Coco + Creme caught up with one of our many hair idols, blogger Ally Marie. You may recognize her from her popular women’s empowerment blog, She Blogs. The writer/jewelry designer dished about her hair journey, favorite products and more.
Ally: I got my last relaxer in the spring of 2006.
C+C: When and why did you decide to wear your hair natural?
A: I was changing as a person. A few years prior to my natural decision I started this beautiful spiritual journey where I started learning how to really love myself and look at life differently and I got to a point where it felt weird for me to alter my hair because I started really loving and appreciating who I was naturally.
C+C: How did you transition from relaxed hair to your natural, unaltered texture?
A: I’m not gonna lie (smiles), it was stressful. I did a lot of protective styles like wearing it in a bun or ponytail and I waited until it was a little below my ear before I chopped off the permed part.
C+C: How would you describe your hair journey?
A: Well its like a roller coaster…it has its ups and downs. Sometimes my curls will cooperate and work perfectly for a few months then I will have a few weeks where it is just hard to deal with but regardless of all that I would never go back to perming. Overall its been a beautiful journey.
C+C: What are three hair products and three tools you can’t live without?
A: I honestly use whatever curly products I have in my bathroom but I will vouch for olive oil, grape seed oil, and rosemary oil. I have put drops of olive and grape seed oil and combed it through to moisturize my hair and when I notice my edges seem thin I use rosemary oil for a few weeks in that area to stimulate growth. As far as styling tools go I would have to say a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment, a good comb/or paddle brush, and a satin scarf or pillowcase.
A: Lately I have been keeping my hair braided. My girlfriend braided it into a side fishtail long braid and I loved it. But when I wear it curly I shampoo, condition, and comb the conditioner through. Then I rinse the conditioner out and apply a leave in conditioner/curl defining product and scrunch it in. Then I flip my head over and use the diffuser while scrunching the curls to try and make sure they are really defined. Once my hair is dry I flat iron my roots lightly (not clamping down all the way) over large sections of my roots to elongate my curls and make my hair look more full. And that’s it, then I’m out the door. And let’s see I would have to say what I love the most about my hair is how full it is now and that I can rock a huge fro.
C+C: What was the most frustrating part of your hair journey and how did you overcome it?
A: I honestly have phases. Sometimes my hair works with me and sometimes I get tired of having to go through that whole process to wear it out. My biggest frustration is that when I wear it straight I notice a lot of growth but when I wear it natural and out for a while I feel like it breaks off as fast as its growing and will look the same length for a long time. So I guess trying to figure out how to wear it out and natural and have it grow really long is my challenge.
C+C: What advice do you have for women considering the “big chop” or that are transitioning?
A: My advice is to make a hair vision board with pictures of styles you like, positive quotes and anything else encouraging. Your natural hair is unique and gorgeous and sometimes a vision board can either help motivate you to start the journey or to stay on it. Also get a natural hair accountability buddy either from online or a friend that is also going on the journey, that way if you have a weak moment or doubts you can call them.
C+C: Tell us about your jewelry line. What inspired it and where can we buy it?!
A: I started making and selling my jewelry in late 2007 and I am so excited about my new spring collection “Behold A Lady”. There are eight necklaces in the new line and they are modern and versatile with a feminine touch. I used crochet fabric, vintage inspired buttons, big flowers and lots of different funky chains.
-Jessica C. Andrews