I’d been natural through adolescence when I decided that I wanted to “fit in”; I didn’t like it and after very few years, I became natural again.

Raqiyah, 2bRaqiyah
I went natural 2010 because I moved to a city that had overexpensive hair salons. I decided it wasn’t worth 100 dollars to burn my hair. I also decided it was time to stop destroying my hair. I did transition and did not do Big Chop. This was difficult because I have long, thick, beautifully coarse hair. It took a few years to stop damaging my hair through combing and pulling the hair.
Kimya N. Dennis, KimyaNDennisPhD

Got so tired of seeing my hair fall out; wasting money and my time in hair salons; just wanted the beauty of who I am to fully come out!  Wanted to see who I really am!


I was basically trying something different. I have very sensitive scalp and I would suffer severe scalp burns when I did perm. When I found out that the same ingredients that are in Liquid Plumber was in perms I said no way. Thats whats been eating my scalp up & I decided that I dont want that on my scalp anymore.


I went natural because right before it was time to get a relaxer, I noticed my new growth and its natural curl. I wanted to see what it was like, so I decided to grow my relaxed hair out.


Initially, my hair would no longer relax after 3 separate attempts that failed, so then I realized it was time to go natural. Also for health reasons as I was coming off of all toxic medications for rheumatoid arthritis that I was on for 10 years and had to make more healthy lifestyle changes. Now I eat more natural fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, fish & poultry. All Praises to the Most High I’ve been medication-free since July 1997! It’s more of a spiritual journey.


My now 13 yr old daughter has never had a relaxer.  That was a conscious decision I made for her.  However, I felt like a hypocrite telling her to embrace her natural hair while I was getting mine chemically straightened every 6-8 weeks.  After thinking of going natural for several years, I finally decided it was time to not just “talk the talk” but to “walk the walk” as well.  After transitioning for 6 months (which was very challenging), I finally decided to get the permed hair cut off and wear a tiny afro.

C. Roundtree

I went natural because I was simply tired of perms. I just didn’t want to perm my hair anymore.


Went natural about 3 years ago,got tired of braids, perms,etc…so I announced to my family friend and co workers that I was going natural…


I was sick of spending $70 bux to get my hair pressed and deep conditioned all the while my hair was breaking off by the inches regardless of the treatments. I gave up and gave into what my hair wanted to be: matted and tangled. So, I locked it.


I went natural after having a bad experience with a hairdresser mixing incorrect chemicals in my hair.  Prior to this happening, I was interested in going natural, but did not want to go through the transition phase.  Once my hair was damaged, I cut it all off and started anew.


Just wanted to remove the excessive use of chemicals in my hair out of my life.


I looked in the mirror after 10mths straight of wearing braids & saw that I had coils instead of waves like I originally thought.


I went natural for several reasons. I have Eczema of the scalp and every time I would get a relaxer, it would burn my scalp leaving behind sores and scabs. This in turn would make my Eczema worse. I also suffered breakage in the nape of my neck and along my hairline in the very front. I was growing tired of the way my hair looked with relaxers and wanted a change so I did some research and decided to go natural.


I am dealing with some medical issues and I decided that i put enough chemicals into my body. I shaved my head and started over. My journey is a physical, mental, and spiritual rebirth.




Sight Rastafari as my way of life.  Although I relaxed my hair there were many times where I leaned towards the natural realm.


I felt it was time to be true to who I am and it was important to me that my son saw me as a natural, black woman who was proud of the hair god gave me.


For me going natural was not overnight. It was a process that took me over 20 years to execute. I’ve heard other people say the natural thing is a trend, but for me and the way I see it, it is an awaking. It was one of my final steps to being me; my complete self. I tried to convince myself that I was satisfied when I had processed hair, but that inner voice of love would not stop telling me the truth. So it was inevitable that the day would come that I would let the lies go and let my natural hair grow. Now I love my hair and myself so much more I wonder way I waited so long to do it : )


Constant scalp issues from perms and other unknown products being used in my hair for permed hair. Every stylist I went to had a remedy that just didn’t work for me. I would literally go to the sytlist and 2-3 days later my hair would itch uncontrollably and constantly flaked. So I was basically giving money away. A lot of times I would have to wash my hair a few days after leaving the stylist b/c of this known issue. This had been going on for the last 5 years. I even went to the dermatologist and they just give you expensive medicated shampoos and oil to use. Which it would help but I could never go without it for a long period of time. Deep down inside I knew it was time to just let the perms go but a lot of stylist won’t recommend it b/c they don’t really know themselves how to maintain it or what products to use. It takes time if you don’t know what you are doing.


The definition of going natural for me is not using any form of chemical in your hair.


I wouldn’t relax my hair again because I LOVE the my natural texture(s); however, if I ever wanted straight hair I’d simply press it.


My definition of going natural would be to letting go of your insecurities and accepting “yourself” for who you are. It’s more than a physical change, its spiritual. Everyone’s hair is different which makes every naturalista “unique” and unlike noone else . Being natural means accepting the imperfections and loving yourself totally.


I get stopped a lot by women who wish they could go natural but are affraid to do so.  They always say that they have been relaxing their hair for so long that they don’t know how to live without it.


I will never relax my hair again. I don’t need to. Natural hair is so versatile. I can go from straight to curly by simply wetting my hair. I love my curls and would miss them deeply if they were to go away!


Most females like it & say, “Girl, I wish I was bold enough to do that…to wear my hair like that.” My response, like Nike says U gotta ‘Just Do It’.
Some women stare & whisper. I laugh at them bc that is so juvenile. The negative chicks can keep it moving too. I don’t tolerate negativity in my life.


I went natural because I realized I was imitating European, Asian, Indian (everyone but African) women


I had been relaxing my hair for 24 years, and working out 5-6 times a week had my hair dry, breaking, thin. It never seemed to look nice, so I felt like I just needed to stop fighting nature. My hair does not want to be straight. It was not meant to be straight, and I need to just let it do what it do.


At this time I can honestly say that I am done with the creamy crack. I choose to live as healthy as possible. I don’t miss wearing a perm and my hair is almost as long as it was before I cut it. You just can’t tell because of the shrinkage!


I do not feel the need to have any chemicals in my skin to conform to society’s vision of beauty…I feel very strongly about my beauty being in its natural state.


#1. In my household, having straightened hair is viewed as a rejection of our african heritage.
#2. Maintaining straight hair was hard.
#3. I began researching ingredients and their harmfulness.
#4. Began to have a better understanding of the social, cultural, etc. implications of straightening my hair and the history of hair within black communities.


I did not realize I was going natural because I wore a lot of quick weaves and realized I did not need a relaxer because of the hairstyles I was wearing. I had a lot of damage because of the overprocessing due to myself. I had done a lot of relaxing and coloring because I was between finding a hair professional. We had currently moved so the young lady that use to maintain my hair had my hair past my bra strap…It was healthy but it took a turn for the worse. My girlfriend convinced me to take the plunge but I couldn’t just bc because that would be way to short for me. I transitioned for 11 months before cutting the rest off.


I went natural because I wanted to see my natural curl pattern and because my hair was thinning out and I had bald spots.


I went natural for spiritual reasons.. I can to the undstanding God made me perfect in his eyes.. Me trying to change myself ..such as relaxing my hair was like telling God he was wrong but he gave me a reminder every 6-8 weeks when my relaxer would grow out that is not the way he made me … It was a struggle I would never win .

Lady Lox

I went natural because it signified the empowerment of the black women.  I saw going back to my natural roots as a way for me to defy society’s definition of “beauty” and creating my own. I decided that the European standard of beauty so widely accepted in our culture was not going to be MY standard of beauty. I also saw the my natural texture of hair is much healthier, way easier to style, and provides me more versatile looks.


TESTIFY: Why Did You Go Natural?

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