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

Growing up I found myself, at such a young age, wondering why my hair was different than the girls around me, than the girls in movies, magazines, etc. I grew up desperately wanting my hair to be straight, to be able to just run my fingers through, and to simply just love my hair. In most of my schools (I went to quite a few), there weren't many girls with my kind of hair, if not any at all. I remember wanting straight hair so bad, after I'd wash my hair, I would wear it in a sleek, tight bun before bed so that in the morning my hair would be dry and my curls all stretched out to the point of being straight. Once I hit High School, I started just embracing my curls the way they were, still lacking proper knowledge on how to care for them.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

After I started High School, the desire for straight hair quickly faded. I was more focused on just wearing my hair to where it looked good in my eyes. I would feel uncomfortable in straight hair, feeling like it was frizzy or not straight enough. I didn't want to deal with that on a daily basis. Although I wore my hair curly throughout my life, I didn't quite have the proper knowledge on how to care for it. After years of using the wrong ingredients, then pregnancy hormones, and bleaching it at home, I decided no more! I went deep into research on how to restore the health of my curls and I've never looked back.

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

The most empowering moment in my hair journey had to be when I came across the Curly Girl Method. While, I didn't/don't 100% follow the method (I tweaked it to work for me), it opened my eyes to so much more, to products I had never even thought to try, to a community I had no idea existed, and to a love for my curls I should have had from the start.

What is your curl pattern?

Type 3b

How do you protect your curls at night?

To protect my curls at night (most nights ), I have my beloved silk pillow case from LilySilk, as well as a silk bonnet that surprisingly stays on the whole night. I also pineapple my hair whether I wear the bonnet or not.

Who is your curl crush?

To name a few, I'd say Hortencia @stylefeen, Michelle Ana @lovemichelleana, Mel @manesbymel, Rocio @larocioisabel, Merian @herbalmmo and I could go on and on.

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

My curly girl essential that I can't live without would have to be Righteous Roots Oils. I use this every single day for scalp massages, to scrunch out the crunch, and to pre poo. This holy grail oil has been a part of my routine since March 2017.

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

My current routine is quite simple. My wash days consist of a good clarifying shampoo, conditioner/deep conditioner, a leave in or light weight cream, a gel with good hold, the CurlyCo Diffuser and Righteous Roots Oils to scrunch out the cast. I also love a good one and done product for styling. Some of my absolute favorite brands right now are LUS Brands, Rizos Curls, Curlsmith, Flora and Curl, Breahni, Ouidad, TreLuxe, Not Your Mother's Natural, My Soigne, Aunt Jackie's, RealSelf Works, to name a few.

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

The most challenging moment in my journey has been probably achieving volume while also keeping my length. Wanting a specific type of volume and not accepting my own. Some days I want long hair, other days I want it short. Another frustration I hardly mention is parting my hair. Parting my hair can be such a struggle because my hair tends to part however it wants and it's usually not how I want.

Read more: I Have Fine, High Porosity, Type 3b Curly Hair

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

I would have to say I had no clue what scrunching out the cast was. It was mind blowing what was hiding underneath my gel cast. All my life, walking around with crunchy hair, who knew right? Another thing was, deep conditioning and scalp massages have made such a huge impact in the health of my hair. And another thing I had no knowledge of was diffusing. Diffusing for me, helps me achieve that volume I strive to achieve.

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

My advice to those who still struggle to love and accept their natural texture is to never stop finding ways, finding reasons to embrace it. To really sit back and embrace the very beauty of what makes you, YOU. Every texture is unique and learning to see the beauty in it, accepting what you have will not only allow you to feel beautiful inside but will radiate on the outside for others to see.