The Confession


​I didn’t know that I was Black and considered myself to be Hispanic until I came to the United States. Crazy right? This is because my parents are from Panama (mother) and Costa Rica (father). Therefore I was considered Hispanic.

You see, from childhood I was influenced to be ashamed of my Blackness. Comments like "you are the descendants of slaves," and mean slurs about my skin were made against me. To make matters worse, my mother didn't want dark children. She made it clear that I was a mistake. Later in life I denounced my Blackness to claim the ethnicity people wanted me to be. Yes, I suffered for being dark.

When it came to my crown my mother refused to groom it. Unfortunately I did not experience afrocentric hairstyles like beads, twists, and the big bows. All I had was my untreated, broken “nappy” hair. Hence, I was teased and had questions asked about why my hair was unkept. At this time my hair broke to the point of me being “bald-headed." I didn’t want to cry about my hair anymore so I took it upon myself to relax my own hair which lasted for many years.

I was obsessed with straight hair to the point I sketched out straight hairstyles in a notebook. I despised I would ridicule individuals with natural hair because of their dreaded naps. When my mother started paying someone to braid my hair, I would purposely take it out and pretend like it fell out. I destroyed my natural self and everything associated with my Blackness. I wanted nothing to do with it.

​In my early twenties I made it; I made the stereotype. I had the weave, fleek make-up, and the “I can’t go outside without my wig” speech. It wasn’t until I became pregnant and found my rose. During my pregnancy my hair grew tremendously and my brown skin glowed; it highlighted my cheeks, eyes, and voluminous lips. Why was I ashamed of my attributes? Unfortunately I was made to dislike my hair again just when I started to love it.

One day a guy I was talking to visited me. The day before he came I did the big chop. When he saw my new look the shaming began. The guy stopped flirting with me and I became the “ugly” friend. He even compared me to other woman with relaxed hair and wigs. That is when I had enough. No woman is better than me especially because of her hair. I'm too hardworking and intelligent to be lowered to the straightness of my hair.

I left this guy and met another who became my husband. When I met my husband it was the way he looked at me and worshiped my crown. It was absolutely the first time that someone other than myself accepted my Blackness, which is why I married him.

​A rose has so many layers in its beauty. There is need to pull a pedal off to see it, accept it fully. Beauty is Just a Rose 

 — The Confession of Carol Gibbons 



She is a naturally beautiful young girl who had subconsciously been taught negative ideas about this kind of beauty which unfortunately (yet so commonly) led to unconscious self-hate. Her natural self had been replaced for so long that she didn't even recognize her true self when they were reintroduced. It is funny because as this transition left her feeling bare on the outside, – stripped of everything she once knew – she became reacquainted with her internal beauty and power which had been casted away for so long. She strangely felt full and has been falling in love with herself more and more ever since.

 — The Confession of Omolara Aza Mino #BlackLove #BlackPride #BlackPower #TWA #whereitallbegan


Rewind back to the summer of 2012. I was wrapping up finals in summer school when the thought of going natural came to mind. Honestly I was avoiding this thought because I was used to having my crown (hair) relaxed. Plus, my crown grew in great length so I did not want to cut it. But looking back going natural was one of the best decisions. No longer was I bounded by the "standards of beauty" that influenced me to hate my hair. I learned to love and see the enchanting beauty in the hair God gave the Black race.

 — The Confession of Onyinyechi Anyanwu, founder





During the 90’s cultural pride was at its peak. I would see beautiful black women on television such as Maxine Shaw from Living Single, and Jerri from the Parenthood rock their natural hair. Jerri, who was the first black woman I saw wear Locs, influenced me to loc my hair. I knew I wanted Locs but living in East Texas I never seen anyone with locs, and knew little to nothing about locking my hair. To substitute I wore all types of braids (crochet, micro, cornrows, and sister locs) throughout my teenage years and early twenties while still perming my hair.

After years of admiring locs and keeping my eyes and ears open, I finally found someone who could help me get them started! I was definitely nervous and concerned. "What if I didn’t like them?" "Will I have to shave my head if I ever wanted them removed?" I would hear a lot of myths about locs, but after my first consultation with my loctician Babette, she had addressed all my concerns and my fears were put to rest. On March 9, 2014 I went to Zayd’s Naturally Natural Hair studio in where Babette helped me start my locs.

My loc journey has been an easy one so far. Locs allow me to be pretty lazy. I moisturize daily with coconut oil (cantu coconut spray is my favorite). I' am not big on hair gels and I rarely use edge control. Anything that has the potential to cause build up or residue, I try to stay clear of. I wash with black soap and condition using olive or coconut oil deep conditioning treatments. I only go to my new loctician when I have a special event or when I feel like being pampered a bit, which is maybe once every eight weeks. I do small touch ups in between but for the most part I don’t mind the new grow or the free forming locs. I absolutely LOVE THEM! YouTube and Pininterest has been a virtual friend of mine, throughout my loc journey. A lot of beautiful ladies take time out to inspire and encourage others on their natural hair journeys, and I hope to do the same.
 — The Confession of Tiffany Weaver 


When I first went natural, it was unexpected. The big chop took place on August 8, 2011 in my restroom. I had just returned from an interview to intern at Texas Children’s Hospital; I got the job by the way. With so much adrenaline in my system, I looked in the mirror and did the big chop. When I came to the living room where my family was watching a movie, everyone was stunned. My dad even thought that I was trying to become a boy lol, but I explained.

In the beginning I was bad at caring for my natural hair. But throughout the years I have learned so much about natural hair and protective styles. I have watched videos and attended seminars that taught me how to care for my hair. I am proud that I took this journey, and I am officially 4 years strong.

 — The Confession of Precious Emeagi 


My decision to go completely natural was made in Dec 26, 2015. My daughter was almost 2 years old and her hair was continuously changing, I loved it! Her hair is gorgeous, she has beautiful curls and I wished my hair was like hers, but in reality my hair was like hers. Unfortunately after 29 years of relaxing my hair faithfully, I forgot what my natural hair looked like.

I kept reminding my daughter about how beautiful her hair was not realizing that I never fully loved and embraced my hair. I then told myself, "I cannot teach my daughter to love her hair when I have yet to love mine. Quit perming your hair and go natural. Embrace and love your hair, and then Kayvonne will learn to love and embrace her hair as well." With a little encouragement, the decision was made. Five months later I love my hair, and I can't believe I hid from my hair for so many years.

 — The Confession of Alina Washington 

Hello world, my name is DeAna Brown and I'd like to tell you a story. My hope is that it will help other kinky,curly, gloriously coiled women and girls.
As child I was perpetually in fear of morning grooming sessions and major holiday eves. Why? Because it meant that my hair will be combed or thermally processed via a pressing comb. This meant submitting to the ministrations of my well meaning Mother, Grandmother or Hair Dresser, and the coily "4-C" hair that I had combined with the limited number of black hair care products. These grooming sessions were often accompanied by pain, tears, and all kinds of commentary about how "difficult" my hair was to deal with, and sometimes even a spanking if I couldn't sit still and pretend that someone dragging a comb through my hair wasn't painful. At one point my Mother grew so frustrated that she took me to a Barber and my hair cut down to an overall length of half an inch!

At 16 I was allowed to get my first "relaxer "and thus began my love/hate affair with what some people call "the creamy crack.".Having coarse hair and a sensitive scalp meant that these relaxer sessions were often accompanied by me pacing outside the salon, chain smoking, while my scalp burned but I would endure it for as long as it took for me to get my hair straight. This went on from age 16 to 45 when I made the decision once again to cut my hair. But even then I couldn't completely let go of chemically altering my hair and I would have it "texturized" (basically I was still relaxing but only mildly). I had always admired "Locs" but never had the courage to pursue wearing the style because I was worried about public opinion, and that it would make future employment difficult.

Fast forward to 2009. This is when I made the decision to begin my Loc journey. Initial reaction to my choice was wide ranging. From my Mother asking why I chose to walk around looking like a "picaninny" to absolute acceptance and support from others such as my Husband who has been supportive by encouraging me to embrace my new short Locs, and set them off with beautiful earrings and the occasional funky hat. It has been 7 years and I have no regrets. I'm in love with my hair and the numerous styling options it provides. My self confidence grew as my hair did. My message here is that you should never be afraid to do anything that makes you feel confident, beautiful, and strong. You only get one life; live it your way.

Kinky, Coiled, Curly girls Rock!  — The Confession of DeAna 


As a was getting closer to the age of Sixty years old. I found my hair was not as strong as it always has been. I previously tried to let my perm grow out naturally but that didn't work. I interviewed Dr. Melanye Maclin, celebrity dermatologist who was featured in the movie "Good Hair" on my show. She stated that she had done extensive research on using chemicals on children before the age of twelve and how it could affect the reproductive system. I noticed my edges were getting thinner from using chemicals so I decided to go natural using the big chop method,

It's been almost three weeks and I am loving the freedom, not to mention the compliments. My advice is, if you are contemplating going natural, just do it!

 — The Confession of Jacqueline King 



I have always had a manageable curly texture and decent length. Growing up what I wanted the most was straight hair. Eventually I would start perming my hair and that changes its texture forever. Funny thing tho when my hair is permed it becomes thin and rather lifeless. Flash forward to about 5 years ago. I started wearing ponytails on my hair as a way to have a quick hairdo. That graduated to half wigs, etc. I never really got used to wearing them they were too cheap to be considered natural looking but they served a purpose of having a hairstyle. Around this same time I started working out to get in shape and I would go to the gym and sweat my wig out lol. I had a few weaves that always were off as well and I felt like a fraud really.

One day after rocking curly red hair like Lucy and blond hair like Pamela Anderson - I was invited to an African dance class. I was in class with my ponytail and heard African drums for the first time and they woke me up. Spoke to my soul, made me want to learn more about self. I took my pony tail off that day and never looked back. I went through a faze of watching YouTube and trying to get my hair bra length - washing with water and co washing buying products Etc.. Then I realized that too was a sort of hair policing... So I stopped expectations I wash monthly with a drop of shampoo I use coconut oil and Shea butter and wear mostly up dos. My hair is curly and there a few locks hiding in the curls lol. I adorn my hair with natural herbs and flowers that I weave into place casually for good health and peace and I'm finally happy with how it looks.

 — The Confession of Charlene Robinson 




Recently, like tonight lol, while hanging with my beautifully natural daughter who was born with serious curls like her daddy, I decided to go NATURAL!!! Why? Simple. I have decided I'm too smart to be stupid any longer. My inspiration? Looking at my beautiful daughter everyday being so proud of who she is and what God gave her! Tada!

I straightened my daughters hair when she was young with a light perm, because it was "easier" than trying to separate all those curls.when she was 12 she asked me to stop perming and she took over her own hair. Smart girl. Luckily I did no damage! Sheesh♡

Still I have hesitated. No More Hiding From My Heritage.Younger childhood issues with being light skinned and big chested made it easier to just conform over time, fit in ..ugh... and even though society and media has accepted black heritage as a whole now including our hair, the little girl in me was still kinda scared guys, I must say ...and I'm a Sagittarius, ain't that some s***!? Lol

Hers my daughter and me...soon we'll have matching fros and matching reasons to be oh so MUCH Prouder to be Afrocentric Black! Let the growth begin!!!

 — The Confession of Angie 


My name is Melanie. I am the Director of Development at a nonprofit that combats homelessness in New York City. I also am Associate Editor for The Fabulous Report and Executive Editor of Curl Riot. I am passionate about fundraising and I am passionate about empowering others through embracing our natural beauty.

I started my natural hair journey three years ago. In somewhat of a panic, I started a social group and invited all of my natural hair curlfriends to join in on helping me figure out how in the world I would care for and style my hair! Three years into my journey I started Curl Riot, a blog with a mission to empower both myself and others through our natural hair journeys.

By day I wear a suit and work hard to fundraise in support of efforts to combat homelessness. By night, I wear cocktail dresses, sip wine, and talk to my curlfriends about hair, beauty, and empowerment.

 — The Confession of Melanie Meadows 
P.S. Here are the links to my blog: www.curlriot.com. www.thefabulousreport.com



My natural hair journey started out of convenience, when I stopped getting a relaxer because doing so every 6-8 weeks was expensive. I was a college student at the time, so to save money I started getting my hair shampooed and flat ironed in between relaxers. I quickly noticed that it was just as straight as it was with a relaxer, silky and soft. In 2009, I started going to a natural hair stylist, and was excited about my bra strap length, relaxer-free, Remy weave-looking tresses.

I started paying more attention to my hair, especially when it was wet. As I ran my fingers through my hair, I realized that I had curls, and even waves. I always wondered what my hair would look like sans the silk press, and six years later my wonder became real.

From 2014 to March 2015, I was working in an environment that was oppressive – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I still remember the day I showed up to work wearing Senegalese twists, and was looked at like I was an alien. On the other hand, when my hair was bone straight, I received countless compliments. I longed to be the purest form of myself, and that included wearing my natural hair.

Unfortunately, I felt like I couldn’t do it while working there. Due to various circumstances, I quit my job and truly began my natural hair journey. Two weeks later, I made an appointment to get the big chop. With each snip and falling strand, I shed all of the negativity I held about myself, kinky hair, and what it meant to be beautiful.

It was the beginning of my quest to love all of me unconditionally, regardless of what society defines as beautiful or acceptable. I love each and every one of my kinky curls – the shrinkage, the frizzy ones, the few that do their own thing, even the ones that are constantly in my face.

Wearing my hair natural is how I show appreciation for all of what the Creator has given me. God said that the hairs on our heads are numbered, and each strand is counted. From the same place we hold knowledge and a lifetime of memories grows a unique collection of fibers that no one has but you. Your hair was made especially for you – to frame your face, to compliment your eyes and express who you are, literally from the inside out.

Overall, my natural hair journey has been a learning experience, full of self-discovery, teachable moments and plenty of changes. From numb arms and a sore neck after DIY styling to frustration in the “awkward” stage, it was all worth it, and I would do it again.

I feel free, alive and beautiful because I am me; and I am proud of who I am – a beautiful, strong, soulful Black woman, with a crown of curls that bring life!
 — The Confession of Sharee Silerio 
My Bio: Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer and television and film producer. She has covered culture, race, politics, social justice and media literacy. Read more of her work at ShareeSilerio.com then follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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