“I relaxed my hair for most of my life until one day it just hit me: putting unnecessary chemicals in my hair is awful and doing more harm than good,” says Hair and Beauty Editor, Deena Campbell. “So, I stopped relaxing my hair. I haven’t looked back and I couldn’t be happier”
“My hair is kinky, curly, coily and everything in between,” says Campbell. “I wouldn’t trade my texture for the world.”
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @deenacampbell
“I didn’t always love my curls, but thankfully I realized that they are a dope reflection of my sassy personality,” says Digital Fashion and Beauty Director, Julee Wilson.
“Whether styled in a faux-hawk or flying free in an Afro, the awesomeness of my mane knows no limits,” says Wilson. “Black women’s hair is truly magical.”
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @missjulee
“I’ve been natural for about three years now and it’s been an interesting and fulfilling journey, says Dominique Hobdy-Olibrice, Fashion Contributor and Digital Producer. “I absolutely love my hair. It’s strong, soft, fluffy and when my curls decide to act right, it’s a beautiful thing.”
“I’ve learned how to do most of the styles I wear by watching women work with their hair on YouTube,” says Hobdy-Olibrice. “I think that’s been the most amazing part to watch. [I love seeing] Black women re-embrace their curls and teach each other how to work with what we’ve got step-by-step. If that’s not a movement and sisterhood at it’s finest, I don’t know what is.”
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @d_hobdy
“I’ve never once considered cutting my hair short—I never thought I had the face for it—until I started working at ESSENCE a year and a half ago,” says Taylor Lewis, Assistant Social Media Editor.
“I started transitioning almost immediately, and I big chopped in July,” says Lewis. “I’m now obsessed with my natural curls. I love the versatility that I’ll have, I admittedly love the never-ending experimentation of products and I love seeing the baby curls grow out. Come through, curls!”
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @taylorcespedes
“I have to be frank and honest, I fell into the hype of the natural hair movement. My friends guilted me into joining the movement that consists of day-long washdays and bantu knot twist outs,” says Lauren Porter, Editorial Intern. “They perm-shamed me to the point that I just couldn’t take it anymore and now I am grateful that they did.”
“My natural hair is just a testament to my magic,” says Porter. “It’s been through a lot, it’s been damaged, broken but it’s rebounding to become more stronger and beautiful by the day (shout out to coconut oil one time). My natural hair gives me life.”
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @thelaurenline
“I went natural two years ago, but it was only recently that I decided to flaunt my texture in public (since joining the ESSENCE team, if I’m being completely honest.)” says Virginia Lowman, Assisitant Beauty Editor.
“I was never big on relaxing my hair—literally the time between each one would be about six months,” says Assistant Editor for Social Media, Alexis Reliford. “Finally I just decided to stop all together and started transitioning. Now three years later, I love my natural hair and how thick and full its gotten!”
“My hair is thick and lovely,” says Reliford.
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @lexreliford
“It’s so nice to be free from sitting in a salon for hours on a Saturday, and paying for relaxers that were doing more harm to my hair than good,” says Photo Editor, Joslyn Winkfield.
“Now my hair is longer than it’s ever been, says Winkfield. “I’m loving the versatility. I can braid it up on workout days, wear it out and big and not care if it rains, and I can straighten it once and a while to switch it up.”
Follow her natural hair journey on Instagram at @jblairphoto