Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey. (Name, where you’re from, etc)
Cape Verdean made, my name is Ashley and I’m from the smallest state on the map :] I’m currently trying to get a degree to be a X-ray radiologist.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I’ve been natural all my life, practically. There was a period from age 8 until about 12 where my mom would relax my hair because it was so thick and she couldn’t handle doing it. But after age 12 I never got another relaxer. Have I always embraced my curls? I’ll say no, because when I was younger my mom never let me do my hair the way I wanted and it was always in braids. So until I got older and got to do my own hair, I never even knew I had this amazing curly fro on my head!
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper, and why?
I guess after my last relaxer at 12 years old, my mom would let me get my hair straightened every month. I used to loveeee having straight hair which is weird because now I hate it! When I got to junior high I stopped getting it blow dried so much and I started exploring my hair’s versatility and different styles.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is W I L D!
What I love the most about my hair is how versatile it is. I can wear it up, down, in a bun, braids, straight, wild, etc. and it still looks good. I also enjoy the fact that I can go to sleep, wake up in the morning, shake it out, and I’m good to go. And it looks like I tried when I’ve really done nothing.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy, difficult, or both?!
It’s been easy, but the most difficult part is probably the fact that some people can’t accept this is my hair, in all its wild greatness. Some people don’t believe it’s all mine when I straighten it (like black people can’t have nice long hair *SCOFF*). Some people hate how wild and untamed it is. And some people can’t accept when it’s pulled up out of my face, apparently I look like a completely different person. Like India Arie said, I am NOT my hair! My hair is indeed a part of me, a big part that I love, but without it I’m still the same ol’ Ashley.
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
My favorite hairstyle is just wild. I’ve done and still do twistouts and braidouts occasionally, but I like 3-4-5-6 day wash and gos the best. I spend about 90% of the month with my hair down, out, and free. At the moment I’m loving the high ponytail half up half down. I also love half bun half down or two Bantu knots in the front. My hair gets frizzy, it doesn’t cooperate sometimes, but I just deal with it lol. Embrace the frizz, Embrace the big!!
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
One thing I can say is my mom hates hates hates my hair. She makes jokes about it like asking me if I’m going to do my hair before we leave the house lol. One time I was leaving the house and she was in the sunroom, I was about to get into my car and I hear her calling my name. I look in the window and she’s like “You forgot something” and I’m thinking I forgot to take some hair clip out of my head or my purse or something. I asked her what and she said “To do your hair”, face with tears of joy. She makes me laugh. She loves me so much, but despises my hair. But if it wasn’t for her and putting my hair into braids for many years I wouldn’t have this amazing mane! Love you ma, Thank you!
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I try to deep condition about once a week if not def bi-weekly. I use the Shea Moisture Hair Mask for that. I wash and go for the most part and I shampoo with baby shampoo and condition with Tressemme naturals. For my products I haven’t found the perfect leave-in yet, so if anyone has any great staples let me know! But I am in LOVE with the Curls Unleashed creme and a little bit of EcoStyler gel. At night I pineapple my hair and sometimes I wear a bonnet.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
On Instagram, I loveeee @laurenlewiss_ curls and also the fro on @baronesscountess! I have a lot of YouTubers I follow, but I can’t think of them now. I’m thinking of starting my own YouTube channel mostly about hair, but also makeup and just life in general. But I’m not sure yet because I don’t know who would watch me.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I want the readers to know whatever you have embrace it and run with it. Whether it’s nappy, curly, frizzy, whatever; I love it and you should too. Find a way to make it work and make it your own! Remember that It’s God given, the bigger the better, and love YOUR hair without comparing it to someone elses.
Where can people find you for more information?
Follow me on Instagram: @__badashhhh and on tumblr at Comeetakeapuff