Introduce yourself . . .
I am Diane Hall an author, model, financial support officer, hair stylist, mother and entrepreneur. I have a Bachelors’ Degree in Fashion Design with Marketing & Promotion. I have been featured in countless fashion shows, magazines, exhibitions, publications & TV commercials including DFS, WSOP, U Switch, Black hair Magazine, Job Centre, Afro Hair & Beauty Show, Toni & Guy, John Lewis & The Gadget Show. I have also worked with various designers and hair stylists such as Zandra Rhodes, Nicky Hambleton Jones, Jon Richard, and was the winner of the Congeniality Award in the Top Model of the World Contest, Germany.
How did you first get involved in hair care?
I started out as a mobile hairdresser specialising in braids and extensions* from a young age because i was one of the few people others knew could do hair extensions*/weaves etc. My interest in natural hair developed as I went on my personal growth journey and my interest to share my knowledge with others grew from there.
What made you come to the conclusion that being natural was right for you?
After going on a journey of personal growth and acceptance my increase in confidence in myself lead to me making the decision to make the best of whom I am. I wanted to learn to work with my hair in its natural state instead of attempting to change it.
Did you have support from your friends and family when you decided to transition?
My friends and family were really supportive. As long as I am* happy in what I am doing they tend to be supportive, which is great because it gives you the freedom to test things out.
You have worked as a model in the past too, how do you think that natural hair is received in the fashion industry?
Over the years it has become increasingly more accepted. I think that hair stylists find it exciting because they can be really creative with natural hair.
Tell us a bit more about your book, How I grew it long naturally. How did it come about that you decided to write the book?
How I Grew it Long Naturally is a really illustrative step-by-step guide on how to care for your natural hair (think cook book for your hair!) It guides you throughout the different stages of hair care and maintenance and helps you set up and record your own personal care plan.
My inspiration for writing the book stemmed from a belief that there is a great need to promote and increase awareness of the natural beauty of afro hair and also how to care for it in its’ natural state.
My aim is to help, support and encourage all women going on their own natural growth journey to not give up, regardless of what others may tell you, or what you may have read. Patience, faith, determination and persistence really do pay off!
How would you describe your texture?
I have type 4b/c hair. The majority is 4b but I have some more coarse textures in places, particularly the crown of my head!
What is your typical weekly regimen?
My weekly regime basically consists of lots of deep conditioning* – to keep the hair hydrated therefore preventing breakage, protective styling – to prevent split ends and daily moisturising – to prevent drying out and help maintain elasticity.
Because of the sheer volume of natural hair it can be overwhelming for someone considering transitioning. What is the best advice you can give newly natural ladies in dealing with their hair?
The liberation and confidence you get from just accepting what your natural hair is and learning to work with it is fantastic, however, acceptance comes from within. Once you are confident in who you are you will learn to love and accept your hair exactly as it is and will be more willing to work with it.
How do you usually wear your hair?
To help me achieve a quick and easy style I wear my hair in a loose bun using a hair scrunchie almost on a daily basis! This style keeps the ends of my hair protected and is quick and easy.
How do you combat dryness?
I caombat dryness by using water daily on the hair and regular deep conditioning* i.e every time I wash my hair.
Any favorite hair products?
Do you have a goal length and when do you hope to get there?
My only goal is for my hair to be as healthy as it possibly can be at its optimum length. I have almost been growing my hair for 5 years now and it is about bra strap length when stretched out. I am happy with that.
What is the best tip that you can share for natural hair?
If you have shoulder length hair or longer, protective styling is really important to prevent split ends. Never wear your hair down if you are wearing cotton or wool tops as the dry brushing of the ends of your hair on this material can encourage split ends. I always wear a silk/satin top or have bare shoulders when wearing my hair out!
Another tip is to always use a silk scarf* or pillowcase which helps the hair retain moisture. Cotton absorbs the moisture from your hair which will cause dryness.
Where can we find you online?
My website is www.igrewitlong.com, or you can follow me on twitter @igrewitlong or like me on www.facebook.com/igrewitlong or subscribe to my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/igrewitlong where I will be sharing more tips and giving advice.