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Intro­duce your­self!
K:
Hel­lo, every­one! My name is Kar­la and I was born in the Caribbean, the Domini­can Repub­lic to be exact. I left my coun­try when I was 10 years old and I now live in Rhode Island where I’m grow­ing in my career as a teacher.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al?
K:
I’ve been nat­ur­al since Octo­ber 2012 and I have no regrets about my deci­sion. I only wish I would have done it soon­er. I had been toy­ing with pos­si­bil­i­ty of return­ing to nat­ur­al for a long time pri­or to me final­ly doing it, but was hes­i­tant because I knew I did not want to tran­si­tion. I knew that I’d want to do a big chop and tak­ing that plunge real­ly ter­ri­fied me. I wor­ried about not being hap­py with how I looked with short hair, and I also wor­ried about regret­ting my deci­sion, espe­cial­ly due to the fact that rel­a­tive­ly speak­ing, my relaxed hair was ‘healthy’ and long. I was reli­gious when it came to my hair appoint­ments for wash and sets, and I nev­er missed my touch ups every six weeks. My hair­dress­er could always count on me as a faith­ful client.

Nev­er­the­less, I final­ly decid­ed to face my fears, stopped post­pon­ing my deci­sion, and went for it. One after­noon (Octo­ber 7th 2012), I grabbed the shears my sis­ter used for her bangs and forced my moth­er to cut off all of my hair. All the way down to the lit­tle bit of new growth I had. I had to force my moth­er to do it because all the while I’m ask­ing her to do it I’m cry­ing my eyes out, so her fear was that I’d regret my deci­sion imme­di­ate­ly there­after. How­ev­er, I thank­ful­ly nev­er did. I want­ed to return to nat­ur­al because I no longer want­ed to con­form to what most of soci­ety con­sid­ers to be beau­ti­ful. I want­ed to learn to accept the way my hair looked. Accept the way it grew nat­u­ral­ly out of my scalp. I need­ed to embrace the fact that God did not make any mis­takes. More­over, accept­ing and learn­ing to love my nat­ur­al hair was akin to me dis­play­ing and express­ing to the rest of the world that I embrace and am proud of my African roots. I am very proud of the fact that the coun­try I was born in is racial­ly diverse. It has a rich his­to­ry com­prised of African ances­try as a result of the slaves that were brought to the coun­try. It is rich with our indige­nous ances­try, and also our Spaniard her­itage, which result­ed in us speak­ing the lan­guage I so love.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
K:
I real­ly have no clue about how to cat­e­go­rize my hair type. If I had to guess I’d say between 4a-4c? If I were to wash my hair and leave it with­out any hair prod­uct it would feel very dry and brit­tle. My strands are coarse and very tight­ly coiled, how­ev­er I have the loos­est coils in the back of my head, the tight­est coils in the mid­dle, and medi­um coils in the front. I’m unsure if this will make sense to any­one, but I’m going to say that my hair is thin and dense at the same time. It looks dense because of my tight coils, espe­cial­ly as I near wash day, but for the most part it’s pret­ty thin.

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Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the month.
K:
My styling reg­i­men over the course of the month real­ly only con­sists of 3 hair­styles: my coily afro, a sleek low bun, or a high messy bun. For my coily afro I’ll start off with fresh­ly washed hair using my VO5 prod­ucts, then I use a few prod­ucts to mois­tur­ize and define my coils. Right after I’ve washed my hair, I’ll dry it a bit with an old t-shirt and re-wet it with a mix­ture of most­ly aloe vera juice and some water; then I thor­ough­ly coat my strands with Organ­ic Root Stim­u­la­tor (ORS) Curls Unleashed Leave-In Con­di­tion­er fol­lowed by Proclaim’s 100% Pure Coconut Oil. Next I add 3 crèmes to my strands: ORS Curls Unleashed Curl Defin­ing Crème, Beau­ti­ful Tex­tures Mois­ture But­ter and Beau­ti­ful Tex­tures Curl Con­trol Defin­ing Pud­ding. After adding these 3 crèmes my hair looks white due to the lib­er­al amounts of prod­uct I’ve added, but I just attach the dif­fuser to my blow dry­er and use it on my hair for about 15 min­utes (I don’t com­plete­ly dry my hair this way) and voila, my coily fro is set to go! I can rock my fro for a week and a half to 2 weeks and it looks great dur­ing this peri­od of time.

As need­ed I’ll use ORS Curls Unleashed Curl Boost­ing Jel­ly or Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel on my edges, and per­haps once dur­ing this week and a half to 2 week peri­od I’ll need to water-bag my afro (Nap­tur­al 85’s term) using my spray bot­tle with aloe vera juice to spruce it up a lit­tle, but oth­er than that this hair style is pret­ty good to me. All I do every night is divide my hair into 6 sec­tions with hair ties to make sure that my afro doesn’t flat­ten out and get mat­ted. I remove them in the morn­ing, fluff, and the afro is back in full effect. If I want to change up my look I’ll just grab all my hair and put it in a high (small) messy bun, leav­ing some coils out for a ‘roman­tic’ look. And third­ly for my low bun all I do is wet my hair with my aloe vera con­coc­tion, add L’Oréal Ever­Style Smooth & Shine Crème, One ‘n Only Argan Oil, and gen­er­ous amounts of Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel and I’ve achieved my low, sleek bun. To get the bun look­ing pris­tine I tie a head­scarf on my hair while I fin­ish get­ting ready, and then I’m gold­en! Addi­tion­al­ly, I make sure to do a good mois­tur­iz­ing treat­ment every three months when I col­or my hair using Ion Col­or Bril­liance Jet Black Cream Hair Col­or. I have oth­er prod­ucts in my arse­nal, but the afore­men­tioned ones are the ones I use most often. I also def­i­nite­ly plan on using some oth­er prod­ucts I’ve learned about on this web­site, which were men­tioned by Style Icons with a hair type sim­i­lar to mine.

What does wash day look like for you?
K:
Wash day for me hap­pens every week and half to 2 weeks. I do not do co-wash­es because I use a lot of prod­uct and I have a lot of build up, so co-wash­es would be of no use for me. When I first returned to nat­ur­al I spent so much mon­ey on dif­fer­ent sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers and on dif­fer­ent styling prod­ucts look­ing for that holy grail. But for now, I’ve set­tled for VO5 sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers, which work well for me. When I wash my hair I fin­ger detan­gle then quick­ly run a wide tooth comb through my ends. I don’t ful­ly detan­gle my hair every time I wash because this usu­al­ly results in me los­ing a lot of hair. How can one dif­fer­en­ti­ate between shed hair and hair that’s break­ing? Maybe some­one can help me with this… The rea­son I opt for fin­ger detan­gling, although my hair gets tan­gled eas­i­ly, is for fear that the hair that’s left in the comb is hair that’s break­ing and not shed hair. To rem­e­dy the fact that I do not often com­plete­ly detan­gle my hair every time I wash it, every month and a half to 2 months I have my moth­er detan­gle my whole head. I sit between her legs and she sec­tions off my hair into small sec­tions then braids each sec­tion after it’s been detan­gled. It is so easy to style my hair every time she does this (¡Gra­cias, mami!).

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
K:
My go to hair­style with­out a doubt is my afro. This style lasts me for a long time and it requires min­i­mal upkeep. All I need in the morn­ings is 5 min­utes to fluff it, spruce up my edges, and I’m all set to get my day start­ed.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
K:
There isn’t much I can do to com­bat shrink­age because my hair is so coily, so I’ve learned to live with it. Shrink­age does not both­er me to the point that I’d resort to straight­en­ing my hair with heat to achieve more length. Ever since I embarked on my nat­ur­al hair jour­ney, I’ve not used heat to straight­en my hair and nev­er plan on doing so. I only use my blow dry­er with a dif­fuser, and when­ev­er I decide to straight­en my hair, I plan on using Naptural85’s heat­less method.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
K:
As I men­tioned above, my prob­lem is dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing between nor­mal shed­ding and break­age. Can any­one help with explain­ing the dif­fer­ence? I am always sure to be extra gen­tle with my strands so that I do not cause any break­age.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
K:
2 do’s for my hair tex­ture are (1) mois­tur­ize, and (2) peri­od­ic detan­gling. When my hair is dry it looks and feels brit­tle, and it looks lack­lus­ter over­all. My hair is very thirsty, so I make sure to coat my strands with prod­ucts that work well for my hair to keep it hap­py. Anoth­er must for my hair tex­ture is to peri­od­i­cal­ly and thor­ough­ly do a good detan­gle because my hair can get mat­ted eas­i­ly.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
K:
2 don’ts for my tex­ture are (1) con­stant­ly detan­gling (no mat­ter if my hair is dry or wet) because this caus­es break­age. And (2) a lot of manip­u­la­tion because styling can also be rough on my hair, so I try my best not to do this.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K:
I did have an Insta­gram account but I dis­abled it because I found myself spend­ing too much time on it. Nonethe­less, I’ll be sure to check the com­ments sec­tion in my fea­ture in case any­one has any ques­tions or sug­ges­tions for me. Thank you for read­ing my fea­ture, ¡has­ta pron­to!

Meosha

Just anoth­er lover of nat­ur­al hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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56 Comments on "Karla // Multi-Texture Style Icon"

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Tanayzha
I think you are my hair twin!!!! How did you get your hair into a sleek bun? As for break­age I’ve noticed it’s all about your wash­ing tech­nique. You have to wash your hair a cer­tain way in order for you to not get a lot of break­age. The way I wash my hair is that when I’m sham­poo­ing it, I’m hold­ing my hair taunt in place so that it doesn’t tan­gle. Just like Nap­tural85 in her video this is what I do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbSOwGvl5sU at 1:07. This helps a lot! I wash my hair in a down­ward motion like in… Read more »
Durelene Francois

Gor­geous hair I wish I could wear my hair like that, it would get too dry and knot crazed

Chrissie

For the first time in my life I have edges envy!

Marilyn Kirksey

I enjoyed your post. As a fel­low teacher, you also are an inspi­ra­tion to your stu­dents:). I have only been nat­ur­al for six months, but I am enjoy­ing the jour­ney:). I love your hair acces­sories- I also have a healthy col­lec­tion:). Hap­py and healthy hair jour­ney! Enjoy the rest of your school year!:)
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Youngin girl

My heart is rac­ing. Your sto­ry is inter­est­ing.

Hansy

Love to see a fel­low Domini­can fea­tured here. You and your hair are gor­geous, and those head bands are to die for. Check­ing head­bands DIY videos on youtube as I type lol.

lee

Beau­ti­ful thru and thru! And those baby­hairs yaaaassssss!

Dee

your skin!
is so clear!
flaw­less.

Nadia

Love your hair! It looks so sim­i­lar to my tex­ture and curl pat­tern. You def­i­nite­ly have some 3C in your hair.

Durelene Francois

She looks 4a-c to me I didn’t see any 3c

Elle

I like your post!!! My hair is sim­i­lar to yours. I am glad you shared because I get so caught up in the prod­ucts. I sim­ply stopped doing that and chas­ing after the trends that now my hair is healthy and hap­py. Ty for shar­ing it keeps me moti­vat­ed to stay nat­ur­al. It will be two years this May!

Karla C.

Con­grat­u­la­tions on your upcom­ing anniver­sary, Elle! I can’t wait for my two year anniver­sary and wish I could fast for­ward some­times, but at the same time I’m actu­al­ly lov­ing my cur­rent length, too. Thank you for you com­ment :-)

bonnie

I’m so hap­py I dis­cov­ered your post! I’ve been nat­ur­al as long as you have..same month even! And was wor­ried my hair wasn’t as long as it should be. I’ve been hid­ing my hair with braids till it gets to a rea­son­able length, but after see­ing yours I think I’ll start wear­ing it out!

Karla C.

Bon­nie I know exact­ly how you felt, I would always com­pare my length to that of oth­er nat­u­rals and would feel like my hair wasn’t pro­gress­ing or that I was doing some­thing wrong. But once I stopped com­par­ing I was able to appre­ci­ate how far my hair has come… So go ahead and rock your nat­ur­al hair girl, I know you’re going to love how you look at your cur­rent length!!

Natasha

This is my hair! But mine is 4a in the back, 4c in the mid­dle and con­fused every­where else! Beau­ti­ful hair and per­son, it seems and I loved read­ing your respons­es.

Karla C.

Natasha, thank you so much for the com­pli­ment!! :-)

Rochelle

OMG you are the first per­son I’ve ever seen on here with my exact hair type! I have 4A- C too!!! :) The only dif­fer­ence is that my medi­um curls are in the back and my loos­est are in the front. I have one year’s worth of growth now but I don’t real­ly wear my hair in a full ‘fro much. I shall be rock­ing it this sum­mer though after exams. Best of luck on your jour­ney. Your hair is AWESOME!!!! :’)

Karla C.

Rochelle, you bet­ter rock that fro this sum­mer!! Lol. You’ll find that the more you play with dif­fer­ent fro styles (frizzy vs more defined coils) and acces­sories when styling your fro, the more you’re going to love your look. I like my fro so much now that I sel­dom style my hair in buns. Good luck with your final exams :-)

Vera

Love your curly ‘fro. My hair looks a lot like yours except my hair is thicker–thinning with age–and the curls in the front are loos­er. I’ve been exper­i­ment­ing with wash and gos see­ing what products/routine works best for my hair and me. I get tons of shrink­age, but I don’t think there’s much I can do about it. I love the curls, and last pret­ty much all week.

Karla C.

Vera, thanks so much for the com­pli­ment! I, too, am still exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent prod­ucts, but for now I’ve found some that will suf­fice… (I have a few I’m plan­ning on try­ing in the future). You and I seem to have reached the same con­clu­sion, we have a lot of shrink­age but have learned to accept it/love it. Coily hair is beau­ti­ful, too!!

Kimira Jewels

Your hair is beau­ti­ful! I think we might be hair twins except yours is longer! I wish you had an insta­gram. Maybe you will recon­sid­er. I would fol­low it in an instant! :o)
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Karla C.

Omg, Kimi­ra!! I total­ly agree with you; from your pic­ture it seems like we have the same hair type (I’m lov­ing that, hair twin) lol.

Kimira Jewels

Thank you for the com­pli­ment! Do you have any social media accounts at all? I have all of them. Lol. Insta­gram, YouTube, etc. So if you do, please let me/us know (cuz I am sure that I am not the only one here who would love to see more of your beau­ti­ful hair). Or click on my name and it will take you to my web­site with all my links at the top! :o)

I wish you all the best with your hair jour­ney!

Nayha

U’ve inspired me to go nat­ur­al! Im half indian/south african Col­ored and my nat­u­rals are weird! But by read­ing ur fea­ture ive made up my mind and decid­ed no more! Ima go Nat­ur­al and embrace my nat­ur­al hair! Thank u!!! And i loveee Ur HAIR!!

Karla C.

Nay­ha, I’m so glad you’ve made the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al. I’m telling you, I don’t think you’ll regret your deci­sion; on the con­trary, you’ll wish you had done it soon­er. Enjoy the begin­ning of your nat­ur­al hair jour­ney!

coffeeandfingernails

Hey, l love this piece. On typ­ing, there is a wide range of opin­ions as I’m sure you know, but your hair looks a lot like mine and I con­sid­er myself main­ly 4b with­gen­er­ous amounts of 4a sprin­kled through­out. I’m cur­rent­ly in the DR work­ing and am a grate­ful fol­low­er of Go Nat­ur­al Caribe who feels like a one woman nat­ur­al move­ment.

Karla C.

Thank you for telling me about the Go Nat­ur­al Caribe blog, I checked out her blog and imme­di­ate­ly saved it on my favorites; I will def­i­nite­ly be fol­low­ing her :-)
Thank you for tak­ing the time to com­ment and I wish you all the suc­cess with your work in the Domini­can Repub­lic.

Kenya L.

I love how you embrace your tex­ture and length and wear the afro. Not all of the dif­fer­ent styles that tug and pull your hair. I have the same ques­tion as Han­nah. How do you get the sleek baby hair or edges? I also want to know what prod­uct you use to get the slick high bun in pic 11 and do you start with wet hair? Thanks

Karla C.

Hi, Kenya! Thanks for your com­ment. For my edges, I use main­ly two gels: either my Ion Curl Solu­tions Curl Spray Gel, or my Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel. As for my slick buns, I do this hair style on fresh­ly washed hair that’s been detan­gled and is still wet, I make sure to use gen­er­ous amounts of the Eco Styler Gel and then I tie a scarf on for about 30 min­utes while the style sets. I can keep that style for 2 to 3 days. Hope this helps :-)

Kenya L.

Thanks.

Kira-lee
Love your hair! As some­one men­tioned before, shed hair is hair that has nat­u­ral­ly come out of your scalp as it has reach the end of its cycle. So you will see the white bulb at one end to rep­re­sent that. We shed on aver­age 100 to 150 hairs a day. So over your one and a half to two week wash peri­od the ball of hair after detan­gling should look pret­ty dense lol. Of course break­age would not have the white bulbs and is very obvi­ous when the strands are short. What I do is col­lect all my shed… Read more »
Karla C.

Hel­lo, Kira-Lee! Thank you for elab­o­rat­ing on the pre­vi­ous commentor’s expla­na­tion, now I won’t be as para­noid think­ing that I’m doing some­thing wrong to my hair. What a great idea of yours to track your shed­ding by tak­ing pic­tures after every wash; I will do this, too, to make sure the amounts of shed/broken hair isn’t increas­ing. Thank you very much for the idea!!

Andre

In Love!!! She’s amaz­ing!!

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norris

good­bye

iamnotasian

inter­est­ing

Djanira

Rhode Island!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Love it all :)

Karla C.

Rhody, Rhody, Rhody!!! Lol

Siedah

I think I’ve found my hair twin! Our coily/curly ‘fros are so sim­i­lar. Lol. Beau­ti­ful!

Karla C.

Thank you, Siedah :-)

geri

i wish she had insta­gram! her beau­ty and style are inspir­ing. good post

Kimira Jewels

I wish she had an insta­gram too!

Karla C.

Thank you so much Geri! You are very beau­ti­ful, too. :-)

April

Love it :)

Queen

I’m still tran­si­tion­ing (9 months post) but I feel like you’re my hair twin! Gor­geous hair :)

Karla C.

Thank you, Queen! And con­grat­u­la­tions on your hair jour­ney. :-)

hannah

i real­ly love your hair and you know i respect you for doing the big chop and your rea­son for it some­times I’m afraid to wear my nat­ur­al hair out because many peo­ple have the stereo­type that being his­pan­ic you should have long “good hair” but I’m learn­ing to embrace it and let go of the opin­ions of oth­ers cause either way peo­ple are going to talk. Once again beau­ti­ful hair and how you get your baby hairs so sleek.

Karla C.

¡Hola, Han­nah! I give you praise for decid­ing to embrace your nat­ur­al hair tex­ture and not wor­ry about what oth­er peo­ple may say/think. I am cer­tain that you will not regret your deci­sion. And btw, thank you for your kind words :-)

hannah

Thank you girl!, appre­ci­ate it:)

Chat1

I love your hair. And the head­bands are adorable :)

Elle
Absolute­ly adorable, and I love the daisy head­band! I have the same fluffy ‘looks dense but is actu­al­ly com­pact’ hair. I just smiled when I read that you get your hair combed by your mom! “accept­ing and learn­ing to love my nat­ur­al hair was..displaying and express­ing to the rest of the world that I embrace and am proud of my African roots. I am very proud of the fact that the coun­try I was born in is racial­ly diverse. It has a rich his­to­ry com­prised of African ancestry.…indigenous ancestry…and also our Spaniard her­itage” Bril­liant quote! I feel the same way about… Read more »
Karla C.

Hi, Elle! This is the rea­son why I like this site so much, it’s a great way to con­nect with oth­er women who take pride in their ances­tral African roots as you said. Thank you for your kind words :-)

Resa

Your hair is gor­geous and I love your why for going back to nat­ur­al! Shed hair will have a lit­tle white tip at one end the fol­li­cle has com­plet­ed its life cycle so you’ll see the white tip. A bro­ken hair will not have the white tip. Thanks for the tip on how you keep your fro you don’t use any water or any aloe vera juice to refresh in the morn­ing? I would love to only need five min in the morn­ing for my fro

Karla C.

Hi, Resa! Thank you for telling me about the dif­fer­ence between shed vs. bro­ken hair; I’ll keep that in mind next time I wash my hair. 

Some­times I’ll spritz my water and aloe vera juice mix­ture in the morn­ings to refresh my hair, but I some­times pre­fer the frizzy look so plen­ty of times I opt to not spritz. :-)

Brianna Love

Love EVERYTHING! :) Your hair is BEAUTIFUL!

Karla C.

Thank you very much, Bri­an­na :-)

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