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

My childhood was different from other curly girls. I am mixed with African American and Puerto Rican. My dad being African American loved my hair and was always supportive when it came to wearing my hair out and curly. My mom also loved my hair and was supportive even though she has fine hair. I think my biggest struggle with accepting my hair started in junior high school. I would be asked why I didn't brush my hair that specific day or why I didn't get a wash and set. I used to look at the other girls and wish my hair was straight like theirs. When I started high school all I did was get wash and sets. I straightened my hair with the flatiron everyday.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

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I did not feel beautiful anymore; my hair was completely damaged even after a big chop in 2012. I had heat and bleach damage, and my hair wouldn't curl up anymore. My daughter has beautiful hair; she's 7 now, but at the time that I decided to change she was 5. She would always ask to straighten her hair because she hated her curls. I felt that I wasn't being a good example for her. I wasn't showing her how to love herself and her hair. I chopped my damaged hair off again and I started fresh in 2017. I haven't bleached my hair or straightened it in 2 years. My daughter and I also do our hair weekly together, It melts my heart with happiness to see her loving herself and her hair more and more everyday.

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

Knowing how beautiful I am with my natural hair. I was so busy trying to look a certain way when all along I stood out. I also love that I motivate others to be natural and create their own natural hair journey. My family and friends all want to be natural because they say they are inspired by me and my confidence. It just makes me so happy. I want everyone to be comfortable in their own skin and to embrace their natural hair.

How do you protect your curls at night?

I take 4 drops of one of my favorite oils, Righteous Roots Rx oil and massage it into my scalp. I then put my hair in a high loose puff and wrap my silk scarf over it. sometimes I use a silk bonnet, but it all depends on what day hair I'm on. If it's day 1-2 i'll do a silk scarf to keep it intact. Day 3 -4 I'll do the bonnet.

Who is your curl crush?

Definitely @naethegem, not just for her hair, but her vibe and how carefree she is. When I started, I was inspired by @actually_ashly & @naturally_curla.

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

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and Aussie Moist conditioner. These are the two products that I must have in my house at all times. I cannot run out of these products, they make detangling so easy and makes our hair soft.

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

I like to cowash my hair with As I Am Coconut Cleansing Conditioner. I only shampoo if my scalp is sweaty or has product buildup. Rice water every 2 weeks. I usually follow the LOC method, Leave in, oil and cream. Its hydrating and last for days. I sometimes use Leave in and a jelly, then scrunch the crunch with oil. My favorite deep conditioners are Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, Maui Moisture Heal and Hydrate Shea Butter. I love all as I am products they work so well on my hair as well as The Mane Choice, Tailored Beauty and KeraCare.

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

Finding the right products for my hair and trying to get a good routine going. Not every product is made for your hair and to this day I still struggle pairing products together for my hair. To help, I mix products on my hand and see if they mix well, even so sometimes that doesn't work.

I also struggled with pulling on my widows peak hair. It was almost bald at one point but I started to oil it, give myself more scalp massages. I am happy that i am not doing it as much as I was before. I sometimes catch myself once every two to three months pulling on it, but I immediately stop and wet my hair and it makes it impossible to pull on from it being slippery. I am so proud of myself for stopping, not completely but I will overcome this.

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

I learned to take my time and also do my hair in sections. I find that my hair last longer and is more defined when I do it in sections. Combing the hair from bottom up also showed less breakage and pulling on my hair.

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

Stop comparing yourself to others you are made to be unique! You are beautiful just the way you are. Just imagine how many different beautiful hair styles and protective styles you can do without damaging your natural hair. Embrace your body, hair, everything about you. Self love is key.

What's your hair story? Share your story with us here to be featured in our Texture Tales series.