Growing up in Sacramento, beautiful hair was supposed be straight, relaxed, tidy and conservative.
When I looked in the mirror I didn't see that so I thought my hair wasn't beautiful.
I remember being in 4th grade and the other kids used to make fun of me and call my hair a 'birds nest'.
I never dreamed that when I grew up I would become a natural hair model, but when I was in my early 20's that's what happened.
Now, we're reclaiming our natural beauty, starting with our hair.
We've got curves, we've got full lips, we have melanin and we've got big hair!
Bottom line is we're beautiful and we're starting to accept that fact!
I was uncomfortable with how I looked in my youth and I started straightening my hair at just 10 years old.
After 12 years of straightening, I moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting and modeling.
After six months of rejection from agents, I thought that something had to change.
A month after doing my big chop I managed to find an agent to take me on, even with my teeny weeny afro.
On my fifth audition I booked my first job, which was a commercial for The Oprah Winfrey Network.
When I showed up on set I had my hair out.
I was surprised that nobody tried to change how it looked at alI!
I thought WOW, the industry is now accepting of who we are, including our hair.
My discovery and first ad led to a contract with one of LA's top talent agencies who have been supporting the natural hair movement by helping advertising clients target the new wave of African American women who are saying no to relaxers and weaves and are saying yes, to their own roots.
It's not about trying to look like white girls anymore.
No offence to them, but it's true.
We're no longer covering ourselves up in the sun and it's not about having flat butts.
Butts are IN!
It also feels extremely freeing to wear your hair in it's natural state, and if it's frizzy and big, that's the way it's supposed to look.
Five years ago, I thought WOW wouldn't it be awesome to make a hair tie that would fit around my afro and be able to take it out without it getting tangled in my curls.
Then I thought, it would be cool to have a hair brand just for naturals so we can be in the same club together.
That idea led to me creating SwirlyCurly.
I first launched with the Snappee Hair Tie which has been voted the best hair tie for natural hair by natural hair influencers.
Now, with over 35,000 customers, SwirlyCurly are one of the leading figures in the natural hair movement.
In 2018, I started CurlCollege which is the number #1 online school for naturals who want to know how to grow beautiful, long, healthy looking curls.
After finally accepting my own beauty, I'm hoping more of us black women will do the same and wear our own natural hair.
If you look at the messages from the media to African American women in the past it was you're not beautiful.
To be beautiful you have to be tall, skinny and white with straight hair.
Advertisers would target black women and sell them skin whitening creams and relaxers.
My hope is that the younger generations of African American women will get a different message.
A message that say's you are beautiful as you are.
Embrace your looks, your bodies, your skin and your hair.
And it's up to my generation and the older generations to really communicate that message now!
If you're still struggling with your hair and you're not sure about a routine, if you're not sure if you're doing things right then check out CurlCollege!
CurlCollege is the #1 online school that teaches women like us how to care for our natural hair.
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