I'm straight...for now, anyway! #StraightNikki And while I miss the volume of my natural curls, the effortless dopeness of this bob, coupled with the fact that I don't have to re-wash or re-twist every few days has freed me up to spend my time doing (or not doing) other stuff. My routine is simple and my hair lasts 3-4 weeks before I have to hit the re-set button. The low manipulation/maintenance means I retain more of my length (I have to get it chopped every 4 months to keep the shape tight and the length above my shoulders!) and keep more hairs on my head. So yes, if you are cautious, you can rock HEALTHY, gorgeous, straightened natural hair.
If I'm in St. Louis, MO (which I am at least 5 times a year-- I'm from Ferguson!), I'll have Marie Simone of Shi Salon hook it up. She blows it out gently with a heat protectant and comb attachment (not a devilish round brush) and then flat irons it on the coolest setting possible for effectiveness. I've never seen her pass over a section more than twice (and even that's rare--she uses the chase method with a fine tooth comb). She keeps my cut tight too-- it's basically a wedge cut, or an angled, tapered bob (cut at a 45 degree angle with the shortest layer at my neck/nape-- the layers gradually get longer as you move up to the crown) that she cut while dry and straightened. The nape hair is the shortest on my head- adding bulk, volume and movement to my naturally fine and thin hair because it all appears to be the same length!
If I'm doing it on my own, I wash (Giovanni Tea Tree), condition (ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor and then Aussie Moist), finger detangle and then rinse thoroughly. I wring it dry a bit with my hands and then allow it to dry for about 15 minutes in a t-shirt. After removing the t-shirt I apply ApHogee's Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructurizer + a little heat protection. I then gently blow it out in 4 sections using a comb dryer (takes all of 15 minutes because it was barely damp at this point) and then flat iron with my ceramic FHI. It's never quite as dope as when I get it done professionally, but it ain't bad either--
The key is to make sure your hair is CLEAN! Never never ever straighten dirty hair.
No matter if I straightened it myself or had it done professionally, I add texture by bantu knotting my hair like this (usually two, sometimes 4)--
or simply wrap it like old school. Wrapping it gives it a ton of volume and it's a super easy night routine. Sometimes, I'll rock the steam rollers-- the curls last for weeks!
when David (my awesome stylist at the Dr Oz Show, he's melanated and beautiful- hey boo!) was styling me before going on set, he was praising the health and strength of my hair! We had a whole convo about today's culture and how folks lean on these bundles and lace fronts at the detriment to their own hair and self-esteem.
I use raw shea butter in the event that I need edge control and a little of Jane Carter's serum if I'm lacking shine.
That's pretty much it! I still henna once a month (for shine, strength, thickening, smoothing and color) and rock the occasional twist-out.
If for some strange reason I find myself on a treadmill or on my stationary bike (which is rare lol, I don't do sweating, I keep it tight with my diet), I always tie my edges down and I don't remove the scarf until AFTER my scalp is fully dry again. This keeps my edges laid.
In other news, after a series of appearances on Dr. Oz, I went home to STL for a week and made the conscious decision to partake in shrimp fried rice and vess soda at my fave Chinese spot and then a whole fish and jollof rice at my favorite African spot. So in one day, in one bite, I went from Vegan to Pescatarian and I've been holding at that level for about 2 weeks. However, I might be eating honey baked ham tomorrow... it hasn't been decided. After evaluating my psychological and physical health after the month long vegan venture, I didn't feel all that different, lol! So for now, veganism won't be a lifestyle for me, just my new once a season 'detox' (much healthier than the Master Cleanse that it's replacing)!
Happy Thanksgiving darling,
Do you rock straight hair? What's your routine?