Naturally Fierce Feature: Ashley

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Hey all—my name is Ashley and I’m a 23 yr Bronx, NY native.  I am currently a Customer Operations Associate at Birchbox, and I will be pursuing my masters degree in the fall.  I am also the creator of Curls Fo’ The Girls (curlsfothegirls.blogspot.com).  My blog is my baby and I am thankful for the push (no pun intended) to start her up.  It’s been one of my best experiences and an accomplishment!

How long have you been natural?

I have been natural for 2 years now.  I big chopped in May 2012 after the completion of my junior year of college. I also mini chopped in December 2013 where I had my hair cut into a tapered TWA.

What motivated you to go back to natural?

My mom was my motivation.  She had gotten tired of spending hours in the salon relaxing her hair and began pushing her touch up dates back. Then, she decided that she was going to stop relaxing her hair altogether. I decided to stop texlaxing as a way to motivate my mom to transition rather than give in to the creamy crack.  After a while, I gave up on texturizers.  Also, a friend showed me a ton of videos of beautiful naturalistas, and I decided that I would ‘go natural’ once I got home. After completing my junior year of college, I went to the salon and cut off
my texlaxed ends.  I wanted to experience the TWA stage, and I did not want to maintain two textures.  I wanted to be free and get it over with sooner than later.

How would you describe your hair?

I would describe my hair as curly coily.  I have a head full of springy corkscrew-like curls and waves.  My strands are fine, but my hair is very thick, and my hair will frizz easily.  I would say that my hair is 3b/3c.

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How has the journey been for you?

My journey has been both easy and difficult.  It was difficult in the beginning when I first BC’d because I had never had short hair.  I honestly didn’t feel as pretty as I had before.  However, my journey became easier once I learned about my hair, how to take care of it, and once I gained confidence in my new appearance.  I think the most memorable part of my journey has been trying different styles based on the length of my hair.  I love wash & gos and twist outs, but when I first saw my hair styled into a frohawk, I was in love!  I also fell in love when I learned that I could do a high puff.  Doing new styles just meant that I gained a little more length than I had before.

What were your favorite transitioning styles?

My favorite transitioning styles were bantu knots and blowouts/flat irons.  I wore my hair straight for a majority of my transitioning period. My current favorite hairstyles are wash & gos and twist outs.  I honestly miss my frohawk and high puff.  I can’t wait to have those back!

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How has your experience been as a natural? Any memorable reactions from friends or family?

I’ve had a positive experience as a ‘natural’.  I had a lot of support from my friends and family.  I think I may have been complimented more on my curly hair than I had been when my hair was straight.  I remember when I got back to school for my senior year.  I had a lot of people asking me questions about my hair including product help, styling, and how did I do this or that.  I still get a lot of questions these days.  It’s always fun to talk about hair!

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What is your hair regimen?

My hair regimen is quite simple on a day-to-day basis.  I usually let the steam from my shower loosen up my hair (after it’s been smushed during the night).  I then use my SheaMoisture Style Milk and Moisture Mist and my
fingers (in the shape of a diffuser) to create little curls in the back and on the sides of my hair.  I usually mist the top and fluff where needed.

My wash day requires more work, lol.  I usually shampoo or cleanse with L’Oreal Hydracharge Shampoo or As I Am Coconut Cowash.  Then, I detangle my hair with Aussie Moist.  Next, I deep condition with Neutrogena Triple
Moisture Mask, Curl Junkie Moisturizing Hair Treatment, or the Palmer’s Coconut Oil Protein Pack (if it’s time for a protein treatment.  If it is, I use the treatment then follow up with a moisturizing treatment).  Then, I rinse with cold water and apply my leave-in, which could be Kinky-Curly Knot Today, Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-in, or the Crème of Nature Perfect.

I then follow with a curl crème, either the SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or the EDEN BodyWorks Curl Defining Crème.  I’ll use a bit of sweet almond oil then apply a gel (Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls or Olive
Oil Eco Styler Gel) for hold.

What are some of your favorite natural hair websites?

Some of my favorite natural hair sites/vlogs/blog are curlynikki.comblackgirllonghair.com,naturallycurly.com, and ANYTHING MahoganyCurls related.  I can always find some useful advice or tips to help me out!

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Anything else you would like to add?

‘Go natural’ when it works for you.  Definitely do your research, but do not obsess over what your hair doesn’t look like or do, and do not obsess over the images of natural hair that you see.  Everyone’s hair is different for a reason and it is important that you love what you were given and work with what you have!

For more information, people can find me at:
curlsfothegirls.blogspot.com
– twitter: curlsfothegirls
– Instagram: xoxash_ (personal account) & curlsfothegirls

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