How long have you been natural and when did you BC?
I returned my hair to its natural state, via the "Big Chop," 3 years ago after having a perm for 10 years. I received my first perm in preparation for High School Prom.
What are your staple products and hairstyles?
My staple products include Eco-Styler Gel, water and any of the Shea Moisture styling products. There are many products that I use regularly but these are the ones that I repurchase before running out. My typical hairstyles include twist outs and braidouts because they are easy to maintain, manage and are also very versatile in terms of styling options.
What is your regimen?
My regimen revolves around a commitment to cleansing my hair once a week. This strategy is merely a preference as I like the smell and feel of clean hair and scalp. I usually detangle my hair during the conditioning process and braid the hair in manageable sections (this will vary for different hair types). As each section is detangled, it is then braided. Once braided, I can rinse out the conditioner with confidence that my hair will not return to its tangled state as I rinse it. Note: A reduction in tangles inherently results in a reduction in breakage. Afterwards I apply a styling product to the braided sections and once it dries (usually the next day), it's then in a stretched/detangled state which I can choose to wear fluffed out, pinned up, pushed back, slicked down, etc. This state of hair reaps curly, textured results which allows for many styling options, easily lasts 1 week and doesn't require any combing between washes. This sort of regimen is ideal for women who wash their hair once a week, have busy lifestyles or people who simply like worry-free/ low-manipulation hair maintenance.
What are your natural hair goals? My goal on a regular basis is to create looks for my hair which will compliment my beauty and personal style. I have no tangible goals for my hair.
How do you keep your hair intact overnight? To keep my hair intact, I normally rebraid my hair in medium to large sections and cover with a satin bonnet or satin scarf. I almost never add additional products to my hair unless the hair is dry/brittle. In this case I'll add a small mist of water and a lesser amount of product than what was originally used. Depending on the specific look that I want, I may apply tools such as soft rollers or I may roll the hair into bantu knots and secure with bobby pins. It all depends but either way, my hair is almost always braided and covered with a satin bonnet or satin scarf.
How do you maintain length? I maintain length with low-manipulation styles, no "chemicals," and a steady, 'easy-to-commit-to' routine. Sometimes healthy-looking hair prospers not from what you put in it, but from that which you do not... like color, for example. I think many women are so concerned with ridding their hair of the damaging effects of relaxers, that they forget the damaging effects of other such chemicals as well. I made the mistake of abusing color at the beginning of big chopping and experienced some very devastating results with my hair which intensified after about 6 months post application. A flawed logic led me to believe that relaxer-free hair was not as susceptible to chemical damage from color as natural hair. This is a soothing yet ridiculous myth. As for my personal results, having tried color on both my relaxed and natural hair, there were no differences between the damaging effects on my relaxed hair vs my natural hair. In both cases I experienced extreme breakage, dryness, split ends, etc. I have since gotten rid of the color, by trimming it slowly, and  it took me 1.25 years to grow it completely out. Since then, I've been able to retain growth by continuing the same routine that I had practiced when I had the color in my hair. Making poor hair-related choices can be damaging to your hair as well as your ego so I do think it's healthy for everyone, whether concerned with length or not, to take good care of their hair. Ladies who not wish to have length should simply cut their hair, not watch it fall out.
Name 1 reason you went natural and why you love being natural. I went natural because I was tired of the monotony of getting perms and I was growing weary of the straight, hay-like texture that my hair was becoming. To be honest, I went natural after simply standing in the mirror one day and noticing that my "new growth" was gorgeous to me after all these years of perms. I figured I would look stylish with short curly hair rather than long, straight hair. Essentially, I made a vanity-related decision that has since changed the way I view my hair and the hair of everyone around me. I love being natural because it puts me in a class of my own. The odds are so much lower that there is another person out there with the exact same hair texture, curl pattern or hair style as me. Ever since I went back natural I feel as though my face is prettier, my clothes seem trendier and my confidence is perceived stronger than any "hair" that I've ever worn before.
Kind regards, Vaughn AKA MsVaughnTV on YouTube "Natural Hair Extraordinaire!"
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