This is the last part of the first installment of Texture Perspectives, a new series of discussions involving the perspectives of four different women of different hair textures and types. We invite you to meet them and join in the discussion, interacting with these ladies and the rest of the NaturallyCurly community by commenting. If you missed the first three parts of the first Texture Perspective, be sure to go back and meet Tracey, Quinn and Cassidy. At last, meet the fourth of the Texture Perspective ladies, Suzanne.
Suzanne Schroeder: 3A
NaturallyCurly: Please, introduce yourself! Where are you from? Where do you live?
Suzanne Schroeder: I'm Suzanne, product editor at NaturallyCurly. It's a job that I have a big love for. I am also CurlySuzy on occasion, writing about curly hair and the products that go along with it. I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. I moved to Austin for college, and left for a few years to try out New York and Boston. All the while, Texas kept calling my name, and I returned to Austin to stay. I have two lovely sons and a wonderful man (who loves my hair) in my life.
NC: What's your curl story? Have you always loved your hair? Did you just start embracing your curls? Why?
SS: I spent my childhood not ever giving any real thought to my hair, other than thinking that it always looked worse than my friends hair after a sleepover. I mostly wore my hair in pigtails, and that was the extent of my hair routine. When I was in sixth grade, I did have some fleeting moments of wanting my hair to be like Dorothy Hamill (the 1976 Olympic champion figure skater). Thinking about that now, I realize that was really the beginning of the end for me and my hair. By seventh grade, I had latched on hard to wanting straight hair. I am sure I nagged my wonderful mother, who has gorgeous, straight blond hair, for haircuts, hairdryers and a new brush. My dad and brother both have short curly hair that's easy to take care of, and my sister has straight hair like my mom. I was on my own with my hair struggles.
Everyday is a new day with curly hair. I have learned to embrace the unexpected. My hair is never the same from day to day. I am always experimenting with products and styling techniques.
Like any other teenager, I was obsessed with clothes, my hair and my social standing. By the time I was in high school, I had mastered blow drying my hair until it was straight and never looked back. I kept up the struggle to keep my curls out of mind and out of sight until college. Being at college was a whole new world of people and hair. I was seeing a lot of variety and had lost the desire for really straight hair. I just let my hair live in a state of limbo. It was the 80s, and big frizzy hair was in style. I was letting some of the texture come alive, but not the curl definition.
When I moved to New York in 1989, the big hair era was coming to an end. I had a brief, very unsuccessful few months of trying to wear my hair curly. I used too much product, and it was a disaster most of the time. I went back to straightening my hair full time. Once I was back in Austin, I was still at odds with my curls, but was letting them be a little wavy.
In 1999, I gave birth to my first son and was in complete bliss with my baby. He was an easy one. I was wearing my hair in a bob. I kept it that way for a long time. I was still washing and brushing my hair and the waves managed to maintain themselves with no thanks to my hair care routine. Another baby boy and a difficult, but amicable divorce later, I was ready to start thinking about my hair again. I had turned forty, and it was time to spruce myself up. I had also just met Michelle of Naturallycurly. She inspired me to embrace my curls, and I started my curly journey that I am still on to this day.
NC: What's your approach to curly hair?
SS: Everyday is a new day with curly hair. I have learned to embrace the unexpected. My hair is never the same from day to day. I am always experimenting with products and styling techniques. Of course I have my HG products, but I am always excited about trying new things. I have also learned to really appreciate my hair and not fight with it any more. Making peace with my curls has been a bigger lesson than I expected. I feel like my joy with my curls has led to finding more joy within myself. It's weird how loving your hair can make you realize you need to love all of yourself.
NC: What's the BEST advice you ever got about your curly hair?
SS: Learn how to take good care of your hair. A million thanks to all the great women on the NaturallCurly boards. I have gained so much knowledge from them.
NC: What are some of your go to's — styles, methods, tools, etc?
SS: Satin pillowcases, Curls Like Us Cloths, deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, mousses, ACV rinses and my diffuser. Those are the basics that the my curls have grown to love. I have also happily given up the struggle to get second day hair. After many failed attempts and sad hair days, I have learned the value of co-washing. I spend less time co-washing and styling than I did struggling to attain second day hair.
NC: Tell us about YOU — what makes you unique?
SS: Right now in my life, juggling is the name of the game. I am busy with my two sons who play sports all the time. I have managed to learn most of the rules of baseball and basketball. Lacrosse and football are still a mystery. I have never been a sports fan, but having two boys has taken me into that world. So as I am trying to pay attention to a really long baseball game, I am still able to scan the crowd for inspirational hair and ask questions about products and techniques. I am always trying to merge the world of curls with my life as a mother of two boys.
NC: What are you favorite things? What are you passionate about? Nail polish? Fashion? Shoes? Books?
SS: I love to paint and create art. Going to museums and galleries thrills me to the core, and I am continually inspired by what other artists have done. When I don't have time to do these things, I find inspiration from fashion, especially shoes.
NC: What do you do for fun?
SS: Most of my time is spent with my two boys, my boyfriend and my cute dogs and cat. Going to parks, riding bikes and spending time on the sidelines of a sporting event are what most of my weekends are filled with. When it's "me" time, I read, paint, garden or go for walks around the lake.
NC: What's going on in your life right now? Moving, relationship, etc?
SS: I just finished painting a wall below the counter in my kitchen, bought a great new pair of shoes and my tomatoes are turning red. Next week we are taking the boys to New York City for the first time. Not sure if I am bringing the shoes. It will be a tough packing session deciding between hair products and shoes space.
NC: What is your NaturallyCurly.com username?
Look out for next month's Texture Perspective discussion on straightening!