Vol 06. Hair Diaries X No Knot Co
Welcome to Vol 06. of Hair Diaries No Knot Co!! We aim to inspire and uplift other wavy, curly and coily babes as we explore the natural hair journeys of our favourite influencers! With great pleasure we interviewed the lovely natural hair'd influencer Cheyenne!! She talks about how her relationship with her hair has changed and how we should all learn to love our hair more. To find out how we can do this and some more tips on hair care, then carry on reading!!
What is your hair type?
It’s funny that you actually ask that as the first question, because one thing I try my best not to do is “hair typing”, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be 4B.
How would you describe your relationship with your hair growing up in comparison to now?
I would say when I was younger, my mom was the one doing my hair. Then, probably around year nine (when I was about 14), I had more of a relationship with my straighteners. I used to straighten my hair often. I just wanted [my hair] to look straight. I didn't have any care of what I was putting in my hair. When I was probably about 17 or 18 years old; that was when I started to investigate and take care of my hair. Before then I would use anything from shower gel and stuff like that in my hair because I thought it didn’t really matter. But as I got older, I had a bit more of an understanding. Though, when it came to our prom in Sixth Form, I decided to relax it. So, I fell off for a bit. After that, I decided that I was getting bored with the relaxers and I decided I'm going to cut my hair!! I think my relationship back then was very up and down, not really too caring. Now, I'm overly caring. It’s a big change.
Did you ever feel pressured to straighten or relax your hair? And where do you think those pressures came from?
I didn't feel the pressure coming from my family, it was more so the media. Subconsciously I looked at the looks [that were] on TV. Everybody had straight hair, nobody had an afro. I thought if that's what everyone else has, why does my hair look different? I wanted to emulate that. That was why I had more of a relationship with my straighteners than I did with wanting to take care of my hair. I wanted it to look straight because that was how I preferred it. Interestingly, fast-forwarding to now or to a few years ago, whenever I have my hair in a twist out or something, people will look at me and be like, “Oh, are you gonna do anything with it?” or “are you gonna brush it because it doesn't look brushed”, but this is the style [I was going for]. It's interesting that if this happened to me a few years ago, I probably would have felt that pressure, whereas now I stand my ground!! I'm going to tell them and explain to them this is this way I want it.
Interestingly enough, the voice of “you should straighten your hair or you should brush your hair” comes from family and friends. Now I would be able to combat that with a whole load of natural hair community people behind me. When I went to work earlier this year , I decided to do a twister and everyone was like, “oh, my goodness, Cheyenne, I like your hair. It looks really good.” So you just never know the response you're going to get from people. I think I would have been very scared to do that a few years ago, whereas now I've come into my own and I can be like no, I want to have my hair like this. I don't feel or succumb to that pressure anymore.
What are your top three go-to hair products at the moment?
Considering that I like to do a lot of DIY stuff, I think the top one of the top ones to me that I use, would be Rhassoul Clay, which is what I use as my shampoo. I will also say aloe vera. That's what I would use to mix with water, for example, for a leave-in.
There's this new product that I've been trying out for probably about a year and a half now. Rhassoul powder comes in the form of a shampoo. But in terms of products, wise, I think Kinky Curly leave-in conditioner tops it all.
Creams wise, definitely Miche Beauty hydrating butter, for sure. Born Beautiful Naturals flaxseed and marshmallow gel is very good, I'd highly recommend those three products.
What are your natural hair tips and advice that you would give to your younger self?
To my younger self, I would say, love your hair a lot more. My first tip would be to try your best NOT to be influenced by those around you [to determine] how your hair should look. The second tip would be don't get too caught up in the hype of products. There’s this thing that whenever there's a new product out there I think I have to buy it, to make my hair look like that. [I have to remind myself] not to as these people are giving you options. You don't have to buy everything that you see.
Obviously, people like having products and that's perfectly fine. But if you can't afford it, don't stress out too much to go buy it. There's a lot of young people that follow me, that do this as well. But you can't always afford to buy all these hair products that people have and you don't need all of these things to make your hair healthy.
The third tip would be to enjoy your hair in each stage. When your hair is long, and when it is short. Your hair is fine the way it is! I think some people get so caught up. [I’m guilty of this too] I was very caught up when I was younger. I used to think that I must have hair down to my back. This came from Disney and watching stuff like Rapunzel. You think to yourself, “Oh, I wish I had that kind of hair that was long and flowy.” I would always straighten it so that my hair would be down, long and straight. You have to embrace the hair that you've been given. Hair is nice, short or long. It's nice either way.
Who were your hair role models growing up?
I have no idea because I felt like there wasn't really anyone. I probably could say my mom, because she always had her hair in a natural state. She always used to plait my hair for me as well. She never made me feel like [my hair] was 'different', because she never pressured me to straighten my hair or relax it. My hair was done based on what I'd seen in the media and what's around me. For the oldies, the ones who might know her, DPrincess28, she was an OG from way back when and she really helped to encourage me. When I started the journey DPrincess28 was the first person I found on YouTube when it came to hair. She just showed me how to simply look after my hair in a chronic state. I was like, oh my goodness. I can't believe it, I found gold.
What steps do you take to keep your hair healthy?
I definitely realised over the course of a year or so to stop doing too much. You probably look at my Instagram page and think she's doing this, she's doing that. But I like to provide recommendations, not everything that you see me do on my page, you must do yourselves.
Ensuring that I deep conditioning my hair and finger detangle are key things for me. I realised that detangling was something that I obsess over because when you have very tightly coiled hair that is something that can lead to breakage. If you have tightly coiled hair, there's a high likelihood that you're more susceptible to breakage. That's one thing that a lot of people battle with. What has worked well for me is reducing the kind of combs I’m using. I’m not saying combs aren't good, because I do think using combs and brushes are good, but I think working on finger detangling is very important.
I think using a lock-in method is useful, using water and then sealing it with a cream. As well as ensuring that my ends are well looked after, putting it in a simple style, which for me are twists. I have done that for probably the past five years. Also, twisting and leaving it alone and tucking those ends in.
I think using a lot of ayurvedic products and stuff like that also contributes to me not having not used sulfates and stuff like that. It is good to switch it up a bit, but I find that when something works for me, it works and I try not to change it.
How long is your typical wash day? Talk us through all your lovely steps?
If I'm quick, and I decide to not deep condition that week, which I wouldn’t advise anyone to do, it would take me about 90 minutes. On average, including deep conditioning, it's about two and a half hours to three. I always start with detangling, that can take about an hour. I think once you finger detangle correctly, everything else can go smoothly. If you don't, which I've done once before, I didn't detangle and oh my goodness, I had a lot of breakage from that. That wasn't a good idea!!
I'll use a conditioner or water, or even aloe vera juice/gel to separate the hair. That can take about an hour depending on what product I’ve used. If it’s water, probably about an hour and a half. [With] a gel or conditioner the finger detangling can be a lot quicker because it has a lot more slip. I always do it in sections, probably about 8 to 10 twists. The twist that I have, I normally detangle in those twists, shampoo in those twists, deep conditioning those twists and then put those twists back in.
Considering [we’ve been living through] COVID I don’t need to create a style per se. Once I'd go from finger tangling I then move on to shampooing. If I'm using Rhassoul Clay, or even any just a store-bought shampoo, I do it outside of the shower. I put it on my scalp first and then I'll put it onto the rest of my hair because my hair would have been sprayed with water. Then I'll go in the shower and wash it out. I like to make sure that I've got every nook and cranny.
After my shampooing which can take about 30 minutes I deep condition. I normally like to spend about 45 minutes doing this with either body heat just by putting the bag in or the towel or I use indirect heat like a dry on attachment. I like to sit for about 30 to 40 minutes and then I wash that out and I move straight on to the leave-in conditioner. Sometimes I'll use oil but not all the time and most of the time if there's oil present in the creams I'll tend not to use an oil. I'll just use the cream and that's it. Then put on a headscarf and I normally finish at like 11 p.m. so then I go straight to bed after that.
What are your favourite protective styles?
What advice would you give to your fellow curly sisters starting on their natural hair journey?
Who would you say is your hair inspiration now?
Everyone probably would say her but definitely @naptural85, Whitney, because I mean she's been in the game for a very long time. It's nice to see someone's journey. She's been there for probably the best part of like 10 years. To see her journey progress from when she cut her hair. Where some people see someone and all they see is how long their hair is. But how did you get there? Whereas with Whitney, everyone was able to follow her from when she cut her hair to now or when her hair has grown. Seeing the products that she was using [during that time]. Whenever I had an issue I’d type in her name on YouTube and then go in and check her out. To be honest, when I kind of got into my natural hair journey, she was someone I followed.
She's got that haircare line Melanin hair care which she just released. It's been about a year or two years, she released cream and shampoo and stuff like that. Social media can really change the game, even when you go to Boots and Superdrug, things like Camille rose, and all these natural products too, you see all these other people that come in and just pick them up. I’m thinking “What? Do you need them just as much as I did?” Social media can be really powerful in that sense.
If you had to choose a song to describe your hair journey, what would it be?
I would say, India Arie, I am not my hair. If you listen to the lyrics of the song it's just interesting to see that sometimes you can be defined by your hair. I think as much as we love our hair, we look after it, and we obsess over it. It's not something that has to define you. I was reading a post from someone I follow yesterday and she was saying that; she got a new curly haircut, and she cut her hair a lot shorter than what it was before. She was quite nervous because she thought she might get some negative comments. A lot of people when they're watching your videos, or your pictures and stuff like that they get attached to it and [when you make a drastic change] oh my gosh, they question why did you cut your hair all of a sudden. Then, they're not interested in you anymore. Hair does grow, you know!! So I think, to me, that song does help to represent that; although we love our hair it doesn't define you.
MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW CHEYENNE @COILSNTINENTS ON INSTAGRAM!
- No Knot Co x