1. What's your name and where are you from?
Hi! I’m Ashley Michelle from Memphis, TN!
2. What is your hair type?
It’s a mix of a few different textures. It’s mostly 4a/4b with a bit of 3c.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
There was a time when was I hooked on the creamy crack and you couldn’t tell me any different. That was until the constant use of it caught up to the health of my hair and scalp. My long thick hair had become thin and broken and literally left me heart broken! (no pun intended). I suffered through chemical burns, unflattering “trims”, and more. These issues caused a downward spiral in my self-esteem. I felt unattractive and found myself trying to hide my hair with hats and scarves on a daily basis. It was then where I realized, “this CANNOT be life.” After transitioning for 3 months, I big chopped on January 3, 2010 and it was one of the most liberating feelings of my life.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing was trying to figure out what to do with my hair. It was always dry and matted. Sometimes I felt discouraged, but my thirst for knowledge made the research and process of trial and error tolerable. Once I learned more about ingredients, techniques, methods, etc., my journey became a lot easier and fun!
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I try to keep it really simple because I hate being in my hair all of the time #LazyNatural lol. Once a week I wash, condition, and style my hair. I usually style my hair in a twistout or braidout which lasts for a week. This keeps the maintenance pretty low in my regimen.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Since my shrinkage is so disrespectful, I never re-moisturize or wet my hair in the mornings. My poor tresses will shrivel right on up lol. I usually take care of that situation the night before. So my mornings consist of me simply fluffing and going.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
I have 2 night time routines. Whichever I use depends on the state of my hair. If it’s dry, I re-moisturize with 1 of my fave moisturizers then either high bun or plait my hair (which helps combat shrinkage). If it’s well moisturized, I simply throw it in a high loose bun or ponytail.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I used to use heat maybe 2-3 times a year, but as of late, I haven’t used heat in almost a year.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
No, I tried to wear braids during the early stages of my journey. Unfortunately, it was not for me or my scalp.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Wide-Tooth comb and finger detangling! Can’t go wrong without em!
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
It’s normally loose. I protective style from time to time, but it’s mostly loose in a twist/braidout
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Besides my whole relaxer disaster, the worst issue I’ve faced with my natural hair was breakage. It was during the early stages of my journey. I really didn’t know what I was doing so my hair was dry, mishandled, etc. I fixed it by researching and trying different techniques/method to maximize moisture retention and growth. Once I found what my hair liked, my journey became a lot easier and my tresses began to flourish
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Just starting out, you will encounter A LOT of trial and error, but that’s okay! I can’t tell you how many different products I’ve tried over the years until I found something that actually worked for me. To make your journey a bit easier I recommend keeping a hair journal to document what works and doesn’t work for you. This will help build a healthy hair regimen suited to YOUR hair’s needs.
In addition, utilize tools such as google, YouTube, social media, and books to expand your knowledge about natural haircare. The books,“The Science of Black Hair” and “Hair Care Rehab” by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy helped tremendously in the early stages of my journey and continue to help me today! Oh, and one last thing, enjoy every stage of your journey! Your tresses are unique to you will flourish with a bit of TLC, so don’t worry about what the next natural has going on. Just do you and before you know it, your tresses will be blossoming like the beautiful flower it is!
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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