I started taking better care of my hair out of necessity. When you think about how much time and money women with afro-textured hair spend on styling their hair (which often times is damaged and unhealthy) the return on the investment does not make sense. I had my first chemical relaxer when I was five years old and over the years, my hair has faced so many challenges. I realized that in the long run, learning how to take care of your hair is more beneficial and sustainable. I would love to see more Black and African women gaining a sense of independence and self sufficiency when it comes to hair care.
2. What are your 2 favorite hair products?
My two favorite hair products are (1) Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/ Detangler and (2) Tropic Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I have seen both of these products work wonders on so many different hair textures, so I highly recommend trying them.
3. Whose hair did you admire as a child?
I always loved long, straight hair… never had a hair crush.
4. What is your ultimate goal length?
Hmm, I’m not sure. I want long hair, but I never set a target length… All of these acronyms, APL, BSL, waist length, floor length, to-the-moon-and-back length, etc. are overwhelming. I recently learned about the terminal length concept, the idea that everyone has a genetically predetermined growth rate which limits how much length they can attain before their hair sheds. Given that it is fairly difficult to determine terminal length, rather than setting an unrealistic and unattainable length goal, I am working towards retaining as much length as I can, given my constraints.
5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach your ultimate goal length?
Take a selfie? 🙂
6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length?
7. Which do you prefer: Health or Length?
Definitely health, although the two complement each other. If health is your first priority, length will follow naturally.
8. Which do you prefer: hair ties with no metal parts or butterfly clips?
A combination of both! Both tools are great to keep hair away while detangling.
9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands, Drugstore brands, or other?
I prefer drugstore brands for many reasons.
- I am very frugal and do not like spending a lot of money on my hair. I usually opt for the cheaper drugstore shampoos/ conditioners so that I can splurge a little bit more on styling products that keep my hair well moisturized.
- I also have very sensitive skin, so my dermatologist recommended that I avoid products in their raw/ organic forms such as Shea butter/ extra virgin olive oil. Strangely, I’ve noticed that my hair also reacts better to products that are highly processed.
- There are way too many natural hair products these days. From multinational corporations to mom & pop brands online… to your refrigerator, there is way too much choice. I try not to feed into all of the commercialization and use whatever works for my hair… I think everyone should do the same.
10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated?
The beer rinse, which “reverts” heat damaged hair. I have seen some ridiculous videos of people on YouTube performing this technique and have yet to see it perform the miracles that people claim.
11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated?
Mini-twists, up-dos, and protective styles that do not require weaves, wigs or extensions. I think there are a lot of beautiful protective styles that we can achieve using our own natural hair.
12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen?
My favorite part of my hair regimen is styling! I love letting my creativity flow and expressing my personality through my hair. My hair is definitely my best accessory.
13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?
Detangling is frustrating at times, but there are a few things you can do to make the process more seamless.
14. Oils or Butters?
Generally, neither… although my hair has been reacting really well to Coconut Oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil lately.
15. Buns or Ponytails?
16. Wigs or Weaves?
17. What is your opinion of growth aids?
I believe that the most sustainable way to “grow” your hair is to master a technique that helps you retain maximum length. However, I will try Hairfinity for 30 days and will review my progress along the way, just for kicks.
18. At what length do you consider hair long?
Length is relative. All else equal, everyday my hair is longer than it was the day before. As long as I am retaining length, it’s long!
19. When is the last time you visited a salon?
My last salon visit was in April 2014 when I had my hair dyed. Before that, it was December 2013 when I had my hair straightened. Any other time I’ve been to the salon was to install braids/weave. I generally stay away from salons, except in those few circumstances when I needed it styled professionally. No one knows my hair better than me, so I prefer to do it myself.
20. What do you like to surf most often: YouTube channels, personal blogs, or hair forums?
At different points in my natural journey I have surfed all three. When I first went natural, YouTube was my primary source of information, but now I’m really interested in reading blogs.
21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out on their hair journey?
Your hair journey is your journey and it is unique to you. You should use any information you see online directionally, not as a be-all, end all. Unfortunately, studying natural hair is relatively new and based on trial and error. That said, don’t be afraid to try new products/ techniques and really take some time to learn your own hair! And don’t forget to share your knowledge with others along the way, so that we can continue improving hair growth within the natural hair community!
Tag! You’re it…
** thank you to Gugulethugraphy for the beautiful picture.
Miss Ije ❤