What is your name and your profession?
Crystal Chachere, chemo pharmacy technician
Why did you go natural?
I’ve been natural on an off most of my life. I’ve never really thought about it a lot. I’d get a relaxer, get tired of it and let it grow out. When I moved back home to New Orleans from Milwaukee in 2009, I had REALLY forgot how bad N.O. humidity was lol! Flat ironing just wasn’t working so in July 13, 2010 I decided to relax again. I remember that exact date because this went soooooo wrong! No big deal right? Wrong! I picked up a box of a “kiddie perm” and I left it in for only 10 or so minutes. I don’t know WHAT was wrong with this relaxer but I was sooooo damaged. It took ALL the texture out of my hair smh. I nursed my hair back to health as much as I could. But that was it! At that point I decided no more chemicals! For a while I was just letting it grow out and cutting it little by little to remove the damage. I found www.Hairlista.com while looking online one day and decided to take better care of my hair and that started my healthy natural hair journey.
How long have you been natural and when did you BC?
I transitioned from July 2010 until November 10, 2011. I really just got tired of dealing with the different textures and I was experiencing a bit of breakage at the “line of demarcation” so I decided to just do it! My hair was almost WL at that point and I chopped up to about NL. I didn’t do the TWA stage. Sometimes I wish I had. I’ve been completely natural (besides color) for 2 1/2 years now.
What are your staple products and hairstyles?
I recently fell in strong like with Pantene Truly Naturals Cowash Cleansing Conditioner. I don’t use shampoo but maybe 1-2 times a month, only when I start to feel like I have some build up. Aphogee Deep Moisture shampoo has been my go-to since I can remember. I think we all have a product or two that we’ve held on to since our relaxed days lol. I don’t have a favorite deep conditioner yet. I think for most naturals that’s a never ending quest! I do like GVP Conditioning Balm from Sally’s. It’s their generic version of Biolage Conditioning Balm. I’ve used both and I can’t tell much of a difference. They even smell pretty similar. I’ve tried a few high end products and leave ins. None really that my hair LOVED. My hair has thrived with me using Aussie Moist. I’ve used that since day one really. I have tried and liked most Organix conditioners. My hair seems to love using a regular conditioner as a leave in (I know I know, they weren’t designed for that lol) I use mostly natural oils as sealants. Avocado, macadamia nut, sweet almond and grapeseed oil are my favorites. I’ve never used any stylers. I’m more into BIG hair so I don’t really care a lot about definition or taming my hair. I’m not very particular about ingredients. I’m a “bad natural” and my hair likes silicones. I do limit the amount of products that contain mineral oil but I still have a few. My hair doesn’t seem to dry out or become damaged from using these things so, “if it ain’t broke” I don’t fix it. As far as styles, I’m so hair lazy lol. I’m a wash & go type of girl. I do blow my hair out pretty often. I’ll used medium heat on my blow dryer. When I do, I use Tresemme’s heat protectant spray. Then I’ll flat twist it to give it a bit of a wave. That’s when I’m going for Chaka! I’ve never been a BIG protective styler. I will braid my hair up and wear wigs from time to time to give myself a break. I don’t flat iron my hair very often. Maybe 3 times a year.
What are your natural hair goals?
Well my hair is pretty healthy at this point. We curlies all suffer from dryness I believe. So to keep my hair as moisturized as possible has been my main goal. Length has become a real goal of mine as well. I recently made it to past BSL so length wasn’t really a goal until the “TRIM”. It’s very true that you shouldn’t get your hair cut while it’s straightened. However I find it hard to find a place that specializes in cutting natural hair so I usually get a trim while it’s straight. Hey I said I was a bad natural lol! Anyway, this was a person I was unfamiliar with. She had natural hair so I trusted her. I told her I was natural and exactly how much I wanted trimmed. That didn’t happen. She cut my hair back up to shorter than BSL. She cut so many uneven layers in my hair but I couldn’t really tell until I washed my hair again and saw how misshapen it was. I decided to cut a few inches off. It’s now back up to APL at it’s longest layers. It was a pretty hard decision but I love the shape it is now!
How do you keep your hair intact overnight?
I usually pull my hair up in a pineapple if it’s a wash & go. If I’ve blown it out, I’ll flat twist it at night. I always sleep on a satin pillowcase. The bonnet doesn’t work when it’s in a wash and go because my hair gets BIG.
How do you maintain length?
I try to only detangle or manipulate my hair while it’s wet and full of conditioner. I use mostly wide toothed combs while I detangle. Moisture is very important. I’d like to protective style more but like I said, I’m just hair lazy.
Name 1 reason you went natural and why you love being natural.
Just one reason! Lol Hmmmmm, I really wanted to nurse my hair back to health and I was afraid of damaging my hair again as I did with that last relaxer.
Why I love being natural?
I LOVE my curls! I love not having to run from the rain anymore. I love having big messy hair and I’m not scared of frizz anymore. I love how versatile our hair is. We can do so much. I love that I can be free with my hair. I LOVE my hair!
Where else can we find you on the net?
You can find me on Instagram at CreolePocahontas, twitter at @CreolePocahonas, Hairlista.com (CurlHeadCreoleGirl) and I’m on Facebook in the New Orleans Naturals group as well.