Before I delve right into how I get my locks so popping these days. I want to Re-wind to when my hair was my own personal nightmare…
From the age of around 10, there was nothing I wanted more than to have long, flowing, smooth strands. I hated my frizz and, what I thought was unruly hair. When I was a pre-teen there was a lack of representation of WOC with natural hair in the media. Which gave me no positive black or mixed raced role models I could look up to for hair inspiration. Natural hair wasn’t really a thing. Growing up I also didn’t have any mixed raced friends I could identify with, which made me struggle with my own identity. BIG TIME. I thought by changing my hair, it would make my whole life better.
I begged my mum for straighteners and of course she resisted. She told me my hair was beautiful the way it was and that I should learn to take care of it how she used to when I was a child. She always wished she could have hair like mine. She even tried bringing in aunties and godmothers for some advice. Did I listen? Course not. What did she know, FEH! I finally convinced her to get me some GHD’s. I knew straightening my hair every day would damage it permanently, but at the time I didn’t care. I ignored the long term affects because all I wanted at the time was silky smooth. I had no peers that looked *like me*, so I just wanted to fit in. I tried to pigeon hole myself into this idea of beauty I thought was more accepted and I wouldn’t be happy or confident in myself until then.
Once I turned 16 I started using chemicals to actually alter the curl pattern of my hair to make it easier to straighten. I did this consistently until I was 21. You can imagine the state of my natural hair after consistent heat and chemical damage: frizzy, undefined, A HOT MESS basically. I couldn’t even remember what my natural hair looked like. At this point I thought WOW okay bish, these chemicals really aren’t doing anything good for you. My hair was still looking wild and I had less to work with as it was all breaking off. I considered the harmful side effects of chemical straightening and panicked at the thought of losing it all.
After typing in natural hair on Google, I discovered a whole world of natural hair gurus on YouTube. I was inspired by their journeys. That’s when I decided I was ‘going natural’. I began researching how to revive my natural curl pattern and maintain every kink, curl and coil on my head. I consciously made a decision then to practice self-care and self-love. Starting with my hair.
Embracing my natural hair has been so much more than just ditching the chemicals and GHD’s. It’s been about learning to love what I was born with. It’s one of the biggest factors of my self-love journey, because it was one of those things that I tried to hide. Through all of my teenage years I did anything to change it. I didn’t want to accept it.
But It’s been three years now, since I stopped using chemicals and roughly two years since I chopped of pretty much everything. It was an opportunity for me to start over.
Back to present day, I have such a healthy relationship with my hair and an even better one with myself. I am grateful to have such a diverse hair type. It’s part of me. It’s part of my heritage and identity. I embrace all of it. I learnt to accept every part of me. I realised what I thought were flaws were actually beautiful.
To say it’s been easy is a huge understatement. I have spent hours on the internet reading articles, watching videos and browsing products learning the 10000’s of ways to grow and look after it. (Girls growing up now are so lucky to be able to find people they identify with on social media. Along with all the information they could possibly need to maintain healthy hair, whatever the type or texture.) I have spent forever doing hair masks and protective hairstyles until my arms ache. It has been frustrating. At times I even thought a magic hair growing bear shaped jelly baby would solve all my problems LOL. I’ve been through so many products trying to find the right combination to get that perfect bounce and definition.
Luckily for me, large brands are starting to cater for curly hair types. Making it easier and more affordable to get my hands on the right ingredients that my hair loves.
Which is why when Umberto Giannini got in touch, wanting to make me a brand ambassador, I was absolutely thrilled. It makes me so proud to see brands wanting to diversify their panel of ambassadors. It’s great to see that brands have realised there’s a whole market of people who’ve been struggling for so long. Missing out on great hair care because nothing’s been tailored for us.
But guys, I think I’ve found my holy grail of haircare with their curl range:
A huge factor in me deciding to partner with Umberto Giannini is because they are a cruelty-free brand who’s products are also vegan friendly. (A gal has still got to maintain her ethics with these blog opportunities.) I was sent their minute mask and curl jelly to try but can’t say I was expecting a miracle. I was ready to stash it with all my other half-used curl products. But I was really blown away by how soft and manageable the mask left my hair. On top of that the shine and curl definition the jelly gives my hair… JUST LOOK!!
The compliments I’ve received recently since using these are a testament to how well these work for me.
When I look in the mirror now, I see my hair as a reflection of my own growth as a person. My hair is shining, healthy and beautiful and there’s not one day that I wish I was born with anything different. Embracing my curls has been the catalyst to loving myself. I am so proud of how far I’ve come from the days of straighteners and clip in hair extensions. My GHD’s now live in the bottom of my ‘random junk’ drawer collecting dust.
Shout out to all the other curly hair girls who’ve been through similar journeys and have learnt to love themselves too. And obviously a big up to the marketing team at Umberto Giannini for making me Brand Ambassador and giving me LIFE with these products.