Our latest edition of Texture Tales features fellow curly/coily girl Emani Nicole, who has shared her experiences with her natural hair journey, tips and inspiration.

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

Growing up my hair was very thick. Often, my family would always refer to me as Chaka Khan. However, in my grandmother’s words my hair was unmanageable. I never fully got the chance to embrace my beautifully textured kinks growing up. As soon as I was old enough, my grandmother introduced me to the creamy crack and that was all I knew. I was not reintroduced to my natural kinks until I decided to big chop and return natural in 2012.

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Image:@_crownedwithcurlss

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

My mom played a huge part in the beginning of my natural hair journey. Seeing her big chop, walk freely and be comfortable with who she was inspired me to do the same. At that point, I knew that it was time to let go of my damaged hair. I was tired of trying to fit in with my classmates. I was tired of thinking that the only way I could feel beautiful was if I wore my hair straightened and relaxed. I wanted to be and feel free of the pressure of fitting in. I was ready to get back in touch with my natural roots and embrace what God blessed me with.

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

The most empowering moment of my natural hair journey thus far has to be the day I big chopped. I honestly did not know what to expect when I did it. However, once it was done, I felt so free! It pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to accept beauty in other forms, forms that aren’t ideal. It allowed me to love myself even if that meant being different from the norm. Starting my journey and remaining serious about it, opened the door for me to help other women feel the same way!

How do you protect your curls at night?

If I am not sleeping on my silk pillow case, best believe I have on a bonnet! You won’t catch me without one or the other!

Image:@_crownedwithcurlss

Who is your curl crush?

This is a hard one! I have so many! There are so many beautiful girls with curls out there. But if I had to pick my top 5 curl crushes it would be:

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

One curly girl essential I absolutely cannot live without is my Pik! I have to have my pik at all times. For me it’s all about VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME.

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

My hair care regimen is pretty straight forward. I cleanse my hair and scalp with ACV. I make sure I deep condition my hair every wash day. For style, I make sure I use oil based leave-In conditioners and then follow up with a curl defining cream/custard or gel!

My favorite Deep conditioner as of right now is The Brahmi Root Hair Mask by Bask and Bloom.

My favorite Leave-In conditioners are Luster’s Pink Shea Butter and Coconut oil Leave-In, Bask and Bloom Ease Leave-In Conditioner, and As I Am Leave-In Conditioner.

Image:@_crownedwithcurlss

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

The most challenging moment of my journey thus far has to be trying out new styles and them not coming out the way I had it in my head lol. Failed styles are always a mood killer lol.

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

Yes! I’d have to say taking the time to learn your hair and being patient and gentle is the best technique I could’ve developed. I am the type of person that likes to see results right away. However, when it comes to perfecting your crown in your own way, it takes time. I did my research and found what worked for my crown and porosity type.

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

For the longest we have been made to think Type 4 hair is not beautiful. We were taught that it’s unruly/unmanageable, that it’s not professional, etc. Well I am here to help remove all of those negative associations when it comes to type 4 textured curls. Your hair isn’t unmanageable, you just need help learning how to take care of it. Be patient, do your research, and enjoy the ride. You’ll find at the end, you won’t be disappointed. Stop comparing and START believing that kinky hair is just as beautiful as any other hair type. BEAUTY HAS NO LIMITS. Rock your curls the best way, YOUR WAY!

What's your curl story? Share with us in the comments!