“I’ve been natural my whole life except for the time when I relaxed my edges and my edges have never been the same. I lived in Phoenix, AZ until I moved to Washington, DC for medical school when I was 24 years old. Having grown up around a majority of non-black people, I was kind of ashamed of my hair because people would always try to touch it and would describe it as poofy. Back then I didn’t see a lot of women embracing their natural hair because most people were desired the straight-hair European look. I didn’t feel comfortable wearing my hair out natural, so I would always wear it back in a ponytail or a puff even though people would tell me that it was beautiful. At the time, I didn’t feel as though my hair represented the European definition of beauty.
When I moved to the DC area, I felt more comfortable embracing my natural beauty because there were so many black people doing the same thing. I recognized that wearing my hair natural was much easier than trying to straighten it everyday. As a result, I saw other women being uplifted and asking me about how I grew my hair. People are figuring out that your natural hair can grow and that it is beautiful. You don’t need to represent the European definition of beauty to be considered beautiful. You don’t have wear a weave or straighten your hair every day.”