CN: Have you always embraced your natural curls? If not, who or what inspired you?
Absolutely not. For the majority of my life I hated my curls. I would stand in front of the mirror, shut my eyes as tightly as I could, and hope that when I opened them, my hair would somehow be the smooth, silky stands I desperately wanted. A few times I even cried because I thought my hair was so ugly. All I saw was this huge mass of tangles and dryness and it didn’t help that my family would sometimes refer to it as a rats nest. My mother had a hard time dealing with my hair as well. She would get so frustrated sometimes when trying to brush out my hair that once she took scissors to it in a fit of furry that resulted in missing patches of hair all over my head.
When I started doing my own hair, I wore it pulled back in a bun everyday unless it was one of the rare occurrences that I went to a salon to get it straightened. When I was about 15 I begged my mom to let me get a relaxer and she gave in. It didn’t get rid of my curls but it softened them and at the time, made them seem easier to manage. I didn’t get another relaxer but I did start straightening my hair all the time. Once I learned to straighten my hair myself with the help of a flatiron, I straightened it every week. It took about 3-4 hours each time and I would make sure my hair was stick straight. On top of that I colored obsessively. You can imagine the damage that was done to my hair. It got to the point where the last few inches of my hair were almost stick straight from heat damage.
One day l wanted to see my natural hair and I was horrified at the damage I had done to it. It was stiff and dry and barely curly anymore. I decided right there and then to get my hair back to normal. That’s when I started to do research online. I came across Naturallycurly.com and Curlynikki.com and it changed my life. I saw all these beautiful curlies and I wanted to be like that. I wanted to like my hair the way it was meant to be. I didn’t want to feel like my self-esteem and self-image all depended on my hair. So after doing some reading I decided to go CG although I do use some cones now, mostly Amodimethicone. The last time I straightened my hair was in October and I’ve slowly been cutting off all my damaged hair. I’ve also decided to not dye my hair anymore since that also played a role in my damaged hair. Its gone from below bra strap length to above my shoulders but I’m happy because its healthy. And for once I actually love my hair. I’ve even started trying to convert other people to go natural, LOL!
CN: How have family, friends, and strangers responded to your curls? How do you respond to them?
I’ve been getting more and more compliments the healthier my hair becomes. And my family has started coming to me for advice on hair now, LOL. My mom now says she wishes she had hair like me. I’m just happy I’ve finally accepted and embraced my hair.
CN: What are your must have products?
I’ve been rotating between AG fastfood and Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Honey Butta as my leave in. Curl Keeper by Curly Solutions and AG Recoil are my absolute favorite styling combo. I’ve been experimenting with Ecostlyer as well and I love how soft it leaves my hair. I use The Jane Carter Solution Nourish and Shine to scrunch any crunchiness from my hair and I looove the shine it gives my hair. For deep conditioner treatments I use Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioner and Curl Junkie Rehab. I alternate them every week. For a cleanser, I use Jessicurl cleansing cream.
CN: Routine for the the perfect curl?
After I’ve cowashed, I apply my leave in followed by curl keeper and use a wide tooth comb to distribute it evenly. I then use Ouidad’s Rake and Shake method to distribute the Recoil. I then diffuse and use nourish and shine to get rid of any crunchiness.
CN: How do you deal with the high dew points and humidity of summer?
This is my first summer as an official curly so I’m learning as I go. But so far I havent really had any problems with frizz. Although I think the AG fastfood might be slightly better since it has Amodimethicone in it, which my hair seems to like.
1- Soon after starting CG, you can see some of my straight ends
2- A few months into CG.
3- (above) Most recent pic. I’m on the left.