Locally-based blogger Ashley is the creator of the YouTube channel Curlypad - Curly PJ Chronicles.
Through Curlypad, Ashley chronicles her love of natural hair, trials, tips and product reviews while giving helpful advice on hair maintenance.
Ashley took time off from her vlogging to share her personal hair story, advice and the inspiration behind Curlypad.
Personal hair story …
My natural hair journey had a few twists and turns along the way. I was natural up until I was in the second grade.
With my incredibly tender-headed self and looks of terror in the morning before she would do my hair for school, my mom (after asking my opinion and having nice talks over a few months) had my first relaxer put in the day before I had picture day.
She kept my hair in beautiful condition even as it was relaxed over the years. Curly hair would always catch my eye though, and I would try pretty sad attempts at braid-outs on my relaxed hair to get that look.
I decided to go natural the summer before my Junior year of high school, I was so curious about what it would look like and I wanted to celebrate the huge milestone of graduating with a big change, since I had the same hairstyle (long, straight, ends bumped under) for well over half my life.
So, I transitioned over 11 months, getting it flat ironed weekly, and big chopping the week after graduation.
Absolutely LOVED being natural, but four years later, equipped with tailbone length hair, and weekly FIVE hour detangling sessions, I made the very regrettable decision to get a texturizer.
My hair was dry, limp, brittle, and just overall blah. A year later, I was transitioning for the second and last time.
And after all that, here I am, nearly three years after my last texturizer touch up.
Since I’ve drastically tweaked my routine this time, I’ve found that I’ve fallen in love with my natural hair all over again and those five hour detangling sessions are a thing of the past.
Advice for those contemplating wearing their hair natural …
The advice I would give those who are contemplating wearing their hair natural would be to embark on your natural journey in whatever capacity that works for you.
Whether that’s going for the Big Chop one month after your last relaxer application, or transitioning for a longer time like I did, do whatever works for you.
Do your research and really get to know your hair as it grows out and treat it with care. Oh, and whatever method you decide, make sure to moisturize, moisturize moisturize!
Inspiration behind Curlypad – Curly PJ Chronicles …
Funnily enough, my YouTube channel name itself was totally spur of the moment. My boyfriend gave me an iPad for our anniversary, so I hopped on YouTube and created an account and excitedly decided to call myself Curlypad, the same name I gave my newly minted gift from him!
I was always stopping in Target, the mall, Chipotle, you name it, talking to other natural women about tips, products, trails and tribulations, etc., so I decided to just go for it and start making videos so that I could share one of my favorite topics with other like-minded women anytime.
More on Curlypad …
I started my channel right in the middle of my transition, so it has a lot of information and helpful tutorials, like how to trim your hair while transitioning, detailing how to transition for a longer period of time, the importance of hair health, and maintaining moisture in transitioning hair.
Since I’ve been without any straightening chemicals for almost 3 years now, it’s evolved into my adventures with wash and gos, my experience highlighting my hair, the benefits of protective styling - a little of everything!
I am a total product junkie also, so my channel is filled with tons of product reviews. Since I’ve been on YouTube for almost two years now, I have many curly friends/subscribers that I comment and converse with on my videos, so I’ve branched out into doing various fun Tag videos as well.
I just love commenting and interacting with the wonderful ladies who subscribe to my channel.
Advice to those considering starting a hair journey blog …
Just be yourself! Your passion for the subject (Hair!) will shine through even more so if you just relax and be yourself on camera/or through your writing.
What the future holds for Curlypad …
I would love to do some meet ups with those who subscribe to my videos in the near future.
To be able to set up a great event and have the opportunity to interact right then and there with my subscribers, talk hair, swap some products, have some awesome giveaways, and get some good food and drinks - that would be great!
I’m focused on growing my channel and just having fun with it and see where it leads.