I am Hope Charisse, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Nebraska.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I started getting perms when I was 13. Being as young as I was, I didn’t mind getting perms at the time. I just knew it was easier for my mother to manage my hair that way. As I got older, I realized how beautiful natural hair is and I began to embrace my curls in June of 2012.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
My hair has always been long and thick. But towards the end of my sophomore year in college, my hair began to break off badly. It was due to a combination of stress from being away from and from getting my hair colored. A close friend of mine is natural and I remember watching her twist her hair every night and asking her questions about it. She was my biggest inspiration for going natural.
I transitioned for about 3 months with micro braids and couple sew-ins but I eventually became tired of waiting and I cut the remaining 4 inches off. If I could go back in time, I would have continued to grow it all the way out to retain more fullness and length but I still love where I’m at with my hair now.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is very kinky so I have type 4 hair. It’s tightly coiled in the back but my curls are looser in the front and sides. My hair is best friend and my enemy at times because it has a mind of its own sometimes but I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love the versatility of my hair the most. I can rock a huge fro one day and a tightly coiled mini fro the next. I can wear it straight, blow it out, or do various up do’s. With natural hair, there are no limitations.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part of my natural hair journey has been not having to go through it alone. I mentioned before that one of my closest friends from college was my biggest inspiration for going natural but she also inspired another close friend of ours as well. We used to stay up late at night doing research about natural hair and watching YouTube videos. A lot of people have the mindset of “it’s just hair” but going natural was a life changing experience for the both of us. I just appreciate her sticking with it and motivating me to stick with it as well.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’
My favorite current dos’ are braid outs. I absolutely love big hair and with braid outs I am able to achieve that with ease.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My experience as a natural has been great for the most part. It took a while for some that are close to me to adjust to it but now they love it. I often get asked by random people if they can touch my hair and in the beginning I allowed it because natural hair is beautiful and very unique so I understand people’s fascinations with it. But now I politely decline and advise them to admire from afar.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
As a naturalista, my hair regimen is always changing but my top favorite products are, Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter, Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and my holy grail Aussie Moist Conditioner.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
Some of my favorite natural hair YouTuber’s are Yolanda Renee, MsVaughnTV, Abi’s Hair NL, and IKnowLee.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Going natural is a process. It can be overwhelming and stressful. But it is so worth it in the end. Embrace the hair you were blessed with and don’t feel like you have to change who you are to fit society’s standards. Natural hair is beautiful and don’t let anyone, no matter who it is, tell you otherwise.
Where can people find you for more information?
People can find me on: