Changing the “Coarse” of Curlee Hair: Interview with Hairlooms

By: Atara Twersky, author of Curlee Girlee  Facebook | Twitter Instagram Pinterest

Introducing our new blog series, “Changing the Coarse of Curly Hair”! In this series we interview curly change makers: salon owners, hairdressers, curly platforms, curly journalists, and much more. Stay tuned, because Curlee Girlee is changing the coarse of curly hair and it begins right here … Tuesday is blog day!

I am so excited to interview Michele Roseman, author of Hairlooms. In Hairlooms, Michele uses her journey to love her naturally curly hair as a spring board to discuss the importance of girls and women loving their tresses “as is”! Heralded by Huff Post as a beauty movement, Hairlooms includes Michele’s exclusive interviews with Dr. Maya Angelou, Sesame Street Muppeteer Joey Mazzarino, and 30 esteemed thought leaders.

Curlee Girlee:  You are a fellow Curlee Girlee. Have you always worn your hair naturally?

Michele:  I started sporting my natural curls about 8 years ago.

Curlee Girlee:  Can you remember how your hair impacted you as a little girl?

Michele:  As a little girl, I only felt cute when it was straight and hanging. In the 60s, there weren’t many public images of women with my afro-textured hair. The absence of these images subliminally sent a message that my *beauty brand* was unacceptable.

Curlee Girlee:  Did you ever feel like you had a role model, like Curlee Girlee, as a young girl?

Michele:  No! Even though I played with black dolls, their hair never resembled my natural coils.

Curlee Girlee: Have you ever had hair envy?

Michele:  I sure did! In high school, there were friends with straight, long hair that *always* caught the cute guys’ attention.

Curlee Girlee:  You recently wrote a book called Hairlooms. Can you tell us a bit about the book and the inspiration behind it?

Michele:  Hairlooms: The Untangled Truth About Loving Your Natural Hair and Beauty uses my journey to accept my natural hair as a springboard to uncover issues that make it difficult for Black women to embrace their natural hair and beauty. Hairlooms is rounded-out with highlights from my personal interviews with Dr. Maya Angelou, Hollywood actresses Nicole Ari Parker, Kim Coles and more than 25 equally esteemed thought leaders on this topic. At the end of each chapter, readers have an opportunity to respond to open-ended questions about their personal beauty beliefs. This non-fiction book also includes a creatively calming coloring page and resources for achieving *inside out* beauty!

Curlee Girlee:  If/when you have a curly haired child what will be the most important hair advice you give her/him?

Michele:  For my nieces, I constantly let them know how perfectly pretty their hair is!

Curlee Girlee:  I have often found that curly haired women have a personality that matches their hair. Do you find this to be true?

Michele:  Generally speaking, I’ve not made this observation. I will say, however, that my coily curls have a mind of their own and twist in very creative ways. These are definitely *Michele* traits!

Curlee Girlee:  How do you think we can change the way the world looks at curly hair?

Michele:  I think concerted, intentional efforts to publicly feature women with *all types* of Afro-textured hair are needed to challenge and change ill-formed public perceptions.

Curlee Girlee: Do you think that curly haired women struggle with their hair more than straight haired women?

Michele:  I honestly believe that *all* women struggle with the notion that *someone else’s* (fill in the blank) is better than theirs. We generally chase the beauty phantom and crave what we cannot attain. The mane attraction phenomenon is no different.

Curlee Girlee:  What is your favorite go-to curly haired product?

Michele:  I like Naturalicious, Shea Moisture, and The Puff Cuff.

Curlee Girlee:  How important do you think it is to have Curlee Girlees start to love their hair and embrace their curls?

Michele:  Adult perceptions start as inklings in a young girl’s mind. Establishing — in girls — a strong sense of worth, value, and beauty helps Curlee Girlees embrace their curls.

Curlee Girlee:  What is your best advice for Curlee Girlees, young and older?

Michele:  God doesn’t make mistakes. Love what you’ve got!

Curlee Girlee:  There are 1.6 billion curly haired women in the world today and they overwhelmingly dislike their curls. What would you tell these women to help them realize they are beautiful just as they are?

Michele:  Take the time to explore the wonder of your curls. Your mane does what no one else’s will. When I patiently discovered what made my hair unique, I fell in love with it! Now, I wouldn’t trade my tresses for anyone’s!

Curlee Girlee:  Who are some women that you think are changing the “coarse” of how society views curly hair … your curly role models?

Michele:  America’s nutrition coach and Hairlooms contributor Dr. Ro is one of my role models. She embraces her beauty inside and out and has inspired me to do the same! Her hair is amazing and she takes exceptional care of her body.