My name is Chanell; I come from Bowie, Maryland but I currently live in Orlando, FL. I'm a blogger who has an interest in Natural Hair and Healthy Living.
2. What is your hair type?
I'm not into hair typing as a way to classify my strands, but for all intents and purposes, I'm a type 4 girl. [4A/4B]
My last relaxer was in 2010; I transitioned for two years and cut my final relaxed ends off in July of 2012. I decided to go natural because I started to take my health seriously; I started paying attention to what I put into my body and on my skin.
Eating healthier, reading ingredients, diet and exercise became important to me after being educated about certain lifestyle choices. One day I thought, here I am making lifestyle changes but still putting chemicals on my scalp ever 6-8 weeks. It seemed contradictory to my new lifestyle choices, so I decided to stop. Also, around this time, I'd begun seeing many women without relaxers, who had big beautiful halos around their heads. I decided to take the plunge!
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about going natural for me was being patient with myself as I learned my hair. Learning my hair was a necessary part of the "going natural" process because I planned to be the caretaker of my hair. My strategy was to research and learn through trial and error. Yes, this may mean a bad hair day or two :-), but take it all in your stride.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
At the beginning of most weeks, I start out with wash day (oil pre-poo, scalp cleanse, deep condition (alternate between regular DC or protein DC) and end the day by setting my hair for the week, or the first half of the week. The morning after wash day, I usually remove either braids, twists, or rollers with a light oil on my fingers. I then style my hair in a 'get up and go' style, such as a high or low puff, low puff with a bang, bun, twist/braid out, cinnabun, tuck and roll styles, etc. If it's midweek and my hair is feeling dry, I re-moisturize (using the L.O.C method), reset my hair and do the aforementioned all over again.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Because I wear 'get up and go' styles, my morning regimen is simple: Remove my scarf (if I forget to sleep in one, I always sleep on my satin pillowcase) and go. If it's the first day of wearing my braid/twist out I remove the braids/twists with oil, separate the hair, but not too much so as to preserve the texture, and use my afro pick to fluff my roots. If it's the case that I'm wearing a 'protective style I just get up and go, literally. Those are my best styles.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
The only regular night regimen I have is to wear a silk or satin scarf at night; if a scarf is unavailable, I have a satin pillowcase. If ever I'm going out of town, I'm sure to pack it.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Throughout my transition and even when I first went natural, I never used heat. Recently, I've decided to try having my hair blown out. I have this done by a professional, although it's completely easy to do at home, if you have the time and patience; I do not. I tried once on my own, and didn't get through the first section before I broke the dryer comb.
I have this done once a month or so. The woman only charges me $10 because I arrive with my hair washed and conditioned. Whenever I get a trim (once every 3 months), I have it blown out and trimmed. I love this style! It reminds me of the fierce 70-esque afros. Initially I was overwhelmed at how much hair I had but as I got used to the look I began to love it. To maintain the style, add a bit of shea butter and few fat twists or braids to my hair at night.
I have not worn braids since I was a teen and the last time I wore Senegalese twists was in 2004. I am not against these types of styles, I've just been enjoying my hair. I've been intrigued by the look of fat Marley twists and I'm entertaining the idea of having them installed.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Both. I use the denman brush after I've washed, conditioned, and moisturized my hair and I am just about to set a style. Here's a great explanation of how I use the brush. I use the wide-tooth comb to lightly remove shed hair, but only while conditioner is in my hair.
In both instances, the hair is wet. I never use any comb or brush on dry hair. Lastly, I cannot express the importance of cleaning your combs, brushes, or both on a weekly basis.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
For my two year transition, I exclusively wore protective styles (with the ends hidden) as a participant in a protective style challenge. After I cut my remaining relaxed ends, I wore my hair loose for about one month, then I came to my senses as a Keep It Simple Sista, and decided to do a combination of loose and protective styles.
This year, I shaved the sides and back of my hair; as a result, some protective styles have become obsolete for me. I do wear what I like to call semi-protective styles, which are styles that do not keep the ends hidden but require little to no manipulation for 2-3 days at a time.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
I had a hair tragedy earlier this year; in a span of 5 days, I had streaks, and about 5 different semi-permanent colors. In July, I was on a trip to my home town and decided to get my hair colored by my sister's stylist. Her color always looks great so I trusted that I'd have good luck too. I was so excited! I explained that I wanted something in the bronze, gold family and that I wanted something subtle; I ended up with the complete opposite.
By the time she finished my streaks, and added a few other colors for dimension, I was not happy. When I got home and saw my hair in better light, I was mortified. I had orange and blond streaks. I immediately contacted her and told her that I needed her to re-do my hair. I explained that I work in a professional office and I could not go to work with my hair like that. She was very accommodating and the next morning she came in and put a color over the color that I had. It turned out to be entirely too bright, but did not look much different than the previous day. I looked like a midlife crisis had exploded on my head.
When I arrived back in Orlando, I called a stylist here and explained the situation to her; luckily she could fit me in, but I had to go to work with my tragic hair. When my boss saw me, she said, "Your hair, it's orange". I explained that it wasn't what I requested, but what I ended up with. The following afternoon, I got a dark brown color on top of the orange hair, which toned the color down significantly. Moral of the story; you CAN recover from anything ;)
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
My tips are mostly for healthy hair, which I believe leads to long hair, if that's what you are aiming for. Be patient while learning your hair, care for it consistently, and finally ensure that your hair is properly moisturized.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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