Name: Rudo and Aaliyah Gray
What is your Hair Type? (relaxed, natural, transitioning, locs)
When did you start your HHJ and what was your starting length?
This February !! I did a big chop on February 14th, 2014 and Lili (who is 2yrs7months) had your typical baby length hair but it was thin and dry.
Why did you start your hair journey, did anyone influence you?
There are a mixture of things that influenced my decision to do a big chop. My sister Kundi of tHs had been nagging me with her hairlista ideas and JBCO rants for over a year, and I had already decided that I was going to be responsible with my daughter’s hair but felt like it was too late for me and too overwhelming for me to try all that new stuff with my own hair. Aaliyah has eczema and her skin is very sensitive to alcohol and perfume so right away her scalp would react badly to certain products so I knew I had to do a lot of research on what I put on her skin and hair. Then my own hair started breaking very badly from low iron (which I had no idea could happen) and I was like you know what, I wear wigs and weaves anyway, if I chop it and I hate oh well but I should look after my own health as much as I do my daughters!
What is your current hair regimen?
I use a similar regimen for both me and Aaliyah. We use JBCO 4 x a week and Trader Joes Organic Coconut Oil 3 x a week, we use the Cantu leave in conditioner everyday and seal the moisture in with raw unrefined shea butter (I use a hand mixer and blend the shea butter with water and store it in a small Tupperware container to make it more manageable) We both have very dry hair so we cowash only. On wash days we use the Shea Moisture (SM) restorative conditioner, and if we are doing a deep condition we use the SM raw shea butter deep treatment masque and mix it with coconut oil.
For styling Aaliyah’s hair I use the SM kids detangler and their curling butter. I try to only have her hair out over the weekend, and it is braided during the week for her protective style. I use the SM curling butter and the curling gel soufflé to enhance the curls in my short natural hair (TWA at this point)!
What are your hair goals for 2014?
To maintain thickness and moisture in both our hair.
What are your favorite/staple hair products?
Unrefined shea butter. Side note: I also plan on doing some research on the benefits of peppermint oil since I see it as a staple product for many listas!
What do you wish you knew about your hair in the past?
That I needed to put more effort in maintaining its moisture.
What challenges have you faced on your HHJ?
Having healthy hair can be time consuming, and costly. Not just the products and hair regimens but the research on everything you put in to your hair and your body.
What is your favorite protective style?
Cornrows or braids for Aaliyah and wigs so far for me. I plan to try box braids once I feel my hair is long enough to do them without causing damage.
What do you love about your hair now that you’ve started your HHJ?
I love the curls! I never appreciated the beauty of natural curls but I do now!
What motivates you on your hair journey?
Keeping Aaliyah’s hair healthy.
How do you handle the non-hair-believers?
I don’t! I’ve decided as a former non-believer that if you neglect or mistreat your hair just like any other part of your health, you will eventually have to deal with the consequences and do better, so I believe eventually everyone will have to do better! It’s a personal journey for everyone, and how we each come to that realization is different for all of us.