My natural hair journey began around age 30. My relaxed hair was damaged and brittle so I decided to go natural and see if I could grow some healthy hair. Transitioning natural and working in Corporate America wasn't the easiest thing to do back then, so I went natural for about a year and then cracked under the pressure to conform and fit in the workplace. I ended up relaxing my hair after my manager called me into her office one day to inquire about how I was doing. She made it a point to tell me that I needed to get my hair done.
Since that time, I've attempted to go natural three more times with no avail. I still was not experiencing the healthy hair results that I wanted and I felt self-conscious about my tiny fro.
At age 40 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. During radiation treatments my hair began to thin out in the crown of my head. I made a decision to cut my hair really short and once again let it grow back naturally. So far it's been great this time around. The difference is that I was more confident and strong, after just surviving breast cancer. My perception about myself has completely changed. It's been about 8 months so far and I'm still loving it and it's growing and very healthy. I receive overwhelming compliments on how nice and thick my hair is.
I am now loving my natural hair!
The impact of choosing to wear my natural hair has sparked my imagination, boosted my confidence and eased my mind. I say it eased my mind because after a decade and a half relaxed, I wondered if I could ever make peace with my kinks and accept them as beautiful. Well, I have. I style creatively, I have no shame in my ethnicity but embrace it fully. I'm not Black but bea]utiful. I'm beautiful because I'm Black.
The reason I went natural was because my hair was shedding a lot. I wanted to try something, not knowing all the maintenance that comes with being natural. I must admit I didn't first love my natural hair. It was something out of the box for me, so I had to learn to love and embrace my natural tresses.
I am going into my 5th year with my natural tresses and I am truly loving every minute of it. Being natural is so free and versatile. You have to love your tresses and have fun with your hair. My husband is my biggest supporter; he will wash and grease my scalp as needed, yes I grease my scalp...LOL.
I am enjoying my journey and will continue to embrace my natural tresses. I love seeing natural sisters embracing their beautiful hair whether its locs, twists, flat ironed, FROs or just wash and go's. We sisters are starting a movement that's here to stay, love your tresses.
My choice to be natural, positively impacted my life in many ways. I have been natural for five years and have enjoyed experiencing the needs of my hair. Throughout my natural hair journey, I have become educated about appropriate products needed to achieve versatile styles, while maintaining my hair in its natural state. The decison to become natural has brought about unique opportunities and awareness within the natural hair community. Such opportunities include being crowned 2014-2015 Miss Born Natural Beauty in Columbia, SC. This experience was awesome and confirmed what I already knew, which is, Natural Girls Rock! I am a strong believer of embracing your own natural beauty and not allowing society define it for you! From one natural to another, I am glad that I decided to embrace my hair in it's natural state and enjoy mentoring others who have decided to start their own natural hair journey.
Faces By ETOSH
Growing up I always wanted a relaxer. It was not until high school that I got my very first perm! Boy was I happy about the outcome but not the process at all.
After years of relaxing my hair...it was not until 2005 that I had a reality check. Taking medications and being diagnosed with lupus, I knew I had to make some changes. Getting rid of chemicals in my hair was the first one on the list.
I have not regretted it one bit and I have embraced my natural hair with pride. In fact, I have received more compliments being natural than when I was relaxed. My hair is fuller, longer and healthier than ever before. I even have more styling options and able to save money even though I still get my hair washed and conditioned biweekly. The natural hair journey has been an awesome one for me and if I had a daughter she would be on the journey as well. I will continue to embrace what God has given me naturally.
“To be, or not to be” that is the question naturally speaking of course. So, after much urging from my son I decided to take the plunge once again and embrace what I was born with…natural hair. He would ask me “Mom, why are you ashamed of wearing your hair natural?” and my reply would always be “I’m not (with attitude)! I’m just waiting until I hit the big 5-oh”.
Ten months before my 50th birthday, I stopped relaxing so I could begin making the transition. I started wearing cornrows (looking like Queen Latifah in “Set It Off”), in order to have some new growth without having to cut my hair down to the white meat, LOL.
Finally, in January 2010 I went to my beautician ready for the big chop or so I thought. You know when you have those doubts like “will my head look big?” or “Will I look like a dude with my hair short?” etc, etc. Subconsciously, I was still trying to fit in society’s box of what black women’s hair should look like to be acceptable to the masses. However, I didn’t have long to ponder those doubts because before I could blink she had a handful of my hair and began snipping away.
After 20 years of chemical dependency (hair crack), I was finally free. I said, “Good-bye to scalp burns, hair breakage, and shedding like a shaggy dog. And hello to My Natural Is Beautiful!!
I think over the years wearing my naturally nappy & happy to be nappy - headed self, that people inside and out of my circle of friends, colleagues and family have accepted and loved me for being who I am; that woman of color loving the skin and hair she's strutting in.
You see, I was inspired over 5 decades ago, as a teenager by the sight of a sister, representing the beauty of the skin I'm in~ Angela Davis spoke before those who looked liked her, as in the color of their skin, to be their own authentic self- their crowing glory worn naturally nappy standing proud and bold as the voice for their sisters and brothers in the fight for a people rights.
My hair is my pride & joy, my crowning glory and my heritage from a proud people of color. My hair is part of being my authentic self and I bask in the beautiful glory of it.
Cierra has been a part of Accented Glory since its launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a millennial who's currently navigating adulthood. Click Not One Of Your Little Friends to check out her podcast!