What is your name and where are you from?
I am Joangil and I am from NYC
When did you go Natural? Did you transition or did you big chop?
I went natural late 2012. I transitioned for 9 months before cutting the remaining relaxed hair.
What prompted you to go natural?
I was due to get a relaxer in early 2013 but found out my husband and I were expecting our first baby and so I opted from getting a relaxer until after I gave birth. As more time went by i started to notice my new texture growing out and I got curious about my curly hair. I have been getting relaxers from an early age. My mom did it to help her manage my hair because I’ve always had a lot and it just was her way to make it easier for her to handle my hair. I didn’t really question it as I got older specially since my hair has always been healthy and grew without any issues.
What is your favorite thing about being natural?
I have quite a lot of favorites; not having to go to the hair salon every other week to get my hair straighten, not having to go every 3 months for a relaxer, not having to get all that heat on my scalp to get bone straight hair, not having to worry about the weather. I really enjoy just being able to wash my hair anytime I want and go out the door.
What is your least favorite thing about being natural?
I really don’t have any.
Did you receive any criticism regarding going natural?: some, but mostly it all has been very positive.
What is your routine? (To include nighttime regimen): I wash my hair twice a week or anytime I feel the need. I shampoo, condition detangle and i apply my Camille Rose gel. Sometimes I use leave in before my gel but not all the time. At night I really just go to bed, I have a satin pillow and I am looking to buy a bonnet big enough to fit my fro. In the morning to go to work I just spritz some water and pick out and shape my fro and I’m done. I work in the banking sector so my hair is not usually the ‘norm’, but mostly every one loves my hair.
Has your journey inspired your friends or family to go natural? If so, How?
some of my coworkers have been able to explore this ‘natural’ path and ask me tons of questions. My mom was inspired as well, although she started a little before me because of my younger sister, but she continued because she loved the way my hair was growing. My baby girl has very curly hair, different texture than mine but it gets very big. I mostly do wash and go’s on her and I hope that as she grows older and continues to see me with my natural hair that she also feels comfortable with hers. I know it can be challenging for others to accept what is usually not the normal, specifically for kids. So my main goal is to continue to show her to be herself regardless of the circumstances, curly hair or not, big fro or little fro or straight hair or however your hair, we all have to embrace what we have and who we are.
How has being natural shaped your self-esteem?
It gives me a sense of uniqueness-although I have always been very much the girl that stands out in a group due to my personality. But I feel like I belong more than ever anywhere I go because I know I am that girl with the hair, like you will remember me.
How do you respond when strangers ask to touch your hair?
I don’t care. If someone asks me if they can touch it I just say sure and smile. I feel like everyone is just so used to straight hair and how straight hair functions that our generation doesn’t understand curly hair as much or even hair like mine that once is second or 3rd day hair it really gets that afro like look, like in the 70’s, so of course some people will be like “‘wow’, can ? touch it?” Its still not the ‘norm’ amongst our peers, so I really don’t care if someone wants to touch it.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything about being natural that you wished you’d know before you started your journey?
I wished I knew about it way sooner, I would have saved tons of money!
Who are your favorite Bloggers/vloggers?
not sure, everyone is just so into a bunch of steps and extras that just seem complicated that I don’t care to really be into anyone. I watch videos from some of them but none that catch my eye as really being someone i can relate to yet. I do love my hair stylist for being so real though if that counts. @jenniferrosenyc
What are your favorite products?
Shea Moisture, Pantene (for curly girls), Giovanni (purple line) Marc Anthony, Kinky Curly gel (although it makes my hair hard, it gives awesome definition so i use it sometimes) Camille Rose Gel (really awesome stuff)
Your go to hair style is____?
I only have done wash and go’s since being completely natural.
Who are you hair crushes?
I don’t have any 🙁 I find a lot of beautiful girls out there which Iadmire for their commitment to themselves and this natural hair community but no crushes, unless I can be my own? lol
Where can you be found on social media?
I have instagram which is mostly just family and friends, is @joangil_c if it makes any difference. 🙂