Tag Archives: natural hair interviews

Natural Hair Journeys: Keisha’s HairStory

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POOF
Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Je m’apelle Keisha. I’m in my early twenties, a newlywed, and lover of communication! Literally, I am in the process of earning my BA of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. But, I also love to talk! I am a natural hair LOVER and obsessed with attaining a healthier lifestyle!

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
My two year naturalversary was on February 16th!!!!! Yaaayyyyy!! I’ve always wanted full, healthy, bouncy hair. I know, who doesn’t, right?! Wellll, after almost two decades of lackluster hair, a combination of factors led me to my decision to go natural. I met a few sisters with gorgeous kinky, curly tresses and began to wonder what products I could use to make my hair curly; then I saw “Good Hair” *shrugs*. Call me a bandwagon hopper, I don’t care. This is one bandwagon I’m proud to hop on and it’s influenced an overall lifestyle change for me! (Okay, I’m off my soap box). The final factor is that I realized that I could not afford my bi-weekly appointments at the shop, so I officially became team natural. Well, at least, I started my journey in May of 2010.

Did you transition or big chop?
I did a big chop and a mini big chop! In my second year of college (winter 2009), I found a beautician (shout out to my fellow naturalista Mary C for my inspiration) and I did my first big chop, but had a relaxed style a la Harry Berry. I had a decent work study gig and was able to maintain my appointments for a while (September- April). But, eventually that relationship fizzled (along with my income; ahh the life of a college student) and I decided to take my hair into my own hands.

I can’t really remember the exact day, but I believe my last relaxer was in March or April of 2010. But, I still kept flat ironing my hair. That May, I went on a study abroad trip to China and this was really the turning point for me. I was extremely jet lagged for the first few days (or maybe just lazy!) and barely got up in time to dress and make it to class, let alone style my hair So, I began letting my hair air dry with Let’s Jam gel and scrunched it to make it “curly.” My transition was rough because my hair was so short to begin with, I couldn’t wear my hair in buns or updos. So, I had to do Bantu knot outs and slick backs. I really didn’t know of much else to do with hair that didn’t involve heat. So, I would just set Bantu knots every night and, when I forgot to do that, I would slick it all back with Jam gel. Sadly, I didn’t read many blogs back when I was transitioning, because that would have truly helped. But, when I finally chopped the last of my relaxer off in February, I found the natural hair blog community and slowly but surely got on the right track!

thenandnow

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
Ha! Let’s just say my family was not the biggest fans and did not hesitate to ask had I lost my mind on a regular basis and inquire when I was going to “do something” with my hair. I am a bit of a rebel at heart. So, while this hurt a little, it was a huge part of my motivation. I wanted to show everyone that I wasn’t crazy and that they would soon understand the method to my madness! Many of my friends made the decision to go natural around the same time or had already been natural. So, I had nothing but support and encouragement from them! Now I’m not saying my mom and grandma were rude about it, they just knew what they were used to.

My hubby has always been my biggest supporter. Since we started dating in April of ’09, he has seen me go through countless style changes and always reminded me that I was beautiful even in my lowest (and roughest) moments. So, when I decided to not only cut my hair completely off with my Halle Berry look, but then stop relaxing it all in one year, he never spoke against it. And, aside from good-hearted teasing, he was always my biggest fan and supporter!

Now that I’m two years in, I think everyone sees that I’m in it for the long haul and my mom and grandmother are not so vocally against it. I can tell they are warming up to it and I think my mom and baby sis are coming over to team natural!

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 challenge is dealing with dramatically different textures in my head and extremely fine and fragile strands. This has led to A LOT of breakage and much frustration for me. But, I’ve stuck with a pretty consistent routine, incorporated protein, and started maintaining a good pH balance by using aloe vera gel/juice in my moisturizer/styler. I also try to avoid wash-n-go’s and, recently, I have had great success with protective styling!

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
Gosh, I feel like there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said and made cliché!! I guess the biggest things are the versatility, health of my hair and I must say that it has taught me tremendous patience and forced me to have self-esteem that originates within. Oh yeah, I can’t forget! My husband LOOOVEESSS my hair! He’s watched the transformation and, while he never got too excited one way or the other before I went natural, now he loves my twist outs and puffs and can’t keep his hands out of it!

STRIPES

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
Wash day:

  • Pre-poo with oil mixture on hand (usually EVOO, JBCO, coconut oil, plain castor, and jojoba — a combination of any of these), covering with baggy and leaving either overnight or, lately, just for a few hours.
  • Deep condition with mixture of either Aubrey GPB or Honeysuckle Rose as the base and Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle, L’Oreal EverCreme Nourishing Conditioner, and yogurt. I may eventually try these all on their own and use only one or two, but for now I love them all and the combo has done wonders for moisturizing my hair.
  • Co-wash with As I Am Coconut Co-Wash or Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner.
  • Dry with a t-shirt with wet hair pulled to the front and twisted (thank CurlyNikki for the idea) under the shirt.
  • Using LOC method, split in four sections, and apply Kinky Curly Knot Today, then Olive/Almond oil mix, and finally Hair Food (shea butter mixture — found at local store called Akente Express, Denver).
  • Finally, I do chunky twists with homemade flax seed gel to stretch my hair and do my protective style of choice for the week.

I try to henna once every 3 months at least. But, now that I’ve discovered bentonite clay, I may cut back so I can experiment with color later.

I just started this routine in the past few months, but before this I was all over the place! I did twist outs every night, tried Curly Girl for a while, and probably tried every product Curly Nikki or Shelli suggested, but now I think I’m on to something.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Tresemme Naturals Conditioners
Aubrey Glycogen Protein Balancing (GPB) or Honeysuckle Rose Conditioners
Flax Seed Gel
Aloe Vera Gel
Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle
L’OReal EverCreme
EVOO, coconut, castor, and jojoba 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?
Lately it’s been the basket style (?) — hair parted down the middle with a jumbo flat twist on each side — or the poof. Before December ’12, my go-to was the twist-out. But now I just take bobby pins and twist it up or do variations of old school pompadour styles.

pomp

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?
Well, I recently purchased a pair of shears. So, my goal was to dust twisted hair once every 8 weeks. But, I haven’t done it lately out of fear, lol. I really only trust the wonderful beautician who did my mini-big chop and freed me from the last of my relaxed ends; she can trim curly or straight! The shop is called Mykal Grant and I go to Tonya. It’s located in downtown Denver.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways?
As I stated earlier, when I went natural I became more conscious of what I was putting, not only in my hair, but what I was putting in my body. I can’t say that I’m doing much better about eating healthy, but I have been drinking water only and taking baby steps at a healthier lifestyle overall. I have never let my hair stop me from being active. I just fried it straight, dirty or not, ha! But now, I really don’t worry about it and working out is a breeze, because it helps me get heated DC’s and pre-poos!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Do I??? Gosh there’s a whole list lol. Shelli, of course. CurlyNikki, Mahogany Curls, Fusion of Cultures, Chime, Whitney aka Naptural85, and Corinne Bailey Rae, to name a few!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
CurlyNikki, Hairscapades, MahoganyCurls, Naptural85, Fusion of Cultures … too many to list, lol!

Where can we find you online?
Twitter: keishIScurli
Love, Hair and Health: http://lovehairhealth.blogspot.com/

I’m not that active yet, but my goal is to get better, lol!

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t do it for anyone but yourself. Be reasonable with yourself in regard to hair growth and, most importantly, be patient and appreciate every moment of your journey!

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Thanks for the inspiration and platform! You are awesome :)!

MOHAWK

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Want to share your HairStory? Then find the HairStory that applies to you here, answer the interview questions, and e-mail them (with 5-10 pictures) to hairscapades@gmail.com!!!  

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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!!

Natural in London: Sharron’s HairStory

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
Hey all! I’m Sharron from London, England.

What do you like most about your homeland?
I think London is a great place to be in the summer … such a nice atmosphere being in the heart of London when the sun’s shining. I also like that it’s very multicultural.

London

What is the hair norm for black/brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
There’s definitely more weave and relaxer wearers than there are naturals. But, I see a lot more natural ladies nowadays. It’s no longer perceived as an oddity to wear your hair natural. I love seeing someone wearing their natural hair; I always give a little smile. I just find all the different styles you can achieve by wearing your hair natural refreshing.

What was your hair like during your childhood and teen years? How did you feel about it? How was it perceived by others?
I remember my mum doing ‘chiney bumps’ (similar to bantu knots?), when I was younger and I remember her greasing my scalp with Dax, lol. My hair flourished under her care. When I started doing my hair myself, I use to do some crazy stuff to it. I actually cringe when I think about the abuse I bestowed upon my poor head!! I used a hell of a lot of gel … nasty, alcohol-ridden gel. I would use hotplates to dry my hair from damp as I didn’t have a blow dryer at one stage … *shudder*. Let’s just say, I’m surprised I still have hair. In my era, everyone had natural hair anyway, so it wasn’t an issue wearing my hair natural.

If you relaxed your hair at some point, why did you (or your guardian) make that decision? When and how long were you relaxed before you decided to go natural?
I relaxed my hair at the grand ole age of 18!! The only reason I relaxed my hair was because it wouldn’t ‘hold’ a style. I would straighten it all nicely and then as soon as I left the house ‘poof.’ What I didn’t realise then is that my hair was doing what it was suppose to do … curl up. I was trying to force my hair to go against type. If I knew then what I know now … how many times have we all said that?? I was really excited when I got it relaxed and was actually amazed when I stepped outside and my hair didn’t ‘grow.’ I remember bopping down the street with my new Janet Jackson windswept hairstyle.

Windswept

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I always say my decision to go natural wasn’t a conscious decision, it was forced upon me!! I love colour and curls, so even when my hair was relaxed, I would constantly colour and curl it as I didn’t like limp flat hair, I like big hair. I would put ringlets in my hair and rarely wore it straight. No one told me that you shouldn’t really use heat on relaxed hair, so I was not aware I was damaging it. To be fair, my hair is very strong, because it was years before it finally started to break and say, ‘enough is enough woman!!’

I decided to put it in a weave as I couldn’t think of anything else to do with it as nothing would stop the breakage … ApHogee treatments, nothing! I gradually snipped away to maybe 6 inches? At the time, I think it was bra strap length. As I was wearing a weave, cutting it didn’t bother me. I honestly thought I would be wearing weaves for the rest of my days as I didn’t ever consider wearing my hair natural as I couldn’t imagine it would look ‘smart’ enough.

This is where the decision was made for me. One weekend, I decided to remove my weave myself and do a treatment before getting it put back in on the Monday. When I removed my weave, I saw that I had a patch, no, a landslide where I’d been constantly wearing the same parting!! From that day, I stopped wearing weaves and was forced to deal with my hair in its natural state.

What has your natural hair journey been like? How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
As I was forced to go natural, my decision wasn’t discussed with anyone. I will say that the last 3 years is when I’ve really learnt what works for my hair and how to get it to do what I want it to do … now I’m not working against type.

What do you see as the challenges of being natural? Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live? If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
I honestly think looking after natural hair requires more effort than relaxed hair. It takes longer to wash, detangle, then you have to twist/braid it if you wear twist/braid outs. Luckily, there are more products targeted for natural hair now, although not as much as in the States.

What is your regimen? Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products? Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them?
My regimen is quite a lazy one. I’ve taken to doing clay washes recently as it requires less effort then shampooing and conditioning my hair. When I do clay washes, I can get away with not conditioning my hair you see!! Lazy! I also try and henna once per month, but as we’ve previously discussed Shelli, henna loosens my curls to the extent my hair looks like heat damage in parts. I make my own Hair, Bath & Body products. So, I use my leave-in conditioner, a bit of flaxseed gel and JBCO & Nilotica Balm to seal, and then twist my hair.

Kinky G

Are there salons that cater to natural hair where you live? Are stylists trained in handling natural hair? Do you go to a salon?
I have never been to a natural hair salon, but my friend took her daughter to one to have her hair straightened (they used a hot comb). When she washed her hair a couple of weeks later, her gorgeous curls had heat damage and was straight and stringy in places.

What do you enjoy and/or love about being/going natural? Has the journey taught you anything about yourself?
I love not having to run from the rain, I love not having to worry about my hair sweating out at a club, I love the versatility and I love that I’m not smothering my scalp in chemicals. So, my landslide was a blessing in disguise.

Flat twist

Do you have a Hair Crush?
I love your hair Miss Shelli, Curly Nikki and Teyana Taylor (with and without bits added).

Who do you follow online?
You, Curly Nikki, Fusionofcultures (I think she is the cutest thing ever with great hair). I’m sure there are others …

Anything else that you’d like to share?
I can be found at my blog: www.fortheloveofkinks.wordpress.com
My products can be found at: www.sheadecadence.co.uk
Twitter: @shea_decadence and @theloveofkinks

Thanks for having me and keep up the good work!

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Awwww sookie sookie now!! You had the Pleasure Principle cut Sharron!! Get it girl!! LOL!!

Are you a natural outside of the US? Want to share your “international kinky, coily, curly” HairStory? Then answer the “Naturals Around the World” interview questions here and e-mail them to me (with 5-10 pictures) at hairscapades@gmail.com 

My Albatross: Darker Than Brown’s Edges

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Nneka1by Nneka of Darker Than Brown (dtb)

Hey Shelli,

It’s me Nneka. I’m finally sending in this story that has been sitting half finished on my computer for many months. 😦 I want to talk about my hair albatross, which is length retention at my edges. Since childhood, I have had “issues” with my edges.

Nneka4

For some reason, my mother was never able to retain much hair in those two areas of my head. In fact, growing up, I swore everyone had edges like mine. Around grade school, where I was teased for having peaszy edges (sp), I started to realize that was not the case. We all know kids can be vicious at that age!

I was grateful when my mother began to chemically relax my hair, because it appeared the problem had corrected itself. Imagine my disbelief when I started my natural hair journey, only to realize how bad off my edges still were. Don’t get me wrong, I do have hair there. But, the first two inches into my hairline is extremely short. Looks like I get it buzzed at a barber shop, but I do not. Of course, my high school micro dot/braids faze didn’t help matters much. I would get a skilled girlfriend, to “catch” the small amount of hair, and tightly hang human hair around it. Then I had that short, but detrimental lace front wig obsession.

Nneka3

Now, I want my edges back, and I am open to suggestions. I have tried just leaving them alone and that didn’t work. I tried messaging both areas with regular castor oil for two months … and that didn’t works. Then I tried massaging the area with Jamaican black castor oil … and no, that didn’t work either. I think the area needs moisture. It does look excessively dry. I have started a new challenge on my blog. I will spray my edges 2 times per day and then seal with a thick sealant. Other than that, I don’t know what to do. Part of me believes it may just be hereditary and there’s nothing I can do. However, the vain girl deep down in me, can’t just let it go.

Can you or your readers be of any help?

Nneka2

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Hey Nneka!! First, sorry it took me a month to get this up lady!! Second, I saw your Natural Hair Style Icon story on BGLH a little while ago!!! Awesome!! You looked gorgeous! Third, I just checked out the recent posts on your site to see how you are doing with your planned regimen. I see that you recently got a significant cut that removed damaged hair, are using a hand-held steamer a minimum of three times a week to instill and lock moisture into your hair, and are moisturizing your “sitch-eeation” nightly ;)! I also saw that you used sulfate shampoos in the past and are now co-washng instead. So, it sounds like you are on the right path to retaining moisture (though I would suggest using a sulfate free shampoo at least once a month to cleanse your scalp).

In regard to additional advice, as you indicated above, your thin edges might be genetic. But, when has that ever stopped us from trying to beat Mother Nature ;)? If you know that your hair hasn’t been properly moisturized in the past, I don’t think it’s a confirmed fact that your shorter edges are at their terminal length. Also, if the strands are fine/fragile and you have been tugging/stressing them with extensions, weaves, braids, wigs, hair accessories, hair tools like brushes or combs, they may have not had a chance to be all that they can be.

That being said, here are a few things that you might be able to add to your arsenal:

  • Deep condition weekly with a moisturizing conditioner using my Cool & Seal Deep Conditioning Trick (you may want to use lukewarm water rather than cool/cold as it seems you may have low porosity hair). Also, check out my post, Moisturized Hair: It Starts on Wash Day.
  • If wearing a protective style, do not pull your fine edges into braids or weaves and protect them with an appropriate cap if using wigs.
  • Watch the edges of your satin bonnets. If your bonnet is moving around on your head at night, the elastic may be putting stress on your edges and breaking off your hair. So, try wearing a silk scarf under the bonnet or instead of a bonnet to protect your edges. If you find a scarf doesn’t work, some find that wearing their bonnets inside out preserves their edges. Or, you can may want to ditch the bonnet and opt for using a silk/satin pillowcase instead.
  • Try massaging Wild Growth Hair Oil or the essential oil mix found here into your edges 3 days a week for 30 days and see if you notice any improvements.

Good luck lady and I hope to read/hear good news from you soon!!

Now I’m turning it over to you ladies!! Have thin edges been your albatross? Were you able to successfully grow perpetually short edges? If so, what did you do to regrow them? The cry for help has been raised!! 

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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Mini-Hairscapader: Savannah’s HairStory

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Yeah!!!!!  We’re back with the hairstory of another cutie patootie!! Check out the details at the end of the post for how you can submit the hairstory of YOUR very own mini-Hairscapader!!

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What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her.
My daughter’s name is Savannah and she just turned two September 13th. She is a fun-loving, energetic baby and absolutely loves to sing and dance. Her favorite fruit is a banana. Probably because I call her Savannah Banana :-). She’s in love with Elmo and thinks ABC’s and numbers ROCK!!!

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How do you care for her hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
I wash Savannah’s hair every week, usually on Saturdays. She just finished swim classes and they were on Saturday, so that is our usual washing day. I generally wash it while she is in the bathtub at the end of a bath. I use the Shea Moisture Curl Defining Shampoo on her hair and the Restorative Conditioner as a leave in. I detangle it on days that I wash it especially. Once the washing is done, I go through and moisturize her scalp with pure coconut oil. I also put some of the oil on her hair. I usually braid it up and allow it to air dry. She generally wears braids or plaits to bed, so that her hair not all over the place in the am. I detangle her hair with the conditioner on it.

Products that we currently use (even though I am always looking):
Shea Moisture Curl Defining Shampoo
Shea Moisture Curling Souffle
Shea Moisture Curling Milk
Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner
The Shea Moisture Deep Penetrating Shampoo (If hair is really dirty)
Cantu Shea Butter Leave in conditioning cream

This past weekend, I used a bootleg version of Miss Jessie’s called Curl La La at my BFF’s and loved it. Her hair was soft, smelled great, and the curls lasted all day. So I am looking for that where I live now.

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Do the same products that work for you work for Savannah’s hair?
For the most part. We both have curly hair, although her hair is softer than mine. Her dad has curly hair and his dad before him as well.

What is a typical style? Do you employ protective styles? If so, how often?
It depends on time and her cooperation. LOL! I am learning to cornrow. I can get something in her head and it will be cute, but with her having the texture of hair that she does, it doesn’t usually last too long. If I’m in a rush, we generally settle for the high curly ponytail on top. Its a bit of a cop-out, but when we are pressed for time, it always comes through. LOL! Most recently I did a style that involved beads and she was ecstatic. Had been nervous because I felt like she was too young. If her hair has been twisted up, braided up, or in ponytails for a few days, then I will let her wear it loose in a little curly fro thingy for a few days as well to balance out the tension from the other style.

What challenges do you face with Savannah’s hair?
I just have no idea if I am doing it right! Her hair is so soft, in order to get it to do any styles, it usually involves some type of anchor or holder/rubber band. I try not to use them often. Her hair around her temple is a little thin and, at first, I thought it was falling out. Then I realized as a baby and younger infant, she had no hair there. So, I’ve since calmed down and realized that it is just her hair growing in. It’s different lengths in different areas and I’m not sure what to do about that.

I also get frustrated because, due to the softness of her hair, styles don’t last. If she does get braids, I may get 2 days out of them tops. Twists have to be done daily, banding doesn’t work, and the Bantu knot out didn’t work. I did include pics for you to see what I tried.

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Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed Savannah’s hair? Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
I will NEVER relax my daughter’s hair. If she gets a relaxer, it will be her decision and her choice and her job to keep it up. LOL!

How does Savannah feel about her natural hair?
She’s only 2. So who knows. I know that she likes it when I do something fancy with it. She stands in the mirror and says, “Ooooh Mommy. Nice!” She enjoys playing in it and pulling on her ponytails. Her hair has quite a bit of length on it, so I think that is more important than texture right now. Just being able to reach it to play with it. She enjoys playing in mine, which is nowhere near the same texture as hers. So I’m guessing she likes it.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
While I will never relax Savannah’s hair, I would never be one to judge anyone who does. We all make the decisions we think are best for our kids at the time. I just hope that no matter what our babies’ hair looks like, we are encouraging them and telling them how beautiful they are. My mother relaxed my hair when I was 6 and I didn’t really need it. It was just easier for her since my hair was so thick. I’ve gone back and forth my entire adult life and am currently sans the creamy crack. I have no problem with relaxers, but have just chosen not to dabble in them anymore for myself. It has not been easy; it has been hard with my own hair. But, in choosing to embrace my hair … embrace me … it is making it easier for me to do hers and it makes her feel good about her hair as it is.

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Can’t. Take. All. the. CUTENESS!!!! LOL!! Just adorable!!

Okay, okay. *Wooosah* My ovaries have calmed down.  Soooooo, do you have a mini-Hairscapader in your house? Wanna share his/her story?! Well then, get on it!! Answer the Mini-Hairscapader HairStory Questions here and e-mail your responses, along with 5-6 (or, you know, 10) pics, to me at hairscapades@gmail.com!! Hope to get your sweetie pie’s story soon!!

(p.s. To see more of these mini hairstories, check out the Mini-Hairscapader category under the HairStory tab!) 

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.