A: My name is Alyssa, also known as CurlyByNature21 on YouTube. I am from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Woohoo! Go Hoosiers!!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: It has been almost six years since my hair last collaborated with a relaxer. I still can’t believe it has been that long! Growing up, all of the women in my life were (and still are) professional hairstylists. I could conveniently get a ‘top of the line’ relaxer anytime I wanted, at no cost to me. But, when I was sixteen years old, I realized that I could still achieve that ‘bone straight’ look without the use of chemicals. It was at that moment that I developed a careless attitude towards relaxers as a whole. To this day I don’t consider that realization to be the start of my natural journey. If we’re going to speak in technical terms here, then I’d say I have only been natural for three years. The day I pitched the flat iron and consciously began embracing/nurturing my curls, now that was undeniably the blossoming intro to the journey of my natural freedom!
How would you describe your texture?
A: If I had to categorize them, I’d definitely have to say that my curls are 3c. Overall, my hair is right in the middle between coarse and fine. It’s kind of like having the best of both worlds. My hair is pretty dense though. The middle of my head being most dense and most coarse.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: When dealing with my hair, I like to keep it very simple. Once a week I co-wash using Aussie Moist Conditioner. I rinse it out halfway and VOILA! There’s my wash’n go! If I’m looking for a little extra oomph, I sometimes use a diffuser once my hair has air dried about 70%. Also, when I do my hair in a bantu knot out, my all-time fave product to use is Organic Root Stimulator Smooth -n- Hold Pudding. You can check out my tutorial at http://www.youtube.com/CurlyByNature21! Like I said previously, I just like to keep it very simple. On my driest hair days I use Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle as a deep conditioner and Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creme to keep it moisturized.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I have tried all types of sulfate-free shampoos, but nothing compares to my Holy Grail – L’Oreal Paris EverCreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo. I can feel that my scalp is being cleansed while also feeling at ease that I am not using harsh sulfates. After shampooing, I put Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle on my hair for about ten minutes. I then continue with my wash’n go regimen.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: Usually if I’m running behind and need a quick hairstyle I will either grab the spray bottle and refresh my curls, or I will throw it all up into a frohawk-looking style. Sometimes I don’t even have time for that, so when in doubt, bun it out!!
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: Man oh man! I wish I knew a solution. I am always looking for new ways to defeat that evil shrinkage!! That is probably my biggest beef with being natural. Whenever I struggle with terrible shrinkage, that is when my blow dryer and diffuser come in handy. It helps a little. I personally think that stretching my hair overnight in the pineapple position works pretty good. My second day hair is always POPPIN’!! Also, when shrinkage is really getting the best of me I sometimes do a braidout. The results look like a stretched version of my natural hair. You can check out my tutorial on YouTube.
Tell us about your hair color?
A: I had my hair professionally colored in a salon by my aunt. I can’t say specifically what my hair color is because it is the result of several different processes over a year’s time. It has indeed changed my hair texture, but only in the front. I am currently in recovery mode. I have a video on my YouTube channel discussing my entire color journey.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: I have always noticed that right in the middle of my head, my hair is very thick and coarse. Combing it out is pure TORTURE! When doing any style, I always have to focus most on that area because it is always the first to revert. Now as for my hair in the front, it is very weak. It’s always been that way. The curls are pretty limp and I have to be very careful when using heat and especially when bleaching.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: My hair loves to be soaked in conditioner and it responds well to lots of coconut oil!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: My hair hates humidity, whose doesn’t? And also, I cannot use products with a lot of protein because it makes my ends break off.