Curl Talk with: Ayana Gibbs

Side profile of Ayana Gibbs with natural curl texture

Let’s face it: We can all use a little bit of motivation right now. With all of the crazy happening in the world, this year has been mentally and emotionally challenging. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to chat with Ayana Gibbs, a NJ-based speaker, author and life coach, to get some tips on staying grounded and finding little sparks of joy. Keep reading for some seriously inspiring stuff.

How did you become a life coach? 

Four years ago I became a certified life coach after having a breakthrough in my life and wanting to help others do the same. At the age of 25, I had lived through homelessness, heartbreak, single motherhood, and rebuilding my confidence. It was not an easy process, but I was committed to doing the inner work to find healing. Since then, I've coached women through the perils of life, helping them create an action plan to approach their goals. It's a rewarding experience and brings me so much joy. 

How did Authentic Convos come to be? (Authentic Convos, of which Ayana is the founder, is a series of panels and discussions to foster purposeful dialogue on a variety of topics)

#AuthenticConvos started as a safe space for women to engage with each other and gain inspiration through personal stories of triumph. After one year of intimate events, I pivoted to a larger, more inclusive platform with a focus on community building. At that time, I went from 30 non-paid attendees to 200+ paid attendees with a corporate partnership. This platform has served more than 1,500 people across ten installations, mostly taking place in my hometown of Trenton, NJ. The topics have ranged from self-love to STEM, giving attendees access to thought leaders from across different disciplines. 

Ayana Gibbs smiles at camera with coily natural hair texture

How do you stay grounded?

I stay grounded by being of service to others. I believe good karma is the reward when you put people first. 

What brings you joy at the moment?

Spending time with my family brings me joy. The pandemic has changed life as we know it, but it's provided an opportunity to play catch-up on the moments missed so we can create new ones. 

What is your go-to hair styling routine? Has your relationship with your hair changed over the course of your life?

My go-to hairstyle is a big Afro—and the routine depends on if I'm wearing a protective style or not. My hair is cropped shorter, so a twist-out and a quick fluff usually does the trick. 

Through the years, my relationship with my hair has changed as I made room for self-love and began to take care of it. I grew up with locks from 5-17 and damaged my hair beyond repair because I didn't appreciate it. Then there was the relaxer phase that didn't last long. I've been natural for ten years now, and I'm still learning so much. 

What does beauty mean to you?

To me, beauty means loving yourself inside and out and when no one's around. It’s about appreciating the journey of getting older.