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

Growing up, I always had super thick hair even with a relaxer, and my hair was long so I always would get questions about if it was real or not. I loved my long hair and all the different styles I was able to do. I started getting away from regularly relaxing my hair and started trying to "stretch" my relaxer. I like, everyone else, discovered YouTube channels that focused on healthy "relaxed hair journeys", and I started taking my hair care more seriously.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

Stretching my relaxers seemed silly and I felt like if I could go six months without a touch-up, why not just go without relaxers altogether? I tried transitioning, but that just got to be too much work so I figured if I was going to do this I should just go for it and I big chopped in 2012.

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

Big chopping was probably my most empowering moment because I really loved my curls and didn't feel like I was less than even though I had way less length. I had always gotten compliments for having long straight hair so not having that as a crutch really put my self-confidence to the test, and to my surprise I loved how I looked and felt more confident than ever.

How do you protect your curls at night?

I sleep on a satin pillowcase or use a satin scarf. Every now and then I forget and do neither.

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Who is your curl crush? 

My original and forever curl crush is Jessica Lewis of Mahogany Curls. Her blog and YouTube channel were what inspired me when I first went natural and I still love her curls!

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

Deep conditioner!!!!! I'm cheap, but I'll drop good coins for a good conditioner. In my opinion, it makes the most difference in the health of my hair. If I'm not deep conditioning on the regular with heat, I can immediately tell a difference.

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

I cleanse with a really good shampoo and matching rinse out conditioner.

Deep condition with heat for at least 20 mins. 

Then I style, with either a gel or cream. 

I love Devacurl's Heaven in Hair Intense Moisture Treatment and Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel or Curl Milk.

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

Struggling with a hair setback. I am anemic and not taking an iron supplement really took a toll on my hair. Plus, the heat damage I got from a salon visit and I was just frustrated. I thankfully figured out what works for me and have since found a good stylist to help me maintain my hair health.

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

Deep conditioning is huge! It makes such a difference and properly using protein treatments because sometimes we can forget we need both.

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

It isn't always easy. Even now I have my days when I'm not looking my best, but all in all, I love my hair; it's a part of me. I'm also aware of what I take in as far as media is concerned. I make sure I look at posts and follow brands that feature people who look like me. That messaging is powerful and can take a toll on you if you're not careful.

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