NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Amanda Starghill: Greetings! I am Amanda Starghill and I am a junior at the University of Houston studying integrated communications.

How and when did you start embracing your curls, or have you always enjoyed and embraced your curls?

My last relaxer was in April 2010 and I did a big chop almost a year later in February 2011. I have been natural for 17 months.

What is your current routine/regimen?

My current regimen consists of moisturizing daily and detangling and deep conditioning weekly. Here are the products I use:

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

I wear stretched styles 99 percent of the time for multiple reasons.

  1. They lessen the potential of single-strand knots (ssks)
  2. It decreases the wash time by 50% because my hair is less tangled
  3. I have more variety with stretched styles.

I hate wasting a good deep conditioner to release shed hair. That's good stuff going down the drain, you know? My wash process is as follows:

1. I section my hair with 4-5 duckbill clips

2. I apply detangler or co-wash conditioner and finger-detangle by section

3. I apply my deep conditioner

4. I sit under a hooded dryer for 15-30 minutes.

What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls?

My favorite hairstyles are flat-twist outs or old flat-twists outs that I pin into updos. I love wash-n-gos, but I hate the knots and tangles, so I don't do them frequently.

What are your must-have products and tools?

I must have a moisturizer, detangler or co-wash conditioner, deep conditioner, processing cap and bobby pins. All of my products are 100 percent natural so I usually do not have to seal because all of my products contain oil.

What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?

Everyone loved my natural look. After I sent my brother a photo of my fingercoils the day after I big chopped, my mother called me (after I told him not to tell her) and said she actually liked it. She had been afraid that I would look like a boy.

Did you big chop or transition and for how long? If you’ve always been natural, did you ever have any curly hair girl insecurities?

I transitioned for ten months. Although I have not been natural my entire life, I have definitely had my share of bad hair days.

What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

At night, I flat-twist my hair into six or seven cornrows. If I am being lazy, I will pineapple my hair.

What is the best thing about being curly? How has having curly hair impacted your life?

The best thing about being a curly girl is the healthy variety and freedom you have with your hair. I find that I create of the hottest hairstyles on my lazy hair days. You can get really creative with bobby pins.

Does having curly hair affect your everyday life?

Not really. Hair care has always been big in my family, whether you are relaxed or natural, so I do not devote any more or less time to style and care for my hair than I did before.

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

First, I discourage them from the notion that “natural hair won’t look right on me.” Second, I acknowledge how well your natural hair will complement your features. Third, I remind them that research is important and you won’t always have the best hair days. Transparency is key.

Tell us about your current and upcoming projects. Tell us about your life and what you are up to!

Right now my focus is growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ, excelling academically and paying these bills, child! I made dean’s list Spring 2012 and I want to maintain that. Outside of those priorities, I am the moderator for the Facebook group Natural Hair Divas and an editorial intern for NaturallyCurly.

Read More: Best Kept Secrets of a Natural Curly