As the months go on I encounter more and more amazing black women with hair that'll make you want to scream! Recently I have had the opportunity of becoming friendly with Shari, the beautiful owner of Bon Bon Vie. Her hair is amazing so of course I had to ask her to come on over to the blog and share her story! I think you all will enjoy it. Please be warned that her hair definitely falls under the "Hair Porn" category. Click the jump to read more about Shari and luscious curls!
Please, introduce yourself!
Hey everybody! My name is Shari Neal, I am a 27 year old Belizean-American entrepreneur. I run an online tee shop named Bon Bon Vie and do occasional freelance graphic design projects. And I just moved to Connecticut from my beloved Chicago.
What is your current hair care regimen?
My hair care regimen is sooo low budget, but in a good way ;) I am a reformed product junkie (not that there’s anything wrong with that), for my daily routine, simpler is better.
I’m in between shampoos at the moment, so I’m looking to try a new one. In the past I have used Oyin’s Honey Wash and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing shampoo. And for my dry scalp moments, I use the JASON line of products. Now that that’s out of the way, I use good ol’ Suave Strawberry conditioner. Why? It’s cheap, it doesn’t have protein (my hair despises protein), I use way too much conditioner to go w/ pricier brands (unless I’m deep conditioning), and it smells delicious!
I try not to manipulate my hair a lot, so I transition between buns, twists & twist outs. If I’m on top of it, I can get each style to last a few days. On occasion I wear my hair straight, usually when I need a trim. When I want giant, voluminous hair I do large twists (about 8-12) with little to no product (just some conditioner left in). For more defined twists, I use Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade or Whipped Pudding. I use the same products for buns, ponytails & up-do’s. And that’s about it!
What is your hair type and what works best for your texture?
I’m still not exactly sure what hair type I have...for real! I don’t know anyone with my texture. I found out a few years back that my mom’s side of the family descends from Mayan Indians, so that may have something to do with it. My hair is more wavy than curly, which I used to hate because I always wanted spirally, springy curls! But I’ve since learned to embrace it. My hair is also coarse and porous so it REALLY absorbs water and takes forever to dry. Because of the coarseness, I generally avoid protein as it can make my hair brittle. My hair also has a tendency to get flat if too many products in it, so I try to use the least amount I can get away with.
What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?
The reaction was generally positive. Even when I had a relaxer, I would still transition between straight/wavy hair. My mom was a bit concerned at first, but she was a believer when she saw the results :)
Did you BC or transition, if so when or for how long?
I transitioned the entire time. I never quite grew the cajones to cut all of my hair off. I actually had several stylists tell me they wouldn’t cut my hair because it was so long and they weren’t sure about me having short hair. I cut about 2-4 inches off every few months or so. But I will say this, transitioning was pure frustration! Especially when it was half relaxed/half natural. Your hair is really fragile where the relaxer ends, so you have to be careful. I lived in protective styles for quite a while. My transition lasted about a year - 18 months.
What makes you love your kinks, curls and coils?
I love my hair because it is so versatile! I can do just about anything with it.
Where can we find you on the web?
You can find my tees online atwww.wearbonbonvie.com or www.drjays.com (and in real life you can find them at The Silver Room in Chicago, Exit The Apple (Shout out to Oyin!) in Baltimore and Littlepoco in Brooklyn, and more stores coming soon).
My other online lives can be found at:
8. Anything EXTRA you want us to know?
Ladies, no matter what your hair texture, you are beautiful. P.S. Alex, you rock!