Throughout 2015, I introduced you to some pretty awesome stylish naturalistas who, I hope, gave you some inspiration. I’m kicking off 2016 with another beauty. Meet January Natural Fashionista, Monique…
Hi, I’m Monique of @ItsMeItsMo and the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo! I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and I currently reside in Houston, Texas, by way of Hurricane Katrina. By day I serve as the “Special Education Chairperson” for my school, and by night I’m the founder and creator of the “New Orleans Natural Hair Expo!”
How long have you been wearing your hair in its natural state and what made you decide to return?
I’ve been natural for what seems like forever. It has been over 10 years! Honestly, returning to my natural state was an easy decision. The desire to see my curl pattern was my initial reason. At the time, I was rocking a Halle Berry short haircut, and one day decided to chop it all off. Confession: I absolutely loved my TWA!
Briefly tell us about your hair routine and favorite/go-to styles.
Sundays equal wash day! First, I shampoo using Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Shampoo. This shampoo is EVERYTHANG, lol! I usually follow that up with my Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner. This conditioner has been a staple in my routine for 10 years. Next up, DEEP CONDITION. I deep condition weekly, and I my current go to is EDEN BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner. It is AMAZING, trust me! My deep conditioning process takes about 30 minutes, and I always use my Hair Therapy Heat Wrap. The final step is styling. The Crème of Nature Perfect 7-in-1 Leave-in Treatment is HEAVEN sent, and I apply this before I apply my Ossat Natural Form & Hold Wax.
My go to style of choice is the braidout. It never fails me, and I usually end wash day with about 17 braids total.
What is one major thing you’ve learned throughout your natural hair journey?
The one thing I’ve learned and embraced is not to compare my journey and/or hair to others. It’s great to crush and be inspired by others, but crushing and being inspired by your own journey is key.
Do you think your style has changed since embracing your natural texture or do you feel your style has been pretty consistent through the years?
Honestly, my style has been pretty consistent throughout the years.
How would you describe your personal style? What inspires you?
I love basic, timeless pieces. I am a firm believer that I should be able to mix and match everything in my closet. Basic tee with a classic pencil skirt, black blazer with destroyed boyfriend jeans, I could go on and on. I am inspired by simplicity, and I definitely follow some dope Instagram pages that offer fashion inspiration daily. Make sure you check out: @ChicNaturalistas, @ItsDaynaDane, and @StylePantry!
Tell us one piece of clothing you just couldn’t live without.
One piece of clothing that I couldn’t live without would have to be my black tuxedo cut blazer. It goes with everything, and can transition from day to night. It’s simplicity perfected!
Where might we find you shopping?
If you could find me online shopping it would be at ASOS! Every dress and skirt I own comes from this website. For my every day wear, I love H&M, Forever 21, JC Penney, New York & Company, and thrift stores.
Please offer one or two fashion tips and/or a word of advice for those who are newly natural.
For my fashionistas, don’t be afraid to mix and match! Stripes, colors, polka dots, materials, etc. Also, when you purchase a staple piece of clothing (i.e. blazer, dress), get it tailored. Tailoring enhances any garment. For my newly natural ladies, my advice would be find what works for your hair and stick to it. You will try many products and styles, but once you’ve mastered that perfect combination don’t deviate from it too much.
Thanks for being this month’s natural fashionista, Monique!