*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
Y: Hello! Thanks for having me! My name is Yolanda Renee and I’m from Maryland.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Y: Don’t laugh…but I’ve been natural since May 2012. So 8 months and counting! I did start transitioning in November 2011, but I cut my hair officially in May 2012. Before going natural I was the “weave queen”. My hair was always protected under my sew-in so I figured it would be so silly to keep getting perms if I was hiding it anyway. So I just stopped getting perms. When I decided to wear my hair out the two textures were a big problem for me. The hair was breaking where those two textures met — permed vs natural. My cousin Keena is also natural and I loved her hair — she’s been natural for years. So between all those factors I made my decision to go natural. And the thought alone of how healthy my hair was when I was younger played a big part too! And I could go deeper into my reasoning, but that would take forever to explain. In a nutshell it only made sense to be NATURAL. It just clicked one day!
How would you describe your texture?
Y: The hair chart is so confusing to me! I wish I could be more accurate in my hair type so I could take the easier route to take care of my texture, but honestly I have multiple textures. Most of my hair type is a looser S curl shape so what’s that? 3c? And the very front of my hair is definitely type 4, but there is still a curl pattern. Overall, my hair is very thick! And I love it.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
Y: Styling is the best part of being natural! I always moisturize my hair during styling. I focus more on the ends of my hair. I soak about an inch of my hair at the ends with water and olive oil mixed. I then add Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Cantu Shea Butter, followed by coconut/jojoba oil, and then a small amount of Eco Styler Gel. I work this in the most at the ends and drag the excess on the length of my hair. My favorite style is a bantu knot out, so I then knot my hair and set it for bed. I do this approximately every other night. The next morning I take down the knots, separate them, and then shape my hair with my fingers and a hair pick at the roots to stretch and maximize the fullness. I switch between a bantu knot out, flat twist out, and a twist out up ‘do.
What does wash day look like for you?
Y: I wash my hair with Garnier Fructis Shampoo or J/A/S/O/N Biotin Shampoo once a month. Whenever I wash my hair with shampoo I follow up with a deep conditioning. I love Organix products. Nothing major — I use several different conditioners (Garnier, Shea Moisture, Organix, Suave, Tresseme, etc.) but I keep it in my hair for hours and cover my hair with a shower cap. I sometimes make my own conditioner too. I like the banana treatment — I mix a banana, egg yolk, milk, and honey. I don’t do this one often because it really shrinks my hair! But I can tell it’s very healthy for my hair. But I hate shrinkage! Uhhh! Lol. I then follow up with Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In, jojoba oil mixed with coconut oil, and Eco Styler Gel for styling.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
Y: When I don’t have enough time to style my hair I will rock a bun to give me and my hair a break. And my twist out up ‘do lasts a long time without retwisting because it’s at the top of my head! So those are great styles for me when I don’t feel like dealing with my hair. But it’s rare that I don’t feel like dealing with it. I love twisting my hair — it’s relaxing!
How do you combat shrinkage?
Y: Uhhhhh shrinkage! I hate it! Lol. I only have it when I style my hair while it’s soaking wet. I stop the shrinkage by allowing my hair to air dry until it’s at least damp. Once it’s damp I then set my hair with bantu knots or twists. The first day I rock my hair out it is definitely in a shrunken state but 2nd day hair is thee best! So I just have to deal with it for one day basically and I’m fine with that. And I now moisturize my ends to eliminate shrinkage. My ends are soaking wet and I drag some of that moisture to the length of my hair to make sure all my hair is taken care of. This technique stops major shrinkage.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
Y: The front of my hair gives me the most problems. I think this is where my hair has less of a curl pattern. I have to make sure this area is moisturized at all times. And I also set this area with smaller sections — smaller knots or twists so the “curls” are more defined.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
Y: A nice cream and coconut oil are two do’s for my hair! I haven’t figured out anything else. The combo makes my hair so moisturized and it allows me to rock my styles for longer periods of time.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
Y: Ummmm, don’ts? I’m not sure of this area, but I know wash n’ gos are a no for me! Lol. I don’t like wash n’ gos because the curls are too tight for me and I’m not good at styling my hair in that state. I think it may be because I didn’t get a professional cut when I BCed.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Y: If you are interested in keeping up with me you can follow me on all my social networks and my fashion, beauty and natural hair blog, www.etcblogmag.com! All my social networks are @etcblogmag.