*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
I: I go by Ify (I am of Nigerian descent) and I’m from Missouri City, TX. I attend Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. On campus, I am the founding president of Kinks Natural Hair Club. Our goals for the club are to inspire, motivate and educate people on natural hair.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
I: I ultimately went natural because I got real with myself. My relaxed hair was on its absolute last leg. I found myself holding on to uneven stringy hair because I wanted to have length so badly. Hair health was something that began to interest me after a referral to a natural hair video by my sister. I was so inspired by the video and became a natural hair YouTube junky as a result. “Natural Hair Journey” videos were such a treat. Through YouTube, I learned that with patience, the long healthy hair that I wanted so badly would eventually come as long as I stayed consistent. I’ve been fully natural for about 3 and a half years. I transitioned for about 14 months before I did the big chop.
How would you describe your texture?
I: I’m not an expert in hair typing, but if I had to guess I would say it’s a mix of both the 3c and 4a texture. My hair isn’t exactly fine nor is it coarse. It’s more so right in the middle of the two. And the same applies to whether it’s thin or dense; it’s normal or average in that sense. My hair behaves well. It retains moisture pretty decently and does not tangle as much as I remember it tangling when I first went natural. This is more than likely due to the way I style my hair and my consistency in keeping my hair detangled.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
I: During an average month I would wear 4 different styles. During the first week I might shingle my hair with a combination of Eco Styler Gel and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Week two would be big fun buns using the same two products. The third week might be two big flat twists for the crown look, or big twists under a hat or turban using Cantu Shea Butter and Eco Styler Gel to smooth my edges. The final week would be a bomb chunky twist out using Cantu Shea Butter. I try to have 2 weeks of fun free hair during a month and 2 weeks of protective styling. If I choose to straighten my hair, I use a little petroleum jelly. The only reason I use something so thick is because it’s the only thing I have found to combat the insanely humid Houston weather and it works for me. Whenever I wear my hair straight, I try to keep it straight for a month.
What does wash day look like for you?
I: Wash day comes around every 2 weeks and is pretty simple for me. I don’t have a special way to do it. I simply wash, condition and detangle in that order. I don’t use a specific shampoo or conditioner. Being that I’m a college student, I just look for something affordable that will get the job done. Lately I’ve been using Suave 2 in 1 Shampoo in conjunction with a Suave Moisturizing Conditioner. I detangle while my hair is wet then I proceed to which ever style I have planned for the week.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
I: The wash and go is my go to style. It’s as easy as 1. wet, 2. moisturize and 3. go.
How do you combat shrinkage?
I: I choose not to combat shrinkage because I don’t really have a big problem with it. It’s all part of the versatility of natural hair.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
I: My crown area has always been a bit iffy. It’s more prone to breakage compared to the rest of my hair. I try to treat that area with a little extra tender loving care.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
I: Consistent moisture and detangling are both very important in my regimen and have helped me retain great lengths.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
I: Leaving mini twists in for too long (my hair will get so tangled and dreaded) and being lazy and not moisturizing and finger detangling enough.