What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
As far as I remember I have always loved my hair, the ones that didn’t love it were my family and friends. I had no problem with it, but for cultural aspects they didn’t know how to comb it or style it… So at the age of 11 they chemically relaxed my hair. During the years it sometimes produced scalp problems and damage… I remember I did like my hair being straight, but I didn’t like having to do the same procedure every 3 months, and the heat!
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?
I went through a path of acceptance, and also I wanted to connect with my true self; that’s why in March 2017 I decided to not apply ever again chemical products on my hair, and after that I have been going through a path of self love, self acceptance and awareness of my true self. If you are reading me right now repeat to yourself: I love myself, I appreciate myself and I accept myself just the way I am.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
I think the most empowering moments happen when we acknowledge ourselves as black women in the street. Like that gesture of "I salute you" or like "girl you got this!". I transitioned for 5 months and after those 5 months I decided to do a big chop. It was a relief! It’s so much easier to just wear your hair natural, even though it is short. I felt more comfortable having a big chop than having to deal with two different textures, and all the things we go through during that time.
How do you protect your curls at night?
I believe that the night time routine is one of the most important part of curly girl habits. I have my silk pillow and my silk hat, sometimes I do use the hat and sometimes I don’t, but I always make sure that my hair is protected with silk. I’m sure you girls know silk is also very beneficial for our skin, im a #silklover!
Who is your curl crush?
To be honest this is a tricky question for me, because as a hairstylist I think there are many curl patterns I love. What I can tell you are the curls girls that my clients love the most, and they are Nia The Light and Kim Doll.
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
One of my curly girls essential is Argan oil, I love it! How it looks, how it smells, the vitamins it has, I confess I am addicted to Argan oil!
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
Nowadays I do a natural hair mask every 2 weeks and a regular hair mask every 3 weeks. I do love the Dominican brands. Dominican beauty industry is so good with hair. There is one called “AfroLove” and “Solo Coquette”.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging time was the first few years, I would say. I had to go through my transition, and seeing myself with short hair, that was like oh my gosh! How different I look, but at the same time it gave me confidence. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
I do like to braid my hair at least twice a year. These protective styles help me a lot during the summer and winter, to protect my hair from the sun or the cold.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
The best advice I can give is for them to get informed, to follow their instincts, to find other girls that are going on the same path as them, and to always look out for their security. I’m sure there is a scarf they love, or earrings, even lipstick or a wax turban; find the thing that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Also remind yourself that you love that person you see in the mirror, every day, every hour. You’ve got this sis!
Sincerely, Massiel Valdez