NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Elyse Caceres: My names Elyse Caceres. I am 24 years old and I’m currently working as a Project Coordinator for a facilities company in New Jersey.

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

EC: It started in 2008. I used to drench my hair in mousse and hairspray, and one day decided I needed a change. It took a very long while, I will admit. I didn’t know about this lovely website when I started and I don’t have too many curly girls in my life, so it did take a lot of trial and error. 

NC: What is your current routine?

EC: My routine is pretty low maintenance. I wash my hair every other day and my shampoo and conditioner consist of sulfate-free, paraben-free, and color-safe products. Twice a week I use a deep conditioning mask. On a monthly basis, I like to do a scalp scrub to release build-up on my scalp. For that I use ‘Sugar in the Raw,' olive oil and coconut oil. 

NC: So from start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

EC: I wash (or just wet my hair if I don’t need to clean it) and style it with a leave-in conditioner and curl activator. To dry my hair, I use a hair blower and diffuser. The hair blower has both negative and positive ions…the positive ions open the cuticles allowing quicker dry time and allowing any treatments in my hair to be better absorbed. The negative ions are what I use on a daily basis. They close the cuticle for less frizz. I love it! 

MORE: Savannah's Curly Hair Routine

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

EC: I must have my bobby pins! I carry a case in my purse just in case I need to put my hair up.

NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls

EC: I love wearing my hair down! But on humid days I take a whole bunch of bobby pins to make a messy curly bun.

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

EC: For blemish reasons, I like to put my hair up in a bun or use the pineapple method.

NC: What about your hair stylist?

EC: I’ve gone through a few and I could never understand why my hair looked so weird after my trims. My sister-in-law, who has a beautician license and understands the dynamics of my hair, would practice on my hair for the perfect cut. I go to her sometimes, but I am proud to say I’ve learned how to cut my own hair. I trim my hair when needed.

NC: Did you big chop or transition? For how long?

EC: I’ve been a curly hair girl since I was seven. My father gave me a big chop since I didn’t know how to take care of my hair and POOF! All of these curls came out of nowhere, and it became even harder trying to take care of my unruly hair. I’ve had plenty of curly hair insecurities and sometimes wished my hair was straight. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I transitioned in 2008 and I love my curls!

NC: What reaction did you get when you decided to go natural? 

EC: It was a battle at first. My hair was terribly dry and frizzy. Again, I didn’t know what I was doing…all I knew was that I was tired of it being damaged and I didn’t want to hide it under a pile of mousse and hairspray.

MORE: Giulia’s Real Texture Talk 

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

EC: It’s different; I have a look like no other. I work in the corporate world where you don’t see too many curly girls, so sometimes it’s nice to stand out. 

NC: Do you think having curly hair has impacted your life?

EC: I get a lot of compliments about my hair, and it’s nice that I don’t have to do much to it. It’s easy to manage and looks great! I’ve learned so much from this website that I’m passing the knowledge to my cousins and nieces who also have curly hair. It’s awesome!

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?

EC: Love yourself! Embrace your uniqueness.

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects.

EC: I am currently working on a big project in the company I work for currently. My life has made a turn for great things and I hope to keep it going.  

MORE: Angela Delyani’s Real Texture Talk