Meet My Curlfriends

Meet a new Curlfriend once a month.

You will learn about her natural hair journey, get hair product recommendations, Curl-Inspiration, and so much more.

If you are interested in receiving information about being one of the Curlfriends send me an email at Cherrelle.Shelton@gmail.com

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Meet Our December CurlFriend

1. What’s your name and where are you from?

I’m Alicia from Queens, NY

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2. How long have you been natural? Why did you decide to begin your natural hair journey? And did you Big Chop or Transition?

I’ve been natural again since 2011 (6 years). I was natural (no relaxer) for most of my life, alternating between pressing my hair or braids, until age 18. My mother didn’t allow me to get a perm and I didn’t really want one, but I also didn’t really know what to do with my hair. As a college student, I was too broke and strapped for time to continue to flat iron my hair only to have it revert right back in the DC humidity. So, I got a relaxer (only three to be exact) before my hair decided that it didn’t agree with that decision and started to break. I transitioned back to natural hair over the next year and a half (early 2011), but didn’t wear my first curly style (a twistout) until the very end of that year. I was in Tanzania and inspired by the energy of being in an all African country and decided that I would take my braids out and try to do something with my hair. I had a hunch that flat twisting my hair and wrapping the ends around themselves (Bantu knots) and letting it out would give me the desired look (I hadn’t heard of twistouts and braidouts yet, it was just intuition). I loved the look and instantly felt the look matched my energy better than straight hair ever did. 

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3. Who is your hair crush/hair inspiration?

Naptural85 , It’s Really Relle, &  LeFrosie. I love naturals who are creative with their styles and who treat their hair styles like art rather than boring routine. I see myself as someone who also gets creative and playful with coming up with different ways to style my hair and so I naturally draw inspiration from others as well. 

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4. What is your go-to hair style?

Twistouts and crown braids. Twistouts are my go to curl style because they last a long time, get tangled less and are more predictable than a wash and go or rod set. Crown braids are my favorite protective style because they are reliable, more interesting than a bun, and still look decent on hair that is a bit tangled. 

 

5. What is the one product that you cannot live without? Why?

My denman brush. It’s ability to detangle makes my life so much easier and it makes my curls pop. I am able to use a lot of other natural products pretty interchangeably, but so far, none have changed my wash day for the better in the way that the denman has. 

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6. What advice would you give to a Curlfriend who has just begun her natural hair journey?

Embrace the struggle period. There are days when you will look rough and that’s ok. The natural hair life isn’t always gram worthy. Take the time to be gentle and patient with hair and you’ll see it flourish.  

To ladies who are struggling with their professional image and worried that their natural hair will hold them back, I want them to keep pushing forward. There are some company cultures that won’t understand it and will put the pressure on you to change or even hold you back from opportunities because of your hair. You don’t need them and that’s their loss. Go where you’re appreciated for your talent and dedication. The most refreshing thing for me is to be in an office where my hair is not a spectacle or the defining identifier for who I am.

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7. How can we connect with you? (Facebook, Twitter, IG, and/or any other social media outlet that you would like to share)

IG: @cubiclesandcurls ; Twitter: @cubiclescurls ; Blog: cubiclesandcurls.com

Through my blog/social media, I aim to feature professional women rocking their curls at work. Send me a picture (selfie, professional, etc) of you either on the job or in work attire, what your occupation is, and the most satisfying part of the work you do OR advice to other professional black woman. 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQIwXPlSC08O4bABeSTKZwA

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Thank You Alicia!

  • 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 January!

 


Meet Our November CurlFriend

  1. What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Chantal and I’m from Toronto, Canada.

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  1. 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.

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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.

 

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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*

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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 🙂

 


Meet Our October CurlFriend

1. What’s your name and where are you from?

Hey, y’all! My name is Shavela (Sha-vee-la), and I’m from Dallas, TX.
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2. How long have you been natural? Why did you decide to begin your natural hair journey? And did you Big Chop or Transition?

I’ve been fully natural for 2 years and began transitioning 5 years ago. I last relaxed my hair in August 2012, and opted to just keep my hair flat-ironed instead. I wasn’t ready to sport my natural hair texture at that time, mainly because I disliked the fact it wasn’t a silky texture. I thought nappy was ugly. This is also why I didn’t big chop. I figured since I didn’t have those silky baby hairs, I would end up looking like a boy with “beady beads” everywhere (LOL, smh). In retrospect, I wish I did. I hear it’s quite liberating, and I would love to see my curls grow in from scratch. I’m definitely leaning towards big chopping in the future- maybe once I’ve reached “hair goals”.
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I stopped flat ironing my hair in 2013 and began the process of learning to care for my natural hair texture. I got my first professional cut in September of 2015, which removed the rest of my relaxed/heat-damaged hair. I got another professional cut in January 2016 and my latest cut in April 2017. In between, I lightly dust my ends with hair shears.
The best advice I can give to transitioners is: don’t be afraid to chop off your relaxed/heat-damaged hair. Your transitioning hair is going to require different care than your fully natural hair and both textures respond to products differently. I wish I didn’t spend time learning how to handle/maintain transitioning hair and just spent that time learning my natural hair texture and what it likes instead.
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3. Who is your hair crush/hair inspiration?

I have so many haircrushes! I couldn’t possibly name them all, but a few naturalistas on Instagram who inspire me are: @itsreallyrelle (of course!), @queenelizabette__, @theimperfectnatural, @naturallychantal, @neptunesquest, @brigiteeeee, @kim_xoxo, @jaiologie, @naturellesunkissed, @lazyfollicles, @naturally_bigmama, _@bubsbee..the list goes on!

4. What is your go-to hair style?

My go to style is a Bantu knot-out. It was one of the only styles that worked for my transitioning hair, so I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting that style. Keep an eye out for my YouTube channel launch! My first tutorial will show how I Bantu knot my hair.
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5. What is the one product that you cannot live without? Why?

I cannot live without deep conditioner! A good deep conditioner helps me retain moisture and maintain the health of my hair. I deep condition whenever my hair  needs it. I don’t deep condition on a weekly schedule, because I’ve experienced moisture overload doing that. I mainly listen to what my hair needs at the time; that works best for me.
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6. What advice would you give to a Curlfriend who has just begun her natural hair journey?

1) Focus on learning what works for YOUR hair and what YOUR hair likes. Don’t get caught up in “natural hair rules.” Everything doesn’t work for everybody, so don’t think you have to adhere to every natural hair tip.
2) Please try not to compare your hair to another natural’s hair. I know that’s way easier said than done, but that’s a major key and will save you some heartache- trust me, lol. Even if your texture resembles someone else’s, you might not have the same porosity or density as that person, so what works for that person may not work for you.
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3) Enjoy your hair at every stage. There’s some things you can do with short hair that you can’t do with long hair and vice versa. The longer your hair gets, the more time it will take to maintain it so enjoy that TWA!
4) No matter what your hair texture is, remember it is beautiful as is! God created us (including our hair) in God’s image, and everything God made was very good so that means your natural, God-given hair is good too! Love your hair, and it will love you back.
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7. How can we connect with you?

I’m currently active on:
 Instagram: @vintage_curls
 Snapchat: sjcstyle
Stay tuned for my YouTube channel!
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Thank you Shavela!

  • 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 November 🙂