NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?
NH: I have always had a love/hate relationship with my hair…like a lot of other curlies, I suppose! I tried to go natural three times without success, and it was only a year ago that I fully accepted myself as a curly girl. Before, I only felt pretty when my hair was straight because everyone I knew and looked up to had straight hair. One day I realized that the only person I had to measure myself against was just… me! At that time I started to love myself for being me, and my hair was suddenly gorgeous!
NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?
NH: I’m a bit of an experimenter with my products, but I have a basic routine that I truly LOVE: I haven't used shampoo for two years, and I clean my hair with the As I Am Coconut Cleansing Conditioner. I use another conditioner to detangle my hair (the Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner in the winter, and the Jessicurl Aloeba in the summer) first with my fingers, than with my tangle teazer. I rinse out the 60% of the conditioner, scrunch my hair to remove excess water, and with my hair parted in two sections, I apply my leave-in (I’m truly in love with the Kinky-Curly Knot Today). I rake, shake, and scrunch, and I repeat those steps with my styler (I adore the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard). I let my curls air dry in the summer, but I diffuse in the winter because 23 inches of hair is a LOT!NH: My favorite is the braided headband, but I also like a simple bun for my no-no hair days!
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?NH: A conditioner, coconut oil, a styler (gel or cream), a cotton t-shirt and my tangle teaser.
NC: What about your hair stylists?
NH: I have one stylist (she has curly hair) that I trust for my cuts, and another fancy stylist if I want to color my hair. I’m planning a visit to the Devachan salon in Soho on my next trip to the USA!
NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?
NH: I sleep on a satin pillowcase (it’s also good for your skin!) with a satin bonnet or a satin scarf on my head. It’s the same level of sexiness as a pair of old socks, but hey… being a curly girl is a tough job!NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural? NH: It was funny. People approached and said, "Oh, I didn't know you have curly hair!"
NC: Did you big chop or transition at all?
NH: I transitioned and I’m still transitioning from a relaxer that I had done to my bangs and also from some bad keratin treatments which stretched out my curls.
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
NH: Curly hair gives you ENDLESS possibilities. You can wear it straight, curly, twisted, braided, in updos, or down… and every day it behaves a little differently than the day before. It’s bubbling, just like our personalities!
NC: How do you think having curly hair has impacted your life?
NH: I think having curly hair is definitely time consuming. As medical student I always have to tie my hair up, disrupting the curls. But I think it is so cute when I finish your shift and let down my gorgeous curls! Everyone envies curly hair.
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?NH: Going natural was the best decision of my life. I have learned so much, not just about curly hair, but also about myself! I have learned to truly love the way I am. It’s a mind-blowing experience and I suggest that every curly girl try it! It’s a journey, so maybe it will take you some time to get used to new you but remember, the magic happens out of your comfort zone.
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects.
NH: Right now I’m having a lot of fun building up my YouTube channel for wavy and curly hair! I also want to finish my master's degree in medicine.