*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
N: Salutations, from Indiana! Natassia (pronounced nah-TAH-shuh) here.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: Growing up I always had long hair, but I hated getting my hair done because the process was so long. My mom started giving me relaxers in an attempt to make the process easier (but it was still a daunting process lol). When I got to high school, I started getting my hair done professionally and that is when the nightmare started. Those industrial relaxers began to irritate my scalp (I’m talking scabs and severe irritation) so I started going longer in between relaxers. In 2006, I had my worst experience with relaxers (my scalp was fed up with my antics) so I decided it was time we parted ways. But maintaining straight hair was no easy task without the assistance of chemicals.
I began trying all the straightening regiments on the market until one day I reached my breaking point. My hair was shedding excessively and I was becoming more and more frustrated with the 2 different textures (although I did not fully understand why at the time). I randomly came across some natural hair videos on YouTube and became curious about my natural texture. After a month of toying around with the idea, I did my big chop and the rest is history. It was the best decision I ever made. Since I was so used to having long, thick hair, I had begun to define myself in those terms. I did my BC in May 2010. Chopping my hair off was kind of a freeing experience for me. I’m now rapidly approaching the 3 year mark.
How would you describe your texture?
N: I have absolutely no clue which texture category my hair falls in lol. I attempted to categorize it using the number/letter system when I first went natural but decided it was too much of a headache. I have several different textures: the crown is the most dense section with a looser curl pattern, the temples are my most kinky areas, the front center section has a relatively loose curl pattern which is very similar to the pattern in my crown, the center back section is my loosest curl pattern. I have very dense, coarse hair which requires lots of moisture as it absorbs moisture up very quickly.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
N: I typically keep my hair in twists because it makes getting ready in the morning a much easier process. During the summer months, twist-outs are my style of choice. During the winter, I prefer to keep my hair in various sized twists and will often opt to pin my twists into an up-do for even more protection. I have only attempted a blow-out twice in my 2.5 years and I prefer to avoid heat as much as possible. I clip my ends as often as I see fit. If I notice single-strand knots or rough ends, I do not hesitate to grab my shears.
When wearing a twist-out, I usually moisturize my hair daily or every other day using my leave-in (based on kimmaytube) which consists of Creation’s Garden Leave In Conditioner with argan oil from Morocco, castor oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera juice. Sometimes I switch it up and use Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Shea butter (or some other type of butter) is ALWAYS used to seal my ends. My hair absolutely LOVES butters lol (my ends curl up on contact). I often refresh my twists with water and aloe vera juice. During the winter, I sleep with a shower cap at least twice a week for a mini deep conditioning treatment.
What does wash day look like for you?
N: I usually wash my hair every week or every other week. My shampoos of choice are all from the Giovanni line, my favorite being the Tea Tree Triple Treatment Shampoo. I twist my hair into 6–9 sections and wash my hair with the twists in. This method helps me decrease the risk of tangling. I focus mostly on my scalp and make sure to rinse each section thoroughly. I follow with one of the Giovanni conditioners. My favorite is the Deep Moisture Conditioner. I have found that Giovanni conditioners give me the perfect slip for detangling. I detangle each section thoroughly with my Denman brush. After rinsing, I use a t-shirt to absorb the majority of the water then I apply my leave-in and seal with oil. I sometimes use a styling product (usually Shea Moisture or Curls Unleashed Set It Off Curl Boosting Jelly by Organic Root Stimulator) but usually I just use Shea butter or Jane Carter’s Nourish & Shine to style my hair. When I want to slick down my edges, I use Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste.
I deep condition every other week. One week, I use an egg yolk and oil treatment and the other week I use a yogurt and oil treatment. My deep conditioning time varies. It can last 30 minutes to 2 hours. I wash out the conditioner with shampoo before continuing. On the weeks in between, I usually do a hot oil treatment before I shampoo. When I don’t feel like doing the egg or yogurt treatment, I just let the Giovanni conditioner sit on my hair longer (with a shower cap to lock in the moisture).
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
N: If my hair is not in twists and I’m in a time crunch, I usually opt for a high puff, bun or a messy, random up-do. I like to accessorize these looks with various headbands.
How do you combat shrinkage?
N: Shrinkage doesn’t really bother me. I have just learned to accept that my hair will shrink to about half of its actual length. If I want a more stretched look, I do twist-outs or braid-outs.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
N: Since I have sensitive skin, I am very cautious about what types of products I use on my scalp. I avoid shampoos with chemicals that may cause irritation. I usually flat twist my edges to help protect them from breakage (a lesson I learned from my relaxed days). I also pay close attention to the back section of my hair, which often rubs up against scarves and collars of coats. My hair is very prone to single-strand knots so I make sure I keep it tangle free and moisturized.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
N: DO use shea butter to seal ends. DO take vitamins and drink plenty of water. Hair is a bi-product so it is important to make sure my body receives the proper nutrients to ensure healthy strands.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
N: DON’T use light products and expect extreme definition. My hair is thick and it only responds to heavy, creamy products. Light weight products are quickly absorbed by hair and do not do a good job of helping my curls clump together. With that being said, DON’T get so caught up in the perfect curl. I have learned that achieving the perfect curl is a pipe dream. Wash n’ go hairstyles are not for me. I would rather do a twist-out or braid-out.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: I am on Twitter and Instagram (@sweytleidy).