What was it like for you growing up with natural hair?
I have always been natural, I have never permed or relaxed my hair. With that I spent years trying to figure out what worked best for my hair and how I wanted to style it. Until middle school, my mother was the one who cared for my hair. She constantly kept my hair braided or in cute little puff or twisted styles. Around 13 is when I began attempting to care for my own hair... hot mess! I didn't really know what to do with it so I wore it in a ponytail everyday. Then in high school I began wearing my hair down more but would very irritated by the shrinkage. I had no clue at the time what shrinkage was lol! Senior year i decided to dye my hair and start my process of styling my hair in a fro shape. The rest is history from there dealing with color damage, trying countless techniques/products, undercuts, watching videos, etc!. I always loved my natural hair despite the fact I didn't really know what to do with it for a while.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?
My mother installed confidence and love into me about my natural hair since I was little. She always taught me to love the way I was born and don't let anyone tell me different. I owe it all to her the reason why I loved my natural for so long.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment is when people began addressing me in person and telling me how much I have inspired them. It's crazy how people see my self confidence and embrace it for themselves. I never knew my hair could do so much for others.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging part are ignorant comments I receive telling me 'I'm not black' or "My "good hair" doesn't count'. I seriously hate hearing that, it's extremely annoying. I am fully black and have shared a struggle with my hair just like everyone else. Texturism and colorism are terrible concepts that have been accepted by some and people at times project that on me.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Picking and scrunching have changed my life for the better. They are the key to how I keep definition while achieving volume. I started doing this back in early-ish 2017, and my fro has prospered since then.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
I know it's hard sometimes, I have struggled too, but nothing is better than your natural self as a whole. Forget what you have been told is the 'standard' for beauty your whole life...YOU ARE THE STANDARD. Continue to strive caring for your natural hair by watching videos, trying techniques and products and trying new styles. It gets easier, I promise.
Tell us about your new hair care line, NeoCurly products. What inspired to create this line?
I seriously hate the concepts of texturism and colorism. My entire life, most of my friends were brown/darker skinned with type 4 hair. I always noticed how people approached and talked to me differently to them and I disliked it. I didn't understand why they did until I got much older. I hate hearing them say how much they hated how they look or how their hair looked, how others saw them and lack of representation. Being lighter skinned with type 3/4 curls, I was often told I wasn't "black enough". After a year in grad school, I started working on NeoCurly. My inspiration was not myself, but all naturals I had came across. No matter the skin tone, curl pattern or texture or nationality, I wanted to make all blacks feel loved, welcomed, included, and catered to. That's the mission of my brand, black unison.
What are the key ingredients?
As of now, it is rosemary and lemongrass. Research has shown these two combined help aid in hair growth and skin care. I know priority of a lot of naturals is length, so I wanted to start off with helping with that and moisture. I do a lot a research into my ingredients before I approve.
What makes NeoCurly unique?
NeoCurly is more than a hair care brand, it is a community. My plan is for NeoCurly to be very prominent in charity and volunteer work aiding the black community. We launched in November and already had our first toy drive in December! My team and I want to do our part in bettering and uplifting our black community. There are plans for scholarships, ambassador opportunities, photoshoots, employment and more in the works through NeoCurly.