This weeks natural spotlight is on Shyne. When you go natural you tend to want to baby your hair. You do anything within your power to retain length and this often means that you don’t tend to take risks. Shyne has shown that you can have natural hair and still have fun with it. She’s tried many colours and is always very creative about styling. Read about her journey, regimen and top tips for dyeing natural hair.
Where are you from?
I’m from a tiny island in the Caribbean called St.Kitts. Monde who I met in university in Halifax inspired me to big chop ( Monde is a former Natural Spotlight)
Where are you currently based?
Currently I am back and forth between Canada and my home country.
When did you decide to go natural?
I decided to ‘return’ natural when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter in 2012. I had always toyed with the idea of going out my hair which I always kept short when it was relaxed so when I read that relaxing your hair could have harmful effects on your baby I decided to play it safe and return natural. I had my last relaxer in March that year and transitioned till about December, 2012 when my daughter was 2 weeks old I big chopped and never looked back.
What has been your experience having natural hair so far?
My motto has always been to have fun with my hair and that’s what I have been doing so far. I find I get bored easily with sticking to one thing when it comes to my hair even when I had relaxed hair. This journey has been mostly about enjoying my hair and playing with it but I still maintain healthy hair practices.i cut and colour my hair quite often when I want to change it up but I always do some intense hair therapy afterwards. I also love looking after my two year old’s hair. This journey is as much for her as it is for me. My family and friends have been mostly supportive,my mom even returned natural a month ago. When I get frustrated, I always remember it should be an excited and fun journey and to enjoy my hair no matter what.
What is your hair regimen?
Right now I am sporting a tapered cut which has been coloured and highlighted so my routine is all about keeping my hair moisturized and my ends healthy as colour tends to dry out your hair.
Wash Day occurs once a week if I have alot of product build up as my hair is fine or every other week if not. I currently use Creme of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate- free Moisture and Shine Shampoo which doesn’t dry out my hair at all or I would co wash with V05 Silky Experiences Island Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner.
I would then rinse and deep condition with Aussie 3 minute miracle Moist deep treatment or if I need to do a protein treatment I make my own using Greek Yogurt, olive oil, honey and Henna. Because I have coloured hair I do this every wash day for about 15-30 minutes with a shower cap on. Sometimes I would go under the hooded dryer if I have time but most of the time I end up doing chores and the heat from my body works just fine.
Rinse with cold water to seal my cuticles. If I am doing a wash and go I would add an ACV rinse to help my curls pop.
I live by the LOC method when it comes to my hair and also my daughter’s hair.
I apply my leave in on damp hair which is usually Cantu Shea butter leave in. Recently I have been using Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect 7 7-n-1 leave in treatment or their Strength and Shine Leave in then seal with my coconut + olive oil mix then apply my styling product. If I am doing a wash and go its Eco styler Gel (the green one). If I am doing a twist out its ORS Smooth and Hold pudding or Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie or the Curl and Style Milk. I use heat once in a while if need my hair to dry right away but I let it dry overnight most of the time. I do alot of roller sets with flexi rods or perm rods and for that I use Organics Olive Oil Setting lotion and some Eco styler gel on the ends to prevent frizz. (my hair loves frizz)
Take down I use coconut oil to undo my twists or bantu knots or to keep my wash and go looking shiny.
I don’t do alot of protective styles which I’m trying to work on but I trim my ends every 4 weeks and get my hair shaped by a barber every 2-3 weeks. Last protective style I had was in December and it was crochet braids.
What are your 5 top tips for someone considering dyeing their hair?
1. Do your research. I have had experience colouring my hair when it was relaxed but I didn’t know what my experience would be with natural hair so I did my research. I had to decide if I wanted to bleach my hair or just use a permanent box colour or use a semi or demi permanent colour which is like a rinse. I also wanted a colour that would require less maintenance but I still ended up choosing red which is by far the colour that needs the most maintenance. There are also more natural options like henna and indigo or henna and coffee or henna and hibiscus flower powder. These give a very subtle effect but as way less taxing on the hair. There are so many options on the market but I tend to stick with the brands like Dark and Lovely or Creme of Nature which are targeted at our hair. I would also use professional brands like Wella which you can get from your local beauty supply store. I also have a lot of hair stylists as friends so I always ask them for their advice.
2. Be realistic. Natural hair is harder to colour as the cuticle harder to penetrate versus relaxed hair. Some natural hair holds colour better than some. Some brands work better than others. If you are doing your own colour at home, chances are it will not look as vibrant as if you had gone to the salon, ESPECIALLY on your first try. Trying to go from black hair to bright red hair in one colour application without bleaching or lightening is almost impossible. I found that out the first time I coloured my hair. You could only see it in the sun light and here I thought it would be such a vibrant red colour when it turned out to be a barely noticeable light brown.
3. Be prepared to give your hair some extra TLC. If you use a permanent colour or even bleach/ lightener, it can be very damaging to your hair. It gets very dry and cause breakage so you would have to be gentle and perhaps increase your deep conditioning treatments to once a week. Also look after your ends. I get trims regularly if I see my ends are looking damaged. From my experience I touch up my colour every 2 months and I avoid colouring my roots now as I am going for an ombre look. (darker roots)
3. When in doubt, go to a professional. As much as it might be cheaper or convenient to colour your own hair, seeking professional services might be a better option when colouring your hair. I remember when I had relaxed hair I wanted to change my hair from blonde to red and parts of my hair came out green due to a reaction with some chemical I had in my hair. If I gone to a professional that could have been avoided. When I went bright red last year, I went to the salon to get it done. The process involved lightening my roots which were dark then toning my hair to remove some of the brassiness/ yellow from my hair then applying a permanent colour which was tailored specifically for me. I loved the results.
5. Be adventurous with your colour choice. I am currently rocking purple hair after being blonde for about 3 months. I never thought I could pull it off but one day I just did and loved the outcome.
My favorite colour to date. Now purple hair attracts a lot of attention so if you work in a strict professional environment it might be too much for them to handle. I tend to march to the beat of my own drum so its always been easier for me to stray from what others think is normal.
The good thing about being black is that we can pull off most hair colours whether red, copper, blonde or purple. We have a lifetime to love our hair, why spend it making boring choices.
How did you achieve the hairstyles in these pictures?
1. This is my most recent hair colour. Its a semi permanent colour called Violet Gem which would fade in about 3 shampoos. This was a failed flat twist out, I was on set at a photoshoot on the beach and my hair poofed out into this cute shruken afro.
2. Just dyed my hair bright red and decided to do a perm rod set in the front and roll and tuck in the back.
3. Flat twist out on stretched hair.
4. Curly puff just using Eco styler gel and wet hair.
5. Perm rod set on semi dry hair .