1. What's your name and where are you from?
My name is P.A., and I’m literally from all over. I was born in Nigeria, lived in over 13 countries before the age of 10, but spent the majority of that time in England. I currently live in Virginia, but most of my family resides in Texas.
2. What is your hair type?
My hair is a mixture of 3c, 4a, 4b, and 4c.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
My last relaxer was on May 4, 2013 (yay!). My choice to go natural was a practical one —relaxers ate through my scalp and left it bleeding with sores. Since I actually like my scalp, I decided that not using relaxers was in my best interest.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Honestly, the most challenging thing was perception—perception of myself and others’ perception of me. When you get used to a certain look (my mother put relaxers in my hair at the age of 8), you associate a part of yourself with that look. It was a daunting thing to have to imagine myself without what I considered my “norm.” Plus, since I’m an attorney, I worried that people would make disparaging remarks about my hair at the office.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
My weekly regimen changes depending on what I’m doing with my hair (e.g., leaving my hair out, wearing braids, etc.). Typically, I pre-poo, shampoo with a natural, mild shampoo (I love Shea Moisture!), and follow up with a deep conditioner. After I wash that out, I follow the LOC or LCO method and style.
Since I’m protein sensitive, I only do a protein treatment once a month, or right after I take out my braids and my hair needs some strengthening.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Since I like to wear styles that will last me all week (or almost all week) or longer (e.g., protective styles), my morning routine generally consists of spritzing my hair with water/leave-in conditioner, and sealing with an oil or butter (my hair LOVES coconut oil and Shea butter!), then leaving my hair alone. If I’m wearing braids (I mostly wear crochet braids), I’m sure to moisturize any exposed hair and massage my scalp with a light oil.
My hair is low porosity. So for me, my focus is maintaining moisture, as products tend to sit on top of my strands.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
Again, it depends on what I’m doing with my hair, but it typically is the same as my morning routine. Since I’m usually trying to preserve a style, I’ll sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I haven’t used direct heat on my hair in over a year, but I’m not opposed to it as long as it’s properly done (e.g., appropriate temperature, use of heat protectants, etc.). I do use indirect heat on low during deep conditioning treatments (to open up my strands’ cuticles) or if the style I need to set is taking an extremely long time to dry (wet hair for prolonged periods of time isn’t that healthy for your strands either!).
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
Single or box braids—not often. But crochet braids—YES!! This is my go-to protective style and, really, cornrows are the extent of the braiding. I don’t have the patience, or the time, to sit for 7 hours or more for traditional braids, but I do love the versatility you can get with crochet braids.
I’d say I wear my hair in crochet braids for at least half the year. Winters are really drying to my already dry low porosity strands, and I find that keeping my hair in crochet braids for 4 – 6 weeks helps me retain moisture so much better during these months!
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Hmmm...depends. Wide tooth comb for detangling when I’m about to cornrow my hair . . . Denman brush for defining curls.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
I’d say half-in-half. Since it is winter right now, my hair has been chilling in protective styles (no pun intended—actually pun intended lol, I’m a goof).
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
This really isn’t a tragedy per se, but it does point to the necessity for patience when taking out crochet braids. At one point, I was using bulk hair that looked almost identical to my hair, and I accidentally cut off the tail of a cornrow. :-/
Luckily, it was in an inconspicuous spot and the rest of my hair covered it up until the area grew back out.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Patience, moisture, and consistency. Oh, did I mention patience? Lol
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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