Hold up, wait a minute Spring Queen Features ain’t finished!
I know it has been a good little week since the last feature, but have no fear and shed no more tears, it is back and in full effect!
This week’s feature goes out to one of my favorite Pisces in all the land, Rayna Nash, salon owner and incredible natural hair stylist.
Before we get into the fabulous styles she creates, let’s get to know the woman behind the locs…..
Why this profession as a natural hairstylist?
RN: I chose natural hair as my area of expertise because I’m a proud Black woman and thankful and grateful for every aspect of the creation of us being from the Divine Creator! I think as a race [Blacks] we’re created with so much character and our natural hair is a distinct reflection of that unique beauty. I’ve actually never had a desire to work with relaxed or straight hair. I remember in hair school trying to get away without giving our “live models” a relaxer, which was a requirement for passing. But that’s how much I despise the “creamy crack!”
How long have you been a natural? Why are you still natural?
RN: I have been natural since 2000. Truth be told, I’ve been wanting locs since I was in seventh grade (1994) but my mom felt like I needed to be “established” first….locs and naturals were not as acceptable during that time. However, as soon as I went off to college, I jumped aboard the Natural Chick Train with a one way ticket! I will absolutely forever be natural for the rest of my days solely off principle and respect of believing the Creator did not make a mistake in my creation process. Plus, I love mu endless artsy options in finding new character in my “love tresses” to accent and emphasize. I could not do half the styles I do with straight hair.
Now tell us about the atmosphere of the salon. I know, but I want readers to know how you would describe it. 🙂
RN: My salon has an ultimate welcoming vibration. you come once and instantly become family. We welcome every client with open arms (literally lol). We strive to make everyone feel comfortable and at ease. Any day at Its A Natural Than Salon, is bound to be a treat for each client. We just enjoy vibin’ with whatever a client has to offer and in that process continue producing healthy wholesome hair! I have been told by so many clients that we have “growing hands” that I am very close to making that our claim to fame! [laughing] Truth be told, I’m truly just great-filled that the Creator chose me to be the conductor of this hair movement. I wouldn’t want things to be any other way!
What are the products you have to help your clients maintain their fresh styles?
RN: I’m a pretty simple type of stylist when it comes to products for the hair. Although I know that there are all kinds of products out there for every type of texture, I also am very old school with what I feel is necessary in maintaining great natural hair. For the most part, I don’t think there is nothing a little shea butter blend or natural oils ( including jojoba, coconut or castor…to name a few) cannot fix or make better. The finer the hair, the lighter the product (water/oil blend). However, the thicker and more resilient the hair, the more concentrated the product (shea/oil blends). A typical night routine while maintaining a protective style consists of spritzing the hair with a water/oil blend and then rubbing the hair with a shea blend. Cover the head with a satin or silk scarf to allow hair to marinate over night to rise the next morning with well moisturized hair. Products are available at Its A Natural Thang Salon $5-$15 depending upon size.
A lot of women hate shrinkage, what is one way to prolong shrinkage without an insane amount of heat?
RN: A common way to avoid shrinkage is to avoid using products that have a dampening agent in them like water or cream, but instead using something with oil or butter base. In addition, medium to large plaiting or twisting sections on the head nightly and pulling apart (combing out) in the morning help to prolong length.
What is the biggest misconception you believe women have about transitioning to becoming a naturalista?
RN: The biggest misconception I feel women have when transitioning from relaxed to natural hair is thinking their natural texture is too “nappy” or kinky to complete the process. This misconception has kept so many women from going 6-9 months of the transitioning to deciding too just throw in the towel and put the creamy crack back in their heads. [But] what they don’t know is that their natural texture is softer than it may seem. It’s the “transband” which is the area on the hair shaft where the relaxed hair stops and the au-natural new growth begins, that creates a very intense hair battle of the strong versus the weak. This area typically tangles up badly because of the two different textures, which gives an illusion that the woman’s hair is extra kinky and unmanageable. When in reality, if the relaxed part could just be cut off, the strong new growth would have a chance to be free and flow accordingly.
To not be biased…is it possible to have relaxed and healthy hair?
RN: Technically it is possible to maintain healthy hair and still have a relaxer, however, the truth of the matter is, once the creamy crack is applied to the love tresses, it instantly wipes out all the curly and wavy natural texture of the hair. I am an avid believer that our hair in its natural texture (given proper TLC) is simply the healthiest state it can be in!
What about coloring? Is putting color chemicals into your hair healthy? What products do you recommend for hydration?
RN: The thing about color is that it’s not the coloring process that is unhealthy for the hair, it’s the lack of aftercare that creates a situation. The hair ultimately needs even more TLC once colored. The client cannot allow the hair to dry out or it will get brittle and break off. Here is where the spritzing and rubbing routine discussed earlier comes into play. It is crucial to try to create an ideal moisturized atmosphere for color treated hair at all times because it is now in a semi-sensitive state.
What is the next level for Its A Natural Thang Salon?
RN: What’s our next step??? To take this show on the road….we are trying to be an International Thang baby! Stay tuned!
Rayna resides in the South Atlanta, GA area. Its A Natural Thang Salon (itsanaturalthang.com)