NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!
Natasha Piette: Hello! My name is Natasha and I am an American student attending the University of Essex, studying for a degree in International Development. I was born and raised in the U.S. and I have a mixture of West African and English roots.
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls, or have you always enjoyed and embraced your curls?
NP: I made the decision to embrace my curls right before heading off to college, when I was 17, after over three years of getting it chemically straightened. I was tired of spending hundreds of dollars on something that was damaging to my hair just for what was aesthetically “in” at the time. I didn’t want to have to worry about it in college, especially on a student budget. I figured that I was reaching a point in my life where I could be more carefree and accepting of myself as a naturally curly-haired girl. Plus, my family has always tried to convince me that natural is more beautiful.
NC: What is your current routine/regimen?
NP: I’m still trying to get accustomed to the curly transition. At the moment I am trying to find a solid routine and products that work best for my hair type, but it’s not easy. Hopefully that’s where NaturallyCurly can come in! I’m still searching for the best way to manage my curls. It tends to be mix-and-match when it comes to shampoos, conditioners and creams. My overall routine is quite simple. Wash, moisturize, dry and go!
NP: I begin with washing my hair every other day in the mornings. I pat it dry to begin with, then I wrap my head with a towel and leave it like that until my hair is no longer soaked. I brush my hair out from roots to tips and detangle. When my hair is still damp, I put my hydrating style cream in and let it sink in for a while. Depending on what the weather’s like, I’ll either blow dry my hair or let it dry naturally in the open air. Since English weather tends to be either cold or wet though (surprise!), I usually end up blow-drying my curls, combing my fingers through them as I’m drying. Then I’m out the door with umbrella at the ready!
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NC: What about your hair stylists?
NP: I’ve rarely been to the hair stylist since starting university. If I do, it’s usually no more than twice a year for either a trim or styling for a special occasion. Preferably my stylists will have experience with thick, textured curly hair and will know how to treat it and make it smooth. I’m not too picky.
NC: What are you favorite hair styles to wear with your curls?
NP: I like to have two small '70s style braids clipped to each side of my head, to relieve some of the poof of my hair. There’s also nothing like leaving my curly locks untouched and out in the open on a good hair day.
NC: What are your must-have products?
NP: A must-have is any sort of cream that will reduce frizz and produce shine. I never stick with the same product once I’ve finished it off. Right now I’m using Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner and I follow up with their Hydrating Styling Cream. So far, the products I’ve been using are great for helping with the coarse texture of my hair and leaving it relatively smooth. However, sometimes I feel that my curls are slightly lifeless and need a bit of a boost and bounce to keep them lively!
NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?
NP: I was pleasantly surprised! I had forgotten what my real hair was like and I instantly felt more unique. It was a sudden appreciation of being natural. I felt like a flower that was just beginning to bloom!
NC: Did you big chop or transition?
NP: I had a gradual transition. I waited for about a year for the chemicals to fade away as my hair grew out. Waiting to officially be back to natural often caused some frustrations. My hair would be extremely curly at the roots and then the rest of my hair downward would be straight. Sometimes I just wanted to cut it all off and start from scratch, but I toughed it out. For me, it’s going to be curly for life! I’m never going back to the chemicals.
NC: What do you do at night time for your hair?
NP: At the moment, nothing! I’m looking into some leave-in conditioners to maintain the health of my hair. Any suggestions are more than welcome!
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
NP: The best thing about being curly is being able to play with my curls. I love twirling my springy curls or teasing my hair until it gets to fro style.
NC: What impact has going natural had on your life?
NP: If someone were to have told me years back that going natural with my curls would give me more confidence, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. I used to be self-conscious about my curly hair because I felt like it wasn’t attractive and wasn’t the “in” 'do. However, embracing my natural curls has boosted my confidence in the classroom as well as at the workplace. I no longer have to hide anything. I’m finally just being me and everyone (to my initial surprise) loves it!
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
NP: Curly is beautiful. It’s unique. It’s bold. Embrace it. Don’t be afraid to stand out in the crowd and most importantly…be you!
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects. Tell us about your life and what you are up to!
NP: This summer I’ll be working in London at an English language school as an Activity Leader giving students tours around the city with various activities. We’ll be doing anything from museum and gallery visits, to seeing some of the London Olympic 2012 games, to even experiencing some of London’s vibrant nightlife! It’s incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to take London by storm! After that it’s vacation time in Portugal with my family. Then back to student life for my final year at Essex University!
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Do you have any hair care recommendations for Natasha?