Category Archives: Hair Crush

Hair Crush: PrincessLinzz’s HairStory

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curlz

Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Hi! My name is Lindsey/PrincessLinzz from the Bronx, New York. I work in higher education, going to Columbia University for second Masters Degree, and I am a hair enthusiast and serious product junkie.

How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
I have been natural for about 10 years now. My hair just could not take relaxers, whether mild or children specific. My hair in the nape area would constantly break. I then decided that I would let the relaxer grow out and wear my hair in a bun until it was removed entirely.

Holy Buns

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned for a year and looked really awkward; I won’t lie. But like I said, I typically wore my hair slicked back in a bun. I didn’t cut out my relaxer.

How long did you transition before you cut out the relaxer?
I didn’t cut out my relaxer. I transitioned for a year. It grew out and I looked crazy along the way.

But, you gradually cut the ends over the course of a year until there was no relaxer left at the ends, right?
Honestly, I never cut anything at all. My hair gradually changed to really curly to the looser curl I have today. I swear I never cut anything.

Wait, so you had a relaxer, but you never cut it and the curls reverted?!?! How often did you relax when you relaxed, what kind of relaxer? And did you leave it on briefly or the full time?! We want details!!!
I used the Just for Me relaxer and relaxed every 2 months for a year. My beautician at the time left it in probably for 15 minutes. She did it in sections: apply the relaxer in the back, left it on for a few minutes, then rinsed it out. Then she did the front and rinsed it out.  I loved the way my hair looked.

But then, as time progressed, my hair started breaking off, because I clearly didn’t know how to take care of my hair. Not everyone has had this experience, I did. I would relax my hair for a year and then take a break and wear my hair in a bun with a hairpiece. Eventually, I decided I had enough of relaxers. But,  I refused to cut my hair, so I let it grow out. During this process, my hair changed and the curls were very coily and frizzy at first. The thickness and shrinkage of the curls was crazy and I wore my hair in flat twists in the front and buns in the back. Then, within a year or so, my curls loosened and I had the texture I have today. So yes, my hair just reverted and the curls popped up. It sounds weird but its true. Also I transitioned about 10 yrs ago and my hair texture changed 3 times from then to now.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
No one in my family really cared, neither did my friends. BUT the guys that I dated definitely wanted me to wear my hair long and straight. I noticed that the younger guys I go out with always want me to wear my hair straight and the older guys that I date really don’t care.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge is over proteining and battling sporadic breakage. It’s funny, because my friends, family and colleagues call me the hair guru and call me for advice; yet I still find that I occasionally have hair issues that force me to retrace my steps and figure out what my hair needs. No one’s hair is perfect. My biggest challenge is figuring out whether my hair needs moisture or protein, so what I have done is create a hairlendar (hair calendar) to tell me whether I should be using a deep conditioner for moisture or a deep conditioner for protein, steaming, clarifying, etc.

hair swag

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
This is going to sound silly but when it rains I am never in a rush to put up my umbrella. I can just chill and allow my hair to get wet, while my other friends run for cover. Also, the humidity doesn’t affect my hair when it’s curly, however it does when my hair is straight.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
My regimen has changed since I went natural. I actually have one now! I have always had length, but my hair has gotten considerably longer since I developed a regimen and began really researching hair. I typically co-wash every 2 days with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (moisture) or Herbal Essences Honey I’m Strong (protein). I deep condition weekly with either a moisturizing deep conditioner or a protein deep conditioner. I have just started sealing my hair … my hair HATES oil, so I started a new technique for my wash-n-go. I spray water from root to tip, run my leave-in down the same section of hair, then apply safflower or grapeseed oil over it. After I have sealed that section, I add my styling product. It’s not a typical quick wash-n-go. It takes considerably longer (like 45 minutes), I call it my wash-n-go-hard.

Side Pony

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
My staple products are: Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Clarifying Shampoo, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle (I have 7 bottles in my cabinet right now), Curl Junkie Curl Rehab, Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha, Kinky Curly Custard, As I Am Coconut Jelly, Dr. Miracle’s Curl Care Strong Hold Gel, safflower oil and grapeseed oil.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
This is pretty bad, but this year I only trimmed once. I will trim in mid January and then probably six months from that date. I usually go to the Dominican salon I have been going to since I was 13 yrs old. She trims my hair straight.

Loosened Bantu

Do you have a “hair crush?”
If so, who? Um…duh, YOU, Hairscapades! Your hair is absolutely beautiful and meeting you at the CurlyNikki event was so exciting. I was tongue tied and totally interrupted you in mid-sentence talking to someone else. You are my hair idol!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
EmpresRi is the first person I followed on Youtube. She was and still is my hairspiration. I met her at a few events and she is always super-informative and super-helpful. Also, CourtneyNaturalHair. she is very helpful, informative and introduced everyone to me on Instagram! She rocks!

Where can we find you online?
On Instagram, my name is PrincessLinzz.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
You have to put in work for anything you want to achieve, including strong healthy natural hair. Don’t compare your hair to anyone else’s all hair is different and all products won’t react the same as they did on someone else’s hair. Hair typing really doesn’t matter and don’t limit yourself to thinking that certain regimens or products won’t work on your hair because of your texture. TRY IT! You never know how it will react on YOUR hair. J

Best,

Lindsey

Bantu Knot Out on Blown Hair

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Okay ladies, the coffers are empty! So, if you’d like to share your hairstory, go to the HairStories page to find links to Big Chop, Transition, Henna & Me, Hair Crush, Naturals Around the World, My Albatross and Mini-Hairscapaders interview questions! Then, tell us your story by e-mailing your answers to me (with pics of course ;)) at hairscapades@gmail.com with the subject, “HairStory.” Hope to hear from you soon!!

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Hair Crush: Nappturally Nessa’s HairStory

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IMG-20120619-00113Vannesa of Nappturally Nessa

Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I’m currently living in South Carolina, but originally from Oklahoma. I enjoy church and collecting almost anything butterfly-related as I am OBSSESSED!! lol

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I will have been natural 3 years in Feb 2013, Lord willing. Prior to that, I transitioned for about 8 months.

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Shortly after BC in 2010.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
I didn’t receive too much negativity in the beginning. I had some naysayers who didn’t like my length or my styles. But, in their defense, I wasn’t very good at styling :). It’s like, now that my hair is longer, more seem interested in going natural. But, then you have those who think that you’ve always had long hair or it’s easy for you to be natural and grow longer hair because of your texture. My hair is pretty kinky and I love it! But, it’s usually stretched. Some think that it just grows out like that … it doesn’t. lol

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
This is my basic regimen,I have a different routine for when I wear small twists;

Wash Day with Soap

  • Finger detangle with oil.
  • Twist hair (16-20 twists).
  • Band the ends of the twists to make 4 sections.
  • Apply soap mixture to scalp using applicator bottle.

Wash Day with Water Rinsing

  • Finger detangle with oil.
  • Twist hair (16-20).
  • Band the ends of the twists to make 4 sections.
  • Rinse hair and massage scalp with warm water for 5 or more minutes.

The next steps are the same regardless of whether I’m using soap or water rinsing:

  • Squeeze out excess water.
  • Saturate hair with conditioner and deep condition with cap for 1 hour or a previously heated conditioner for 30 minutes.
  • Completely rinse out hair with cold water.
  • Squeeze out excess water.
  • Let hair dry under a t-shirt or a microfiber turby.
  • Seal “dampish dry” hair with a cream.
  • Put hair in about 10 braids for stretching.
  • The next day, when braids are dry, take down each one, lightly finger detangle, spritz with aloe vera juice and re-braid for further stretching using less braids or style.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Some of my favorite products are: Crisco, aloe vera juice, and Yes to Carrots/Cucumbers Body Butter. I’ve just discovered that body butter and I’m totally in love with it!!

And as long as there is air in this body, Crisco and I will always be BFFs!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
I have a few hair crushes: Ms. Lala, Cipriana from Urban Bush Babes, Longhairdontcare2011 and, of course, the amazing blogger Hairscapades!!!

What are your hair plans/goals?
I plan on reaching waist length by my 3 year nappiversary, but we shall see!!

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What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
The best advice I can give to anybody on a healthy hair journey 
or thinking of starting one is to research and find what works best for you. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that before, but it’s true. And, once you’ve figured that out, stick with it and be consistent. Only change your regimen if it needs to and not, “just because.” Also, respect what others choose to do to their hair. You may not agree with it, but if it’s working for them, it’s best to just let it be. We can all learn something from each other. :)

Where can we find you online?
http://nappturallynessa101.blogspot.com/

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Hair Journey: Relaxed to Natural … to Relaxed Again!

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Okay, so obviously this is a natural hair blog. That is my focus. But, I know that I have texlaxed readers and also suspect that I may have some followers who are relaxed. And, I think that is GREAT! I am not a person who believes that every person’s walk has to be the same. I believe that everyone has the right to choose what journey is best for them. So, I don’t judge those who choose to wear their hair relaxed, texlaxed, natural but straight, weaved up or with extensions. If it’s healthy and flattering and you aren’t judging others for THEIR choices, DO YOU BOO!!

So, I say all of that as a preface to sharing this healthy hair journey video by a young woman who transitioned from relaxed to natural and BACK TO RELAXED. I came across this video a couple of weeks ago and was soooo impressed by the growth and health of her hair. It also proved something that I’ve suspected. Some women can experience great length retention and hair health with relaxers IF they use them and heat judiciously and practice the moisturizing, strengthening and protective techniques that so many of us only learn upon going natural.

Hope that you enjoy and appreciate the sharing.

via The Happy Hair Show

“All that matters is HEALTHY hair.
Happy Hair Journey to EVERYONE. ♥”

I wholeheartedly concur.

Hair Crush: Fay’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Fay, and I am a single working mother of five (three girls and two boys). I have a lot on my plate, but I am grateful for it all. I live in Orlando, FL and am trying to embrace my culture and the redefine the ideal of beauty that has been forced on us for so long.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for the past 3 years. My decision to go natural came after really thinking about what we are doing to our scalps and hair with the chemicals that we put on them for the purpose of supposedly “making our hair more manageable.” I figured God gave us our hair the way it was and since He knows what He is doing, He must have figured we could manage it.

After making the transition, I realized that not only is our hair manageable, but it is versatile, diverse and, most of all, beautiful. We have been taught for sooo long that our kinks and curls and knots and twists are ugly, or to be tamed that we just took it for granted that straight was the path to beauty. But, like this world, beauty and hair comes in many forms. I am complimented wayyy more now with my natural hair by all ethnicities than I ever have been before. More importantly, I love what I see when I look in the mirror and I hope to be an example to my daughters so that they can say the same

Did you transition or big chop?
I did the big chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
My friends and family did not understand why I cut off all my hair (it was fairly long and permed) and insisted that I would regret it. They all felt like it was a waste of time, since they assumed I would just wind up perming it again. My response was simple … I was tired of sitting through the unneccesary pain of chemical straighteners (I have a very sensitive scalp). I also felt like, in this day and age, black women should embrace what makes them different and understand that that difference is not a curse, but something rare and beautiful.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge initially was my own mental block as to what to do with my natural hair as far as styling was concerned, because I love trying different hair styles and versatility. I overcame that with experimentation and realized that there are endless options when it comes to styling natural hair. There are cornrows, twists, curly fros, box braids, blowouts … I could go on and on.


What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love the feel of it … the ease of it. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I wash and condition my hair twice a month. I use carrot oil to blow dry it and, after blow drying, I use coconut oil to twist it. I generally leave the twists in overnight and take them out the next day for an easy curly do that generally lasts all week. That’s pretty much what I’ve done since going natural.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Definitely carrot and coconut oil. I recently added Shea Moisture Organic Coconut Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk. It moisturizes really well.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it?
I have not had to cut/trim my hair at all.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
After going natural, I found that it made me rethink a lot of other aspects of my day to day and was the impetus for me rethinking the way I eat. I wanted to be more natural/organic in that area as well.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My “hair crush” was definitely Teyana Taylor when I thought her hair was naturally that thick and georgoeus. I’m still not sure whether it is or not.


What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I would definitely advise any African-American woman who is thinking about going natural to go for it. It may seem daunting at first, but the pay off is sooo worth it. The money it saves, the confidence it provides and the self-love it promotes. As your natural hair grows, so will your horizons as to what is beautiful about you and in turn your culture and black women in general. It’s cliche but true, “Black is Beautiful,” hair and all. Our daughters deserve to know that.

Crystal’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
A loving wife and mom to two little girls. I love Jesus, my hubby, my girls and my coupons. I am an auditor by trade, a couponer by choice and a curly girl by grace. I am a new blogger as well. My blog is about my hair and couponing.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
My last relaxer was December 2008. I decided to go natural partly out of being cheap. You see, I have two little girls and I didn’t want them to see me getting relaxers and start asking me for one. I refused to pay for three females to get relaxers. Besides, after my girls were born and I saw their GORGEOUS hair, I thought, “Well they are my babies, so they had to get this beautiful hair from me.”

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned. I don’t like short hair (on me).

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
No one had any reactions and, if they did, I didn’t care. One cousin told me I needed a relaxer and I told her I didn’t. Other than that, that was it. My mom stated she liked my hair better straight, but I think that was because she has seen me with straight hair for so long. But, as long as my hubby liked my hair that was all that mattered … and, of course, my girls.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
I really have no challenges regarding my hair. My left side has looser curls, so it looks like it is cut asymmetrically, but it isn’t.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love the freedom. I can swim and work out and not be worried about my hair.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I follow the CG method. I just started this in July 2012. I like it so far. I do wash and go’s, although I am going to do some banding tonight to do a length check. When I first went natural, I tried everything I thought everyone else was (minus henna, I’m too lazy for all that). I tried sealing and using oil. But I have oily and sensitive skin, so the oils had to go. I even went back to using grease on my scalp at one point, but that was too messy as well. So now the CG method is for me. Easy Peasy (as my girls would say. LOL).

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I love Mixed Chicks sulfate free shampoo. I love their deep conditioner as well. I also love Tresemmé Naturals Conditioner and Eco Styler gel. I have been using Eco since 2009 and I LOVE it. My cousin told me about it and I WON’T use another gel. I use all of the Eco Stylers except the brown gel. I don’t do brown gel.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to is a wash and go. Although, prior to the CG method, I did twist outs all the time, because I was trying to keep my hands out of my hair. I would twist my hair and wear it in twists all the time. I would wear the twists in a ponytail or however. Then I would take them down only when I felt like it.


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I last trimmed at Easter, so I think it is time to do it now. My stylist straightened it to cut it and I haven’t been back because, now that I follow the CG method, I don’t want it straightened to get cut. Because I wear my hair curly, think it should be cut in its curly state. But I was trimming it about every 3 to 6 months.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
I save money and that is the most important thing. Because I am a couponer, I can get my products at a very low cost, even the expensive items such as Miss Jessie’s (when I used those products) and Mixed Chick. They are now sold in Target and I know how to work my deals. LOVE IT!!!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
ME!!! Not to be conceited, but I LOVE my hair. Actually, my hair crush is my 4 year old, C. I love her hair so much.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Curls2Envy.com
Afrobella
eclecticmanure.com

Where can we find you online?
Website: www.crystalscurls.blogspot.com
Facebook: Crystals Curls

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Like Nike: Just do it.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Thanks for letting me share my journey with you. Your Blog is AWEsome. Be blessed.

Hair Crush: Bri’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Pretty simple. I am a fun, bubbly, energetic dancer, who is a mother of two and goes by the name of Bri Rose.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I’ve been natural since birth. My mother refused to put a perm in my hair, so I really didn’t have a choice of being natural or not. However, I wore my hair in its natural state every now and then. I just started wearing my curls habitually a year ago.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
Well, since I’ve worn my hair naturally before, it really wasn’t a big deal. The only reaction I receive from my family or anyone that knows me is when I cut my hair. My family despises cutting hair in general, when it pertains to the women in my family, to the fullest. And my response to them is, “It’ll grow back.” But they (family/friends) embrace natural hair; they wear their hair natural as well too.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge is to not get bored with my hair, and to not cut it when I get bored with it. I have yet to overcome this challenge! But, when it approaches, I will definitely put a sign on every door in my apartment that will say, “DO NOT CUT BRI!!!” For the time being, I map out when I get my ends trimmed, making sure beforehand that it’s necessary and not routine.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love how much body my hair has in its natural state. As I’ve gotten older, my hair became thinner. However, when I wear my curls, I have a lot of body aka frizz. I love when my hair gets frizzy to a certain extent. I embrace frizz.

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I really don’t have a set regimen and that’s mainly due to my schedule. I now basically go off how my hair reacts to styles. For example, if I do a twist-out and it doesn’t come out how it normally does on a regular basis, then I know it’s time for a wash. Or, if my scalp itches more than usual or my hair becomes limp, I know it’s time to wash. I learned quickly that my hair does not react well when it comes to regimens whatsoever, so I play it by ear.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Invigorating Shampoo, Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner (used as DC).

 

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
Not too often. When I start to notice that simple styles are not holding or my hair is too frizzy, that’s when it’s time for a trim. When I do get a trim, I definitely flat-iron my hair since I have yet to find a salon that can consistently and properly cut curly hair in Chicago.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My hair crushes are IvyCharlaine, Taren916, Andreaschoice and ShamelessMaya.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I follow Shameless Maya, Andreaschoice, MsVaughnTV, Naptural 85, Taren 916 and Ivy Charlaine.

Where can we find you online?
Follow me on Twitter: @BriRose26
Instagram: @BriRose26
Bloglovin: BriRosePleaseStayCurly

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
My piece of advice to a new natural is to go natural because you want to. Don’t do natural because you think it’s the trend, because you will be discouraged way too easily. And surf the web, find what works for you. It’s going to be trial and error, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Much love,

Bri

Hair Crush: Valerie’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Valerie. I have been natural for 3 years. My whole life I was told that I had unruly unmanageable hair.  It has been a long hard journey. Once I thought I had everything down pat with the “Curly Girl Method,” I discovered that something still was not right. Well ladies, as if caring for curly hair isn’t hard enough, I discovered I am protein-sensitive as well. So, right now, I am on a journey to find what works best for my hair sans protein.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for a little over 3 years. I decided to go natural because I finally wanted to see what my REAL hair looked like.

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
My mother was shocked at the fact that I actually went through with it and my older sister was negative about it (she is relaxed). I simply told them that I love the hair God gave me. My mother decided to go natural with me. My sister likes my curls, but always comments on how she liked my straight hair better.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest obstacle is the fact that I am protein-sensitive, which doesn’t allow me to experiment with a wide range of products. The way that I am overcoming this obstacle is reading the ingredient labels on products before I purchase them. A small obstacle is the dry patch of hair at my crown.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I am not going to lie … I love the attention I get because of my hair. Before, I felt almost invisible and insecure. Now, I can’t hide even if I wanted to.

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
**I do not use sulfates, silicones nor proteins in my hair.**

  • Wash 1 or 2x a week with a sulfate-free and protein-free shampoo; I wash in 2 sections.
  • Detangle hair in front of mirror with conditioner (saves water). I use a paddle brush for ends and a wide-tooth comb for my roots. I detangle in 8 sections, 2 sections in each quadrant.
  • Deep condition 1x a week with my Hair Therapy Wrap.
  • Put in leave-in conditioner (5 sections: 2 in the back, 1 in the crown and 2 in the front).
  • Seal with a oil or butter (I stop at this step if I want to achieve a twist out).
  • Rake and shingle in gel (for WnG).
  • Apply finisher.
  • Diffuse for a WnG or air dry for a twist-out.
  • Protect hair at night by sleeping in a satin bonnet.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Shampoo: Cream of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate free Shampoo
Conditioner/Deep Condish: GVP Conditioning Balm/Curl Junkie Rehab
Leave-inL SheaMoisture SheaButter Leave-in, CJ Smoothing Lotion
Butter: Oyin Burnt Sugar or Sugar Berry Pomade
Gel: Koils By Nature Peppermint Gel
Satin Bonnet: Ebonnets by EboniCurls

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My “go to” styles are twists and a beanie, WnGs and twist-outs.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I try to trim my hair every 6-8 months. My hair is trimmed while it is in its natural state by Luisa V., the owner of Luma Salon, 397 East Altamonte Drive #114, Altamonte Springs, FL. I would recommend her 100%. She has beautiful curls herself.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
No, not really.

Do you have a “hair crush?” Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I am my own “hair crush.” But, I do follow a few people for their wonderful advice like DenimPixie and Naptural85.

Where can we find you online?
You can find me on my blog, Curls2Envy.com, and on my Facebook page, Curls2Envy.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
It’s just hair. It grows back. Do what you want with it. It’s your hair, no one else’s.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
I love my curls!

Hair Crush: Tameeka’s HairStory

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THAT’S RIGHT!! The #CurlWhisperer herself, aka Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses aka the woman who worked magic at this haircut party and this one … is back to share her very own HairStory!! 

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
A humble and blessed mother of three and wife, striving for the success, which I know is coming. Licensed Professional Master Celebrity stylist specializing in Natural Tresses for well over 15yrs.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural since 2000. I chose to go natural after having a Paul Brown relaxer put in my hair back in 1999 that just made me a slave to the Dominican salons. I never wanted my hair straight, I just wanted to tame it a bit. However, it destroyed all of the life out of my hair;(. After a year of straightening, I gave up.

Did you transition or big chop?
I actually have done both, transition as well as the big chop, several times through the years. The first one was back in 2000. I slowly transitioned by trimming an inch and a half every 3-4 months. It took about 3 years to be completely natural. I was sooo stubborn at that time and did not want to loose my length *lol*. I had no patience for the other time, which was back in 2009. I had put a ” texturizer” type of gentle chemical in my hair back in 2007-2008, just to help tame it a bit because it was so dense. It looked great and everyone loved it. However, my hair changed shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2009. So, I just went to work one day and chopped it off! My husband, as well as others,  thought that I was nuts, but I looked cute! Lastly (I hope *lol* … ;)), my most recent big chop was just a few weeks ago, 18 months since the birth of my last child. My hair went whacky on me once again. The hormones loosened half of my head, literally one half side *smh*. And, of course I’m not happy with the dramatic difference in textures, so I decided to chop away once again and allow it to grow in a bit more uniform.

7/26/12: My most recent Big Chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
At first no one believed that it was my hair, because they were so used to me having bone straight hair. People couldn’t believe that all my curly tresses could straighten out as they did, so it shocked many. Everyone I ever met after going natural absolutely loves my wild hair. They either want it or state they wish that they had my tresses ;).

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
Wow. My biggest challenge was the pregnancy and the hormonal changes that ultimately affected my thick density and tightly coiled tresses. I have since big chopped twice, deep condition faithfully and have started back up on my prenatal vitamins to help promote faster hair growth, as well as add essential oils to my hair products and diet.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
It’s what I’ve been blessed with, it’s healthier, fun, sexy and, although many are natural, I definitely stand out in a crowd. I love that my hair has versatility with being natural. I’m not the same ol’ Plain Jane. My tresses have attitude and represents me as a fun, free-spirited person.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
Currently, I wash and go, whereas in the past, I was subjected to diffusing the hair due to my gradual transition. As far as product application, that still remains the same. Just thorough application of my product throughout hair to define my tresses, so I can get as many days as I can out of my wash n go prior to pulling it up some way.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I tend to play with lots of different things so that I may have good feedback for my clientele. I often use things they may have stumbled upon or suggest. I try just to see whether or not it may be useful for the next head of textured tresses that sits in my chair. As of now, I have Organix shampoo and conditioner and mask, Curlisto’s Natural Coils line, which is a cleanser, conditioner, leave-in, defining lotion and mask. I also have natural shea butter, rosemary essential oil and Vitamin E essential oil; I tend to add into other products sometimes. And lastly, Curlisto Unruly Paste and vegetable glycerin for shine.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style is either a pull back with a “full fluffy fluff,” a slick back tight bun or a soft twist sloppy bun, it all depends on the length at the time. Unfortunately, my go to styles are worn more often than I would like considering I’m a mother of three and a very busy women catering to everyone else’s hair. ;)


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I trim my tresses about every 6-8 months, which is recommended. I have often provided myself with a trim, as well as see other stylist for maintenance. It would all depend on scheduling. I often have to fix/tweak my cuts/trims after someone else has done it ;(. As far as recommendations go, I would suggest that you really do your research on both the salon and the particular stylist. Keep in mind that what you read can be fabricated, so if you’ve read, as well as seen some photos and or heard from word of mouth, that’s generally the true testimony and should help make your decision easier. There are some very truly talented hair stylist.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
It just plain and simple makes it so much easier! No more 4 hour long tedious visits to the Dominican salon *smh*. I devote that time to my little ones. As far as work, I’m my own walking advertisement!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Chaka Kahn!!!!!!!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades
The Curvealicious Chronicles
YouTube (various)
Naturallycurly.com
Napturallycurly.com

Also any sites that my clients refer me to; I have to stay in the loop.

Where can we find you online?
Website: www.jadedtresses.com
Facebook: Jaded Tresses
Twitter: @JadedTresses
Instagram: @ JadedTresses

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t knock it until you have tried it. You were blessed with your tresses, embrace them.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Healthy hair is the best hair and will provide you with the most versatility. So, take good care of your tresses and your tresses will be good to you!

Hair Crush: Brielle’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Brielle. I am a super family-oriented person, very friendly and silly. I LOVE to laugh and I am loving.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I transitioned for a year and a couple months. I can’t recall how long. But I got ALL the relaxed and DAMAGED ends cut off last year in June of 2011. So, I always say that I’m fully one year natural. Well, I have one year’s growth of relaxed free, heat damage free hair.

I chose to go natural initially because I had a permanent color and perm and my hair broke off tremendously, leaving me with a mushroom cut. I just decided that it was time to let the relaxer go. Plus, I’m super tender-headed and that new growth used to HURT, lol!

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
EVERYONE except my older sister and two cousins (who were natural) was negative about me going natural, sadly, even my mother. I will never forget the day she said, “Wow, your hair is really nappy. Are you sure you wanna do this?” I was really upset, but I ignored the comment my best and kept pushing. Everyone kept telling me that my hair was trained to be straight, so it would never be curly like I wanted and I ignored them, because I knew they were wrong. NOW everyone comes to me for natural hair advice and they, “ooooohhhhhh” and “ahhhhhhh” about my hair, how it is so pretty and thick and full, and guess what? CURLY … lol. BAM!!!! In their face!

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest obstacle was breakage due to excessive straightening and accepting my own natural hair. It was hard for me, because my hair was short and the texture was one I had never felt before. It was new to me and I was not comfortable. I overcame breakage by deciding to TRULY be natural and wear my own texture. Once I became comfortable with the curls, I slowly accepted my texture and began to like it. I just pushed through the days I didn’t feel “pretty,” because I knew that they were only temporary and not permanent days and that my hair would get to where I wanted.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love my CURLS! I love being able to wear my hair in a curly state. I love people asking, “How did you get your hair like that” and I can respond, “I washed it and went” (Wash ‘n Go). And, I love being ME. I love not accepting the societal view of beauty. Being natural says, “I know I’m beautiful just the way I am, I will not change who I am for anybody but ME!”

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
My regimen is pretty simple. I co-wash in the shower twice a week with whatever conditioner I left in the shower at the time. I section my hair in half, detangle with conditioner, wash that out, squeeze water out of section, clip it up and out of the way and rinse conditioner out of the other side and clip it up and out of the way. Proceed with shower routine. After I shower, I get excess water out of my hair with an old t-shirt and start applying conditioner (usually Tressemme or Suave) as my leave-in to both sections, one at a time, smoothing in the conditioner. Then, I use a VERY SMALL amount of Eco-Styler Gel (about a quarter size) and emulsify on my hands. I smooth that through one section at a time, grab my spray bottle of water and spray my hair and shake my head to clump my curls. This Wash ‘n Go usually last about 3-4 days (I’m wearing a 3 day old Wash ‘n Go right now, lol).

It takes roughly 4 hours to dry and I wrap my hair at night. I know that it sounds weird, but I do! I just wrap it around, securing the ‘fro with bobby pins all around and tie it down with my silk scarf. I know it is weird, but one night I stumbled across this method by just trying something new and it works! LOL, my secret is out! Wrapping my ‘fro gives me bigger and fuller hair than using the Pineapple Method does.

The biggest and most major thing about my regimen that changed is that I no longer use sulfates or silicones. I am strictly Curly Girl and my hair is LOVING it. It was the best natural decision I have made.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
My staples are Tresemme Naturals, Suave Naturals, extra virgin olive oil,Eco Styler Gel, and tea tree oil.

What is your “go to” style (share a picture of it, if you have one!)? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style has changed from the puff to the Wash ‘n Go, mainly because I have learned to master it, lol! I wear low-manipulation styles 90% of the time and, maybe once a week, a protective style. I wear low-manipulation styles, because I just haven’t quite figured out the protective style fit for my personal style. None seem to suit “Brielle.” Ya know, I love my hair free! I wear a protective style mostly due to weather.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I trim my hair every 6-8 months OR whenever I feel its needed. I cut it myself while wet and curly. I take a small section and curl it with my finger (finger coil) and snip the ends. Then I uncurl it, stretch it, check for evenness and trim it evenly.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Health-wise, I became very conscience of what I was putting into my body because of the constant habit of “ingredient list reading” for hair products. So now, I am conscience of my calorie intake and I solely associate this with my natural hair. My style has changed due to my natural hair, because I honestly feel free. I do not feel hidden behind someone else’s perception of expectation of beauty and style. I wear what I like and I’ve never felt more FLY, lol! Going natural has influenced SO many women in my life. I am happy to be able to do that and I also proved so many people wrong about “not being able to go natural,” because my hair is beautiful and I LOVE it. So, my mentality has changed very much and I am definitely just a better person. I’ve learned beauty is not always outside, but inside. I feel going natural has definitely made me a confident being!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
YES!!!!! lol. CIPRIANA from Urban Bush Babes.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Blogs: MahoganyCurls,  UrbanBushBabes, AroundTheWayCurls, Naturalchickepi, Jamila from CollegeCurlies.

YouTube: Taren916, AliciaJames,Naptural85

Where can we find you online? I have a blog, coilycurls.blogspot.com (e-mail coilycurls@gmail.com) and am on Instagram as Bhaylee.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
To the person contemplating, GO FOR IT!! Because, say you don’t like it, you can still go back to your relaxer. But why not give it a try when there is nothing to lose? For those discouraged with their natural hair, BE PATIENT. It may not be where you want it right now, but it will be, especially if you have a length goal. We all know that healthy hair grows. Be patient with yourself. It will get better. We all go through a moment when natural hair can be discouraging.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Be CONFIDENT and pursue your aspirations. I love to write and I always have. But, I assumed no one would ever read my blog or be interested. But it does not matter, because, at the end of the day, I am HAPPY doing something that I love and am very passionate about. If you love something, go for it. Do not settle. EVEN with natural hair, keep pushing until you make your goal!

 

Hair Crush: Michelle’s HairStory

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Remember Michelle (aka Mickie) from our first Grow Out Challenge? Well, she’s back with her HairStory … and a new blog!!

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Well, my name is Michelle. I’m from Chicago. I’m a fashionista and Natural Hair Lover. Recent MHA graduate who is living and Loving Life.

How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
I transitioned for a whopping 24 months before I cut off my relaxed ends!!! (Long, I know. But, hey, it’s my hair right?) As long as it took, I got there. LOL!

June 2009 was the last time I got a relaxer in my hair!! One day I was visiting my boyfriend and his aunt was over. I noticed her hair was flawless. I asked her what she did to her hair to get it so pretty. She told me that she was natural! I had contemplated going natural several times, but thought that I wouldn’t be able to do it. She gave me the number to her stylist who specialized in natural hair and I made an appointment with her in September of that same year. I was tired of my hair looking brittle and feeling dry. I wanted to get my hair done for my birthday and her stylist (who is now my stylist) did my hair and I loved IT! After that, I noticed I had gone so long without a perm!! I started noticing my curly texture and I loved it!! I said, “The heck with a relaxer” and decided from that day on that I didn’t need that in my hair! I LOVE MY CURLS!!!

How did others (family, friends, and colleagues) react to your decision to go natural?
My family and friends were very supportive! My boyfriend was very supportive; he has locks, so he understands how I feel about my natural hair. My family thought my hair was beautiful and I actually inspired several of my family members and co- workers to become natural!! It feels so good to know that they wanted to go natural because of my journey!!!

What is/was your biggest hair challenge? How did you overcome it?
My biggest hair challenge at first was dealing with my two hair textures while transitioning. When I decided to transition, I barely knew anything about my hair, so I went to my stylist every two weeks and she styled my hair. I mostly wore it straight, because I did not know how to deal with my two textures. Once I learned different styles, then I began to try them on my hair. It took several attempts to get them right. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!!! I learned this quick!! Patience is KEY!!! I still go to my stylist to straighten my hair when I want to wear it blown out though :).

Left to Right: May 2011, June 2011, Aug 2011, May 2012

What do you love most about your natural hair and/ or being natural?
I love the versatility!!! You can be curly one day, straight another, twists on another day and an updo the next! I love that my hair is just that, my HAIR! Free of chemicals, and healthy! I love being natural and I love when people ask me what I do to my hair to, “get it like that” LOL! I love giving advice to new naturals or those considering going natural, because maybe it can help them in their journey.

What is your current regimen?
My current summer regimen is as follows:

  • Shampoo once a week (either Friday or Sunday) with Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus curl and shine shampoo.
  • Condition with TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.
  • Deep condition twice a month with JessiCurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment.

Styles I’m rocking:

  • Twist and curl (with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie) or;
  • Braid and curl.
  • High bun for the rest of the week.


Click on images to enlarge

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?

  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie!! MY FAVE!!
  • Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
  • Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner
  • TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
  • Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner
  • Eco Styler Gel with Olive Oil
  • Cantu Shea Butter
  • Argan Oil

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/ or low manipulation styles? If so how often and why?
My go to style is the HIGH BUN!!! ALL DAY!!! This is the best style EVER!!! LOL. I wear braid and curls and twist and curls mostly. I occasionally will do mini-twists depending on how I’m feeling, lol. I have A LOT of hair! (And it takes FORever!!) I wear high buns, mostly because they are easy and you don’t have to do much and … they’re just SO CUTE!!

 

How often do you trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, Straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I try to trim every 6 months. I go to my stylist to do it; she does it while it is straight. YES I would recommend her!! SHE IS THE BEST STYLIST IN CHICAGO! Her hands are magical I tell you!! Her name is Nading and she just opened a new salon, Salon Pressure in Chicago.

Do you have a hair crush? If so who? CurlyNikki, MeechyMonroe, Pari Sade, Shelli Gillis (Hairscapades), Tracee Ellis Ross … ummm I think that’s it, LOL.

Where can we find you online?
Well … I recently started a blog happilyevernatural.com. I plan to cover everything from natural hair, fashion, transitioning, recipes, DIY jewelry, recipes, to different hair topics!!

Instagram: naturalista86
Facebook: Happily Ever Natural

Anything else that you would like to add?
I want to be an advocate for long-term transitioners!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! I know that transitioning is not easy, but patience is the key!!! Please check out my blog and Facebook page. Also, I will be starting a YouTube channel soon!! Be on the lookout for that!! Thanks for letting me share my story!!!