K: Hi. My name is Kristina, and I’m a college sophomore from Georgia.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K: I’ve been natural since December 23rd 2012, so a little over 7 months. While I’ve never had a relaxer before, I suffered from extreme heat damage due to constant straightening. When I went off to college, I decided to get braids for two months. Once I took my braids out, I saw all of my new growth, and was amazed. I had never seen my natural hair texture since I was about 5. When I came home for Christmas break, I decided I wanted to get my hair straightened. But as I looked in the mirror, I saw how dead my hair looked. Then in the spur of the moment, I took my mom’s scissors and started chopping off my hair. At that point, I didn’t even care. I had no attachment to it anymore. So I decided after 20 minutes of chopping to go to a barber shop that day, and get the rest cut off. It was such a great experience.
How would you describe your texture?
K: I know my hair would definitely be in the type 4 category, but I don’t focus on hair typing too much. My hair is thick overall, but each individual strand is pretty thin. In the front of my hair, my curls are a little looser. My hair also gets dry pretty easily.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
K: After I wash my hair, I twist it using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. It smells amazing, and it’s really moisturizing. After wearing my twists for a day or two, I take the twists out. I use a pick, and steam from the shower to make my hair bigger throughout the week because I don’t really like a defined look. To moisturize throughout the week, I just use water, olive oil, and Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque.
What does wash day look like for you?
K: I wash my hair usually every Sunday. I start of by pre-pooing and finger detangling using Extra Virgin Olive Oil. After that, I separate my hair into 4 sections. I have to shampoo, or clarify my hair every week, or else my scalp starts itching, and I get dandruff. For shampoo I use As I Am Coconut Co Wash, but I’ve just started trying Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo. If I have a lot of buildup, I’ll clarify with Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and water. My conditioner changes very often, but I rotate between Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition, Aussie Moist, Suave, and Vo5. I keep my conditioners pretty cheap because I use a lot. Once I get out of the shower, I apply Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave-In Conditioning Cream, and I seal with Olive Oil.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
K: Since my hair isn’t that long yet, I’m pretty limited with the ways I can style it. However, my favorite go-to style is usually a fro-hawk, or I like to pin my hair back on both sides and add a flower, or bow.
How do you combat shrinkage?
K: I don’t. I embrace it. I think shrinkage is one of the things that is so great about our hair. It makes it even more versatile!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
K: The edges of my hair always get the driest, so it’s always a constant struggle to keep them moisturized. Also, a lot of naturals don’t trim their hair, but I do. I don’t do it that often, but I’ve noticed a difference in the health of my hair.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
K: Finding a good leave-in/moisturizer. 2. Not washing your hair too much.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
K: Using a lot of gel products. 2. Worrying about shrinkage. My hair is way too kinky for me to be concerned about that!