Her Hair Story – Latoya

1. Have you always been so confident and in love with your curls? What’s your hair story?

I have very thick, dense hair so I never thought it would be “manageable” in its natural state.  For years, I would stretch relaxers and attempt the transition. I finally took the plunge when I was planning the pregnancy of my first child. When I first went natural, I was brunt of many jokes. Looking back, I think I was most uncomfortable with my hair’s length since I had never worn it short. I love my hair now… especially the versatility. I am a chameleon and I’m always playing with texture and using shrinkage to change my length.

2. What is your hair regimen (how often do you shampoo, condition, deep condition and with what products)? Because I have a seven-month old and twenty-month old,  I don’t have the time to spend countless hours on my hair. I generally cleanse my hair every two weeks.  Once a month, I shampoo my hair in sections with SheaMoisure Retention shampoo. For my other wash, I do a bentonite treatment (with ACV and aloe-vera).  I pre-poo with coconut oil and deep condition. In between washes , I ACV rinse my scalp and/or co-wash, or cleansing co-wash based upon my hair needs. (I really need to buy a clay wash for when I’m too lazy to mix and let the bentonite sit.) I do protein treatments every 4-6 weeks, as needed. I tend to vary my styles, mostly due to sheer boredom. I rotate rod sets, wet twist/braid outs/ dry twist/braid outs, twists, and straight styles.
3.What is your de-tangling process?
I have learned the hard way that it is important to not let your hair get excessively tangled in the first place. (Wash and gos are a big no no for me.) I try to keep my hair stretched as much possible with the use of buns, twists,braids, etc.  I pre-poo with coconut oil and detangle under running water with VO5 conditioner. The key is to detangle in sections. I do four braided sections and then use clips to break down each section as I detangle. Once each section is detangled I re-braid and wash my hair the same way. It seems like more work, but I only spend a maximum 20-30 minutes detangling.
4.Do you put anything in your hair for styling (leave-in conditioner, gel etc)?
For styling, I usually Giovanni Direct Leave-in on wash day and seal with avocado oil. For daily styling, I use water, Curls Red Velvet from the kids line (the same as Creme Brulee) and I seal with an oil like avocado oil or Mimosa Hair Honey (during winter months). When I twist my hair, I use Donna Marie Super Buttercream (over my leave-in and oil) and seal my ends with shea butter.  I don’t use gel in my hair since it reminds of the ratchet finger waves from the 90s. Besides, I have low porosity hair and it causes too much buildup.  Instead, I spritz my hair with water and use Jane Carter Nourish and Shine. I tie it down with my head scarf and my edges are “laid” every time.

5. Now that you are relaxer free, how do you perceive others that still have relaxed hair?

I think it is their head. Their hair. Their choice.

6.What is the worst mistake you have made with your hair?

I trusted a hair dresser’s assistant with detangling my hair.  He brushed from root to tip, which got all of my post-partum shed hairs tangled and knotted around my strands. It took me three days to detangle (and cut) all of the tangles.

7. Who is your hair idol?

I don’t have a hair idol per se.  A lot of times people get caught up in other’s hair journeys rather than focus on their own.  I do like Tempestt Bledsoe, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Janelle Monae though.

8. Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the masses about natural hair?

Make your natural journey your own. It is easy to get caught up in “natural hair trends”.  Take the time to learn about your hair and what works best for you.  Use the web to help you on your journey, but don’t lose sight of your hair’s needs and how your hair practices fit into your lifestyle.

You can find me around the web….

I am a staff writer for Black Hair Media. You can find my articles in the “Natural Corner” at http://blackhairmedia.com. I recently launched my new blog, “Busy Life. Fab Hair.” You can find it at

http://busylifefabhair.com. 

  You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter @toyachronicles.

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8 thoughts on “Her Hair Story – Latoya

  1. Thanks for the curlspiration! I just BC’ed 3 months ago and i’m rocking a protective style. Seeing this gorgeous curly and versatile hair keeps me motivated and away from the creamy crack! thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I am in the process of transitioning ( or trying to transition). I haven’t relaxed my hair in about five months. My issue has been finding the right products to use and being able to manage it on my own. I am use to convenience. Every time I get frustrated I start to make a hair appointment to relax it and do a short pixie cut. I would like to keep chemicals out of my hair. I have food and skin allergies and I’m making this change for health reasons. My scalp needs a rest. I’m tender headed and it easily gets irritated with the use of different products. Keeping my hair detangled and moisturized are my biggies! I’ve been wearing braid outs. Once I’m completely natural I can try twist outs. You’ve inspired me to continue trying to transition and stay on my journey.

  3. Thanks Lea,

    I use Giovanni Direct Leave- in, seal with avocado oil or mimosa hair honey, and twist with Donna Marie Super Butter Cream with shea butter on the ends. AMAZING definition every time and its only $12!

  4. Thanks! There are tons of styles that those with finer strands can do that I wish I could. Easy pulled back styles are just not easy for me, nor are the two big flat twists that some people do. Every hair type has its pros and cons.

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