Natural Woman: Kimberly Turck
City: New York
Occupation: Media & Communications Strategy
Hair Journey: Kimberly had her first relaxer encounter as a 5-year-old in Dallas, Texas. "Where I'm from, relaxed hair has always been seen as better than natural hair," she says. "But my hair was never thick, so a relaxer really wasn't necessary. And as I grew up, I yearned for no-fuss hair that didn't require visiting a salon with a bottle of Sprite." Sprite? "At my grandmother's salon, when your head was burning with relaxer, she'd pour a can of Sprite over your head!"
Kimberly went all the way through college enduring her grandmother's hair relaxing techniques, but chemically straightened hair never went with her lifestyle. "I've always enjoyed exercise and beaches, and relaxers just cramped my style," she says. "Plus, my hair felt brittle." When she finally decided to go natural in 2006, her stylist steered her away from the big chop. "Instead, she convinced me to get a straw set and she'd cut off a little at a time."
Kimberly realized she'd need to learn how to style her natural locks on her own. She mastered a signature style while traveling to Paris with her boyfriend. "On the airplane, I explained to him that I was about to twist my hair for the first time," she said, figuring that the seven-hour flight was the perfect time to experiment. "When we landed, I untwisted my hair — and the look in his eyes said it all. I've been rocking the dry twist-out ever since!"
Favorite Products: Miss Jessie's Buttercream ($9, amazon.com), Hair Rules Quench Conditioner ($24, ulta.com), Jane Carter's Condition & Sculpt ($7.79, amazon.com), Carol's Daughter Hair Milk ($9, carolsdaughter.com)
Hair Icons: "I'm inspired by the women I meet on the subway with beautiful natural hair," she says. "When I see a woman rocking an amazing twist-out, I have to ask her what she's been using!"
Advice to Aspiring Naturals: "Be fearless."