What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up, I had relaxed hair until I was 20 years old. Growing up with relaxed hair felt "normal" because my hair's texture mirrored almost everyone around me (white and black) since it was straight. Although, I knew having my hair in that state could not be "natural" because unlike other races, I had to regularly go to a beautician to keep my hair straight while it came natural to other races. However, I never looked too much into the reason why until I began college. Additionally, while growing up, having natural hair wasn't as relevant as it is today since the "embrace your natural hair era" didn't truly begin until recent years.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?
The decision to embrace my natural hair came about when I entered college because I became curious to see how my hair would naturally grow from my scalp if I did not regularly get perms. Around this time, many people on my social media and around me began to wear their natural hair, which moved me to do research and begin my journey although I was extremely hesitant and told by many (including my mother) that I was making a mistake. What I had to realize was that many people who viewed it as a mistake weren't trying to be downgrading, but they were just innocently ignorant of the process since being natural was not very common around that time. In 2016, I made the decision to begin transitioning, scared out of my mind to see what would naturally grow from my scalp, but I took the leap!
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment of my natural hair journey so far is the amount of people I am able to motivate and educate by sticking true to my decision, including my mother. By creating my platform "CurlieCrys", I am able to reach thousands of people to help them along their journey and reassure them that embracing the natural you is beautiful. Yes, it may require more work, tbut nothing worthwhile is easy. I also empower myself because I made an appearance-altering decision 3 years ago without knowing what the outcome would be and from that, I have developed an increasing love for myself.
How do you protect your curls at night?
At night, I either sleep on a satin pillowcase or put my hair in a bonnet. It depends on the style. However, I always make sure my hair is on satin while sleeping to eliminate breakage.
Who is your curl crush?
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
I cannot live without a moisturizing butter! All of my family (aka my followers) know how much I am a die hard for a good thick butter/cream because it adds so much lasting moisture to my thick hair!
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
My current regimen is shampoo/cowash, deep condition (with heat or steam), leave in conditioner, styler (preferable cream), and oil to seal. My favorite cowash is the As I Am Coconut Cowash. My favorite cream is either Glammed NaturallyOil Mango Cream or Qhemet Biologics Aethiopika Cream. Both are bomb and leave me with lasting moisture for my twistouts.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging moment would be finding the right products that worked for my hair. Everyone's hair is different, which means what works for one naturalista will not always work for you. The trial and error process of finding what techniques, regimens, products, and what your hair likes is so challenging. However, once you find it, you're basically unstoppable ;)
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Making sure to style my hair while wet and keeping it extremely moisturized with regular trims have given me the best results. Getting regular trims is the most challenging routine I feel most naturalistas have a hard time staying consistent with because not many like trimming their hair, but they fail to realize its the best way to see growth because it keeps your ends healthy, which prevents them from splitting up the hair shaft.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Embrace you 100%! Once you wholeheartedly accept who you are, you are unstoppable and other people's opinions only become just that, OPINIONS! Not facts! The fact is you are beautiful just the way you were created! No additives, no adjustments, no chemicals...just you!