1. What's your name and where are you from?
Noelle Adores from Los Angeles, California.
2. What is your hair type?
I have a mixture of 4a/4b hair, 4a at the ends and 4b at the roots.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
My last relaxer was in the spring of 2008 but I didn't decide to wear my hair naturally until September 1st 2011.
I had grown very tired of the never ending cycle of wearing weaves for a year or two to grow out my hair, followed by getting my hair straightened every two weeks at a salon only to have it break off and become damaged from the excessive heat. It was a vicious cycle.
In 2011 I was introduced to the plethora of information on maintaining healthy natural hair on YouTube. I decided it was time to put in the work and learn to care for my natural hair in it's natural state.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about wearing my hair naturally was my shrinkage. I have never been a fan of short hair on myself. I love it on others, but my hangups prevented me from wearing my hair out at all the first year.
In my second year I rarely wore it out or down because I felt more comfortable with it pinned up or in a puff. I was very frustrated that my shrinkage wasn't allowing me to show off all my hard work and hair growth. It wasn't until the last year I overcame my hair length issues and learned to embrace and accept my hair shrinkage instead of seeing it as a negative or downside to being natural.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I wash, deep condition and style weekly, on Sundays. If I pre-poo, I do it overnight starting on Saturday night. On Tuesdays I moisturize and detangle. Midweek, on Thursdays, I oil-rinse and style.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Typically I take down whatever I had done the night before (twists, braids, bantu knots) or if I had not prepped a style I remove my bonnet, mist with water, and style.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
Mist with water, twist, bantu knot, braid or put into a puff, put on bonnet, go to bed.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I do not use regular heat on my hair, meaning I don't blow dry or sit under a dryer, I air dry. I do give myself short term goals for straightening my hair. For example, my first year of wearing my natural hair I straightened every 3 months, the second year every 4 months, etc.
These were my opportunities to check the length and get a good trim of my ends, as well as enjoy some length and a change of style. In my third year, I was supposed to straighten my hair every 6 months but when the time came I was not interested in doing so.
I find that the longer I wear my hair naturally the less I want to straighten my hair or place heat on it.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
I have not braided my hair, outside of braid-outs, but it is a style I would like to try. I have worn Havana twists and Marley twists which I try to limit to twice a year for no more than 8 weeks at a time.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
I have both but I prefer to finger detangle.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
I go through seasons of both. The past year alone I spent the first half doing a 6 month protective styling challenge and for the second half I have decided to not protective style at all.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Thankfully I haven't had a hair tragedy since wearing my hair naturally but I had plenty during my relaxer days. The most traumatizing incident happened in 2005, I was starting my sophomore year of college in Atlanta, GA. Before I returned I had a relaxer and a sew-in weave done to start the year "fresh". By October I was ready to take it out and wash my hair. After washing I went to detangle and my hair began coming out in clumps! By the time I was done with combing my hair I had several grocery store plastic bags full of MY hair.
I made an appointment with a local stylist who suggested that my relaxer may not have been completely rinsed out and neutralized before the sew-in was installed. She then retouched my perm (face-palm, why?!) and straightened my hair.
In the same section of hair I had pieces that reached my boobs and others that didn't pass my neck. She cut and styled my hair, however, I kept wearing wigs because I wasn't comfortable with short hair. I stopped going to her after a couple of months; I decided I would exclusively do my own hair for a while to ensure that I knew exactly what was going on, on my head.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
My biggest tip for healthy hair is to LISTEN TO YOUR HAIR. We all have expectations and wants for our hair but our hair will tell us what it doesn't like or is unwilling to do. Allow flexibility, in your styling, routine, and product usage. Be kind to your hair and it will thrive.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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