What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Chantal and I’m from Toronto, Canada.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural my entire life but my hair hasn’t always been as healthy as it is now. As a child, my mother made it a priority to take care of our hair. Every Sunday my sisters and I would get our hair done by her but, that changed as we grew older. I started to do my hair by myself around age 11 or 12 when my mother no longer had time to do it. Back then I was doing it all wrong (using the wrong products and handling my hair incorrectly). But, I felt SO good because I could independently braid and style my own hair! The biggest changes my hair has undergone prior to my hair journey have been hair dye and heat damage.
Why did you decide to begin your natural hair journey?
I decided to begin my natural hair journey around 2011 or 2012 when someone commented on how much my hair was thinning. At the time I was obsessed with having straight hair and would flat iron it every week. I knew my hair was suffering so I kicked the hair straightener cold turkey and haven’t looked back since.
And did you Big Chop or Transition?
I transitioned from heat-damaged hair to the state of my hair currently. I would trim the ends gradually and did a lot of protective styling. I didn’t know where to start when it came to finding hair products so I would use whatever I could find at department stores or drugstores. Living in Canada, it was very challenging to find products for black hair (especially natural hair) so I was in the dark for the first few years. I wish I had documented that period of my hair journey more closely but it wasn’t that serious to me back then and I didn’t have any hair goals. I was really just figuring it out and testing my comfort zone in terms of how I felt wearing my natural hair. I have only become more conscious over the past two years or so.
Who is your hair crush/hair inspiration?
I’m always spotting naturals in real life and online whose hair I love. Basically every natural I follow on instagram right now are my hair crushes/inspirations! It’s really hard to narrow down because everyone brings something different to the table and has their own unique beauty.
What is your go-to hair style?
My go-to hairstyle is rocking twists! I usually wear twists that are on the small to medium size but sometimes I like them to be chunky. I wear them a lot because they are easy, quick and can be transformed into bomb twistouts at the drop of a dime. Can’t go wrong! I’m kind of a boring natural like that. *shrugs*
What is the one product that you cannot live without? Why?
This is a tough one to answer. It’s a toss up between a good leave-in and a good deep conditioner. I feel that deep conditioners really help to maintain the strength and vitality of my hair between wash days in conjunction with the moisturizing products I use. Deep conditioning has become an integral step in my hair care routine. My current favourite is the Honey Miracle Mask by TGIN. On the other hand, leave-in conditioners make my styling process that much easier by helping to detangle and hydrate my hair. They’re also great for using in between washdays when I re-style my hair and bring my kinky curls back to life.
What advice would you give to a Curlfriend who has just begun her natural hair journey?
My best advice would be: Don’t get discouraged. It takes time, patience, trial and error to get into a groove with your hair. I’m STILL figuring things out every day. Just do you and don’t compare your hair journey to anyone else’s. You don’t need the fanciest products or styling tools to have healthy hair. The key to remember is moisture is your hair’s best friend! Low manipulation styles and protective styles are also great for length retention and trimming is essential. Above all enjoy your hair! Don’t let it consume your life… it’s just hair.
How can we connect with you?
I’m most active on Instagram: @NaturallyChantal
My YouTube channel is an ongoing project for me! Search ‘NaturallyChantal’ to find my channel and videos!
Thank you Chantal!
- If you have additional questions that you would like to ask our Curlfriend, please feel free to share in the comment section.
- Expect to meet our next Curlfriend in December 🙂