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

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Image Source: @curliecolee

I had loose waves when I was a toddler, and mostly straight hair from K-5th grade. Then, in middle school: hello, puberty! My hair started getting curly and poofy and FRIZZY. I remember classmates constantly commenting on my frizz, so I started wearing a low bun every single day to hide my hair. I recall a specific day where I wore my hair down to go on a field trip: we were on the bus, and I overheard a boy say I looked like a poodle. I was mortified and immediately put my hair up. After that, I begged to get a straightener. I exclusively straightened my hair in high school. During the summers when it was too hot to sit with the heat of the straightener, I wore my hair crunchy (covered in mousse and hairspray) to avoid the frizz, or just put it up.

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

I was tired of frying my hair. It was frustrating that with just a tiny bit of rain or sweat my straightened hair would start to poof and frizz up -- so much work for nothing! I started researching curly hair and stumbled across some YouTube channels: Curly Susie, India Batson, real life+curly girl, and Jannelle O’Shaughnessy. I couldn’t believe I had never heard of the curly girl method before! Those Youtubers led me to the curly community on Instagram, and I was sold! It was uplifting to see so many people embracing their natural hair texture, and it made me feel less alone on the journey.

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

Image Source: @curliecolee

The whole experience of learning how to care for and love what naturally grows out of my head has been so empowering! I love being able to share that care and love with others to help them find their own way!

How do you protect your curls at night?

I use a buff! It holds my hair in place, so I usually don’t need to refresh it. My tip for keeping them on your head at night: pull it down over your eyes!

Who is your curl crush? 

I have way too many! @mymanecurls,@hif3licia, @beccasindle, @1falnangl, and @sydnieslittleworld, to name a few!

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

A hard hold gel! Or a custard and gel combo. I’m an air-dryer, so having a good cast is the key to keeping my curls intact while I go about my day.

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

Image Source: @curliecolee

I usually cowash. Every 4 or so washes I low-poo, and every 4 weeks I clarify (followed by a deep condition). After the wash, I condition, squish to condish, rinse, then apply my leave-in and stylers with my #glazeflipglazescrunch method. It combines upright and upside-down styling and helps me evenly apply products to my thick hair. After that, I plop for 10-30 minutes, then take my hair out to air dry for the rest of my day, then scrunch out the crunch when it's fully dry.

My favorite product combinations are #serumcustardgel and #moussecustardgel. For whatever reason, my hair loves it when I sandwich a custard!

Three of my favorite custards are made by Kinky Curly, Moptop, and Inahsi! Love them!! And I have to mention how much I love Jessicurl’s Spiralicious Gel! I’ve been using it to top off almost every wash lately.

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

Getting started was the hardest part! Learning about my hair, figuring out what my hair liked, and successfully refreshing. I ended up giving up on refreshing, and now I just make sure my curls are extra protected at night!

A more recent challenge was making the CGM work with my job. I’m a cook, so I have to have my hair up with a hat on my head. I used to stress about how to keep my hair looking nice, but realizing that it’s simply not a big deal was freeing. Now I keep it in a low ponytail for work, and it stretches out my curls a bit, but I don’t mind. That’s what headbands are for! I think it’s important to realize that it’s just hair! I save good washes for the weekend. 

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

Image Source: @curliecolee

The curly girl method is the start of it all! Cutting out sulfates, silicones, and heat has really helped my curls come back to life!

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

  1. Do some research. Look into the Curly Girl Method. Find out your hair type and learn what that can mean for styling your hair.
  2. Try different application methods before buying 1,000 different products. Sometimes the problem is not the product -- you just haven’t found your hair’s favorite technique yet.
  3. Don’t be afraid to switch up your routine. I get a lot of questions on whether this method or this product will work on different people’s hair. Everyone’s hair is different, so the only real way to find out if something works for you is to try it yourself!
  4. Don’t take your hair too seriously! If a wash doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped, roll with it! Embrace the frizz or the wonky curls. It’s what makes curly hair so interesting!
  5. Give it time! Time is the biggest factor that will help you regain hair health!