Being a Florida native has caused most of the issues I have had with my hair.

It's hard having all this curly hair and then stepping out into 90% humidity! The humidity, coupled with the fact that I didn't know what I was doing in life, has hurled me into a state of self-care, starting with my curls. I have always loved my curls but often felt frustrated with caring for them, so I am thankful for resources like NaturallyCurly that have pushed me to this new path. These are the factors that lead me to this new state of enlightenment with who I am and my curly locks.

Photo Courtesy of Jenn Talbert

Hair Loss

Over the last 7 years, I worked hard at becoming successful in my career. As a woman, I took each step up the ladder with what felt like a million pounds of pressure. I fell into the "I am too busy" trap and allowed myself to indulge in that way of life. When it all came crumbling down last year, the weight of everything hit me smack in the face. The emotion of losing a job and the tiring years I put into it decided to show itself physically by falling out of my scalp. Wash day in my house became a boohoo fest with chunks of hair falling from my head. My hair started thinning right around the crown and after multiple tests, my doctor concluded that emotional stress and lack of an outlet to release it had lowered some vitamin levels and caused my hair to thin.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, women make up 40% of people who suffer from hair loss, and yet we are held to punishingly high standards in regard to our appearance. It is one of the most heart-wrenching things I have ever experienced and instantly sent me into a panic every time I set out to wash my hair. After visiting with my doctor, I realized I needed to take some steps to DESTRESS (1) because I love myself and (2) I really love my hair.

I started meditating, started a blog, worked on my photography and overall started to focus on how to be myself fully, even with my thinned hair. It's a work in progress, but every day gets better. If you are experiencing hair loss, consult with your doctor and/or a dermatologist or trichologist.

Photo Courtesy of Jenn Talbert

Products

Dun Dun Dun-- the nightmare of the overused hair products, it's happened to us all and yet still shocks every time. I have a habit of over-committing to one sequence with a certain set of products, and act surprised when it isn't working for me anymore! In my early years, my life was all about gel and hairspray. When I pinned it up, I couldn't have a single hair out of place. Then I moved on to mousse, and still to this day I like using it every now and then. Other than mousse I didn't do much with it besides shampoo and condition. It wasn't until someone introduced me to Moroccan Oil that I realized there were many products waiting for me! I think this has been one of the hardest lessons that I continually have to re-learn because I don't actually learn the lesson. It is important to have products that I can't let go of, but it's equally as important for me to rotate through some products with different methods. This way I can cycle through and keep my curlies feeling nourished, no matter what climate or conditions my hair is in. Recently I have been into Ouidad Climate Control Gel with cream, using a SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and mousse (I'm open to finding a good one).

Photo Courtesy of Jenn Talbert

Self Care

Up until this year, deep conditioning was something that I NEVER did. I have passed by so many deep conditioning products in my life and never blinked an eye. Honestly, this has been one of my FAVORITE steps in my hair routine. My little ladies look so healthy and shiny after a deep condition. I have been stuck on SheaMoisture Sacha Inchi Oil Rescue and Repair Masque. There are so many benefits to using a deep conditioner and one of my top reasons for doing so is the self-care and pampering aspect. Wrapping this into my Sunday wash routine has made me stop and evaluate what other types of self-care can I include into my daily routine to feel great and decompress!

Photo Courtesy of Jenn Talbert

Girl With Curl Seeking Stylist

I have been so hard on myself over the past two years about neglecting my hair. For the curlies living in an area lacking services for curls specifically, I FEEL YOU! It is brutal out there and I am utterly terrified of getting a bad cut. I had an amazing stylist for two years. This was until the farewell email came through sigh. She was fearless, not scared of curls and was so open to having fun with my hair. Since her departure a couple of years ago, I have managed to get 3 haircuts in total. Fortunately, I found the Salon Finder on NaturallyCurly and pinpointed a local stylist who is trained in Deva Cuts! This could not have come at a better time, as I was just about ready to drive to six hours to find someone who specialized in cuts for curls. I feel so ready for whatever change is coming my way.

My curls are perfectly suited for me. They go with my style and bring out my personality. I can throw them up on top of my head and still feel like the most beautiful babe around. The last few years have been the biggest eye opener in regards to my health and the health of my hair. I am a big believer in the "never too late" mentality, and that is the route I plan to take with my curls. I hope this journey with my hair opens up my mind about who I am and how I perceive myself.

Want more on my curly journey? Follow me on ig @OhSwoonBaby and follow us on Facebook for more!