Ladies meet our FIRST Influencer of the Week: Lashaun Forbes! When I first saw Lashaun’s Instagram page, I was completely confused! I was looking for where she had either cut her hair, or was wearing extensions. I scrolled (for what seemed like forever) to figure out what the real deal was about her hair!!!! This was because her shrinkage vs stretched hair was INSANE! I refused to believe her hair was that long after being straightened! LOL. The shrinkage had me completely fooled! Please enjoy our interview and what Lashaun had to say about her natural hair journey!
1. What’s your full name?
My name is Lashaun Forbes
2. Where are you from?
I’m originally from Jamaica, but now reside in South Florida.
3. What’s your hair type?
I have a lot of different hair textures on my head, but the majority of my hair is 4a (low porosity).
4. Why did you go natural and how long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was June 2011. I transitioned 15 months and did the big chop September 2012. I’ve been natural ever since with no intent on returning back to relaxers.
I went natural for various reasons. The top two reasons were 1) Relaxers were taking its toll on my hair. My last few relaxers resulting with clumps of hair coming out. I knew my hair would be much healthier in it’s natural state. 2) I wanted to set an example for my little sister and niece who were starting to believe that relaxed hair was beautiful and their natural hair was ugly.
5. What do you love MOST about being natural?
It’s such a huge reflection of who I am. So much variety of curls on my head. Plus I have the option of wearing it really long (if I decide to stretch it) or super short if I allow my hair to remain in it’s shrunken glory.
6. What’s the most challenging experience you’ve had since being natural and how did you overcome it?
Since being introduced to the natural hair community, I got hooked to the pictures and especially the YouTube videos. I got to the point where I had grown out my hair, but felt dissatisfied that my curls weren’t as defined and uniform as the girls in the videos. I began thinking something was wrong with my hair. I convinced myself that it was damaged. This led to me cutting off my hair again and I regretted it because I realized I’d made a huge mistake. Nothing but the length of my hair changed. It was so bad that I avoided looking in the mirror for a very long time. On wash days, I simply washed, twisted it up and hid it under a hat. I got so overwhelmed one day that I just started crying. It was then that I decided to shut down the YouTube videos completely. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me—to teach me how to take care of my hair, instead of constantly running to the hundreds of YouTube videos with conflicting messages/advice. It was then that I really learned my hair and started appreciating it’s beauty. Two years post relaxer, I decided to actually flat iron my hair to see my progress and I was absolutely floored by my progress in such a short span of time.
7. What or who inspired you to become a natural hair influencer/blogger?
I wanted to become a natural hair influencer to inspire other women in ways that I desired, earlier on in my journey. I never hope for anyone to desire my hair, I always encourage women to learn and love what THEY have. My main focus is not so much trending natural hair styles or crazy magical tricks to make hair grow overnight, but more so natural hair care (natural hair health). As I always say, HEALTHY HAIR– GROWS.
8. Who’s your Favorite Natural Hair Influencer/curl crush?
Wow, um… it’s taking me a very long time to answer this one. LOL. Honestly, I can’t say that I have a “favorite” natural hair influencer and I don’t have a curl crush. I guess I’m my own curl crush (hehehe) and as far as influencing, I must say that Naptural85 has been a consistent voice in the natural hair community that I sometimes go to for ideas and/or reviews.
9. Do you like DIY regimens? If so, what’s your favorite?
DIY regimens are not my thing at all. I prefer buying something that’s already been made. Thanks. 🙂
I’ve tried it in the past and—- smh. The most DIY I do now is my Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse, which only requires diluting it with water. LOL
10. LCO or LOC or neither?
I love the LOC method. I used to swear by the LCO until I decided to try it.
11. Pre-poo or shampoo?
I’ll either use Apple Cider Vinegar rinse as my cleanser or I use a cleansing conditioner.
12. What’s your Go-To products (that you can’t live without)?
Jamaican Black Castor Oil (the real thing, not the cheap version that’s been mixed with other things)
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Eco Styler Gel (Olive Oil)
As I Am Coconut CoWash
13. What’s your favorite Hair style?
(A shingled) Wash and Go Blow Out
14. What advice would you give someone who’s considering going natural?
Enjoy every stage of YOUR journey.
Don’t be in a rush to get long hair.
Discover the method(s) and products your hair loves and be consistent.
15. What advice would you give someone who’s feeling stuck with their hair growth?
Many things could be the cause of you not seeing hair growth (or not retaining length). Consider the moisture level of your hair. If your hair is dry and brittle, it will break and continue to break until you change what you’re doing. The best moisture for our hair is WATER.
Don’t be so quick to rush out and buy a bunch of products that claim to moisturize your hair, the main source you want to focus on is yourself. How is YOUR health? Is your body dehydrated or lacking nutrients?
Another thing I would advise is to trim every 3-4 months, or as needed. The healthier you keep your ends, the more length you will retain.
16. What’s your current hair care regimen?
Deep condition (detangle thoroughly)
LOC method--> water (L), Jamaican Black Castor Oil (O), Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (C)
Shingle curls with Eco Styler Gel
Air dry for a few hours and then diffuse (low heat, high speed)
(Next day) Stretch roots with blow dryer (low heat, high speed)
Cover hair with a bonnet
Remove bonnet and shake curls into place
17. Product Junkie or Minimalist?
18. What are your social media handles?
YouTube Channel: “Coach Shaunie“
3 Fun Facts:
1. I am an introvert destined for an extroverted world.
2. My favorite colors are Mint Green and Tiffany Blue.
3. I was the baby in my family for 20 years, until my little sister surprised us. Everyone assumed she was my daughter.
4. I moved to the U.S. from Jamaica at the end of my 2nd grade year. I was bullied and mocked because of how I dressed, but mostly because of my accent. My entire 3rd grade year, I barely spoke. I was determined to adapt to the kids around me, so I absorbed the foreign language around me and by 4th grade my accent was pretty-much gone, and my wardrobe took a turn for the better. (It’s crazy how peer pressure can cause you to desire to change so much of who you are.)