1. What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Markeeta, but I am mostly known online as KeetaRay (my first and middle names shortened and combined). I am from a suburb of Philadelphia, currently residing in Maryland.
2. What is your hair type?
My hair type is Type 4 (mostly 4a and some 4b).
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
I went natural by doing my Big Chop (BC) in November 2008. I transitioned prior to that for 8 months. I was tired of getting relaxers, and although my hair was long it seemed to be thinning. I also didn't want to continue to identify myself with my hair, and I wanted to accept myself - all of me - as I was created. That included my natural hair.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
I feel the transition was more difficult than actually being fully natural. While I was transitioning, I read and researched A LOT about natural hair textures, how to style, care for hair, etc. I got a relaxer for the first time at age 13, so I had never dealt with my hair in its natural state before (my mom had always maintained and styled my hair prior to that). This was a completely new learning experience, as it is for many, but I loved it. The hardest part AFTER my BC was probably finding products that my hair responded to best. But I had so many to try that it was a fun process for me.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
When my hair is not in a protective style (like twists), I wash and condition my hair weekly. I try to use non-sulfate shampoos as they don't dry my hair out, but I'm not opposed to shampoos that contain sulfates - I just make sure not to use often. After I wash and condition, I twist my hair with a leave-in, an oil like extra-virgin olive oil, and a styler (like As I Am Twisting Cream - I think that's what it is called). I then let it air dry overnight and untwist in the morning for a twist out. I deep condition every other week. I detangle weekly while conditioning my hair.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
I don't do much in the morning except take my twists out to style and go. I may put oil on my fingertips to help eliminate frizzies but that's it.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
At night - if my hair is not in a protective style - I retwist by spritzing with water and applying a light oil. I only use the oil if my hair feels dry - otherwise, I just lightly dampen with water.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I do occasionally use heat. If I'm in a rush and need to untwist my hair for a twist out I will sit under a hooded dryer using indirect heat to speed up the drying of my hair. And when I get trims (which I get every 3-4 months by a licensed professional), I do get my hair lightly blow-dried beforehand.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
I don't get braids anymore, as my hair does not respond well to them (especially my hair line).
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
I use wide-toothed combs
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
My hair is usually in a protective style - my go-tos are buns and marley twists or mini-twists.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Yes... hair tragedy! I've had a few - from hair breakage due to color, to hair breakage due to braids. I'm a firm believer that if your hair is damaged, just start over and/or trim off the damage. I did a 2nd BC in May of last year (2013) and my hair is better for it. So much healthier and fuller and no longer damaged. And it grew fairly fast.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
My biggest tip is to do what works for you. Many times, we may look up to bloggers/vloggers or other naturals, and we'll try what they've tried especially if they have a similar hair type. I've learned that I can't do what many others do to their hair. I've learned my hair is sensitive to permanent color and too-tight styles - especially around the hairline. My hair can be really fragile so I am very careful now. And be patient!! :) I know it can be hard ESPECIALLY when you're first starting out. Accept your hair texture, love your hair texture, and give your hair what it needs. The growth will come and your hair will be much healthier.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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