What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
To be honest, growing up with textured hair was hard on me. Sadly, I started hating my hair at a very young age. I was in elementary school and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in fourth grade and there were a lot of girls in my class with silky long straight hair so that made me feel like a complete outcast. Girls in my class would ask me why was my hair so big and bushy? They'd laugh and say I should straighten it immediately! It wasn't until the 5th-grade year I begged my father if I could get a perm. Thinking to myself that would make my hair permanently straight forever. So he agreed and it wasn't until the next day that I realized I had made a huge mistake and damaged my curls up big time.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally wavy hair?
I started embracing my naturally curly/wavy hair end of 2017. I honestly can't remember the last time I straightened my hair. When I started realizing that it wasn't my hair that was too much, but instead it was people's opinions of my hair, that was too much. I knew I needed to embrace more of who I am — not anyone else's opinions on my hair! So that's when I decided to embrace my naturally curly/wavy hair.
How have your family, friends, and co-workers reacted? What was your response to them?
My family and friends have been super supportive of my natural hair. They were always curious about what I am using on my hair and how I apply and use the products. Never once have they ever made me feel different or judged me about my hair care journey. So I thank them for that because it was definitely hard growing up being known as the girl with big, bushy hair.
How did you transition to wearing your natural texture?
Something I would always do around my birthday was give myself a big chop. Plus I love having short hair from time to time. So every year around May, whenever I would get my hair done, I would cut it then have the salon straighten it. That was also something that made me realize that I was wasting a lot of time and especially money on getting my hair done. So I learned how to cut my natural hair myself and from there I also stop putting heat on my hair and started wearing my hair in its natural state.
What is your current hair regimen?
I like to keep my hair care regimen really simple. I don't like to shampoo my hair a lot, but when I do I like to use shampoos that are sulfate-free and paraben-free. I stick to shampoos that act like cleansers because I love the feeling of having clean hair without it being stripped of its natural oils. I shampoo once a week, on Monday just so I can start the week with fresh clean hair. During the week, I'll use products to co-wash my hair and then move on to conditioners, deep conditioners, and mask. Some of my fave products to do all that are Aussie Miracle Curls Co-wash Conditioning Cleanser, DevaCurl Heaven In Hair Deep Conditioner and Shea moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque. I really love that mask, especially for days when my hair feels really dry.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a big impact on the way your hair looks?
When it comes to some techniques and methods, I really only have one and that's splitting my hair down the middle and working with one half and then the other. It helps me save a lot of time because I don't section my hair in pieces. Then once I'm done applying all of my products, I either let my hair stay split down the middle so it can air dry or I'll style it. It really depends on what look I want to go for that day. But when it's split down the middle, I love how my hair turns out more voluminous.
Any advice you’d like to give other women who may be in the transition phase or need some encouragement in their hair journey?
For all the girls and women out there who are transitioning, please remember that it's a process. Everything in life takes time and it won't happen overnight. I'm still learning new things about my hair every day. So don't be discouraged and give up, because with faith and dedication it will happen. I used to think my hair was damaged forever from all the heat I applied to it over the years, but I soon saw that wasn't the case and decided to make a change. I gave up flat irons, curling irons, and salons 100% and never looked back and that's what worked for me. I'm not saying to never go to a salon for haircuts or a trim, but in my past experiences when I went I was just doing more damage than good. Just know your hair journey will be an adventure for the better and it will be something you'll want to share with everyone around the world.