I am African American (obvi) and for years we have been flocking to beauty shops, sitting under dryers, paying out the wazoo to get our hair to be bone straight, super long and just down right luxurious because that is what society has told us was beautiful. I am guilty of it too, I remember the summer before my third grade year I begged my mom for a relaxer and she finally gave in.
I remember the day I got it done too, it burned like hell (I'm still not sure why they burn) and I cried, I just wanted it to be over. I had been in that shop for hours, but the finished product was worth it. I couldn't stop playing with my hair and I couldn't stop looking in the mirror. It was so long! My mom had created a monster.
I began getting relaxers regularly and I loved it, I went to a predominately white grade school, middle school and high school and it was honestly so refreshing to look like my white counterparts. It made me feel worthy.
But then I got a job and my mother made me start paying for my own hair and one day when I was sitting under the dryer listening to my beautician complain about why black hair doesn't grow it hit me. I don't have to do this, I don't have to sit here every two weeks and shell out money for hair that is damaged and not at all what I want it to be.
So I went home and immediately started looking up natural hair blogs, I was skeptical at first because I wasn't sure what my family and friends would say, I didn't think they'd understand. At this time I was really learning to love myself for me and how God made me, so I thought why not go back to my roots, my kinky, curly roots.
And that is exactly what I did. May 5 I got my last relaxer. I got braids over the summer so I wouldn't have to deal with my hair at all and then I got all the damage cut off and got it cut into a bob for college.
A week into college and I had to wash it, this wasn't something new to me. What scared me was what I was going to do with it once it was dry. I let friends take care of it for a little while and then I tried my first twist-out and it was...not good.
But I've gotten better and I'm learning to work with the two textures in my hair (the un-relxaed new growth and the relaxed ends). I think in about a year or so I'll do my "big chop" (cut off all my relaxed/processed ends so that only new growth is left) we'll see how long it is. I love it so far and it is so much more versatile.
So why post this story on my fashion blog? Well because going natural is a trend if you will, in the black community. A model choosing to go natural affects who will book her, if she fits a certain look and ultimately if she will get hired for more than just "ethnic" shoots.
All hair is beautiful and what you do with your hair should ultimately be what YOU want, not what others think or like and that's what I had to realize. If you have any questions or want advice about going natural I am always here, just shoot me an email (:
Below are pictures of the three different styles I've been rocking while transitioning to natural hair (the last one features my newest obsession, headbands-expect a post about it!).