Image Source: @curlyloveclub

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

My earliest memory of having curly hair takes place circa 1995. My mother, who’s hair was silky soft and straight as an arrow, was bewildered with how to style my naturally curly hair. In an [unsuccessful] attempt to control its shape and provide some definition, I sat in a booster seat in our kitchen, listening to her hum as she wound my curls one by one into papers and perm rods. This was the first of many attempts throughout my youth to try and control my hair into something it was not. I was so unhappy with my hair as I had no idea how to style it without the use of heat tools or an actual iron —for clothes! Yikes!

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

Image Source: @curlyloveclub

2018 was a hard year. Little did we know 2020 was coming! I was having a hard time loving where I was at in life. I was stressed, tired and my hair was beginning to grey— at 27. In an attempt to conceal the inevitable process of aging, I turned to my now toxic ex-girlfriend, bleach. I lightened. I balayage’d. I half-headed and I went full-headed. What ended up happening is my hair began to literally snap off in protest. At the end of the summer, with hair akin to straw, I looked into the mirror and I said to myself out loud “enough.” I decided right then I would quit fighting to be something I am not. I wanted to love me for ‘me.’ So I began my research and nursing my curly hair back to life.

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

As I began to learn about and embrace my curls, I knew very quickly I was going to have to let go of a couple things. First up was some length. I cut off as much hair as I could reasonably tolerate in order to have a healthy clean slate. Second, I had to let go my expectations of perfection. This was going to be about the journey, not the destination! Learning to care for my curly hair was like taking myself on a first date with a lifelong acquaintance. Awkward at first, uncomfortable getting to know one another but soon flourished into something magical. Somewhere along the bumpy road I stopped liking how I looked better with straight hair and truly felt more beautiful wearing my hair naturally curly. Or as I now prefer it, being “me”.

How do you protect your curls at night? 

At night I put my hair up in a pineapple on the top of my head and sleep on a silk pillowcase. Occasionally I will use a Buff.

Image Source: @curlyloveclub

Who is your curl crush?  

I have too many curl crushes! So much pressure! But I’m going to have to say Hannah (@hanzcurls) for her dreamy red headed curly-rapunzel vibes. She’s a stunner and sugary sweet!

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

I love my wet brush. Great for detangling and styling. Affordable, accessible and works wonders for my hair.

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

Currently my regimen is Shampoo + condition, leave in, curl activating cream and a mousse or gel! My HG products are Ag Recoil and the underrated Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse!

Image Source: @curlyloveclub

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

The time. Wanting results yesterday! I’m super impatient so growing my hair out has felt more marathon, less sprint. I’m trying to learn how to be patient in the process and be grateful for the & lows.

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

Cutting out heat styling would be my most important contribution to my hair's health. I used to straighten every day *gasps* only to then re-curl with a curling wand because it looked fried straight! Gently detangling, deep conditioning, Olaplex No. 3 and ditching terry cloth towels for a softer alternative are a close second.

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

It takes time but hang in there. You got this. Please know that nothing on the surface can define your worth, only you have the power to do that. You are the perfect ____ [mother, daughter, friend, mama, etc.] to someone regardless of how your hair looks, remember that.