In The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly Community, Michelle Breyer, co-founder of NaturallyCurly, has curated some of the best information that NaturallyCurly's experts and community members have collected over the past two decades. Rather than focusing on one method, product, or ethnicity, The Curl Revolution tells the story of the entire curly hair industry and features many of the leading curl innovators.
One of these curl innovators is Cassidy Blackwell. Cassidy is no stranger to the natural hair community, having created a natural hair blog, worked for NaturallyCurly, and now fostered brand engagement strategies at one of the most prominent beauty and lifestyle companies for people of color. Her response to her coils:
"I am not my hair, but my hair is totally an essential part of me. It's my crowning glory, but it's also not something I'm super precious about. I've learned that hair is just hair, and it definitely grows back, so I always try to have fun with it!" - Cassidy Blackwell, Director of Brand Engagement at FORM Beauty (The Curl Revolution)
As a follow-up to the curl journey Cassidy shared in our new book, I sat down with her to take a deeper look into her hair acceptance, and where her inspiration comes from. Follow along for more on Cassidy's foray into her hair, as she embraces her Curl Revolution.
What made you start Natural Selection? How did it shape your approach to thinking about your natural hair journey?
The name Natural Selection was inspired by evolutionary theory and so I sought to explore the evolution of the black hair care industry and the biology of naturally textured hair. Through these lenses, I was able to find my foundation in science and build from there. My hair journey, as a result, was shaped by thoughtful experimentation and contextual learning. It was also about having fun with my hair for the first time in my life.
Did you ever feel a pressure to have the perfect hair regimen for your curls, since you have a background in natural hair content creation?
What matters to me is showing that even healthy hair is all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The better I take care of ALL of myself, the better my hair will simply be a complement to that. I definitely feel some pressure, but it's mostly that people wonder how they can get my exact texture, which is just naturally very coily. It's been my goal just to encourage people to love THEIR own hair vs. idolize another's.
What does The Curl Revolution book mean to you? How does this change the game for the hair industry?
The Curl Revolution to me is the representation of an amazing dream realized. I went from being a CurlTalk junkie to being a Global Editor at NaturallyCurly, to becoming good friends with Michelle Breyer. I'll never forget that one day we were at a hair show and she turned to me and said, "I've gotta write a book about all this." And here it is!
NaturallyCurly taught me so much of what I know and I'm so excited that our texture has not only a printed celebration but an informative instructional manual to educate broadly moving forward.
Where do you see curl acceptance going in the future?
What I love about NaturallyCurly and The Curl Revolution is that it's all about bringing together a community of curlies, coilies, and wavies. There's so much we can learn from one another and I think that inclusivity is super important in the beauty industry today. For too long hair has been segmented by ethnicity or texture -- both of which are rather arbitrary. Instead, this 360 view of the entire range of texture allows for more understanding and more opportunities for personal hair care.
Right! I genuinely believe it is so important to not get caught up in the hype over our hair and to just let it grow and flow naturally. Hair totally has its own personality. How do you feel about the understated pressures to have perfect coils all of the time, and how do you show love to your crown?
While I do have a laissez-faire attitude about my hair (I much prefer writing about it, than doing it), there are certain non-negotiables for me when it comes to taking care of my hair. First, I make sure to clarify my hair at least once a month. Build up = breakage and dry hair for me. Second, I always always always sleep on satin. Third, I make sure to get my ends trimmed about 4 times a year so I can prevent breakage and splits.
Ok, Last question :) When choosing a product for your hair, what are you looking for? What is your hair obsessed with?
I look for moisture, I look for conditioners with slip, I look for products that can be super versatile in how I use them (ie. a 3-in-1 product is my dream!). My hair is obsessed with FORM. I shaved my head about 3 years ago and grew my hair out with FORM while we were still in development. Now my hair is beneath my collarbones and the healthiest it's ever been!
Thank you so much, Cassidy for being a part of The Curl Revolution!
Don't forget, you can pick your copy through SHOPNaturallyCurly. It's our December book club pick of the month, and if you use the discount code RUSH24 right now you can get an extra 24% off!
Photos by Karston Tannis for The Curl Revolution.