What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Looking back, I never realized I had curly hair. I’d wash, blow dry and heat-style curls into my hair or try with all my might to blow dry it straight as it was just so unruly and unpredictable. When the ceramic “ghd” straighteners came out, my prayers were answered. Finally, I could fix the frizz. I straightened my hair religiously for 20 years!
More recently, on lazy days I would leave my hair wet add some type of texture spray and let it air dry. This would leave me with some stringy, loose waves but even then I would get compliments on how nice it looked. I would always shrug it off and think nothing of it. On one occasion, after I spent hours styling it, a work colleague asked me why I went to so much effort when I had naturally curly hair anyway. I responded saying this looks better!
What made you decide to embrace your naturally wavy hair?
It started as an experiment after a mishap. I left a ton of conditioner in my hair to protect it from the chlorine-filled swimming pool but didn’t end up not going swimming and it ended up air drying and when it did and my waves looked amazing. I was really confused as to what had happened and how it could look so good with so much product in it and after some internet research came across the Curly Girl Method and since then, I have been hooked on getting the best I can from my natural hair rather than trying to force it to do something else.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
Embracing my natural texture has given me the healthiest, most gorgeous curls I’ve ever had. I spent so much time and effort trying to create “fake” curls that didn’t even look half as good as my natural ones and I never got half the compliments that I get now. I also love learning from other curly girls on social media. The curly community is such a supportive group who are all wanting to help everyone get their best hair! There’s no egos or nastiness — just love, support, and knowledge. I love how the curly movement is changing society’s mind that curly hair is untidy and should be hidden away. I inherited my curls from my nan who has hidden her natural curls for most of her life and I’d love for her to know that she is a natural beauty and doesn’t need to hide those beautiful, white curls anymore!
How do you protect your curls at night?
I have a satin scarf tied around my pillow and I also wear my hair up in a pineapple secured with an invisibobble. On days when I need a little extra protection, I will also slip on a Guff but I’m a bit too vain to do it every night! It doesn’t always stay on either so sometimes it’s more hassle than it’s worth. I do have a silk pillowcase and sleep cap on my wish list though!
Who is your curl crush?
All from Instagram top 10 in no particular order
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
My Denman brush! When I first started CG my hair always looked tangled and frizzy no matter how much smoothing and detangling I did with my hands. When I discovered the Denman brush to distribute the product, encourage clumping, and smooth out the curls, I was skeptical first go, but loved my results and have been using it and raving about it ever since.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
Currently, I’m enjoying testing out products and techniques, but if I need a good curl day I’ll do the following budget routine:
When products are applied to each section I use my Denman brush. I start at the ends and smooth through the section then add a twist of the brush to encourage even more curl. I do this all over and when finished I then do lots of scrunching. I start with my hands then use the microfiber towel to remove moisture Before finishing with diffusing and root clipping. When 100% dry I SOTC with Argan oil and fluff the roots.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
I’ve been really lucky and not really faced any challenges so far. I have a wonderfully supportive hairdresser who has been keen to learn about CG method and try it on her own wavy hair. I was worried about bleaching my hair for the first time since transitioning but with plenty of DC, support from social media groups and a hairdresser who listened to everything and it went really well.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
The Curly Girl Method, in general, has been a revelation and learning about the protein needs and tolerance of my hair. Using a Denman brush and not using silicone that coats and weighs down the hair has really helped the natural texture thrive.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Be patient, CG isn’t a quick fix. Don’t compare yourself to others - we are our own worst critics - whether you’re 2a, 4c or everything in between you and your hair is beautiful. Keep a journal to document your hair journey, take pictures and make notes about what you used and your results at least every washday. So you can see patterns and learn what is or isn’t working for your hair. Talk to other curlies - we are all individuals but there is so much information and knowledge out there, and everyone is so willing to help. There’s no such thing as a stupid question!