When NaturallyCurly employee Devri Velazquez began noticing changes in her appearances, she adjusted her beauty routine in search of answers.

When newly natural NaturallyCurly employee Devri Velazquez began noticing changes in her appearances, she adjusted her beauty routine in search of answers. Follow Devri in her exclusive series for NaturallyCurly, "Devri's Hair & Health Journey," as she deals with an extremely rare autoimmune disease, from her symptoms and diagnosis to treatment and the way this has affected her looks and self esteem.

I grew anxious with each day that passed by in anticipation of my family’s annual reunion. I was in search of a quick fix to my sudden changes in my hair, skin, and body. What had always been self-confidence within me was turning into self-doubt.  I did not want to come to terms with the fact that my health was too. It was literally happening right before my eyes. I looked into the mirror every day at a stranger. My rapid heartbeat inside me reflected more than a sense of being awestruck.

I started wearing makeup for the first time to conceal the yellowness in my complexion. After only a few weeks, my impatience got the best of me and I started trying luxury brands. Even the finest of tea tree oils or the purest of seaweed extracts delivered minimal results. My confidence—and now, money—were diminishing as quickly as the natural luster of my skin.

I remember waking up one day drenched in sweat for the first time. It was like somebody had thrown a bucket of water over my entire body. I kept the air conditioning pretty cold in my apartment, and I didn’t feel hot at all, so I was confused as to why my body was reacting in that way. I also noticed my heart beating incredibly fast, even though my body was at rest. My adrenaline pumped like I had just crossed the finish line in a marathon. I opened my eyes only to see what looked like squiggly lines floating on the ceiling above me. The brightness in my vision flickered, as if somebody was switching the lights on and off. My head throbbed while my arms tingled and my legs stung. The sensation felt like a million ants crawling up my arms and legs without me having the ability to brush them off. I remained calm to the best of my ability and got up out of bed slowly. For the first time in my whole life, getting dressed felt close to impossible. 

MORE: Natural Hair Envy Brings Devri to Big Chop


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Devri Velázquez

NC Content Editor Devri is a passionate writer with a deep appreciation for all forms of expressive art and culture. After being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in 2011, Devri's personal mission has been to empower other women to focus on their individual self-care and wellness.

Instagram: Devri Velázquez
Thank you so much for your comments & support! devri

Hi Devri, I found your story inspiring and heartfelt! That I think I read them all! I am so proud of you for going natural and most of all finding out what was wrong with your health! I always tell my clients if something is wrong with your hair something is wrong on the inside,and encourage them to keep asking dr. Keep up the great stories and I hope you are on the road to recovery! thanks for sharing! Your client, Cynthia Lattter of Chill Salon in Long Beach,ca :)