Hair Talk / Shereen Billings


Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Shereen, I’m 32 and based in London. I work for a Leading Retailer in IT Technical Training, Freelance Scriptwriter / Production Manager and Founder of Natural Notions by Shez.

How long have you been natural?

I have been natural for three years and 4 months.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

I had worn a relaxed, short pixie cut for many years and wanted to experiment with a different hairstyle. One of my options was to transition to natural, but I always talked myself out of it because of my fears of trying something completely new. However, the turning point to natural was when I was commissioned to write a Play called LITE (Living in Their Environment), which was based on skin bleaching and self acceptance. As part of my preparation I had to research the perception of beauty within the UK Afro Caribbean and Asian community by travelling the UK and Europe. It reminded me that I hadn’t seen my hair in its natural state since I was 13 years old, so I figured if I was going to write about self acceptance and love with conviction, I needed to live by my words and face some of my own self accepting challenges (and hair was one of them). In April 2011 I had a Big Chop and I’ve never looked back since. It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I love it.

Shereen / Before

Shereen / Before

What is your hair type/texture?

Some of my stylists have said that it is around the 4a/b type, although I don’t really break my hair down to a science/ type because I believe our hair is very individualistic. For example, my hair definitely has a mixture of textures and curl patterns. 

What’s the best thing about being/going natural?

It’s so versatile and less restrictive as I can wear it curly, coiled and straight. It can withstand all weathering conditions so no more hiding indoors fearing my relaxer will mess up when the heavens pours haha. Plus It’s so much cheaper to maintain, it's home grown (yes Monique I’m using your phrase lol) and it feels so liberating and carefree, I love it.

Shereen / Start of her natural hair journey

Shereen / Start of her natural hair journey

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

I usually manipulate my curls at the beginning of the week so that the style lasts longer (see tutorial below) and I co-wash every 2 days. I use bobbie pins to neaten it for work and hair accessories when I’m going out. 

Describe a typical washday.

I usually do wash and go’s every 2 days (Organix coconut conditioner) and I always shampoo and deep condition every 5-7 days using Organix coconut conditioner with honey and olive oil which i wrap and leave in overnight. 

What is your favourite go to hairstyle?

Wash and go with the tightly coiled afro for sure. It’s quick, easy and I’m busy so that works perfectly for me.

Shereen / Current

Shereen / Current

List your top 5 products and why.

  1. Organix coconut conditioner - This softens my hair and loosens my curls ready for detangling.
  2. Coconut Oil - It adds shine and retains moisture by penetrating and binding the hair to its internal proteins. 
  3. Olive Oil - Waitrose Extra Virgin. Weightless on hair and adds some serious shine as above.
  4. Jamaican Black Castor Oil - Seals my hair before adding gel.
  5. Ecostyler Gel - Olive Oil medium strength defines my curls without drying my hair.

If you could give advice to someone currently transitioning or thinking of transitioning, what would it be?

If you want it, then go for it, what have you got to lose?  At the end of the day, its hair which you can change at any point. Also, I would highly recommend that you research beforehand for tips on how to nurture your hair as it transitions. Or if your inpatient like me, do the Big Chop and start from fresh ha ha. But again ensure that you research as its best to be equipped and prepared for the changes to your hair care techniques and styling. As the saying goes, “if you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done...”

Can you recommend any websites/blogs that are great for providing hair advice, styles and inspirations?

Colored Beautiful. She’s amazing and the first You Tube tutorial I watched when researching. I still follow her to this day because you get no nonsense advice and tips on hair regiments, colouring styling and beauty. Taren Guy is also amazing; so inspirational and Natural Sisters too. They're the main channels that I follow, but there's so much more, so research and find the best ones for you. And err well you can visit the UK based Natural Notions by shez too (cough cough yes I’m self promoting haha).


Do you have a webpage/blog/twitter account where people can find you?

You Tube Channel -  Natural Notions by Shez
Facebook - Natural Notions by Shez 
Instagram - @naturalnotionsbyshez
Twitter - @nnotionsbyshez
Email - nnotions1@gmail.com 

 

Would you like to share you natural hair story? Contact me here.