What is your name and what city do you rep? Share your hair story!
Hi, I’m Denise J I grew up in Connecticut. My family is from Jamaica. I am currently in the DC area.
I got my first perm, I think, at seven years old (ouch!) and then from there every four weeks. I’ve always had very thick and full hair and back then it was just easier to manage that way. My hair would grow long then would start breaking off then I’d cut it in a style and start fresh. I’ve tried almost every style at some point. I was always quick to go to the barber shop and Big Chop; I’ve taken the plunge around 5 or 6 times.
When I started rocking the bone-straight, heavily heated blow-out look, my seborrheic dermatitis really flared up and my hair was badly damaged.
One night I just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to go natural (again). I knew the best thing for me was to stay away from heat and chemicals and I’ve always wanted locs. Before this go-round I’ve started the loc process 3 or 4 times, not having the patience to stick with it. I’ve gained so much self-discipline and patience throughout this journey.
One of my biggest hair mistakes was allowing a loctician to 1. re-twist my hair without washing it first, 2. then she re-twisted it dry, 3. with brown gel, 4. and so tight I got nauseous! Four no-no’s in one sitting! She actually pulled some of my edges out. A disaster. I contemplated shaving the sides off after that but it grew back fast.2.) What are your staple products?
I make my own flaxseed gel to retwist my hair. It’s cheap, easy, light, and chemical-free. I like using aloe vera on my scalp and coconut oil on my hair.
3.) What is your regimen? Because I have Seborrheic Dermatitis, I wash my hair frequently with medicated shampoo – sometimes several times a week. I don’t retwist every time I wash, though; that would be too much energy. I have gone months at a time without re-twisting, only doing the edges if I wanted a clean look. When I first started my locs I was re–twisting every other week; I’ve outgrown that. I always apply coconut oil to my hair after a wash and allow my hair to air dry. I do not sit under the dryer.4.) Do you have any problem areas that require special care or attention?
Because I have a million locs (started off with about 300), it takes a while to re-twist. So, over the years I have combined many of them to cut back on maintenance time and also to strengthen/thicken them.5.) What’s your fave way to wear your hair? I love wearing my hair out of my face – Nothing beats a big high pony tail J. I also love to embrace wild hair with big curls. I tend to favor styles with big impact that don’t take me forever to set.
7.) Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to maintaining natural hair like yours? Don’t stress always having to have a fresh retwist. Don’t be afraid to just be natural with it. Focus on the health of your hair over the styling.
9.) What is the worst comment that’s been made about your hair or weird encounters? What’s the best? Once a woman approached me and told me that she loved my hair, that she was a transitioning natural, and asked how I achieved that look (an unraveled pipe cleaner set). When I told her how many locs I used for each pipe cleaner she stopped me and said “wait, those are locs??” lol.
The best compliment to me is when people tell me I am their “loc crush”. I enjoy being an inspiration and a motivator. It feels great to make a positive impact in the lives of others when I am just being myself.12.) Can you share a story about your life where you overcame an obstacle or struggle and you now give glory to God for it?
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James1:17
Managing my scalp condition, finally being chemical-free, and mastering the health of my hair has been, and still is, a long struggle for me. I am very grateful to finally have a healthy head of hair and blessed to have so much of it.
14.) Any spiritual advice? Lessons learned? Use your talents to please The Lord. A short poem I wrote: I will gently pull my Talents of Gold from the Earth, wash them in the blood, and set them in the light to grow wild as colorful weeds. Heads bowed, on my knees, hold them high for the King. – On Matthew 25:14-30
15.) Where can the homies find you on the web?