Skip to main content

Portia // Natural Hair Style Icon

• Apr 24, 2012

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Introduce yourself!
P:
Hey ya’ll, I’m Portia! I was born in California, but I was raised in New Jersey by the shore! I enjoy going to church, art, thrifting, museums, and reading. I also love makeup, fashion, and anything that sparkles. I’m obsessed with rhinestones and sequins. I also have a B.A in Journalism and an M.A in Public Relations. I love to write and one day, I’ll publish a novel. I’m currently working in Social Services, but makeup and styling make my heart smile. I’m God fearing, a wife, and I’m always learning.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
P:
After 7 years of getting relaxers, I was tired of burning and irritating my scalp. I would literally have scabs and sores on my scalp after a fresh relaxer and I just knew that it wasn’t something that I’d want to go through for the rest of my life. Sure, I had hair. But would I still have hair in 20 years was what I was worried about. I was clearly having some kind of reaction to the chemicals and for me to keep putting my scalp and hair through that abuse would be insane. Not to mention, I’d probably be losing my hair by the time I turned 40.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
P:
I decided to go natural after my senior year of high school. I didn’t transition very long. I just grew out my relaxed roots for about 3 months and then I cut my hair off. I didn’t really know much about natural hair so I only had one transitional style, a bun. I never had short hair in my life and I didn’t really care what it looked like. I was just tired of my scalp being abused. I had enough.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
P:
Once I let my hair grow out of my scalp the way God intended it to grow, I felt liberated and free. I didn’t have to worry about getting my hair wet in the rain or worry about when I had to get a touch up. I felt like I was ME for the first time in my life. I didn’t blend in with the rest of the world anymore and I liked it. I liked knowing that I could be Portia.

Because I was able to step out of the box with my hair, I was able to step out of the box with other things as well. I began to wear the clothes that I WANTED TO WEAR and participate in activities that I had always been interested in. I even chose a major in college that I felt comfortable with. I didn’t go for a major that made the “big bucks”. I chose my career path based on what I knew would make ME happy until retirement. I also chose my graduate program based on who I was as a person and what I could see myself doing. I became an individual and people noticed. My mother certainly noticed. The first thing she said when she saw my short natural hair was “You’re out of control!” lol. Growing up, I was the kind of person that asked for permission to do everything and if my mother said “no”, then I would accept it. Doing the big chop was the first time I did something on my own and without anyone’s opinion or permission. It took my mother a while to get used to it, but she’s well over it now. She’s even gone natural herself!

How would you describe your hair?
P:
I have thick hair, but it’s not that difficult to manage. I can comb through it with my wide tooth comb quite easily when it’s wet. My curl pattern is very tight in the back and sort of wavy and kinky in the front. I didn’t realize you could have two or three totally different textures on one head. I’m not really sure what “type” of hair I have because I can’t really get too deep into that. All hair textures are beautiful in my opinion anyway. My hair is also very cotton like and fluffy when dry. It’s very soft and it isn’t heavy at all. It grows out, not down. I will never have hair that flops down on my shoulders when in its natural state. It just gets taller and wider 🙂 It usually does its own thing. No twist out, puff, or roller set is ever the same. Sometimes my hair can look super huge and sometimes it can look not so huge. Sometimes it is super curly and sometimes it looks like a giant cotton ball. I enjoy its versatility. It all depends on the day and the weather. I let my hair dictate to me how it’s going to behave. I’ve stopped trying to get it to do what I want it to do 🙂

What is your regimen?
P:
I wash my hair once or twice a week (depending on how my scalp is acting). Because shampoo is drying on my hair, I only use shampoo twice a month and when I do, I like to use VO5 Clarifying shampoo. It’s cheap, but for some reason my hair really likes VO5. I also like to co-wash my hair with their conditioner. Sometimes I switch up the shampoo and conditioner and use Creme of Nature. I deep condition my hair once every two weeks. My hair needs a very thick and heavy conditioner, so I always use Queen Helene’s Cholesterol conditioner. My hair can be fragile, so this conditioner helps to strengthen it. Because I have dry hair, I like to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) mixed with a bit of tea tree oil as a hot oil treatment once every two weeks. I have seborrheic dermatitis so I can’t use oils on my scalp. Because I can rinse the hot oil out, my scalp isn’t irritated, but my hair is not dry (that tip was for anyone who may have the same issue).

I like to wear twist outs the most because it’s easy and functional. I’m not a wash and go girl because my hair retains water and can take as long as two days to dry completely. I just don’t like walking around with a wet head all day. I use Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Smooth & Hold Pudding and raw Shea Butter on my twist outs. When I want to be fancy, I use Kinky Curly Custard. I sit under the dryer to dry my twists.

How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
P:
I actually don’t worry about the length of my hair too much. I figure, if I’m taking care of my hair the way I’m supposed to and nurturing it, then my hair is bound to retain length. However, I do have some things that I do so that I don’t rip out my strands. I never brush or comb my hair dry (unless it’s blow dried and I’m styling it). I always make sure my hair is coated with Shea Butter for moisture. I never use small combs, only wide tooth combs. I always make sure I use a heat protector if I blow dry my hair. I always sleep with a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillow case. This keeps my hair from snagging and becoming dry and brittle. I also like to let my hair free and not use headbands or wear my hair up in a puff for too long. If I do, my edges get weak and I literally feel stands of hair snapping in two. I also like to get my ends trimmed once a year. Some may feel that’s not enough, but it is for me.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
P:
I used to compare my hair to other naturals, but then I realized that all natural hair is not created equal. What works for one natural haired lady, may not work for the next. I just had to shut out everyone else’s opinion and focus on my hair and how it responded to products. Once I listened, it started to morph into something beautiful.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
P:
One of my favorite things to do for my hair is to give it a break. Yes, it’s great that I have natural hair that can be care free, but even natural hair needs a break. Sometimes during the year I will get a protective style (example: kinky twists, Senegalese twists) so that my hair can have a break from manipulation. My hair responds well to this and it thanks me by growing an inch or two while I have in my twists. I recently started testing the waters with sew-in weaves (full head), so that will probably be my next protective style.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
P:
Actually yes! I’ve just been given the push to start a blog (huneybflyy.com). It’s in its beginning stages, but there, you will be able to get tips on styling natural hair, makeup, and fashion for the every day woman. You can also find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/#!/HuneyBFlyy and on Instagram @huneybflyy.

Anything else you want to add?
P:
I just want to tell all of the African American women (who aren’t natural) reading my interview to stop worrying so much about going natural. It is JUST hair and I promise you that it will be beautiful and grow if you take care of it. Kinky, curly, and wavy is exactly the way God wants our hair to grow. If He didn’t, He would have made it straight.

About Meosha

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

Leave a Reply

64 Comments on "Portia // Natural Hair Style Icon"

Notify of
avatar
Cacey
Guest

i like this! her hair is so pretty. i too just decided not to focus on length, per se. what i’ve now directed my attention to is just making sure my ends stay split end free, so indirectly i am still thinking about length but it’s just in the background rather than a forerunning thought. And my hair is in cornrows right now- i find, too, that my hair deserves a break from time to time!

ko
Guest

She comes off as kind of arrogant. “I don’t worry about the length of my hair too much.” Of course you don’t, because it’s really long!

Rosina
Guest

I dont agree with you here. Her point is that if she takes good care of the hair, then it will grow long and remain long.
Ofcourse her hair is already long, so why should she worry about it???

Anon
Guest

+1, not worry about something is not equal to arrogance

Anon
Guest

not worrying*

merry
Guest

stop being green…

Antoinette Stewart
Guest

@ko I don’t sense any arrogance -
My hair is still short, I haven’t worried about length either just maintaining my ends for maybe that one day of actually wearing a straight style!

brunettefury
Guest

Great interview with lots of good advice and I LOVE her style!

J
Guest

+1

fluffy in flight
Guest

What’s so arrogant about what she said? Some people don’t worry about length at all. Some people don’t like long hair, and some don’t care one way or the other. Some of us project our hangups on other people. Just accept people for what they have to say- don’t take it personally.

Anon
Guest

Spot on!

Kitty
Guest

Great post! Beautiful hair! Fab photos!! I’m glad that she’s able to rock her natural hair in the workplace. It seems like most naturals have to create work opportunities by becoming entrepreneurs in order to be able to wear their natural hair (without it being in a bun every single day) without battling (covert & overt) resistance.

Caramelle
Guest

She is gorgeous. Love her hair.

its hump day
Guest

I really love this interview, she seems like such a nice person, i started to smile reading this, good way to start off the day, beautiful woman and beautiful hair

Pat
Guest

She is stunning and her hair is gorgeuse!

Carla
Guest

Not arrogant at all 🙂 LOVE her big hair!

Shameka
Guest

BEAUTIFUL hair!!!!

Star
Guest

Ko—get over yourself and stop hating please! If someone says they are not worried about length, that should encourage you. How in the world is that arrogant? Obviously YOU worry about length, and you think everyone else should as well.

ANYWAYS, her hair is gorgeous and healthy, I love it!

Monz03b
Guest

She is fly! She is gorgeous and her hair is dope. It was a great interview and she did not come off as being arrogant. People are always trying to hate on other people, sheesh!! I think we can all agree that she is FLY!

Sue
Guest

I totally agree, she is one FABULOUS SISTA!

Rou
Guest

I agree, she does not appear to be arrogant in the least! I thinks she is a gorgeous girl, with beautiful hair, and very fashionable! Ignore the haters! 🙂

LillianMae
Guest

Love this woman’s hair! BEAUTIFUL!

anastasia
Guest

Me too! So many beautiful ladies among us=) And, if no one has told you (ie. the bglh community)today, you too look GORGEOUS!

Bernadette Pierre
Guest
I too love to wear my hair naturally. At the moment though I am sporting a weave. This is because I have recently gone through some very stressful times that have caused my hair to fall off at the temples. I tried many things to correct that, but with no success, hence the weave to act as a cover-up. Before this problem cropped-up, I would wear my hair in many styles, even going bald when the fancy takes me over. Although I sometimes think about locking, I have never done it because it’s too permanent a style for me. I… Read more »
Ashley I
Guest

Her hair is so cute. I love it. It’s not called arrogance. She’s very confident, as you should be, no matter how long your hair is.

Redens
Guest

She’s adorable! I love her fierce and quirky style.

Portia
Guest
Hi guys, It”s me! Lol Portia! Thanx so much for all of your positive feed back. You guys are great and I’m humbled by your responses to my feature. 🙂 @ko, I’m sorry you feel as if I’m being arrogant. That is not my intention. I just wanted people to know that if you take care of your hair, it will grow regardless of if you’re length obssessed. No need to stress over length. Just kick back, chill and let it grow in its own time 🙂 P.s. bare with me in regards to my blog. It’s REALLY under construction… Read more »
merry
Guest

oh girl don’t worry about haters…

you’re pretty and your hair is dope.

Annie L.
Guest

+1,000,000,000,000!

b.
Guest

Thanks for sharing with us! I love your style and aside from the texture description (and the grad school — not yet) I felt like I was reading my own story! Many of the same things happened to me. Wishing you ALLL the best 🙂

Nayle
Guest

Your hair is beautiful! I’m thinking of going for a weave for summer as a protective style. I also try not to think about length retention anymore, because my hair is gonna do it’s thang. 🙂 As long as I take care of it, I am happy.

anastasia
Guest

Nayla, “I also try not to think about length retention anymore, because my hair is gonna do it’s thang. 🙂 As long as I take care of it, I am happy.” This way of thinking will set you free!! Have fun and whatever style you choose this summer, you betta werk! LOL!Peace y’all..back to the grind…ugh.

anastasia
Guest

Just want to add though: if you are interested in consistency with how your hair behaves etc, you may want to try pH balancing your products. I can predict with minimal margin of error how my hair will turn out/behave..etc.

Portia
Guest

That’s the right attitude 🙂

shiningsolace
Guest

I love her hair, make-up, and style! Go, girl! 😀

ChariB
Guest

I loved your hair pictures it gave me ideas on how to style my own hair when I take out my twist w/extentions. Your hair is very similar to mine, I just get tired of retwisting it each night, but if I dont it will be a mess in the morning and I’ll have to wet it and put it in a slick back. Thanks for the inspiration.

Chantel M
Guest

Wow this girl is my natural hair twin!!! Can’t wait til my hair is as long as hers!

Eboni
Guest

All of the interviews featured on this site are wonderful, but I feel like this particular interview was special. Porita’s story about how going natural inspired her to step outside of the box was very inspiring and how that sprinkled into rest of her life was great!

Also, I agree the last part she mentioned about how God intends for our hair to be…beautiful! Yes hair just hair, and there’s nothing wrong with wearing it straight, but that’s a good way to look at naturally thick, curly, coily hair; just the way God created..so you KNOW it’s already beautiful!

Peace! 😀

Jo
Guest

+1

Eboni
Guest

Portia — LOVE your hair girlfriend! I’m at the start of my transition and have been somewhat nervous/anxious about the whole process…thanks for sharing!

Morine
Guest

Hello..I love your hair..and I agree..I wash my hair..maintain it and I dont worry about length or about the growth of others..and its been growing well when I dont focus on those things…Ive been natural for 12 years and loving it…Thanks for the inspiration

Shannon Banks
Guest

Portia, from your pictures it looks as if we have similar thickness and grains of hair. I always do a twist out and push it back with a headband. I just recently started to let it hang down.….your hairstyle in the very first picture with the black and white on, is that a bantu knot or a twist out? Also in the sixth picture, i can tell thats a twist out, did you just put one big twist in the front, or is that more than one?

Portia
Guest

The first pic is a roller set on blow dried hair. The 6th pic I put three big twists in the front and unraveled them the next day. Check out how I achieved this look on my site huneybflyy.com thanx!

Treece
Guest

^ just some fool trying to start ish *sigh

BrinkyDinks
Guest

My thoughts exactly!!! Take your self hate elsewhere!!

onelove
Guest

wow. what a sad story. i really hope things work out for you…

Omolara
Guest

I so agree. Transitioning is already a lot of work too.

She is beautiful.

Candis
Guest

Your style Screams FAB! go girl

Aisha
Guest

I love your hair! The interview was dope!

Somer
Guest

I 3 love her hair and style. Very cute!!

misseducation630
Guest
Portia!! SO proud of what you are doing these days! This was a GREAT article to read, especially having known you since one month after you did your “big chop” 7 years ago! Ladies, she has been fabulous since the day I met her, and has been so versatile with her styles as her hair grew. Miss Ko, arrogant would be the polar opposite word to describe who she is and how she is perceived by all who interact with her. As I mentioned, she cut her hair nearly 7 years ago… Yeah, I think she deserves to not worry… Read more »
Ally
Guest

Portia you’re awesome! Thanks for inspiring me, I love your style, and your hair! God bless you!

Michelle
Guest

This was a fabulous interview; how can you make such a broad perception of someone just by the words they read. Have you ever gotten a text that was misinterpreted? We have got to stop being so negative. Her positive spirit exudes from her photos… Christ.

kenyata
Guest

This is very inspiring to me because i just did the big chop and im going into my senior year now. And i cut my hair because i was tired of all the relaxers and the damage,i feel so free and i can really relate to you.

Vinnie
Guest

Her hair is so damn beautiful and God given. Its really inspiring to see someone with such beautiful hair that doesn’t worry too much about it and just treats it right alongside leaving the rest to how God intended it to be. For some reason I’m also spiritually uplifted by this post? lol. Its lovely.

yvonne
Guest

You are simply darling! I LOVE your pics especially the hair style where you have the scarf draped around your neck. So very cute.

Candace
Guest

I love, love, love, this interview. Portia, you are adorable and I love the hair and make-up. I wish all of us women of color would have the same idealogy about our hair. It’s JUST hair lol! Love it.

trackback

[…] Portia […]

Chanay
Guest

Portia’s hair and spirit radiates freedom. I enjoyed reading this article. I have locs and feel compelled to cut them to express myself in other ways. The pictures are definitely model material. You go girl!

Linda W.
Guest

Portia,
You are a beautiful woman and so proud of you and your work! May God always bless you with the wisdom to stand on those convictions that are right and matter. When we feel good about ourselves, we can face the world with no reservations. Thank-you for this information you share, that helps others vision for themselves what is right for them and not what society says is good for us. We choose. God first, then what is right for me and mine. Vision.

Abeo
Guest

you inspire me!! i love your hair and your attitude. May God bless you 🙂

Dana
Guest

Beautiful interview, and a beautiful girl to match. You shine, girl! Go on!

Dallas
Guest

I’m in love with her volume!

ema
Guest

just beautiful 🙂

Shopping Cart