CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
B: June 26, 2009 is the day I chopped it all off! There was no actual transition for me. My first year of college was almost over, and I was just waiting to go back home and get my hair relaxed. Around 10pm on June 25, 2009, I decided I was going to do something different with my annual haircut. I absolutely loved my TWA. I was nervous while I sat in the chair, but I was no stranger to scissors. I walked out of the salon feeling so light and refreshed. I couldn’t wait to snap a few pictures and show off my natural hair.

CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
B: The first person I sent a picture to was my mother. She was surprised, but not shocked. We were both always cutting our relaxed hair just to try something new, and she had recently loc’d up her hair. Later that day, my closest friends dropped by because they could not believe I had cut off my beloved relaxed hair. They loved it nonetheless. Of course there were the few who couldn’t understand my desire to have “nappy” hair. I just smiled and let them know, “It’s not for you to understand. I’m comfortable with who I am, and I’m fierce with any hair I rock.” I would say most of the reactions were not really about my going natural but that I carried out my decision to go natural less than 24 hours after making it.

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
B: I decided to go natural because I wanted something new. College is supposed to be the time where you branch out into the real world and discover who you are. My TWA only emphasized who I already knew I was. I wasn’t necessarily tired of relaxers nor did I have a bad experience. I actually adored my relaxed hair, and I was a master at wraps. I just knew that if my hair was healthy then, that it could also be healthy as a natural. Plus, I wanted a big bodacious fro. My mother had recently loc’d her hair, and I loved it on her. I didn’t want locs, but I knew I could rock the natural look.

CN: What do you love most about being natural?
B: The versatility. There are so many things I can do with my hair now. I was a fan of the wash-and-go with my TWA. The longer it grew the more styles I wanted to try. I did twist-outs, frohawks, puffs, and much more. It gave me an excuse to indulge in my shopping habit. I’m always buying new bows, headbands, and earrings. Every hairstyle deserves to be complimented with the right accessories.

CN: As far as products go, what do you use?
B: I keep it very simple. I use the co-wash method. So shampoo isn’t a staple product of mine. I like to make my own conditioner and other hair recipes. The supermarket does the trick for me. I always have honey, olive oil, and coconut oil around. I do use Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Conditioner once in a while. It makes my hair silky and easy to detangle. For twists and roller sets, I’ve used Eco-Styler or diluted Lottabody. Of course, water will always be a hair product staple for me.

CN: Any last comments?
B: Love yourself. Many of my friends love my hair story and beg me to blog about it because of the confidence I have in who I am. I often hear ladies say, “I could never cut my hair off. You weren’t afraid to look like a boy?” Don’t be afraid to take risks because of the labels society might place on you. Be comfortable in your own skin, hair, and body. My motto is that I am somebody, and I deserve to be heard. I chose to be heard through many avenues such as my pursuit of higher education and my expression of self through clothes, my voice, my hair, knitting, my shoes, and accessories. Natural hair is a beautiful thing, and for anyone hesitant about “going all the way,” I am here to tell you not to be afraid. Embrace your kinky curls texture.

Before

After