How long have you been natural?
I say 2003 because that's when I "woke up" and chopped off 4 inches damaged hair (by both heat and coloring). I haven't had a relaxer since the late 90s. So, about 6 years.
Did you transition? How?
No I didn't transition. After the perm in the late 90s...I just wore my hair straight and the permed hair pretty much grew out over time and broke off on it's own. I probably should have transitioned but I wasn't in that mind set. My hair was damaged by too much heat to where it looked stringy when wet like permed hair.
What is your hair texture/type?
I have a video for you to view but I would say 4a. I don't really ponder too much about hair type and you probably won't either after you've been natural for a while, don't sweat it! Focus on trial and error of products!
What style do you wear most of the time?
Retro inspired styles from the 40s and 50s that incorporate flowers, bows and scarves with the occasional twist out.
Do you tie your hair up every night? How do your set it?
I sleep with a satin scarf on almost every night. I tie or twist my hair up pretty much EVERY night. It's either in large braids or in rollers. Every blue moon I might just put it in a pony tail and then put on a scarf but that's for when I get home very late. I add product when I feel the need to (most of the time, it's just a spray mix of leave in conditioner and water. I use coconut oil afterward.)
Does it take you a long time to tie your hair up every single night?
Not really..I don't notice it because I always tie my hair up while I'm watching "TV" (by TV I mean Netflix). Taking it down in the mornings takes less than 10 minutes unless I'm going for a more complex vintage inspired style.
How often do you trim your hair?
I don't really obsess over trimming. I do it when I feel its necessary. I last dusted/trimmed in May 2011.
What staple products do you use daily?
My favorite products to use for setting my hair are:
-Leave in conditioner (Kinky Curly Knot Today or Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner)
-Pure virgin coconut oil
For deep conditioning treatments I use:
-1/2 an avocado
-Extra virgin olive oil
(blend and apply before putting on a plastic conditioning cap)
What tools do you use for setting your natural hair in retro styles?
I like flexi rod rollers, magnetic rollers, single prong clips and satin scarves for creating the styles you see. Also, brush that will help smooth the hair before applying the rollers helps me a great deal.
Do I have to straighten/flatiron my hair to achieve these vintage hair styles?
Nope! You will have to set your hair for the best results either with braids (or twists if you like) or rollers...but you may find that you come up with your own technique that doesn't require any hair setting! The beauty of it all is that you can tweak something just a little and come up with something highly innovative. Think of Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes - now that's a gal with a very creative spirit! :)
What kinds of clothing will give me more of a retro look?
You'll have to research the era you want to wear popular styles of clothing from. I really like the modest but feminine style of the 40s but I like the 50s bombshell look as well. I know that I don't usually like the 60s as much but incorporate certain pieces. I also know that I'm perfectly alright with 80s does 40s dresses but not usually 80s style dresses. Just take a gander at the clothes from each decade and make a note of what pieces would flatter you best :) Here's a link to a site that showcases the style of the past eras - it's a very nice guide. I feel that 1940s style clothing tends to compliment those who are slender and boyish shaped as well as those who have more curves - I don't personally believe you can go wrong!)
Do you really dress "to the nines" every single day?
I do dress "up" 9 times out of 10 but I have my days where I want nothing more than to stay in my pajamas - they're still pretty pajamas - and roam around makeup-less. After all, natural beauty is sexy too! Some days when I need to go out, I'll throw on jeans and a top and do minimal makeup (always donning a red lip though). But truthfully, I feel better out and about when I look my best. I think feeling beautiful is vital in day to day life The media does a great job of telling us all what's wrong, why not take matters into your own hands and be beautiful in your own right? I love the fact that Dita Von Teese said, "I advocate glamour. Every day. Every minute." You don't have to be extreme and do it every moment in time, but if you do it often, you'll notice your mood is a bit more confident, light and easy breezy.