Texture Tales Mathu on Embracing Her Curly Hair to Redefine Cultural Beauty Standards

Image Source: @curlymathu

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

I didn’t realize my hair was textured, I always thought it was straight with some waves. It was also always majorly frizzy and thick and predominantly braided. My hair was long and thick and my mum didn’t know what to do with the frizz so it was easier to brush it back than do anything else. I used to try to create Beyoncé like curls with my curling wand, not realizing I probably had them under there all along! 

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly/wavy hair?

I just wanted my hair to be healthy. My postpartum hair loss was awful, my hair was thinning and I could see areas of my scalp that I had never seen. So for me, I just decided I would stop using heat and try the curly girl method for a year and see where it took me. After 6 months, I found myself trying a modified version of CGM due to product buildup and hard water impact on my hair. I had no expectations ever around my hair becoming as curly as it is now, and I couldn’t be happier with how much healthier it is.

Texture Tales Mathu on Embracing Her Curly Hair to Redefine Cultural Beauty Standards

Image Source: @curlymathu

What have been the most empowering moments of your curly hair journey so far?

The day I went out and it was raining and I didn’t care about what happened, I was just happy that my hair was washed, healthy and natural. My second most empowering moment was when my mum actually said how different my hair might have looked growing up if she had known it curly and if she knew how to style it.

What have been the most challenging moments of your curly hair journey?

When others have found the holy grail and I’m still wavering on wash day fails. I’ve learned to understand that learning your hair takes time and it’s changes can be temperamental like my kids! I think expecting consistent results which I don’t always achieve. I’ve now learnt that some of us need a bit more time learning a spit our hair and that’s ok, it’s wonderful to learn to love something we are lucky enough to have.

Texture Tales Mathu on Embracing Her Curly Hair to Redefine Cultural Beauty Standards

Image Source: @curlymathu

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

I always pre-poo with a deep conditioner. I am currently out of a deep conditioner, so I often create DIY masks using eggs, yogurt and a bit of honey for shine and moisture. I currently use Innersense as my hair is quite fine now, lightweight products tend to work best for me. I love a rice water rinse as my hair always holds better after an injection of protein. I have also always used Pantene Mousse on refresh days or on wash day since the start of my CG journey. I am also experimenting with curl training which is massively helping.

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

I can’t live without my Innersense conditioner, a little goes a long way and my hair loves it!

Tell us about #Bipoccurlies and what inspired you to create this series?

#Bipoccurlies is a showcase of Black, indigenous and people of colour curlies. It tells their stories of their journey with natural hair and it involves a weekly feature and live interview around topics that help shine a light on issues faced in our respective races. I created this because George Floyd and the aftermath of his death, awoke in me a sense of fear, a fear for the next generation. It also made me realise that the power to change that is in our hands and not just through words and a few protests here and there. It needed more. I didn’t know then that people would engage with it in the way that they did, but my passion for this is truly around racial equality, if stories like those featured showcases and highlights issues that a standard curly girl insta handle won’t show, then I don’t see why that’s anything, but good. Racial equality and diversity should be something social media algorithms favors, but actually that isn’t always the case.

What stereotypes and misconceptions do you hope to conquer through your platform?

I want those that feel uncomfortable to share what I’m doing to ask why? Is it because of your audience and you not wanting to upset the “norm”? I have been told “it’s too political”, I have had influencers not want to share this because I’ve asked them to; but this is the point. Until it becomes natural for a non BIPOC individual to want to share these features, for a non BIPOC individual to say actually you’ve changed my mind and for me not to have to find an acronym for marginalized voices, that is the dream. There are plenty of non BIPOC individuals who have massively supported this, but there are also a great many influencers out there who are still under the impression that featuring a couple of black brands and talking about it once in a blue moon is enough. It isn’t and I’m doing everything I can to change that narrative and for people to come to my page to find support, inclusion and a true ambassador for racial equality. Besides, the added benefit of meeting new curlies that you wouldn’t otherwise think to find if they don’t have the same curl texture as you.

Texture Tales Mathu on Embracing Her Curly Hair to Redefine Cultural Beauty Standards

Image Source: @curlymathu/

What advice do you have women striving to embrace their natural beauty?

Natural beauty is entwined in self esteem. In order to love your natural beauty, you need to love yourself and that can take time. Social media can show us heaps of people who personify beauty to us, but it can equally somehow leave us feeling alone. You are never alone, your thoughts make you. Just remember you are beautiful and it’s ok if you don’t see that every day but always try and say one thing good about yourself to yourself.

What can we expect from you in the future?

#Bipoccurlies is evolving rapidly, I am doing more philanthropic efforts through my voice on this, I will be speaking more on various topics and natural hair and there may even be some brands being featured so stay tuned!


NaturallyCurly has been on a mission to educate, empower, entertain and inspire women to have healthy discussions about hair and beauty since 1998. We explore everything from self-acceptance to finding the best hair care products for all textures.

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