Charlene McCraney: “Love your hair in every style and rock it!”

Fabulous hair is also confident hair! If you think your hair is gorgeous, that is the only thing that truly matters. Don’t let societal standards of beauty define what you believe is fabulous. Love your hair in every style and rock it! As a part of our series about “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have […]

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Fabulous hair is also confident hair! If you think your hair is gorgeous, that is the only thing that truly matters. Don’t let societal standards of beauty define what you believe is fabulous. Love your hair in every style and rock it!

As a part of our series about “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Charlene McCraney.

Charlene McCraney is the founder of, an educational blog highlighting natural hair and beauty conversations. Charlene not only enjoys writing and teaching women about natural hair, but she also loves helping others improve their online presence through blogging and CEO strategy to make an impact in their industry. When she’s not blogging or working, she enjoys binge-watching The Profit and the Blacklist with her husband on the couch in Dallas, TX.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure, of course. Well, as a little girl, I always loved writing. I thought about majoring in Journalism in college but decided to do something that would be considered a more “safe” and financially lucrative career path, which is so funny now because I still ended up writing. I went the route of majoring in Finance, but I always thought about what it would have been like if I embarked on a Journalism career right out of school.

I’ve also always loved hair, so in 2009 I decided to combine both ideas and start a blog. 2009 was right around the time blogging was relatively new, but it was still picking up steam as an excellent hobby. My first blog was horrible, and I closed it down after lackluster success.

Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing: no real content plan or promotional strategy. I just emailed family and friends to say “check this out.” I didn’t even have an actual email list.

As the natural hair movement gained more momentum, I decided it was time for me to relaunch with a purpose the right way. I started to share more of my natural hair journey on Instagram 3 months before launching my now website Textured Talk to drive engagement. In November 2014, I began the blog, and here we are six years later.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Since starting my career, I’m still amazed by the number of people who tell me they came across my platform through a simple Google search. Women will say oh I Googled “XYZ” about natural hair, and your website came up! Another interesting but silly thing that happened as well is becoming a meme! One of my natural hairstyles from an Instagram post became a viral meme in the natural hair community, and everyone kept tagging me in the photo with jokes. I don’t know if you’ve ever become a meme, but it is hilarious!

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I’ve always measured success by the comments I receive and feedback I get from women who say, “Oh wow, you helped me learn this style or achieve confidence with my hair.” With that said, I don’t think there was a particular tipping point per se but more so a constant evolution.

The women who tell me they were inspired to grow out their natural hair after following my blog is what makes me the happiest. I look at that as a success because I achieved my mission of helping women feel beautiful with the way the hair naturally grows out of their head.

You never stop learning as an entrepreneur, which is a big misconception from the outside. People look at success as the official stage of “making it.” When in reality, most entrepreneurs are looking for the next challenge, the next problem to solve, and the next thing to perfect for their business.

In your experience what were the most effective ways for your business to generate leads and sales? Can you share a story or give an example?

For me, the most effective way for my business to generate sales is to continue to publish quality content that addresses the pain points of my audience partnered with a solid content promotion plan.

CEO is one of our top priorities to ensure consistent traffic is driven to the website so the business can generate ad revenue and reach as many women as possible. But I can’t stop at CEO and put all my eggs in one basket.

Social media sharing, primarily Pinterest, drives a lot of traffic to my website as well as Facebook. When analyzing the site’s Google Analytics, I pay close attention to the traffic mediums that are working well for the blog and pour more energy into those areas. For example, with Pinterest, we are getting over 500K monthly views, so of course, I’m going to spend more time there vs. Instagram.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Hands down my mom. I will tell anyone that asks. She is the epitome of the hardest working women I know, and I truly owe my work ethic to her. What makes me admire her, even more, is that she has faced so much adversity in life, but she isn’t bitter.

She is such a free-spirited soul and always looks at the glass as half full. I think she is also where I get my optimistic nature from — we both still like to see the good in people first. I have achieved success in so many areas because I have her as a model to look up to when it comes to getting stuff done!

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Oh yes, we all have those stories. When I first launched the website, I thought I was going to be able to simply skim articles from all over the web and post them to my website without doing any work or real writing. I thought to myself oh this would be simple. I can just use an app or plug-in for that!

However, I quickly learned that my audience was drawn to MY story, my journey with embracing natural hair. My readers wanted to hear and learn from me and know my real thoughts on a product review — not information they can read other places on the internet. Overall I learned that nothing could replace authenticity in business.

While I don’t share as many personal stories on the blog anymore, creating original quality content is always a winning business strategy. Just look at Netflix’s original programming. They knew relying on other content forever was not an excellent long term strategy.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Stay the course. It is as simple as that. The blogging/online content space is extremely more saturated than it was ten years ago, and even six years ago. But if this is something you want to do, know your people and your tribe is out there. My favorite line is “you don’t know what you DON’T know.” The only way you will learn is if you continue to work at it every day.

Make mistakes. Heck, make a ton of them so you can learn, fail forward, and move on! Textured Talk was the first business I launched, but it wasn’t the last. And it’s currently not the only business I have.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you please share “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

  1. Feed your hair from the inside. A poor diet means poor hair.

Diet and lifestyle are some of the most important tips for healthy hair. While we always hear the benefits of eating our veggies for everyday health, they can also help with healthy hair. Foods like salmon, tuna, darkly leafy green vegetables, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are said to help promote the Anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, while also helping to reduce breakage and shedding.

2. Treat your scalp like you treat your skin. It needs proper cleansing and moisture to thrive.

A lot of people underestimate the importance of scalp care. A clogged scalp is not the best foundation for promoting healthy hair. Your scalp needs to be cleansed and moisturized with water and water-based products. Putting oils on your hair every day will not help with moisture. Would you continue to put oil on your skin every day if it is dry? No. You’re going to shower, with water, and use a moisturizing lotion. You can’t skip the moisture. Water isn’t only good for our bodies; it is incredible for our hair.

3. Get on a deep conditioning schedule ASAP.

Healthy hair thrives off a great deep conditioning routine. Once a week is ideal, but if you can’t commit to that bi-monthly is an excellent option, especially for hair that is naturally coily and kinky. You will find your hair becomes drier quicker so getting on a routine deep conditioning schedule will allow your hair to stay moisturized for longer periods of time.

I always encourage my readers to make sure you have a healthy balance of moisturizing deep conditioners and protein-based deep conditioners to improve the elasticity of the hair. We all want bouncy curls, so incorporating protein deep conditioners into your regimen will help.

4. Be gentle to yourself & your hair. Tension styling is a no-go.

Extremely tight ponytails, buns, and braids installed too tight can wreak havoc on your hair. Be careful not to cause breakage when trying to achieve a style. Recently I became a little relaxed with my regimen while being at home during the pandemic and not going out much. I started to wear more ponytails than usual, while my curls were still wet. Since my hair has a fine texture, this eventually caused some breakage. So while a quick on-the-go style might seem harmless, make sure you are not putting too much stress on your hair or your edges.

5. Be confident! Fabulousness is in the eye of the beholder.

Fabulous hair is also confident hair! If you think your hair is gorgeous, that is the only thing that truly matters. Don’t let societal standards of beauty define what you believe is fabulous. Love your hair in every style and rock it!

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Red Lipstick!
  2. There’s something about red lipstick that makes a woman feel like she can rule the world. Find that perfect red lipstick that works well with your skin tone. Apply it even if you’re just sitting around the house, and I guarantee it will boost your mood.
  3. Put on your favorite piece of clothing.
  4. Whether it is a little black dress or skinny jeans, we all have that piece of clothing that makes us feel like a supermodel. Find clothes that make you happy and make you feel beautiful.
  5. Take a long hot bubble bath.
  6. I often feel the most beautiful when I’m spending quality time by myself. When I’m taking a bath, lighting candles, and relaxing, I imagine I’m at a spa. No one is there to judge my appearance, and I don’t have anyone to compare myself to on social media. It’s just me in my skin. That makes me feel beautiful.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be a “Good Human” movement. At this point in our country, we could benefit from everyone just being good human beings. Treating each other with respect, kindness, and fairness. There is a lot of hate and nastiness going on, and at the end of the day, everyone should strive to be a good human to one another.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Done is better than perfect.” I heard this quote from a good PR friend, Sakita Holley, years ago, and it transformed how I move forward with an idea for any project. People become paralyzed by perfection. They are waiting on the right photo, the correct quote, the right name.

But if you stay paralyzed, you will never be able to go even to see if your idea is viable. Get it done, press GO, and perfect along the way as you learn. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve redesigned the website, changed the format and content. Continuing to move forward even when I’m unsure of the outcome has helped me reach so many goals.

I want people to know it’s OK to do it scared, as long as you do it and keep moving.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

I admire what Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital is doing to diversify the VC industry for black female founders. Black women are the fastest growing sector of entrepreneurship, yet we are last on the totem pole for funding. I think it would be cool to chat with her for an hour over lunch!

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me online at , @texturedtalk on Twitter, and @charlenemccraney on Instagram.

Photo credits: Mari Jaxn Studios

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!

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