In some ways, we’re amazed that ‘The CROWN Act’ is needed in 2020, but we’re moved and thrilled to see the law take effect this year.
To celebrate California’s new law that bans discrimination against natural hair like afros and dreadlocks in workplaces and schools,
we’re re-featuring this practical, yet emotional piece on how to go au naturel… 

Natural beauty takes bravery. We get points for going light on makeup, but fully embracing ourselves as is — frizz, freckles and rolls included — is a whole other type of practice (with seriously meaningful results).

We love this personal essay about her journey toward self-love by Natural Hair Movement advocate, Cierra Phylicia. When we met Cierra, we were blown away by her gorgeous natural hair. We were glad we told her so, because what Cierra told us about her journey from extensions and flat irons to natural curls and plenty of texture was a beautiful story we knew we had to share with you.

Whether you’re the palest redhead, the darkest skinned curl girl, a tan girl with so much hair you don’t know what to do with it, or anywhere on the spectrum in between – we think you’ll love this story about embracing whatever you’ve been given…

Close your eyes and try to remember the time when you first felt – beautiful.

I remember my moment so vividly. After years of begging my mom to wear my hair straight she finally let me get my hair straightened at the hair salon for my tenth birthday.

I still remember the look on my face when they turned my chair to face the mirror for the big reveal. My eyes swelled with tears, my jaw dropped, and I had the biggest cheesiest smile on my face. After sitting in a chair for nearly 4 hours my hair was bone straight, free of curls and frizz and in that very moment I truly felt like a pretty princess.

Fast forward to 2017 and I now feel the exact opposite.

Although I do enjoy wearing my hair in a flat ironed style from time to time, there is no better confidence booster than to look in the mirror and be greeted back by a perfected wash-n-go, or twist out. Now, I am completely in love with my natural tresses and I radiate a beautiful glowing energy from within.

But being natural has not always been easy. For me, it has been a process that’s taken years of serious determination and patience.

My definition of “being natural” is: a temporary, or permanent declaration of liberation from heat styling tools, and harsh relaxers, vowing to embrace one’s natural hair texture, pattern, length, porosity, thickness, and growth rate.

Especially when it comes to women of color, each and every person has their own definition of what it means to be “natural”.

Most of us have spent hours watching YouTube videos and reading how-to blogs to create our own personalized hair regimen. We’ve researched ingredients in an attempt to find the perfect combination of shampoo, conditioner, gel, oil, cream or even “holy grail” products that work for our own unique texture. A natural hair journey is one that is exhaustingly experimental – and expensive.

I’ve learned a lot about how to achieve my own version of the natural look that I love. I’m passionate about helping others along their journey to self-love and reaching their #hairgoals with the brand Aveda. (Editor’s note: we’ll be sharing hair styling tips from Cierra next!) But of all the things I’ve learned through my own natural hair process, the most important thing I’ve learned has been self love.

Self love means being able to love myself and my hair in it’s natural state – just the way it grows from my head.

Just like fingerprints, no two people are born with the same texture or pattern. Naturalista’s know that our hair needs tender loving care, requires an immense amount of confidence, and a healthy dose of pure self love.

Naturalista: a person that loves their hair the way it grows naturally from their scalp neglecting the old standards of beauty set by society telling us that our natural hair is “unprofessional, unruly, unattractive, and or unmanageable”

For new Naturalistas: Just now transitioning to natural hair? There will come a time when your heat damaged ends will no longer control your need for length retention. Your hair will grow back! Let it go; cut it. Love your hair and it will love you right back.

For Naturalistas who are in it: Still struggling at the in-between length stage? Or maybe you’ve become obsessed with bloggers with loose curl patterns and bra-strap length hair. Stick with it! Your hair will grow with proper treatment. Learn to master flat twists, braid-outs, or try working with stretched hair.

For seasoned Naturalistas: Completely embraced your hair with open arms, and have your wash days marked on your calendars? I am so proud of you. You are setting an example for the younger generation of curly headed people and sending a message of self love. Representation is everything.

When I chose to embrace my natural hair I found a new found sense of beauty within myself and it was the gateway to so many positive affirmations in my life. Learning to be confident while looking in the mirror – on the good hair days and bad ones – and still loving every strand of frizzy, coily, curly, kinky keratin – is an extension of my real self love.

What are your thoughts on going all natural? Share in the comments below!

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