My tip in life is a simple: Be yourself. It's not cliché; it's true. Authenticity stands out from a mile away!" 
Amanda Adjepong

We are beautifully and wonderfully made.  Most women want to feel accepted for who they are, along with their afro, curls, retro, shabby chic style, 6-inch platforms, curves, slim and sexy, dark rich chocolate, vanilla delight, or creamy caramel...

My beautiful interviewee gets this and wants to spread a very loud and clear message of self-love. Amanda Adjepong, also known as Curlgirlmanda is all about you being you. She currently resides in London, describing her ethnicity as “mostly Ghanaian and English with a bit of French and Irish chucked in.”  What is interesting is that one of Amanda’s biggest hobbies is learning languages. “I currently have 4 on-the-go!”

Going natural is not just changing your hairstyle

“The natural, curly hair movement -- I guess you can call it a movement right? -- is still a relatively new one and there are so many people who still don't quite know what to do with their curls," says Amanda. "I remember when I was in that position, picking up everything and anything I could from YouTube, making mistakes and learning from them, and I now want to be able to help and support 'new' curlies in any way I can. For a lot of people going natural is not just a 'change in hairstyle' and instead it can feel like quite a strong and brave stand against years and years of societal -- and even familial -- pressures, and acceptance of self. And I am 100% here for that.”

Stigmas in the natural hair community

When it comes to the stigmas surrounding the natural hair community, Amanda thinks that "there are still too many people embarrassed to wear their natural hair out, too many workplaces that make you feel your natural hair is not 'professional or smart' enough and far too many mothers relaxing their young daughters' hair "because it's easier to manage that way." However, since becoming a more active part of the natural hair community on Instagram, it has been so uplifting to see how much these attitudes are changing, and I am incredibly excited for the impact that this will have on the future generations of curlies.”

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Amanda's top 3 tips for keeping perfect curls

1. Zero heat. It can be tough if you have been on that blow-dry/straightener life for a long time, but if having healthy curls is your main goal, I believe it has to be done. Put down the heat ladies and gentlemen.

2. Find your product(s). These days, we are almost spoilt for choice as there are so many natural, nourishing products on the market. They can be quite pricey, but I am a firm believer in paying for quality when it comes to things that are going on and in my body. I am lucky in that I found products that worked for me right from the start (Jessicurl Cleansing Cream and Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner), but if you haven't found yours yet, persevere and when you do, stick to it!

3. TLC. Listen and react to what your hair needs, and treat it kindly. This last point is a bit of a cheat as it's more of a catch-all -- a thousand tips in one -- but in my opinion, it is fundamental to have an attitude of intentional kindness towards your hair. I say 'intentional' because it is so easy to get complacent, especially when the laziness kicks in and before you know it, your Day 1 hair is now on Day 11. It's simple things such as, not leaving such little time on Wash Day that you end up impatiently ripping out tangles; if your hair is dry, moisturize that ish! And yes, messy bed hair is sexy but a silk scarf can be, too.

The social media influence

There is so much pressure on young women to look, dress and behave a certain way, and I just hope that I am able to encourage them in some way to be themselves, and to love and accept themselves the way they are. And to have fun -- life should be fun!" As far as Curlgirlmanda’s success, she's humble about it. “I don't think I would quite call myself 'successful' on social media, but my tip in life is a simple: Be yourself. It's not cliché; it's true. Authenticity stands out from a mile away!”

Follow Amanda on Instagram 

Read next:  Un-ruly's Antonia on Growing Up Black and Natural in France