When I think of healthy hair care, Sharifa ‘MsKibibi’ Jarrett is one of the first to come to mind. She’s a pioneer in this hair game and was one of the first that I stumbled upon when trying to develop a regimen and learn the how’s and why’s of healthy hair care. I recall watching her YouTube channel over and over with hopes of achieving hair that looked as half as great as hers. As I matured in my healthy hair journey, I’d often refer to her videos as refresher. My all time favorite – her roller setting videos! Her sets are always banging. I purchased her book when it launched and I’m even guilty of lurking her blog. Heck, I’ve even posted there a time or two. So yeah, I’m a fan. Therefore, it’s with great pleasure that I was granted an interview opportunity with MsKibibi. Enjoy….
Your hair is (natural/relaxed/etc)?
My hair is relaxed but it’s not bone straight. It’s more like texlaxed.
When and why did you start your healthy hair journey?
I unofficially began my hair journey in 2003. A bad experience with a new stylist left my hair uneven and damaged, so I got a major haircut. During the next year, I wore glue-in weaves to add length and thickness to my hair. In 2004, I stopped using the glue-in weaves ‘cold turkey’ and officially began my hair journey.
What is your current length? What is your goal length?
My hair is currently at bra strap-length, but has a ‘V’ shape. My goal is to once again achieve full, waist-length hair with a ‘U’ shape or a blunt cut.
What is your hair regimen?
My regimen changes depending on the weather and my goals. I’m in a Minimalist/Extensionist phase where I wear a wig during the week, wash my hair once a week and usually wear my hair on the weekends.
How often do you touch-up, trim and use heat?
I generally relax my hair three to four times a year. I stretch anywhere from 12 weeks to 16 weeks, depending on my new growth. I’m growing out my hair and don’t plan to trim more than 1/2” each time I relax. The amount of heat I use depends on my current regimen. Right now, I use indirect heat weekly (ex. blow dryer with a diffuser) and direct heat (ex. flat iron) when I want to wear my hair straight. I’ve been able to use direct heat weekly without adverse effects to my hair.
What’s your fave go-to style for work and for play?
For work, I keep it simple and wear my hair straight and down. For play, I like to spice things up with big, soft curls. If I’m feeling adventurous, I wear a curly wig that has highlights.
What do you love most and least about your hair?
I love the versatility of my hair. I can wear it silky straight or I can wear a braidout or bantu knotout for waves and curls. My least favorite thing about my hair is how long it takes for me to wash it. My arms get tired pretty quickly (laughs).
Do you take any supplements or use growth-aides? How have they helped?
I have used copious amounts of supplements and various growth aids. Some helped increase my growth rate and loosen my curl pattern (MSM did that), but I honestly got tired of taking so many pills. Now, I take adult gummy vitamins or liquid vitamins (when I remember). I plan to be more disciplined when I start my healthy hair challenge in January.
The healthy hair challenge will have a four phases that follow the principles in my book, The 5 Hair Archetypes. It will be very easy, and each phase will build on the previous phase. The ultimate goal is to retain 6” of hair in 2014 by developing healthy habits and a consistent hair regimen.
What has helped you most in achieving and maintaining length?
Moisturizing daily! I can’t emphasize that enough. Once I learned my ends need moisture to stop breaking, it changed my hair.
Name a hair product, accessory or tool you cannot be without? And why?
My hair moisturizer! I’m currently using jojoba oil; moisture is the key to length retention.
What’s the key to pulling off a wig as a protective style to make it look realistic and beautiful?
Invest in a human hair wig if you want a straight style. If you want to wear a curly style, synthetic hair is acceptable. Also, don’t wear the wig ‘as is’ out of the box. For my straight wig, I used thinning shears to match the thickness of my hair and I remove some of the length. For my curly wig, I cut bangs. If you’re not comfortable styling the wig on your own, take it to a salon and have them style the wig while you’re wearing it.
Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it.
The 5 Hair Archetypes is the culmination of my seven-year journey from chin-length to full, waist-length hair. I developed the hair archetypes, or hair personalities, as a system for helping women identify their hair patterns based on their current hair regimen. My goal is to show women how their regimen, not their genes, determines the overall health and length of their hair. There’s a quiz to help readers determine their archetype and suggested regimens for each. I don’t adopt a ‘one size fits all approach’ to hair care. I find that working with someone’s current lifestyle and preferences is more effective than telling them to do exactly what I’m doing.
The complimentary hair archetype quiz is available on the book website (www.5hairarchetypes.com).
My best friend inspired and encouraged me to write the book.
Where can we check you out on the web?
My blog is Kibibi Hair (www.KibibiHair.com) and I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@KibibiHair). My current YouTube channel is @MsKibibi, but I’ll be transitioning viewers to my new channel @KibibiHair in 2014.
Well Divas, there you have it — my awesome chat with MsKibibi. How cool was that! In hindsight, I realized my excitement led me to overlook a very important question – what are your favorite hair products? Maybe I can sweet talk MsKibibi into dropping by and sharing a few of her favorite vendors/products or even personal recipes. I’d love to know what cleanser, conditioner, moisturizer and sealer she relies upon week to week.