How long have you been natural?
I've been natural since August 2008.
What's your hair type?
I don't really do the "hair type" thing, but for all typing purposes, I am 4a/4b.
Did you big chop or transition?
I transitioned for approximately 10 months, so I had about 3-4 inches of hair all the way around. I got an even cut then I big chopped. You can read about my story here.
Did you do your own color? What color did you use?
I got my hair professionally done and I am unsure of what colors she used. You can read about my experience here.
What prompted you to shave your sides?
Initially, I shaved my sides for a different look (bored with my hair). I wanted to grow them back out, but had another reason for keeping them shaved. I keep my sides shaved down now to support one of my family members in their fight with breast cancer. When she starts growing her hair back, so will I.
What is your washing/current styling regimen?
I rinse with water first, making sure my hair is thoroughly saturated. Since I have color, moisture is extremely important to me. Right now, I wash and use Trader Joe's Nourishing Spa Shampoo and I condition with Dr. Miracle's Curl Care Conditioner (I love how it tingles on my scalp). I also use Shea Moisture Deep Conditioning Masque mixed with Trader Joe's Nourishing Spa Conditioner for a DEEP conditioner. Unless I am just co-washing, I always deep condition.
I divide my hair into four sections and detangle my hair with my Tangle Teezer or my fingers. After all detangling is done, I wash out the conditioner, making sure to seal my curls with a warm/cool water rinse at the end of washing.
I dry my hair with an old t-shirt and use Giovanni Direct Leave-In for my leave in. I style primarily with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Aloe Vera Gel, my Shea butter mixture, flaxseed gel, and/or any other oil I am feeling at the time.
My moisture routine is water first, then an oil, then a moisturizer prior to styling. This helps me retain the most moisture, especially in the winter!
My favorite products are Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Cantu Coconut Curling Cream, Shea butter, flaxseed gel, Aloe Vera Gel and whatever oil I reach for in the cabinet. I went through a product junkie phase when I first went natural because I was still trying to figure out what I liked and what I didn't like in my hair. Now that I am a more "seasoned natural", I know what works for my hair and really try things now to see if I want to include them in my regimen. The PJ in me isn't as bad anymore - LOL!