Today on the blog, we sat down with Michelle, AKA @naturallychea, to chat about her curl journey, curl tricks and more! Keep reading to learn more about one of our favorite curlfriends.
Tell us your transformation story! What inspired you to start your curl journey?
I was inspired to start my healthy hair journey and embrace my curls after my hair started breaking off from all the damage I had caused by flat ironing it multiple times throughout the day, EVERY DAY, with NO heat protectant! I was tired of having brittle, thin hair that would barely grow past my shoulders, so I walked into a salon one day and asked the stylist to basically chop my hair off. I went to my local beauty supply store and bought two fake ponytails, because I mean like an outfit change, a girl has got to have some options, right? These ponytails helped me get through my transitioning phase because at the time I had no idea how to style my hair aside from wearing it straight. Fast forward to college and the YouTube wave and I started learning how to properly care for my curls and do different styles. I was now fully embracing my curls and having fun with styling so I decided to start my own YouTube channel to pay it forward for women out there who may be experiencing what I once was! I realized that I can still feel pretty with my big, beautiful curls, that they are enough, and that they can and WILL be represented in any kind of environment or setting!
How did you feel about your hair when you were growing up? And how do you feel about it now?
Growing up I never hated my curls, but I definitely never really embraced them either. I had no idea how to style them which is why I turned to the flat iron. Straightening it was the only way I knew how to manage it. My mother is half Mexican and half Chinese with straight hair, so she had no idea how to handle our hair. My Liberian father had the most beautiful 4c afro that I admired so much because it was always so PERFECTLY groomed. He would literally spend hours grooming it before work and he would spray so much sheen on it that he would go outside to spray it so we wouldn’t inhale the fumes! Looking back, I’m sure I get my love and patience for styling my hair from watching him! I fully embrace my curls now and love my hair’s versatility when it comes to styling! I love how big and full it is now and my curls are definitely always a topic of conversation at a party because people get mesmerized by them. It’s like walking around with a permanent icebreaker for conversations!
Any tips for members of our community who are just starting to go natural and unsure how to start?
Just go for it and do what works for you! Don’t feel pressured to big chop if you don’t want to. It’s perfectly fine to transition your hair all the way out and gradually trim the damaged parts. MOISTURE is one of the main keys to obtaining beautiful, long curls so just listen to your hair and if it feels dry, moisturize it! Watch a lot of styling videos on YouTube and follow different curly girls on Instagram for inspiration and to learn different ways to style your hair so you can have some fun and switch it up! It’s okay to be encouraged by people’s hair journey but be careful to not compare and expect your journey to be exactly the same. Everyone’s texture is different and your journey to healthy hair is really a trial and error process. Just learn to listen to your hair and love and embrace it for its own texture and porosity.
What’s your favorite hair tip/trick/hack in general?
My favorite hair tip is MOISTURE, MOISTURE, MOISTURE!!! I can’t stress this enough. Dry hair is prone to breakage so if you want to grow long hair, you have to be able to retain the length and keeping it moisturized really helps with that as well as prevents a number of other issues from happening to your hair. I’ve also found that the amount of moisture can also make or break a hairstyle so if you want to ensure you have a flawless, perfectly defined, frizz-free style, you CANNOT be stingy with product application! To help keep your hair nice and moisturized ensure you regularly deep condition your hair, try to avoid products that contain sulfates, use a leave-in conditioner and at least an oil to seal in the moisture and of course water should become your best friend both during your product application process, (always spray the water first!), and also with your physical water intake so you make sure you’re hydrating your hair from the inside out as well!
What are your favorite DevaCurl products?
What’s your favorite part of being curly?
The versatility I have with my hair! I always get amazed at how many different shapes, forms, and textures it can take on just by styling it one way or brushing it out another way, it’s truly remarkable!
Anything else you’d like to tell the Deva community about yourself or your love of Deva?
I really appreciate how DevaCurl is really inclusive of ALL textures! They literally have a product that can cater to all curly girls from my wavy girls to my girls with the really tight kinks and coils! I’ve been using and loving DevaCurl products for YEARS and will continue to incorporate their products into both my and my daughter’s regimen. I love how the brand offers their own classes and salons with educated stylists that cater to curly girls so that they can teach them the proper methods to care and maintain curls! My Deva family and the curl community is such a supportive and loving community that I’m so happy to be a part of!