In the fourth installment of our “Natural Hair Diary” series,’s Patrice Grell Yursik profiles Candace P. Hilliard, an administrative assistant and college student with a super-cute short natural.

NATURAL WOMAN: Candace P. Hilliard

AGE: 30

CITY: Memphis, TN

OCCUPATION: Administrative Assistant and College Student

HAIR JOURNEY: Candace’s first chemical hair treatment wasn’t a relaxer — it was a Jheri curl! “It was 1990, and Jheri curls were out… the kids taunted me!” After that failed experiment, she got her first relaxer at ten years old. “I wore it for years, and also tried weaves and braids. One day I got a manicure, and my manicurist had gorgeous dreadlocks. It was my first time really [noticing] natural hair, and it was like the sun was radiating around this lady! I knew then I had to go natural, so I found a natural stylist and did the big chop last July. I decided to pursue sisterlocks, and my first lock installation was on October 2nd.

“Since then, I’ve learned to appreciate myself the way I am. I go to sleep beautiful, and I wake up beautiful. I barely even check my mirror anymore to see if my hair looks good. I already know!”

FAVORITE PRODUCTS: Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel ($4.99,, Taliah Waajid Mist Bodyfier ($6.99, and Taliah Waajid Crinkles and Curls Natural Hair & Lock Styling Lotion ($7.50, beautyofnewyork)

HAIR ICONS: Dr. Joanne Cornwell (originator of Sisterlocks). “Her hair is fabulous!”

ADVICE TO ASPIRING NATURALS: “God has already defined you as beautiful. There are no alterations to be made to an already perfectly created person. Embrace your hair and love yourself!”

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