1. What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Raquel Ford. I am known socially as Blessedcoils or Coils of Love. I am from New York City. I was born in Manhattan and raised throughout New York City.
2. What is your hair type?
My hair type is primarily 4A mixed with 3C and 4B. The area just below my crown area is mainly 3C curly coils and my crown area is mixed with 4A and 4B kinky coils. Lastly, the front is a 4A fanatic...lol.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
I decided to go natural in October/November of 2011. I decided to go natural because I was truly tired...I was tired of breakage, I was tired of up keeping a relaxer (every 4-6 weeks), and I was tired of being tired. What solidified my transition was my daughter, she started believing she NEEDED a relaxer, she could not wait until she was old enough to get a relaxer, and this was not the mentality I wanted for my daughter. I decided I would eventually big chop, which I did on March 27th, 2012. I have not regretted my return to natural!
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about returning natural, honestly, was what do I actually do to this "nappy kinky" new growth and how can I make my hair look like hers... 27 months 1 week and 1 day later, I now know my hair will never be like hers, but it will always be like mines and I am truly happy with that.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I honestly do not have a dedicated regimen. I shampoo when necessary, if I know I have used multiple products and have not had a good wash, then its time. Otherwise, I co-wash. When it is time to wash I pre-detangle in 6-8 sections, which you can see here, in the video below, How I Do: Pre-Detangle 4A Coily Hair.
Then I shampoo or co-wash, I follow up with a rinse out conditioner, which I allow to sit on my hair for 3-5 minutes to soften and help with manageability. I keep my hair in the 6-8 sections. Rinse. Deep Condition in 6-8 sections.
I do use a thermal Heat Therapy wrap or Hot Head for in-direct heat, to help with intensifying my Deep condition routine.
After the wash routine is finished, I style my hair in either twists to allow my hair to air dry or until damp and then I might twist each section into smaller sections or braids. I prefer to use old hair for buns and ponytails. I love to stretch my twist-outs and see the different styles I can achieve.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
My daily morning regimen is to moisten my hair with steam from the shower or a refresher spray or leave-in conditioner spray. I also seal the moisture in with an oil or butter. Depending on my hairstyle, I may just need to fluff my hair out or shake it.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
My nighttime regimen is similar...except some nights I get wild and don't sleep with my bonnet (and I do not own any satin pillowcases ;-))
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Yes, last year for the first time I used a diffuser and I use heat caps (in direct heat) for deep treatments. I want to straighten my hair, but I still have qualms about using such direct heat on my natural healthy hair.
One thing I do make sure of, is to invest in quality tools for my hair.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
Yes, I actually braid my hair for braid-outs, which I love. I also braid my hair into cornrows for an up do style or protective style. I braid my hair maybe 8-10 times in a year, maybe more.
10 Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Both. I prefer my wide-tooth comb for detangling and my denman knock-off for smoothing.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
Normally my hair is in a protective-do like medium twists or small twists. My hair is worn out 2-3 days out of a week, but not every week.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Yes, I have had a hair tragedy. My hair tragedy was when I decided to permanently color my hair. My hair is naturally a dark brown. I decided I wanted to color my hair, which I had not done in years. I bought only one box of dye and once I finished I realized my hair hadn't changed much. So about 8-9 months later, I decided to color it again...Again not much of a color change, but enough. The true color did not match the box display. So I tried 4 weeks later... I suffered major dryness issues, some breakage, and my hair tangled even more (due to the dryness).
I am still in recovery, but I am in a much better place. I listen and observe my hair reaction to different products and methods. Currently, using Soultanicals and Eden Body Works Coconut Shea line are helping me provide, retain, and seal moisture.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
My biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair is leaving your hair alone. I go 2-3 weeks without re-twisting. I use a moisturizing product on my twists every other day and seal the moisture in. I also have reduced how many times I detangle my hair, I used to detangle during the wash, condition, and deep condition, now I just detangle 1-2 times during the entire session.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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