Naturals To Know: Allison
1 How long have you been a natural? Did you transition? If so, how?
I went natural back in 1996 or 1997 I believe. It’s been so long that I’m not sure about the year. I transitioned for about 9 or 10 months with roller sets and twist-outs. I would use tiny perm rods on the ends of my twists to help to disguise the straight ends. I also trimmed off a little relaxed hair every month.
2 Describe your hair in three words.
Dense, nappy, and fabulous.
3 How are you currently wearing your hair? What is your hair routine? What products do you use?
I normally wear my hair one of three ways: in a big fro, a twist-out, or a bun/updo. My routine is pretty simple. I shampoo and deep condition weekly. Right now I’m in love with KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp shampoo and conditioner. I shampoo once, towel dry, apply the conditioner, put on a plastic cap, and sit under the dryer for 30 minutes while I read a book.
After I rinse out the conditioner I use clamps to separate my hair into large sections. I squirt water on each section from my spray bottle, apply Moroccan oil, comb and brush through each section. I then put each section into a two strand twist. I don’t spend much time twisting my hair. I normally put it in 10-15 giant twists on wash day.
Finally, I allow my hair to air dry overnight and style it the next morning. Sometimes I brush it out into a big fro, but most of the time I throw it up into some sort of updo. Depending on the weather down here in Miami I may add a little gel or something.
4 Name one thing that you learned about your hair after becoming a natural.
If you leave your hair alone, then you get to keep more of it on top of your head.
5 Where else can we find you online?
6 A final word of advice for new naturals?
This first bit of advice is for those naturals who plan to style their own hair after they transition. I’m not a fan of transitioning with extensions, weaves, or a flat iron because you will need this time to get used to your kinks or curls. If you rely on weaves during your transition period, then you may have a rough time when you finally decide to wear your own hair in its kinky state. I often get emails and text messages from panicked women who just took out their weave and have no idea what to do.
I also believe that going natural isn’t an automatic reason to fire your hair stylist. There is a lot of great information online, but none of it can compare to the advice from a licensed professional. A great natural hair stylist can keep your hair looking fab.
Don’t go nuts with hair color and straightening. Your natural hair texture may not come back after you use heat or color. Using heat and color is a crap shoot because there are so many factors that come into play. I will use my own hair as en example. My hair is almost bra strap length. The hair at the ends takes longer to kink up after I wear it straight for a week because the ends are older than the roots. I had an experience with heat damage back in 2003. I used a flat iron on my hair after I used permanent color and my naps did not return, so I did big chop number two.
Finally, have some fun with your hair. Right now the online natural hair community is going bonkers with protective styling. Protective styles are cool, but you can wear your hair out from time to time. It won’t kill you.
Meet new naturals.