1. What products do you use?
I use a variety of products depending on what my goal is. You will have to determine which product line works for you but regardless of the line, here are the essentials:
· Non sulfate shampoo
· Moisturizing conditioner
· Leave in conditioner
· Styler cream – depends on season, hairstyle, etc.
· Oil and shea butter to seal in moisture
· Deep conditioner
I usually tell people to start off with a less expensive product, such as Shea Moisture, or sample size products, for the following reasons:
· Experimentation should never be costly. That way if for some reason they don’t work out, you haven’t lost a fortune.
· Accessibility - You can obtain many on the ground at Target or Walgreens for instant gratification.
2. How do you deal with your edges (while transitioning)? *look of distain on face*
Define “deal with”….this will probably only be an issue if you desire a straight look during your transition, which I would not recommend. Yes I can speak on it because that is what I did. I recommend doing braid outs and twist outs exclusively during this period and “edges” are not necessarily an issue. I use eco styler gel to tame the hair around the perimiter of my face.
3. How long did it take you to grow your hair completely out?
I transitioned for 2 years. It was not easy but absolutely worth it. My hair basically looked a hot ass mess the entire time (in my eyes) but I worked it out. My stylist would gradually clip off an inch or so whenever I would get it done (every 2 weeks) until eventually all of the relaxer was gone completely. Then I had an entirely new head of hair that I had to learn. Again, I would not recommend transitioning the way I did, which was wearing it straight. My hair survived but I had zero length retention and I wanted my hair to grow.
4. How do you wear your hair to work?
The same way you see it right now. I do tone it down a bit for work but that has more to do with the time of day, the occasion, how I’m dressed, etc. I am not afraid of my hair anymore. The great DMX once said, and yes I’m quoting DMX, #dontjudge, “people are afraid of honesty. They are afraid to be who they really are”. I am completely honest about my hair, meaning, I’m not ashamed that it kinks up and I’m not afraid to let the curls do what they do. So if I want to wear my hair out, I do.
5. How do you get it straight?
I wear my hair straight twice per year, this time it will end up being three because of a photo session I am doing. Nothing at all against wearing it straight, it looks nice but I usually grow bored and long for my curls. Plus, me and my color may never part ways so the less damage the better. Anyway, the last time I straightened my hair I applied a leave in conditioner after blowing it dry, sprayed on some heat protector before flat ironing and that’s it.
6. Why won’t my hair grow?
This is such a general question as there are a lot of contributing factors but generally speaking if you are doing the following, you should definitely experience some growth. At least this is what worked for me.
· Trims as needed
I don’t have a “trim clock” so to speak. I trim as necessary.
· Much of length retention is dependent on how well you nurture your ends. Sealing your ends is a crucial step in your process.
· Maintain moisture levels
Add moisture and keep the moisture in.
· Wrap it up!
A satin scarf and pillow case are a must! I can’t tell you the feeling of panic that comes over me when I can’t find my scarf!
7. Do you have to wash it every day?
Absolutely not! When it was shorter, I was partial to wash and go’s which for me meant daily cleansing. As my hair grew, the wash and go was no longer conducive so I started trying other styles, such as braid outs and twist outs and I started cleansing once per week. Now, I sometimes go two weeks before I shampoo. Honestly it depends on the weather, how I’ve been wearing my hair and how much product I’ve used throughout the week.
8. My hair would look super short like that. *points at my hair* How do you get it to not shrink up?
Shrinkage – battle of the naturals J . Depending on the look I’m going for I don’t mind shrinkage. I sometimes want certain parts to shrink and others to hang a little more. When I want to combat shrinkage I stretch my hair. What does that mean? After shampooing/conditioning I braid my hair into 4-6 sections and allow it to air dry, typically overnight, before styling. The next day when it’s completely dry, the curls are more relaxed and stretched. I then proceed with whatever style I choose. Another way to stretch is through heat which I don’t do often but when I do, I blow it dry and then proceed with styling on dry hair.
9. So you don’t put any relaxer in it …..ever? (Emphasis on “ever”)
This is the question I get mostly when it’s straight. People usually don’t believe me when I tell them I’m relaxer free. I’ve had someone actually go behind my back and ask my stylist if I really had a relaxer. *Side eye* Really? Like who really cares that much? But anyway.
What questions do you get about your natural hair? If you have questions for me about my hair, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with "you've got mail" in the subject line.