dabney 1

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

I grew up in a time of kiddy perms and ultra sheen press and curls. My natural hair was constantly dry and never reached its full potential because people were always trying to keep it straightened. When my hair 'went back' I was teased for having an afro. Which was bad because I guess what it meant your hair wasn't naturally straight and that was apparently bad. I got a perm and my hair completely fell off. I had to wear a twa in the 1980's which was at a time when kids were cruel and judgemental.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?

I got tired of trying to make my hair acceptable for people both black and white, who felt natural black hair was a threat to their comfort. In the 12th grade, I ask my aunt to just cut it all off. That was in 1991. I kept it short for a year. I was very inspired by Vanessa Huxtable and her assemetrical afro. I got a tapered cut in 1993 and didn't look back.

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

Learning about the science of hair. Actually learning about what makes hair grow and keeps it healthy. Learning how to look at yourself and accept what comes out of your scalp and learning how to work with it not against it.

How do you protect your curls at night?

Silk scarf and every pillow has a satin pillow case.

Who is your curl crush?

I love my mom's hair. The grey is so silvery and her hair is so springy and healthy since she stopped habitually pressing it.

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

Eco styler gel. Best gel period.

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

Since I have cut my hair again, I am all wash and go. I started to realize that we do WAY TOO MUCH styling to our hair with way too many random products. I now know my hair likes a simple regimen and the least amount of styling. When my hair was longer I had three go to hairstyles; wash and gos, buns, and flat twist. I really like Mielle Pomegranate Leave-in, Eco styler gel, and I wash my hair with As I Am or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration.

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

Keeping my hand out of my hair. That's why I like my milk maid buns when I have length. Right now this twa is really cutting my styling time in the morning. Get your hands out your hair!

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

Styling my hair soaking wet. If you want curls your hair has to be soaking wet. Long or short.

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

Accept your hair. Don't fight your texture. No product is going to give you a texture of your dream unless your come to the realization your hair is your hair and no one elses. If you have 4c hair and want 3a, get a wig.

What's your hair story? Share your story with us here to be featured in our Texture Tales series.