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Image: Ayo 

What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?

Growing up with textured hair was difficult. Everyone around me had long, straight hair and that was considered the most beautiful. I did everything I could to try and achieve that look. Relaxers, flat irons, and lots of tears were involved!

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

Once I graduated high school and moved to NYC, I was exposed to a much more diverse crowd than I grew up with. I felt that I could truly be myself now. A lot of my new friends encouraged me to wear my hair natural as well. 

What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far? 

Doing the big chop was my most empowering moment. I actually did it after my curls finished transitioning. My hair was blonde last summer and I loved it but I wanted to start fresh, so I cut it all off. This was a big step for me because for so long I had used my hair as a security blanket. Feeling beautiful without it was amazing.

Image: Ayo 

 

How do you protect your curls at night?

The easiest way for me is to sleep on a silk pillowcase. At times I’ll wear a bonnet but as we know that usually doesn’t stay on through the night!

Who is your curl crush?

Definitely @niathelight on Instagram (before and after she cut her hair! Gorgeous)

What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?

I can’t live without my hair pick! I’m always trying to get as much volume as possible

What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?

On wash day, I start off by doing a scalp massage with essential oil (peppermint & tea tree oil are my favorites). Before shampooing that out, I love using Devacurl’s Wash Day Wonder to detangle my hair (definitely cuts wash day time in half!) Then I condition and make sure to apply my hair products in the shower while my hair is soaking wet, it helps define curls and prevent frizz.

Image: Ayo 

 

What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far? 

I think the most challenging thing has been realizing that your curls won’t come out the same every time. There’s going to be bad hair days, lots of them and it’s okay to just throw it in a bun! Also, figuring out what products work with my hair & learning my hair type was challenging. I’m still learning. 

Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?

-Rinsing my hair with cold water to help retain moisture

-Only washing once a week

-Using products that are silicon-free

-Scalp massages with oil treatments

-Protective styles (wigs, braids)

What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?

It doesn’t happen overnight. It took me years to love my natural texture. Be patient! I still get frustrated at times with my hair. Curly hair is a life long learning process but it’s worth it.