My natural hair journey began in 2011, about a year after starting SunKissAlba, my YouTube channel. This is when I noticed the severe change and damage I've caused on my curls after years of mistreating them and not appreciating the beauty they possessed. My hair went from being naturally curly to brittle, dry, and straight strands due to constant heat styling and lack of knowledge on hair products and ingredients. I remember crying in the bathroom the day I noticed my texture wasn't coming back to its original pattern. That was the day I realized how much I actually love my curls. Unfortunately, most of us tend to value only what we once had and lost and usually only change what we suffer from, but I've learned my lesson, and I never looked back.
The process of gaining back my curls was scary, because I didn't have the support of my family and I didn't know where to start -- but I went with logic. I rejected heat styling tools and couldn't stand the thought of having them around, so I put them in the trash, because I decided that step one was to stop doing the very thing that gave me unhealthy, damaged hair. No more heat, no more straightening, no more hair dyes, and no more unnatural ingredients. I stopped using products with artificial ingredients while educating myself on the benefits of organic ones. I became inspired and was sure I wanted to commit to this journey. One of the first brands I found that supported my hair needs was SheaMoisture. I immediately stocked up on several of their products to help nourish and hydrate my dry damaged hair, so that I can feel more comfortable styling it naturally and creating fashionable hairstyles. Today, almost five years later SheaMoisture still remains one of my favorite brands.
I also learned that cutting off the damaged straight pieces is part of this process, and imperative to see growth. Although I had long hair down my mid back, I accepted the fact that having long hair is worthless if it's damaged and dead. I went into my bathroom with scissors and I cut off about four inches of damaged straight pieces of hair and the next day booked an appointment with a curly hair stylist who specializes in the "dry cutting" method. She trimmed more hair off and styled my hair, while also showing me a better way to cleanse and style without using heat. My family did not understand what I'd gain from this, but I didn't expect them to: In my Dominican culture, having straight hair is valued as beautiful, the ideal. It wasn't their priority to have healthy curly hair; their priority was to have sleek straight hair. About six to eight months later, my family began to acknowledge the changes in my hair and shared their respect for my commitment, because I kept my word and never budged into the pressure and words of discouragement. It took me one whole year to fully get rid of all the damage after gradually trimming off the straight pieces left. A year later I was left with shoulder-length healthy curls, bouncy and cooperative without any sign of heat damage.
My family did not understand what I'd gain from this, but I didn't expect them to: In my Dominican culture, having straight hair is valued as beautiful, the ideal.
Today my family loves my natural curls and they often advise others to do the same with their damaged hair. My own hair journey has led them to change their views and their definition of beauty. My YouTube viewers have also witnessed my changes and progress, through the hundreds of hair videos I've published on my channel as I experienced how to recover my hair. Seeing me gain healthy curls and wear my natural curls with confidence has made them feel that they can do it, too. I'm so blessed to have such a diverse audience from all parts of the world who can come together on my channel, share stories and inspire one another through accepting their own curls with love. I didn't know what I'd gain from this when I started, but I can proudly say I gained more than I ever dreamed of. I'm so much more confident and have learned to embrace my natural self!
I'm so blessed to have such a diverse audience from all parts of the world who can come together on my channel.
This journey is not just about hair. It's about finding comfort in who you are and celebrating that in everything you do. I'm proud to say that beauty truly does come from within and same way we should care about the ingredients in our hair, we should care about the ingredients we consume from the inside out.