Tell me about yourself!
My name is Tracy and I am from Melbourne Australia. I am very active and love to surf and dance. My natural hair is perfect for my lifestyle.

Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I was a big chopper but not by choice! In 2012, I had a horror hair cut in Dublin. It was supposed to be a trim of a bob and ended up as an uneven very short cut. At the end of the same year, my husband proposed to me and I was determined to have long hair for the wedding which was set for July this year. I got married in Portugal and decided to do my own hair as I was unable to get a hair trial. I used curlformers and leave in conditioner and was able to confidently style my hair how I wanted for my wedding.


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Had you always embraced your texture?
I have always had natural hair I think it suits my features. My parent migrated to Australia from the UK when I was ten and it has been a challenge to find hair products and hairdressers for my hair type but I have always wanted to  keep my hair natural and so I learnt to make my own products when I could not find any rather than using chemicals in my hair.

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
My parents have always encouraged me to have natural hair and my friends love my hair and could not imagine me without natural hair.


Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is thick course and very dry. I also have different textures. The front curls are less tight than the back and I have a small patch at the back of my hair that is very dry and does not form into curls. That part is always the most difficult to comb.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
Probably the craziest thing I have ever done with my hair was dye it a honey blond. It looks like a lion’s mane! It was really hard to maintain with the regrowth and my hair got really dry and unhealthy.

What’s your biggest hair related regret?
When I agreed to let a hairdresser straighten my hair before my hair cut. It was all uneven after I washed my hair. I am very weary of getting my hair cut as I have had a few horror haircuts over the years. I have recently found a hairdresser in Melbourne who specialises in curly hair so fingers crossed!

What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I wet my hair every day before I apply a mixture of Babyliss Argan Oil Styling Cream and Babyliss Argan Oil Curl Cream which I make up in a separate container. I also use Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter anti-breakage Leave in Conditioner.  I order online Carol’s Daughter’s Black Vanilla and use the shampoo and hair conditioner. Once a week I use vinegar to get rid of buildup.

What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
I am still learning about creating different hairstyles with my long hair and have been doing a bit of research on Pinterest, Youtube and blogs. I currently like to use hairbands and hair accessories.

Who is your curl crush?
Corrine Bailey Ray. I love her curls. She was the reason I grew my hair long from a Bob.

How do you maintain your hair at night?
I do not do much at night with my hair. I just tie it up in a loose bun.

How do you maintain healthy length?
I make sure that I use natural oil treatments such as organic coconut oil, sweet almond oil vitamin E and I trim my own hair every 6 weeks. I also take hair skin and nail vitamins and maintain a healthy diet.

What's the best thing about being natural?
It is so easy in the morning. I just wet my hair and use my hair products and of I go. I don’t need to use any hair dryers or straightening irons.


Where can folks find you on the web?
www.pinterest.com/traceejay
http://instagram.com/traceejay

Hola Chicas!
For those of you that are new to CN, Fierce Friday is a way to celebrate our natural hair, displaying our dopest styles and best hair days... for inspiration and motivation. Wanna be featured? All you have to do is upload your favorite pics to Instagram with the tags #FierceFriday and #CurlyNikki. Be sure to share a brief description of the style, where you were headed, why you felt amazing, etc.!
Having a good hair day #naturalista #naturalhairdoescare #nappyfu #myhaircrush #Twistout #teamnatural #serenitys_hair #sheamoisture #curlynikki @bbet1

If you haven't already, go check out 'My Best Wash and go Ever!' video. I'm really enjoying seeing all the different looks I get from simply changing products. More to come… @gemtrendsetter

Big full hair. #fab #indynaturals #naturalhair #curlyhairstyle #curlygirl @naturalistas_nap


Hey Kim #HUgirlsWithCurls @vibewithcee

#curlynikki #fiercefriday @chenoia

Twist and curl came out cute! emojiI used #sheamoisture curl enhancing smoothie to achieve this style with satin foam rollers on the ends... #mymoneetv @mymoneetv

Happy Tuesday afternoon! #naturalhair #naturalista #natural hair @ilikeweirdos35

#curlynikki #fiercefriday @morgan_alexisw

When you find #selfies on your phone the next day #bighair #goldilocks @iriediva

#SaturdayNight @posh_syd

Tell me about yourself!
After many years of being held hostage by my need to always have the straightest possible hair (by way of relaxer), I decided to throw caution to the wind and go natural. You see, I'm a working mother of a rambunctious 4 year old son, and a self-professed "gym rat" and fitness competitor.

I workout at the gym 5-7 days/week. You can imagine that keeping relaxed hair straight was a near impossibility. Each night after my workout I'd ritually wrap my still wet hair and sit under a hood dryer for 30-45 minutes, while simultaneously praying to the hair gods that I'd wake up in the morning and my hair wouldn't be stuck to my scalp a la helmet hair. Finally I'd had enough of this ridiculous routine and decided I wouldn't relax my hair anymore. I had no idea what to do or how it would turn out...and that scared me...A LOT!

After trying every natural style (and product) in the book, I keep it simple now. I use minimal products and stick to low manipulation styles like twist outs and Bantu knot outs. After working out, I simply fluff my hair and keep going.  My hair has never been healthier and I'm still amazed 5 years later at the compliments I get on my styles. I'm so happy to live by my new motto "it's just hair".  I feel confident and look great while rocking my natural curls.

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Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I transitioned from a little more than a year.  During the transition time I wore braids, twist outs (the straight ends were always a challenge), and straight styles to camouflage the competing textures.

Had you always embraced your texture?
No, I initially had a love/hate relationship with my texture and have learned to embrace it.  My texture, like many women I’m sure, is different throughout my hair and that used to frustrate me before I learned how to manage my hair.

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
My family and friends were very positive and supported my decision to go natural.

Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is super thick, coarse, and low porosity.  In fact, my hair is so thick that I used to often break my stylist’s comb even when I had a relaxer.  Wash day is always a challenge to make sure that I’ve gotten my hair completely clean and detangled.  But the great thing about thick hair is that styles hold very well. My hair is thickest in the crown and nape sections and less thick throughout the other parts.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
When I was finally tired of transitioning, but still had several inches of straight ends left I did something so crazy and foolish.  After having shampooed my hair, I cut the straight ends off without having my hair straightened.  The result was uneven and jagged length which took some time to grow back out, and looked ridiculous.

What’s your biggest hair related regret?
I regret over-thinking my hair routine and all of the “useless” products I’ve spent money on.  I’m a recovering product junkie.

What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!  
I’ve tried a bunch of products but have finally found some that work well for me, are affordable, and easy to locate in most stores.  I wash with shampoo on Saturdays after my morning gym time, but cowash once or twice in the week depending on how sweaty my hair has gotten.  When I’m not working out so much in the week, I only wash on Saturdays.  All of my favorite products allow my hair to stay moisturized, as I’m also very prone to dry scalp.


Favorite Products:
Shampoo: Crème of Nature Argan Oil Moisture & Shine Shampoo
Conditioner: Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner
Leave in Conditioner: Crème of Nature Lemongrass & Rosemary Leave in Conditioner & Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner or Cantu Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
Styling: Ecostyler Olive Oil Styling Gel & Shea Moisture Coconut &Hibiscus Curling Gel Soufflé
Other Products: Crème of Nature Argan Oil Gloss & Shine Mist &
Tangle Teazer for detangling while wet

Wash Day Routine – shampoo, conditioner, detangle while wet, apply leave in conditioners (2), allow hair to air dry for a bit then style.  Before styling in a twist out, I section in 4 sections and just before twisting each section I apply styling gels (2), twist the hair, then spray gloss and let dry.  To style after dry, I untwist each twist and separate the hair at the roots.


What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My favorite style by far and without question is a twist out, mainly because I don’t consider myself a “hair person” and am not that great at styling.  I still haven’t mastered the flat twist but am working on it.  I also really like bantu knots and bantu knot outs, but have to rely on my stylist to do for me and is less convenient then doing a twist out at home.

I also have embraced not having to stick to my “natural” texture and experiment with straight styles, braids, Senegalese twists, and crochet braids to give my hair a break and to maintain versatility of style.

I get hairstyle inspiration from magazines, YouTube, and of course Curly Nikki.

Who is your curl crush?
Elle Varner – a beautiful woman with beautiful hair.  Can we say hair envy!?!

How do you maintain your hair at night?
Regardless of style, I always sleep in a silk bonnet.  Not only does it keep my hair moisturized, but keeps it controlled also (it’s getting pretty long).  When wearing a twist out, I retwist every night and brush the edges down with a little Eco styler gel before putting the bonnet on.  It’s not necessary to retwist every night but I find that doing so provides consistent results when I’m ready to style.


How do you maintain healthy length?
I get my hair professionally shampooed, conditioned, and deep conditioned at least once a month and have ends trimmed regularly.  I like to wear straight styles too, but make sure not to wear straight for more than 2 months so that I minimize heat exposure.

What's the best thing about being natural?
1. Versatility of style – I never have to worry about being bored with my hair because if I don’t like a style, I can easily wash and redo it.
2. Not being limited by my hair – I don’t have to worry about limiting physical activities such as working out and swimming because of my hair anymore.  Also, getting stuck out in the Houston humidity or being rained on is no longer a big deal.

Tell us a little about yourself and your hair journey.
I am Tracee and I am a Lead IT Specialist that has resided in Maryland for the last 10 year, but I always claim my roots of Mississippi as “home.”  My hair journey began in 2013.

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 16 months and relaxer free for 20 months.

What do you love most about your hair?
I love the thickness!!!!!

READ MORE>>

Why did you choose to go natural?
I didn’t really choose to go natural. Going natural actually chose me. I have had some type of chemical in my hair since 5th grade starting with a “curl” then changed over to a “relaxer” by 8th grade. My hair would always break of at different points and in different sections, never making it pass shoulder length. In 1999 during my Sophomore  year in college, I ventured into short cuts for the first time. My short cuts were off and on while trying to grow it back out only to go back to a short cut again due to it breaking off. This went on until 2013 when I decided that I wanted to attempt grow out my hair again. My boyfriend noticed that it was really thin at the top. I kind of brushed it off at the time, until 2 weeks later; it completely broke off in the crown of my head. It broke off to the point of fuzz. There was basically a bald patch at the crown and there was thinning on the top where hair remained. My scalp was red, inflamed, and itched like crazy. I set an appointment with the dermatologist and after a biopsy I was diagnosed with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. The doctor stated that I came just in time to try and save the hair follicles that were remaining. I was prescribed a topical solution which quickly started relieving the inflammation and itching. There isn’t a root cause, but I vowed to never get a relaxer again. I made an appointment to get kinky twists installed once my stitches from the biopsy were removed. There was not enough hair in the crown, so the kinky twists where placed all around and I kept them in a ponytail as to not reveal the bald patch.  After 2 months of having them installed, I decided there was enough new growth to do my BC….   This was the best decision I have ever made regarding my hair. The “dead” hair follicles will never grow hair again, by my hair is so thick that only I know where my hair is less dense.

What is your hair regimen? 
My regiment is pretty basic in my opinion. My hair has become longer and more time consuming to detangle, so I try to stretch my style. Currently, I have been shampooing my hair every 2-3 weeks. This process in done in sections. After shampooing, I sit under the dryer with conditioner. Once the conditioner is rinsed out, I go through each section and apply my leave-in, oil, and styling product. I detangle and place in large 2 strand twists to partially dry or to dry overnight.  I then style my hair in small 2-strand twists with my oil. I try to keep my twist in 1.5-2weeks, then release them into a twist out until I feel that it is time to shampoo again.

My current products include:
Shampoo: Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Moisture & Shine Shampoo
Conditioner: Curls Unleashed No Restrictions  Moisturizing Conditioner
Leave –in: Design Essentials Hydrate Leave-In Hydrating Conditioner
Styling: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie - Coconut and Hibiscus Oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil


What has been the most memorable part of your journey? 
Has it been easy or difficult or both?! The most memorable part of my journey was the 2 months that I spent researching natural hair. I had a short time to develop a plan on what I needed/should do once I removed my kinky twists. I spent countless hours on-line. I purchased products and went for it. I remember looking in the mirror as I cut my kinky twists out and then the remaining relaxed ends down to the short remaining new growth. There was no turning back. I shampooed, conditioned, and went to bed. I awoke the next morning to my new “TWA.” This whole process post BC has been a lot easier than I could have ever imagined.

What are some of your favorite hairstyles? 
My favorite hair style is a twist out. This is whether all out or pinned by bobby pins to create a different look.


What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, You Tuber’s, or blogs? 
I love all things natural hair. I am always searching websites, Instagram, or YouTube for new ideas and information.

Where can people find you for more information?
Instagram - Tcwashin
Hola Chicas!
For those of you that are new to CN, Fierce Friday is a way to celebrate our natural hair, displaying our dopest styles and best hair days... for inspiration and motivation. Wanna be featured? All you have to do is upload your favorite pics to Instagram with the tags #FierceFriday and #CurlyNikki. Be sure to share a brief description of the style, where you were headed, why you felt amazing, etc.!
Blow out right before I got my ends trimmed #naturalhair @tiajonay

#tbt #bighair The photo that seems to have started it all emoji #ilovealimara #annisalimara #curlbox #teamnatural_ @ilovealimara

When you get to take selfies bc your baby is sleeping... Adding #crochetbraids to my menu emoji#crochethair #crochet #knotlesscrochet #knotlesscrochetbraids #fiercefriday #curlynikki #marleyhair #losangeleshairstylist @kywill

Face it; everybody loves a curly girl emojiemoji#curlyhairbeauty #curlswithlove #curlynikki #fiercefriday #curlbox #naturalhair_ #curlychristian #naturalhairrules#natuarlycurly #berrycurly #washngo @gen_gen91

It's Friday and the curls are poppin!! Have a great Friday  @lincolnsmom


#fiercefriday, #curlynikki @kisskidee


I'm feeling much better! &To top it off I'm having a great hair day! Gotta love old hair styles that turn into new ones!emoji #naturalhair #curlynikki #curlformers #naturalinjapan @beautifullynapturalb


Make up & Hair like…[email protected]asprattjones


I love my hair !!! Never thought it would be so pretty !! #mahoganyblu #naturalsista #naturalhaircommunity #natural @mahoganyblu_

Happy Monday! #worldofcurls #haircrush #naturalhair #curlygirl #curlyhair #bighairbetty #curlynikki #trialsntresses @kayshari88