Image:@wavyengle

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

I had no clue my hair was considered textured. It waved when it dried, but it was always brushed out when I got out of the shower, so I thought I had weird straight hair. I knew my hair was between curly and straight, but I thought I had to pick one. So I would flat iron it or curl it every day, and think nothing of it. It never occurred to me that I had a hair texture that could stand on its own.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally wavy hair?

I lost a baby on Mother’s Day of 2017. I was grappling for some kind of control in my life, and I decided I wanted to change something about my appearance. I discovered Alyson aka Real Life Curly Girl on YouTube one evening, and I fell down the proverbial “Curly Girl rabbit hole”, and I’ve never looked back. Taking care of my hair and learning how to love it for what it is taught me how to love myself on a deeper level. And the irony is, in my search for control over something, I lost control. Learning to take care of my natural wave has come with MANY ups and downs and factors I can’t control, and it’s been a beautiful journey so far.

Who is your curl crush?

I don’t have a curl crush. I follow and admire many women with lovely hair, and everyone is so different. I work hard to make sure that I don’t compare my waves and curls to anyone else in the Curly Girl community because my hair is my own and unlike anyone else’s. Two women who I completely admire in the Curly Girl community though are Alyson (@reallifecurlygirl) and Dominique (@powerdomi). They both have lovely hair that I admire, yes, but they are so much more. Alyson is a constant support for me and other Wavies on our hair journey, and Dominque is the encourager who helps women know that their waves aren’t failed curls, and she sets a beautiful example of self love.

Image:@wavyengle

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

The most empowering part of this hair health journey for me has been realizing that my waves are not failed curls. They are a valid hair texture that deserves to be talked about and celebrated in the textured hair community. I am able to confidently wear my natural hair every single day, and I swell with joy when someone tells me they think it’s pretty, not because I’m vain, and not because I’ve spent hours curling it like I had done in the past, but because its my natural hair that I am working hard to take good care of through the Curly Girl Method.

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

I cannot live without my micro Puff Cuff and my scalp massager brush!

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

I have many products that I love, but the most consistently wonderful brand for my hair is Alikay Naturals. They are sulfate free, silicone free, paraben free, mineral oil free, and completely natural and open about their ingredients. I cannot live without their Lemongrass Leave In, Creme Brulee styler, and Aloe Berry Gel!

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

The most challenging part of my healthy hair journey has been giving up heat. I used to love expressing myself by straightening and curling my hair. I have replaced the urge to plug in my iron with exploring new products and product application techniques, and it has been SO worth it!

Image:@wavyengle

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

Deep conditioning on a regular basis and learning how to balance protein and moisture with my fine, high porosity hair has been key to my success. It’s taken lots of trial and error, and it’s all been worth it. There’s not substitution for experience!

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

Our issues with our hair stem from our heart. We feel inadequate. We feel pressure to look a certain way. We feel that we don’t know where to begin, so we never do. Ask yourself this: What is holding me back from learning how to care for my natural hair? And if the answer makes you feel uncomfortable with yourself or disappointed, dig deep and consider this: your hair doesn’t define you. Your heart and actions do. If you decide that embracing your hair will help you to be the confident person you’ve always wanted to be, DO IT!!!

What's your hair story? Share your story with us here to be featured in our Texture Tales series.