Hey Bellas! Consider this a new transition (ha! get it?) in the Natural Hair Diary. The weekly series is going continue showcasing your beautiful curls, favorite tips, best products, and hair inspiration over here at Afrobella.com, so please continue to submit yourselves and share your stories with me!

This week’s Natural Hair Diary comes from an attorney based in Memphis, Tennessee. So not only is she sharing her natural hair journey, she’s also Naturally Professional!

Natural Woman: Alycia Carter

Age: 31

City: Memphis, Tennessee

Occupation: Attorney and Natural Health & Beauty Blogger (www.alldaynatural.com)

Hair Journey: Alycia’s hair journey began under carefree and low-maintenance circumstances – she was all about braids and ponytails as a little one. But as she grew older and began coveting the sophisticated hairstyles of other girls she saw, the desire for chemically straightened hair began. “I wanted to experiment with more modern, “fly” styles, and I thought that a relaxer was the only way to achieve these. I begged my mother for months to allow me to get a relaxer, and she begrudgingly consented when I was fourteen. I remember my first time vividly. I can only describe having the relaxer applied to my tender head in the salon as an excruciating experience, but somehow six weeks later, the stylist managed to beckon me back into her chair to tame my “unruly” new growth.”

That began a long and costly habit, which Alycia kept up for a decade. “My hair was rebelling against me at the time, but I didn’t realize it. At the age of 24, tired of the thin edges, expensive touch-ups and all day waits at the salon, I decided to transition into wearing my hair naturally.” Law school provided the perfect opportunity for her to give transitioning a try, grow out her relaxer and figure out what her natural hair needed. “I had the chance to experiment, and I was low on money. I wore roller sets, straw sets…that carried me through law school. I even wore extensions for a brief period. I wasn’t ready to do a big chop because my hair was relatively long – and I had never worn it short. That took some time. And this might sound strange, but I felt that my hair would let me know when it was the right time.”

When the time was right for her, Alycia did her big chop. “I did it right before my law school graduation, it was the perfect time for me. And the response I got from my family and friends was truly remarkable.” She has since graduated, and now works as an attorney. Alycia is happy to say that her natural hair has never been a deterrent to her professional success.

“All of the response I’ve had towards my hair in the workplace has been positive. In the professional realm, your work will speak for itself…My hair has flourished, and I feel so empowered. I have never looked back!”

Favorite Products: Bee Mine Moisturizing Deep Conditioner; Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum; Sweet Almond Oil; Shea Butter

Hair Icons: Tomiko Fraser, Solange Knowles, all of the natural hair ladies in the blogosphere (they inspire me every day!)

Advice to Aspiring Naturals: Don’t ever be afraid to embrace what you were blessed with naturally. When you accept your natural beauty, you will be amazed at how your image is positively transformed, and your confidence will soar!

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