What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up everybody around me had a different hair type; which was difficult for me, because I couldn't relate to anybody and it was hard for my family to control such "crazy hair". Fast forward a few years into my childhood, my hair got chemically relaxed was due to lice. I was five years old and my mom was trying to find a solution because no other hair product was working, but the chemicals worked. Ever since not only did i believe straight hair was prettier than curly hair, but that my natural hair was ugly and IMPOSSIBLE to manage. I use to straighten my hair everywhere, even to go to the beach.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?
Necessity. I'm from a small island in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and a few years back we were hit by hurricane María. I spent six months without electricity and that meant that I was unable to straighten my hair everyday as per usual. After a few weeks, I gave up on the ponytails and started looking for products and videos to learn how to work with my curly hair, and suddenly I WAS OBSESSED. I began to embrace, accept and love my natural hair.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment of my natural hair journey so far has been when I started to use hair products with no sulfates and silicones. I am a big advocate of products not containing this kind of ingredients, because I've witnessed the great you can acquire without them. At the beginning I was skeptical about this, but after a couple of weeks I started noticing drastic changes on my curl pattern and on the strength of my hair. This motivated me to continue on this curly hair journey. I wanted to revitalize my hair.
How do you protect your curls at night?
I’m classic. I like to protect my curls using the pineapple hairstyle and combine it with a satin bonnet. This combination not only protects my curls, it also results in frizz free curls and decrease the chances of having tangles.
Who is your curl crush?
I’m a fan of many curly influencers, but my curly crush is Franchelli Rodriguez (@chelliscurls). The first curly hair video that I watched was from her, and I have learned so much since then. She is not only hair goals, but she definitely inspire me to continue on my curly hair journey.
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
My Denman brush. I LOVE this hairbrush. Since I discovered it everything changed for me. If I style my hair with another brush I feel like I'm betraying my ancestors, not using it makes my curls look different and the don't last as long.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
The start of my hair regimen always begins the same way... me, wondering "What does my hair needs to look healthy today?"-- I do a mental checklist of things: "Does it need moisture?", "Does it need protein?", "Does it has too much product?", etc. and eventually, I just go for whatever look I am feeling that day. Regarding the question about favorite products, I must admit that I do like to moisturize my hair with a hair mask once a week and use a heating cap that's why currently, my favorite hair mask is the Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging moment of my natural hair journey was learning what techniques give me the best results. Is true that you need to use the right products to have good results, but in my case (especially at the beginning), learning which techniques will result in bouncy defined curls was definitely the hardest part.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Using a heating hair cap while deep conditioning has been a game changer for me. This technique accelerates the transitioning process and it moisturizes my hair better. I also like to twist my hair while deep conditioning to train my curls and have a better definition.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Your natural hair is part of you and your daily life. Does not matter if is too curly, doesn’t have enough volume, or is too dry; learn how to love it and love yourself everyday. Time, love and patience are the best ingredients to embrace your curly, hairy crown.