Kara // 3C Natural Hair Style Icon

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Introduce yourself!
My name is Kara Thomas. I’m originally from NJ, but recently moved to LA. I am an aspiring interior designer.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
My hair has always had a natural curl pattern, and after excessive heat damage I finally realized I ruined my natural hair one summer when I was unable to control my frizz. I was younger and did not appreciate the beauty of my natural hair. I was tired of putting constant heat on my hair, or not being able to wear my hair out so I made the decision to big chop! I was about 17 when I made this decision, so that was about 5 years ago. I wasn’t even nervous and it was honestly one of the best decisions I ever made.

How would you describe your texture?
I have 3c-thick, spiral curls.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
I detangle my hair in the shower using Pantene Curly Hair Series Conditioner and a comb and brush. Then I apply Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding to my soaking wet hair and dry it with a cotton t-shirt to reduce the frizz. Afterwards, I put Smooth ‘N Shine Curling Mousse all over and use Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel on my edges. I diffuse with cool air until my hair is semi dry, then I switch to warm air. Lastly, I use a pick at my roots to add volume. On deep conditioning days I use Henna ‘n’ Placenta Treatment every two weeks. I let it sit in my hair and air dry. I rinse out the product the next day. (Not what the directions say, but hey! A little extra protein never hurt anyone right?) lol I hate going to hair salons or wearing my hair straight, so my ends do not get trimmed often. I do plan on getting my ends trimmed more frequently!


What does wash day look like for you?
I no longer use shampoo, but I get rid of build up by rinsing my hair and scrubbing my scalp with my go-to conditioners in the shower.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
When I do not have a lot of time in the morning I do a high bun or rock my second day curls. With second day curls I use a spray bottle and conditioner to touch up the strands that I messed up while I was asleep.

How do you combat shrinkage?
My hair is at a length where I no longer have to worry about shrinkage. During my growing out process, I actually did nothing about the length. I just patiently waited for it to grow out. The shrinkage did not bother me.

Tell us about your hair color?
I promised myself I would never color my hair again after my big chop, but about a year ago I went to Hair Cuttery to lighten my hair and apply highlights. At first the blonde was too bold and it changed my curl pattern, but after chopping my dead ends and toning the color down with henna dye, I loved my hair color. Naturally, my hair is a dark brown, black color. At that time it was light brown with gold highlights. Now, since I dyed it again it’s a really dark, almost black color when it was supposed to be brown. It’s growing on me.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
I would love love love advice/techniques on how to reduce shedding hair. When I detangle my hair with my hands or brush, so much hair comes out and I hate it.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
The standard curly fro is my favorite. I have a big forehead so I keep my bangs trimmed. Also, you can never go wrong with a classic high bun. I have gotten a lot of compliments when I loosely pull my hair back into a high ponytail with my bangs still out.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
I cannot stand wet hair! My fro is not as full unless I go through my entire regimen. So I always try to leave the house with my hair as dry as possible. And I have my pick on me at all times just in case my fro needs some TLC throughout the day. Another fail for me was trying a braid-out or rod curls. I prefer my natural curl pattern. It is too time consuming, and it just doesn’t hold with my texture. I admire women who have the patience for knots and braid out ever night though, and I do want to get more experimental with twists and up-dos. I get my daily inspiration from feature sites on Instagram.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Just Instagram: kara_melll.
Thanks guys, and if you have any further questions feel free to hit me up on there!

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45 thoughts on “Kara // 3C Natural Hair Style Icon

  1. Gorgeous hair! Love the highlights, especially in the 3rd to the last pic with the black tank top. As a 3C girl your curls look more on the 3B-ish side they’re pretty big. Are you using rods in these pics or are these styles your W&G?

    I don’t have any tips on shedding because I experience avg to minimal, but I’d probably say moisturize more and make sure you’re thoroughly detangling your hair so the shedding you are seeing is shed hair that wasn’t loosened and removed earlier. I try to detangle with a wide tooth shower comb and followed by a modified Denman once a week, the rest of the week I just use my fingers when I apply products that give slip.

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    • Yeah I was thinking the same thing, more like 3B or even 3A.
      But yeah gorgeous hair!! Abosoultey beautiful!!!!

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        • Hi check out naturallycurly.com. texture refers to the feel and size of each individual your strands, whether thick, medium or fine, curl pattern is just that the shape and size of your curls or waves. NC should be able to answer those questions for you! Looking at your picture Is say your hair texture wise is more on the fine side. Check out naturallycurly.com!

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    • Garlic is great for reducing/stopping shedding. I usually cut up a clove or two and mix it with some conditioner (let it sit for about twenty minutes to allow the garlic to diffuse before applying). I then apply the mixture directly to my scalp and then my lengths and then wash my hair as usual. You might want to add an essential oil to help cover up the garlic smell.

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  2. I always was interested in the HENNA n’ Placenta but read mixed reviews, from health issues to great reviews. IS it something that contributed to the growth of your hair. You have beautiful hair by the way.

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    • I’ve found henna & placenta to function best for me in a mixture with an oil and some cheapy conditioner as a PRE-POO. When I used it after I shampoo, no matter how much I condition I get a stiff dry look. When I use it as a Pre-poo mix I get great volume and strength.

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      • I always apply my Henna (all ayurvedic pastes) as a pre poo mixed with oils, aloe vera gel, honey and coconut milk. I love it.

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  3. Beautiful girl, gorgeous hair & great style! Just a winner all around. Please don’t take offense to this, Kara, but in some of the pictures, your eyebrows look too dark/full with your delicate features & light-colored hair. I think if you used a lighter color to fill them in or made them thinner, it would compliment your features even more.

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    • I’m in the thick eyebrows club too. My mom just called me Cookie Monster when I talked to her a few minutes via phone. I responded, “I don’t care I love my [groomed/threaded] thick eyebrows!” I rarely fill mine in, b/c it is so easy for them to look too dark sometimes. I have black eyebrows and I use a dark brown shadow thingamajig every blue moon to fill them in… It’s whatever you like on you. Your technique is flawless though–better than mine.

      Anyway, Gorgeous hair. Gorgeous girl. I have to say that you hair seems like the quintessential 3B hair. Not a big deal, but honestly thought “3c” was a typo in the heading when I saw your pic.

      Thanks for sharing your hair story.

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  4. Sorry, Love face, nothing you can do to reduce shedding. We shed over 100 hairs every day. It’s just the life cycle of hair. You do need to make sure that it’s actually shed hair and not breakage. There’s supposed to be a bulb at the end of shed hair (although I don’t think I’ve ever seen it), but the hair should be long. If it’s shorter pieces of hair coming out, then that might be just breakage, and you might want to reevaluate your hair regimen to make sure you’re retaining enough moisture.

    But you hair looks healthy and lovely to me.

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  5. For the shedding, take MSM, biotin, zinc, and iron. MAke sure you talk to your physician to see if you are deficient in any of these minerals though. For me its helped tremendously. For the MSM, you need to make sure you take it with vitamin C for it to have the best benefits. IT takes about a couple of months to see a change but stick with it. The same minerals will help your hair to grow thicker, fuller faster too. There is hope. :) Good Luck.

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  6. Love the highlights and healthy thick hair. I had no idea you could tone a permanent color down with henna. I wonder if permanent color along with henna can change the texture as well?

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  7. Per the shedding…I find keeping my ends dusted regularly somewhat reduces the volume of shedding, but other than that, I’m just naturally a super-shedder…but since you, like me, also seem to have a ton of hair (dense if not thick), it might seem like more shedding than someone else has with less hair and thicker strands…and that / your shed volume could look bigger because of strand length + curl pattern + air pockets.

    I’ve finally come to the conclusion that both the super-shedding and degree of breakage I have act like a natural hair thinner (i.e. like what some Per/Cauc/Asian women pay a hairdresser to do with a thinning blade to reduce volume on thick strand thick hair). If I didn’t have that natural thinning (shedding and breakage) happening, I’m pretty certain my hair would be even more daunting, volume-wise, than it currently is. And, yes, my hair is very healthy and grows well :-)

    Vitamins that help: women’s daily vitamin, omega-3 (really helps, but you have to keep taking it), and biotin

    DRINK WATER REGULARLY — at least a litre a day is good

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  8. I too shed something awful.I have to not think abt it or I could fall into a depression! I take folic acid,biotin,garlic,vit c,iron(diagnosed anemic) 2 yrs ago and STILL I shed hair like crazy! I’m surprised u can’t see my scalp ! Id say on wash day my shed hairs amounts the size of a tennis ball so I think that’s lot! but I give my hair a lot of tlc.I don’t comb it daily except with my fingers,never detangle unless its saturated in my condish mixture.nit sure whatelse to do but I keep doing my best& love my hair.

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  9. great tips for shedding……i cannot take Biotin, it breaks my face out bad! Any more suggestions for shedding….I do trim…..I need to re visit finger detangling with loads of conditioner as a pre-poo with an oil. any more success stores too control too much shedding?

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    • I have tons of shedding too. Less than before though since I’ve finally gotten my thyroid meds regulated. I have heard about and tried black tea rinses. I found that it helped to reduce the shedding, but I didn’t keep up with it due to time constraints :-(. On another note, the young lady featured here has beautiful hair.

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    • TWA4now:

      y’know, shedding is one area where i’m not certain anyone really has a clue, except for when it includes actual hair loss that leads to hair thinning and bald patches on the scalp.

      before looking for a product or vitamin supplement, you might want to keep track (photo or ziploc baggie journal; see kimmaytube for an example) of how much hair you’re actually shedding on wash day and note all your steps to see if more or less hair is shed depending on a certain method used. and do that for about 6 washes (once a week for 6 weeks / 1.5 months or once every 2 weeks for 12 weeks / 3 months) to really get familiar with your specific shedding.

      personally, i know that on wash days where i’ve gone 2 or 3 weeks never wearing my hair out or down, i’m going to have a TON of pre-wash and wash shed hair. i account for this by the approx. 100 shed hairs every day rule. that’s 14 to 21 days of she’d hair collecting and not “shedding out” or 1,400 to 2,100 hairs…that’s a good bit of hair as an approximate amount. anything that’s extra, extra, extra is usually a result of my rushing the detangling process and i’m pre-shedding aka pulling hairs that aren’t ready (it happens!).

      once you’ve figured out your shed “normal”, then consider incorporating an acv (apple cider vinegar) rinse or mixing peppermint oil into your pre-poo. someone mentioned garlic, cook with it generously (take out the clove’s inner stem to cut garlic breath), take the supplement, add the supplement to your shampoo or conditioner or whatever you use to stimulate your scalp.

      hope that helps and you keep learning your hair specifics!

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      • Thank you! I tired te rinses they help a wee bit but not that much…not really–not for me anyway.

        It is a LOT to take in…didn’t think of tracking it….when I take my twist down and wash days are shed days for me! I do realize hair sheds but it’s the in excess that I’m concerned with. thank you all…

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        • it is A LOT!

          *hangs head…* if only hair answers were simple, one size fits each type ;-)

          all the best, figuring out if you have excess or if “a lot” (aka big air pocket ball) is your normal…!

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      • Thank you CurlyE and to all who had something to say about me with this excess shedding problem. I do take pre-natal vitamin gummy bears and Vitamin E plus Vitron iron pills…..thank you soooooo much!..thank you HAVE A HHJ!

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  10. This is random, but where did you get the top in your first picture?? Gorgeous hair by the way, mine looks almost exactly like yours!

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  11. Why did you make the decision to go natural?
    K: My hair has always had a natural curl pattern.

    The hell does THAT mean? Bitch, me too. As well as every other person of African descent. They need to stop featuring chicks as hair icons who are just out for publicity/modeling, etc. This girl did a real shoddy job of answering the questions.

    Then, she later goes on to say:
    Tell us about your hair color?
    K: I promised myself I would never color my hair again after my big chop, but about a year ago I went to Hair Cuttery to lighten my hair and apply highlights.

    Big chop? From what? Relaxers? Heat damage? Why didn’t you mention that? On wash day you don’t use shampoo and you just rinse your hair and scrub your scalp? With what??? If not shampoo, then what? I mean, it’s like she just gave 1 sentence answers for most of these questions and then didn’t even actually answer the questions. Did anybody review her answers before they allowed it to be posted??

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    • That irks me too when natural hair icons or youtube vloggers do that. I was thinking the same when looking at youtuber who was actually featured on this site. They aren’t obligate to really tell us much. But at the same time, point of being an n.h.i. if you’re not going to give much info on your regimen, hair experience, etc. The vague answers are frustrating.

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    • Geesh girl you need to relax…if you would like more details about my life/hair feel free to ask. I’m far from a model

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  12. Working on edits guys! Sorry it was so vague. And if you have any questions feel free to hit me on Instagram!

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    • Don’t even sweat it. There is a clan of haters on every icons post. You’ll never please everyone.

      I personally come to these mainly for the pictures, as style inspiration, so thanks for putting up a lot.

      One, piece of constructive critism… You are far too beautiful to have such heavy brow make-up on. I understand if that’s your signature look, but it seriously ditracts from your pretty face! :-)

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      • Black women are so crabby it’s a darned shame. The few of us that are, makes it look bad on the rest of us. It’s just amazing how jealousy brings out the insecurity is some of us,

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