When I was about four years old, I knew that I wanted to do hair when I grew up. Well, at least I knew it would be my backup plan if I didn’t become a famous singer/dancer.
Spending my formative years in poverty, you’d assume that I would ask for dolls or other toys kids ask for when they have gone without. Not this lady. Hot rollers were on my wish list.
We couldn’t afford to go to salons, but I reveled in the smell when we walked past one. Now I know that was a combo of perm, Sebastian Potion 9, and Paul Mitchell freeze and shine hairspray.
This meant mom cut my hair with a bowl placed on my head. She always begged me to brush my hair and did not believe me when I said, “I already did.”
Then in the ’80s and ’90s came lots of perms. I had them, and I rolled them. Even then, I envied those with big hair and small tight curls.
At the age of 14, I met Sandra. She had my dream hair. Our first conversation went like this, “Hi, I’m Atoya, and I am obsessed with your hair. How do you get it like that?” She then proceeded to tell me about her magical routine of Infusium 23 leave-in, Loreal mousse, Aussie hairspray, a pick, and a diffuser.
Thus began my wavy hair journey. That was 1987.
By the 2000’s I’d left my perm days behind in favor of a blowout.
Enter the Pacific Northwest, where it rains nine months out of the year.
I started revisiting the methods and routines I had used back in the day, trying to work with my natural waves.
For the last decade, I’ve devoted my career to the research of curly hair, and everything I’ve learned has been trial and error.
Yet, this I know for sure….
Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.