First Natural Hair Diary was over at Essence.com and then I brought the series over to Afrobella.com to save it. And then…I did what I always do, which is get overwhelmed and drop the ball. Which is a shame because I love the feedback I get from featuring your Natural Hair Diaries. These posts may not draw a ton of comments, but I know you bellas reading out there are inspired, and I get lovely e mails from you!
In the interest of continuing the series and giving it fresh life, I’ve brought on a contributor to help me every month. Chuck Olu-Alabi is one of my favorite photographers in Chicago, and he’ll be capturing women around their city who rock their natural hair with style!
Chuck Olu-Alabi’s first Natural Hair Photo Diary — Kenya McGuire Johnson.
Kenya McGuire Johnson is a musician originally from Denver, CO who now lives in the Chicagoland area. She is a licensed physical therapist and educator; however, only practices clinically on an as needed basis in order to further develop her artistry as a musician. She is married with two sons ages 9 and 5. Her interests include songwriting, traveling, exercising, spending time with her family and friends, body/spirit/mind balance activities, and simply enjoying the treasures of life’s journey.
I’ve been natural for 12 years. I LOVE my natural hair! It’s the best decision I made for my hair. While I love my natural hair, I am not radical in my thinking and I believe every woman should consider what works best for their lifestyle and what allows them to feel authentic. My natural hair truly allows me to feel comfortable in my skin. My best advice is that you must fully understand that transitioning to being natural is a process and a sort of rebirth of self. It’s 99% psychological and you have to grow into who you will become as a woman with natural hair. If you are merely seeking a trend, you will become quite frustrated and disappointed. Similarly, if you do it only for superficial reasons, you will struggle immensely. Take time to make the decision and take each day one day at a time as you learn to embrace an unfamiliar beauty…but one you will ultimately fall completely in love with!
Chuck Olu-Alabi is a freelance photographer based in Chicago. He was born and raised in Nigeria till he was nine years old. Photography has been his passion for most of his life — inspired by his dad’s love of photography, Chuck started shooting with his dad’s film camera at a young age and the rest was history. Chuck believes that there’s beauty in everything and being able to capture that beauty makes him feel honored. For more of his work check out his website, or follow him on Twitter @Chuckstr.