Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m 21! Born and bred in Wolverhampton. I studied at the University of Sheffield and I’m a now a qualified Dental Therapist. I’m quite athletic and I love keeping fit it different ways (last year I took up rowing and cycling, I enjoy challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone). I love cooking and eating FOOD and spending quality time with my family and friends.
When did you perm your hair and why?
I permed my hair for the first time when I was 10. Back then it was just the done thing. Not many black girls wore their natural hair, it was either braids, relaxer or perm. I remember begging my mom to let me get it done, because I couldn’t manage my natural hair and having two plaits at the side of my head was no longer cool.
Big chop or transition?
I decided to go back natural in 2011. I transitioned using braids for about a year. I used to always texturise my hair, but there was a phase where all my friends were curly perming their hair so I decided to jump on the band waggon. BIG MISTAKE!! My hair just could not cope with the chemicals.
After the second time I curly permed my hair, after about two weeks my hair started to fall out from the root in chunks. It went so brittle and just broke off, my hair was so damaged I just couldn’t style it properly so I decided to get some braids. After seeing the new growth that got each month after uninstalling my braids I got addicted and would cut off the damaged hair and reinstall my braids. Eventually my hair grew to a length that I felt comfortable wearing natural and was able to manage myself again.
What do you love about your hair?
I love how versatile it is. There are just so many different styles. I can do curly, straight, braid out, twist out, blow out I could go on and on… I just love seeing how different it comes out each time. I was known at university for always changing my hair. I think my hairstyle corresponds to how I’m feeling that day. If I’m feeling confident I do big bold styles, if I’m feeling lazy its french plaits or a bun. I defiantly love expressing myself through how I style my hair. One of the main things I like about my hair is the volume I can create with some styles, the bigger the better for me!
How would you describe your hair?
I don’t really know too much about hair typing so I will say I have a mixture of textures. The sides and the back of my hair is very tight coils and the front and the middle looser coils. I have very fine strands and my hair is not very dense at all. I think the volume I can create with some hair styles gives an illusion that I have really thick hair but that’s just not the case. I get a lot of shrinkage so I stretch my hair out 90% of the time just because I find it easier to style and manage and I think it helps me retain my length.
What is your ‘go to’ hairstyle?
My go to hairstyle if definitely a bun! I think it just suits my face shape and doesn’t require much manipulation. I often have two french plaits or flat twist if I want to put less tension on my edges (also stops me messing with my hair too much).
Favourite hair products?
So my favourite oils are olive oil and coconut, I use olive oil more often. I like to use sulfate free shampoos and I just working my way through different brands. I’m currently loving Dr miracles conditioning shampoo. I like the Cantu range and I use most of their products when styling my hair (Cantu moisturising cream, leave in conditioner). Occasionally I use Eco Styler gel If I want to achieve a more sleek smooth look. I like to use shea butter to seal my ends too.
What is your wash day routine?
Hmmm, I do tend to vary this depending on how lazy I’m feeling and how much time I have. I usually plan and schedule when I’m going to wash my hair as it can be a chore sometimes. I like to wash my hair once a week simply because my hair seems to like it that way.
Usually the night before I will put some sort of oil on my hair either coconut or olive. I then wash my hair in two sections and wash using Dr Miracles conditioning shampoo, I feel like it cleans my hair but doesn’t strip it completely. I usually just do one wash then condition with any conditioner really I don’t have a favourite one. I test different ones and if it makes my hair feel good I will use it. I do tend to change the conditioners I use often as I find my hair gets used to a particular one. I finger detangle my hair when it isn’t too bad but if I have neglected it during the week I do use a wide tooth comb. I tend to leave the conditioner in for around 30 mins, if I deep condition then as long as I can with a plastic cap on.
After rinsing out I dry with an old t-shirt not a towel. Whilst my hair is still damp I add olive oil and a cream of some sort and then some shea butter on the ends. I don’t like to put much oils on my scalp as it just irritates it. I then just style it as I want so braids, twists etc…
Are you a volume or definition type of girl?
Volume all the way for me. My hair doesn’t hold definition too well and I find when I do get definition with my styles I prefer to fluff it out so that I get volume, I do not like to see daylight through my hair when it is styled so yeah big hair is me.
Any advice to females who are thinking about going natural or starting to wear their hair in its natural state?
I think I would just say that you need to learn what works for your hair. I remember watching videos or asking someone what they did with their hair I would then try it but it would just look terrible on my hair. This would make me think that my hair wasn’t good or damaged but really my hair was just different, comparing yourself to others can sometimes be discouraging just focus on you and your hair journey. Keep trying different things and when you find something that works just embrace and develop that. In my experience I would also say to keep things simple, there is so much advice out there now for natural hair care but sometimes it can get a bit too much don’t over complicate things.