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

Extremely challenging! Growing up I knew my hair was very different, but I just didn’t understand how or why. I had seen others with curly hair, but always just thought I was born with a textured tangled mess, and that my hair had missed the actual curl memo.

We kept my hair very short most of my life because of how tangled it always stayed and how I reacted to brushing it. I was even given a perm at some point while I was younger to try and help control it. Then as soon as I was old enough, I began bleaching and flat ironing it...every single day. Growing up, it was the main thing I wished I could change about myself on a daily basis.

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

I have to give most of the credit to my husband. From day 1, he has always been partial to my curls. He encourages me to embrace my natural beauty and self daily and it finally rubbed off.

I began to research about caring for curls online and came across a few Facebook groups where I read about the Curly Girl Method. I had no idea something like this existed until this point. The transformations were so inspiring to me that I wanted to give the curly Journey a try for myself. I never dreamed the one thing I despised the most would transition over to something I love and now cannot imagine changing about myself.

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

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Hands down it would be meeting my Curly stylist. I had never met anyone more knowledgeable about curls in my life and the moment I sat down in her chair I took on a whole new love and appreciation For my curls! For as long as I can remember I have held onto this attachment to length for my hair And the moment I finally let her shorten It , I have never looked back. That was like the biggest pivotal moment of my curl journey and a sense of relief for the unrealistic expectations I held onto so very tightly. She helped me understand more about my hair in that 2 hour span than I had in my 30 plus years of life.

How do you protect your curls at night?

My sleep routine is pretty simple! I don’t love having things on my head at night when it comes to fabric of any kind so I pineapple my hair with a PuffCuff and sleep on a silk pillowcase. I also try to do a scalp massage every night with a few drops of oil. A silk pillowcase alone was a major step towards improving my morning curls.

Who is your curl crush?

This is so tough because there are so many unique and beautiful curlies in the world that it’s hard to pick! But the curls that I have been mega inspired by since the first time I saw them are rocked by toni_macaroni ! The volume she can achieve will always be a major goal for me, and she is a huge promoter of loving yourself as you are, which I have always admired about her.

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

My brushes !! I have such a tangled texture that brushing multiple times during a wash day is imperative for me. This is one of those curly girl rules that I absolutely cannot follow.

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

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I detangle often each and every wash day. I like to dry brush before washing, then shampoo and detangle while I condition. To style I like to detangle again, rake in a cream, scrunch in mousse and a gel, and then I go straight to diffusing. I have a handful of products that I use consistently which include: 

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

The constant trial and error. When I first started the Curly Girl Method I thought the only way to success was sticking to the rules exactly as they were spelled out in the book.

It took me some time to understand that these are just guidelines and that the Curly Girl Method isn’t a one-size-fits-all outline. Having very fine, mixed porosity, multi-textured hair, I had to learn to bend and break a few rules, and let go of the fact that my curl journey might look a little different than others.

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

When I finally gave up on soaking wet styling and discovered damp styling, I began to have mega success in my wash days.

Other techniques that have got me to this point are upright side to side styling, brush styling to break up curl clumps, and micro-plopping. Styling upside down always spelled disaster for me, and I would get so frustrated thinking I was doing something wrong. Learning that there were other techniques to try out changed everything. You have to learn that it’s okay to try something new when you aren’t pleased with the results you are getting.

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

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My biggest piece of advice would be to learn to love your hair in all of its moments and stages. Curls are like people, amazingly unique. No two curlies are exactly alike, so each journey will look a little different. I always tell people to think of it like a road trip. We all have the same destination programmed, but the routes and distances will all be different depending on where we’ve started. The key is to learn to love and embrace your texture where it’s at in this moment,

then the journey will come across a little more smoothly and become life-changing as you learn and grow. Letting go of perfection is a must, because it truly doesn’t exist; instead we must embrace and believe that all waves, curls and coils are equally exquisite.