Hair Talk / Nadine Golding

Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Nadine, a small town girl originally from Nottingham. I moved to London three years ago for my dream job in marketing. 

How long have you been natural?

I’ve always been natural. I’m too much of a chicken to do anything too drastic. I traditionally wore my hair straight with the use of the hot combs and then straightening irons. I started wearing my natural curls on 1st October 2014 and I’ll never forget it, it was the start of an amazing journey. 

Why did you make the decision to wear your natural curls?

I decided to go ‘all out’ natural and embrace my curly tresses after I saw the incredible and at the time irreversible damage I was causing to my hair due to heat. Literally, my hair was breaking off leaving piles of strands on the floor. 

What’s the best thing about being natural?

For me it’s the learning. Not just about my hair, her texture, her type, her porosity level and what she likes and dislikes. But about myself too. I’ve learnt more about myself in this past year and four months than I ever have before. It’s really weird to say but my hair has changed me. I see me in all my naked, curly glory – lol. My hair (I like to call her Divine), and I have truly arrived! I’m stronger and more confident than ever and I love it!

What is your hair type/texture?

I’ve got a few. I'd say I’m a 4a at the back and a 3c everywhere else. I also have extremely low porosity hair, so my strands don't absorb water very well and takes ages to dry. I use heat to help with absorption when deep conditioning - I couldn’t live without my portable hooded dryer. And I seal the moisture in by rinsing out my co-wash and conditioners with cool water. My hair strands are fine but I have a lot of them!

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

Normally it’s a wash and go now my hair has a little length and my hairdresser has cut my hair into a proper shape. On a Saturday I’d set my wash and go using the LOC method and seal with a little Eco Styler gel (the aloe vera one is my fave). Wash and gos last for about three to four days before I have to pull my hair into one and pay close attention to just the right amount of flick on my edges. I spray my hair night and day with water – that’s a must!

Describe a typical washday.

Erm, correction – wash days! Lol. So I start off on a Friday night with a coconut pre poo. I drench my hair with coconut oil, finger detangle, twist up my hair loosely into four twists then sit for an hour with a plastic cap on. Then I co-wash my with As I Am Coconut Co-wash and finger detangle. Once my hair is clean and thoroughly rinsed out, I apply my deep conditioner of choice (I love the Shea Moisture‘s Jamaica Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Treatment Masque), wrap my hair with cling film, add a towel and sleep.

In the morning I wash the masque out, apply my leave in conditioner of choice (Shea Moisture’s Jamaica Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave In Conditioner), add my home made oil mix to my scalp and strands and then coat my hair with my conditioner of choice (Shea Moisture’s Jamaica Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Conditioner). Finally I add Eco Styler Gel.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle?

I’d say my twist and curl outs! This style I can rely on. The results are always consistent and it’s really easy to do with minimal manipulation.

Nadine - Left: Wash n Go / Right: Twist out with perm rods

What’s your favourite protective hairstyle?

High bun defo. It’s just super classy and again effortless. Just got to make sure those edges are on point! 

List your top 5 products and why.

  1. As I Am Co-wash Conditioner – leaves my hair feeling super clean without making it feel dry. There’s a lot of slip which makes detangling for me a doddle.
  2. Shea Moisture Jamaica Black Castor Oil Leave in Conditioner. This leaves my hair super moisturised without weighing it down. Jamaica black castor oil.
  3. Peppermint essential oil. Love this little bottle of magic! Teamed with my carrier oils this is a great scalp stimulant.
  4. Eco Styler Gel Aloe Vera – this is very reliable and gives me that sleek look without flaking. I use this on my edges too.
  5. I use this with a mix of oils really for my scalp massages and when doing the LOC method. I believe this is the secret ingredient for hair growth and I use this on my eyebrows too.

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

Don’t give up and be patient. Remember healthy hair has to come before the length!

Describe your natural hair in three words.

I can name it in just one – DIVINE!

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

Of course – tweet me @QTgolding 



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

Hair Talk / Allyson Trunzer


Photo by: Nichole Fleming

Photo by: Nichole Fleming

Tell us your name and where you are from?

Hi everyone! My name is Allyson Trunzer. I live in Toronto, Canada, and work as a theatre/ dance performer, dance teacher’s assistant and barista. I’m also finishing up studies to become a certified ESL teacher. 

How long have you been natural?

I’ve never relaxed my hair, but I did have a history of using generalised products, chemical bleaches/dyes and flat ironing. I discontinued flat ironing and started investing in more natural products in the fall of 2013. I also started using henna in replacement of chemical dyes since this past summer. 

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

Earlier in 2013, I experienced a lot of breakage/ shedding plus heat damage from sun exposure and constantly flat ironing my hair. In the fall of 2013, I got a job at Toronto’s popular and trendy natural hair, skincare & wellness store, Honeyfig. It was there that I was encouraged to stick to a consistent regimen, be aware of product ingredients and start treating my hair on a consistent basis. My hair has been a lot stronger, fuller, and healthier ever since! 

What is your hair type/texture?

I have 3b/ 3c curls and finer strands. 

Photo by: Ellana Delmar @ellanaphotography

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

I’ll do a wash n’ go then style my hair in a pineapple, high bun or low ponytail during the week. 

Describe a typical washday.

“Wash day” is usually on a Saturday or Sunday and I wait 7 days before the next one. I’ll style it as a wash n’ go, then on the second/ third day, I’ll re-mist my hair with water and reapply a bit of leave in conditioner/ styler.  If I’m working out a lot during the week, I’ll co-wash 3-4 days after the weekend, skip the conditioner and follow up with the leave in and styler. 

 My typical “wash day”:

  1. Wash w/ Earthtones Naturals’ Curl Cleanse Moisturizing & Conditioning Shampoo. Apply and rinse with warm water. 
  2. Deep Condition w/ Brown Butter Beauty’s Babassu Butter Love. Leave in and use wide-tooth comb or fingers to detangle. Rinse out after 30 minutes with cool water. (Once/ month I use Bekura’s Vanilla Whiskey Repairing Hair Soak as a protein treatment instead of BBB). 
  3. Scrunch out excess water out of hair with old cotton T-shirt. 
  4. Apply leave in (Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Leave In Conditioner) and rake through hair with fingers.
  5. Style with Design Essentials Daily Moisturising Lotion w/ Jojoba Oil, and a dab of Morrocco Method’s Euro Oil to seal & finish! 

NB: Once my hair is less damp, I use my fingers to tease/ shake out my roots for volume.  

What is your favourite go to hairstyle?

I put my hair in a high bun on the daily! 

List your top 5 products and why.

  1. Favourite Shampoo: Earthtones Naturals’ Curl Cleanse Moisturiing and Conditioning Shampoo
  2. Favourite Protein Deep Conditioner: Bekura Vanilla Whiskey Repairing Hair Soak
  3. Favourite Leave In: Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Leave In
  4. Favourite Styling Gel: Earthones Natural’s Curl Define Curl Enhancing Gelly
  5. Favourite Styling Butter: Darcy’s Botanicals’ Sweet Cocoa Bean Moisturizing Hair Whip

NB: Some of these brands are made in Canada and are available online @Honeyfig.

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

Keep in mind that the process is about trial and error and what may work for you, may not work for someone else and vice versa. It’s just important to remain patient, read the product labels, and monitor which ingredients work best for your hair. Just being consistent and focusing on the health of you hair rather than immediate style will give your hair better results in the long run!  

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

Facebook: Allyson Reanne Trunzer
Instagram: allysontrunzer
Email: allyson.trunzer@gmail.com

 

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

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.

 

Hair Talk / Noémie Dufay


Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Noémie Dufay, I’m 20 and I live in France.  Both my parents are from the Caribbean. I’ve been natural for over a year now and it's been an awesome journey!

How long have you been natural?

I’ve been natural for one year and 2 months exactly! 

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

I decided to go natural when I realised that I didn’t like the actual look of my relaxed hair. What actually made me relax in it in the first place was the convenience. I thought it would be easier to take care of my hair when relaxed (it happened to be the exact opposite lol). So I started checking out blogs and I fell in love with a couple naturalist's and I big chopped in April 2013. It’s the best decision I’ve taken so far. 

What is your hair type/texture?

I’m not sure what my hair type is. It seems to have difference textures; I would say either 4b or 4c. 

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

For my frohawk, I simply apply some leave-in conditioner and gel to my hair. I then wet it a little, use a brush and then put a hair band on. I also use bobby pins to fix it and then I’m done. For my wash and go’s, I just put my favourite leave-in conditioner on damp hair and then I’m good to go. 

Describe a typical wash day

I usually do wash and go's. I also deep condition my hair once a week, using my favourite deep-conditioner Hair Mayonnaise by DOP. I like to add some olive oil and then I leave it for about an hour. Then I co-wash it, as I don’t use shampoo very often because I’ve realised that it dries out my hair.  I co-wash every 2 days.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle? 

I love doing wash and go's. It’s so easy to do and it looks cute! I also like frohawk's and putting my hair in a puff as well. 

List your top 5 products

  1. Palmers Conditioner (olive oil)
  2. Palmers Olive Oil
  3. DOP Mayonnaise Deep Conditionner
  4. Garnier’s Leave-In
  5. Olive Oil Anti Frizz

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

I would recommend Alyssa Forever, she has a channel on YouTube and her tutorials are very nice! Also, I would recommend Beautiful Naturelle, she is French but I think some of her videos are translated in English! ;-) 

 

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

 

 

 

Hair Talk / Kasey LeGall


Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Kasey LeGall, i'm 26 years old and i live in Leicester. I currently work in recruitment in the Compliance Department.

How long have you been natural?

I've been natural for 9 years and i've had various different styles and colours (so many of them).

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

I was mainly bored of my hairstyle and i found that couldn’t do much with it being relaxed. However I also wanted to move away from the chemicals, hair breakage, re-growth and scalp burn.

What is your hair type/texture?

Even though I have a white British mother, my hair is very thick, course and bushy with both curls and frizz (depends how lazy I am with it). But I’m very fortunate as my hair grows at an extreme rate.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

I use pins, grips, headbands and scarves to create different looks, but have to keep it fairly professional for work. I had a mohawk at one point but it didn’t go down very well, so i shaved it off. 

Describe a typical wash day

I wash my hair once every 1-2 weeks. I’m very active and go to the gym five times a week, as well as bike everywhere so as you can imagine my hair and scalp gets very sweaty and itchy. At my current length I try not to wash it too much, just a rinse if I start to feel my scalp getting irritable. After washing it I apply Argan oil (a fair amount) and Soft ‘n’ Free styling gel to my hair.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle? 

Pinned sides to give a Mohawk look.

List your top 5 products

  • Argan oil
  • Soft ‘n’ Free Styling gel
  • Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner
  • Curls Rock by Tigi Catwalk

 

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

Hair Talk / Rozanda Fadiora

Roz / Protective style

Roz / Protective style

Tell us your name and where you are from?

Hi my name is Rozanda… (aka RocStar according to Mighty Mo) from the sunny parts of South East London! Currently on maternity leave looking after our gorgeous bambino! 

How long have you been natural?

Difficult question to answer straight so bear with me… All will be revealed!
August 2008 was the last time I had relaxed my hair… Until I was convinced that I needed to texturize (relaxer really) my hairline ONLY for my wedding 2010. So technically  since 2010/11.

Rozanda / Before

Rozanda / Before

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

August 2008 went to my usual hairdresser for a relaxer only to be told she had left and therefore I'd been left in the hands of a stranger! (My sisters and I only ever went to hairdressers based on recommendation i.e. – “good looking hair”) so here I was faced with a predicament I had a major interview for a blue chip company the following morning and my hair was in need of a relaxer (3months old growth). The lady that was scheduled to do my hair said wow you have alot of growth! So she offered me some magazines to read and started. Bit by bit before I knew it she had pulled the relaxer to the ends of my hair! We all know what damage that could do... She basically over-processed and weakened the already relaxed hair. That was it I called my sisters crying my eyes out and said “I ain’t relaxing no more!” I was sick of having to find a good hairdresser that didn’t want to burn the life out of my hair! Sick of the ridiculous prices they wanted to charge etc. Anyway my hair took a bashing but thank God I was not left with bald patches. 

Rozanda / Natural

Rozanda / Natural

What is your hair type/texture?

Oh boy… Hard, thick and very nappy! I think its 4B very tight coils.

Rozanda / Transitioning

Rozanda / Transitioning

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

Hair styling is very basic! It’s usually styled in chunky twist which are either pinned up or let down for one week then the following week I will rock a twist out… which usually last the whole week. However if I have been lazy and slept without tying my hair down I’d have to use Eco Styler and pull it up into a high puff or bun with a pompadour.

Rozanda / Natural

Rozanda / Natural

Describe a typical wash day.

Fortnightly I start on a Thursday night by thoroughly wetting my hair, section, oil with Avocado, Olive and Almond, comb and brush (Denman) into loose large chunky plaits cover with shower cap until Friday night, wash and condition with Karen’s body beautiful. Detangle the sections oil and twist with Shea Moisture curling gel soufflé and use the smoothie on the ends for extra moisture.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle? 

Chunky Twist – So versatile.

Rozanda / Chunky twist

Rozanda / Chunky twist

List your top 5 products

My top 5 favourite products that I use to make up the basis of my own mixtures are: 

  • Karen’s body beautiful Naturally Chic shampoo & Conditioner
  • Shea moisture Curling Souffle
  • Shea moisture Smoothie
  • Almond, Olive & Avocado oil mix
  • Water/Rose Water
Rozanda / Favourite products

Rozanda / Favourite products

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

TBH don’t have time these days , just google natural hair… actually I did get some hairstyle inspiration from SimplYounique on YouTube.

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

Go for it…. Don’t be fooled it is a very difficult journey especially if like me all you know is straight hair. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! There were a few times I wanted to go back but the support I got from my husband really helped! You don’t have to go for the BC although it would help because as a good friend said new year! new hair! – You are reeducating yourself and getting to know your new natural hair. TBH I kinda took the easy option, I kept getting my hair pressed so I still had straight hair until I realised this was just as bad as relaxing, the heat damage your hair sustains cannot be rectified unless it’s chopped off.  Whichever way you decide to go there’s heaps of videos available online from people that have already walked this path.

 

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

 

 

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Hair Talk / Nadine Golding
Hair Talk / Allyson Trunzer
Hair Talk / Shereen Billings
Hair Talk / Noémie Dufay
Hair Talk / Kasey LeGall

Hair Talk / Nadene Thomas


Nadene / Natural

Nadene / Natural

Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Nadene Thomas and i currently live in Finchley as a Administrator. 

How long have you been natural? 

I've been natural for 4 years.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

Relaxing my hair needed a lot of attention if it wasn't treated regularly. Plus i felt that by going natural it would prevent breakage along with using natural products.

What is your hair type/texture?

I would say my hair is type 4B.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

Massage my scalp every night using my finger tips. I also use my coconut oil and olive oil mix along with Eco styling gel for styling.

Nadene / Naturally straight

Nadene / Naturally straight

Describe a typical wash day.

I may do a pre-poo wash - saturating the hair with conditioner and leaving it in over night/most of the day. Alternatively I would shampoo my hair with Creme of Nature Argan Oil shampoo followed by Creme of Nature Argan Oil conditioner.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle?

Extensions (plaits) or china bumps (aka bantu knots) using my coconut oil mix and Eco styling gel which leaves me with a curly Sue effect the next day.

Nadene / Protective style

Nadene / Protective style

List your top 5 products

Coconut oil (mix with Shea butter, Jojoba oil), Olive oil, Du Gro Mega growth oil and Olive oil Eco styling gel.

Nadene / Products

Nadene / Products

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

Black Girl With Long Hair 

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

Make natural oils your best friend. Coconut Oil and Olive oil will revitalise your hair helping it to grow strong and stay soft.

 

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

Blog
Hair Talk / Shereen Billings
Hair Talk / Noémie Dufay
Hair Talk / Kasey LeGall
Hair Talk / Rozanda Fadiora
Hair Talk / Nadene Thomas

Hair Talk / Rebekah McCollin


Rebekah / Natural

Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is  Rebekah McCollin and i currently live in London, working part-time and studying full-time. 

How long have you been natural?

I have been natural for 2 years and 4months.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

Many things made me look at being natural. Constant rejection of my own hair began to feel like self hatred and I was not raised to hate myself therefore I was behaving contrary to who I actually am but for who's benefit? Bad relaxers and damaged hair are the reasons that I put in braids; not realising I was 'Protective Styling'. While my hair was braided I looked around me at people I knew or was related to, some of them had virgin hair which was beautiful, healthy and alive. At that stage I acknowledged that it was laziness and miseducation that made me not care after my own hair in its natural state. 

Rebekah / Transitioning

Rebekah / Transitioning

What is your hair type/texture?

I have discovered that I am a 4 hair type. My texture ranges through a,b&c; I have all 3 textures of grade 4 type hair which has been a revelation due to thinking I was 4c only.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

I don't have a weekly styling regimen, I just do what I feel. Wash and condition when needed, but I do aim to protective style for the majority of the week.

Describe a typical wash day.

A typical wash day consists of an oil pre poo and finger detangle, diluted shampoo wash, followed by a conditioning treatment which is normally left overnight. Wash out conditioner with water only; then finally rinse with almond oil and water. I then t-shirt dry my hair; at this stage I will do the L.O.C method and twist up my hair to lock in the moisture.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle? 

My favourite go-to style would be my 'up puff'. Because I have 4a hair around my edges I am able to achieve a nice smooth finish therefore this look is quick and easy to achieve.

List your top 5 products

My top 5 favourite products that I use to make up the basis of my own mixtures are: 

  •                Shea Butter (Raw)
  •                Aloe Vera Gel
  •                Castor Oil
  •                Water
  •                100% Coconut Oil

Rebekah /  Top 5 products

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

YouTube has been my friend for information or sources of research. I think that blogging and websites are great but there is nothing better than personal experience. Inspiration is needed for many of us and I have too been inspired; Kimmaytube, Beautiful Brown Baby Doll and the Greenchannel have been of upmost help during my natural progress.

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

I would say, have fun and do research. Understand your own texture and to not spend to much energy on wishing for the hair texture or type of others. In general I would advise them ALL to not define their beauty by other races standards.

 

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

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Hair Talk / Diana Higgins


Diana / Sisterlocs

Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Diana Higgins and i currently live in London as a HR Business Partner.

How long have you been natural?

I have been natural for 12years.

Why did you make the decision to go natural? 

I’d been thinking of going natural for about a year but actually always knew I wanted dreadlocks at some point of my hair journey.  In fact thinking about it I wanted dreadlocks for about 10 years but always came up with excuses as to why I couldn’t! For example “how will I manage my hair”, “I’m not confident enough to rock this J”, “what will they think at work” (mainly as I work in a very corporate environment).  I’d also come to the point where I wasn’t comfortable using relaxers anymore because having to wear gloves to put the ‘creamy crack’ in my head just didn’t make sense!  In the end I started my transition by having hair extensions for a year to grow out the relaxer.  I then embarked on my dreadlock journey.  I absolutely loved my dreadlocks and had them for approximately 10 years before deciding to embark on my Sisterlocks journey.  This I started in Jan 2012 and have been in love ever since.  Sisterlocks allow the versatility of styling that I felt was slightly limited with dreadlocks.

Diana / Before transitioning

Diana / Before transitioning

What is your hair type/texture?

Not being a hair expert I would say my hair is a mixture of 4B/4C.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

Easy!  When it comes to my Sisterlocks, one of the greatest benefits is you can literally shake and go, so automatically that saves me about 20 minutes in the morning which equates to extra sleep time! J.  When it comes to a specific regimen I don’t actually have one of yet.  My Sisterlocks are only 2 years old and have only just really started to fully loc and so I have followed the instructions of my consultant by not putting any products in my hair at all!  That said, at least once a week I will spray with a mixture of water and rosewater just to give it a little bit of moisture. 

Diana / Day of Installation

Diana / Day of Installation

Describe a typical wash day. 

When it comes to washing my hair, I tend to do this every 2 weeks and alternate between the Sisterlock shampoo and a Lupine Sugar Shampoo which is made with love and care by the wonderful Annette Clarkley of Almocado. At the beginning of my Sisterlock journey I did have very dry scalp and found it very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I wasn’t allowed to put any products in my hair.  However as time has gone on my scalp has improved immensely and on doing a little bit of research I realize that my dry scalp was actually caused by the products I used to use in my hair.  Over time the hair follicles become blocked and as the hair grows it pushes the products to the surface which can result in dry scalp.

What is your favourite go to hairstyle?

When I have time it is usually the Mohawk.  I absolutely love this style.

List your top 5 products 

  • Water
  • Rosewater 
  • Sisterlocks Shampoo
  • Lupine Sugar Shampoo

Sorry only 4 for now! 

Diana / Products

Diana / Products

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

Oh my gosh where do I start!  As well as subscribing to various You Tube channels by the likes of Chescalocs, NaturalNikkiDST, LovingMyLocks and Brittania718 just to name a few!!  My main go to sites would have to be:

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

Don’t hesitate and go for it!! It is a wonderful journey and no matter how you choose to wear your natural hair I’m sure it will bring with it a feeling of liberation!  I would also advise them to do their research.  Products and techniques that may have worked on relaxed hair may not necessarily work on or for natural hair.  For example last year I came across the LOC method – Liquid, Oil, Cream.  This method allows you to keep your natural hair soft and provides all the moisture it needs.  I use it on my daughter’s natural hair and it has been an absolute blessing.  I use a mixture of Jamaica Black Castor Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil which works on her hair, but i have been told that the Jamaica Black Castor Oil is too heavy for relaxed hair, so I would say research is an important part of starting your journey.

 

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

Hair Talk / Mo


Mo 

Mo 

Tell us your name and where you are from?

My name is Monique Thomas (the creator of moniquethomas.co.uk) and I'm a graphic designer living in London.

How long have you been natural?

I’m not 100% natural as yet, but I’ve been transitioning from September 2012 (18 months).

Mo / Before going natural

Mo / Before going natural

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

In 2005 I coloured my relaxed hair just in time for summer. A few weeks later I got my friend to re-touch the roots, but I made the mistake of not moisturising the coloured part of my hair beforehand. This ended in a complete and utter disaster. Whilst rinsing out the relaxer, my hair started to fall out from the roots. This was one of the worse days of my life.

The saving grace was that my hair fell out just in front of my crown and just before my hairline, so I was able to cover the bald patch with other parts of my hair. Phew! But I had a major problem…what do I do now? I didn’t want to relax my hair again, as I feared the worse (as you would) for my hair. I wasn’t a fan of weaves, extensions and wigs, so I was unsure what my options were as I’ve been relaxing my hair since I was 16 years old. It did cross my mind to go natural but my memories of natural hair consisted of dry, nappy, tough, difficult hair that was too much deal with. So I took the risk and I went with what I knew…the creamy crack.

Over the years I often ask myself what I plan to do with my hair. Because God only knows that I couldn't take another fall out. Having seen my cousin go from having relaxed hair to beautiful locs, going on holiday to the Caribbean and seeing all those women with stunning, healthy, long natural hair. I was inspired and I knew this was what I wanted. BUT how can I transition from relaxer to natural hair without the fear of how I was going to look? I didn’t have an answer, so I chickened out and continued relaxing. 

In 2009 I saw a movie called ‘Good Hair’ by Chris Rock, it was an eye opener for me. The movie not only highlights the issues of how black women perceive their hair, but also how the hair industry and 'clever' marketing pushes what they believe is acceptable and desirable for black women's hair. It goes into depth about the effects a relaxer has on our hair and scalp. It was at that point I knew I had to start my transition from relaxer to natural hair sooner rather than later.

In September 2012 I finally made the decision to grow out my relaxer and pursue my journey to natural hair. Yey! I started to do some research and came across a few photos of Solange Knowles (who is my fashion muse) with her natural hair and fell in love. Her confidence, style and vibe drew me in and I was sold.  When she rocked her box braids, it definitely pushed me in the right direction and I decided that box braids was the best way for me to start my journey. I love retro, funky styles and this 90’s style was right up my street.

I wore my box braids for over a period of 6 months and within that time I considered different options for when the time came for me to take out my braids. Prior to this I had never allowed my re-growth to be on show for longer than 8 weeks, so I needed something that was going to make transitioning as easy as possible.

I did some research and I discovered a keratin treatment by Arosci called Intensive Restructuring SystemI clearly wasn't ready or prepared to deal with two textures (as well as letting go of having bone straight hair) at this point, so i got some advice from my lovely hair dresser Carol to see if my hair was suitable for this treatment. Thankfully it was and i was so pleased with the results. [My review on the Arosci IRS treatment will be posted soon.]

Mo /  Transitioning / Keratin treatment

Mo /  Transitioning / Keratin treatment

September 2013 was the last time i re-applied the treatment, so i tend to style my hair with twists outs, updo’s and protective styles when necessary. I now enjoy seeing; touching and playing with my hair more than ever, so I can’t wait to see how it will look once I do the big chop (cut off the relaxed ends).

Mo / Protective Style - Box Braids

Mo / Protective Style - Box Braids

What is your hair type/texture?

I’m no hair expert but I’d say that my hair type is 4B with some 4C. 

Mo / Natural roots with relaxer on the ends

Mo / Natural roots with relaxer on the ends

Describe your styling regimen over the course of a week.

My styling regimen over the course of a week usually consists of the following…

  • Moisturising my hair daily with my homemade water spritz (water, aloe vera and oils) and moisturizing cream 
  • Daily scalp massages 
  • Bantu knots/Flat twists out
  • Up do’s (after the curls become less defined)

Describe a typical washday.

Since the start of my natural hair journey, I really look forward to washdays, as my hair seems to respond better when it’s clean and freshly moisturised. My typical washday consists of the following…

  • Pre-poo (this refers to applying oils and/or a conditioner to the hair before shampooing) using coconut/jojoba/shea butter/castor/olive oil and/or my leave in conditioner.
  • Co-wash using As I Am Coconut Cowash (I only shampoo when I need to, which tends to be once a month if that).
  • Condition using As I Am Hydration Elation or Organic Hair Mayonnaise and I mix it with honey with coconut, olive and jojoba oil.
  • Moisturise using Giovanni Direct Leave in conditioner and/or Crème of Nature Argan Oil leave in conditioner, As I Am Moisturizing Milk and my homemade oil mixture (coconut/jojoboa/shea butter/castor/olive oil).

What is your favourite go to hairstyle?

My favourite go to style is a Frohawk (afro Mohawk) after a twist out. Or an up do (pompadour), which is a protective style that is easy to create and maintain, so I love it.

Mo /  FroHawk

Mo /  FroHawk

List your top 5 products.

  1. Virgin coconut oil
  2. As I Am Coconut Cowash 
  3. Ecostyler gel
  4. Homemade oils mix 
  5. Wide tooth comb
Mo / Products

Mo / Products

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

I follow quite a few websites/blogs, so I’ll list four of my favourites below…

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

Don’t do it…only joking. Lol.

My advice to those transitioning or thinking of transitioning is research, research and more research. I can’t stress how important it is to educate yourself in order to achieve the best for your hair. There are so many different products, techniques and regimens that may work for some but not necessarily work for you. 

On a lighter note have fun with it, experiment and embrace your natural beauty. 

Now say it loud and say it proud…TEAM NATURAL BABY!

 

Are you currently transitioning or thinking about transitioning?

How are you finding it?