We have the lovely and stylish Nicole. You might know her as IvyCharlaine!
CNB: How long have you been natural?
Nicole: I've been natural since like 2000, that's when I got my last relaxer. I was in college and couldn't afford to get my hair done that often so I just decided to start blow drying and flat ironing it straight. I didn't embrace my natural hair though. I flat ironed my hair on the highest heat setting and fried it so bad that I suffered from severe heat damage. I decided in 2009 to finally embrace my natural curls, but due to constant straightening and dyeing, my hair was nothing but straight ends and weak waves.
CNB: What made you go natural?
Nicole: I started seeing some beautiful women with thick, beautiful, healthy bouncy curls and I loved it. I was inspired by Kelis, Tracey Ellis Ross, Bre from America's Next Top Model and some fellow natural youtubers (Taren916, Thecurlyfitchic, Mllecafeaulait....) I couldn't even remember what my curls would look like, but I decided then and there (October 21, 2009) that I would transition from fried hair to healthy curly hair.
CNB: What do you like about being natural vs being relaxed?
Nicole: I like the fact that I look unique and different. I'm not trying to look like everyone else. My curls have a personality of it's own. I love not worrying about running in the rain or swimming in the beach. I love that my hair doesn't have to look perfect to be beautiful.
CNB: What do others say about your natural hair?
Nicole: I get a lot of positive compliments on my curls. Many people ask me if I get roller sets, or if it's a weave or wig. I don't get offended though, in a way it's flattering if you think about it. People always tell me that I look completely different with curly hair.
CNB: How do you feel about yourself now that you are natural?
Nicole: I feel like it has made me stop worrying about trying to conform to society's ideal image of beauty. I love that I decided to go natural for myself and not to please anyone else. I just love the freeing feeling it gives me.
CNB: Have you inspired others? I would like to think that I have.
Nicole: A few of my friends have decided to go natural and they were amazed how beautiful and curly their hair was. I don't force 'being natural' on anyone, but if they have questions about it I'll be sure to give my honest opinions :)
CNB: What is your basic routine for your textured hair?
Nicole: I am a queen of the wash n go's plus diffusing. I alternate between co-washing and shampooing once a week and I condition my hair every time I wet it. I also deep condition my hair as needed, sometimes once or twice a month. I apply leave in conditioner and a tiny bit of gel, then I diffuse and i'm done. This normally lasts up to five days and then I wear it up in a ponytail or bun until it's time to wash again.
CNB: What do you want others to know about being natural?
Nicole: Being natural is a personal choice. These days you have to be so mindful about what you put in and on your body. Educate yourself on the chemicals and products that you are using. Don't be afraid of what people will think if you decide to go natural. Do it for yourself and embrace your God given beauty. It's not about looking like anyone else, it's about loving what's in the mirror in front of you.
Nicoloe have a YouTube channel dedicated mainly to natural hair. check it out at www.youtube.com/ivycharlaine Nicole also have her own line of earrings, which you can check out at www.ivycharlaine.com The new & updated website will be available on April 4th.
Thank you Nicole!