What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up with textured hair was a bit challenging for me. It was easy as a young child when my mom would do my hair. But difficult for me once I began to explore my hair on my own. At the elementary/middle school I attended, there were only 5 African-American students, and I was one of them. I was surrounded by long strands of wavy and straight hair. And it was a bit upsetting because no one had the same hair texture as me. I felt pressured to straighten my hair because I didn’t like how curly and frizzy my hair was. I didn’t like how “poofy” my edges were and the fact that they would not lay down. I decided to straighten my hair and keep it straightened all the time. I was not accepting of my natural curly hair.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?
In 2015, I was a freshman in high school. I was in a completely different area with a major shift in demographics and I was surrounded by people who actually had similar textures as me. For me that was a big wake up call. But by then, my hair was fried. My natural curl pattern was non-existent. So I decided to educate myself about my natural hair. I would stay up all night watching YouTube videos from different naturalistas and researching terminology and products that would benefit my hair on Google. Seeing how these women wore their natural hair in different beautiful styles no matter the texture or length encouraged me to take care of my hair better so I would be able to achieve long and healthy hair as well.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment for me in my natural journey was when I finally did the big chop. It was liberating for me. Not only letting go of inches of my hair, but releasing all of the past internal struggles I dealt with along the way that held me back from loving my natural self. I remember that day like it was yesterday. December of 2016 I was a sophomore in high school. I remember telling myself in school “I’m going to do the big chop when I get home”. And that’s exactly what I did. I went home, took my dad’s scissors, stared in the mirror and smiled. I went straight for it. As soon as I was done, I had a huge smile on my face. I was so happy that my then bra strap length hair was now a short bob.
How do you protect your curls at night?
To be honest, I’ve become a bit of a lazy natural. I usually just put a bandana around my edges and a regular bonnet over whatever style my hair is in. But if I truly want to protect my curls. I either do the pineapple method or the banding method and cover with a satin bonnet which was life changing for me and my curls.
Who is your curl crush?
I have so many, but my favorite curly girl is definitely Bianca Renee. Her curls are perfect and her tips are so helpful. She was also a major help for me while I was transitioning as well as after my big chop.
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
I absolutely cannot live without my pick. My motto is, “The bigger the hair, the harder they stare”. It is a must that I fluff my hair out 24/7 and I can’t do that without a pick!
Read more: How to Use An Afro Pick For Big Curly Hair
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
My current hair regimen varies based on what style I want to achieve. Different styles require different kinds of maintenance. However, it is a must that I moisturize daily (LCO method when I’m doing a wash and go), massage my scalp daily, and oil my scalp every 2-3 days.
My favorite products are:
- Curls Leave In Conditioner
- NeoCurly Curls Poppin Moisturizing Leave- In Cream
- HoneyCurlz Daily Moisturizer
- Xtreme Wetline Gel
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging moment was the transitioning period. Since my hair was 2 different textures because of the new growth and the damaged hair, it was hard to do styles that would hide that. I tried to do braidouts and twistouts but they would not be successful. Ultimately, I ended up keeping my hair in buns.
What is your hair type?
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
As far as styling wise, the praying hands method has really helped to elongate my curls so I won’t have as much shrinkage when I’m doing a wash n go. Health wise, I’m still learning. But I would say doing ACV rinses every now and then and hot oil treatments have really helped to revive my hair when it’s a bit dry and dull.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
My advice to anyone struggling is to not give up. It may be a bit cliche, but natural hair journeys are not meant to be perfect. We are all different, with different textures and no one’s hair journey will be the same. Know that sometimes the product that works for the other girl won’t work for you. Know that sometimes it can take 20 tries before you get the perfect wash n go. Know that even though your curls may not curl up like the girl in the YouTube videos you are watching, your curls are still beautiful and unique. Know that there is no such thing as “good hair” when referring to textures. Don’t compare your curls or yourself to anyone else. Accept your natural curls for what they are and embrace them. No matter if it’s naturally wavy, curly, coily, or kinky. We each were given a unique crown on our heads, and you gotta make sure you rock it.