Living No Lye | Shelly (TheCurlioness)
What are your reasons for going natural?
My reasons I wanted to become natural is because I wanted to have longer, more curly hair and I always wanted my hair to grow past my shoulder. I used to idolize girls who had long curly hair and I knew with me being mixed I had curly hair - it's just my hair was so severely damaged from a bad keratin blowout that left my curls completely none existent, more like a wave. My second reason was during the time I made my decision I entered hair school and I learned more about my hair and being a professional in my field. So, I wanted to look the part by starting with my hair if I want to give my clients the best healthy, voluminous, beautiful hair I would have to present what I can deliver to them by showing I take good care of my own hair. Presentation is everything.
How did you transition (or did you BC)?
I started transitioning in 2007 when I started school and I really didn't want to big chop because I have a round chubby face that I felt wouldn't look right on me had I chopped it all off. But I literally didn't know what I was don't at the time I tried YouTube and their natural hair community consist of Taren Guy and SunKissAlba I believe but I was on the hunt for someone close to my in growing hair type. So I literally was and still am a product junkie, and I mainly wore my wavy/curly hair in wash'n'gos because that's the only style I've seen around. I remember washing my hair everyday and reapplying Garner Fruitis gel and mousse (I know this is horrible lol). I stayed away from heat, which was good thing, only on here and there or on special occasions I straightened it.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
I think the only emotional struggle was during my sophomore year in college, majority of my curls were basically there and I've grown and trimmed the straight ends accordingly. But my front left side of my head still was straight, meanwhile the rest of my hair is curly like 3B texture. I finally gave up one day from growing it out and I literally cut it all out and that was 6-7 inches of my hair from my shoulders. Luckily I had straight across bangs at the time so it somewhat blended into my bangs until it finally grew out.
What's your go-to style?
My go to style is the wash'n'go! I love how big my hair gets over the days and plus I have a lot of hair so I become lazy when it comes to styling. I have tried Bantu knots when my hair was shorter but I will try that again. Buns are my favorite protective styles and I have done a perm rod and flex rod set on blown out hair.
What’s your favorite product and why?
My favorite product, oh lord I can't choose just one....but if anything I will have to give it to my Giovanni Direct Leave-in. For me styler weren't a issue finding to fit my regimen, leave-in were. I have medium texture (more on the fine side) hair, yes my hair is very dense but my strands are fine. So most leave-in left my hair very greasy and oily and made me look like a wet rat (and we all know that's not cute!). I wanted voluminous, big fluffy hair, so when I found this baby it was my savor! Even though it is a leave-in, it moisturizes without weighing down the hair which won me over, plus it's smells super fresh and clean, and is a lot a great detangler as well.
What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out?
My piece of to my beginning, is to find someone who has a similar texture to yours and please please please do NOT compare your hair to other girls! Don't go buying 1,000 products that cater to fine 3A textured girls when you have course 4B hair, so find someone who has similar hair to yours to begin your hair care regimen, if you are unsure where to start. Do the research before purchasing anything. Not everything will work it's all about trial and error when it come to styles, products, regimen anything.
Another tip is to DEEP CONDITION WEEKLY ! Do not skip a week! Whether you are transitioning, natural or relaxed hair needs moisture, preferably my curly haired chicks! My transitioners need it just as much dealing with two different textures at the same time! Invest in a good deep condition that is thick yet a good slip and a wide tooth comb (please take you're time and do not rip through your hair) and slather all over your hair and let it all soak in. Your hair needs a break too, this is the time to pamper it. Handle your hair with care and love, take your time combing through it so you don't get unnecessary breakage. My last tip, get a good trim every now and then. Now I know what most of you guys are thinking, yes I am not gonna lie there are hairstylists are VERY scissor happy and do not know how to handle ethnic or natural hair, but still do not go months on months without getting a trim. If you have a harder time detangling than usual, get single strand knot (SSK's I call them fairy knots) or your styles are not coming out right, it's time for a trim. Again, do the research search, find a stylist who is experienced or who specializes with your hair. Call the salon go in talk and consulate with the stylist and make sure they actually know what their talking about and are confident about it before you sit in their chair.