This week we’re excited to have Autumn Heard as our Who’s That Curl feature. Autumn is a rising lifestyle, hair & beauty vlogger based in Columbus, OH. You may have spotted her beautiful curls on Instagram sharing her curl style or chatting on a black-owned brand she supports and loves. So we caught up with this beauty to check in and learn more about her natural hair journey and how she keeps her curls poppin’.
1. Why did you go natural and how long have you been natural?
I started transitioning when I was 15 with my best friend because we were tired of waiting for our mothers to do our touch ups when we had relaxers. We both remembered having curly hair as kids and wanted to see what it would look like if we tried to go back to that. The transitioning phase was rough but definitely worth it, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been completely natural since I was 16 when I finally just cut the rest of my straight ends off and my curls and I have been besties ever since!
2. Many naturals look to other naturals who have similar hair characteristics as them for tips and advice along their journeys. Can you tell us a about your hair characteristics?
I don’t really get into hair typing because I have so many different curls going on in my head but if I had to define my hair I would say my hair is a mix of 3c, 4a and a little bit of 4b in the middle of my head. I don’t know about the porosity of my hair because I’ve never done the test but I will say that it is easy to keep my hair moisturized because I try to go no more than 4 days in between refreshing/co washing my hair.
3. What are your favorite natural hair styles?
I am a wash n go girl till I die! I love box braids and I typically do them myself (there’s a video showcasing how I do them on my IG) I love a sleek bun on a bad hair day too. The one thing that I really want to learn to perfect is a braid out – I just can never seem to get them to dry in a timely manner.
4. Can you tell us about your current hair regimen?
My current hair regimen is very simple. I deep condition every Sunday with heat (I have a dryer attachment for my blow dryer to save space in my home) and then style my hair how I want it to stay for at least 3 days (4 days max). My wash and go typically consist of a light leave in, a cream based product, and then a gel. I don’t follow any specific method (LOC, LCO) because I don’t feel that they work for me or help me maintain moisture which is key because my hair is color treated. I co-wash my hair on Thursdays and then restyle to last until Sunday. I think putting water back into my hair midweek has been a major key for my hair growth but everything isn’t for everyone so I always recommend that people find what works for them.
5. You are vocal about your support of small, woman of color-own natural hair brands. Tell us who’s one of your favorite rising black-owned brands and what are some of the staple products that you use from the line?
I love CurlMix and recommend their flaxseed gel to literally everyone I know. I remember trying to follow this recipe to make my own flaxseed gel from Youtube and just thinking, why isn’t someone bottling this stuff and selling it because this is low key hard. After one use of the CurlMix Flaxseed gel I was hooked and my boyfriend loves the smell of the lemon version. I love to pair it with a cream for extra hold but can be used alone if you want.
6. Tell us why its important for you to support small, up and coming brands in the natural hair community?
A lot of times the companies who were pushing relaxers a few years ago will put out natural hair lines to appeal to the movement with harmful ingredients and as silly as it sounds, I don’t feel like their intentions are pure. I love supporting smaller WOC/POC brands because I know that 1.) They know what I’m trying to achieve with my hair and will provide the best ingredients possible to help their customers reach those hair goals and 2.) It helps add strength to the community itself. I love ordering from small brands and getting that personal “Thank you so much for supporting my dream, I hope you love what I made for you” message.
7. Who is your celebrity or influencer curl crush?
Hands down, Jade Kendle (@LipStickNCurls) & Romance Cox (@HeyCurlie). They’re like my big sisters in my head – always giving their viewers more than just hair. I feel like I get an unobstructed view of who they actually are because of how they share their lives with us.
8. For most of us naturals, there’s a lot of trial and error as we try to better understand our hair and what works. What was your CurlScout moment when you felt you finally mastered your curls or any advice you would give to other naturals that could help them along their journeys?
There was a time where I was always following the newest IG/Youtube craze (like coconut oil) or always comparing my hair growth to other girls on the internet and feeling bad about myself because my hair wasn’t doing what theirs was. After my second big chop in 2015, I took the time to step back and love my hair for what it is and started to simplify my routine. Don’t get me wrong, I love trying out new products and techniques but I also know that for my hair, I don’t need to pre-poo, do hot oil treatments, put mayonnaise in my hair and hang upside down for my hair to flourish. Once I became consistent with my deep conditioning and getting into a routine that worked for my hair, I saw more growth than I had ever seen in my first 3 years of being natural. My advice for other naturals is always, Love your hair, listen to your hair, & drink your water!
Keep up with Autumn.
YouTube: Autum Nicaleh