Diane: My name is Diane. I am a twenty something with a passion for curly hair! I also love animals, especially my dachshund Stretch, live music, Disney Princesses, Snoopy, video games, playing with makeup and anything girly!
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?Diane: When I was younger, I hated my curls. Throughout high school and most of college, I would blow my hair straight and flat iron it constantly. At one point I even got a relaxer to keep my hair straight, which really messed it up. I tried to enjoy my curls a few times, but I always went back to straightening them until 2010, when I started educating myself and taking care of my curls. I grew the relaxer out. and went over two years without blow drying my hair straight at all. Now, I will maybe blow it out twice a year (at most) for a change, but I have grown to love my natural wavy texture. It makes me unique. Once I learned to love and take care of my hair, it started to love me back, as silly as it sounds.
NC: What's your current routine?
Diane: I wash my hair twice a week and most of the time I let it air dry…when the weather gets freezing, I sometimes have to diffuse it because I get too cold! Each time I wash my hair, I prepare the night before by sleeping with stimulating scalp oils on my head to encourage hair growth and coconut oil through the length of my hair as a pre wash treatment. Coconut oil is magic—it helps keep my hair soft and smooth and counteracts some of the damage I do (from coloring my hair). Once a week I use a co-wash and once a week I use a sulfate-free shampoo. I always deep condition…my hair is very dry so using regular conditioner would be a joke! I try to sit under my steamer or hard bonnet dryer during one of my deep treatments because the heat really adds to the conditioning process. Some of my favorite deep treatments are the Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen, Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment and DevaCurl Heaven in Hair. I leave conditioner in my hair anywhere from a half hour to 2 hours.Right after the shower, I use normal conditioner (I like DevaCare One Condition) as my leave-in, followed with the Living Proof Restore Cream, a gel and argan oil. I've been rotating between the DevaCare Arc AnGEL and Jessicurl Spiralicious. Then I scrunch the excess water out of my curls and take my curl ease towel and scrunch some more. I hang my head over my body much like the DevaCurl 3 step way. On days that I don't wash my hair, I use a refresher spray and spray my hair in sections. Then I apply a leave-in conditioner and a serum. My favorite serum is the Nubian Heritage Strengthen & Grow, or DevaCurl MirrorCurls for special events. If I diffuse my hair, I use the living proof restore spray as a heat protectant.
Diane: I enjoy wearing my hair down and letting my waves roam free.
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?
Diane: I need my diffuser for cold days and my steamer to help with deep treatments. Of course, because I have a lot of hair, I am never without a scrunchy. DevaCurl, Jessicurl and Living Proof Restore are my favorite product lines but I also enjoy products from SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, WonderCurl and Ouidad. I am a product junkie.
NC: What about your hair stylists?
Diane: My hairstylist is amazing. Her name is Lisa and she works at Marucci Hair Design in Staten Island, NY. She is a "Deva Inspired" stylist. I call her my magician because she makes my naturally not-so-great hair look amazing. She also colors my hair.
NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?Diane: I pineapple it and put it in a satin bonnet. NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?
Diane: It wasn't anything dramatic really…more like, "Oh, you're wearing your hair curly now!" Now that I have grown my hair out and consistently take care of it, I get a lot of compliments. I'm still not used to it!
NC: Did you big chop or transition?Diane: I did not big chop, but I had to grow out my old relaxer, which took years. The bottom of my hair was straighter than the top and also thinner, since the chemicals had really taken a toll on my hair. I had a lot of curly girl insecurities growing up. When I was a child my hair was horrible—I got called mean names because of it.
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
Diane: I can work out or go out in rain and I never have to freak out that the hours spent getting my hair to look halfway decent was a waste. It looks better curly and is much more care and worry free!
NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your life?
Diane: Because I prefer to air dry my hair and like leaving my conditioner on for long periods of time, I do have to schedule the time and days that I will wash it. And sadly, I feel some people STILL do not view curls and waves as professional so I struggle with that. But I won't let them win.
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?Diane: Curly hair is beautiful and unique. Over 60% of the world has curly hair. It's all about being consistent, learning to apply products properly and deep treatments. The more you baby and care for your hair, the better it will behave and look. Taking a little time to research and play with products to see which work best for your hair is worth it. And avoid sulfates and silicones—it makes SUCH a difference! I can be considered a hypocrite I guess since yes I color my curls, but I treat them better than I would a cashmere sweater. Hair is the only accessory you really wear every single day of your life.
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!Diane: Right now I am hunting for a full-time job. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Advertising, Marketing and Communications two years ago and haven't found a job yet. It does get discouraging but I won't give up. I would LOVE to work for a hair product company in their corporate office or something! Too bad I don't live closer to NaturallyCurly ;)