What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up with textured hair was very tough; tough to deal with and my hair was actually TOUGH. The natural hair community was not popular and as informative back then so I, nor my mother, knew what to do with my thick, oily hair. I dreaded having my hair done because it was painful most times. Often, my mother had to press my hair with a hot comb just to braid it. Yes, burned ear tips and burned scalp was a part of my weekly hair regimen. On top of that, my school mates would make fun of my hair too. Luckily my mom would give me the cutest braided styles from time to time. At the age of 12, I grew tired of my thick hair and the jokes that came with it. I begged my mother to perm my hair for months until she finally said yes.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?
Honestly, I was in a rocky place in my life. I was in my second year of college and struggling internally. I lacked self-love and a positive outlook on my life. When the rise of the natural hair community came, I was lured in by the beautiful black women who decided to revert back to their true forms. Their curly or kinky hair was stunning, but they also radiated confidence in themselves and pride that I so badly wanted. I saw the demeanor of so many women change as they began their natural hair journey. I had this strong feeling that if I embraced the natural me, I’d be improving more than just my hair, but the way I viewed myself.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
I started my natural hair journey for healthier hair and an improved sense of self. It took three big chops to finally be the naturalista I am today. My final and successful attempt to go natural felt like I was stripped of old insecurities and finally ready to step out of my comfort zone. But, my most memorable moment was when other women would come to me and tell me that I was the motivation for them to embrace their 4C hair. To know that I was an inspiration to other Black women to go onto their own personal natural hair journeys is incredibly humbling and is definitely a key moment in my story.
How do you protect your curls at night?
My night-time hair routine is pretty simple. Most days, I part my hair into four sections then make jumbo twists or braids after a little leave-in conditioner, oil, and curling cream, of course. When I am trying to preserve twist or braid-outs I part big sections then add scrunchies to keep my hair stretched overnight. I strive to ALWAYS cover my bedtime look with a satin scarf or cap to protect my curls. However, time and exhaustion can get the best of me at times so I keep a satin-covered pillow on my bed just in case!
Who is your curl crush?
Oh my gosh! I have so many hair crushes, but I will have to say Tyra Mae, also known as @youhadmeatbacon. Her hair is so long, thick, and coily. My main goal is to achieve a huge afro! She and her 4 type hair gives me so much hope.
What’s your curly girl essential you can’t live without?
Besides water, I can’t live without a good leave-in conditioner! It’s the base for all my other products. I apply a leave-in almost daily. My hair craves moisture so its only right. My definition of a good leave-in conditioner is a thick and creamy conditioner that adds an abundant amount of moisture, aids in detangling my thick hair resulting in more manageable hair, and adds shine.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
I like to wash my hair once or twice a week. Currently, I use Curls Cashmere & Caviar Hair Bath or As I Am’s Dry & Itchy Scalp Care Co-wash. Both cleanse my hair and scalp efficiently without that “stripped of nutrients” feeling afterwards and leave my hair feeling soft. I deep condition once a week or once every two weeks depending on my current hair needs. I’ve recently fell in love with NaturAll Club’s Fresh Avocado Deep Conditioner! A thick and hydrating leave-in conditioner is very important for my thirsty hair. One of my favorites is the Camille Rose Honey Hydrate. After my leave-in, I apply and massage an oil or serum into my scalp – Curls Cashmere & Caviar Hair Serum is amazing. Lastly, I’ll use a styling cream to get these curls popping! Right now, I’m really feeling The Mane Choice Pink Lemonade and Coconut Curl Boosting Sorbet!
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging moment for my natural hair was when I was haunted by fairy knots or single strand knots for nearly the entire Summer of 2018! I assumed that this problem would be easily resolved with a trim, however that did not help much at all. I made sure I deep conditioned once a week and kept my hair ultra moisturized! Still, they were a pest. I later realized, I was doing too many wash-and-go’s. Leaving my afro to dry without any styling makes it fully shrink; the strands coil up and twist around themselves causing all those knots. I started doing more twist/braid-outs to keep my hair and ends stretched and protected. I also made sure to seal my ends with an oil or butter. After practicing this routine, I saw little to no fairy knots. I officially became two years natural on New Year’s Day, but I’m still learning more tricks and techniques as I continue my journey.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
I think everyone uses the LOC method by now. The LOC method is Leave-In Conditioner, Oil, and Cream or butter in that order. I use this method faithfully! Applying it on every wash day really changed the manageability of my hair for the better over time. My hair is soft and fluffy compared to it’s super rough texture in the beginning of my natural hair journey. Detangling and styling got a lot more easy. If my hair ever seems parched, I’d dampen my hair and apply the LOC method at this time, too.
What’s your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Our natural hair comes in a variety of texture, length, and thickness but it’s beauty and versatility is unique to every individual. Do not discourage yourself comparing your hair to others. Research and practice the best natural hair care routine for YOU. With patience and practice, your natural hair journey will get easy and your confidence will grow over time. Your hair will look and feel amazing, too. For those with 4C-type hair, stop believing your hair is not manageable or incapable of growth! Many still believe our hair is less attractive than the other textures, but they are sadly mistaken. Embrace your kinky hair and the variety of styles you can do. Flourish!
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