Like many other women, I too had to challenge my tendency to ascribe to a European aesthetic. My natural hair journey began with stretching my relaxers. As opposed to relaxing every month, as I had been done since I was 6 years old (approximately 24 years), I decided to limit the amount of chemicals I put on my hair. Around this same time, my mom transitioned back to natural and was encouraging me to transition as well. At that time, I was fine with my quick weaves and easy to manage roller wraps. But I did begin watching videos about stretching my relaxers in order to retain growth and my longest stretch was for about 6 months. I had neither worn nor seen my natural hair prior to stretching and was quite curious as to what it looked like. Upon further personal growth and understanding, I grew more comfortable with the idea of cutting off my relaxed ends. In 2013, I big chopped and began researching ways to care for my natural hair.

I deeply internalized the big chop experience. Looking back, it was more than just cutting off my hair, it ignited within me the desire to explore other aspects of myself that I had never seriously thought to uncover. It became an opportunity for me to further question the thoughts that I previously held about beauty, being accepted as a black woman and specifically as a black professional within society. For me to discover that my natural hair tied back to great, intelligent, creative, resilient and powerful people who were unashamed and unapologetic about who they were, was truly inspiring to me. It gives me great hope for what young people can create and achieve once they obtain this same knowledge of self.



Historically women and girls within our culture have been told that their hair must conform to European standards in order to be viewed as presentable and acceptable.  For us, presentable did not mean that we had the luxury and freedom to wear our hair in ways that reflected our cultural identify, but instead the more presentable we looked was dependent upon how closely we could mimic the look of white women.

Below are a few of the modern day incidents that have been experienced by young girls within our culture. Girls who have being made to feel as if there is something wrong with the way in which they show up in the world.

Ohio School Apologizes After Attempting To Ban 'Afro-Puffs' And 'Twisted Braids'

As part of the I Am Me Naturally Initiative, we reject European standards of beauty and empower all young girls to stand in their beauty, to affirm their blackness as a true presentation of their brilliance, creativity, uniqueness and say with boldness and confidence… I Am Me Naturally – No LYE!