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Image:@naturally_madisen

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

Growing up with textured hair was difficult at times, especially since my mom didn't know how to manage it properly. Most of the time my hair would get thrown in a high puff or it would get straightened with the hot comb (yes, the one you heat up on the stove, and it used to burn the mess out of my ears and neck).

When I went to school I was constantly picked on by other girls and told that I need to get a relaxer and how my hair was too nappy. That's when I decided to beg my mom for a perm.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

I decided to embrace my natural hair because my relaxed hair started to thin out and it was damaged. Although I had the length I've always wanted, I wasn't happy with how it looked. I had always thought about returning natural, however, I was scared to cut all of my hair off. After doing research, I found out about transitioning and felt more comfortable taking that journey so I could keep my length and have time to learn how to manage my own hair.

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

The most empowering moment of my journey so far is when I inspired my mom to embrace her natural hair after 40+ years of getting relaxers. I never thought I'd be able to go on this journey with her and teach her how to take care of a new texture. It has been beautiful watching her growth and I'm glad my journey gave her the courage to try something new.

Another empowering moment is when I finally decided to big chop. When I looked in the mirror after getting rid of my relaxed ends, I felt liberated. I actually ended up crying on my way home, but it was happy tears. This is something I told myself I could never do, but I gathered the courage and did it. It was one of the best decisions I've made!

How do you protect your curls at night?

Before putting on my satin bonnet, I put my hair in mini pineapples to stretch it a little and it helps my styles to last longer. I also use a satin pillowcase sometimes for double protection.

Image:@naturally_madisen

Who is your curl crush?

My curl crush would have to be Khadijah aka Khadisiac on YouTube. She was the first person on Youtube that I found during my transitioning journey that helped me choose the right products and manage my hair. I have high porosity hair and she does too, and thanks to her, I found out about porosity early on which helped me a lot once I big chopped.

Want to undertsand your hair type? Take our hair type quiz.

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

One thing I can't live without is my Bunzee Bands, a hair tie that I use to get the perfect high puff. A high puff is my go-to style once my hair gets old, and this accessory makes the process of putting my hair up easier and faster.

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

The first week of every month I use a clay wash to remove product build-up and give my curls a fresh start. My favorite clay wash is from Chocolate Kinks & Kurls, the Red Clay & Hibiscus.

On the other weeks, I pre-poo before wash day and use shampoo. Then I follow up with a rinse-out conditioner and I always use a deep conditioner for at least 30-45 min. I like double conditioning my high porosity hair, it's something that has always worked for me. Once I finish that, I do a scalp massage and follow the LOC method to style my hair.

Throughout the week, I refresh with water if needed and fluff my hair out with an oil and a hair pick. I wear a satin bonnet every night to protect my hair and massage my scalp twice per week.

I have many favorite products, but two of my top brands I use consistently are Melanin Haircare and Nature's Little Secret.

Image:@naturally_madisen

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

The most challenging moment of my journey has been embracing my texture and loving my hair regardless of what other people think. When I first big chopped I had a vision of what I wanted my curls to look like, however, I knew that wouldn't be the case. It took time and patience for me to figure out what worked best for my curls and over time I started to fall in love with them.

I had to realize that my curls are unique and beautiful. It's good that it doesn't look exactly like someone else's! This is the texture I was born with and I'm proud to rock it every day with confidence now.

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

One thing that has made a huge impact on the health of my hair is incorporating Ayurvedic Herbs in my regimen. Using different herbs has helped strengthen my curls, stimulate hair growth, and combat scalp issues I've struggled with for years such as itchiness and dandruff.

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

My advice is to continue to find what works best for you and be patient. This journey is all about trial & error and you can't give up when things don't turn out the way you expect. You will always learn something new about your hair and it'll change over time. Once you find products and techniques that work wonders for your hair, you'll start to feel more confident with it and see what your texture can truly do. Even without adding products to your hair, just know you're beautiful and your texture is unique and helps you stand out from the crowd.