An ESSENCE reader shares the story of her curls in photos.
After my first big chop, I grew my hair out for about a year and a half. Eventually, my hair grew to a size where I decided it needed a name: Lola! I had fun with Lola: attempting twist outs, updo styles and letting her grow long to a point where when stretched, my coils extended a few inches past my shoulders.
While on a trip to New York, I decided to check out a Dominican Salon and get one of their signature blowouts. I was impressed with the process, but hated the result. This is where I realized my curls were my distinguishing feature and I missed them.
Unfortunately that blo- out incident resulted in severe heat damage. I ended up having to chop off about 10” of curls from the back of my head. My amazing stylist, Marie of Madusalon in San Francisco, gave me a curly bob cut that I like to call “The Hatchback” because of the way it tapered to the nape of my neck. This was when I first fell in love with using cuts to create volume and shape to enhance my texture.
Somewhere along the line, I decided that it would be a good idea to chop off half of my hair. I think it’s because I always struggled with wanting to have both long and short hair, so this allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds! I loved “The Asym,” especially as a blogger because I frequently test out products so I could easily review how something worked on both lengths.
While at a hair show in Houston, I got the Damn Salon’s Urban Twists, a style I had been envious of for years. Keeping with my desire to rock an asymmetrical style, I also found a barber and had him clip one side down to a quarter-inch fade. I call this one “The Damn Fade.” It. Was. Fierce.
Never in my life have I ever colored my hair, but when I saw this beautiful cinnamon-honey color on a model at America’s Beauty Show, I knew I had to have it. My stylist gave me a more golden hue to better match my skin tone—I love the way the color accentuates my curl pattern!
While on a visit to New York, Dickey of Hair Rules wrangled me into his seat for a haircut (and let's be honest, I’ve always wanted him to do my hair). Using a method where he first straightens the hair, he gave me an awesomely exaggerated shape that kept my length in the front and cropped my hair short on the sides. Because my roots were grown out, the color faded in this reverse ombre that inspired me to call this cut “The Flame.”
I grew my hair out for a year before doing my first big chop, so I never really had short hair and I was always envious of the ladies who rocked the super-short cropped styles. While I really wanted to grow my hair out again, I knew that the desire to go short would keep nagging at me until I did it. So I did it and haven’t looked back! The best part: it now takes me less than three minutes to do my hair each day!
If you'd like to share your natural hair journey on ESSENCE.com, email the following information to BeautyEditors@essence.com:
-Eight to ten photos of your hairstyles over the years -A caption for each photo explaining your look -A 150 word statement that tells the story of your natural hair journey -Links to your blog and social media profiles (if applicable)
If your photos are selected to appear on the site, you will be contacted by email.