My name is Rebecca Knight (right) and I am from Raleigh, NC. I recently graduated with my Master’s in Social Work (last month) and now I am pursuing licensure. Aside from social work, I also model along with my twin sister (The KnightTwins). I also volunteer at a nonprofit agency that provides services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
My name is Beverly Knight (left). I am also from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently a doctoral student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Rebecca: I have been natural since 2004. I transitioned for one year, braiding my own hair into box braids (no extensions). My answer is pretty much the same as my sister Beverly. During the time of my life when I thought about transitioning to my natural hair, I was changing in so many ways. My sister and I were growing/maturing and thinking differently about everything, i.e., life, identity, etc. So going natural just made sense. It helped that we went through the process together. Needless to say, we didn’t have much support, besides our dad and brother. In fact people looked at us like we were crazy and I even had a teacher tell me that I was never going to get married because of my hair. I experimented with lots of styles early on. I did box braids with my natural hair, bantu knots, brush cut (4 years). So to go from having long straight hair to braids, to bantu knots, to an afro, to a brush-cut, and back to an afro, there is no doubt in my mind that people really gave me the side-eye. But I didn’t care. My sis and I got a lot of crazy stares and weird remarks wearing our hair natural because “natural hair” wasn’t popular yet.
Beverly: I have been natural since 2004. I’ve had my locs for 7 years. This may sound cliché, but going natural just seemed “natural” at that time in my life. I was transitioning in so many ways and I was thinking critically about everything and hair was one of those things. This decision was made easier because I was experiencing it with my twin sister and my father was very encouraging despite the negative feedback from family, “friends”, teachers and strangers. I felt encouraged, and returning to relaxers was not tempting. I decided to loc my hair because I always admired locs on other people and I wanted to see if I could go through with the process of growing locs. I was able to complete the process and here I am 7 years later!
How would you describe your texture?
Rebecca: I believe my texture is in the 4 family for the majority of my hair. However, on the outer edges, my hair has much larger curls, really shiny and fine. While the top front is a looser wave and does not fully curl like the middle of my hair. So, there may be a combination of 4 and 3. But honestly, I am not 100% sure. I do know that my hair is very dense…there is just a lot of it!
Beverly: Same as Rebecca’s. Overall, my strands are fine and my hair is very dense. Now that I have locs, I have stray strands that stick out of my locs and I have to trim/groom my locs (whenever I feel like it, which is not too often).
What method was used to start your locs?
Beverly: I started my locs myself using two strand twists. I have 64 locs.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
Rebecca: My hair routine is VERY simple. I charge that to the time when I transitioned. Again, I didn’t have videos and lots of products to choose from and I am pretty much set in my ways and try to keep everything as simple as possible. I wash my hair once a week or every two weeks with Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo. If I decide to wash my hair each week, I will sometimes just co-wash using Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner or a cheap conditioner…whichever is on sale. I use a lot of conditioner! After washing/co-washing, I generally do large two-strand twists. Sometimes I do 8–10 twists and simply re-twist each night or every other night, applying additional product (coconut oil and Cantu Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream. I mostly wear my hair in twist-outs. During the third or fourth day of my twist-out I will detangle by spraying water and applying Cantu and coconut oil/or some other 100% oil I have in my house, then gently detangle with a wide tooth comb or my Denman brush and re-twist. When my hair has been stretched over the course of a week or two, I may then try a different hairstyle, i.e., bun/up-do style, or two large flat twists to create a crown-like style. Oh, and I love Aveda’s “Brilliant” line products for shine (smells great too) and I use the Brilliant Retexturing Gel (by Aveda) when twisting my hair sometimes.
Beverly: My styling regimen is simple and efficient. I curl my locs (without rollers or any other tools) and wear my locs mostly curly. Once I curl them they will stay curly until I wash my hair again. The curls start out tight and become looser each day. At work I wear my hair back in a “fishbone” and outside of work I wear my locs out or up in a messy bun. If I don’t curl my locs after washing them I will twist the new growth and keep my locs straight. With my locs straight I wear my hair in a “fishbone”, a neat bun (I refer to this as my “crown”), or loose.
What does wash day look like for you?
Rebecca: Wash day entails sectioning my hair into 4 separate sections (2 up top and 2 at the bottom. Think of four squares)…I detangle each section starting at the ends. I then wash my hair in the shower, each section (4 sections separately or combine 2 sections and wash together). If I didn’t wash my hair in sections, it would get extremely tangled! I then condition my hair and rinse towards the end of my shower. I use a lot of water on hair-washing day :) I gently towel dry my hair and maintain the 4 sections by combing each section and applying coconut oil and Cantu or Shea Moisture Leave-In Conditioner, then clipping each section or putting each section into a ball. I then twist my hair into two-stand twists (large 8–10), not really paying much attention to parts, since I won’t actually wear the twists. Honestly, almost every time I wash my hair, I contemplate cutting it all off again (my clippers are under my sink)…you can’t get simpler than a brush cut. The longer my hair grows the more effort it takes. But I don’t cut it because I want to see just how big my hair can get.
Beverly: I wash my hair using diluted Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap (this takes about 10 minutes). I dry my hair using a microfiber towel (to avoid lint in my locs). I like to put oil on my hair while it is damp (extra virgin olive oil, the brand varies depending on what is in my pantry). I’ve also used coconut oil. While my hair is damp I begin to twist my new growth (I keep them straight or curl them) using Nature’s Blessings Hair Pomade. This can take between 45 minutes to 1.25 hours depending on how fast I decide to twist. I sit under my large soft bonnet hair dryer by Select Pro for about 2 hours and hope that my locs are dry after that! I keep my locs curled over night and release the curl in the morning. Every 2 months or so I will do a baking soda rinse. I use 1 teaspoon of baking soda in at least 1 cup of water, place in a bottle, then pour the mixture on my damp locs. This is the ultimate cleanse of my locs! I let this stay in my hair for ~5 minutes and I really work the mixture in by squeezing my locs together. I rinse it out and really squeeze the mixture and build-up out of my locs. I then wash with the shampoo mentioned above. I don’t do this cleanse too often because it is extremely drying.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
Rebecca: The style I most often wear is the twist-out. When I don’t have a lot of time (well even when I do I keep things simple) I do large two-strand twists and untwist them into a twist-out. However, since I have length on my hair, I am starting to experiment with high bun styles now and other hairstyles.
Beverly: My favorite go to style is curly locs. When they are curly they have more volume and always look like a style regardless of how tight or loose the curls are.
How do you combat shrinkage?
Rebecca: I wear a twist out for a week or two. Over that period my hair is stretched every time I re-twist. By the time I am ready to wash my hair, it is very big! My hair shrinks a lot…but aside from the twist out stretch method, I have recently had my hair blow-dried and stretched to get my ends trimmed (I usually trim my own hair though).
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
Rebecca: My hair gets very tangled! That is one of the downsides to my natural hair. My hair is very thick, and dense (lots of volume) and when I wear my hair out (twist out) it gets tangled at the roots very quickly. Also, my hair gets very dry. Sometimes the color of my hair appears dusty-brown which makes my hair look extra dry. I get lazy with my hair so I probably don’t moisturize as much as I should.
Beverly: I have dry scalp! Though I use peppermint and tea tree shampoo to combat dandruff and itchy scalp, I still haven’t found a product that eliminates my dry scalp. I also have to pay extra attention to lint from clothes, towels, etc. that can possibly lodge into a loc and it is very difficult to get out.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
Rebecca: Keep my hair moisturized. Detangle properly!!!
Beverly: Keep my hair moisturized! If not, my hair looks really dry. Wrap up my locs! Lint gravitates toward locs so it is very important to wrap them when sleeping. Also, to be mindful of the clothes I wear because any and everything will find its way into my hair due to the friction between my locs and the fabric. I even put a satin pillowcase on my headrest in the car to avoid friction between my locs and the fabric in the car. And it is important to remove pieces of lint/fabric from my hair as soon as I see it or it will lodge deeper into my loc.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
Rebecca: Don’t do up-do’s too often because breakage can result. Don’t use too much heat. I’ve had my hair straightened a few times and I was left with terrible damage.
Beverly: For locs, don’t pull them along the hairline too tight or too often because this can cause thinning at the root and receding hairlines. Don’t use wax on your locs! This will get stuck and cause tremendous build-up along the loc!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Facebook–Rebecca Knight: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2721172
Facebook–Beverly Knight: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2719842