Naturals To Know: Martina
1 How long have you been natural? Did you transition? And if so, how?
My last relaxer was on June 7th, 2010. I had healthy relaxed hair and decided to transition to natural so I could experience my God-given texture. I knew a long term transition would be best for me because I didn’t want to chop all of my hair off all at once. My initial plan was to transition for 12 months, but I big chopped on April 1st, 2011, at 10 months post relaxer instead.
The transition was full of ups and downs but it got easier after the six month mark. The toughest part was managing two textures at one time. I tried braid outs and etc, but those didn’t really look right because the roots would be really curly and then the relaxed hair wasn’t as curly. I then decided bunning, high ponytails, and wearing lace front wigs were best for me. I also flat ironed my hair some in the beginning of my transition.
2 Describe your hair in three words.
I would describe my hair as cottony, curly, and cute! It’s also superrrrr thick.
3 How are you currently wearing your hair? What is your hair routine? What products do you use?
I have been a wash and go girl from day one. I wash and go every day. I don’t use any products that contain silicones and sulfates because I practice the curly girl method. This method works wonders for my hair. It is always moist and feels so healthy. As far as my routine goes, I do the following:
I finger comb my hair daily in the shower while it’s drenched in is conditioner. I use an actual comb (wide tooth) maybe once or twice a month to detangle my hair in the shower. Other than that, I simply use my fingers. This works well for me.
I shampoo my hair every other week (or less) with Shea Moisture Shampoo (it is sulfate free). I do not shampoo often because I prefer co-washing instead. Since I use organic products that are free of silicones and etc, I am able to get my hair clean with co-washing alone. For those of you who are new to the natural hair community, co-washing is when you wash your hair with conditioner instead of actual shampoo.
Most conditioners have enough cleansing ingredients to cleanse the hair without stripping it of moisture. Many shampoos contain a high level of sulfates that can strip your hair and leave it very dry. Therefore, I co-wash daily with either Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner or Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Conditioner. My hair is clean and likes the moisture.
Additionally, I do hot oil treatments with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) when needed. I will also sometimes add EVOO to my other conditioners, put on a plastic cap and sit under the hooded hair dryer for around thirty minutes for a deep treatment. I then rinse that out and move on to styling my hair.
As for my styling routine, I first apply some leave-in conditioner (either Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner or Kinky-Curly Knot Today). I then seal my hair with some Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO). After that I apply a gel to help keep the frizz to a minimum. I only use alcohol free gel. My favorites are Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, and IC Fantasia. After applying all of my products I normally just put my hair up in a puff. However, I do wear it down every now and then.
4 Name one thing that you learned about your hair after becoming a natural.
I have learned that natural hair isn’t hard to take care of at all. You simply have to learn what works for your hair. Also, natural hair is so diverse! There are so many types of curls, textures, and etc. I wish people would stop putting us in a box. Our hair is capable of so many great things, and I love that.
I think there is this perception that our hair has limited styling options and etc. But really I’ve discovered quite the opposite. I can have curly hair one day, flat ironed hair the next, and then do braids, braid outs, twist outs and etc. The possibilities are endless! And thanks to shrinkage, I can have short hair in it’s curly state and armpit length hair when it is flat ironed. I like to call it “magic hair” lol.
5 Where else can we find you online?
6 A final word of advice for new naturals?
I think the important thing to do is get to know your hair. Find out your hair type (porosity, density, texture, strand size and etc) because that will help determine what works best for your hair. You can’t always go by what works for others because we are all different. It will take a lot of trial and error, but that is all a part of the journey.
Also, patience is key. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this as well lol. Hair doesn’t grow down your back overnight, so if you desire length, just know it will come with time.
And lastly, don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about your decision to go natural. Some people might have a negative response to your decision, but just brush their negativity off. Focus on your journey and ignore those who don’t understand it.
Discover new naturals.