by Tracey Wallace of NaturallyCurly.com
When CurlyNikki kicked off her 31 Day of Natural Beauty giveaway in August, LaTosha Greene was still trying to figure out her transitioning routine. Little did she know that two months later, she would be flying to NYC to meet CurlyNikki herself, and then cutting her locks to kickstart her natural journey!
Excited about her big chop, Latosha sent over her photos, her curl story and some inspirational advice for all of those still too timid to take the plunge.
Her Curl Story
Before I made the decision to cut off my permed hair, I had been getting my hair relaxed since I was about 6 or 7 years old. I used products such as Bone Strait, TCB, Hawaiian Silky, Mizani and Optimum Care to straighten my hair. And don’t let me forget about those dreadful Sunday afternoons sitting in the kitchen waiting for my mother to straighten my hair with the hot comb.
About four years ago, I started relaxing my hair three times a year instead of doing it every month. I noticed that when the four to six week time period would pass, the time that I would usually get a touch-up, I would feel the roots of my hair and it was still straight. Constantly relaxing my hair eventually thinned it and just made it flat. Waiting longer to relax my hair would allow it more time to grow. December of 2010 was the last time I had relaxed my hair, and I started wearing tracks and getting my hair braided. I came to the decision this past summer that I was not going to relax my hair anymore.
On Winning 31 Days of Natural Beauty
Winning the 31 Days of Natural Beauty Contest and going to New York was my inspiration for making the big chop. I met some great people while I was there, and it was truly inspiring. I had already taken the first step by not relaxing my hair, but getting rid of the permed hair was the final step. I was a bit nervous at first, but I just told myself that it is only hair and it will grow back. When my hair grows back, it will be healthier and stronger.
My family, friends and co-workers absolutely love my natural hair and the way that it is styled, and I have to thank Melinda Bouldin of Dop Dop Hair Salon for that. I have gotten so much positive feedback and it feels great. Everyone thinks that the cut really compliments my face and it makes me even more attractive. This makes me feel so much better.
I actually feel free because I got rid of the dead weight, literally. I feel like I am doing a renewal of myself, and things are only going to get better. I feel more confident, and I can honestly tell you that true beauty doesn’t lie within your hair, it is in you and how you feel about yourself and how you show it off to the world.
Moving Past the Big Chop
Going forward, I know that I am never going back to the relaxers to straighten my hair. I want to continue my journey into the natural hair world and embrace it with open arms. I will continue to shampoo and condition my hair once a week, only using natural and sulfate-free products, and keep it moisturized. I will also massage my scalp once a day that always feels good after a long day. I will stay away from putting too much heat on my hair and will let it air dry. I will keep it twisted for now, but I can’t wait to try out new styles when it starts to grow out.
I just want to give my look more versatility, which will compliment my personality. I am getting excited just thinking about it! But, I also have to remember that it will be frustrating at times when I can’t get my hair to do what I want it to do, or times when I just don’t know what to do with it. I will just have to be patient and learn to love my natural hair for what it is.
Advice for Other Naturals
The only advice I have for other women considering the big chop is to just do it. It will be the best decision that you ever made. You just have to remember that it is only hair and, with the proper care, it will grow back healthier and more luxurious.
If you are still feeling reluctant, just talk to other women that have natural hair and get some advice. Even, ask what led them to the big chop. Just try to surround yourself with positive people and it will definitely help.
Everyone will not approve of your decision to go natural, but you can’t worry about those people. You are not here to please everyone. Our hair doesn’t control who we are, only we can control who we are. So stand up, be proud, love yourself and be comfortable in the skin that you’re in.