NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!
Diana Martha: Hello! My name is Diana and I'm 28 years old. I am from Alexandria, VA and my background is Colombian and Palestinian. I'm a social worker-turned-entrepreneur. I love dancing, fashion, cooking, traveling and anything cultural! I have type 3A curls.
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls, or have you always enjoyed and embraced your curls?DM: I slowly started embracing my curls when I was seventeen. I didn't understand how to style my hair — before, I used to just slick my hair back with lots of gel and tie it in a tight bun. I was brave enough to start letting my hair down, but it just hung in a curtain around my face. I fully started enjoying my curls in my mid-twenties. NC: What is your current routine?
DM: I switch up my routine about every five months because I have hair that adapts to products pretty quickly. My rule of thumb is to always opt for natural products. I avoid harsh chemicals and sulfates, especially because I have hair that’s genetically thin.
NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?
DM: When I’m done showering, I always rinse with cooler water and then turn my head upside down and “shake” my head to loosen the curls and scrunch out excess water. I then use a soft towel to scrunch some more, and if needed, I’ll repeat my “upside down shake.” The upside down shake sounds silly, but it's key for getting pretty coils! I don’t own a brush or comb — I only use my fingers to comb out my curls, and I spritz my leave-in conditioner mainly on the ends to avoid weighing down my hair.
I apply my gel/styling products almost immediately, while my hair is still damp. That part is key for me since my hair is thin and dries quickly. If I don’t put products in quickly I’m usually left with lots of frizz. I always apply styling products in sections so that I don’t miss any areas. Next, I bunch my hair in sections at the top and clip using Sally Beauty clips and let my hair air dry. I adapted this technique from watching a styling tutorial video by Curly Hair Solutions; I remove the clips once my hair is dried and it really creates nice volume without damaging heat and frizz.
NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls?
DM: Half up, half down is my “go to” look. Other than that, I usually don’t have much variety in how I style my hair — but I never straighten it!NC: What are your must-have products and tools?
DM: I have three products that I swear by and have used throughout the years...
1. SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Hold and Shine Moisture Mist as a leave in conditioner;
2. Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper to style; and
3. Arbonne SeaSource Detox Spa Detoxifying Rescue Wash to deep cleanse my hair regularly. I always have a “good hair day” on the days I “detox” my hair. I also can’t live without the clips from Sally Beauty!NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?
DM: I sleep on a "Sharmooz" satin pillowcase! I bought it about two years ago and it's the best thing I've ever done for my curls!NC: What about your hairstylists?
DM: Believe it or not, I cut my own hair, and my stepsister's too! I don’t have any formal training, but I was frustrated with paying $80+ to get my hair butchered at salons time and time again. So I went out one day and bought professional shears. I’ve been cutting my own hair for about three years now, and I couldn’t be happier!
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
DM: The best things about being curly are the simplicity, versatility and the FUN factor! Yes, the techniques can be more complicated, but the actual styling itself takes less than five minutes. And it doesn’t have to be perfect — in fact, it often looks better when it is tousled!
NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your everyday life?
DM: I grew up very self-conscious about my hair; curly hair really does make you stand out, to the point where strangers would come up to me and start touching my hair out of the blue! I don’t mind their curiosity anymore, but sometimes the way it’s done is offensive and rude. I also think that sometimes people view curls as less “polished/professional.”
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
DM: I think people who don't like their curly hair just have no idea how to manage it. It’s not easy at first, but just like with anything worthwhile, keep trying until you find what works. On NaturallyCurly.com, I was able to read a lot of articles about curly hair and I heard about products that others with similar curl patterns used.
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!
DM: My life is currently in a transitional period! Things didn’t go as planned when I finished grad school, as far as finding meaningful employment goes, so I launched myself into entrepreneurship. I’ve currently got a lot on my plate with running two businesses in the beauty/wellness field and fashion field. I still have strong social work ties, and I always seek opportunities to give back to my community, whether it’s helping others achieve success, teaching belly dancing, or volunteering my creative skills, etc.MORE: Real Texture Talk: Alex Portelli