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

Growing up with textured hair was so exhausting and discouraging. I had to get a perm routinely every 3 months or so and never really got a chance to wear my natural hair free of any chemicals since like....middle school (I believe). Exhausting because of the routine perm, having to heal scabs after the perm, keeping my hair as "healthy" looking as possible, and endlessly searching for a way to prevent the everlasting breakage I experienced for years. Discouraging because my hair never grew past a certain length no matter what I did. I started to believe that "black hair" just didn't grow.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?

Watching natural hair YouTubers is what helped me to embrace my natural hair. Back in 2010, there weren't many to look up to but the few who were out there helped me to keep fighting. I haven't desired a perm since and now that I am a natural hair influencer myself my supporters help me to embrace it even more.

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

I think sharing my hair journey with my social media and YouTube channel is very empowering. I can't say that I have had one moment, in particular, that was the most empowering, but I can definitely say that when another woman who looks like me expresses how much she appreciates what I am doing as an influencer I am so very encouraged.

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

I don't really have a regimen per se. As a creative, I am always doing different things to my hair, but I think my night routine is the one consistent regimen that I have. It's not only my night routine but something that I do when my hair is dry or when I feel that I can use some moisture.

How do you protect your curls at night? 

To protect my curls at night I add water, a leave-in conditioner, moisturizer, and oil into my spray bottle, spray my hair (not too wet, but not too dry either) and go to bed with a bonnet or silk head wrap.

Who is your curl crush? 

OnlyOneJess_

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

Haitian Castor Oil and Elasta QP Mango Butter Leave-In and Moisturizer.

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

SHRINKAGE has got to be the most challenging AND annoying aspect of being natural, at least for me. My type 4 curls will shrivel up at the slightest hint of humidity and living in a humid state such as Florida makes the journey even more exhausting. I have refrained from straightening my hair for over 4 years because it would be an absolute waste. The minute I step outside my straight hair would revert right back to kinks and curls.

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

Deep conditioning and consistent moisturizing have impacted the health of my hair so much! When hair is dry and brittle it is prone to breakable, split ends and discourages growth. When I began to understand that I took deep conditioning and moisturizing more seriously and have honestly seen the fruit of my labor.

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

Although we, black and natural haired women, do not fit society's standard of beauty, please be assured that their failure to realize the diverse beauty of hair does not and should not affect the way that you view your hair. Love yourself and if anyone cannot accept and embrace you at your most natural state then maybe they don't deserve you, sis. Their loss.

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