In her own hands Lora-Kenie Deronville

One might suspect that the hair that grows from someone’s scalp is their responsibility. At a certain age, they’re the ones who are to care for it. For Umass student Lora-Kenie Deronville, her independence in this area was only recent. Until the age of 18, her mother was the one to care for and style Deronville’s hair.

“My mom just did everything,” Deronville said. “She would wash it, [condition it],

and then she would blow dry it and then we’d style it.”

After years of her mother caring for her hair, the day came when Deronville decided to experiment with her curls for herself.

In talking with some of her natural haired friends, Deronville was inspired to try out a wash n’ go for the first time. The experience was a bit of a letdown. Deronville realized her hair didn’t have loose curls and it wasn’t easy to style. She had an afro - a hair texture she’d never dealt with on her own.

Watching YouTube natural hair tutorials and teaching herself the ropes only further exposed her to the realization that her hair texture wasn’t the widely promoted 3c curls in the natural hair community.

“I was disappointed in a way, but at the same time, I was like ‘oh, I have to learn how to embrace it,” Deronville said.

But Deronville knew she’d need to learn to take care of herself and break free from codependency on her mother, especially when becoming an independent college student.

After experimenting with and improving the twist technique, Deronville has ditched putting heat in her hair and hasn’t used it since May 2018. She even prefers her hair natural as opposed to straight. Deronville says there’s no worry about rain ruining it or anything that could alter her hair’s state when it’s curly because she’s content with how it looks. She can enjoy its healthiness and beauty ironically because of her mother.

Deronville noted that she was thankful to her mother for always keeping low heat on her hair. Whenever she’d want to touch up her roots or the “puffy” parts of her straight hair, her mother would insist that she leave it alone. Because of this, Deronville can wear her natural hair heat damage free.

Q: So, you don’t have heat damage?

A:“No, thankfully. My mom was very smart. I don’t think she knew it, maybe she did, but like...I would straighten my hair maybe three times a year. I would ask my mom for it to be re-straightened when, like, you straighten your hair and it puffs up a little at the front. I’d wanna re-do it and my mom was like ‘no’”

Deronville sped up her detangling process by directly applying her conditioner to her Denman style brush and then brushing it through her hair. Pretty genius!

The detangling process takes patience, time, and laser eye focus.

“I feel like my natural hair fits. Like when I take out my twists and it’s just out and free - it’s just so much more...it’s easier.”-Lora-Kenie Deronville