*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
J: My name is Jennifer, but I also answer to my pseudonym Misfit. I was born in sunny Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and raised in Jacksonville, but now I currently reside just outside of Boston, MA.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: As a child I was extremely tender headed, so my mother thought permanently straightening my hair would make it easier to manage. I got my first relaxer at 12 years old, and within 5 years I went from armpit length hair to chin length. My hair had become dry, limp, lifeless, and a slew of other adjectives. I was tired of the countless hours and money being spent in stuffy hair salons, the chemical burns, and the overall unhealthy condition my hair had spiraled into. I finally decided to do away with all of that my junior year of high school, and began my transition. Funny thing is, at the time I didn’t even realize I was “transitioning”. I just simply stopped getting touch-ups, and wore solely protective styles for the first few years. My actual “nappiversary” is unknown, but I’ve been natural for the past 5 years or so.
How would you describe your texture?
J: Based on Andre Walker’s hair typing chart I’d have to say my hair falls predominately in the 4B classification. My hair is medium density, but the individual strands are fine and fragile. When my hair is picked, or blown out it looks voluminous, but when straightened it looks awfully thin.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
J: My styling regimen varies depending on the season and the needs of my hair. Summer and Spring time in New England are extremely humid, while the colder months can be very dry. When it’s warm outside I usually wear my hair in updos, twist outs, or the occasional wash & go. During the colder months, I am usually wearing some sort of protective style (i.e. wigs and weaves), but every once in a while I’ll wear my afro out. For Twist Outs I apply Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier, my homemade oil mixture, then twist with Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme. I retwist every other night with my homemade shea butter mixture. For W&G’s, once I’ve washed or co-washed my hair, and applied a leave in conditioner, I then use Curls Unleashed Curl Boosting Jelly by ORS to lock in the coils. I refresh this style daily with Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk. For afros and updos I usually pick my hair out with a wide-tooth comb and use Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme.
What does wash day look like for you?
J: I usually wash my hair every two weeks, and then co-wash on the alternating weeks. I start off by separating my hair into four parts. Once I’m in the shower I wet my hair, then detangle with Aussie Moist Conditioner and a wide tooth comb. I wash my hair with Shea Moisture’s Deep Cleansing Shampoo, and then the SM Moisture Retention Shampoo on the second wash. Next I apply SM Deep Treatment Masque, place a plastic shower cap over my head, and let that marinate for about 30 minutes. Once I’ve rinsed off the masque, I apply either Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner, or Kinky Curly Knot Today. On days when I’m co-washing, I simply separate my hair into four parts. Once it’s wet I apply As I Am Coconut Co-wash Cleansing Conditioner and detangle with a wide tooth comb. I rinse that out, and then add in one of the aforementioned leave-ins.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J: Easy, The Puff! Sometimes I’ll even make it a bit more interesting by using an upzing by Scunci to secure all my hair to the front of my head, creating a “front puff”. Both of these styles take me less than 5 minutes to do.
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: I’ve learned that letting your twists, braids, or sets dry completely before unraveling them not only help to reduce frizz, but also assures that the hair is stretched maximally.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
J: That would most definitely have to be the front of my hair. It seems to grow at a slower rate, and the strands are much finer and have a looser texture. Also, I’ve made the mistake of not trimming regularly in the past for the sake of length; now I get my ends trimmed every 3 months.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: Moisturize often and detangle thoroughly.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: The use of heat, and combing dry hair.