Alexandria- "I cut my own hair!"

Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
I’m Alexandria, 23, and I’m currently living & working in Louisiana! My hair journey began in 2010 while in beauty school. One of my already natural classmates inspired me to transition and eventually big chop.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural for 4 years! I really started to fall in love with my curls in the weeks after going fully natural.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was motivated to transition because my hair would not “grow” past my shoulders with a relaxer. I needed a big change and going natural was my answer. I transitioned for 4 months before big chopping! I couldn’t stand the two textures and honestly, I didn’t feel like dealing with the straight hair anymore. I was ready, so I cut my own hair!

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Phina- 'I feel like I finally see myself."

Tell me about yourself!
My name is Phina. I’m 20 years old and I’m in my final year in college. I live in Limerick, Ireland and I’ve been natural for little over 3 years now.

Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I transitioned for about 8 months, because I wasn’t allowed to cut all my hair off. You know, dads. When I finally cut my hair off I felt a mix of emotions. On one hand, I was used to cutting my hair as low as most black guys carry their hair. On the other, hand I wasn’t used to the afro that was left behind.


The Big Chop Survival Guide- 4 Tips to Get You Through it!

Dear Big Chopper,

First, I would like to congratulate you for doing the big chop. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to accept the natural hair that you were born with. I am sure that you have heard mixed reviews about your decision. You have those that absolutely love your haircut and think it is fabulous! You probably also had reactions from others that did not care too much about your new look. People will have their opinions, even if you did not ask for them. Keep your head up and stay confident. You made this decision for a reason.

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Tiffany Jackson- 'Don't be afraid to try new things!'

My name is Tiffany Jackson. I’m a 23 year old full time college student (majoring in Graphic Design), also working full time. I’m from Maplewood, NJ.

How long have you been natural?
I have been fully natural for a year and two months now.

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Christian Byshe- "Going Natural was like going BRAVE!"

Going natural was about so much more than hair for me. It was almost like going BRAVE. It seriously gave me a boldness that I lacked before and that may seem like a large claim for something as simple as deciding to no longer perm my hair, but I'm being honest... it really did that for me.

Going natural placed me outside of the status quo and with that came attention. I went natural for the first time in 2010 during the summer. I literally just up and decided I was tired of being curious about what my hair would look like if I wasn't constantly altering its texture. I kept catching glimpses of my cute little curls in between perms so, eventually, I gave in. Since I am not big on slow changes (I'm more of a "let's do it now" type chick), I decided to do the big chop and get it over with.

Alexis is Naturally Glam

My name is Alexis and I am originally from a small town in Ohio, but moved to Virginia 3 years ago. I am 23 years old and a recent graduate of Kent State University in Ohio where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Education. I’m a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and love doing community service, anything artistic and I also model.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I decided to embark on my natural hair journey 2 years and a few months ago and have loved every step of it. Since becoming natural, I have always embraced my curls. They remind me of my childhood and my thick, curly, unruly hair. My mother even loves getting her hands in it and saying “I feel like I have my little girl back when I’m in your hair".

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was motivated by a Pan-African Studies course that I took while in college called Black Images. We watched a film titled “200 Years Without a Comb” (A MUST SEE!) and that film changed my whole perspective and influenced me heavily. I was also inspired by some of my lovely Sorors (sorority sisters) who had already began their journey. I big chopped on August 22, 2012 after just two short months of transitioning. The anticipation won me over and I big chopped very early, to just about a fade. My BC was the shortest my hair has been, ever, but I added some color, embraced it and ROCKED it!

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Alia and Delcia are 'Naturally Glam'!

Hi! We are Alia and Delcia Johnson, 22 year old identical twin sisters from West Park, FL. We are Aftercare Counselors and aspiring high fashion models!

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioned or a Big Chopper& why?
We wanted to go natural because it got really annoying handling two different hair textures, visiting hair salons and having our mom pay for it. We first transitioned in our early years.  Then we decided to get a texturizer for our senior prom, which damaged our hair a little. Also, we went to a hair stylist a few times to straighten our hair. The results were beautiful, but of course,  the outcome was heat damage. So finally, we decided to Big chop April of this year!

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April- “Natural is a way of life not just a hairstyle.”

My name is April. I’m a 24-year-old student trying to obtain my RN. I’m from NJ but moved to Hawaii shortly after graduating high school. I work at a rehab hospital in the dialysis department and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

How long have you been natural? What motivated you to go natural?
I’ve been natural on and off since my late teens but for some reason I would always go back to straightening (flat iron no relaxer since early teenage years) my hair to make it more manageable. When I moved to Hawaii, I was unable to find a stylist that I felt could handle my hair like back in NY/NJ. I decided to try a well know French salon where the stylists were all very experienced and talented. The first time she flat ironed my hair, it looked like a million bucks. She did it in less than an hour and it was bone straight. The more I fell in love with it, the more I would go to her. It became a weekly thing.  After a while, I began noticing that my hair was very stringy, wouldn't curl and felt similar to a rubber band.  Really lifeless. She was using 450 degrees on the flat iron which had fried my hair. Poor thing. One day after showering and combing out big chunks of hair I realized there was nothing I could do. I decided then I would go natural. I started doing twist outs but it just seemed so time-consuming to achieve a curly look that sadly wasn’t my own. So in July 2010, I had my first big chop! I asked him to cut as much dead hair off as he could. It was short on the sides and back and longer on the top-- cute cut but still some dead ends. I tried twisting the ends to match the textures but it didn’t look that great (in my opinion).

the grow out!

Elaine is Naturally Glam!

Hello! My name is Elaine and I'm 20 years of age.  I’m Ghanaian-African and I reside in South Jersey. I’m in college and I major in Computer Info Systems. I’m a very down to earth person, I love to have fun and I'm very outgoing. My hair is a very big part of me.

How long have you been natural?
 I’ve been natural for 2 yrs and 6 months.

Were you a big chopper or transitioner?
I big chopped. I used to have half of my head shaved, I got bored of it and decided to shave all of my hair, that’s when the magic happened.

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Your Hair Was So Pretty, Though.

In September of 2009, I made the decision to cut off all of my relaxed hair. I hadn't made the decision in order to shock anyone, nor because anything had been wrong with my hair; I made it because I had been going through some things, was battling depression, and felt like I needed a fresh start. I didn't know if I would relax my hair again in the future or not, but at that point, I was ready to try something new.

Prior to this, I had always been 'the girl with the long, thick hair'. My decision did catch several people off guard, and I had thought that I was reasonably prepared for any negative backlash. I was wrong.

In Barbados, and probably other countries as well, the concept of a woman with long, thick, healthy hair chopping it all off is amazingly taboo.

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Miranda- 'If you're in the awkward stage, don't be discouraged!'

My name is Miranda Smith, and I’m from Detroit MI. I attend Wayne State University as a dance major. Besides loving dance, hair has always been another love of mine.

How long have you been natural?
I hit 8 months on April 28, 2014 and the time is really flying.

What motivated you to transition?
Here’s what happened. I have pretty much been through every style from sew in’s to quick weaves and different colors. I was coming to a point in my life where I just wanted something different to go with the transition that I was making in my life. I had no idea that the next thing for me would be to become natural. I pretty much had grown my hair out, then cut it into a bob and after a couple months, it wasn’t doing anything for me anymore. So I just rocked my hair in a wet ponytail as it grew out. As it was growing out, I was noticing my natural curls and I think I literally said, “awwwww sh*t!” when I realized it, lol. From here I became obsessed with YouTube videos and that was the beginning of me officially transitioning and I did this for about four months.

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Mimi Irvin- "I believe my natural hair is like icing on the cake to my style"

My Name is Mimi Irvin “aka” Corporate Chic and creator of MeYE Label Blog. I am a wife, mother of two handsome boys, daughter, friend, and a fashionista that loves to inspire women to be Confident and “Dress the Part, Shop Smart”.

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my overall style as Modern Vintage with Edge. I love to incorporate that into my corporate daily attire which makes it unique, edgy, sophisticated for the corporate world.

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Diana's Journey- "I feel as though I walk taller and my head is held higher now"

Greetings! My name is Diana. I was born, raised and still living in Georgia. I am 35 years old; mother of an 18 year old daughter (who is also natural). I am also a licensed massage therapist.

How long have you been natural?
I decided to “return back to being natural” in June of 2010. Best decision I made that year, lol.

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Giovanna- "The first time I ever saw my real hair texture was after I big chopped."

“I would just like to stress patiently doing what works best for your hair, I was a ‘salon baby’ who never saw or touched their real hair texture or maintained their own hair, if I can progress and maintain naturally kinky hair I think anyone can.” Vanna

HI! My name is Giovanna but I also go by Vanna, I’m from New York City but currently reside in the DMV area. I am a mom, project assistant, and grad student studying Project Management.

How long have you been natural? 
I started transitioning during the fall of 2011 and big chopped in January 2012.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why? 
All of my life I ignorantly assumed that I could not stop relaxing my hair, I allowed myself to listen to my hairstylists because my family did not know how to properly maintain my hair so I only had hairstylists to rely on. I found an article in the New York Times featuring NikkaMae2003 and that was the first time I heard of the term ‘natural hair’. From that point on I learned about the side effects of relaxers and the damage they caused, I had also been experiencing thin lifeless hair with no growth retention. I was shocked to find the amount of information I did, I never knew I could find so many resources on natural Afro textured hair care. I already hated my relaxed hair so I immediately started transitioning, I couldn’t deal with the two hair textures because they were so different, so my fiancé cut off all of my relaxed ends for me. The first time that I ever saw my real hair texture was after I big chopped.

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Natural Hair Insecurities Women Face DAILY

 by Janae Raquel of 

As women, it’s natural to compare things. But, some women find themselves comparing what they don’t have to what others do. When you step down to this level, you have tossed your throne. We have to understand and realize what we don’t have, makes us who we are. Some grey areas to us may be rays of sunshine to others.

I chopped my hair for the first time July 29th, 2013. I always had the little fairy on my shoulders telling me to “just do it”, but I was once The Girl With The Hair who cared what people thought. That morning, I had enough. I had done all the coloring, straightening, styling, and fro-ing; I was bored- I needed change. After taking out my braids, I knew I had to make a run for the salon before I talked myself out of it.
Read On!>>>

Going Natural And Having Realistic Expectations

Whether on hair forums or in real life, we have all known someone that has gone natural with unrealistic expectations. Bombarded with imagery of beautiful manes, they completely missed the mark of the role genetics play in ones texture, length, density, and curl pattern. These are often the same women that return to using chemical relaxers or end up struggling for years with their new image.

LailaJean does a really great job of giving us ladies a pep talk about our hair. If you are a new natural or thinking about going natural, this video is for you!

Charlynn is Naturally Glam!

My name is Charlynn, but everyone calls me Char. I decided to go natural on accident. I wanted to ween myself off of weaves and I wanted to cut my broken off hair because it was mad see through. I got a perm when I cut my hair and then it hit me that cutting my hair and perms didn’t make sense for my over all goal. I did without the perm and I’m still here today to discuss it. I survived!

How long have you been natural? 
Since May 25, 2012

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I transitioned and then I eventually cut off the straight pieces after 3 months.

How would you describe your hair?
It’s not as long as I would like it to be, but it’s healthy and that’s the most important key for me. I believe my hair is curly and spongey but not too spongey.

What do you love most about your hair?
I love the fact that my hair surprises me everyday. I think of a style in my head and lawd Jesus my hair comes through right in the crunch.

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Tamara Is Naturally Glam!

My name is Tamara and I’m an Interior Designer. I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY, currently residing in Miami, FL. My natural hair journey has been a long one but I’m enjoying the experience and learning more about my hair as it grows and changes.

How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural for 13 years.

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Kiana Gardner is Naturally Glam!

Hi! My name is Kiana Gardner and I reside in New York and have for my entire life.  I am 21 and I’m graduating in May with a BA in Psychology and Sociology/ Anthropology. I’m still working on life after graduation but let’s talk about my hair!

How long have you been natural?
I received my last perm in January of 2011 and transitioned until August of 2012 which is when I “big chopped”. I count from when I chopped so I’ve been fully natural for 1 year and 7 months!

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The TWA Survival Guide- Natural Hair Care


Going natural is a beautiful experience no matter where you are in age, life, or around the globe. There are two options to how you can go natural but neither one is better or easier than the other; it is merely a personal preference for each woman.

Whether you big chop (BC) or long-term transition, there are survival techniques that need to be mastered for the journey to be positive, smooth, and damage-free.

Read On!>>>

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