Curly Commentary: My Natural Hair Journey in Pictures

An ESSENCE reader shares the story of her curls in photos.

La'Nisha Lenore Feb, 19, 2013

1 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

I am a lifetime natural. Yes, I have NEVER had a relaxer in my entire life. My mom wouldn't allow it. My alternative was the hot comb growing up. Thank God for Madam C. J., I was able to sport the relaxed look without chemicals. I did dabble in color however which I loved.

2 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

I slowly stepped away from heat and started playing with my curls and the first styles I did were Mohawks. I loved the way they turned any look into something retro and funky. With many compliments, I delve into styling quite a lot.

3 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

Modeling for ESSENCE on Television was such a fun and exhilarating experience. I was flattered that my styling was eye catching. My bantu knot outs are truly my best friends. They never seem to fail on me. With styling and product, it's trial and error. I recently chose to color over my blonde tresses.

4 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be so secure in my skin to rock bantu knots as a style with no makeup and just a lip. I truly have become so comfortable because I was no longer an outcast or the girl 'without the perm.' I truly thank my mom for exposing me to learning to love and care for my hair all these years.

5 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

Styling was big for me and there were so many gurus I instantly clung to. This style was inspired by BeautifulBrownBabydoll who has done so many fabulous styles. Although I loved styling, after the coloring and tension I put my hair through, I soon found out that I wasn't taking care of my hair as well as I should have even though it looked nice.

6 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

After meeting Co-owner Tamika of Natural Resources Salon in Texas, I knew I had to at least try her signature pompadour and hair clip that she rocks so effortlessly. It took time and much practice, but I think I did pretty well.

7 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

Past heat and much styling caught up to me and breakage became abundant. I never had a hair cut before but it was time and I absolutely loved it.

8 of 8 La'Nisha Lenore

Not being able to put my hair in a ponytail started getting to me so I decided a break was needed and a new style trend should be conquered.

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