What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
I had a good experience with my hair growing up. I was born in Suriname and lived with my grandparents. Everyone loved my hair. It was thick, long and was a mixture of brown and gold. Everyone thought it was unique. So I grew up really loving my hair. It was always a challenge for others to braid my hair because of the thickness and length. The only people who could do my hair were my grandmother, mother and sister. When I moved to the Netherlands I begged my mother to relax my hair, because my sister had relaxed hair. At the age of 15 years-old, my mother finally relaxed my hair. I relaxed my hair for two years and continued to straighten my hair with the flat iron. I expierenced heat damage a few times, but at one point I decided to embrace my textured hair.
What made you decide to embrace your silver curly hair?
At the age of 15 years-old, I already had a few silver hairs. I hated my silver when I started to mature. At the age of 22, I got to a point where I didn’t dye my hair for the color, but for the coverage. I colored my hair every two months. If it wasn’t for my curly hair, that helped to camouflage my silver, I would have dyed my hair every two weeks. People asking about my silver hair didn’t help either and made me feel insecure. I felt obliged to tell them that my grandfather (on my mom’s side) was completely gray at the age of 30 and my grandmother (on my dad’s side) was an early gray as well. One day I was looking at my mother and she is in her 50’s and was still dying her hair. I pictured myself dying my hair at that age and I immediately decided that my story will be different. I was tired of fighting my silver. So I decided to stop fighting my silver. I refused to follow some rules about what beauty is supposed to look like.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment of my hair journey was my big chop last year (October 2018). My way to stop fighting my natural silver hair. I embraced my hair and my natural self immediatly. I never felt freedom like the moment I cut my hair in front of 3000+ followers on Instagram live.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
My regimen repeats on a weekly basis. Every week I use a shampoo or a co-wash. A cleanser is a must for me! After my scalp is build-up free, I use the LCO method. Depending on the hairstyle, I use water, leave-in conditioner and oil. My favorite Wash and go products are Curls Blueberry & Coconut Hair Milk, Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly and KeraCare Essential oils. I might replace the leave-in for a butter/gel if I do a twistout or finger coils. For butters I go with As I am Double Butter cream or my favorite at the moment KeraCare Curl Essence Moisturizing Curling Cream - it's amazing for my finger coils! At night I put my hair in a satin bonnet. The next day, I use a hair pick to fluff. My hairstyle normally stays for 5-7 days. In the morning, depending on the frizz, I twist or coil the ends with a little bit of product. On wash day; every other week I use a shampoo. On the weeks I don’t use a shampoo, I use a Co-wash (I rotate each week). My favorite Co-wash is the Eden Bodyworks Natural Cleansing CoWash. I try to deep condition every other week— I swear I try.
Finger coiling is one of your favorite styling techniques, what's your top tip for perfecting finger coils?
Patience and also the right products. Patience is important because you can have the tendency to stop halfway. Your arms become tired and you want to give up. Second tip; Find the right products for your hair. My ultimate favorite combination for finger coils is Cantu Coconut Curling Cream, Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel and an oil to seal.
What does your natural hair represent?
What natural hair represents to me the most is identity. My natural hair is me, a part of my identity. If you don’t accept my hair, you don’t accept me.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural silver hair?
I know the struggle. Following a rule about what beauty should look like. I know the feeling of not being the beauty ‘norm’. But freedom feels so good! Not worrying about the next hair dye. Just being yourself and embrace all of you! My advice is don’t rush it. You will know when your ready, but don’t be afraid to be yourself. Accept yourself, love yourself, sometimes with babysteps.