Tell us your story
I’m Rachael Osborne! I am originally from Northern Virginia and am now living in Denver, CO. When I was little, my mom and sisters all relaxed their hair. Although I never had a relaxer, my hair was always straightened. I’d say when I was younger, me and my family had a negative perception around natural hair and fell into the “straight hair = good hair” trap.
I started my natural hair journey around 2009 when I was in middle school. However, it wasn’t until about 10 years later that I started embracing my curls. In the beginning, I really just wanted my hair to be longer when it was straightened. However, I slowly realized that long hair is the result of healthy hair. I traded the hot comb in for stretched, no heat and low heat hairstyles and I started using higher quality products with better ingredients. It didn’t occur to me at that time to try wearing my hair curly since I wasn’t comfortable with it.
Fast forward to college. I blow dried my hair straight most of the time, occasionally opting for twists or braids. But at some point I realized I had reached a length plateau. Between that, being too busy to spend hours blow drying my hair, and working out regularly (and constantly sweating out my hair as a result), I decided to give my natural curls a chance. I felt like I had been working against them for years, trying to make them do things they weren’t meant to do. Once I started working with my natural curl pattern, my hair actually grew longer. Who knew leaving it alone was the secret!? Initially I was worried about what others would think when they saw my hair curly but with time, I started to love and appreciate it.
After having embraced my curls for the past few years, I’ve realized that the main benefit from my natural hair journey has been learning to love myself just as I am! When I was younger, I always wanted my hair to be straight and looking back I now realize how much of an impact this had on my self esteem and self image. I’ve become more aware of how closely our love-of-hair is tied to our love-of-self. This inspired me to create my brand, RAINA, that sells luxury satin-lined hats. As I learned more about my curls, I realized how few products are made with our hair in mind. If there had been more positive representations of my natural hair type when I was growing up and learning about my hair, I think my natural hair journey and transition (aka self love journey) would have been much easier! So through my brand, I’m hoping to help other women see the beauty in their hair, too.
What’s your current hair care regimen?
I wash my hair every few days since I workout frequently and the sweat causes a lot of build-up. I try really hard to listen to my hair and just do what feels right instead of sticking to a strict “wash with X product every third day” type of regimen.
Then I’ll follow with a simple conditioner or a deep conditioner depending on how my hair feels. I usually don’t deep condition more than once a month since my simple conditioners are very moisturizing on their own.
I generally alternate between a wash and go and a pulled back/flat twist style. For my pulled back styles, I use a leave in and a pomade to seal. To be quite honest, I’m still improving my wash and go routine. I used to layer a couple of products for my wash and go. In an effort to simplify and reduce build up, I’ve been testing it out using a gel alone. My natural hair journey is always evolving!
What products have worked great for your hair?
My favorite deep conditioner for years has been the Mielle Babassu and Mint. For a simple/quick conditioner I like to mix it up but Taraji’s Make It Rain is currently my favorite.
What advice would you give to other naturalistas out there?
Part of what makes you beautiful is that you are you and are completely unique! Try not to fall into the trap of comparing your hair to anyone else’s. Everyone’s hair journey is different and as long as you’re learning and growing, you’re doing just fine!
Connect with Rachel on the following platforms:
Follow me on Instagram!