Naptural Beauty of the Week: Michelle

What made you decide to go natural?
The decision to go natural was pretty easy for me. I read a book from Cathy Howse, Thinning Edges. It scared the heck out of me. I stopped relaxing.

Did you Big Chop or did you Transition?
I guess you could say it was a combination of both. I transitioned by getting my roots blown at the Dominican salons here in NY (every two weeks….but I don’t recommend it). When I had new growth down to my neck, I went to a stylist and let him chop off the rest of the relaxer. I never looked back.

What were some of your fears/concerns going into going natural?
I didn’t have any real concerns or fears. I didn’t know what to expect really. I was excited though. I hadn’t seen my real hair texture since I was little (and who could remember that!). I only saw pictures. My mom told me I had this really curly hair and I couldn’t wait to see it.
It’s difficult to really see your true texture when transitioning too. I only fully noticed what my hair was like when I was fully natural. It doesn’t appear to be the same as it was when I was little but it’s  much longer now and I suspect that gravity has something to do with the stretch.
Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision to go natural.
I’m happy I went natural because  for one I LOVE my  hair texture. I can style it any way I want. If I want it straight, it’s easily stretched with Curlformers. It looks almost bone straight when I use them (not often). When I want it curled or curly, twisted or braided, I have so many options. Also, when it rains I no longer get upset when I don’t have an umbrella LOL. My hair just curls right up and it’s actually pretty fierce in the rain!
What are some of your favorite hair products?
I am a recovering product junkie! I still use what some people would consider a lot of products so I’ll stick with the brands. My favorite brands are Aubrey Organics, Shea Moisture, As I Am and Wonder Curl. Everything I use comes from those brands other than natural butters and oils. I also really like Curl Prep’s Sweet Buttah and Bee Mine Holding Butter for twists. I just discovered Bee Mine not too long ago.
Current hair regimen?
My hair regimen is pretty consistent but detailed:
Daily: Oiling my strands to prevent tangles. I usually do this at night so the oil has a chance to absorb into the hair.
Weekly: Pre-poo/Finger Detangle, Wash (I cowash every other week), Deep Condition (sans protein), Rinse with a slippy conditioner, and finish off with a final green tea cream rinse before sealing with leave in, oil and styling
Biweekly to Monthly: Protein treatment
Quartery: Henna
For complete details on my hair regimen, you can visit http://radiant-brown-beauty.com/revised-curly-hair-care-regimen. Some of the products have changed a little but not much.
What do you enjoy the most about being natural?
I enjoy playing in my hair! I love the styling options I have now. Many styles I rock require my hair to be textured, something I couldn’t do when I was relaxed.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering going natural or a newly natural?
For some, caring for natural hair is easy but that’s not the experience of most. You have to take the time to learn your hair. That may require trying different products. The one constant is that what you are used to doing to your hair will change. As the hair grows, the products you use and the techniques you use may change.  Be patient and  keep a hair journal to track your products & practices.  Let your hair teach you what it likes and doesn’t like. Never go by what someone else says. You can try what others do but don’t stick to it if your hair isn’t feeling it.
Make sure to follow Michelle on all of her social networks!
Youtube: http://youtube.com/user/reviyve (Michelle Howard)
Instagram: @radiantbrownbeauty

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