Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!
Hi La Coco Bella! My name is Rayna which is translated as “queen” in spanish, I try to keep that in mind whenever I need to step outside of my comfort zone or need an extra boost of confidence (Thanks Mom!). I’m 26 years old, a proud native of Hartford, CT currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve worked in the advertising industry for over 5 years and I love it. My other hobbies are illustration, design, singing/songwriting, and traveling.
In the beginning : : What inspired you to go embrace your natural-ness? OR If you’ve been natural since forever, what inspired you to never get a perm?
I went natural for the 1st time in college, but since then I’ve transitioned a couple of times leading up to my latest BC. I grew up getting relaxers. The concept of going natural was literally non-existant to me since I rarely saw women in my hometown wearing natural styles. When I arrived at Howard University that was my first time observing women proudly rocking their natural texture. I was struck (in a very good way) at the many varieties of kinks, curls, and coils and how stand alone beautiful natural hair could be. In time I became curious to see my own texture and began transitioning my sophomore year. I loved my hair but I was also intimidated by the thickness and texture. I dabbled in texturizing and eventually tried relaxers again for a spell. When I realized once and for all that chemicals weren’t for me I began doing research on healthy hair care, methods and products that work for specifically my texture, and styling. My most recent BC’d was January 2011 and I haven’t looked back since. This time around I love my hair because I know the right way to love and take care of it.
kinky twist extensions….Great protective style!
Your uniqueness : : How would describe your hair and how do you like to wear/style your hair daily? i.e. wash-n-go’s, twists, straight, protective styles, etc.
I often jokingly refer to my hair as “The Dark Forest” because its multi textured, thick density, and naturally dark hue. Without any styling my hair is definitely very lion mane-like (which is awesome), but during the work week I prefer a somewhat tame and neat look. For daily styling I tend to stick to “the outs” – coil-outs, twist-outs, braid-outs, bantu-knot-outs. When it comes to protective styles that’s where I become a true chameleon. I love experimenting with different updos, adding in hair for twist or braids, and wearing half wigs and weaves. It’s a great way to spice my look up and keep my hair healthy.
Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?
My hair is thick and coarse so moisture via H20 and products is key. These are some of my fav products
Pure Shea Butter – I know most of us know about how awesome it is. But seriously, I don’t know how I survived with out this stuff during my early natural days. Still gives me my softest twist outs ever.
Kinky Curly Knot Today - Aside from being a great leave-in this stuff really makes detangling thick & kinky hair a breeze…and it smells good.
Talijah Wajiid Protective Mist Bodifier - This stuff is epitome of moisture and a good alternative if I don’t feel like wetting my hair. It coats and softens my hair and also adds a beautiful sheen.
Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo- The title says it all. It puts moisture back into my hair while I cleanse and doesn’t strip it. Gotta love it.
Roots of Nature Butter Whip Coil Cream – I use this while braiding or twisting before bed partnered with a little gel and unravel very soft hair the next morning. Its made with Mango oil & Cupuacu butter which makes it smell awesome as well.
I also love Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream,the Organix line of shampoos & conditioners, Eco Styler Gel, and African Pride’s Hot Six Oil
Drop some knowledge : : Do you have an awesome hair practice/technique you’ve learned and wouldn’t mind sharing? OR is there something you’d like to learn more about?
I get inspired by a lot of what I see in the city, in magazines, on youtube or hair blogs. I try to take techniques I’ve researched and enhance them to suit my own personal style. Recently I discovered my no-fail style, coil outs. Before a month ago I’d never tried them because it seemed like too much work on medium/long thick hair. I gave this style shot and it became an instant style staple for me. Coil Outs basically capture your natural curl pattern and enhances it. Its also super low maintenance. This is what I do:
After washing and conditioning my hair I part my hair into 4 large sections
Beginning with one section I smooth out a pinky sized gathering of strands and begin to coil with my fingers. (I sometimes twist the roots at first and then coil to add more definition). I like to add a little bit of melted shea butter and eco styler gel to get maximum sheen and definition.
When I’m done coiling I sit under a dryer for 45 mins or let it air dry
Once dried I unravel each coil, massage in a light oil, and fall in love with this style all over again
K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.
- Twitter: @LuvRayn
- Instagram: KenyattaLoves
- Tumblr: http://kenyattaloves.tumblr.com/
- Writing/Poetry: http://luvrayn.wordpress.com/