photo of Amy Collingwood

Number of Ninja Warrior seasons: The upcoming Season 12 will be her first
Favorite obstacle: Ferris wheel: “I haven’t had a chance to try this but I think we’re meant for each other!”
Least favorite obstacle: Diving boards
Age: 35
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Occupation: Consultant
Role model: Kirstie Ennis, a fellow Marine who lost her leg during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. She is the epitome of grit, heart, determination and humility in the wake of her own personal tragedy. She demonstrates on a daily basis that our future is what we choose to make of it.

Journey to ANW:

I started bouldering two years ago and it opened my eyes to a whole new world of athletic possibilities. During a work trip to Columbus, I googled climbing gyms to check out and a ninja gym (MLAB Ohio) popped up in my search results. On a whim I decided to check it out, and was immediately in love with the sport.

photo of Amy Collingwood
Contributed by Amy Collingwood

Greatest Ninja accomplishment:

Getting up the salmon ladder the first day I ever tried ninja obstacles!

The thought that keeps you going when you don’t want to train:

My competition is out there training. I don’t take my opportunity for granted. It took me a long time to build the upper body strength that I have, and I owe it to myself to keep it.

Have you always had curly hair?

I’ve always had very curly hair, though I had no clue how to manage it through most of my teens. Being an outdoorsy kid, my mother kept my hair short to avoid the trauma of attempting to brush it after a solid day of tree climbing and horseback riding. I desperately wanted straight hair in middle school and prayed for the day that I would get a haircut and could have it straightened for the day (pre-keratin, thank goodness!). I hated every haircut I ever had until I discovered the DevaCut in 2012. Life. Changer.

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What’s your daily curly hair routine?

I use DevaCurl No-Poo and One Condition to cleanse, and love the B’Leave-In moisturizer plus Ultra Defining Gel. My trick is to “plop” my hair in a towel for 20 minutes after washing, and then dry 80% in a hair bonnet hood dryer attachment, and finish with a diffuser. The hair bonnet hood is a huge time-saver as it dries your hair with both hands free. I travel a lot for work, and this packs up nice and small and saves me time in the morning when I’m battling time zone changes.

What do you do with your curls when you’re working out?

I use elastic coils for non-intensive workouts, but found that I have to use regular hair ties for things that involve running or repetitive jumping. The more cream-based products I use, the easier it is to revive my hair afterwards.

What’s your favorite “go-to” tip for managing your curls?

Always plop after showering. It gives the curls a chance to absorb all of the moisture and product to give that bouncy shape. I also leave in some sort of moisture-based product like conditioner or cream prior to applying any gels or mousse.

What words of encouragement or inspiration do you have for women with curly hair?

Own it! Curls set us apart, they stand out in a crowd. If you don’t like your curls, find a new hairstylist. There is someone out there who will understand your curls and who can help you unlock the potential.