Meet Elle - A.K.A. The Curly Headed PJCheck out what this lovely natural has to say about her beautiful curls. A.K.A. Izzy, and how she cares for them!
What/Who inspired you to go the natural route?
Well…I’d kind of say the weather inspired me to go natural. That, and all of the hair pictures on NaturallyCurly.com. One summer was especially hard on my relaxed hair because it was SO humid, and I was flat ironing my hair multiple times a day, so I was looking for a gel that would allow me to do wash n gos on my still wavy hair. In researching reviews on KCCC, I came across NaturallyCurly, and saw all these pictures of beautiful hair…and I thought, “Why am I wearing my hair straight?” After that, I never thought of relaxing my hair again.
How do you rock your natural? (Curly, straight, locked, etc.)
Curly 99% of the time, straight 1% of the time, approximately.
How often do you use direct heat on your curls?
Sometimes I get bored or mess up a curly style (twists or a roller set), so I flat iron my hair (no blowdrying). That’s the only time I do direct heat (Unless diffusing counts when my hair is too wet?) – it’s probably once every six months.
I know the first product you used when you were a newbie was the Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Do you still use this product? How has your routine changed from the early stages to now?
Yep, I still use it! Love that stuff. It’s especially great for me in winter when the dews are low, or when I want multi-day hair. I’d say that my routine has gone back to as simple as it was in the early stages. When I was researching a lot, I got very into ayurvedic treatments, but now I keep it fairly simple. Wash and go, detangle once a week, clarify once a week, DC w/ steam once a week. If I’m just redoing my wash and go, I either water rinse and condition, or use a cleansing conditioner.
Product reviews seems to be your forte, which I love because they are so detailed! Is there one product line that you have had great success with? I know you are a big fan of Curl Junkie!
My favorite lines are Curl Junkie, Donna Marie, and Oyin Handmade. Even if a product does not work for me from their lines, it’s still okay – never bad (meaning, doesn’t dry my hair out or cause tangles). Honestly, I don’t think I could only use Curl Junkie, because the products are SO moisturizing that I’ll get over moisturized using my favorites every day!
Your hair looks extremely healthy despite your use of color! I am addicted to color myself, even though I know it’s not the greatest thing for my hair. How do you maintain a healthy head of curls?
I’ve only used color a couple of times last year (The first time didn’t take, so I tried again a few days later), and that was when I still had a TWA (5 months post BC). Since then, I’ve only used henna and indigo to color my hair, and I’m no longer doing that because I want to grow out my natural hair color. Maintaining a good moisture/protein balance is key is keeping your hair healthy – my hair is medium/coarse, so I don’t need a lot of protein, but I’ll do a treatment maybe once every other month, and some of my deep conditioners have a dash of protein. Besides that I focus on moisture – when the dews are optimal, I love humectants like glycerin, agave nectar, and aloe vera. I have to stay away from glycerin in low or very high dews though.
About your blog and YouTube Channel
What motivated you to start blogging and YouTubing?
Well, when I first decided to grow my hair out, I started an album on Facebook. But…then I thought that it would get a little annoying to my friends who didn’t care about hair to see me in their newsfeed every other day. So, I just moved my journey to a blog, then started doing YouTube videos because honestly, one day I just didn’t feel like writing. After you make a video, people ask for more, lol.
Elle gives the best product reviews I've read to date. She goes into mad detail. Click here to check out her channel.
What advice can you offer a new blogger, like myself, on gaining exposure and readership?
Mainly, be consistent with your posting – if you only post every two weeks, people are going to get tired of checking and hoping for a new post. For blogs, I’d say that at least three times a weeks is ideal, and for YouTube, at least once a week. Also, make sure you are responsive and transparent on your blog. When people comment, even if they are not asking a question, pop in and say hey – people like to know that someone is taking the time to read what they’ve written, just like we like to know people take the time to read what we have written. If something bothers you, don’t sit there and stew – sure, don’t complain to your readers (like those crazy rant videos on YT about haters), but you should make sure people know that you’re a person with feelings too, as corny as that sounds. Some people treat bloggers like it’s our job to write for them, and that’s not cool – blogging is more of a hobby or a passion, and people should be considerate of that. I think that people appreciate dialogue more than someone just talking at them all the time.
Freestyle! Anything else you would like to share – about hair or any topic?
I’m sitting here, and I can’t stop boinging on my curls, so I confess - I have MAJOR Hand in Hair syndrome. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to have messed up my length retention, but as soon as I can make a bun with my bangs comfortably tucked away, I am so putting my hair up! I need to keep my hands outta there! So, I hope people don’t get mad when my hair isn’t out in my videos, haha!If you enjoyed this brief NaturalView, there's plenty more where that came from. Check out the Elle's blog "My Quest for the Perfect Curl". You can also keep with her on twitter!
Thanks again Elle and Izzy!