Hi my name is Taylor DeClue. I’m a 21 year old college junior at Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis, MO.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since May 2011.
What motivated you to go natural?
Like most girls I had to have a relaxer or my hair was a hot mess back in high school. During my first year of college on winter break I decided I had enough of the chemicals. At the time i had a short Rihanna-esque hair cut. So one day, during that break I went to the bathroom, wet the short hair i had in the shower, took some scissors and cut every straight piece i saw in my head off. Until I was left with my twa (teeny tiny wittle afro) lol It took some getting used to, I thought I was this ugly boy, but even back then I got so many compliments.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?
The most memorable part was looking in the mirror after I cut it all off. I thought I would cry but I didnt though there were some days after i regretted it but i decided that it was me and i was going to live with my decision another memorable moment was getting my best friend to go natural and her hair is amazing by the way. Its been extremely difficult. I have big chopped twice. After about 8 months of growth, after my first big chop, I got a little obsessed with the flat iron when I saw my length progress and needless to say I ruined my my bouncy curls.
What are some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
So last summer once again i cut it but it looked like at least 3 months of growth when i did. Ever since I have only straightened my hair once used heat protectant and when it was time to revert i got the best deep condition of my life. I vow to only straighten my hair once a year now.I dont get too dramatic with hairstyles because i am extremly tenderheaded and i just really enjoy my fro but my go to styles are my puff, a fro with twists on the side or a bun.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My mother was pretty shocked when I cut all my hair off but now thinks it was a great decision because my hair has grown out beautifully. I get nothing but love for me hair. I embrace it. Im not ashamed I dont hide it even on the days I look like I could stand to use a relaxer .
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I cowash once or twice a week. I usally comb it in the shower and when i get out dry with a tshirt. i apply an oil right now my favorite is a mix of olive oil and curl max argan oil to keep it fully moisturized becasue it gets super dry especially with all the humidity going on in st louis lately. and after that I proceed to style with tons of bobby pins eco styler gel and a curl definer of my choice.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
My favorite youtubers are Mahoganycurls, taren916, and naptural85.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I always tell people that when I started to grow my natural hair I felt free. Now that might sound like a cliche but I dont feel tamed. I dont feel like im trying to fit into someones box I feel more unique that I ever did. I dance to the beat of my own drum and that is one of the best feelings in the world so dont be afraid to go natural better yet stop caring about what others think AND do what you love. At the end of the day, you have to love yourself.
Where can people find you for more information?
I am a local photographer in adddition to being a student so you can follow me on instagram at @optimistycsoul or @decluephotography My facebook page for my photography is Taylor DeClue Freelance Photography I am always looking for natural hair models.