What is your name and your profession? Takiyah Shealy - I'm a Systems Integration and Management Consulting professional in the Oil and Gas Industry

Why did you go natural? My SCALP! About two years after my first relaxer, I developed a mild case of Seborrheic Dermatitis and it progressed very severely within about five years. Plus, I couldn't deal with the chemical burns any longer. Even with the "mildest" of relaxers, I would still get burned pretty badly. How long have you been natural and when did you BC? It will be three and a half years exactly, as of October 10th, 2013. What are your staple products and hairstyles? My tried and true favorites are: For Cleansing - Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo and Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo For Deep Conditioning - Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment and Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner (I buy these in increments of 4-6 at a time, I don't play when it comes to my Jessicurl!) For Leave-In Conditioning - Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner For Styling - A homemade vegetable butter mix that includes Shea, Cupuaçu, Cocoa, and Mango butters, 3-4 carrier oils, aloe vera juice or gel, and a preservative. And water! I normally don't add much more than water and a light oil, or the aforementioned butter mix to my hair during the week for refreshing/restyling. Sometimes I'll use my leave-in conditioner if my hair is dry, but I don't want to deal with the extra shrinkage I'll get by misting with water. I also love Entwine Couture's Creme Jelly Styler, I haven't found another product that performs the way that it does. What are your natural hair goals? To stop being so rough and lazy on my tresses! I have very thick/dense, coarse hair, and it takes a LOT of work on wash day. Although my scalp is relatively sensitive, I'm not "tender-headed", so it's easy for me to rip my own hair out with combs without realizing it. How do you keep your hair intact overnight? By covering my hair with a satin bonnet and/or by sleeping on a satin pillowcase. I think I have 4-6 bonnets floating around the house! How do you maintain length? By trimming/dusting my ends quarterly, and keeping my hair in two strand twists and pinned up styles, or protected underneath homemade wigs. I generally only wear my hair "out" on the weekends. Name 1 reason you went natural and why you love being natural. I went natural mainly because I was afraid of the damage relaxers would cause in addition to having a scalp condition. I was also bored with straight hair, and I just felt it just didn't suit my style anymore. Where else can we find you on the net? I can be found on Instagram @themisfitmantra. I'm pretty active there! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="5268,5269,5270,5271"]

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