I met Shy when we teamed up with Parnia Nyx in Battle of the Sexes on The Alarmed Show. It was a blast and Shy is hilarious, so I just had to feature her and her adorable puff for this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday. Check out our conversation about going natural, an intense wash day, and loving yourself.

How long have you been natural? Tell us about your natural hair journey.

I’ve been natural for six years!  A friend of mine in 2008 gave me an article to read on hair discrimination in the Dominican Republic. People have had their hair straightened out by hairdressers unbeknownst to them because of discrimination and bias they have towards their Black customers.  At the time I was at the Dominican Hair Parlor for a perm and then weeks later for a wash and set and blow out.  Well one day in September of 2010, I decided to not spend another $45 to get my hair permed and started the naturalization process.  I had nooooo idea what I was doing.  I wasn’t even familiar with the word ‘transitioning.’ All I knew was that I was no longer perming my hair, and because my roots were so thick I began cornrowing my hair each month.  Of course that was an additional expense but it felt right.  I was returning to my roots. Literally. Lol!  Summer came around and the braids became too much with the heat.  I went to my mother’s house and asked her to cut off the remaining processed ends.  This is of course called the ‘big chop’ but I didn’t know that at the time.  My mom was more worried than I was, but with each clip I felt lighter and…free. Liberated!

Right?! So what is your current daily routine like?

Aye!  So I’m a little bad.  The way my schedule is set up….Lol!  But, currently I spray with aloe vera, put a mixture of oils that includes (jojoba, olive, coconut and grapeseed), Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner, fluff my hair, brush and put it in a puff.

What does wash day look like for you?

Ah man.  A wash day is a 6 hourr process but I LOVE IT!  It’s my time with my hair.  It’s my time to show it that I really love and appreciate it.  I even vocalize this.  It’s like a plant.  Water, feed and talk to it.  My hair routine was given to me by an old friend.  Dr. Legendre.  Every six weeks is a complete wash which starts off with a protein treatment which entails being under the hair dryer for at least 45 mins.  Then wash that out and apply a balance moisturizer followed by a deep conditioner process, which includes mixing alma powder, cholesterol cream, conditioner, oils mentioned earlier and  glycerin.  I spend thirty mins under the deep conditioning cap and then rinse.  My hair is sectioned for each step with 8-10 twists and I spend at least three minutes rinsing each section out.  Then I twist or plait my hair, working in the leave in conditioner, aleo vera, shea butter and my mixture of oils and allow it to air dry.  Ppfft.  That was a lot to type.

Wow! That’s intense. Do you use items out of your pantry or natural/essential oils in your hair routine?

Yes. The olive oil and virgin coconut oil are easily found at home.  The grapeseed and Jojoba I run out to purchase.  I don’t use essential oils in my hair but I certainly have around the house for the house as well as for self-care and my clients.

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Tell us about your podcast. What’s the premise?

My podcast, “Shy Speaks” is a platform for folks to share their journeys and to promote entrepreneurship.  Started or starting up a business?  I’ll like you on the show.  Went through something that can be motivational or inspirational to others?  Then come on down.  Or just come on and shoot the breeze with us.  Nothing is off topic so it’s lovely to hear and see the guests open up and get raw.  Love it!

What was the craziest podcast episode you recorded?

Hmmmm. I’ll have to say it’s a toss-up between episode 9 with costume designer Joshua Vincent, where he got really REAL about the fashion industry. And we recreated the first time we met which was at a club, so there was a whining session that ensued. Haha! Then there’s episode 22 where we had guests Elisa Capers and Alex Valerio come on the show to shoot the breeze with us. Things got very intimate, in the sense that they were very open with the things they like and do in the bedroom.  Each episode has it’s entertaining moments.  Never a dull moment on “Shy Speaks” and I’m grateful for that.

What’s next for Shy Speaks?

Well this popped in my head in January and I started recording February.  It was a huge learning curve for myself and my co-hosts Dj Wally Black and Ryan Saffann aka Urban Priest. However, it has been great seeing the show and our listeners grow. I  LOVE hearing how much someone learned while being thoroughly entertained. We just wrapped up the first season and I must say we wrapped it up lovely. I started a #ILoveMe campaign and had some beautiful women of various size and ethnicity participate in a photoshoot.  The message was to simply love YOURSELF.   

About The Author Melanie Annette

Executive Editor – Curl Riot
Instagram: @MelanieAnnette_

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