I love being natural now, but I must admit it took a lot for me to get here. This was about four years before I decided to call it quits with relaxer. My hair was thinning so badly particularly at the back of my head yet I couldn’t see a big chop in my future. I just couldn’t commit to the idea of wearing my hair in its natural state.
In 2009, I moved to New York for short period after graduation. The salons there were so expensive compared to back home, and I couldn’t afford to get a relaxer done. I ended up with three inches of new growth and I loved the texture of it. This is how my ongoing dilemma began—to big chop or not to big chop, that was the question.
Two years later I finally did it! I went to the barber shop and told them to cut it all off. It took me a while to get to the stage where I was fully at peace with having no hair. I actually kept my hair this low for a couple of months until I was comfortable with embracing my natural hair and my natural beauty.
My husband LOVES my natural hair and actually encouraged me to big chop. He took me to his barber and when all my hair was gone and tears ran down my cheeks he rubbed my bald head and told me I never looked more beautiful. *blushes*
You know those styles your mom would put in your hair in as a child and you hated them? The funny thing is I love them now.
At this point, I could finally get my hair in a decent looking puff! When I want to dress up my puff, I just add a nice band.
One thing I struggle with as a natural is shrinkage but I've found ways to make it work for me. For this style I let my curls shrink in the back but left the front long and loose to create a tapered look.
Now that I’m natural, I take a lot better care of my body and watch what I eat. You know what they say: a healthy body means healthy hair.
I learned to do Senegalese twists about a year ago. Since I learned how to do them myself, there’s no stopping me! I will throw my hair in twists when I need to switch it up. This also makes a great protective style when my schedule gets busy.
I don’t have a lot of time for fancy hairstyles in the morning so this is a typical hairstyle that I'll wear to work. To get this style, I create two-strand flat-twists on each side of my head.
I change scarves to reflect the mood I’m in. Darker scarves mean I’m feeling sexy while colorful scarves make me feel playful.
Since I’ve gone natural the fro has been my go-to style. The crazier the better! I just love how full my hair is now!
If you'd like to share your natural hair journey on ESSENCE.com, email the following information to BeautyEditors@essence.com:
-At least 10 photos of your hairstyles over the years. Please include at least one photo from your pre-natural days, if applicable.
-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. Only submissions with all of the assets listed above will be considered.