Welcome, curlies, coilies and wavies to a new series of discussions involving the perspectives of four different women of different hair textures and types, of varying ages who are in different stages in life. Four women with different backgrounds and preferences and therefore varying perspectives on their hair and other related topics. The fabulous four are none other than Tracey Wallace, Cassidy Blackwell, Quinn Smith and Suzanne Schroeder.
We invite you to meet them over the next two days and in the following months, to join in the discussion and interact with these ladies and the rest of the NaturallyCurly community, sharing your own opinions and perspectives by commenting.
So without any further ado, it is our pleasure to introduce to you one of the the four perspectives, Tracey Wallace.
Tracey Wallace: 2B
NaturallyCurly: Please, introduce yourself! Where are you from? Where do you live?
Tracey Wallace: I’m Tracey, content editor at NaturallyCurly. I’m a recent NYC transplant all the way from Austin, TX, though originally from southeast Texas. You might know my hometown if you have ever driven between Houston and New Orleans. Most people tell me they have stopped there to use the bathroom on their way to Mardi Gras. I guess it is better to be remembered for something rather than not at all. Right?
NC: What's your curl story? Have you always loved your hair? Did you just start embracing your curls? Why?
TW: My curl story truly began back in 7th grade when I first “noticed” that my hair wasn’t straight when I towel dried it like many of my other straight haired friends. This was a revelation, and an exciting one at that: I had wavy hair!
I started wearing my waves the only way I knew how — by adding so much mousse that my final look was identical to my wet hair look, and super crunchy. I even carried my mousse to school with me in case my waves stopped being so crunchy. I had no idea what wavy hair was supposed to look like, especially what mine were supposed to look like. My mom wasn’t even wholly convinced that my hair was wavy. To her, what I saw as texture was just something that needed to be brushed out. For years, she would call my wavy hairstyle a “rat’s nest,” insinuating that it needed to be tamed (aka straightened).
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I decided to completely give up and put the straightener down. I stopped caring at that point about what the Debutante committee said was proper for a young, Southern woman, though my mother would remind me for years that my choice to go wavy could have had me expelled from the program. Of course, it didn’t, though I was required to straighten it for the actual event. #smh
NC: What's your approach to curly hair?
TW: Here’s the deal: I kind of went natural because I was too lazy to keep up with the straightening. My approach to my waves is the simpler, the better and always keep doing what works. Don’t change what is working for your hair just because a new product comes out. I’ve dried out my hair more times than I can count and have gone crazy in the meantime by tossing out beloved products for newer, better marketed ones. Don’t do it. Trust your hair.
NC: What's the BEST advice you ever got about your curly hair?
TW: Rose oil — hands down! Before my “big chop” of sorts, my hair was super long and super damaged, but I couldn’t bear the idea of cutting it. A friend recommended rose oil to help keep my hair hydrated and frizz-free and I’ve been using it daily ever since.
NC: What are some of your go to's — styles, methods, tools, etc?
TW: I don’t really have any specific go-to products for my hair other than rose oil. I pretty much use what I have on hand, and as an editor at NaturallyCurly, I have A LOT on hand! Some of my favorites so far have been DevaCurl AnGel and the Moroccanoil Mousse.
I am absolutely in love with my curling rod. If you are a wavy girl and you don’t have one, what are you waiting for? Buy one now! There are tons of cheap ones at drugstores across the country! Go. Right now! I know, I know — it is a heat tool, but I love it. I don’t use it on all of my waves, just a few that have fallen flat here or there. It's how I get second day hair. Without it, I would be hopeless (especially because I still can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to curl hair with a curling iron without creasing it).
As for my favorite styles, you have all seen it! My signature front twist that I starting doing over in France when I was living with a host family who only allowed me two showers a week. The twist would hide my dirty hair and roots from the rest of the world. Over time, I got better and better at it, and now I use it almost on a daily basis, usually just to get my hair out of my face. Of course, it's awesome as a lazy girl second day hairstyle too.
NC: Tell us about YOU — what makes you unique?
My approach to my waves is the simpler, the better and always keep doing what works.
TW: I’m really into feminism, and I often get so upset with myself for always wanting to explain that away, as if I just dropped the “f” bomb at a Presidential tea. Some people really just don’t get that all being a feminist is about is believing and standing by the belief that all women deserve the same rights as men. After spending 18 years of my life in east Texas, where I learned first hand that women are not seen as equals to men by so many people (including women themselves), I know what it looks like and what it feels like to be defeated because of your sex, to not have had an equal opportunity, to feel powerless based simply on who you are. I think my feminism is actually what makes me fall in love with the natural hair community. It is about the same things: learning to love and fight for who you are, and helping your sisters to do the same.
NC: What are you favorite things? What are you passionate about? Nail polish? Fashion? Shoes? Books?
TW: I love books and reading, especially feminist literature. Go figure. I even have a tattoo of Virginia Woolf’s “Anonymous was a woman” quote. Also, shoes. I love shoes. In fact, despite the small size of my current apartment, I have already figured out that I can fit 21 more pairs of shoes in my room, and that is a conservative number. Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?
NC: What do you do for fun?
TW: Walk around NYC, sit in parks and read, write, listen to J.Cole, go to free concerts, hang out with friends — all the usual things.
NC: What's going on in your life right now? Moving? Relationship etc?
TW: Well, I just moved to NYC, and that is a challenge and adventure all in itself. I have no relationship status, and I have a feeling that lack-of-status will stick around for a while, but I’m in no rush.
NC: What is your NaturallyCurly.com username?
TW: Tracey Wallace
Look out for introductions to the other three Texture Perspective ladies!