1. What's your name and where are you from?
I’m Toia B. and I’m from Brooklyn, NY via Barbados, W.I.
2. What is your hair type?
I actually prefer not to categorize my hair using the hair chart or typing system. I simply describe my hair as “kinky” in most areas, “coily” in others.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
I started the journey to return to my natural texture in early 2009 and cut off all the relaxed hair in October of that year. I was just tired of the constant routine of relaxing which always involved a burning scalp! My husband would always encourage me to stop. When the week came for me to apply the touch-up, I didn’t. I decided I was done with chemically straightening my hair for good!
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
First, there was actually learning about my hair and how to properly care for it. I made a lot of mistakes that first year! I also had to overcome a bit of hair envy, watching as the hair of certain YouTubers seemed to grow at alarming rates while mine seemed to be stuck in one place. I quickly learned and accepted that we’re all different and that comparing was counterproductive.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
Every week, I moisturize with SheaMoisture Extra Moisture Detangler and use Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my scalp. On wash day (every 2 weeks), I’ll use the same detangling product along with my Q-Redew hair steamer to detangle prior to washing. Makes life MUCH easier! Cleansing products differ from week-to-week but generally, with my hair in about 7 sections, I shampoo, deep condition, apply Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner and then seal with an oil or butter. I’ll usually then plait my hair to give it some stretch and let it air dry. On days that I blow it out, I use grapeseed oil as a sealant and heat protectant. When I feel I need some extra moisture, I may steam even on weeks that I’m not washing or to refresh a style.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
If I’m wearing my hair in a loose fro, I’ll refresh with some Sweet Ambrosia, then seal with her Butter Love, shake and go. If I’m rocking a protective style like Marley Twists, I apply my spray bottle mix to my scalp and the length of my hair, then follow-up with either the Butter Love or an oil to seal.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
Depending on how tired (lazy) I am, I may apply the aforementioned detangler and either loosely twist my hair in 6-8 random sections and cover with a bonnet or pineapple the hair (gather hair at the top of my head) with a scarf & cover the loose ends with my bonnet. I always wear a satin head-covering to bed!
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Yes, but I try to keep it as minimal as possible. I blow my out hair no more than twice a month and always use medium heat, never high.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
About twice a year, maybe three, I’ll install Marley twists to give my hair a rest. On occasion, I’ll do a few cornrow styles.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Neither. I either use my fingers or my Tangle-Teezer… love it!
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
These days, I keep it in protective styles way more than I do loose. It really helps me retain length and get out the door quicker!
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
I once had a professional color put in my hair and then I relaxed my roots exactly one week later. I was able to do that with box colors with no problem so I didn’t think there’d be an issue. Well, my hair was coming out in clumps! Surprisingly, given the areas from which the hair fell, I was able to camouflage so no one was the wiser. It all grew back just fine. :-)
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Healthy hair starts from within! Drinking lots of water, having a balanced diet to include fruits and veggies, exercise, plus taking a daily multi-vitamin will aid in healthy hair growth. Once you achieve and maintain healthy hair, length will follow, if that’s your goal.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc)
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