|Hello! My name is Andrea . I'm an aspiring model\actress, who in the meantime works full time as a Systems Administrator in Philadelphia.
I've been natural for about 3 years now. I decided to go natural because I was tired of the pain and stress with getting perms. I was one of the lucky Sistahs, whose hair grew from the perm. I never had a breakage problem. I had shoulder length permed hair. I got braids to let some of the perm grow out. But, after 3 months of having the braids and letting my hair grow out, I decided to just cut off the rest of my hair that still had perm in it. What a weight that was lifted off! I rocked an afro for a few days, before I decided to get coils. From coils, I went back to braids, then started two-strand twisting my hair. That got tiring, because I exercise a lot. So, every 3 weeks I was taking out the twists and getting them re-twisted. Finally, I said enough is enough and decided to lock my hair. I got Sisterlocks and have never been happier! Sisterlocks are thinner and more flexible than traditional locks. I've been locked for a year and half now. I get my locks re-tightened every 5 weeks. I miss my permed hair sometimes. But, then I look at the beauty or my natural hair and all second thoughts go out the window! I love my locks and don't plan to ever cut them. I hope to let them grow as long as God will allow them to grow.
Peace and blessings...
|With the stress and trauma to my hair caused by years of perms, colors and hairstyles that I'm sure contributed to breakage I was afraid of ending up bald (prematurely). So I decided enough was enough and since I'd usually worn my hair in braids most of the time anyway...why perm??? I've been au'natural for a little over three years now and the only problem I'd had with the transition was the difficulty of combing this stuff in it's natural state but with a little professional guidance I've grown to love my mane !!!
I decided to go natural in 1996. I wanted locs, but I decided to wear braids for a while as I slowly cut off the permed ends. One year later I got tired of waiting, cut off everything, but the new growth (1-2 inches) and started my locs in May 1998. Two years later I decided to color my hair and have never looked back since. I love my locs and would do it again in a minute!
Washington DC, USA
|My hair history is much the same as many other sisters. My hairstyles have run the gamut from close & cropped to Jheri Curls (in junior high school). When I was a little girl, my mother would pull and tug at my hair, and as my little tender-headed self cried, she would tell me it wasn't her fault that I "decided" to take after my father's side and have "hard, bad hair". I hated that hot comb and the first home relaxer she gave me at age 6 did major damage to my hair. Continuing on into my teens, I wore braids, relaxers, weaves and extensions; never giving my hair a break.
I decided to loc my hair in my early twenties, after taking out some braid extensions one summer. I had my dreads for nearly eight years. In that long period, I wasn't treating myself well in any manner- emotionally, mentally or physically. My dreads barely grew past my shoulders and frequently broke off. I cut off all my hair nearly three years ago and have grown it to a little 'fro. Within the past year, I wore a texturizer for a few months that helped my growth, but made my hair very dry. I currently wear kinky twist braid extensions and eventually would like to try a coil twist or double strand twists of my own hair. I'm in a much better spiritual place in my life and will most likely relock later this year, possibly adding loc extensions for more styling options. I'm fortunate enough to work for a corporate, yet creative firm which allows me a little more flexibility in regards to image and appearance. Products wise, I definitely stay away from mineral oil and try my best to avoid petroleum. I like using light oils and botanic based blends.
|To begin let me explain my current hairstyle. Last spring, I decided to try the double strand twist that was popular at the time in order to give my hair a break from styling while on vacation. Upon my return I decided that I really liked the ease of the style and had it redone, due to its versatility.
I've worn the Double Strand twist for about nine months now and am not really interested in perming my hair again or having to deal with all the heat styling and maintenance. I am thinking about going natural, since most of my permed hair has grown out, but I still love the versatility of braided styles. I'm a bit nervous about going natural; a natural style would work when I want to give my hair a break from braiding. And I'd stick with the double strand twist because I feel its more flattering to me. But I'm not sure that my own hair is thick enough to achieve the look I'd want. Therein lies my reluctance.
Attached you will find a few photos of the more natural "looking" styles that I've worn. Thank you for your time.
Brooklyn, New York
|This is my testimony: February 11, 2003
My name was the weave queen. I had so many weaves, wraps, flips, curls and colour, that most times people didn't even recognise me when I came to work.
In December of 2001 I came down with a very bad case of dengue fever and my hair started to break and fall out. I made a decision to cut my hair off. I went to the Barber and just told him to give me a round up and cut it as low as possible with a barely there hair style. So said so done. From then until now my hair has been natural. I have tried to loc it but has been unsuccessful thus far and hence I either twist it or have it braided.
I like the natural hair, because I don't have to do very much with it and surprisingly, I don't miss the perms. I still have a colour, but it adds to the look. Going natural was the best thing I did.
Sophia Forte aka Breeziestpoem
|I decided to go natural about 3 years ago. I was getting ready to graduate from college and had to get into the job market. I had stopped relaxing my hair, but was too afraid to loc it because of discrimination I might face due to having locs that people might find "dreadful". After I secured a job for a few months, I decided to throw caution to the wind and loc up my hair anyway. I figured that any job that would judge my working capabilities based on my hair, was a job I didn't need to have anyway...so in Novemeber of 2000 I made my appointment to get my hair loc'ed!
I was sick and tired of having to go so often to the hair shop just so I could get my scalp burnt with chemicals. I reached inside of myself and thought "why am I putting myself all of this anyway", and realized I was trying to conform to dominant societies standard of beauty.
I no longer feel that need...and now my scalp is health again!
|My history of natural hair has been a dynamic love story of hate, betrayal, and love. It began with hate when my mother used to press my hair at the stove so it would be ready for Sunday morning. I had to be careful in sweating too much when I played because of my pressed hair. I didnt swim because of my hair. I had to take cover when it rained or my hair would frizz up. My friends had their hair permed and would call me a nappy-headed girl! So I began to hate my natural hair. So at age 12, I decided to betray my God-given hair for a relaxer. My mother took me to a salon for the perm because she wanted it done right the first time. When the stylist finished I had a beautiful head of hair and the chemical burns on my scalp to prove it! I continued this betrayal until my junior year of college.
The first time I wore my hair naturally (besides as a child) was the summer before my junior year of college. I was wearing my hair in the Janet Jackson poetic justice braids at the time. I decided that when it was time to take out the braids that I wanted to wear a short afro. It looked great! Then the criticism came. My father thought I lost my mind and so did some other relatives. Since I lived the south, I instantly became a rebel for cutting my hair and not looking feminine. I kept my afro until the month before my college graduation. Some of my friends convinced me that I should consider wearing a perm for graduation because I would have trouble wearing the graduation cap with a thick afro. So I did. I felt guilty and missed the touch of my natural hair. It was years later until I decided to go natural again.
After college graduation, I began to feel liberated and my spiritual strength began to grow. I soon began reading about natural hair and even the history. I decided to wear my hair in two-strand twists, but I secretly wanted to lock my hair. I feared locking my hair because others told me that it would be difficult to get a job. So I waited until I got my first professional job after graduate school to lock my hair.
I have been wearing my hair locked for three years now and I am so in love with the touch and texture of my hair! Being a nappy-headed woman makes me feel a sense of pride for my African ancestry. Reflecting back, I noticed that I have had my best jobs with my hair locked. Professionally, I teach middle school students. It never fails that one of my children wants to know why I locked my hair. When I tell of my love story with natural hair and why I choose to wear my hair natural, I believe it gives the students something to be proud of too. I cant even imagine myself with a relaxer! Now my mom is natural too! It is a beautiful thing to truly accept and love myself the way God made me.
Peace and Blessings!
Winston Salem NC
|I first thought of going natural when I was in high school. I was sick of the chemical burns and hair
cuts to hide my hair loss. I was also fascinated by the feeling of new growth. It took me a few years to actually stop having my hair relaxed. My mother believed that in order to have neat hair you had to have some sort of chemical in it, so I compromised and got texturizer which made my hair look almost straight not exactly what I wanted it to do. I finally made the leap my sophomore year in college. I went to school in Massachusetts where the price of a touch up seemed ridiculously high and I had to travel for hours just to get my hair done. It was more convenient just to come home during breaks and have my hair braided. I have had natural hair for the past five years. In that time I have had a TWA, locs and braids.
East Orange NJ
|I want to go natural. I have been relaxing my hair for 14 yrs. This last past year was ruff. I lost my job and was unable to pay my bills. As the stress in my life mounted my hair began to suffer. My hair began to just thin out in one particular spot in the back of my head. Having never had this problem before I went to my salon to have them explain and they could not. So my doctor told me that stress was the cause of my hair loss and there really is not much he can do. He suggested I remove whatever stress was bothering me and "maybe" my hair would return.
It's been 6 months and although the spot is not as bad as it was going natural for that short time interested me. I really enjoyed the freedom from the daily routine of primping and prepping my hair. I felt a sense of assurance in my natural hair and became more comfortable in my own skin. I do not wear makeup so the natural look of my hair only added to my God given beauty.
|I am amazed when I read your testimony, as it is quite similar to mine. I was the relaxer/weave queen. Then one day, last December, after my touchup, I felt my tender, scabbed scalp and said, "No more!". I figured, why should I continue to deny that which God created in perfection and out of love for me? So, I began to pray, and ask God to forgive me for denying what was created in His own image and likeness. I began asking God to help me to understand and love this hair, and to show me how to care for it. I transitioned out of the relaxer with twist extensions. After taking them out, the relaxed hair was too matted to do anything with, but cut it. So, off came the relaxed hair. About 9 inches of it. I had about two inches of hair left, which I decided to braid weave for a few months. Six weeks ago, after more prayer and research, I took off the weave, found a great natural stylist, and began wearing comb coils. I am currently sporting double strand twists, and loving them. Since becoming acquainted with the real me, I have found that I am also more comcerned about what goes on and in my body. In fact, my goal is to not use anything on my hair or body that I can't eat! The interesting thing about this journey is realizing that my fear of going natural was an illusion fed by media images and antiquated stereotypes. It's sad to see how so many women of African descent have been steeped and saturated in the fear, and hatred of this beautiful hair texture. Don't get me wrong, I still love wigs, weaves, extensions, and the versatility that they offer. However, the difference now, is that I don't feel that I have to wear them, because I'm loving me - there's nothing to hide. Big ups to you for this fantastic website. You are a truly an expert. If you ever need any more models lemme know!!!
COLUMBIA, MD USA
I just made a appointment with you to start my locs. This decision I have struggled with for a very long time. I was blessed with thick hair. I say blessed, because thick hair has staying power, strength and its own personality. However, I when the new growth comes in strong, adding pressure to my scalp and oh do I run to get the TOUCH-UP. Ive become dependent, and as a INDEPENDENT woman I should never become DEPENDENT on a commercial product. I made a vow with myself, for self-gratification, that I would not enter 2003 with burdens lying on my heart. I have cleansed the guilt I held for not being kind to my brothers and sisters and have asked and received forgiveness. Now I must let Ms. Motions, Ms. Optimum, Ms. Precise and all her relatives know they dont ever have to worry about me dotting their door again.
GOD BLESS and I look forward to the experience.
|Well your testimony is very astounding, looking at where you were coming from, to be the trend setter of where you are today. You could not have said it better to embrace who we are! Black is beautiful!! However, how do we rid of the societal pressure that inflicts limits on 'us' in terms of what looks is acceptable in a professional world.
I'm African, I'm very proud of my heritage, but on the other hand, I like to wear different looks without creating any fashion/political statement. For example if you wear your hair natural it is known to be creating a militant look.
Allow me to digress, I used to love braids when I was growing up in Africa and my younger years in college (Britain). I just had a 2-Strand twists done by you, It's very relaxed, very natural and everyone says it's wonderfully made. Thank you!!!! I think I'm going to try to grow my hair out of chemically over process procedure soon.
I've become a bit blasé lately. I rediscovered SOMETHING, the beauty of Braids! It wasn't just nostalgia, but a connection with one of those few constants we create in our lives.
NEW YORK, USA
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