Natural Hair Talk with MahoganyCurls™

As of this morning, MahoganyCurls™ has 196,309 YouTube subscribers and counting. Her total YouTube channel views are well over 20 million. One can truly say that the worldwide natural hair community loves MahoganyCurls™ and she loves them back. It all began when Macon, GA native Jessica Lewis decided to embrace her natural hair in March 2009. After doing the "big chop," Jessica was inspired to share her natural hair journey with others who were looking to do the same. Jessica took on the moniker MahoganyCurls and created what is now a collection of 139 YouTube videos sharing her love for nurturing natural hair to the masses. 


Being born into a family of hair care professionals, it seems second nature for Jessica to be passionate about styling and caring for hair. With her vastly growing social media reach and beautifully-spirited personality, MahoganyCurls™ focuses on helping women embrace their crown and glory one update at a time. She exemplifies as well as gives instruction on how to achieve "natural hair with flair" by taking viewers along for the ride as she discusses every aspect of her own natural hair journey. And with each video upload, viewers marvel at her beautifully coiled tresses and her pleasant persona, while taking notes on how to create better hair care practices for themselves.

Whether one is looking for tips on establishing a healthy hair care regimen or perfecting braid-outs, bantu-knot outs, roller-sets, and wash-n-go styles, MahoganyCurls has it covered. She updates her YouTube channel and website frequently, keeping her viewers and readers in the know on all things natural hair care. 

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to connect with MahoganyCurls™ to talk about natural hair. She has a wealth of knowledge to share with everyone and I'm thankful to be a part of the sharing process.


What do you love most about being able to share your passion for natural hair on YouTube? What is the most rewarding aspect?  The thing that I love most about sharing my passion for natural hair on YouTube is the fact that it is helpful to others embarking on their natural hair journey. The most rewarding aspect is when others approach me and explain that I inspired them to go natural or my tutorials and thoughts regarding the natural hair journey has helped them in many ways. I love to teach, and I love explaining to others how to go about caring and embracing their natural hair. I get to share what I have learned during my journey, good or bad.

What does your weekly hair care routine look like?  I like to cowash (conditioner wash) my hair once a week. I also like to deep condition my hair every Sunday. I usually twist my hair for styling. It usually takes about an hour and 30 minutes to complete my hair from start to finish. I love "As I Am Coconut Cowash" for cleansing and Shea Moisture products are my go to stylers.

How did you go about researching for the right regimen/products for your hair? What have been the most helpful tools in your research?  I like to read the ingredients. When I first went natural, I used to use products that would make my hair very dry. At the time, I did not know much about ingredients in certain products. I used to visit other blogs and hair forums that would explain why certain products may cause dryness. Eventually I learned about the "curly girl method" and I follow that method now. It has helped my natural journey a lot. Research is extremely helpful.

Have you ever had a setback? If so, how did you recover from it? If I have a set back I will clarify my hair with "As I Am Coconut Cowash" and deep condition my hair for an hour and a half. After I do this, I will proceed to styling my hair with my favorite products. I would also eliminate the product that caused the setback from my regimen.

What is your favorite way to style your hair? Favorite part of your regimen?  Right now I am a huge fan of twist outs. My favorite part of my regimen is applying my leave in conditioner. I love a rich creamy leave-in. I feel that a great leave-in will make or break your hair style. I look for leave-in conditioners that will provide an ample amount of moisture for my hair. One of my favorites is "The Conditioner" by Paul Mitchell.

Does your regimen differ from the summer to the winter? If so, in what ways?  No, it does not. For the most part, I style my hair the same way. I like to keep my regimen very simple. I feel that low manipulation is very important during your natural hair journey since natural hair can be very fragile.

Tell me one thing you've learned on your journey that you wish you knew when you did the big chop back in 2009.  I wish I knew that natural hair would be extremely dry compared to relaxed hair. It took about a month or so for me to find products that worked for me that would not dry my hair out. Once I figured this out, I feel as if the ball began to roll and my journey took off without too many setbacks.

What advice would you give to my readers who have just started their natural hair journeys and are seeking support and information?  I would suggest that they have patience, research natural hair online, and continue to have confidence. The natural hair community is very supportive. YouTube and hair forums that cater to natural hair will be very helpful in your journey. The last thing I would say is be proud of yourself and be proud of your hair. You are wearing your crown. Show the world how beautiful it is.

We all know that maintaining a healthy hair regimen takes patience, time, and love. What motivates you to continue on your journey?  I am motivated by other naturals. Naturals that are starting their natural hair journey inspire and motivate me. It shows beauty and confidence.

What are your current hair goals?  I would like to reach APL (arm pit length) while my hair is curly, with shrinkage, in a couple of years. I would like to have a few layers cut in the near future also. I think it would jazz up my 'do. 

What do you hope viewers take from engaging with you and subscribing to your YouTube channel?  I hope that they find my channel to be inspiring and educational. I am very passionate about the educational aspect of natural hair and hopefully it will inspire them to start their own channel to document their journey along with helping others.

What can we expect to see more of from MahoganyCurls™ in 2014? Are there any events or projects in the works that you would like to tell us about?  Every Wednesday, from 7:00 - 7:30 pm EST I host a live YouTube streaming show called "MahoganyCurls™ LIVE!" Viewers that tune in during the live taping can ask me questions in real time. I will also be attending several natural hair events, including Natural Hair Bride's "Glitz, Glam & Curlz" event in Chicago, IL (February), the Natural Hair and Health Expo 2014 in Birmingham, AL (March), an event in London, England (May) and several other events. Invites to natural hair events are coming in so quickly and I'm very excited to join and support as many as I am able to!


I thank Jessica for sharing her time and insight with me for this feature. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel and get familiar with her through social media. She's quite interactive with her viewers and readers, so don't be afraid to ask her questions if you have any. And remember to tune in on Wednesday evening for MahoganyCurls™ LIVE!

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