I stumbled upon this natural beauty’s blog last year while doing a Google search for “fashion bloggers with natural hair”. This was the first post I read of hers and I’ve been hooked ever since. Knowing I’d seen her somewhere before, a quick scan of previously downloaded pics revealed that YES… she was once featured on CurlyNikki.com. Love how she embraces her kinks!
Hi all! My name is Ashlei and I’m a personal stylist and founder of the blog Kinks are the new Pink. I currently live, work, and play in Chicago with my fiancé and our furry family of 3 cats and a new puppy dog!
I’m so excited to be featured here on ToBNatural! Big thanks to Toia and to you all for tuning in!
How long have you been rocking your natural and what led up to you making the decision to do so?
I’ve been rocking my natural for 3 years now, but I still consider myself a newbie, haha! I decided to go natural as I was never truly happy with my hair when it was relaxed, it cause a lot of insecurities for me growing up. One particular bad hair day I just got really fed up and knew it was time for a serious change.
What do you love most about having natural hair? Were there any challenges?
What I love the most is feeling and looking like me, I have a lot more confidence with my natural curls. There was definitely a learning curve when I first went natural. I essentially had to learn how to properly care for my hair all over again and while there’s tons of information out there, you have to keep in mind that your hair may not respond the same as someone else’s even if you follow their directions to the ‘T’.
Describe your weekly hair routine.
I actually have marley twists in right now, so there’s not much I have to do in terms of styling. But when my curls are free I usually shampoo or co-wash every other week, with a thorough detangling and deep condition session every two weeks. I try to keep it pretty simple as I don’t like spending a ton of time on my hair.
Do you feel that wearing your hair in its natural state has changed or somehow affected your overall style or fashion sense?
Definitely. I’m more willing to experiment and try new styles. I feel like it’s helped me define my sense of style and made me more confident in what I choose to wear.
How would you describe your personal style? Who or what inspires your style?
I would describe my style as creative, a little bohemian, and a touch European. My ultimate style icon is Nicole Richie, I love the California boho, 70’s hippie vibe she has. I also find a lot of inspiration from classic Parisian style. I love bold colors, fun prints, and classic silhouettes.
Do you follow current fashion trends at all? If so, what are your faves but what trends are you over?
I’m aware of the trends, but I wouldn’t say I fill my closet with them. I will admit to having an obsession with metallics and crop tops for the summer.
What’s one piece in your closet you just couldn’t live without.
I couldn’t live without my shoes, they’re more often than not the defining item of my outfits.
Fill us in on some of your favorite stores or fashion sites.
I like visiting your typical retailers – Zara, H&M, Anthropologie – but I really love shopping at resale and vintage stores. I love a good deal or cool vintage finds.
Any overall fashion tips or advice for those who are newly natural?
Embrace it! Let your curls shine and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Is there anything you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
I have a few fun projects coming up for my personal styling site including a style guide and video series that I’ll be sharing on the blog soon, so definitely stay tuned!
You can find me all over the web:
Many thanks to you, Ashlei, for introducing yourself to the people! Make sure you all keep up with Kinks are the new Pink for fashion and kinky hair inspiration! 😉