What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Everyone always says my hair was big and wild. It was either in a messy bun or a tangly mess. Not too much has changed. I'm one of three sisters and my mom always did her best to style our hair, but it usually made a steady progression from braided to wild woman to messy bun. It wasn't until I was about twelve that had any interest in actually styling my hair.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally wavy hair?
I always wore my hair "curly." I was a pretty "straight and narrow" kind of kid, so my "wild" hair was the one thing about me that didn't play by the rules. Even to this day, my hair makes me feel sassy, confident... fiery!! I will say this though, I always wished for either CURLIER hair that I didn't have to straighten or STRAIGHTER hair that I didn't have to make curly. My pre-teen self didn't like having to work harder to get my in-between hair to the ends of the spectrum. Sooo, I enjoyed rocking the Wanna-Be Chola Crunch for a while until my mom and I discovered the Iron!!
What has been the most empowering moment of your curly hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment(s) are when I can share what I've learned with my daughters, one of which has hair almost identical to mine. I'm excited that they won't have to wait until they're my age to see the potential in their amazing manes. But hair care is just one part of raising them to love and accept themselves for the goddesses that they are!
How do you protect your curls at night?
Eek! I should be better at this. Sometimes I sleep on a satin pillowcase on my fave pillow, but more often than not, that pillowcase gets jacked by one of my girls. Perhaps I should have more than one, huh?! If I am trying to keep my style intact, I will always pineapple. I use a small hair tie and pull my hair halfway through. I find that not pulling my hair all the way through and wrapping the hair tie around a second time really helps me to avoid that "pony tail bump."
Who is your curl crush?
There's not enough space here for me to name them all. I've been fortunate enough to become friends with a lot of people who were/are/should've been my hair idols through social media. But the one that started it all was Elaine (aka @CurlySue291 on IG). I saw her transformation photos on Pinterest and I was like, "What magic is this?! CGM can make my hair look like THAT?! WHAAAAT!!" Then I YouTube'd like crazy and binged watched all of India Batson's videos.
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
Do I have to pick just one?! Well then... if I was stuck on a desert island with only one essential, it would have to be Mousse/Foam, because it gives me all the volume and... well... Volume = LIFE! And I might try to sneak in my diffuser.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
I really enjoy experimenting with different techniques and product combinations. I currently rotate between squishing in my products, #RakeWetScrunch, and using a Wet Brush. Choosing a favorite product is like choosing a favorite child, and since I have three kids, I'm going to choose three favorites... my "All Star Combo" of Rizo's Curls Curl Defining Cream, BounceCurl gel, and DevaCurl foam, but that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my favorites!
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
Fighting the urge to strive for perfection (whatever that means). Once I was pretty much out of the transitioning stage, I realized that my curls and waves weren't uniform and that my wavy parts weren't going to get curlier. It wasn't until I got a couple of great hair cuts that my hair literally begin to take shape. Now I appreciate the versatility that being in between wavy and curly gives me.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Before I began this journey, I never deep conditioned... EVER!! I never knew there was a correlation between frizz and hydration, so you can imagine my amazement the first time I styled my hair soaking wet! Where was that little tip my whole life?! And remember that Wanna-Be Chola look I so lovingly referred to earlier? Well, Scrunch Out The Crunch (SOTC) coulda helped that look out big time!
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Be patient and commit to healthy hair! And most importantly, have fun with it! It will NOT happen over night and we all get frustrated, but even on our worst of hair days or during our transitioning stage, if we can make it through 4th-7th grade hair, we can make it through anything!