I have been trying to get this girl on my blog since I started the Girl Behind the Girl features lol the reason is because, this girl was a HUGE inspiration for me going natural! I met Deedee my freshman year of college because she lived across the hall from me and I would always ask her about her hair and how she maintains it naturally (she has a unique approach to hair care lol you’ll see what I mean in a sec!). I grew up not know a THING about natural hair, it was like it wasn’t even an option, I was just never exposed to the concept so when I met Deedee she introduced me to a whole new world of hair lol her hair looks so healthy, shiny and thick!
Deedee is also special to me because she is my linesister in our beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha! (skee-weeee!!) xoxo aaaaaaand If you missed them, Precious is my prophyte, Dana is my linesister and Alysha and Kelley are my neos :o) hey what can I say, it’s a family affair lol #NaturalHairDontCare
Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!
Hi all! My name is Deedee and I’m a 20-something writer living in Brooklyn.
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?
My mother gave me my first perm when I was 5 years. And when I say perm, I don’t mean “Just for Me”. I had a head full of hair so she reached straight for the adult “Creme of Nature”, extra strength. This worked relatively well for years until one day she substituted it for Dark N’ Lovely and all of my hair fell out. It never quite recovered.
One day when I was 16, I went in for a touch-up and the hairdresser looked at my hair like it was the most tragic thing that she had ever seen and said “Uhhh, have you ever thought about going natural?”. I tried to convince her that my hair would look amazing once she put the relaxer in; literally, I was begging like a (creamy) crackhead. She obliged, but her words stuck in my head and I never permed again. This was in 2001, and though it has been a bumpy road, I never looked back.
Mane-tain : : What is your weekly/monthly regimen like? If you have color in your hair, how do you maintain it’s health?
I’m actually pretty bad about routinely taking care of my strands. As I type this, I’m deep conditioning my hair for the first time in recent memory. I never moisturize; occasionally I’ll apply jojoba oil for shine if my hair is freshly done. I don’t own leave-in conditioner or detanglers. Tellingly, my hairdresser told me “the fact that you aren’t bald is a miracle”. However, I am determined to implement weekly hair treatments and all the other effective, yet time-consuming, processes that I hear about on the natural grapevine.
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.
So I’m one of those despicable Naturals that wears my hair straight 90% of the time. When I first went natural, there were no YouTube tutorials (in fact, there was no YouTube), no blogs, no major natural hair community unless you had locs. As a result, I styled my hair the way I knew best: with tons of heat! Personally, I love running my fingers through my hair, feeling it whip around my face in the wind, shaking my wrap free- all things that require my trusty FHI. I’m also partial to big prom-style curls… no judgement please.
However, I’m taking a straight-break– I’ve been wearing my hair in natural styles on-and-off since mid-April. In a way, it’s as if I’ve gone natural again, because 11 years later I’m still discovering new techniques.
Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?
Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner: I ride-or-die for my Hello Hydration. I kept reading about it on natural blogs but I was incredulous due to the fact that it was a “mainstream” brand. Yet, lo and behold, it is a Godsend. Gets my hair super soft. I hate that it has “-cones” in it, but I don’t notice any build-up so it’s a keeper.
Miracurl Curling Gelly: Great for curl definition and clumping! It’s a bit sticky, and makes my hair a bit crunchy, but apparently this can be counteracted with the use of a leave-in conditioner.
Redken Satinwear Blow-dry Lotion/ FHI Hot Sauce/ Living Proof Styling Treatment: This is what I use to spin my straw into silk.
Organic Roots Stimulator Olive Oil: The thing that I love about this product is that you can find it anywhere. I use it if I’m doing a braid out/ twist out. It makes my hair really soft. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it’s a moisturizer with NO hold, it takes forever to set. I usually style before bed then unwind my hair in the morning.
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 think that the key to any hair style with natural hair is to STRETCH YOUR HAIR! It’s the nature of natural hair to be as curled as possible, no matter if it’s a 4A curl or a 3A curl. Whether you’re wearing it straight or naturally styled, definition, body and length depend on how much stretching you do.
When I want to wear my hair straight, I wash it in sections in the shower. As soon as I’m shampooing/ conditioning/ combing one section, it gets twisted and clamped. At no point do I allow it to just hang there, curling itself up into little ringlets. After I get out of the shower, I blow-dry in sections using Redken Satinwear Blow-dry Lotion. Whenever each section is blow-dried (with a comb attachment), it’s immediately twisted and clamped. Once, I’ve blow-dried my entire head. I apply FHI Hot Sauce and flat-iron in tiny slivers. The entire process is time-consuming but it stays straight forever. Literally, I don’t have to apply heat until I was decide to wash and straighten it again, which reduces heat damage.
When I wear my hair naturally, I use the same wash-in-sections approach. After the shower, I’ll smooth on Aveda Be Curly or Miracurl Curling Gelly if I’m doing a wash-and-go. If I am styling it, I’ll use Organic Roots Stimulator Olive Oil to do a braid-out or twist-out. After each braid/twist, I pull it into a pony-tail or clamp to avoid shrinkage.
Shameless plug : : Do you have a hustle you’d like to share while you have the floor? i.e. business, project, etc. if not, that’s cool, no worries :o)
No hustle. I write and I travel. Inexplicably, I do not write about travel :-)
K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.