A: My name is Ashlie Ayanna and I was born in the beautiful city of Kingston, Jamaica. I left Jamaica with my family at the age of 3 and have been living in Miami, Florida ever since.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’ve had long, relaxed hair for the majority of my life (18 years to be exact). But at the age of 18, one week after my last relaxer, I made the decision to transition for the second time. This time I was in it for the long haul. Or so I thought. I ended up transitioning for 7 months instead of 2 years like I originally planned. I did the big chop (against my parents wishes… oops) on March 28, 2013 and have been natural for about 11 months. This March will make one year of natural hair for me. I made the decision to go natural because I was tired of the burns, I wanted to try shorter hair (which is why I big chopped), and I was tired of constantly being worried about the pool/beach when it came to my relaxed hair.
How would you describe your texture?
A: My hair is a combination of all variations of Type 4 hair. Specifically I have 4a/4b along the front and middle of my hair, then 4b/4c along the back and sides of my hair. My individual strands have always been coarse, even when relaxed, and my hair is extremely dense, causing my hair to look like it’s longer than it really is.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: When I transitioned I would constantly do bantu knot-outs, twist-outs, and top knots. After big chopping I decided to experiment with twist-outs and flat twists using flaxseed gel, olive oil, and water (I couldn’t afford expensive brands lol). After about 4 months of being natural I began doing wash-and-gos with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner, and wearing my hair in blown out fros. Fast forward to today, I’m really into wearing my hair in a fro (whether blown out, twisted, or braided), puffs as more of a protective style, and the occasional wash-and-go. Also, I still use Herbal Essences Hello Hydration products, and was finally able to get one expensive product, which was the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and I couldn’t have made a better choice.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: My wash day usually encompasses 2 to 8 hours depending on what I’m doing. I start by finger detangling, slightly, before getting in the shower. Sometimes I will detangle with olive oil and water, other times I’ll just detangle dry. Next, I shampoo my hair (whoa, I know, but only once lol). Afterwards I use the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner to fully detangle my hair, and if I plan on using the blow dryer afterwards I use a wide-tooth pick to detangle. If not I stick to finger detangling. I usually let the conditioner sit while I do my other shower duties. Then I dry my hair, just a little, with a t-shirt and apply the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie followed by water and olive oil to seal. When doing a wash-and-go that’s where I usually end, but if I plan on doing a twist out, or braid out I will wait a couple of hours while my hair air dries, and when it’s still somewhat damp begin twisting or braiding. On my blow-drying days I keep the dryer on warm, and then when my hair is mostly dry I switch to the cool setting to give my hair a break from the heat.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: My favorite go-to hairstyle will always be the puff. I absolutely love how easy it is to toss an old fro into a puff and automatically look 10 times more chic and fashion-forward. It also doesn’t hurt that my puffs can sometimes come out looking like top-knots or big buns. :)
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I combat shrinkage by using twist-outs, braid-outs, or blow-drying my hair. But seeing as though I don’t do those often, I more just accept the shrinkage and make it work to my advantage.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: The very middle of my head is where my hair seems to always be the driest and in need of the most attention. So when I’m applying any product, especially water, I have to make sure that the hair in that area gets the most.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: My unruly, yet sophisticated texture (if that makes sense lol) requires LOTS of water and oil. So much so that sometimes I’ll forego everything else and only use those. It also needs to be handled with care, so no rough combing or constant manipulation.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: I absolutely will not put just anything in my hair, even if it comes highly recommended. My hair is doing fine just the way it is, so it’ll take a lot of convincing to get me to try something new lol. Again, no rough combing and over-manipulation.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: YouTube (AshyTwix TV): http://www.youtube.com/ashytwixtv
DISCLAIMER: I’m gonna be upfront and say that I AM NOT a natural hair vlogger. I may post videos about hair in the future, but not many. I’d say I’m more of a commentator/general vlogger, so who knows what will be up (fashion, books, comedy?). I WILL be updating my channel very soon though, so be on the lookout and subscribe please. You can also find me on:
Instagram (@ashlieayanna): http://www.instagram.com/ashlieayanna
Twitter (@ashlieayanna): http://www.twitter.com/ashlieayanna