My name is Nicole IvyCharlaine. (IvyCharlaine is actually my middle name and my name I use most often) I’m originally from NY but I live in NJ. My hair journey has been an interesting ride over the past few years. Throughout my adult life I’ve always worn my hair straight. I used to get relaxers in college faithfully every few months and then one day I decided to just flat iron it every two weeks instead of the relaxers. I was obsessed with straight hair. I have also dyed my hair many, many colors from platinum blonde to red to brown to jet black. I love playing around with color. In 2010 I decided to go natural and it’s been quite a journey.
How long have you been natural? I’ve been relaxer free for over 10 years and I’ve been embracing my natural curls for 3 years. That’s when I decided to put down the flat iron and wear my hair curly. It was extremely difficult because I suffered with extreme heat damage. Most parts of my hair would barely have a wave to it when it was wet. I hated it but I was dedicated to reviving my hair.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why? I started seeing beautiful women with gorgeous long and big curly hair and I LOVED IT! It made me wonder what my hair would look like if I stopped straightening it. My transition was a little different than the norm. I wasn’t transitioning from a relaxer, I was transitioning from heat damage. The look was basically the same though because I had mostly straight pieces all throughout my head. I didn’t do a huge big chop, I just did mini chops over the span of two years. I also did a ton of deep moisturizing treatments and protein treatments. That helped to revive some of my curls, but the biggest thing was just cutting off those dead,limp ends.
How would you describe your hair? Right now my hair is growing back from a huge chop that I did in May of this year. I cut off 15 inches of hair and donated it. I’m trying to grow my hair back out at this moment, so it’s a little below my shoulders when I wear it in a wash n go.
What do you love most about your hair? My hair is very healthy and I love my bouncy, shiny curls. I love the versatility of it. I can wear it in a wash n go with super defined curls or I can pick it out and wear it in a huge fro.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?! The most memorable part was when I let my hair grow super long. It actually touched the top of my butt when I stretched it. It was cool to see that my hair could grow that long. I ended up cutting it in May however I’m currently growing it back out again.
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
My favorite hairstyle for me is the wash n go or a high ponytail with a hump in the front. Those are like my two go to styles.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others? For the most part people have given me really sweet compliments on my hair. The funny thing is that people always ask me 1 of 2 questions. Either, what do I put in my hair to make it curl like that or where did I get my wig from. hahahahaha
What thoughts on raising natural kids? I have a 1 year old son who has gorgeous brown, curly hair. My husband and I have decided that we are not going to cut it at least for the first 3 years of his life and we want him to learn to love his hair. We don’t want him to think that he has to have short hair to be like everyone else. We want him to love his curls and learn to be original and unique in his own way.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)? I’m a simple wash n go type of girl. I either cowash it with Tresseme’ Naturals or shampoo it with Sheamoisture Moisture Retention shampoo. And then I conditioner rinse with either the Tresseme, Jane Carter Conditioner, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration or Organix Moroccan oil conditioner. Then I blot it with a flour sack towel and use a leave in conditioner or moisturizer. My current favs are the Kinky Curly Knot Today, Shidanaturals Moisturizing Cream or Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia and then I add a drop of extra virgin olive oil to seal in the moisture. Lastly, I simply let it airdry.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs? There are so many beautiful women who are natural that I love to follow either on YouTube or Instagram. A few of my favorites are Sunkissalba, lifewithcoco2, muchmorethanbeauty, curlylovekiss, charmsie and vanie0295
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words? Be real with yourself. It’s not about going natural, to me it’s about being natural. Embrace your own beauty and don’t allow anyone to dictate the standards of beauty for you.
Where can people find you for more information? You can find me on Instagram or YouTube under my username Ivycharlaine