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Intro­duce your­self!
A:
Hel­lo my curlies! My name is Ash­ley and I’m a nat­u­ral­ista from New York. My nat­ur­al jour­ney began on August 10, 2013 and ever since then I’ve been empow­ered phys­i­cal­ly, men­tal­ly, and emo­tion­al­ly.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al?
A:
Tran­si­tion­ing has prob­a­bly been one of the hard­est things to do because when you’re used to fry­ing your hair on a dai­ly basis, going cold-turkey feels as if you are in hell. When I was 13 I got a Japan­ese Straight­en­ing Treat­ment (LOADS OF CHEMICALS) and when I was 15 or 16 I got a relax­er. My hair was in such bad shape. Hon­est­ly, I didn’t know my hair was curly– I just thought it was wavy. At first, my goal was to just revert my hair back to a health­i­er state, but when I start­ed notic­ing a curl pat­tern form­ing I was deter­mined to “go nat­ur­al”.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
A:
My hair had sev­er­al curl pat­terns– the bot­tom was like a 2a/2b, the mid­dle was a 2b/2c, and the top was some­where in between 2c/3a. I believe 4–5 months into my nat­ur­al jour­ney I chopped off 7 inch­es of hair! I did anoth­er chop a month or two lat­er and chopped off an addi­tion­al 2 inch­es. This was so dras­tic because I was used to my tail­bone length hair, and cut­ting it made it 2–3 inch­es above my bra strap. But cut­ting off my dam­aged ends real­ly made a huge dif­fer­ence! My curls sprang up and were so adorable! After the cut my hair remained in between 2c and 3a and it’s thick­er (shout out to Jamaican Black Cas­tor Oil), and I still have at least an inch and a half of straight ends.

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the month.
A:
Depend­ing on what I’m try­ing to accom­plish, I will either do braid outs, twist outs, use Flexi Rods, or just let my hair air dry for a wash-n-go. For my wash-n-go (after the wash­ing process below) I do the LOC method with Can­tu Shea But­ter Leave In Con­di­tion­ing Repair Cream, organ­ic coconut oil, and Shea Mois­ture Curl & Style Milk. For braid outs and twist outs I use Can­tu Shea But­ter Coconut Curl­ing Cream in addi­tion to the prod­ucts list­ed above. Last­ly, for my Flexi Rods I use Palmer’s Hair Pol­ish­er Serum and the same prod­ucts I use for the LOC method.

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What does wash day look like for you?
A:
Now let’s get down to the thing that leaves my arms exhaust­ed, but hair look­ing gor­geous — WASH DAY! I recent­ly start­ed pre-poo­ing with warm olive oil for 30–45 min­utes and I love the results. Dur­ing my pre-poo I fin­ger detan­gle and leave about 8 twists in my hair. After­wards I wash with Organix Nour­ish­ing Coconut Milk Sham­poo and con­di­tion with Organix Brazil­ian Ker­atin Ther­a­py Con­di­tion­er. Depend­ing on the week I will either deep con­di­tion (every oth­er week, usu­al­ly the first and third Sun­day of the month) with As I Am Hydra­tion Ela­tion Con­di­tion­er, do a cho­les­terol treat­ment (the sec­ond and fourth Sun­day of the month) with Kuza Indi­an Hemp Cho­les­terol, or do a pro­tein treat­ment includ­ing mayo, olive oil, cas­tor oil, and hon­ey, every 4–6 weeks.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A:
For those days when I’m either too lazy to do my hair, or when my hair just looks down right crazy, I spritz some water on my hair and throw it up in a big old Chi­na bun, sock bun, or top knot.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
A:
Since I LOVVVVVVE me some shrink­age, I don’t usu­al­ly try to alle­vi­ate it. But for those days when I want to see my length, which is now an inch or two below bra strap length, I will do a top knot when my hair is wet, and when it dries you see the length.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
A:
The most dif­fi­cult part of my hair would have to be the top half of the back of my head. Back in the days when I used to flat iron my hair I would pass that hot dev­il a good 4–5 times back there to make sure it laid down flat. It’s so dry and it’s in the process of devel­op­ing a curl pat­tern. To alle­vi­ate this issue, I fin­ger coil the area and boom-baby prob­lem solved!

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
A:
For those with my hair, two things that I rec­om­mend are 1) be gen­tle– if not you’re going to see hair all over the sink, tub, floor! 2) nev­er for­get to sleep with­out your scarf boo, I mean unless you want to come out look­ing like you stuck your hand in an elec­tri­cal out­let.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
A:
My major don’ts would be 1) don’t touch your hair while it’s dry­ing! 2) don’t become a prod­uct junkie! I’m cur­rent­ly in junkie rehab. A lot of prod­ucts will smell great but work poor­ly, or they will work for a cou­ple of months and then they say “I QUIT”!

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A:
You guys can find me on Insta­gram @curlwhatever, where I’m always intro­duc­ing new tech­niques for curly girls. I try to answer all curly prob­lems and inquires there. I’m also in the process of mak­ing a YouTube chan­nel so stay tuned!! But if you guys feel more com­fort­able email­ing, then you can con­tact me at Ashley.app123@gmail.com.

Meosha

Just anoth­er lover of nat­ur­al hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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25 Comments on "Ashley // Transitioning Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Don't worry

Beau­ti­ful hair, Beau­ti­ful girl!(: if it wasn’t men­tioned I don’t think I would know you were tran­si­tion­ing.

Caramelcurls

Pret­ty girl with hair to match!

Miesha Cook

Just what I said. Dark­er skin. Seems some have an issue with the word dark­er. Noth­ing wrong with being called dark peo­ple! Its all in how you per­ceive it. If you’ve allowed soci­ety to make you view it as neg­a­tive then I can see how you would not like my com­ment.

Dananana

While I don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly dis­agree with ref­er­ences to dark­er skin in dis­cus­sion, there’s a place and a time. Not sure this is it, espe­cial­ly since I feel like I’m not alone in con­sid­er­ing this icon to be medi­um-toned, rather than dark. Regard­less of arbi­trary skin clas­si­fi­ca­tions, she’s beau­ti­ful, just like all the icons fea­tured here.

Can we just stick to how she’s got those flexirods downnnn? I think I have some ques­tions for you on those tricky suck­ers! :)

Ashley Lynn

Ask away girl ask away

May

Wow such beau­ti­ful hair, and it looks very well tak­en care of too! Love the thor­ough answers, thanks for shar­ing!

curlyBlue

I would’ve liked to know how has this tran­si­tion empow­ered her men­tal­ly, phys­i­cal­ly and emo­tion­al­ly?

Ashley lynn
Emo­tion­al­ly- I learned that change is depen­dent upon time! At the time of the tra­sition, I was going through a bad break up , we’ll the after math of a bad break up… I was con­vinced that noth­ing good shall come my way until I got start­ed on my jour­ney. I learned to love myself when I need­ed love. Phys­i­cal­ly- after I start­ed see­ing my hair improve, I knew I also had to make adjust­ments to my body, to make me health­i­er and hap­pi­er. I start­ed going to the gym and eat­ing health­i­er and now I feel beyond con­fi­dent when it… Read more »
Ab

Why in God’s name would you relax this hair? Whhaaatt? What is there to relax?

reese

This ques­tions was asked with love…yet got neg­a­tive votes. I read it imme­di­ate­ly and knew Ab was com­ing from a good place. Ash­ley, I’m glad you have embraced your nat­ur­al hair- go girl!

Knotty Natural

Ab,

No one needs a relax­er

Ashley lynn

It was basi­cal­ly to assim­i­late into those around me! I learned to be myself and to NEVER do that non­sense again! I was in the hair­dressers for almost 7 hours!

mlank64

Gor­geous hair…beautiful lady!!

Miesha

Regard­less of what nat­ur­al hair state her hair is in, it is sim­ply gor­geous. Love this type of hair on dark­er skin.

curlyBlue

Dark­er skin? What are you try­ing to say?

Brittany. L

Your hair is gor­geous and I lie your prod­uct choic­es I just tart­ed using Can­tu Shea again

Check Out http://www.curlskinksfashion.com For Nat­ur­al Hair & Fash­ion a Great Com­bo

Lolita

Pics like these make me hate my hair

lauryn

Don’t hate your hair! She has a real­ly loose curl and we’ve been most­ly told that this is the only accept­able way soci­ety will view us as nat­ur­al, but that’s not true! Your curls, kinks, and coils are just as beau­ti­ful — only dif­fer­ent. Care for your hair and it will be in it’s best shape and YOU will love it!!

Dananana

Why? Ash­ley indeed has a beau­ti­ful head of hair (that shine tho!!), but it shouldn’t do any­thing to make you hate your own.

Elle

GORGEOUS hair Ash­ley and con­grats on return­ing nat­ur­al! You seem so knowl­edge­able about your hair and your enthu­si­asm in this inter­view is infec­tious. Good luck on the rest of your jour­ney and YT chan­nel, and love the pics, you’re beau­ti­ful!

PS: I know it was used inno­cent­ly in this post, but I think we all need to remain mind­ful about the endur­ing pow­er of his­tor­i­cal­ly loaded images and ref­er­ences in Black cul­ture (i.e. “hand in an elec­tri­cal out­let”, also oth­ers in the ’28 Memes’ post). No dis­re­spect or hijack­ing intend­ed.

youngin girl

Nice curls to swing around, Ash­ley.

JustJoy98

It would have been great if she talked more about her tran­si­tion­ing goals, how long she plans to tran­si­tion etc. I mean I love the idea of fea­tur­ing some­one whose tran­si­tion­ing, but I thinks the ques­tions should have been switched up a lit­tle I guess. Hope that doesn’t come off as rude, but when I was tran­si­tion­ing I read a lot of arti­cles (like a lot)what I liked is how they dis­cussed break­age, styling chal­lenges, deal­ing with two tex­tures etc.. Again not try­ing to be rude.

angie

…yes..and don’t be afraid to ask around here! Plen­ty of us have gone through the steps and have found our method. I for one, tran­si­tioned for a lit­tle over a year and would love to spread the knowl­edge.

ang­ieramirez86g­mail lets chat

Ashley Lynn

Hey “JustJoy98” thank you for the sug­ges­tions! Next time I’ll be sure to incor­po­rate that into my response! But to per­son­al­ly answer those ques­tions you can always DM me on Insta­gram @curlwhatever ; or email me at Ashley.app123@gmail.com

Meosha

The fact that Ash­ley is tran­si­tion­ing was actu­al­ly a nice sur­prise to me when I received her com­plet­ed inter­view “JustJoy98”. Per­haps you can direct any spe­cif­ic ques­tions you have regard­ing her tran­si­tion to her here or in an email to the address she pro­vid­ed. She’s real­ly nice and I have no doubt she will respond.

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