courtney 1

Image: @swavycurlycourtney

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

Well growing up I had very very curly hair from birth until about 4 years old. Then for whatever reason my hair went pin straight. I mean STRAIGHT! Until I turn 13 or so, a magical time in everyone girls life, and my hair went wonky. It hasn't curly like when I was very little, and it sure wasn't straight anymore. Not knowing what to do, I started straightening and fried my hair into submission. In college I had virgin hair and I got really lazy with my whole straightening routine. I started going to bed with wet hair. I would wake up to a glorious surprise of ringlets all over my head! I didn't know how to care for that treasure and started highlighting and straightening my hair again and lost all those curls.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?

While I was at work one day, a co-worker who usually had the most beautiful smooth straight blowout, came in one day with beautiful ringlet curls. Her hair was always so pretty, and I asked her what curling iron she used to curl her hair. Needless to say she giggled a bit and very sweetly told me that they were her natural curls and "have you every heard of the curly girl method?" I said that no I hadn't and she handed me a copy of her Curly Girl Handbook. Remembering that my hair had been curly when I was young, and in college, I decided to give the Curly Girl Method a try. I dove into curly girl research head first and didn't come up for air for two months! I watched all the YouTube videos, blogs, and began following curly girls on Instagram to learn everything I could!

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

Strangely enough it had little to do with my hair. For the first time in my life, instead of fighting to change something about my appearance to conform to beauty standard, I was intentionally caring for and cultivating something that was naturally mine. It wasn't always pretty, especially in the beginning. But I kept at it. And something switched deep down inside my heart. By finally accepting and appreciating my hair, I was somehow accepting and appreciating myself! A deep deep acceptance that I was fearfully and wonderfully made was unleashed!

Image: @swavycurlycourtney

How do you protect your curls at night?

I really enjoy and get the best results from sleeping on my MyK Silk pillowcase, and pineappleing my hair with an invisibobble. I have also really enjoyed tying my hair up in my Lily Silk scarf when I travel.

Who is your curl crush?

Oh my goodness there are so so many! To name only a few would be:

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

Conditioner! If that is all I have left to use on my hair I would be ok. Haha, you can co wash, condition, etc and have healthy hair, even if it isn't styled!

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

As a chronic #wavycurlyscientist experimenter, I don't tend to keep my routine consistent. I am constantly playing around with different products. But some products that have never done me wrong are Inahsi shampoos, conditioners, and custard, and the Simply Curls Co on Etsy.

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

Honestly, its kind of lame. Haha, I have really struggled with accepting that my hair isn't going to every be as curly as it was when I was younger. My curl pattern has just changed over the years, what with hormone changes after pregnancy etc, from 3A to strictly in the 2A, 2B, and 2C on a good day. I feel so bad about feeling bad about this! I do love love love my hair, but curl envy is so real. Some days are harder than others, what with all the glorious curlies on Instagram. It is a conscious choice to love my hair just as it is. This is what the curly girl method is all about, accepting your hair as it is. And in doing so, accepting yourself for how you were made!

Image: @swavycurlycourtney

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

This is a tough one! One thing that has really really helped me are to give up silicones and heat! My hair finally quite snapping off mid shaft once I was able to get it properly hydrated because the silicones were no longer blocking moisture from properly penetrating my hair shaft! Deep conditioning was a double edged sword, while being awesome in restoring moisture to my very dry damaged hair, I did push it too far and over moisturize my hair. So that lead to learning how to properly balance protein and moisture, which makes all the difference for a fine haired, barely wavy gal! Learning that my hair doesn't necessarily need all the moisture, and that protein is not the enemy have really really improved the health of my hair!

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

Make it fun! Make it an experiment! When you have a "bad hair day", document it! I know that is when you'd really rather not, but having pictures and knowing what products and techniques didn't work for you are vital in figuring out what works. Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work." Keep going! You have got this! Healthy hair is the goal! It is worth the struggle because you are worth it!

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