Friday, September 27, 2013

Feature Friday - Reyna in the Spotlight

Today on my blog I have the beautiful Reyna, sharing her natural hair story and regimen with us today.  I am so glad this lovely young lady took time out of her busy school schedule to share with us.

Let’s jump right into this interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Reyna Smith, from Cincinnati, OH. I’m 21 years old and I just graduated with my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Miami University (OH), continuing on to get my masters in Mental Health Counseling in the fall.

That is great…..I love to see young adults pursuing education and doing their thing.  You go girl!!!

Now, lets talk about your gorgeous head of hair. 

Were you a slow transitioner or did you Big Chop?
I was a very SLOW transitioner! It honestly felt like I was growing out my relaxer for years. But the total time period was 17 months, from May 2010 to October 2011. Like many, I was afraid of the big chop, scared that it “wouldn’t look right on me”. But sometimes I wish that I’d big chopped to see myself with a different look, and to see how much I’ve progressed.

So how did you feel after going natural?
Free. My mane really has a mind of it’s own, and I love it. The fullness, the frizz, and even the unkept look just makes me happy because sometimes I know how crazy it can look, but it makes me happy and makes me feel like I’m more accepting of who I am, and that’s the best feeling ever.

Well, how did family and friends react to your decision to go natural?
My family was a little less supportive than my friends. My friends actually love it, and they got the
first taste of it. I was away at college and popped up at home one day with this huge fro. My mother is Filipino, and when I tell you she kept trying to snatch it off because she thought it was a wig, it was so crazy, and for whatever reason it was hilarious to her. She was all, “what you do to your hair, you don’t like it straight anymore?” And I could try to explain to her what natural hair means, but she still wouldn’t get it. She’s more accepting of it now, even though she’s still always touching it in amazement. She calls it my birds nest, and I’m okay with that lol.
As far as my friends, so many of them come to me like oh I wish I had your hair, or “I wish my hair did that”, whatever that means. But actually a lot of them are asking for tips, product advice, and dos and don’ts to hair care. I’m always happy to help.

How would you describe your hair?
Big and frizzy. I’ve seen the hair typing charts, but I just don’t feel as if my hair fits under any specific
category.  It’s so much fun, and versatile. I think all natural hair is versatile, that’s why I love it. I’m a huge fan of texture, it’s so beautiful to me. My hair thrives with moisture, it dries out pretty easily. It’s soft, people say I have my own personal pillow everywhere I go. I colored it a year ago, but haven’t done so after that. So my roots are dark, and everything else is like a reddish brown. I refer to my hair as my mane, and it’s really becoming a part of my character, or what people know me for.

Big and frizzy, huh??? I love it however you describe it.  You have a beautiful head of hair.

Can you share what your current hair routine is?
I make sure I deep condition once a week with a little concoction of whatever I can find in my stash. Ever seen that post like, “Natural girls be like…”, and its like all the products from the kitchen lol, I feel like that’s me. And I recently invested in a hair steamer, I’ve been able to see an incredible difference in the health of my hair. I co-wash when needed, I hardly ever use shampoo, maybe once a month.
My go to style is a braidout, 4 straight back, looking like Cleo from Set it Off. I spritz each section with water, moisturize, seal with grape seed or coconut oil, braid the sections, and roll the ends up with perm rods.

What are your favorite products?
After a year of being a product junkie, I think I finally got my staples.

My favorite conditioners are Aussie Moist and Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. The As I AM Coconut Co-Wash is pretty good too, but it’s just a bit pricey.

My favorite moisturizer has got to be the Elasta QP Olive and Mango Butter, I love the
consistency, and it really moisturizes my hair.  Plus its cheap, I get mine for about $5.00 at Walgreens, but I know it’s available at any BSS. I’ve also discovered the Beautiful Textures line, their Moisture Butter is excellent, I like to alternate between the two.

EcoStyler gel gets my edges right, especially when I’m bunning! My go-to oils would have to be coconut, grape seed, and EVOO. Of course, I keep my spray bottle handy at all times. I just recently purchased the Denman brush, and I am so upset my natural sistas didn’t tell me how amazing this was sooner. It’s honestly like my favorite thing. I like trying new products, which is why I appreciate the monthly CurlBox. But these are my Holy Grail products, and I know it anything fails me, I can always go back to my babies.

How do you maintain your hair at night?
Usually, when I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll moisturize and seal, then put my hair in French braids. But when I’m tired, I’ll throw some moisturizer in there, and pineapple it. Of course, sleeping on my silk pillow case. No breakage or stingy ends this way!

The silk pillow is def a life and hair saver!!!!

It was such a pleasure interviewing you today.

Before you go can you tell me what you think the best thing about being natural is?
I’d say the versatility, there are so many fun, funky things you can do with this hair of mine. Also, I’d say I really enjoy all the great people/styles/afros I come across in the natural hair community. The majority of the people I follow on Instagram are naturals. Everyone’s hair is so different, and their stories are so inspiring. Everyone is just so positive, and being apart of this community has enabled me to get help when I needed it, and also provide people with answers to their questions. Going back natural is honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made

Thanks again Reyna!

To see more of Reyna, you can check her out at the following locations:
Instagram: @reynaciara (
                    @manilafro   (
Twitter:      @reynaciara