Curly Essence: Tell us a little about the history of your curly hair…
Elisa: Loving my hair wasn’t ever a problem for me. I think my biggest problem was that when I was younger, me (mixed with Angolan/Portuguese) and my Portuguese family didn’t have much knowledge about my type of hair. When I was about 4/5 years old I got my hair chemical straightened, at first I loved it but later my roots were growing again, and I started hating it, due to that I big chopped my hair for the first time. After that my hair grew again all natural (my mum was the one who took care of it) furthermore at the age of 12 I was just too lazy to take care of my hair so I decided that it would be better for me to lose my curls a bit to make my morning routine easier. At that time, in my head, my hair looked nice however later I realised that my natural hair was actually pretty nice and that I wanted it back. So at 14 I big chopped my hair again, and it’s been a process since that age.
Curly Essence: How long did you find yourself in the transition process – Transitioning to Natural – and why you made this decision?
Elisa: Hmmm.. Honestly, it was pretty quick, I big chopped my hair, and I started doing box braids until my hair achieves a length that I would feel comfortable in. I just woke up one day and said to my mum “I want my natural hair back”, at the age of 13 I started following some natural hair bloggers and I thought that I wasn’t going to be lazy anymore, so it was pretty easy to make the decision.
I just woke up one day and said to my mum “I want my natural hair back”
Curly Essence: What is the hardest part of your transition?
Elisa: I always loved my natural hair, so I must say that the hardest part wasn’t really about the hair. It was more about the looks and how people saw me since I always dressed more as a boy and while my natural hair was really little I was very concerned about looking like a boy, that’s why I started doing box braids. I’m very grateful for actually loving my hair.
Curly Essence: Are you always worried about in having your curls in perfect shape, or are you more of an apologist of the “let it be”?
Elisa: About 2/1 years ago I would say that I was concerned about having my curls in perfect shape, but lately, I believe that the health of my hair is more important than having a perfect shape. Right now I usually just let my hair in a wild afro and go hahaha.
Curly Essence: Is there a secret that you can share concerning your curly hair?
Elisa: Always detangle your hair with your fingers while in the shower. It just makes the whole process so easy and it’s not so hard in our hair! Additionally, spray your hair with some oil of your preference to always keep it hydrated.
Curly Essence: How do you see this new “back to our roots” movement?
Elisa: I sincerely love it. Our roots are our roots; there’s no way to deny that. Also being “different” is something that everyone is enjoying it now, not that natural curly/kinky hair is out of normal, but I believe that’s one step further to everyone love themselves. However, I think that’s important to know that everyone can choose how to have their one hair since natural to chemical straight.
Curly Essence: What products do you recommend and can’t live without?
Elisa: Water! Drinking lots of water is the key, besides that Asian Moisture Milk, a Vitamin E Oil, afro pick and a blow dryer.
Curly Essence: What were the worst mistakes you made? What advice would you give to anyone who wants to venture out to take care of their curls?
Curly Essence: What’s the best thing about being curly?
Elisa: THE VERSATILITY! I just totally love it, I think I can pretty much have any hairstyle I want. It’s showing who I truly am and accepting it.
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