I introduce to you our January Queen for 2016, Reneisha. She’s the young aspiring nurse, God-fearing and beautiful. She has been natural all her life.
Hi everyone! I’m Reneisha Stephenson: a Jesus lover, Jamaican, natural hair enthusiast, nursing student and nature lover. I also love to dance, skate and read books.
Have you ever thought of perming your hair?
I have been natural since birth; my hair has never been permed or even flat ironed. Growing up I had a negative perception of my hair, I didn’t see it as pretty. In Jamaica, persons with curly or ‘mixed’ hair were the only ones deemed as having ‘good’ or ‘pretty’ hair. So, since I am not mixed I didn’t see my hair that way. At one point I wanted my hair permed but I didn’t ask my mother about it because I knew I wouldn’t have been allowed to. Now, I’m so glad I didn’t get my hair permed! I have really grown to love my natural hair.
How would you describe your hair texture?
My hair texture is a mix between 4B/C. It’s soft, thick and the curl pattern is not as tight as 4C and not exactly 4B so it’s somewhere in the middle.
What is your styling regimen?
I do a lot of protective styling for my hair. I do mostly braids, cornrows and micro-twists. Usually after I get my hair washed and dried, I will do medium twists and put them in bantu knots then unravel and untwist them the next day to wear on my way to the hairdresser. Or I would do puffs or buns- these are simpler and less time consuming.
What is your wash-day regimen like?
Usually this takes maybe a whole day because I’m doing things in between hair care. After taking down my protective style (which I may keep for up to four weeks) I would do a homemade treatment for my hair. My favorites are:
Avocado, olive oil and/or egg
Aloe Vera and egg
I would section my hair into four parts and rub equal amounts of whichever treatment in my hair. I place my cholesterol heating cap over my hair and then do some chores while it steams. My wash-day is usually on a weekend since it’s so time-consuming. After keeping the treatment in my hair for about 2 hours, I wash it out and proceed with shampooing and conditioning my hair. After doing so, I section my hair into four parts, add my moisturizer, detangle and twist. This is done for all four sections. I allow the moisturizer to dissolve before I proceed to oil my scalp with olive oil. Then my hair is either blow dried (once a month) or Bantu knotted so it is stretched for styling.
I also do co-washing if there is too much product build-up in my hair before take down.
What is your favorite go-to hairstyle for busy days?
My favorite go-to hairstyle is a puff. Its easy breezy but still looks great once the hair is moisturized and shows off our curls. If I’m running late and my hair is a mess, I just pull it together in a puff- I call it puff and go lol.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require TLC?
I have tackled some of the problem areas with my hair; some of which were dryness and thin strands. I started doing the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method on my hair every day or every other day based on how my hair felt/looked so my hair has less of a moisture problem. My hair was relatively thick if compared to other persons with thin hair but I wanted it thicker so I started steaming my hair weekly with castor oil as well as mixing it with my hair oil/moisturizer and thus far I’ve seen improvement in the thickness of my hair. Also, I realized that the dryness of my hair ends was affecting my length retention so I started playing keen attention to them and ensured that they are well moisturized and handled with care. I started loving my hair and it loved me right back- we are going strong lol.
What are your favorite products to use in your hair?
The products I love to use in my hair are:
What problems have you encountered on your natural hair journey?
Since I’ve been a natural my whole life, I should be used to how much time it takes to unravel protective styles then wash and restyle my hair- but I’m not. Natural hair is time-consuming and requires a lot of patience so that our hair won’t get damaged by hasty and rough handling. Because of the fact that I’m way too busy to comb my hair every day, I have to sit for about 4 hours at the end of each month to style my hair. That in itself is a pain but I’ve accepted it because no matter what natural hair is worth it. As the old Jamaican saying says “If yuh want good yuh nose haffi run”! (Translation: If you want something good you have to endure the pain or whatever it costs you.)
Where can you be found?
My Instagram: @renerific
My upcoming blog: renerifically.weebly.com