Embracing My Curls Has Been a Journey

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Growing up with super thick curly hair, I wish I knew how cool my natural hair was back then. I remember begging my mom to let me get a relaxer because I wanted to fit in with all of my friends who had straight long hair. Thankfully, my mom said no to the relaxer, but yes to allowing salon visits every two weeks where I unknowingly began to learn to take care of my natural hair. I learned about particular products and their benefits just from watching my stylist and asking her a ton of questions while getting my hair done. Unfortunately, the salon visits stopped once I graduated high school and went away to college. I took over my "haircare", thought I knew it all, and ended up damaging my hair by straightening it every single week. Yes, every single week! Not only did I have heat damage, I bleached and colored my hair and kept it straightened by any means necessary. A few years later, I got married and gave birth to my now 12-year-old daughter. As a new mom, I knew I wanted to set a good example for her by embracing my natural curls. 

Natural hair was having a moment in the world and I wanted to be a part of it by learning how to reverse the heat damage I did to my natural curly hair. In 2011, I did a personal one year challenge of no heat to see if removing heat completely would rectify all of my heat damage. For someone who straightened their hair every week, this was HUGE for me. Through this time, I learned to embrace my natural hair and slowly started documenting my process with photos and videos. My YouTube and social media platforms started to emerge with the goal to reach young girls who had a similar story to mine. My hope was that documenting my journey to healthy hair and sharing what worked for me would somehow be encouraging and inspiring to other women. But most of all, I didn't want my daughter to grow up disliking her hair as much as I did as a child and teenager. Again, I knew I had to set the example through my actions. I researched and taught myself about my low porosity curls, natural hair products, and shared a lot—as a result, my a natural hair blog Happy Curl Happy Girl was created!

Rayna with SheaMoisture shampoo

SheaMoisture® was one of the very first products I tried on my natural hair. I was drawn to the packaging and the message behind the brand. I learned about the importance of clean ingredients for not only my curls, but for my scalp. I came across SheaMoisture's shampoos, which gently cleansed my hair and scalp but also gave my hair moisture. SheaMoisture® 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo has now become a household favorite! It has always been important to me to stick to brands that provide beneficial ingredients for optimal health of not only my hair ,but my husband and daughter's hair. I wear a ton of wash and go styles, as well as consistently creating styles on my husband and daughter—and because of that, we tend to suffer from product build up. Therefore, shampoos have always been a must in my natural hair regimen. I'm truly grateful that SheaMoisture® helped lay the foundation in how I care for my natural hair—it's been a game-changer!

Rayna with SheaMoisture Conditioner

Throughout the years, I've learned so many tips and tricks on how to care for natural hair. I learned that finding your hair type isn't as crucial as we all made it out to be in the natural hair community. Instead, finding your porosity level is imperative with being able to rock your curls with confidence because it allows you to understand how your hair reacts to moisture. Regular and deep conditioners are a must at keeping your hair properly hydrated. I adore the fact that I can use SheaMoisture® 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Conditioner as a rinse out conditioner as well as deep conditioner by just applying a heat cap in my natural hair regimen. So, let's quickly break it down. I start with a scalp pre-poo product to aid in getting rid of any build up, I shampoo, and afterwards, I go straight into my favorite deep conditioner or mask. Then, I style using one of my favorite gels for long lasting definition. To get the most defined wash and go, I make sure to shingle when styling and then I preserve my curls in a pineapple overnight. By doing this routine, I can achieve a moisturized seven-day wash and go! 

Rayna with Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner

Having a natural hair-based audience on my social media platforms has made me reflective of the beginning of my natural hair journey. Through the process, I've learned so much about hair, but also about myself. I'm so grateful that my experience was documented and taught to my 12-year-old daughter at a very young age. She watches my videos and begs to wear her hair in a wash and go like me and it melts my heart! Very early on, SheaMoisture® helped me to better care for my curls and being able to use and love them today means a lot as content creator and naturalista. Learning to care for my hair has been fun, but truly embracing my hair has been the journey. I've come a long way and I'm so grateful that there are brands created like SheaMoisture® that aided in the process and journey of my self love and acceptance. You can find SheaMoisture® 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner at Costco® or Costco.com.