What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up with textured hair my hair was a project haha. It always had to be "done" and typically that meant the straightening comb or two braids. I remember envying the girls who had straight hair and could roll out of bed, brush their hair and be on their way. I always wanted straight hair. I used to sit on YouTube and watch girls straighten their hair; one year all I wanted for Christmas was a Chi straightener hoping it would make my hair look like theirs. I hated pools and anything that required me to get my hair wet because it would poof up. I was so excited in high school when I could get my first relaxer, because my hair never got as straight as the girls with naturally straight hair. Growing up I didn't like my hair at all and always wanted something I couldn't have.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair?
I actually had no choice but to embrace my natural hair. Back in 2010 when I returned natural, I had been relaxing and dying my hair and it all fell out! My hair went from down my back to around my ears. So I had to stop relaxing and dying it. I didn't know I was "returning natural" I just knew I had to stop doing what I was doing to my hair. As the months and years went on, my hair began to transform and I had no desire to relax it. I loved my curls as did so many others and I felt confident! I had no idea what my hair could really do or what it could really look like because I had spent so many years trying to change it. I was amazed.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most empowering moment for me was when I realized that I actually was beautiful with curly hair. After growing up wanting straight hair so bad, to look in the mirror and love what was coming out of my head and not wanting to change it was an amazing feeling! I felt like I was beautiful and unique and I stand out more with my curly hair than I ever would have with straight hair. I find it so crazy how women with straight hair now love and want my hair when it used to be the other way around. What's also empowering is being an influencer and being able to help others on their journey to self-love and loving their natural hair! It's a beautiful thing! :) I love being able to do it with my Mom as well! You're never too old to start!
How do you protect your curls at night?
I protect my curls at night by doing the "pineapple" method. I bring all my hair to the top of my head into a large ponytail and I sleep on a silk pillowcase.
Who is your curl crush?
What's your curly girl essential you can't live without?
My curl essential I cannot live without is my Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle. It makes detangling a breeze and my hair super soft. I always say if I could only use one hair product for the rest of my life, it would be that one.
What is your current hair regimen? Any favorite products you’d like to share?
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
The most challenging moment of my hair journey came in fall 2017 when my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I thought I was taking it well, but I wasn't and was internalizing a lot. Well, it manifested itself in my hair and the distress I was feeling made my hair fall out. Everything I had grown and nurtured since 2010, was coming out in handfuls and shedding. I ended up having to get a haircut and I was really upset about it because I couldn't stop it. No matter how calm I tried to be, I had no control over my emotions and this made my hair come out. Now in fall 2018 I am back on track and my hair is pretty much looking like it did before it fell out, so I am happy I overcame that.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health?
Yes; when I began to section my hair during detangling and styling, it completely changed the game for me. I went natural in 2010 and I would say up until 2017 I never sectioned my hair; I just detangled as a whole and slapped products in during styling. Sectioning during detangling can cause less breakage and damage to the hair. When I began sectioning my hair to apply products I found that my wash and go's were much better.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
To love yourself. You are beautifully and wonderfully made and God created you as you are. Don't compare your hair or yourself to anybody! You are unique!