just opt to let it do its own thing. Some areas are tightly coiled and shrink up, while the hair right on the top center of my head is loose and wavy. I find that it is too frustrating to try to make your hair do what you want it to do and act a certain way, so I would rather take on the nonchalant attitude of, whelp, my hair is going to look shorter in the one section. So be it.
Tell us about your hair color?
N: Currently, I have a large section of my hair dyed a light brown/blondish color. I only dyed it about half way up the strand, and only chose a large chunk in the front. I did this so I could add some color without compromising the health of most of my hair. I did the color myself using a Manic Panic bleaching kit from Ricky’s. Over the past few months, I have dyed the bleached part fuchsia, indigo, purple, and sometimes a combination, also using Manic Panic dyes. The bleach did change my texture slightly, but only on the very tips of some parts where my hair had been subject to the most torture over the years. The majority of my texture stayed the same.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
N: I wouldn’t say I have problem areas, but the hair right on the sides of my face is the most difficult to work with. That’s where my hair tends to be the most frizzy and where it doesn’t seem to want to blend.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
N: Two do’s for my texture would be:
1. Only comb the hair when wet and full of conditioner.
2. Find a nice leave in conditioner to become the staple of your regimen.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
N: 1. Do not overdue it with the products. Just because so many different products exist, it doesn’t mean they were all meant to be used at the same time.
2. Do not use anything drying, such as gel.
3. Do not press or blow out your hair regularly. The damage from the heat will permanently change your texture.
4. Do not allow someone to cut your hair who doesn’t understand natural hair, or more specifically, your texture.
5. Don’t overdue it with the dying because regardless of what different products promise, you are severely damaging your hair. I dyed my entire head blonde before and I regretted it every minute until it grew out.
6. Don’t listen to hair advice from people whose hair does not embody what you are trying to go for.
That’s two right?
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: Yes! You can find me at ShopNuBambu.com. I am an accessories designer and this is my main hub. Thank you!