My name is Alicia and I blog for Afro Deity where I use the handle Leilu Dallas. I live in Cambridgeshire in the UK.
2. What is your hair type?
I never really subscribed to hair typing but when people ask I would probably say 4a/b.
I started transitioning in March 2012. I wanted to go natural mainly because as my daughter was getting older (she is now 3) I felt I was setting a bad example for her. I also had enough of the chemicals and felt confident enough (this might have come with age) to let my hair out and be confident in just being me. Also having experienced bald patches while relaxing it really felt like it was time to give up the creamy crack.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Accepting myself enough to wear my hair as it came out of my head. Also after spending three years growing my relaxed hair to longer lengths I didn't want to go back to short hair again, but I loved the versatility I got with my relaxed hair and the freedom. I have so much more time now as I don't spend ages in a hairdresser or searching for products.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I wash my hair 2-3 times a week. I do a pre shampoo treatment and use an SLS free cleanser once a week and just condition my hair the other times I wash. I try to do a deep conditioning treatment at least twice a month.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
In my second year of being natural I try to keep my hair in protective styles, which at the moment means a cane row. I was my hair twice a week in the evenings. After I wash I tend to do Bantu knots overnight to stretch my hair. When I wake up in the morning I either apply a moisturizing conditioner and go with the curls or I cane row the hair in two which lasts 2-3 days.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
I always wear a silk scarf and make sure I drink lots of water. Getting enough sleep is also important to healthy hair and skin.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Very rarely. Not at all if I can help it.
I braided my hair once, a long time before I was natural. I had a curly perm at the time. After a bad experience with the braids which led to all my hair falling out I haven't had the courage to try it again . That being said I am in love with Senegalese Twists and Marley braids and I am very tempted to try these.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Wide tooth comb. I have never tried a Denman brush.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
At the moment I wear a lot of protective styles, but when I first went natural I wore my teen weenie afro like a badge of pride.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
I have had many!
My problems really started when I had to look after my own hair at university:
- When I had a weave and was impatient to have it out, I pulled it straight of my hair without using an oil to soften the glue. I then self relaxed the little hair that was left.
- When I had braids I left them in without washing them for three months when the time came to take them out, my hair was full of dirt, so I thought it would be a good idea to wash the hair first then remove the braids. My hair came off with the braids.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Moisture, moisture, moisture - water is your friend, wash you hair frequently and regularly. Keep your scalp clean and allow it to dry properly.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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