Hey There Pretty Birds,
I’m so excited to finally share my transition to natural hair with you! In my latest article for Lucky’s November issue, I detail how work-related stress lead me to go completely natural. It’s been a wonderful journey and rich learning process.
At first, I experienced a lot of dry hair days that left me a little frustrated, but after spending a beach weekend in the Hamptons with my friends my Sophia and Marjon, I now have a super cleansing and moisture routine. This hydrating and shine friendly regimen involves sitting with an olive oil deep moisturiser for 20 minutes before washing my hair, washing with a co-wash or conditioner, and sealing in the moisture with a mixture of coconut, castor and jojoba oils. The other thing that I found challenging was maintaining a cute style between haircuts with my stylist Jo of the Dumorné Salon in Brooklyn. I solved that problem when I popped into a salon where I used to go when I had a relaxer and connected with Nati, an Eritrean stylist. He and I have similar hair texture so he more than understands how to crop and maintain my TWA while I’m in Italy. Plus, Jo has given me her blessing to frequent him after she saw what a superb job he did this past Summer.
And today, approximately six months after reconnecting into my own hair, I’m thrilled to say that I know exactly how I like it: (1) cropped real close with scissor precision; (2) twists for texture are amazing; and 3) a side party is swoon worthy!
Are you natural or have ave you recently gone natural? Please share your story with us, or any handy tips your’ve discovered.
I’ve pasted the text from the Lucky article below. Make sure you also pick up a copy. xoxo, Tamu
It started with a tiny pain at the back of my head. I’d just had my every-six-weeks hair relaxer; minor burns are common with chemical straighteners, so I thought nothing of it as I flew to Paris on a Monday, took the train to London on Tuesday, flew home to Milan on Wednesday and drove to Trieste on Thursday, all while sleeping only three hours a night (I was catching up on Downton Abbey).
Then suddenly, as I jumped on yet another plane (to Mauritius for the holidays) I really felt it: My scalp near my left ear felt tight, and the spot hurt enough that I couldn’t sleep on that side of my head.
I have a lot of hair, which covered up the extent of the burn. I went to a pharmacy and found some appealing French products to calm and treat the area. I avoided swimming for the rest of our trip and made a dermatologist appointment for as soon as I got home.
My doctor thought it was probably a stress-related condition, aggravated by the relaxer and travel, that had progressed into something called pseudo scalp psoriasis. I went home with a cortisone prescription, plus hypoallergenic shampoo. As for relaxing my hair in the near future … absolutely not.
I’d been thinking of cutting my hair for a while—it had become pretty damaged as I’d tried to grow it out into a bob. The thought of starting over—going natural—suddenly sounded pretty sweet, even cool. My stylist Jo Dumornay (of Dumorné Salon in Brooklyn) cut all the previously relaxed hair into a pixie-ish TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) just before New York Fashion Week.
At the shows, I asked just about everyone I saw with natural hair about products. For the majority of them, it was all about oil: jojoba, coconut, castor, argan and shea. I use at least one oil a day as comb-through conditioner or or a hot-oil mask. I also got great product suggestions: I cleanse with Ouidad Curl Co-Wash, condition with the brand’s Curl Quencher. For wet styling, Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil adds lovely shine while tightening my curls for a more tapered Afro; Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream sculpts my hair into bedhead corkscrews. If my hair’s dry, I spritz with Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Moisture Mist. To finish, I massage in Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm Liquid Pomade—it leaves the perfect texture and shine.
What began as a hair disaster has become an awesome beauty save. I feel liberated, tranquil, happier: I approach my hair not with the aim of taming and forcing it against its true nature, but, instead, of nurturing it and bringing out its best characteristics—whether tight curls or a deconstructed free shape. Now, that’s something to run your fingers through.
And here’s a little gallery of Soph, Marjon and I in the Hamptons. Kisses!