Updated: Apr 16
SEPTEMBER CURLY QUEEN: McKinley Lewandowski
Oh hello, there September! It's time for the Fall Season. Yay! We're sure y'all excited for this month featured Curly Queen! Let's all give way and show love for our Curly Queen of the Month, McKinley Lewandowski (@curlycoach_kin). Want to know more about her? Read more of her Questions and Answer, you can always have her inspirational Q&A as if it will be featured in our Monthly Magazine Inserts included on our Curly Queen Kit.
What is your Social media handle?
Why do you want to be the Featured Queen and share your story?
I love partnering with brands who make quality products and use their platforms to encourage and embrace. I want my story to be shared so others can be inspired by or relate to it. I desire authenticity as well. I want to portray the realistic side of curly hair, not the perfect side.
When did you decide to go natural?
I decided to embrace my natural curls as I entered high school after years of straightening it. So it’s been about 10 years, which is insane!
What Made you go to Natural?
I was finally taught how to handle and maintain healthy curls, so for the first time I felt well equipped to do my hair
How would you describe your “Hair Type”?
If you want to categorize my hair type, it’d be 3B curls with low porosity.
What was it like growing up with your hair type?
I despised my hair, I wanted to look like everyone else. So having this frizzy, unkempt mess on my head really impacted my self-confidence as a child and a teenager.
What is your go-to styling product?
My go-to styling product would have to be Cantu Curl Activating Cream! It typically works wonders, but I’m always on the lookout for new ones!
What does a “wash day” look like for you?
A typical wash day happens the morning after a deep condition treatment.
I hop into the shower, rinse out my leave-in and the oils, then I section my hair into three pieces to apply the conditioner. I leave the conditioner in for 3-5 mins, rinse it out then apply a pretty sparse amount of my leave-in conditioner. After that I move onto styling. I prefer to use only one product when styling so I will, again, section my hair, brush each section as I apply a generous amount of my styling product. I pick my roots, scrunch a couple of times, flip over and begin diffusing my hair (focus on the roots).
After I get each side of my hair about 30% dry, I pick my roots, flip over and diffuse my hair upside down. I diffuse anywhere from 30-45 mins. Then I pick my roots one more time and apply a tiny bit of oil to fluff my curls! TA DA! All done!
What is the worst product that you have used in your hair and why?
I used “Not Yours Mothers” curly hair line...I didn’t even fully diffuse before throwing it up in a ponytail. My hair was so incredibly dry that it felt almost brittle. It was terrible. I haven’t touched the products since.
What is the first thing you check when you try a new product?
I prefer using products that are designed for textured hair, so I double-check they’re advertised as texture friendly!
What are your most commonly used hair products and why?
Conditioners and styling creams. These are my go-tos! I moisturize then style, that’s the key to my curly hair success!
What is your perspective on having curly hair?
I adore my hair! It’s been a long journey to that love though. I’m happy to be able to show my love for my curls to young men and women who have similar hair! I am hopeful that my story with curly hair will inspire others to embrace and love their hair as well.
What is your message to the curly girl's community out there?
Embrace it. Embrace the chaos and the beauty of your curls whether they are 2c, 3b, or 4c.
ALL curls are beautiful!
I tend to be hyper-critical of my curls, but I’ve started learning that even the frizziness and even the fluffiness are worth it. Don’t let these curly hair influencers with 100% perfect curls in every single photo discourage you.
Curly hair isn’t supposed to be perfect all the time. Choose to love it anyway and you may just find you love yourself just a little more.
If you can tell anyone starting their journey health or hair, what would it be? Anything Else To Share?
One of my favorite sayings is “start by starting.”
It’s as simple as that. Make the decision then actively pursue it. If you’re starting from chemically treated hair, get that big chop! It’ll work wonders. Find one curly hair product line and invest in it. Buy the whole line-up and start from there (follow the directions on the bottles).
Plus, you have @curlycoach_kin and Royalty Curls on your side, so ask us! We may be able to point you in the right direction.