“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
Chic and Coily was created to share the joy of embracing one’s natural hair and being physically fit.
Amongst other topics, Chic and Coily features natural hair and fitness related interviews, meal inspiration, tutorials, styling advice, product reviews, workout tips and more.
I was born in down state Illinois in 1990 to my beautiful mother in a single parent home. My early childhood was plagued with respiratory illness and seizures until I reached 6 years of age when they stopped and my health took a turn for the better. In my younger years I had extremely long and thick healthy natural hair until my mom whipped out the creamy crack at age 8, therefore beginning years of reliance upon chemical straightening. I remember squirming in my auntie’s beauty shop chair on Saturday mornings, dreading the impending doom of having my hair pressed and subsequently my ears burnt as well. It was certainly a torture, but I loved how my freshly pressed tresses would swing around my shoulders.
Once I reached 4th grade my mother transferred me to a middle school in a nearby suburb that was predominantly white. I found myself placing more focus on having my hair out instead of in braids or ponytails. So I started asking my mom to perm my hair more often to maintain the “flowy” look that I couldn’t naturally achieve. This continued throughout high school as well. I had no urge to discover my natural hair texture until I reached college.
I often tell people that I went natural on accident for the first time in 2010. I was rocking a pixie cut and installing quick weaves from time to time during this period. This is how I was able to forgo my regular appointment with the creamy crack until my curly roots began to show themselves and I shockingly found myself impressed with the adorable spiral curls that were emerging from my scalp. It was at that point that I decided I was ready to see what my natural hair texture would look like if it was completely free of any permed ends, so I made my appointment with the stylist I had been seeing for nearly 10 years, plopped down in her chair and told her to cut all of my hair off. Mind you, I only had half an inch of new growth so this was a drastic move and I definitely had to do some major convincing for my stylist to even pick up her scissors.
After she had cut away the last permed strand I immediately threw a beanie back onto my head because I was in shock at what I had just done. I got back home, ran right into the bathroom and locked the door to look at my new hair. From the little research I had done I knew some water was needed to bring my curls to life. Once I moistened my hair and the curls began to pop my confidence bloomed and I gained some certainty that the right decision had been made. My curls were adorable and so began my natural hair journey. Please don’t be fooled though I definitely made my way back to a perm 2 times after this but I ultimately decided to return natural and stay that way once I found out I was having my first child. I knew I wanted my daughter to love her natural curls so the best way to show her how to love herself was to love myself. So we are both beautifully and happily natural.
Having my daughter in 2012 made a lot of things click for me. I take more pride in my health and how I live in an effort to provide her with a positive role model. After giving birth I breastfed for approximately 5 months and I definitely accredit that to the initial weight loss I experienced. Pre-pregancy I was 125lbs, at my last weigh in I was 158lbs and at 5 months postpartum I was down to 128lbs. But that 128lbs did not look anything like my pre-pregnancy body and I found myself second guessing my attractiveness and suffering a lull in my self esteem. In January of 2013 I decided to start eating clean and incorporated fitness into my lifestyle. Now for about 8 months my relationship with fitness was off and on. I couldn’t stay consistent, but eating clean majority of the time is something that has become a habit and preference for me. I am still working to commit to fitness, but hey we can take that journey together right?
Progress picture as of November 2013