Shelli I know you are all natural, what is your story? How did you get to where you are?
I got my first relaxer and hair cut at 13 at a salon. From then on, either my mom or I relaxed my hair once every 6 months with a home perm. Even though I had a relaxer, I wore my hair curly 90% of the time, because I worked out 5-6 days a week and I sweat like a race horse.
With that said keeping my hair straight, without damaging it daily with a flat iron*, was an impossible task. Flash forward to age 28. I went to a Dominican doobie spot to get my hair straightened. The “stylist” insisted that I had to get a relaxer for her to do my hair and in her over-zealous fervor, she overlapped the relaxer onto my previously treated hair. Shortly thereafter, my hair started to break off badly so that was pretty much it for me, I was done with relaxers.
I allowed my hair to grow out for another 6 months and then big chopped, that was 12 1/2 years ago. Oh, and I big chopped again in ’07 or ’08. Don’t really remember. It was one of those, “I need a change,” bad break-up things ;)!
How would you describe your texture?
My hair has changed as I’ve gotten older. In my 20s and early 30s, I think I was mostly a 3c, sharpie marker sized curls, but with various textures throughout. In my late 30s, my hair started to loosen and now I have 4-5 textures that range from almost straight at my nape to 3c/4a at my crown. The front and nape are pretty silky, shiny and with normal density. My crown is coarser/kinkier, the strands are finer and more breakage prone and porous, but that’s where I have my greatest density.
What is your typical weekly regimen?
Once a week, I usually pre-poo with a mix of Vatika Oil and Aubrey GPB and/or Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. Then, I wash with whatever shampoo I’m feeling at the moment. Right now, it’s Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo. I tend to dilute my shampoo in a dye applicator bottle* with water.
I finger detangle with lots of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration and then, I deep condition for about an hour with heat. I allow my hair to cool for 10 minutes or so and then “seal” by applying diluted Herbal Essence Hello Hydration directly over the deep conditioner* and rinse with cool/cold water.
After my final rinse I then apply my leave-in, which varies, and will usually set my hair in a braid and curl. Sometimes I use a styler and/or gel with the leave-in, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t have an oil in my leave-in, I’ll seal with an oil, typically Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO*) or, my new go-to, my coconut oil* whip!!
How do you usually wear your hair?
I typically do a braid and curl or twist and curl to stretch my hair and wear it in an updo 5-6 days a week.
How do you combat dryness?
I find that my wash day routine helps keep my hair moisturized throughout the week. If it feels dry between wash sessions, I’ll apply a moisturizing styler and seal with an oil.