Today for Feature Friday, I have the lovely Starrla, sharing her natural hair story and regimen with us. Thank you Starrla, for taking time out to share with us today, I really do appreciate.
I know you are a busy woman, so we will go ahead and jump right into it.
When you decided to return back to natural, did you do the Big Chop or did you transition?I did a big chop, but not with the intention of staying natural. I'd had a perm for years and was always able to keep my hair healthy. However, at one point my hair started breaking off like crazy and I could never seem to isolate the cause. Finally, out of frustration, I chopped all of my hair off. I wore it very short and curly for about 6 months or so, then I got tired of keeping up the cut so I started letting it grow out. I thought about getting it relaxed again as I started to gain length and that's when I decided I really didn't NEED a relaxer. I made the choice to stay natural and have been that way with no regrets ever since. I big chopped circa early 2009.
Well way to go girl! Whether it was done on purpose or accident you made the decision and stuck with it. That is always a plus.
So, how did you feel after going natural?Totally liberated! Although at times very different because my hair was so short and I was used to have it long. I enjoyed the worry-free aspects of it, but I missed my length. I really liked the fact that I didn't have to go to the salon every 4-6 weeks to maintain hair health
Yes, it is definitely a little difficult to deal with the shorter length when you do the chop. But, the saving from the salon is a definite plus!!!
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural?No one in my family cared at all. Other people looked at me with complete surprise because to them I always had beautiful hair and no reason to cut it off. I think some of them probably thought it was a dumb thing to do.
How would you describe your hair?I'm not exactly sure what I have, but I think it's a mix of varying degrees of 4b. The top/crown has a much looser curl pattern, and is less coarse. The sides and the back have a tighter curl pattern and are coarser. My hair on top tangles very easily, but along the back and sides it's much easier to manage. The back and sides are very prone to SSKs, breakage, and severe dryness. I LOVE my coils/curl pattern...they are one of the major reasons I decided to BC. I was anxious to see how I would look with curly short hair.
What’s your current hair routine?I'm currently in love with wet set buns. I've finally figured out what works for me and they are so easy and cute....such a time saver too. Aside from that I do twist-outs- religiously. I never do braid outs because they don't seem to agree with my curl pattern and I never like the way they turn out. I usually do about 8-10 large twists for my twist-outs. Whether I do large or small twists, my curls always turn out the same. I will do WNGs (wash-n-go’s), but I typically only wear it up in a bun/puff even while wet. Whenever I do a WNG, I always seal with oil after applying my conditioner (I don't use gel on my ends).
I wash (with shampoo) once per week. I have very dry/sensitive scalp so any sort of buildup whatsoever makes my scalp very itchy. I deep condition for about 1-2 hours every time I wash. I rinse out some of the conditioner but never all or most. I like to leave the conditioner in my hair- I do not use a separate leave-in. I then twist my hair in large twists to air dry. The next night, I will re-twist with I use a moisturizer and a bit of water to better define my twist-out. How I want to wear my hair the next day (or whether or not i need to moisturize) will determine whether I re-twist the night before or just pineapple.
I am protein sensitive so I don't use a "protein treatment" type of product. I will use a conditioner with protein in it as my deep treatment, then rinse it out and follow with a moisturizing conditioner (using same steps above).
What are your favorite products?Beautiful Textures Moisture Whip Butter- Hands down my favorite curl defining/moisturizing cream. It smells amazing too! This is a staple.
Yes to Carrots Pampering Conditioner- My absolute favorite conditioner. Has tons of slip and leaves my hair very moisturized.
ECO Styler Olive Oil Gel is my go-to gel, but not necessarily a favorite. It's cheap and it does the job. I favor a heavier clear gel..like Elasta QP
When I wet my hair to re-twist at night, I use a mix of water and oils (coconut and/or EVOO). I used to add essential oils as well, but I found it was expensive and i didn't see a lot of benefit from it.
I love Suave Naturals Coconut conditioner to refresh my WNGs every day. It's inexpensive, smells great, has tons of slip, and leaves my hair very soft.
I currently use Organix Argan Oil Conditioner as my protein conditioner, but it's not a favorite- it's just ok. I am still looking for the one I like the best. When I was relaxed, I always used Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner, but once I became natural I found myself staying away from products with cones and other unnatural ingredients.
After a full day and you are getting ready for bed, how do you maintain your hair?If I need to moisturize or redefine my twist-out, I re-twist in large twists (maybe 4-6). Otherwise, I will pineapple if I am wearing my hair in a twist out. If I am wearing a WNG, I will dampen my hair and put in 4 large twists just to keep stretched out and detangled. In the morning I rewet my hair in the shower and add more conditioner and oil.
Starrla, thanks again for taking time out to share with us today. I know someone will benefit from your hair story and I know your story will inspire others.
Before leaving, can you share what you feel is the best thing about being natural?The freedom to do so many different things with my hair. Freedom from being chained to a hair dresser! Freedom to love my hair the way it was meant to be- translation = freedom to love me as I am.
To see more of Starrla check her out on Instagram @godseed79 (www.instagram.com/godseed29)