At 30 years of age, I did something that caused some people to question my decision: the “Big Chop.” It took plenty of guts and confidence to make such a bold and drastic change. Cutting my hair down to an inch and a half allowed me to see who I really was. I was no longer in the box with women who had long, straight, and relaxed hair. I was a woman of color who could now see her texture, see her face, and begin to notice parts of her body that I would not normally pay attention to. I began to experiment with makeup, study my natural texture, learned how to care for it, and it boosted my confidence to a new level.
Going natural changed my life completely. It built confidence I never knew I had. I began to experiment with makeup and bold lip colors (such as fuchsia pink). I used to wear gold, clear, or shear lip gloss. I didn’t have the confidence to wear anything that was too daring. Others telling me that I would not wear my hair in its natural state very long increased my resolve. People told me my hair would look like an afro, and that maintaining it would be expensive. But I started discovering how to creatively style my short hair, which raised a lot of eyebrows. I wanted to show women that I would not let others tear me down, but use my decision to show how well I could rock my hair in spite of other's opinions.
I reached so many women all over the world by recording my journey on a smartphone in my little bathroom. They wanted to know how to begin their journey. It catapulted something inside of me that I did not know I had. I felt like I could do anything; I felt like I could make a difference. Why would anyone be ashamed of who they were? Why should one allow a chemical substance to map out how they view themselves on a daily basis?
Learning your natural hair can be a bit challenging because for so long, you have learned how to take care of chemically treated hair. You will buy tons of products that you would not normally buy in the beginning. I would see my beautician every two weeks faithfully. In trying products for your natural hair, you find out which products can mix well together, which products are best for your hair texture, and most importantly, how to style your hair with those products. It’s rewarding to go from not knowing how to do your hair, to creating styles in your own home.
I love telling women to be bold and be fierce! In order to do that, you must have confidence that cannot be torn down by anyone. You have to know who you are in Christ and keep it right there. I love to see heads turn when I am out in public with big hair. I like my hair … and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I learned that every strand does not have to be in place all tidy and neat. I learned to experiment, by getting funky and doing styles out of the box. The world needs to see something different, something edgy, something that has not been seen before; every idea has to start with a confident decision to start.
Because I took a stand and believed in myself, with God’s guidance, I am now a brand ambassador for several top brands such as Aunt Jackie’s, Carol’s Daughter, and Mielle Organics. I travel and speak to women about embracing their beauty. I have continued doing tutorials and expanding my social media platforms (and increasing my followers into the thousands). I am no longer a woman who can be boxed in a corner with society’s view of beauty. I define who I am. I am naturally beautiful.