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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… Read more »
Ab

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

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!

Knotty Natural

Ab,

No one needs a relaxer

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!

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

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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

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

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