For Chantal, having curly hair is a blessing, not a burden.
Chantal Thomas: My name is Chantal Thomas. I'm from San Jose, CA and I'm twenty-nine years old. I'm a current senior at DeVry University, working on my B.S. in Computer Information Systems.
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?
CT: I began embracing my curls my freshman year in high school. It was a struggle for me because I am biracial—my mother is black and my father is white. I didn't quite fit in and I was always teased about my hair. My freshman year in high school, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, got rid of "the bun" and started wearing my hair down. Of course there were rude comments from a few, but most people were really nice. It surprised me that so many people were fascinated by my natural curls.
NC: What's your current routine?
CT: My hair gets dry really fast so to help retain moisture, I use Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner twice a week. Daily, I use Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner and then apply a generous amount of Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil. I've learned that oil is an important part of my moisturizing routine so I apply leave-In conditioner when my hair is damp, then use oil to seal the moisture in. I also try to avoid using my blow dryer at all costs…when it's absolutely necessary, I blow dry my hair using the cool setting. Otherwise, I'll let my hair air dry.
NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?
CT: My process is pretty quick and simple. I'm constantly trying out new products so the products may change, but my process is always the same. First I co-wash and detangle while showering. Once I'm out of the shower, I pat my hair dry with a t-shirt. Next I section my hair into six even parts and I rake leave-in conditioner into my hair using my fingers, making sure to distribute the product evenly. Then I apply a small amount of pure argan oil from root to end, paying extra attention to my ends because that's usually the first part of my hair to dry out. Then I flip my hair upside down, shake it out and apply a little more argan oil. Finally, I flip my hair back and shake it out once more, separate my bangs a little then voila, I'm all done!