Monday, September 17, 2012

Healthy Hair Feature Update: Caroline

August 2012.  Fully natural.  About 2 years and 8 months since her last relaxer.

Caroline was previously featured in 2010 for her relaxed tresses in this post. Since then, she has transitioned and big chopped; she is officially natural now.  Read more about her decision to go natural and her current hair care journey below ...

1. What made you go natural?
I had really long hair. Every time I got a relaxer, then blow dried, and flat ironed, I looked like "slickhead", if that's a word.  I did not like the idea of texlaxing as an alternative - slightly textured hair.  I figured, why not just go all the way.  I went natural because I wanted volume and sheen. I didn't want my greasy, thin processed hair anymore.

October 2010. Texture shot after the big chop.

2. How long did you transition? How long have you been natural?
I transitioned for 10 months and big chopped in October 2010.  During my transition, I trimmed over time.

3. Describe your transition?
My transition was difficult because the two textures were competing against each other.  I had really processed, relaxed ends battling my thicker, kinky natural hair.
While transitioning, I initially did the Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) and blowouts at home.  That was about three times.  Then I switched to primarily blowouts.  NOTE: I knew I wanted to be a "press n' curl" natural.  

October 2010. Bob cut and press after the big chop.

4. What is your Healthy Hair routine now that you are natural?
I wash and condition every 2-3 weeks, primarily at a local natural salon.  At the salon, they use Elucence ; if I am washing at home, I use Oyin Honey Wash and Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner.  For my moisturizer, I use Oyin Whipped Butter and as needed.  At the salon, the styling process is as follows: They wash, condition, and then do a gentle detangling with a wide tooth comb before rinsing.  After rinsing, they apply Moroccan oil, then blowdry with a comb attachment, and then using the tension method.   After this step, they apply heat protectant, and then flat iron with one pass only using the FHI. If I am styling at home, I use the GHD flat iron instead.  I do not do touch-ups (with the flat iron); the style will last me 2-3 weeks.  In addition to my regimen, I take One-A-Day multivitamin.  I also dust every 3 months.

March 2012. Twistout on natural hair.
5. What is your Healthy Body routine? 
I workout 2x a week for at least 30 minutes each time.  My workout routine is a combination of circuit and strength training and cardio.  For my diet, I eat a lot of lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies, healthy fats (omega-3's), berries (anti-oxidants) like blackberries and raspberries, and dark leafy greens like kale and spring mixed greens.

6. What advice do have for those seeking healthy tresses?  What tips do you have for "press-n-curl" naturals?
My general advice is to continue to eat healthy and lead a healthy life. Keep active. Length will come. For "press n' curl" naturals: I do switch to all-natural styles if I need a break from the heat. Pay attention to your hair. It's a delicate balance. Assess the health of your hair regularly. Keep it moisturized. I think heat can be your friend if used in the right way.

February 2012.  Pressed and natural.

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