What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up in a Dominican household, my textured hair was considered a "Pajon" which pretty much meant "wild untamed big afro". So when someone would tell my mother "You need to fix her pajon" that meant "Take your child to the salon". My hair was relaxed at the age of 10 and I had to get my hair straightened EVERY weekend, which I hated. However, in my mind I had to keep my hair nice and straight because that was when I looked "pretty".
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?
In 2007 I decided to cut off all my relaxed hair, because I was over the chemicals being added to my hair and how smelly my hair would get when I would sweat. Even though I still continued straightening my hair weekly, I would sometimes rock my curls until one day in 2014 I washed my hair and my curls were completely gone. I had MAJOR heat damage. So I went to work and educated myself on natural hair. I had no idea that there was a huge natural hair community out there to help guide me. I was in awe!
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment in my journey was in 2015 when I big chopped & never looked back. I now have been natural for 5 years :) My healthy hair journey has been amazing! I learned to embrace & love myself & my curls. I've met so many amazing people on this same journey & knowing I have a whole community to lean on for support is really a great feeling.
How do you protect your curls at night?
Before going to sleep I massage my scalp with my favorite oils combined, Jojoba & Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I put my hair in a high ponytail (Pineapple), wrap a satin/silk scarf around my head & I sleep with a satin pillow case. I move a lot when I sleep so if my scarf falls off (which it has) I have my pillow to keep my curls protected.
Who is your curl crush?
Omg I have so many, but since I have to choose one I'm gonna say that my curl crush is @brandirell I just love her!
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
My curly girl essential I can't live without is definitely my hair pick. I have one in every bag own, one by my bed, one in my car, another in my office at work. lol
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
Currently I wash my hair once a week, co-wash bi-weekly. I deep condition weekly religiously using either heat or steam. Once a month I do a hot oil treatment.
I style my hair using a cream/butter styler and sometimes I add gel on top of the cream/butter, it really just depends on the product I'm using. When applying the stylers I do it on drenching wet hair, I find when I do this I get the best results.
I air dry till my hair is about 70% dry then I diffuse. Once my hair is completely dry, pick at my roots for more volume.
A few Of my favorite products are the Papaya Castor Scalp Cleanser by Eden Bodyworks, Honey Miracle Hair Mask by TGIN 'Thank God It's Natural", As I Am Leave-In Conditioner, and Natural Curl Defining Creme by Eden Bodyworks.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging moment of my natural hair journey was when I gave myself some heat damage by straightening my own hair. I know right!!! I would straighten my hair once a year for length check taking all protective measures. BUT it happened and I seriously cried and was so angry at myself. Like girl...you know better! I couldn't believe I was dealing with heat damage AGAIN. But with a hair cut and EXTRA TLC my curls bounced right back!
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Scalp massaging nightly with essential oils has definitely helped with growth and keeping my hair and scalp healthy.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Be patient. Take your time with learning your hair, what it likes and doesn't like. Consistency is really important in achieving healthy hair. But most importantly, love & embrace YOUR hair. Its part of you!