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

I didn't even know I had curly hair growing up! My dad has really thick, coarse hair from his Puerto Rican roots and my mom's hair was as straight as a board.

My mom was the one that always styled my hair, but it was mostly in braids or ponytails.

Once I was old enough to start doing my own hair I reached straight for a straightener because I had no idea how to tame the frizz.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally wavy hair?

I started embracing my naturally wavy/curly hair in college. For some reason I really wanted to see what my hair would look like without straightening it. I was so surprised when my hair started having some shape and wave and from there I just wanted to see how curly it would get!

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

The most empowering moment was when I wore my hair curly to a formal event. I don't remember what event it was, but it was a big deal for me because that was when I was like "okay, this is my hair and it's good enough for any occasion". After that I stopped straightening it for good.

How do you protect your curls at night?

My night time routine is fairly simple. I usually tie it up in a pineapple with a silk scrunchie and sleep on a silk pillowcase.

Who is your curl crush? 

Kelly Shahbazian! She was the first curly girl I found on Youtube after I wanted to dive into wearing my hair curly. She has a slightly tighter curl pattern than I do but her hair was the closest to my own at the time.

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

Gel! My hair loves gel and I don't know what I would do without it!

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

I usually style with a cream, gel, and define my curls with a Denman brush.

My favorite products right now are the defining cream and gel from the Not Your Mother's Curl Talk line.

I also love Ouidad's Climate Control Heat + Humidity Gel and the Honey Whip Hydrating Mousse from TGIN.

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

Dealing with how much curly hair can change! Sometimes I find a product that my hair loves and then one random day my hair hates it.

Dealing with trial and error was super frustrating in the beginning but now I just go with the flow and try not to get worked up about bad hair days.

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

Once I stopped using a bath towel to dry my hair I could feel my hair thanking me!

There was a lot less frizz and split end once I started drying my hair with a cotton t-shirt.

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

Don't compare your hair journey to anyone else's. We all have different patterns and textures and that's what makes our curls extra special.