I was thinking of a new name for my pages (formerly Quest for the Perfect Curl), and Ellevate came to mind (get it? hahah) for a few reasons. For one, my self-discovery journey has been a huge part of my life for the past few years and I’ve come to apply it in just about everything I do. And with my fondness of research, you know that I’ve been looking up a lot of knowledge, and as always, find information share to be important with others.

Now that I’ve gotten my natural hair routine down, I don’t have the intense anticipation that I used to have and spend WAY less time obsessing about my hair. So while natural hair is definitely my first love, I’m working on enhancing several aspects of my life and wanted to share what I’ve learned with my viewers, including yoga, nutrition (grain-free/keto), fitness, wellness, skincare, and makeup. During my journey as a blogger, I also obtained my 200HR RYT training in vinyasa and Buti yoga. I hope you enjoy hearing about my journey! If you have any questions, let me know. xoxo

As an avid researcher & communicator, I wanted to share my opinions and what I have learned, and serve as a resource in assisting with various interests and aspects of life. Hope you enjoy the channel & find some good information here. Welcome!

For business or private yoga consultation inquiries, please contact: dupeblack@gmail.com. Thank you!

My Hair Stats

  • Last Relaxer: May/June 2009
  • Had my hair shaved on the sides and back in September 2009
  • Final BC: December 26, 2009 (Evened my hair up with about an inch of hair remaining)

Social Media Handles – Let’s keep in touch!


80 thoughts on “About

  1. Heidi says:

    @quest for the perfect curl-HI!, love the vids- recently re-watched your review on Hair Rules Curly Whip and…. I went to Hair Rules yesterday and got a curly style using Curly whip. I liked the style..somewhat.. in the salon, but when I got a block away it was a straight up curly afro!. I think my strands are medium/fine and I’m low porosity. It had rained earlier in the day but the temp was around 60 degrees F, so it was humid out, my hair felt damp all day. I plan to go back next week for a re-do, but was wondering if you had any experience with your hair feeling maybe over moisturized with this product? I also didn’t have much definition. I usually use SM curl defining cream and Eco styler(krystal) or Camille Rose curl maker, and have great results that lasts 2 to 3 days. Main object of going to the salon was to get better knowledge of my hair texture(which didn’t happen- seems stylists never want to tell you about your hair texture, curl pattern- not necessarily within the number system, but if you’re new to natural, it can be somewhat helpful to type in my opinion, I think I’m 3B/C/4a. I’ve gone to 3, now 4 salons for consults and still am un sure of my hair texture- what is kinky curly really? The describe kinky as tightly coiled and zig zag, I don’t have zig zags, but I do have tight curls behind my ears, and looser curls all over mostly on top and the middle back) and how to style it at this grown out twa length also to get a trim, but maybe this product just isn’t for me. Looked like a bear cub lol.

    • Elle says:

      They’ve changed the ingredients since I last used Curly Whip, so I’m not sure about the new formula. Also, curl pattern really isn’t helpful so I’d ask them about your texture as in porosity, how thick your strand is, etc.

  2. Dazha says:

    Hello Elle,

    I recently big chopped & my hair is a dry, matted mess. Im basically allergic to protein & silicones so when I co washed daily with Aussie Moist my hair got worse.
    Do you have any suggestions (shampoos, techniques, conditioners, etc.) ?
    Thank You 🙂

    • Elle says:

      Hey Dazha! I have a playlist on my channel for new naturals (it’s called Info for New Naturals I think) that will be helpful to you. I also have a video about what to do once you big chop that’s on there! I hope they can help you out some.

  3. Marie says:

    Hi Elle!

    I love your blog and I have learned so much from following it. I was wondering if you could refer me to a salon in the Washington D.C./ Maryland area that could help me when I need a trim. I currently dust my ends as needed but it would be great to have a reliable natural stylist who could help me when I need a trim.

    • Elle says:

      Hey Marie! I don’t know of any salons I’d recommend in the DMV…I trim my own hair and have only gone to the salon once since going natural, and I wasn’t really happy with my experience.

    • M says:

      Check out Mimi at the Oasis Salon in Rockville, MD. I loved my experience and the way my hair turned out. I have fractal and corkscrew curls. Oasis Salon is a curly girl salon and all the stylists are trained DevaCurl trained.

      • Marie says:

        Thank you. I will keep that in mind next time I think I need a trim. Salons do give me a bit of anxiety, too many bad experiences.

  4. Tiara says:

    Hey! Old fan here! I’m thecrestsmile1922 on youtube. We would go back and forth on your videos back on 2011/12. I closed my Instagram and reopened a new one but I can’t seem to find you. What is your username? Mine is tyracurls. Your hair has grown so much!!!! So happy for you

    • Elle says:

      Hey! My IG name is izzynelle but it’s not my blog’s account (in case you just want hair type posts). My blog Twitter is @QFTPC. And thank you! I’m still growing – every time I think Izzy is long enough I think of the mermaid hair in its curly state…and I go eat some fruit and veggies.

  5. Allan Zadik says:

    My name is Allan Zadik and it seems you have been recommending a product I sell, Super Wet Aloe Vera Gel, on http://www.hbamart.com. I want to make myself available for any question or comment. One recommendation I can give to you is the cost of shipping is quite high, however with USPS “if it fits it ships”, we can ship two 2.2 lbs. jars for approximately $ 9.00. Let me know if you have any other question. Regards, Allan

    • Elle says:

      Hi Allan, I appreciate the comment, but IMO $9 is too much for such an order. The gel is only a few dollars, so if I got two jars my shipping costs more than my product.

  6. Sarita Uniqque Vaughn says:

    This is a great site. I did my BC on April 20, 2013. I’m almost 6 months into my natural hair journey. Your hair gives me inspiration to stick with it and push on. I’ve already seen a lot of growth so I’m super excited. I’m still becoming one with my new hair. Any suggestions or guidance would be great. 🙂

  7. cultureshockart says:

    Great site! This has been one of the most informative blogs I’ve come across. I’ve been natural since 2010 after a looong transition period. I love my hair but really struggle with styling, so I mainly resort to puffs and ponytails-NO MORE. I got a DevaChan cut last week, and now feel like I’m starting over. Keep up the great work, I’ll be checking in often!

    • Elle says:

      Maybe one day I will branch out, but for now I am focusing on hair and some body products (because I love lotions and creams, etc). I do talk about nutrition on my Facebook sometimes – as eating right is beneficial to hair.

      • purplebuttyrflydiva says:

        No problem. I have enjoyed viewing your website and videos. The information you provide is extremely helpful and your personality is fun and contagious. I will have to check out your info on lotions, etc. Take Care! 🙂

  8. Megan says:

    Oh wow this is GREAT!!!!!! I am just about to begin my journey and am EXTREMELY nervous. YOur blog has been so much help. Def. the push I needed. Love your hair btw…GORGEOUS!

  9. Kea says:

    I have been visiting your site to get some direction on how to take care of my natural hair. this is new to me and I am not sure that I doing it right. I have VERY small tight curls and my hair dries up quickly. Can you please guide me in the right direction or help me out PLEASE lol?

  10. Penny says:

    Hi Elle,
    Just found your blog after seeing you on Carols Daughter. I really like that product, it works pretty good on my daughters hair. I have tried a whole bunch of nothing so I’m happy to have found something that works in their hair. Your hair looks exactly like theirs, that is what caught my eye to watch your video. I had a problem for a while because they are bi-racial and I am a blonde with extremely soft straight hair with no effort to make it straight. My youngest daughter has A LOT of hair and I love to have her hair curly with nothing pulled back. Up until now, I was unable to do that because her hair has so much shrinkage. I have found your tips helpful in dealing with the vast amount of hair that she has. THANKS!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey girl, I love your reviews and how detailed they are. Product junkies need lots of info before purchasing a product and girl you deliver.

  12. nicaola says:

    I really like your hair and i’m excited to be on this natural hair journey I just hope it looks as good as yours as my hair grows

  13. Najah says:

    Ok what happened? I just saw a video about this handsome Italian guy with 2 coffee machines… I thought you posted it for funnies but after I left my comment it dissappeared…

  14. Lakeila says:

    I love your blog! You bring a lot of vibrancy, and you’re so down to earth. Also I love your hair too:) I do have a non hair question though, and I’m not sure if you’ve done anything on fashion? I feel like your hair coincides with your style and I think you have awesome clothing, and the accessories rock! So, any recommendations for good places to shop for clothes and accessories?

    • HB says:

      The focus of my channel/blog isn’t fashion, but I like shopping at ASOS, Forever 21 (for going out clothes, don’t care if they get ruined lol), and for nicer stuff Bloomingdale’s (they usually have “hipper” clothing than the other high end stores). Pac Sun is also good for jeans, Abercrombie too. And Urban Outfitters for tshirts and sundresses.

  15. camotita says:

    I am so excited that I found your website. I am almost 41 (still hard for me to say “over 40”). I started my natural hair journey in July of last year. I had a stroke last July. I was young and healthy, didn’t have high blood-pressure. Seems to have been a fluke. Anyway this caused me to re-evaluate a lot of things in my life. I didn’t have a relaxer for several months and saw that I liked my new growth! Plus, my hair doesn’t like color and relaxers so, I decided to choose one. My vanity persuaded me to choose color. The good news is I don’t use permanent color only semi-. Anyway, I haven’t done the big chop yet, but am getting close. Like many people who follow you, I am getting tired of dealing with two different textures.
    I love this site and enjoy your videos. You are unassuming and frank in your critiques. They provide helpful information. Keep it up!

    • HB says:

      I don’t know who all the people are requesting to follow me on Skype – a lot of it is spam, so I usually assume it is spam if the person does not have an avatar and I do not accept those. Besides that, I pretty much accept everyone.

  16. Kelly says:

    Hi there,

    I was just looking thru your website and pictures and I was wondering what is your hair type? The goddess glaze looked great on you and didn’t look crunchy or overly manipulated. I’m also in DC represent girl!!!

    • HB says:

      My hair is a mix of corkscrew and fractal curls. I don’t know what it is under Andre’s system. I don’t like the Goddess Glaze, my hair may not have looked crunchy but it didn’t feel good.

  17. Rocky says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I stumbled upon it last Sunday after spending countless hours on Youtube. You’re so funny and your mane is fab. I am a recovering PJ on the verge of a relapse. Anywho, I was wondering if you go to gym. I am asking because I go to the gym 3X/wk and do Bikram once/wk and that makes it hard to maintain cute, natural styles. I am not one to wear twists publicly (just not my thing, and I’m still growing out my TWA 1yr post BC), so I was wondering if you had a post-gym regimen. I used to co-wash & style, but it’s so time consuming. Also, my hair take FOREVA to dry and I have to go to class after! SMH. I currently love and use Shescentit products (Moisture Mist and Seyani Butter) in between washes, treatments, and style sessions, but I was wondering if you had any other tips? Thanks girl!

    • HB says:

      When I work out, I just put my hair in a ponytail. I usually work out at night though, so I leave it like that for the rest of the day, then I’ll do my hair in the morning. I don’t do anything like Bikram though…that’s a lot of sweat! Rather than redo your hair, you could spritz it with moisturizer to keep it from drying out after sweating, then cowash when you have time.

  18. Melanie says:


    This is a great blog that i will continue to follow.I have been transitioning for the past couple of months and finally i could take anymore of the relaxed ends so i did the BC and now I am trying it all so i can see what works! Keep posting and feel free to comment on my posts as well because i would definately like feedback on what i could do better to get my coils to grow.

    Peace Love and Hair

    Mel B

  19. Yola says:

    Hi! Your hair is absolutely beautiful! I wanted to know what products you used when you did your BC. Did you just wash and go with some gel? Also as your hair started to grow what styles did you do? I love the way your hair is so curly! Lastly what product do you use for moisture? My hair is so dry all the time and I always hear that moisturizing is key. Thanks! 🙂

  20. B says:

    Hi! Your hair is gorgeous!!!
    I recently found your videos on You Tube and just subscribed to your channel and now will be subscribing to your Blog 🙂
    Like you, I am obsessed with products. I to have a list of products I want to try and Uncle Funky’s Daughter is on it. I would have tried it by now but I just can’t justify the shipping cost!!!
    I really appreciate honest and thorough reviews which I have found with you.


  21. lovelynurse73 says:

    I tried SM from Target and didn’t like it too much…returned and got KCCC instead…I got the Eversleek on sale at CVS for $5.99…we shall see. I might revisit SM as my journey continues – maybe for just moisture possibly. I picked up Tresemme Naturals conditioner and the the Eversleek leave in and will let ya know what I think! I finding that my hair is FUNNY acting… thanks for responding!

  22. lovelynurse73 says:

    You are too much girl! LOL! I stumbled on your site looking for a review of Eversleek leave in I just picked up and lookee what I found! You are funny and a Yorkie Mama like myself! Keep doin what you do and doin you! I’m one yr post and fresh outta weaves and embracing my kinks and curls…I’m also an instant fan! Take care!

    • HB says:

      🙂 Welcome!! And thanks! Glad to see you are loving your hair.

      Oh, and I haven’t tried the Eversleek LI, but I tried both of the conditioners and they were just eh to me, especially for around $10…go get some Shea Moisture from Target instead!

  23. April says:

    Hello – I’ve been lurking on this website a bit since you were featured on Curly Nikki. I am currently transitioning so seeing naturals with beautiful, curly heads of hair like yours is really motivating. Plus, you have a great sense of humor. Keep up the good work. I am a Duke alum too so I also wanted to say, Go Duke!


    • HB says:

      Yay, glad you like the blog and that’s cool you’re transitioning! I honestly didn’t have the skill for it, lol, so I admire the long term transitioners. And YAY for Duke alumni!!! Duke DUUUUKE!!

  24. Ehrin says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I *heart* your blog and YouTube vids! Your reviews are so helpful (and funny)–not to mention you are adding more fuel to this PJ’s fire! I’ve been natural for about 2 years now, and it’s definitely been a journey. I stopped relaxing due to hair loss, but thankfully I’ve always had more hair than I could manage 🙂

    Keep the videos, reviews, and “rants” coming–I love it!! I’d also love to see some styling videos/tips. I’m still figuring out how to tame the “beast” and would love to have your expertise!

  25. tlator says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I stumbled upon it last Sunday after spending countless hours on Youtube. You’re so funny and your mane is fab. I am a recovering PJ on the verge of a relapse. Anywho, I was wondering if you go to gym. I am asking because I go to the gym 3X/wk and do Bikram once/wk and that makes it hard to maintain cute, natural styles. I am not one to wear twists publicly (just not my thing, and I’m still growing out my TWA 1yr post BC), so I was wondering if you had a post-gym regimen. I used to co-wash & style, but it’s so time consuming. Also, my hair take FOREVA to dry and I have to go to class after! SMH. I currently love and use Shescentit products (Moisture Mist and Seyani Butter) in between washes, treatments, and style sessions, but I was wondering if you had any other tips? Thanks girl!

    • HB says:

      I cowash daily and work out at night, so I usually don’t do my hair when I shower at night, then do it in the morning. Sorry I’m not more help!!

  26. tigist ayenew says:

    HI, i have african hair that ,i used to relax it ,but stopped 8 moth ago .
    my hire never get curl in my life and wanted so much to make my hair curly ,but id ont know where to get the write product cause i have used some of the products i get in my local pharmacy but never work so please help me to find the right product to use.
    many thanks

    • HB says:

      Unfortunately, products do not make your hair curl. I am not sure what you have tried, but I can say that all the products I have tried have not changed my hair.

  27. Genny says:

    I aboslutely love reading your blog. The reviews are thorough and the posts are interesting and funny. Your hair gorgeous by the way! Keeo up the good work!

  28. Hey There! says:

    So we aren’t just hair twins…we’re LIFE twins (does that sound weird? IDK but it’s true) I also moved from Washington, DC to California recently, I’ve also been putting my hair through heck for the past two-plus decades and I’m currently rocking the mohawk and about to cut it all off and I think we even hyave the same texture…IDK yet, because like you, I’ve never just grown my hair to grow it out! I’m NOT a PJ but I do love making concotions out of kitchen stuff because I figure if I can’t use it I can eat it (which has happened…don’t judge me! lol) You’re really awesome and it feels good knowing somebody very similar to me is on this journey to HHG!

    • HB says:

      Aw thanks!! LOL @ life twins…nah that’s not weird, I know what you mean. I also eat some of my hair concoctions…recently I made an avocado, yogurt, coconut milk conditioner…with a splash of lime…it was one of the best dips ever! My hair wasn’t even that excited but I wanna make it again to eat!

      Oh, and mohawks are the best!

  29. adthomas says:

    I also found your blog through NC. I read how you how low porosity and products sit on your hair. And how it takes forever to dry. It was like reading my own frustrating hair story. I think what killed your experiment was the coconut milk. That stuff dries my hair out. So does baking soda which is why I only did Cherry Lola once. My curls are tighter but I think if you find the right mix, it might work for me too. Right now I’m doing a warm rinse in the shower for a few minutes, cowashing/finger detangle, rinse again, put a WHOLE lot of moisturising conditioner, seal with oil, let it sit while I shower. Then do a very quick, VERY cold rinse.. I got great shine and curl def. I had to finger coil my very loose hair with shea butter but it’s the best so far.

  30. Alexis says:

    I find your blog very inspiration and informative. I’m transitioning now, and I don’t plan on doing a big chop. I was wondering if you could give me your tips on transition styles? Which ones did you do, and find easy to maintain?

    • HB says:

      Honestly, I have a few posts on transition styles, but I was the pits at them so I just chopped off all my hair. After I had too much new growth to do a wash n go, I was terrible at other styles. My relaxed hair would not dry to save its life, so I would do a roller set or bantu knots and in the morning my hair would still be soaking wet. I gave up; the big chop was just easier for me! Furthermore, many transition styles take over an hour to do, and I don’t want to spend more than ten minutes on my hair. It’s different for everyone though – the Transitioning forum on Naturally Curly has some great tips.

  31. Andrea Jones says:

    I just found your blog through Naturallycurly.com. I was researching information on low porosity and saw your post. I am almost 9 months post and plan to transition for 3 years.

    Awesome Blog!

  32. Princessai says:

    Hey I’m also a member of Naturallycurly.com! And IMO your website is really good. And your hair is growing very healthy. You are an inspiration. I stopped transitioning now but I will again next year and I will keep checking into this web for more inspiration and reviews!

    ~God Bless

    • HB says:

      Wow, thank you so much! That’s an amazing compliment. If you’ve decided to stop transitioning, I wish you the best of luck and let me know if you have questions on your next go round!

  33. Bre says:

    I was researching products to use on my newly virgin hair (shaved my hair off 5 months ago so I could just start over) and came across your blog. Thanks for the info on products and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there who wants to explore products.

  34. Bonnie says:

    I love your blog and your quest is an admirable one. I’m in the process of transitioning myself and I love seeing others who have taken part in that themselves and blogging about it also I’m a product junkie so I feel you on your obsession with trying new things. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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