In the past ten years, I can remember having my hair blown straight exactly once. It was in Trinidad at my mom’s hairstylist. He said he needed to blow my hair straight to apply highlights. When my hair was straight, my mom took her one and only camera phone photo – she was THAT excited about it. And after that, I never did it again. Until now.
Why did I decide to blow my hair straight?
Months ago, I met with my friends at EDEN BodyWorks and discussed the idea of a before and after photo shoot, to prove that natural hair truly IS versatile. For years I’ve talked big talk about the strength and capabilities of our natural hair, meanwhile I stay rocking a wash and go style. I have never felt bored of my hairstyle, it does what it does and I love that about it! But I wanted to show the world – and myself – that change doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
I am not a hair stylist, and I haven’t studied hair professionally. When it comes to hair care, I know what works for me in terms of products but that’s about it. I’ve read TOO many natural hair blogs where women have complained about losing their natural curl pattern or burning their hair when going from curly to straight. My goal with all of this was to prove that it can be done safely and carefully, with the guidance of a professional – and it is absolutely possible to go from curly to straight and back to curly again, all while preserving and appreciating your natural texture.
This project brought together a trifecta of hair awesomeness. Everything was done at Dr. Kari Williams’ salon, Mahogany Hair Revolution. Felicia Leatherwood of Loving Your Hair With Natural Care worked her magic on my mane. And the crew of EDEN BodyWorks were on hand – with all of their amazing products being used in the process!
Here’s my before photo.
The usual wash n’ go. My makeup is by my favorite Los Angeles makeup artist Nicole Evans (@NicoleEvansMUA on Twitter)! LOVE working with her!
Here I’m all smiles, because I KNOW I’m in good hands. There’s something so reassuring about working with a true hair professional. Felicia is all that and then some!
When she started washing my hair I will admit, I started feeling some apprehension. Felicia took the time to explain everything she was doing to my hair, including which EDEN BodyWorks products she was using. She also used her amazing detangling brush, which as you can see hardly pulled out any hair at all! I was beyond impressed by Felicia’s brush (and you can click here to get one)!
The whole time she styled my hair, Felicia talked me through the process and let me know it was going to be OK. She used a blow dryer, nearly separated my hair into sections, and then used professional Marcel irons to get it all absolutely straight. And to protect my hair from heat, she made sure to use EDEN BodyWorks hair oil every step of the way.
While styling my hair, she pinned the curls up so they wouldn’t drop too much.
I hadn’t seen myself with straight hair in SO long, it didn’t even really look like me somehow.
WOW, right? I look so different! And that was one of the things I learned from the process. My hair looked beautiful, and it felt silky and strong…but I didn’t look like me. I can see the appeal of doing this maybe once or twice a year…but I’m a natural girl who loves her wash n’ go curls! So immediately after all of this styling, we went right back to curly.
THAT’s better! This FEELS like me. It’s my preference to wear my hair in its unaltered natural texture. But so often we want what we don’t have, or judge others who choose to wear their hair differently than we do. When in fact it should be ALL love.
My Big Reveal photo shoot was a true effort of love and the whole point was to celebrate our ability to change, to make decisions, to be beautiful on our own terms without judgment or fear, and to maintain the health of our hair above all else. If you’re a natural woman who’s wondered about wearing your hair straight, please know it CAN be done the healthy and right way. And please know you are beautiful, no matter what!
I would like to thank EVERYONE who made this all come to life! From left to right in the photo above — Renae Bluitt of Crush Media and In Her Shoes, Dr. Kari Williams of Mahogany Hair Revolution, me, Felicia Leatherwood of Loving Your Hair With Natural Care, and Ylorie Anderson of EDEN BodyWorks. Thank you ManeMoves for the amazing video, and Nicole Evans for the fabulous makeup. Also BIG respect and love to Chuck Olu-Alabi for being the absolute best photographer! LOVE working with him.
Thank you, EDEN BodyWorks – this was an amazing experience! I am so happy to share with everyone, and here’s hoping this helps you make informed hair decisions if you choose to go between naturally curly and naturally straight.
SO….what do you think of my BIG reveal? Also, do you wear your natural hair straight sometimes? Let me know your thoughts, bellas!
And tonight!! Join
@afrobella & @LovingYourHair for #EDENStraightTalk – we’re having a Twitter chat from 7-8 PM EST to answer all of your hair questions! Don’t forget to follow @EDENBodyWorks for more!!