Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why? (tell us your natural hair journey)
I had naturally curly hair throughout my entire life! I didn't start WEARING it till my second year of high school. It was definitely a 'maturity' thing. I grew into wearing it natural because I began to like it a lot and wanting to step out the box.
Had you always embraced your texture?
In high school, I was going through 'blonde Beyonce' phases. I still would straighten it a lot. I started doing my own hair and learning about it. I didn't have a computer, no YouTube or tumblr or anything. My curls were not even CLOSE to how healthy and fabulous they are today. At the time I was battling to bring out the true essence of my curls. Nothing but trial and error, and wanting my curly hair to be or look some way it's NOT. The natural stepping stones to falling in love and embracing your true texture! And yes, I became a product junkie. Took me years to break out of that! Its all out my system now. Bleaching, heat, experimenting, impulsive product buying, I'm pretty much a pro now!
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?
I remember my mom and sister always encouraged me to wear my hair curly growing up, they would say it's beautiful and that I didn't know what I have. I use to look at them so crazy, I literally thought they didn't know what they were talking about. It didn't help that no one knew how to style it, so I didn't give it a chance. I just remember it being wild, super wavy/3b curls. It was very long with no shape. I didn't know much about salons and layering then. So my mom would get the grease and press it for me. I always wanted it straight. I can just faintly remember how my curl texture was when I was younger. When I started wearing my curly hair I was 15 years old everyone loved it, some haters envied it, but it definitely made it easy for me to feel comfortable w/ the natural state of my hair. It was pretty, even my first love digged it. My best friends thought it was fun and exotic, compliments kept rolling in, especially when I bleached the majority of it, it definitely made me stand out. I know this sounds dramatic, but when I did that my life somewhat changed and my confidence shot up. I was stepping out the box and I felt unstoppable. My mom was just letting me do what I wanted w/ my hair
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
I have fine textured hair and thick density. I'm not sure of the porosity of my hair, I think it's high, it depends on the product though, and since its fine I like light moisturizing cremes for it because it can get weighed down. My hair does catch frizz from high humidity which can be annoying. So I want to say it's high.
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? favorite products! Deets!
My staple products to use is Mane and Tail Conditioner as a leave-in -I been using that since I was a baby. Also Moroccan moisturizing conditioner, Bouncy Creme, and Aquage curl gel. Those are professional products that do it for me. I like many deep moisturizing conditioners. I barely shampoo, so I use anything lying around, I prefer moisturizing clarifying shampoo though. My current 'seal-in' is Pantene shine serum w/ argan and Moroccan healing oil for the ends and mid-shaft of my hair. I use a paddle brush to evenly distribute product and smooth out my curls, then follow-up with a wide toothed comb to separate to my curls, give it some body. This all done WET.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
Most people I think do the "pineapple" overnight but after trial and error I feel it makes my curls look a bit 'wirey'. I realized my hair was always trained to be tied loosely in the back overnight. Even when my hair is straight I simply tie it in a low and very loose ponytail then pop my bonnet on. When it's curly, I lightly put all my hair into a loose bun in the center back of my head and pop my bonnet on. In the morning after I take out the scrunchy, and shake my hair, everything is back in tact!
How do you maintain healthy length?
To maintain length I condition my hair once or twice a week. I shampoo once every two-three weeks. When my curls start getting 'old' I still would let it rock out. Or I may just put in a slick updo and use Groganics creme, and Jamaican healing oil to help stimulate growth. I leave that in for a day or two. I'm constantly doing something to my hair. I deep condition once every week. Trims help. I'm currently getting out of the awkward stages of growing out my layers due to a short curly cut I got almost a year ago. I've just been sticking to trimming every six months. My overnight routine helps because I'm not putting much tension on my hair. And 95% of the time my hair is curly, so no worries w/ heat damage. My hair is growing out a lot, due to maintaining the length I already have, and trimming off the bad.
What's the best thing about being curly?
The amazing thing about being curly is that I don't have to do much w/ my hair and even on a 'bad day' I still can get a way with it. I feel very unique. I personally think of it being as special and different as our fingerprints. It's YOURS; one of a kind and no one can say it's 'wrong', natural or curly, it is our 'God given crowns'! It's very ironic, you do find yourself putting a lot of effort and time into taking care of your natural hair and figuring it out, it's simply putting pride into yourself. But the result is beyond worth it.
Where can folks find you on the web?