My name is Erica King and I am originally from Nashville, Tennessee. I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona.
2. What is your hair type?
I am definitely 4c with some 4 a/b areas in the back.
I went natural in February, 2009. It was time for another relaxer and I decided to fully embrace my natural curls instead. I transitioned for 11 months and big chopped on January 25, 2010.
I had been natural on and off for about 10 years, but I had always gone back to the relaxer. This time, I big chopped right after I had my son (he was a few weeks old). We had also discovered my girls (2 & 4 y/s old), had severe food & nut allergies.
We needed to make some BIG changes.
I was obsessed with reading ingredient labels to make sure our lotions and conditioners didn't have almond oil or macadamia nut oil in them. Both were pretty popular. We started using all-natural, allergy-free, non-toxic ingredients on everybody's hair and skin.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
DETANGLING! I transitioned for months before doing a big chop, so detangling would take me hours. As my hair grew longer, it would take even longer. I loved my thick, luscious hair, but it took me a while to figure out my hair's moisture code.
Thank God for YouTube tutorials and coconut oil.
I starting using homemade clay treatments and Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash (Lavender Garden & Left Coast Lemon), after watching Naptural85's clay wash videos. Bentonite clay, along with finger detangling (on wet and dry hair), got my detangling time down to 20 minutes.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I wash my hair once every 2 weeks and deep condition each time. I'm always trying to simplify my routine but I use these methods regularly:
- Apple cider vinegar or hair tea rinse (1x every 2 weeks)
- Scalp massage: 2x weekly, focusing on the crown
- Leave-in conditioner (4x a week)
- Seal ends with hair butter (4x a week)
- Oil rinsing as a deep conditioning treatment (once every 3 weeks)
- Hair affirmations -- daily:)
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Right now my hair is in havana twists so I take them down in the morning, spritz with a leave-in conditioner, and that's it. I like to make my own and use Oyin Handmade's Frank Juice, or Jane Carter's Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner.
When my hair is not in a protective style, I keep homemade flaxseed gel and hair butters close for extra styling pizazz!
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
I use the L.O.C Method to put my hair in twists for the night. I usually put in about 8 to 10 twists and tie my hair up in a satin scarf.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I use minimal heat, mostly for hot oil treatments and deep conditioning.
I braid my hair a few times a year but I've been preferring twists lately. When I do put braids in, I wear them a total of 4 months a year.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
It's normally in a protective-do -- hello chunky twists.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
OMG I've had quite a few hair tragedies, one of them I documented in 2011. I burned my hair by overheating it with the flat iron and it started coming out in clumps.
My hair thinned completed and I could barely style it because it kept coming out. I stopped using everything, bought an ingredients dictionary, and started checking ingredients. To remove the split ends and breakage, I big chopped again to give my hair a fresh start (2012). It worked.
I started using castor oil, doing scalp massages and making all of my hair products. I learned exactly what my hair loved and what it didn't. Bentonite and rhassoul clay helped a lot so I started cleansing and deep conditioning with them.
I don't use them as much anymore, but anytime I have some scalp funkiness or product buildup, I mix up a batch.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Take care of yourself, Relax and Enjoy your hair - There's not another Beautiful Crown like it on the planet.
Make relaxation a priority. I've learned many times the hard way, stress can cause hair loss and keep your hair from growing. Do something everyday to relax: a few breathing exercises, a relaxing bath, even applying a hair affirmation.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
- Blog: LavishlyNatural.com
Want to be featured as a Queen of Kinks, Curls & Coil?
Here's how to apply.