You may have seen her featured on our Instagram from time to time, but @thetennillelife_ is not only one of our favorite curlfriends, but she’s also a super inspiring and amazing woman! Keep reading to learn more about one of the faces behind our #DevaCollective!
Tell us your transformation story! What inspired you to start your curl journey?
While I’ve always embraced having curly hair, I haven’t always known how to properly care for my curls. My mom has straight hair so growing up I was pretty much on my own, learning how to style and manage my curls. In my teenage and young adult years, I took the health and natural beauty of my curly hair for granted. That all changed when I turned 30. I was going through a rough patch in life and was under an incredible amount of stress. This stress resulted in significant hair loss to the point that I hid my hair by pulling it back in buns. Losing my hair was absolutely terrifying but at the same time it was the wakeup call I needed. It forced me to prioritize caring for myself, both mentally and physically. This was a critical milestone in my wellness and curly hair journey that led me to start educating myself on caring for my whole body, as well as learning about techniques and hair care products to restore my hair.
How did you feel about your hair when you were growing up? And how do you feel about it now?
When I was growing up, I was very overwhelmed by my hair. I had a TON of hair which made it very difficult to manage. I coped with my hair by always pulling my hair back in braids and ponytails to control it. In fact, I wore ponytails so much that my dad’s nickname for me growing up was “Pony.” It wasn’t until high school that I started wearing my hair down and really rocking my curls. Now that I’m older and wiser, caring for my hair is no longer a chore. In fact, I quite enjoy the process of caring for my curls and myself for that matter. Beyond that, there’s a certain confidence you gain when you embrace all the qualities that make you unique.
Any tips for our readers who are just starting to go natural and unsure how to start?
Yes! Start out by finding a stylist who is certified in DevaCuts. My first curl-by-curl cut was so educating and an absolute game changer for my curls. A great curly hair stylist will not only be a wealth of knowledge but will also cheer you on along your curly hair journey. Don’t be afraid to learn YOUR hair. Do some research and learn about your hair texture type. That will be a guide to finding curly girl clean hair products that are specially formulated for your type of curls. Part of that process will be trial and error. Be open to the process and be patient. The change won’t happen overnight. For extra support, resources, and inspiration, find a curly girl community! There are so many curly girl experts out there on Instagram and YouTube, so find ladies who have a similar hair texture to yours to get the best feedback on tips and tricks that work specifically for your hair type. Learning to love your natural hair is an amazing journey of self-acceptance. Remember to be kind to yourself along the way.
What’s your favorite hair tip/trick/hack in general?
My favorite trick is using hair clips. Everyone always asks how I get my curls up front to stand up. The trick is to use clips in the final stage of drying to lift your hair at the crown. I also use clips to train my non-conforming curls and give them that extra pop. This works great for refreshing your curls to extend wash day.
What are you favorite DevaCurl products?
What’s your favorite part of being curly?
I love being different! It’s so cool to know that I will never see anyone with the same silver curls as me.
What does self-care mean to you?
There’s a quote from LR Knost that really resonates with me, ‘Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first; it means me too.’ This couldn’t be more spot on for what self-care means to me. As a mom and wife, I’ve spent my entire life caring for other people. It’s my nature to want to nurture and anticipate the needs of everyone around me. I do this in both my personal life and professional life as a corporate flight attendant and I’m really good at it. Unfortunately, it took me way too many years to realize that it’s not sustainable to care for everyone BUT ME. Self-care is putting myself on the to-do list. I give myself permission to do things that make me smile and feel loved so that I have more love to give to those around me. This can be anything from feeding my body healthy foods and exercising to taking the time to pamper myself with skin care and hair care routines so I feel my best. Self-care is a process that involves being kind to yourself physically and emotionally.
Anything else you’d like to tell our readers about yourself or your love of Deva?
I’ve been a DevaCurl fan for over 5 years, well before I started blogging. When I first discovered DevaCurl I felt so encouraged to have something made for curly girls just like me. I love the care that Deva takes to select the best ingredients while leaving out all the bad ones. It’s a brand I trust and best of all, their products work!