NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!Tesa Cambor: My name is Tesa Cambor. I currently reside in Atlanta, GA.
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?
TC: I first decided to return to my natural roots in July 2011 after my 5-year-old daughter insisted on having her hair straightened like mine. We were at the beauty supply store and I was about to purchase an at home relaxer application when my daughter pointed at a kiddy relaxer.With all the childhood innocence in the world she asked, "Mommy, can I have my hair straight like yours? Your hair is prettier than mine." I asked why she thought that my hair was prettier than hers, and she responded, "Because it's straight, and all my friends get to wear their hair straight." I tried to explain to my daughter that she was beautiful just the way God had made her and that she should love and embrace her curls just the way they are and not try to change them. Needless to say, out of the mouths of babes sometimes a fountain of knowledge can be found. My daughter said, "But Mommy, you don’t love and embrace your hair just the way God made it." I knew what needed to be done—I couldn't teach her to love herself if I didn't first love myself.
NC: What is your current routine?TC: My regimen is very simple. I co-wash my hair every week, sometimes every two weeks if I’m rocking a protective style. If I have buildup or if I need a thorough cleansing after having a protective style, I do an apple cider vinegar rinse and gently massage my scalp until it’s clean, followed by regular conditioning. I deep condition my hair once a month if need be, or I’ll do a hot oil treatment.
NC: So from start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?
TC: I rarely have my hands in my hair because I usually rock a protective hairstyle. On the rare occasion that my hair is out, I like to start with freshly co-washed hair. I love to mix my own leave-in conditioners because my hair is naturally frizzy, and store-bought conditioners don’t give me the look I want.
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?
TC: Paul Mitchell The Conditioner, Aloe Vera Gel, and Vitamin E oil.
NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls?
TC: I have a less-is-more thing going on with my hair. I love simple hairstyles like two strand twists, braids, or flat twists. When I’m feeling like I want to stand out or look super chic I love to rock a fro-hawk, but for the majority of the time in the fall/winter I wear twists and a nice crocheted hat. In the spring/summer I love to let my hair out so that it can do its own thing.
NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?
TC: I sleep on a satin pillowcase because almost everything I try to put on my head either falls off or it smashes my hair to the point of no return when I am rocking a wash & go.
NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?
TC: The reaction I got was horrible. I had hair that was about three inches past my bra strap when I cut it, so everyone thought I had lost my mind. My hair wasn’t damaged and falling out. I just wanted to be a good role model for my very impressionable daughter, and I tried to explain that but no one understood my logic. My mom asked if had I lost my mind, my daughter cried (go figure) and my 1-year-old son started calling me daddy, lol.NC: Did you big chop or transition? For how long?
TC: I transitioned for 5 months, but I just couldn't handle the two textures. In a fit of anger, I chopped it all off.
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
TC: I love being a curly girl because I feel like it sets me apart from everyone else. I love attention and I love the fact that my curly hair draws people to me.
NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your life?
TC: Having curly hair helps me set the standard for what I call beautiful. It allows me to express myself differently everyday, according to how I feel, and I absolutely love that!
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
TC: The hair you were BLESSED with is all your own! It sets you apart. It's like a fingerprint...no two heads of hair are exactly alike. Embrace the beautiful woman you were created to be.
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!
TC: I am developing my own hair product line called "Hair Food." It's all-natural and helps with the overall health of all hair textures. It will be launched in the Fall 2013, so keep a look out! You can also follow me on Instagram @bellariccio