Natural by nature is something I’ve always tried to live by. Natural since the day I born back in 1995, my hair has always been free of chemical relaxers, perms and heat damage. Raised by parents who lovingly encouraged me and my siblings to embrace the natural textures of our locks, I grew up embracing my curls. My mother has thick 4c hair, but I did not notice this most of my childhood because her hair was permed. Though she would often relaxed her own hair to keep up with style trends back then, my mom never let a relaxer touch the hair of her kids. My mother usually styled my hair in cute braids or ponytails smoothed down with old-fashion grease and pink hair milk traditionally found in African American households at the time. My encouraging black mother and father always told us to love the hair God gave us and take care of it. I’ve noticed since I was in elementary that I was only few of my classmates who wore their hair natural. I always wondered why girls straightened their hair so often. It wasn’t until I became a teenager that I realized why.
Middle Of The Road
In 7th grade, I begin to take on my hair on my own.
I was a mess! I had no clue what to do with it, so every day I wore my hair in a ponytail until high school. High school years I wore my hair down a lot trying to defeat shrinkage and elongate my curls. Middle school is when I first began to realize and understand issues within the black community. Most black girls I knew permed, relaxed and straightened their hair because they were often teased and bullied because of their hair type. Words like ‘nappy’ and ‘ugly’ were often thrown their way. Texturism subconsciously hurt a lot of girls with type 4 hair to the point where they did not love their hair and made them insecure. Colorism was also very common. Darker skinned people were made fun of, called unattractive, deemed lesser than and looked down upon. Lighter skinned people were often told they were not black enough but did not receive the same backlash as their darker brothers and sisters. The hate and division within in our community was strong. It was terrible to see, but it was reality. This reality would later spark the mission behind my future brand.
The College Years
Sad to say, I ended up dyeing my hair for 4 consecutive years after my first dye job. Every 6 months, I would dye my own hair using at home dye kits! The dye made my hair brittle, dry, and flat. In all honesty, my undergraduate years in college were really about me trying to figure my hair out. I experimented with countless products, tools and techniques. I begin to watch YouTube videos to educate myself not only on my hair, but natural hair period. I longed for hair that was healthy, full of volume and refined with definition. Thankfully this was also right around the time the natural hair empowerment movement took off. Black women everywhere were starting to rise up and embrace their natural hair. I was greatly inspired by these beautiful black women of all curl types and skin tones loving themselves! With that being said, my last year in undergraduate was also the last year I ever dyed my hair. It has been 100% au naturale from that point forward.
A New Beginning
This is when I realized I had already found my calling. Not only had I found a passion in psychology, but also in natural hair and beauty. I launched a YouTube channel during my first semester as a grad student. I knew there were lots of women out there who were also struggling to maintain the beauty and health of their natural hair. I felt empowered to provide advice based on my many years of experience with natural locks and the knowledge I educated myself on. It wasn't until my last year of graduate school that I felt ready enough to introduce my inclusive product line. I understandably wanted everything to be absolutely perfect for everyone– from the labels and designs to the pure as promised formulas themselves. NeoCurly products are wholly of the heart. Every detail of NeoCurly is inspired by and represented of all natural blacks out there. All products and tools will cater to all curls and textures. I wanted to create not only a brand, but loving space and environment. I hope my natural hair products do its part to heal the hate, counter colorism and push back against the texturism that has tragically become customary in the black community. You are all loved and accepted here. Be true to who you are and love yourself.
Join me in celebrating our differences and honoring our likenesses.