Meet Ashley, a girly tomboy whose curly hair boosts her confidence.

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

AW: The freedom and versatility! I can do so much with my hair…I can straighten it, leave it out, braid it, pull it back, whatever! Another cool thing is that I don’t really have to worry about the weather. If it’s raining, so what? Snowing? Don’t care. Beach days? Heck yeah! I don’t have to worry about spending a whole lot on my hair for a little water to ruin it. I love that fact that my hair is unique and flexible.

NC: How do you thing having curly hair impacts your life?

AW: It definitely takes more time, but it’s worth it. It also shows me how to be more appreciative of other textures. I get stopped or asked about my hair a few times a week and it boosts my confidence like you wouldn’t believe. It’s great to know that there are people who embrace themselves just as much as you embrace yourself. I feel more confident now than three years ago when I felt like I had to straighten my hair to feel pretty. Not anymore! I love curls!

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

AW: No amount of flexi rods and flat irons can make you any more beautiful than you already are! Be creative. Learn what works for you, tweak other people’s methods and read labels!! Nothing sucks more than spending a fortune on products that don’t work for you. Your curls are more than just a hairstyle. People recognize you for them, so love them! Don’t let any one discourage you towards or away from being natural. I was born with straight hair so I have just as much right to straighten it! I know there are some hair haters out there who try to school other naturals and curlies about the process, but it is a personal and beautiful thing. Natural doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to your curl pattern, it means stick to natural products. If you want to straighten or braid or even use weave, go for it! If you want to stick with what God gave you, that’s awesome too. This is YOUR journey so lead it the way that’s best for YOU!

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!

AW: I’m a part of an awesome movement called the Price of Life which is fighting to end sex trafficking and human/labor slavery. This year, the focus is on NYC…my chapter of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship is launching a week-long campaign in October and I am part of the leadership team! I can’t wait! I’m also starting to take my hobby of photography more seriously and plan on doing so photography/short films and videos starting this summer. Last but definitely not least, I’m going to work on getting my hair back to waist length, bouncy and full of life! It’s definitely going to be a long road but an exciting one. 

MORE: Real Texture Talk: Char Sillimon

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