Meet Carletre… a college wavy that manages to achieve good hair days, while on a budget!

CN: Have you always embraced your natural curls? If not, who or what inspired you?
Definitely not! I used to straighten my hair every day, and I did this for five years. I would come back to my dorm between classes and touch up the pieces that weren’t stick straight. My friends thought my hair was straight naturally – they never saw it any other way! The damage to my hair was the first thing that got me thinking about letting go of the straightener. My ends kept breaking and so my hair never got any longer. One day, I went to the pool and of course my hair got wet, so it began to curl. I felt like a mess and my hair looked frizzy, but my boyfriend calmly told me that he thought that curly hair fit my face shape better. I went home and looked in the mirror and realized he was right – with a long face, straight hair only emphasized it. How ironic that what I had been avoiding all this time was actually the right look for me.

CN: How have family, friends, and strangers responded to your curls? How do you respond to them?
Everyone loves them. My parents, of course, always liked my hair better curly because parents love their kids “the way they are”, and I always hated that reason. But they were right all along, my hair looks worlds healthier and it’s just who I am. My friends always ask me if I “did my hair”, which makes me glow because I didn’t! I never got compliments on my straight hair the way I do on my naturally curly hair.

CN: What are your must have products?
On a college budget, I love everything a drugstore has to offer that fits the silicone and sulfate free regimen. I love Suave Naturals Tangerine because it smells great, it’s affordable, and it’s so light I can apply it to dry hair and it soaks right in! I also love the Herbal Essences mousses because they are great for last minute touch-ups. Sometimes the simplest things are the best, too – honey, a natural humectant, does wonders for my hair, and apple cider vinegar restores my shine and bounce and gives my hair the moisture it needs. Doesn’t get more natural than that!

CN: Routine for the the perfect curl?
My curls tend to be more on the wavy side, so I find that letting my hair air-dry from being soaking wet works best for me. I try not to diffuse – this blows my hair around and causes frizz, and I am trying to stay away from heat damage as much as possible. But the best advice? Don’t touch!

CN: How do you deal with the high dew points and humidity of summer?
I keep a bottle of honey around and add it to my conditioner when I’m showering. The natural humectant properties of the honey help soak up the moisture in the air. I also find that the more moisturized my hair is the day of a high dew point, the less frizz I get.