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Meet the #DevaCollective: Yana

We sat down with Deva curlfriend, @goldynaps, to learn more about her relationships with her curls, her favorite products, and more! Keep reading to find out more about Yana’s curl journey.

Tell us your transformation story! What inspired you to start your curl journey?

I started my curl journey because I got to a point where I felt like I had no other option. I had been getting relaxers my whole life and my hair was really badly damaged, especially in the back where my hair is a lot coarser than in the front. In my senior year of high school, I decided to get a pixie cut to get rid of all the damaged hair, but I continued to relax and straighten it because I wasn’t comfortable with my curls. Of course, eventually even my short hair became extremely damaged. It became clear to me that I would have to go natural for my hair to grow.

How did you feel about your hair when you were growing up? And how do you feel about it now?

I hated my hair growing up, but for me and a lot of other black women, it is so much more than just hair. Within the black community, hair is a very central aspect to your experience as a young girl; getting my hair pressed every week, and getting my hair relaxed whenever my roots grew out was the norm. I was brought up to believe my natural hair was unprofessional, ugly, and altogether unacceptable. I believed all of those things wholeheartedly. I never saw anyone with kinky hair like mine in magazines or TV shows, and as a 7-year old you take that as proof that what you have been told about your hair must be true. I grew up in a very white environment, and I rejected my blackness and all that came with it—including my hair—to cope with how I was treated in those circumstances. It took me a very long time to accept my hair, and a very long time to accept myself. Today, I couldn’t imagine myself any other way than with my fro. I love my hair because it is a reflection of all the work I put in to make it blossom, and all the work I did on myself to accept it.

Any tips for members of our community who are just starting to go natural and unsure how to start?

Just go for it! If it’s something that you’ve been considering or thinking about then do it. I’m a huge proponent of big chops because you really are learning to love your hair from ground zero. It’s not easy though. You will waste a bunch of money on products that do not work trying to figure out your hair, and you will get frustrated and probably cry a couple of times when you first start your journey, but it really does get better if you listen to your hair. My biggest tip is to learn your hair porosity ASAP because that really determines what products will work for you, and also deep condition once a week! If you follow those two tips your journey will be a lot easier. If you think you’ll still be uncomfortable with how you look with your natural hair, then take it slow. Start out transitioning and do protective styles for a while to get your hair to grow out. When I first big chopped I did protective styles for a full year before I started wearing my natural hair out. It’s a process! But it’s worth it!

What’s your favorite hair tip/trick/hack in general?

My favorite tip is to refresh your hair with steam from the shower. Usually when I go to sleep, I wake up with my hair all mashed up, but when I take a hot shower, the steam reinvigorates my curls! It’s an easy tip that will save you from having to buy a steamer and cut down your refreshing time.

What are your favorite DevaCurl products?

My favorite DevaCurl products are DevaFresh, Leave-in Decadence, Heaven in Hair, SuperCream, Ultra Defining Gel, No-Poo Decadence, and Super Stretch.

What’s your favorite part of being curly?

My favorite part about being natural is how versatile my hair is. I can go from a wash-n-go, to a twist-out, to a puff, to a blow-out, to a protective style, to a braid-out. The list goes on and the options are limitless if you’re open to learning how to work with your hair and your texture.

How would you describe your personal style?

Probably eclectic. I love fashion, and staying on trend, but I like to wear it in a way that’s unique to me! I think to do that you have to get your inspiration from a bunch of different places, and also know yourself well enough to know what suits you and what will look good on you.

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