Topics Of Discussion

What Does Being Natural Really Mean?

Hey Curlies! ❤

So, this post is all for those that like to read LOL. I say that because I notice many people really just skim through and don’t read the information.

But since you’re here!

I want to chat about what it means to be natural! The natural hair movement is HUGE. So with that, there is a TON of information out there, some being truth and others opinion. From observing and chatting with several women, I’ve learned that MANY are confused on what being natural is. I hear the phrase…”when I go natural..” a whole lot. So I thought I’d break it down!

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What does being natural really mean?

– Being natural means you do not have any chemical on or in your hair to alter its natural curl pattern.

For example: Relaxers, perms and texturizers are chemicals applied to the hair to change a person’s natural hair pattern.

A relaxer is a chemical that straightens the hair and alters the natural hair texture. A perm is a chemical that curls straightened hair to make it curly. And a texturizer is a chemical that loosens tight curls.

YES!

you are still natural if you straighten your hair. Just because you wear your hair straightened does not mean you are not natural. You don’t have to rock a fro in order to be natural. AS long as the only thing that is straightening your texture is heat and not a chemical, honey you’re natural!

YES!

you are still natural if you wear a weave. If your NATURAL hair is braided underneath, why in the world wouldn’t you be natural? All a weave is a protective style. Honey you’re natural!

YES!

you are still natural if you dye your hair. It IS a chemical….and this is where it gets tricky. Dye for many naturals does not affect their curl pattern unless it is bleach and done unprofessionally. Dye CAN alter your curl pattern, but that does NOT mean that it is the same as a relaxer and a texturizer. You are not INTENTIONALLY trying to change your curl pattern to be something that it is not. You are simply enhancing your hair. And you can do that with dye or with henna.

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Let’s consider a transitioner…

When a woman has a chemical on their hair such as the ones listed above, and chooses to go natural she either BIG chops where she will cut all of the chemical areas of her hair off or she will transition. Transitioning is simply growing your chemical and processed hair out by wearing styles like twists and bantu knots, braids outs and protective styles until the hair is all ONE texture..natural 🙂 This is a journey to being completely natural and an example of what “going natural” means…

Now, many have opinions about this.

Some think applying heat all the time doesn’t make you natural. Some think dyeing your hair doesn’t make you natural. Some think only wearing your hair in natural hairstyles makes you natural. It’s all on what you’ve researched and concluded…really. We talk about transitioning to being natural. One transitions from a relaxer to natural. From chemical to natural. It’s a process. Being natural takes a lot of work and commitment no matter the texture. Being natural, means incorporating a regimen. We have regimens because our hair needs attention to be able to thrive. Without a regimen our hair would be HORRENDOUS! LOL! Being natural means being YOU, embracing and wearing your kinks, coils and curls. Loving and caring for your hair the way God intended for it to be. There is NOTHING wrong with changing up a style by wearing a wig, a weave, some color…that’s fine! But, being natural is wearing your hair in it’s natural state, chemical HAIR ALTERING free. SO! If you believe coloring your hair falls into what I just said, then that is your opinion. I’ve colored my hair MANY times and my curls have NEVER been affected, and I believe I am a NATURALISTA! LOL!

Overall, being natural is being you….naturally 🙂

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Do you agree or disagree?? What are your thoughts?

Until next time! XO!

Love,

Rayna

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Topics Of Discussion

FOUR Steps I Did That Helped Repair My Damaged Hair!

Hey Curlies! ❤

There are four things I did during the time when my hair was at its worst, that helped it get to its best! I had damaged hair from dying and heat damage, mainly heat damage. My bra strap length hair was thinning and my curls were lifeless. I researched and learned about these steps to incorporate into my regimen to help repair the damage. However, not ALL damage can be repaired. The only way to get rid of severely damaged hair is to cut it off. Sucks, I know. I chose to do a semi big chop for my damage hair cutting my hair to my jaw and then did a year of no heat. BUT! Unless your hair is TERRIBLY damaged, you DO NOT HAVE TO DO A BIG CHOP. If your hair is slightly damaged it can be repaired by showing your hair MAJOR TLC such as these steps below. Here are the 3 things I did that got me to where I am now!

1. STOP ALL HEAT. Point, blank and the period.

I’m forreal.

2. Use A Reconstructor!

A reconstructor is a product that helps repair damage that’s been done from heat styling, relaxers, and chemicals. I had a ton of heat damage. I used these reconstructors to help with repairing my damage.

– Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

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– Dudley’s Hair Rebuilder

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– Macadamia Deep Repair Masque

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2. Protein Treatments!

Protein treatments are great for filling in gaps in the cuticle which helps to strengthen and repair hair. Protein treatments really helped my hair!

– Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment

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– Nexxus Emergencee

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– Mayo and Avocado

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3. Deep Conditioning!

Deep conditioning is so essential to putting moisture back into our hair. Dry hair breaks, hair that is moisturized flourishes. Deep conditioning helps with repairing and strengthening damaged hair. Dry hair breaks, moisturized hair flourishes!

– Shea Moisture Superfruit 10-n-1 Renewal Mask

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– Olive Oil Replenshing Pak

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– Crème of Nature Deep Conditioner

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– Pantene 2 Minute Moisture Masque
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PLEASE make sure to follow the directions for a reconstructor, usually it’s done 2x’s a week. For protein treatments usually 1x a month or 1x every 6 weeks. And deep conditioning can be up to 2x’s a week. Incorporate these three steps and nurse your hair back to life.

It took me from 2011 until 2013/14 to get healthy hair and my curls to act right, if you will. I had trims and a shape/cut in between as well. So please, have patience…don’t give up!

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Consistency & Patience!

If you’d like you can purchase ‘happycurlhappygirl’ t-shirts here! www.happycurlhappygirl.spreadshirt.com 🙂

Until next time! XO!

Love,

Rayna

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Topics Of Discussion

To Diffuse or not to diffuse?

Hey Curlies! ❤

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I’m a wash n’ go kind of gal and I always diffuse my hair! Diffusing gives me volume, makes my curls tighter and sets my style so that it can last for days and days. If I air dry my hair it’s flat and it takes a FULL day for a complete air dry, and ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’ lol. I discovered a diffuser years back watching Taren Guy on Youtube. Many of you naturals know exactly who I’m talking about. I ran out and purchased a diffuser attachment from my local beauty supply and never looked back since. HOWEVER! A universal diffuser attachment compared to an actual hair dryer that comes with their own attachment is ideal. I get better results with my diffuser and I lucked up and got mine from Big Lots for $20. I’ve dropped it SEVERAL times by accident and have used it for awhile and it’s done me well!

Now…

What is a diffuser?

– A diffuser is an attachment for your hairdryer uniquely designed to enhance curl definition and body by distributing heat evenly throughout your hair. Diffusers also help prevent heat damage. – CurlyNikki

How to diffuse?

– After wetting your hair and applying your favorite leave-in conditioner let your hair air-dry 50-60%. This will allow your natural curl pattern to form. If you normally have to scrunch and manipulate your curls to create a pattern begin using your diffuser earlier. The diffuser’s bowl-like shape and prongs aid in the formation of a spiral curl pattern creating tighter curls. The tightness of the curl depends on how close you hold the diffuser to your scalp.

Flip your head upside down. Begin diffusing at a medium-low heat, starting at the crown of your head to prevent that dreaded flat top from happening. Keep the diffuser there until your hair is dry. For even more body, massage your scalp and roots using the prongs of the diffuser. This will have a sort of teasing affect on the hair. Occasionally, check your curl pattern to ensure your curls are not too tight or too loose. Adjust the diffuser accordingly. Keep in mind, diffusing can take some practice. There are still days when I don’t do it right so be patient and give yourself a chance to really master the technique. – CurlyNikki

Tip: Before diffusing try to wait 30 minutes or so..this will help your hair to set and get a little bit of drying time taken off your diffusing time. I also like to get a 100% old cotton t shirt and wrap my hair up to soak up more water and excess product.

My wet curls…

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The diffusing process…

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Air dry hair is flat…

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My diffused curls… 🙂

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After diffusing…

Now, unfortunately I get crunchy curls. BUT! You can eliminate this…I make sure to use my COOL SHOT button which will close the hair shaft locking in moisture and eliminating frizz. I then detach my diffuser attachment and use my cool shot all over which give more fluff and allows me to also make sure my hair is completely dry!

I take Sweet Almond Oil and I apply it from root to tip scrunching the crunch out and fluffing for my volume. I then section my hair and taking my diffuser off, I begin to STRETCH my hair using the tension method. You can read about stretching natural hair for wash n’ go’s in previous post….here.


 AIR DRIED to DIFFUSED! ❤

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So the question is…to diffuse or not to diffuse?

– Obviously that’s up to you! I would definitely try it out a couple times before making your decision. When I first diffused I hated my results! It wasn’t until I kept using it and learning how to use it properly. It takes me about 20 minutes to fully dry my curls. Stretching adds another 3 minutes, fluff and go!

Remember! What works for one natural may not work for you! Natural hair is all about trial and error! ❤

Are you a diffusing type of gal or an air dry type of gal?? Any suggestions to getting good air drying results? Let me know!

Until next time Curlies! XO!

Love,

Rayna

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Spotlight Fridays!

Spotlight Friday Feature: Alyssa!

Hey Curlies! ❤

It’s Friday which means I have the Spotlight on the beautiful…(drum roll…)

Alyssa!

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1. Tell us your name, where you’re from, how long you’ve been natural and a little bit about yourself!

– Hey!!!! My name is Alyssa, but everyone calls me Lyssa or Lyssa Lou. I’m originally from Reno, Nevada but I currently reside in Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve been natural for about 3 years. After saying for years, that I’d never go natural because it just didn’t fit my lifestyle, I started transitioning in June of 2011 and decided to chop it all off February of 2012. There was no real reason why I went natural other than I was just tired of flat ironing my hair ALL the time. I can easily say that it was the BEST hair decision I’ve made in my life (and I’ve made quite a few of hair decisions lol).

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2. What is your go-to natural hair style?

– My go-to natural style is typically a wash n go or you know what they say…when in doubt…PUFF it out!!

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3. List 3 to 5 of your go-to or staple products for your natural hair?

– When I started on my natural hair journey, like most newbies, I became an absolute product junkie. I had a big big problem but thankfully before I could cause my pockets too much damage, I quickly found some things that my hair just LOVES. My go to products are: Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream, Whipped Shea Butter (a concoction that I put together myself), an oil blend of Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Peppermint Oil, Avocado oil, and Olive Oil, Shea Moistures’ Jamaican black castor oil leave in and deep conditioning masque and finally apple cinder vinegar (for cleansing of course).

4. What do you like/love most about being natural?

– The thing I love most about being natural is the versatility. I have options with my hair now that I just didn’t have when I was relaxed. Second to that, I get away with stuff as a natural that I NEVER would have when I was relaxed. When your hair is natural, sometimes the crazier the better and your hair is never really “out of place”.

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5. How do you maintain your curls at night?

– I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair aka lazy lol, so maintaining my curls is really as simple as throwing on a bonnet, spritzing in the morning and shaking it out, but other than that, I just twist it up for the night.

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6. Have you ever big chopped or transitioned? If so, briefly tell us your experience! 

– I transitioned for about 6 months before I just couldn’t take my raggedy relaxed ends ANYMORE!!! Plus, I found transitioning really hard. When you become a natural, you’re trying to find products that work with your hair and having two different textures, with different needs made that extremely difficult. I’d find a product that worked on my roots but my ends HATED…so finally I decided enough was enough and I chopped it OFF.

7. Do your family/friends support your natural hair journey? How about where you work? 

– Most of my friends are natural and my family loves my hair. The people at my job are fans of my hair as well. My boss finds it amusing that my hair never looks the same for more than two weeks at a time haha.

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8. Do you know your hair type? If so what is it? 

– My curls fall 3c and a 4b….mostly 3c and 4a though…4b in my stubborn crown area haha.

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9. The blog is entitled happycurlhappygirl, so what makes your curls happy? (Deep conditioning, protective styling, hot oil treatments etc.)

– Low manipulation and protective styling keeps my curls the happiest. The less I mess with it, usually the better it looks which works great for me because like I said, I can get a little lazy when it comes to my hair.

10. What is one thing you have learned since being natural? What advice would you give a new natural?

– One thing that I learned when I became a natural is that it definitely ain’t easy. I thought I’d get to wet it and forget it but boy was I wrong. Having natural hair is more work than having a relaxer ever was; although it fits my lifestyle better (with working out 4 days a week and sweating buckets, I kept a flat iron to my head). Having natural hair isn’t for everybody. If you don’t have the time and willingness to experiment and learn the dos and don’ts then you’re doing yourself and your hair a disservice by being natural. You have to find what works for you and that could mean a lot of product trying and failing and patience. Make this decision because you want it, not because its trendy or anything like that.

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Topics Of Discussion

Shrinkage: 4 Ways I Stretch My Wash n’ Go’s!

Hey curl friends! ❤

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“Shrinkage is the difference between what your hair looks like when it’s wet and gently stretched to its maximum length and what it looks like when it’s dry. It happens to all curls, from type 2 to type 4. However, it’s definitely more noticeable in type 4 coils because type 4s have tighter curls. For type 2s and some type 3s, shrinkage is hardly noticeable, since the hair won’t look all that different dry than it does when it’s wet. For type 3s with super-coils, it’s pretty noticeable as well. Some type 3cs and type 4s have even reported losing as much as eight inches once their hair dries” – NC.com


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Besides heat damage, shrinkage is one of thee most disliked things that happens to our hair in the natural hair community. Shrinkage gives off such an illusion and it’s almost something as naturals we can’t avoid without manipulation. Yes, there are techniques and ways to combat shrinkage but ultimately it comes with the territory of having natural hair. I’ve learned to work with it, and embrace it. But, I admit I sometimes wish I didn’t have it.

I usually stretch my hair with a blow dryer if I desire that look. About 99% of the time I wear my curls in a wash and go, LOL. I usually do not do twists, braid outs and etc. I wear my curls down, in a high curly puff or top knot bun. I find that wearing my curls with no manipulation (braiding, twisting etc.) is something that I enjoy and is convenient for me. I wore braid outs and twist and curls when I had damaged hair that didn’t curl up. BUT! Now? I LOVE my wash and go’s!


(1.) The tension method…

This method you take small sections starting at the back and gripping the ends taut while running a blow dryer on warm heat up and down the hair. This allows for your hair to soften if there is any crunch from product and allows for more length. I use either a LOW heat or COOL setting when doing this to minimize heat damage (which is rare) and frizz.

Flat ironed hair…

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Wet hair…

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Un-stretched tight curls after diffusing…blah!

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Stretched 1st day hair…

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2nd day hair… 🙂

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…and as the days go on its getting bigger and longer! I usually can get about 5 days with my wash and go’s!

This is the technique I use after diffusing my curls…take a look!


 (2.) Banding!

This method is awesome for women who want the “look” of a braid out with out the braids and super stretched hair! You section your damp or dry hair, apply product of your choice and get a LOT of ponytail holders and start to place them tightly along your hair shaft all the way down to the ends if you prefer for a super stretched look. It’s an easy way to stretch your hair AND flatten your roots with out heat to wear it out, or begin to prepare it for straightening. I tried this a couple times and like the results of loose waves and stretched hair.

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(3.) Stretching with butterfly clips!

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 I’ve tried this method a few times and it worked for me! This method you would take butterfly clips (you can find at beauty supply stores) and while your hair is wet after applying your styling product you would take the ends of your hair and clip them to your shirt while you’re diffusing or air drying your curls…want an example?

Check out this video! http://youtu.be/s6PXg0DiQHY?t=3m20s

(4.) I pineapple! Do you?

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The infamous pineapple. This is how I sleep every night with a satin scarf and a satin pillowcase. My hair has a tighter curl pattern in the back, by doing a pineapple at night, while I workout and around the house allows for my curls to be stretched. I also do this on first day hair if I have some time to do so! Great heatless way to stretch those tight curls!


Shrinkage is such an illusion. Some of us naturals have TAILBONE length straight hair but shoulder length curls. You can try to combat it as much as possible, but learning to embrace it is easier if you ask me! If you suffer from it terribly then use methods listed above OR YOUR OWN to your liking. Shrinkage is a sign that your hair is healthy, so don’t get too upset about having it :). I like fuller hair so I work with what I got, and I hope you do too!

 

Have a topic you’d like me to blog about? Let me know!

 

Until next time Curlies! XO!

 

Love,

Rayna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics Of Discussion

Do You Know Your Hair’s Porosity Level?

Hey Curlies! ❤

Dry hair but always moisturizing? It may not be your products…read on!

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 “The porosity level determines how well your hair is able to absorb and retain moisture, and overly porous hair can have a hard time retaining moisture from even the best moisturizing products. Lack of moisture isn’t the only drawback to having overly porous hair, hair that is highly porous also absorbs heat faster than hair with low or normal porosity levels which means your hair is more prone to heat damage.”

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Take the porosity test:

Take a strand of your hair (preferably hair that shed) and place it in a glass of water. Observe how your hair responds to being immersed in water.

  • High porosity hair will sink quickly to the bottom, therefore it easily absorbs water.
  • Low porosity hair will take a long time to sink to the bottom of the glass of water, if at all. In this case, the hair is unable to absorb the water.
  • Normal porosity hair will sink at a medium pace, not too fast or too slow. (Ideal)

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High Porosity:
High porosity hair has a difficult time retaining moisture and might be an indicator that your hair is  damaged. With high porosity hair it’s important to properly moisturize your hair. You should focus on creams and butters and making sure you seal in as much moisture as you can by layering. It’s important to close your cuticle to retain moisture, you can do this by trying an ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse and always rinsing your hair with cool water. Your best friends are protein treatments. Protein helps to fill in the holes in your hair, by replenishing and restoring your hair. Protein is not moisturizing so it’s important to see how your hair reacts and how often your hair needs one. If you use too much protein, your hair can become too hard and brittle.

Low Porosity
Low porosity hair is much harder to moisturize since it is more difficult for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft.  Low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing water. It’s important to deep condition with HEAT. Heat will open up the hair shaft allowing moisture in. Another good alternative is steaming your hair.  Make sure to clarify your curls at least once a month (I use Suave Clarifying Shampoo). Co-washing is great, but you still need to clarify your hair with a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of product build up. If you have low porosity hair, you should be looking for water based moisturizers and sealing with a light oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil.

Medium Porosity
Medium porosity hair is easily moisturized and retains its moisture level well.  If your strands fall in this category you have happy curls which should make you a happy girl 🙂 Continue with moisturizing your hair and do what works for you.

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So! Now that you aware of porosity levels, you can (hopefully) understand why you may be experiencing dryness even after moisturizing often. Once you are aware of your hair’s porosity level then you can understand on how to moisturize your hair for its needs. Moisturizing effectively will help the overall health of your hair and helping you retain length. I have semi-low porosity hair. I have to make sure that I try to get as much moisture as I can to my hair. I made sure to establish a routine focused around moisture and making sure my hair gets enough of it. Since doing this, my hair has flourished. I also drink a gallon of water a day. I’m working from the inside out people! LOL! 😉

❤ My regimen for my low porosity hair:

I make sure to deep condition my hair with heat as much as I can. I deep condition every 2 weeks. (I’m trying to up that to weekly!)

I clarify once a month and co wash often. I exercise 4x’s a week, so co washing doesn’t always cut it. With my low porosity hair and working out often I NEED shampoo. (There are natural alternatives, ACV rinse that will clarify your hair and close the cuticle)

I rinse my hair with warm water after I shampoo/before I condition therefore the hair shaft is lifted allowing moisture to penetrate. For added effect, I will heat up my conditioner if I don’t have the time to sit under a dryer

I make sure to do a protein treatment once every 6 weeks or when needed (Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment)

I drink a gallon of water a day

Until next time Curlies! XO!

Love,

Rayna

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Spotlight Fridays!

Spotlight Friday Feature: Brittani!

Hey Curlies! ❤

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>> 1. Tell us your name, where you’re from, how long have you been natural and a little bit about yourself!
Brittani C. (IG= cool_mo_b) Los Angeles, CA I’ve been natural my whole life the only difference now as an adult is I no longer straighten my hair.
>> 2. What is your go to natural style?
Wash and Go (air dry) 
>> 3. What are your go to products?
Shea moistures restorative conditioner and Cantu Curl cream (I use them together) 
>> 4. What do you like/love most about being natural?
I love that my curls have a mind of their own and that my hair looks different everyday. 
>> 5. Who is your celebrity hair crush or inspiration?
Sadly there aren’t really any mainstream celebrities that have natural hair like mine but my ig hair crushes are @beautybylee and @tarenguy. I truly enjoy all their post and videos. #inspiration 
>> 6. Have you ever big chopped or transitioned?
Yes I had to do a big chop to my ears a few months after deciding not to put heat in my hair. I had badly heat damaged my hair and had to get rid of all the straight parts which left me with a Foxy Cleopatra fro for awhile. 
>> 7. Does your significant other or family/friends support your natural hair journey?
My decisions about my hair have nothing to do with anyone. My family in the beginning would tease me and tell me I look like I stuck my finger in the electrical socket but now that I’ve worn my natural texture so long they dont make slick comments anymore. I get the most support from friends and strangers. My natural friends love finding out what products I’ve recently purchased that doesnt work for my curls so they can have it.  I love meeting people out and about and teaching them better ways to take care of their hair encouraging them that the process does get better just be patient.  At the end of the day we are all on the same journey to healthy hair. 
>> 8. Do you know your hair type? If so what is it?
This depends on the length of my hair. When I grow it out it is 3B/3C the length weighs it down. If I keep it to my shoulders then it is 3C/4A and my curls really have great definition. 
>> 9. What is one thing you have learned since being natural?
My natural hair and beauty is so much better than the unrealistic standards/images of beauty that we are engulfed with on a daily basis. 
>> 10. What makes your curls happy? (Deep conditioning, hot oil treatments etc.)
My curls love moisture so I use lots of butters and creams that my curls love. Deep conditions and protein treatments are also really important for my thick hair as well. 
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Thanks Brittani for sharing your story with us and showcasing your beautiful face and curls!!! I wish you the best on your hair journey!

 Follow Brittani: @cool_mo_b
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If you would like a feature on my blog showcasing your natural hair, PLEASE email me Freshlyblessed@gmail.com with 2 to 3 photos of your natural hair! I would LOVE to have your story and beautiful photos of you and your natural hair on Spotlight Fridays! XO! ❤
Until next time Curlies! XO!
Love,
Rayna
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