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

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I hated my hair until I was about 13 years old. As a little girl and teenager, I never understood why my hair couldn't do what all the other girls in my class hair did, and why it couldn't be straight and silky too. I would've killed to have just ONE day without frizzy, brittle looking hair. My hair was always frizzy regardless of the season. My mom didn't know what to do with it, so she'd just brush it out and usually put it in a ponytail or braids. I followed her example at the time, and would end up with a frizzy brittle mess. I cringe now looking back at how it was styled and how painful it was when my hair was brushed.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly/coily/wavy hair?

I truly embraced it when I was about 13-14 years old. I figured out, with the help of my wonderful mother and some products she could find for me at the time, that my hair was very easy and manageable! There had been some comments from several people along the way, "Is that your natural hair? Does anyone else in your family have hair like you?" That really empowered me and helped me realized that my hair was unique and to rock it! From then on, it's been a wonderfully curly journey!

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

When my mom chopped my hair off when I was 13. I asked her to cut it because I wanted short hair (my hair was very long at the time). Mom agreed and I showed her how short I wanted it, which was a bit above my shoulders at the time. Well, mom got a bit carried away, (not on purpose), and I literally had a bob cut! I was so shocked and disappointed at the time. However, that forced me to embrace my natural hair and was very empowering. It made me realize how unique my curls were, and how fun my hair could be!

How do you protect your curls at night?

Once my hair is styled with my favorite products, I just let it be. I've tried the "Pineapple" trick, but it doesn't work for my hair. Usually, when my hair is styled juuuust right, I can sleep on it, get up, spray it with some water and sometimes some tiny bit of product and go. Sometimes I have to work some frizzy strands, but usually I can just let it be.

Who is your curl crush?

Emmy Rossum's full on curly hair. It's got so much body and defined curls. Honestly, hair goals! Her hair really looks good long or short!

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

I cannot live without my Marc Anthony curl cream. It's Sulfate, SLS, and Parabens Phthalates free. I've always struggled with finding a good curl cream (I hate gels and mousse) and finally found one! I strongly suggest this one. Holy Grail find for me!

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

Marc Anthony's whole curl line is incredible! Especially the shampoo and conditioner which is specifically designed for curly hair. I use a sizeable amount of the shampoo, lather it, and rinse. I then use the conditioner which is wonderful. When my hair's super dry, I use this mid shaft to the ends of my hair, rinse slightly, and leave some of it in so it's slightly slick. It leaves my hair feeling silky and hydrated. I then follow up with the curl cream and wrap it gently in an old t-shirt (this helps with the frizz and protects your hair. I then leave it in the towel for about five to ten minutes and let my hair go! My hair looks so defined beautiful! Using the three together really changed my curls for the better! I strongly recommend the Marc Anthony curl line.

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

Finding a shampoo and conditioner that doesn't dry my hair out or make it feel brittle. I have a sensitive scalp, and finding product that worked with my hair plus didn't make my head itchy was a challenge until I found my Holy Grail. People with non curly hair just don't get it, the struggle is REAL!

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

Using an old t-shirt versus a towel or hair wrap after the shower. This was another game changer for me as well. It left my hair feeling and looking so much more defined and soft! It's worth it for the results! Don't throw away those old shirts!

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

Find what kind of curly hair you have, AND what works with you hair. What works for my hair won't necessarily work for others. I would strongly suggest findings the product that works and give your natural hair another try! Curly hair is BEAUTIFUL!