He has the type of hair that some women would kill for – a mop of thick, luscious culrs that are indeed a sight to behold. Who is this fellow with the enviable coif? Dawan Pearson, otherwise known as Curly Guy on YouTube, our new favorite beauty guru here at Allure. This natural hair, fashion, and lifestyle vlogger is a breath of fresh air in a beauty community dominated by women.
Since starting his channel in 2011, Dawan has garnered over 16,000 subscribers (and counting) with his most popular video, a mesmerizing flat iron tutorial showing how to straighten naturally curly hair boasting over 370,000 views. His breathtaking mane, expansive knowledge on maintaining and growing healthy hair, as well as his fun and exuberant personality are a joy to watch, and part of the reason why his followers love him.
With hair like that, you know we had to ask Dawan some questions. We got the lowdown from the rising talent on why he went natural, his beauty dos and don’ts, and top curly hair icons.
What drew you to YouTube? When did you start making videos and why?
When I was in college, I began watching YouTube videos about natural hair [from] people like the GlamTwinz334 and Naptural85. For a while, I was just intrigued at how versatile it was. Soon it started to manifest into curiosity. I wanted to rediscover what my natural texture would be like, so in 2011 I started my transition to natural hair. That is also when I started making YouTube [videos]. However, my schoolwork became more time consuming than I anticipated and I had to stop. Last year, I revamped my channel and it has been thriving ever since.
Did you always wear your hair naturally curly or did you transition from relaxed hair?
When I was 17 my mom began chemically relaxing my hair so that my cornrows and braided styles would last longer. In 2011, I began my natural hair transition and never looked back. The desire to once again feel my natural texture was what kept me motivated during this stage.
What’s the worst mistake you’ve made with your hair?
Letting my mother chemically relax my hair was by far the worst thing I ever did! Prior to the relaxer, I had been natural for six years. Of course, with the transition, it was essentially like starting over.
In your opinion, what are some major natural hair dos and don’ts?
- Deep condition, deep condition, deep condition! It is essential to deep condition your hair as often as possible. Personally, I deep condition my hair at least once a week. In the summertime, I even do as much as twice a week.
- Try to co-wash your hair. This will allow your hair to maintain as much moisture as possible while still getting cleansed. [That said], co-washing does not replace shampoo. [Personally], I clarify my hair with a shampoo usually once a month to give it a fresh start.
- Trim your natural hair when needed. Most articles will give you a set schedule to trim your hair, usually around every 3 months. I trim my hair maybe 2 to 3 times a year depending on its condition. I will dust my ends here and there, but I usually only trim when my hair is straightened , and it’s approximately an inch [that] I cut off.
- Don’t over manipulate your hair. It is natural for a reason. It loves to be in its natural state. Too much manipulation will encourage breakage.
- Do not shampoo your hair every day, especially if you are using a shampoo with sulfates.
- Try to limit the amount of heat you apply to your hair, be it direct or indirect. Too much heat styling will only damage the cuticle and lead to dryness and breakage.
What are some of your favorite hair products to use and why?
For shampoo, Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil. It gently cleanses my scalp without stripping or drying out my hair. Also, it’s sulfate free.
Aussie Mega Moist conditioner has been a holy grail of mine for quite some time now, I think because of its versatility. I use it as a co-wash, a conditioner, a deep conditioner, and on occasion, as my styler. It is the ultimate product!
I also love the Eco Styler Gel. No matter what I try, I always seem to go back to it. It never fails whether I’m doing a sleek bun, wash and go, twist-out, or braid-out – my hair always responds well to it. I love it!
What do you wish beauty sites and publications would do better when writing about curly hair?
I wish they wouldn’t always make the distinction “women” when referring to natural hair. Also, it appears they cater natural hair products to women and I use them too. Hair does not have a gender and neither should the products. I understand that the consumers are predominantly female, but it would be nice if the male population was included as well.
The natural hair community and beauty space in general are female-dominated — how do you stand out as someone who identifies as male?
It’s simple: I let my hair speak for itself. When most people watch my videos, they don’t really concern themselves with my gender. What they see first is my mane of healthy hair. Healthy black hair at that! While there are some, not many of the YouTube gurus with successful channels are fully black. They are often biracial, Hispanic, or of another decent. I like to think that this platform gives me a voice for all males who want to grow long healthy hair.
Are there other beauty YouTubers or influencers you look up to?
I have always followed and admired the success of YouTubers like the GlamTwinz334, Naptural85 and MahoganyCurls, just to name a few.
How do you deal with Internet hate, if at all?
I don’t typically deal with it. I get hate comments like any other YouTuber, but I know it comes with the territory. The fact that people sit behind their computer and post malicious things about someone they don’t know is amusing to me. Whether they love me or hate me, at least they clicked on my content and that shows me that there is something interesting enough about me for them to want to occupy their time.
Where do you get your inspiration for videos and what has been one of your most favorite videos you’ve done so far?
My inspiration usually comes [from] what I am naturally doing in life at the time. For instance, my most viewed video is my straight hair routine. I figured, I was going to straighten my hair anyway, why not record it and help someone else out that may need some guidance? I say all the time that I am not a professional, I just do what works for me and maybe it will work for you too.
Who are your top curly hair icons?
What advice would you give our readers who are looking to start their own YouTube channel?
Be yourself, don’t put on a façade or try to act like someone else you’ve seen on YouTube. The YouTube community is very good at detecting a fraud. If you are genuine and produce good content, people will gravitate towards you, and those who do not, it will just be their loss. Besides, why try to be someone else when there is no one else like you? You must find your niche. What is it that you have that no one else does, and what makes yours different? Think outside the box!
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