What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up, I possessed so much self hatred. I truly believed that my hair was the ugly and unattractive. I remember being about 6 years old and crying over how much I hated my hair. I would beg my mom to straighten my hair, and once I got older, I would straighten it daily. Smooth, pin straight hair was the ideal when I was growing up, so it was frustrating to see so many commercials shaming frizz and curls, and promoting straight hair. It took many years to learn to love what I already have.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly/wavy hair?
Going to therapy pushed me in the direction of self love, which also meant appreciating my naturally curly texture. In addition, I was sick of spending hours trying to tame my frizz, only for it to come back the minute I stepped outside. I began to do research on how to take care of curls, and found the curly girl method.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment in my hair journey was getting rid of all of my products that contained sulphates, silicones and parabens. It felt like I officially started to take care of myself by eliminating harmful ingredients from my routine.
How do you protect your curls at night?
I sleep with a pineapple bun using a satin scrunchie. I also sleep with a silk pillowcase to prevent friction.
Who is your curl crush?
Hands down Ayesha Malik. She's one of the first people I started following after learning about the curly girl method, and we have a similar pattern so it's easy to find products that I like through her. The way she uses her platform is admirable, and I am constantly blown away by her bravery.
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
I constantly find myself reaching for Bounce Curl Super Smooth Cream Conditioner. The slip I get is amazing, and it's always easy to detangle after applying it to soaking wet hair.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
In the shower, I'll start with a low-poo, typically Curls Blueberry Bliss Hair Wash, and I'll scrub my scalp with my fingers for about 1-2 minutes. Then, I smooth on my conditioner, adding water occasionally for slip. I'm a big fan of Bounce Curl Cream Conditioner. I use a comb for detangling and scrunch in the conditioner with water once I finish detangling. I don't rinse the conditioner out completely, allowing for extra moisture. I always rake in a cream or a leave in, usually Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave In Conditioner, or Curls Blueberry & Coconut Hair Milk. Finally, I'll scrunch in a gel while flipping my head side to side for even distribution. For drying, I primarily diffuse on warm air, using the pixie diffusing technique.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging thing for me was learning not to become so annoyed if I have a "failed" wash day. It's more important to live in the moment than to focus on how "bad" your hair looks on any given day!
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Oil treatments really sped up the growth of my hair. Once a week I apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Red Pimento Oil to my scalp, and let it sit for 15 minutes. My hair has grown rapidly because of this over the past 5 months, and my hair feels healthier too.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Don't forget to deep condition once a week! I didn't know about the wonders of deep conditioning until a year into my hair journey. Even now, my hair doesn't quite feel the same when I forget to deep condition.