1. What's your name and where are you from?
Judy Acevedo from Washington D.C., USA.
2. What is your hair type?
Type 3/Type 4
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
My last relaxer was in April 2013. Deciding to transition back to my natural hair was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I began transitioning in April 2013 after my last relaxer. I had been perming my hair since I was around 16 or 17 and it had been so long since I had seen my natural hair, that I honestly could not remember what it looked like.
I had depended on my mom to do my hair my whole life and when she suggested I perm it so that I could manage my own hair, I accepted. I can’t even lie, having relaxed hair was fun. I liked to wear it straight (I still do) and I loved the ability to flip it, toss it, have it blow in the wind, tuck it behind my ears!! I enjoyed it, I really did.
What I did not enjoy were the scalp burns whenever I got a touch-up. I also did not enjoy seeing my hair break off and fall out. It scared me to see how thin my hair was becoming. What used to be thick, luscious, shiny hair turned into brittle, dry, stringy hair. It concerned me. Upon moving to Washington DC in spring of 2013 and seeing so many confident, beautiful black women sporting their own natural hair, I decided enough was enough.
I had also suffered from severe chemical burns on my scalp from a bad hair dye and I just knew I wanted to stop putting harsh chemicals on my scalp and hair. I decided right then and there that I would just transition back to my natural hair. I was very excited but also nervous to see what my hair would look like. The anticipation of it all was nerve wracking.
I transitioned for 18 months then cut off my relaxed ends October of 2014. What a relief! Such excitement! I do not regret my decision at all. Having my natural hair makes me feel complete. I feel like the woman I was always meant to be.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about going natural is the time and effort it takes in caring for my hair. Natural hair is so unbelievably delicate. Tending to my natural hair feels like a full time job. I can't just fall asleep at night, I have to wrap my hair. I can't just hop in the shower and wash my hair, I have to pre-poo. Going to the gym requires a lot of planning and coordination. If I go to the gym on day #1 of a particular hair style, it'll be ruined before the end of the session. And don't even get me started with the wash-and-go... it's never just a wash and go. Natural hair requires a lot of effort, time and patience.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I don't really follow a strict regimen. Natural hair is too unpredictable for a set regimen. One thing I do weekly, however, is a deep condition to help minimize the dryness. To deep condition, I use either a store bought deep conditioner or natural ingredients (mayo, eggs, oil, etc.), apply it to damp/wet hair and leave it in for 20-30 minutes while wearing a plastic cap. Then I rinse it out completely, then style my hair as usual.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Every morning, I apply a little oil to my hair and pick my hair at the roots. It's helps to give me the volume I love.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
Overnight, I preserve my hairstyles by gathering my hair in a pineapple using a silk scarf.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I use heat to style my hair, mostly in the winter. I try to stay away from direct heat (flat iron, blow dryer) since they directly heat the hair. My preferred method of heat styling is through the use of a hooded dryer on my roller sets. The hooded dryer does not directly heat the hair so the hair is less prone to heat damage. I would also like to note that hair burns at temperatures above 400 degrees (some might even say 350 degrees). The hooded dryer does not get quite this hot. If it did, the rollers would melt and you'd bake like a turkey. I have never experienced heat damage from a hooded dryer so I consider it a safe way to heat style my hair.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
I do not braid my hair although I would love to try this style soon.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Team Denman Brush - Nothing clumps and defines my curls quite like the Denman Brush.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
I wear my hair loose almost every single day. I just love how it looks and how it feels. When I'm not wearing my hair down, it's usually pulled back in a bun while I'm pre-poo'ing or deep conditioning.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
I once heard that garlic helps to reduce hair loss and shedding. While I was transitioning, my hair was shedding so badly that I decided to make my own garlic treatment. I used my blender to whip up a garlic paste for my hair then applied it on damp hair and left it in for about 30 minutes while wearing a plastic cap. Afterwards, I washed it out it with shampoo. Unfortunately for me, the scent lingered for almost 3 weeks.
No matter what I tried, I could not wash the scent out of my hair!! It was truly the worst three weeks of my life. Imagine the faces of my co-workers; I reeked of garlic. To make matters worse, my hair continued to shed after that ordeal.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
My biggest tip for anyone on any hair journey, deep condition. You hair will thank you for it.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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