Denise of Curly EssenceNaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Denise: Hello, my name is Denise. I am 23 years old and from Lisbon, Portugal (but born in Angola). My passions are music, film, and food…and more recently, my curly hair! 

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

Denise: My mom took care of my hair when I was younger, but then I grew up and blew it! I am no different from other curly girls…my friends had straight hair, and I thought that was beautiful, even though people encouraged me to let my curls breathe. I didn’t think that the “afro-curly look” was pretty on me. 

My natural movement didn’t start until last year when I met my Curly Essence partner, Ana. I finally met someone who shared all the same issues and stories. If only we had met sooner :)
NC: What's your current routine?

Denise: I am still very new to all this, so every wash and go is a new experience. Right now I am limiting my product craziness because I was a true product junkie. And with my fine fine hair, I only need two products to do the trick! I shampoo each time I wash my hair—three times a week—use conditioner, and comb my hair in the shower. Then I style it and just let it air dry! 

DeniseNC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls?
Denise: I only wear my curls two ways: loose or in a high bun.
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

Denise: I cannot live without my Kinky-Curly Leave-In…it is one of the best products for fine, curly hair! I also love Moroccanoil and Aussie Conditioners. And whoever invented bobby pins is a true genius! 

NC: Do you color your hair?

Denise: I have never colored my hair, but I would like to one day! I am a scaredy cat…it took me almost a year to even think about cutting my ends (oops). 

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

Denise: I love the pineapple method

Denise Curly HairNC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural? 

Denise: The good feedback: “Finally!” or “You look so must better with curly hair!” The bad feedback: “Didn’t you get your hair done?” or “It’s so big!”

NC: Did you big chop or transition? For how long?
Denise: I never went through any transition process. I always had curly hair…I just straightened it a lot. I used to skip going to the beach in the summer because I didn’t want to mess with my blow out! It sounds so ridiculous now. 
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

Denise: I feel so much better with myself; it truly gave me a major confidence boost! I love that more and more people are showing off their beautiful curls. It’s so fun!

Denise from Curly Hair Essence

NC: How does having curly hair impact your everyday life?

Denise: I have more eyes on me (some good, others bad).

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls
Denise: Don’t be afraid of being different; it is the best thing a person can do. You will feel so much better with yourself because you are being you and nobody else! 
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!
Denise: I started Curly Essence with my friend Ana in May 2013. It is a blog about curly hair and the natural movement, based in Lisbon, Portugal. The feedback has been truly amazing, so we are preparing a lot of great stuff for 2014. Hopefully we can turn Curly Essence into something unique. 

Want to know more about Ana and Curly Essence? Visit their blog to read more and to find links to their social media pages.