What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up curly in a country where all girls had long straight and often blonde, my hair was challenging. I always felt that I was different. The beauty standard is so rooted into the culture that a straightener is everyone's best friend. There are quite a lot of curly people there, but you will never see us represented anywhere. Google 'Lithuanian girl' - you will see the standard of beauty. However, even though I felt that I am not pretty by the standards (curly dark hair and bushy eyebrows were not very trendy), I did not want to comply. I had straightened my hair occasionally and eventually dyed it blonde, however, growing up everyone knew I am curly. I was proud to be curly and saw that as a part of my personality, I liked being different and it made an impact to the way I am now.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly/wavy hair?
When I bleached and straightened my hair, my dad used to always say 'stop torturing your hair'. Did I listen? I was a teenager, of course not. Later, at some point a couple of years ago my hair was so terribly bleached that it was barely wavy. It was dry and awful. To be honest, I am surprised I still had some hair. I am not sure when exactly it happened but I remember my friend Laura, who has a beautiful massive afro, introduced me to some products and somehow I started finding all of these beautiful curly hair instagram accounts and started reading. I did not stop straightening my hair straight away but I made my final decision to truly commit to CGM around Christmas time in 2018 and it was definitely one of the best decisions of my life!
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
I think I will never forget when I went to see my specialist curly hair stylist Erika for the first time. At that time I was already practicing CGM for over 6months but I needed a specialist to really do something with it. For the first time in my life I did not straighten my hair in a hair salon. The moment she finished diffusing, fluffed my hair and I saw my shiny shiny ringlets I CRIED! Out of joy of course! She said I am the only one who had ever cried in her chair like this but I could not be happier to see my hair finally coming back!
How do you protect your curls at night?
I have a silk pillow and a satin bonnet. Sometimes I sleep in a pineapple but the bonnet proved to be the best solution!
Who is your curl crush? I cannot name one! I learned most from:
- Elizabeth (@honestlizhere)
- Bianca (@mzbiancarenee)
- Dina (@curlytalks)
- Hamsa (@curlsbyhamsa)
- Toni Macaroni (@toni_macaroni)
- Kristy (@curlyloveclub)
There are so many more, I really cannot name one!
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
If I have to choose one - CurlSmith Curl Defining Styling Soufflé. There are other great products out there but this was my first favourite that never ever fails my hair!
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
I wash my hair only once a week and I always deep condition! I try to not overload my hair with products and refresh with water only at first. My KEY to good volume is drying my roots with a cotton t-shirt before applying any stylers and only then diffusing. This discovery was a real game changer for me!
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
In the beginning of my journey, the hardest thing was finding a sulphate free shampoo that would wash my scalp but also not irritate it. It sounds weird but my scalp really really didn't like any natural shampoo. I used to wash my hair and on the first day feel so itchy like I had lice! Trust me, not a nice feeling. Now I stick to one shampoo that I know and don't play around.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
I always say that deep conditioning is key to healthy hair!
For me personally the real game changer was drying my roots before diffusing, kind of modified damp styling. If I style it wet, I get the shine but water weighs the hair down and doesn't really let it show its best. I only discovered this method back in April and nothing worked better than that ever since.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
I know it is hard to say goodbye to a straightener, but you will only ever feel like the real YOU when you will finally embrace what nature gave you. Do not compare yourself to others, but there are so many great examples of successes that people have achieved, so trust me, its worth it!