Durelene’s Story (4th Anniversary Giveaway)

This journey has stripped me of my pride and insecurities and built me up into a strong, confident and proud black woman.Through it all I learned to find my inner beauty.

I have been natural for 1 year and 2 months. I decided to go natural because I was tired of my hair controlling my life; I was always broke and the days my hair was not done to my satisfaction I was in bad moods. Last year in March [2009] I got my last touch-up relaxer in 6 months. I knew I had retained a lot of growth so I was excited to see my new length. My excitement was short lived when my beautician said “oh girl you need a trim”.

That day I remembered walking out of that shop extremely sad; I had been 6 months post relaxer and all I had to show for was thin shoulder length hair.  I remembered getting emotional while looking in the rear view mirror and asked myself, ”is this the length your hair will always be?”

Sew-in Weave, June 2008

My hair had always been thick so it didn’t matter to me that it didn’t grow past shoulder length, but when I lost my voluminous hair I knew it was time for a change. That was when I vowed to never get relaxers again. I didn’t know how or what I was going to do without relaxers, all I knew was I was done with both relaxers and weaves.

Fast forward to July 4th. A group of friends and I met up at Vegas where I met the young woman that changed my life, she was beautiful, natural and brown skin. Up until then I had never met a natural who fit her description; I grew up thinking only light skin biracial girls had the right to wear their hair natural. I was fascinated by her hair, beauty and confidence and the fact that she was nice made it easy for me to approach her. I asked her how she got her hair that way and she told me she transitioned for 11 months then Big Chopped. I then asked her if there was another way to go natural without having to cut all my hair off and when she replied no I had mixed emotions; I pondered in disbelief at all of the hard work, spending hard earned money on my hair and I still had to start all over.

Flashback – I had absolutely no idea what my texture looked like, let alone how to treat it, all my life I either wore it in braids, weaves or relaxed.  Unlike many of my fellow sistas whose mothers put relaxer in their hair at a young age to help with managing it, my relaxed hair was a result of a rebellious 10 year old. I was forbidden to get a relaxer, my mother did not support it, but like every little girl I looked up to my oldest sister and wanted hair like hers. So one day when my mother was away I begged my sister to put it in. I knew there was severe punishment for my defying my mother’s rules but I wanted relaxed hair so badly that it didn’t matter. My mother and sis were the two who styled my hair growing up and it didn’t matter to me what they did since I was oblivious to hair and hair care.

I grew up thinking only light skinned biracial girls had the right to wear their hair natural.

After explaining to Latonda (my new found natural friend) my concerns, she advised that I do some research on the web and YouTube.  I took her advice and was introduced to a world I never knew existed; what I saw was videos of  beautiful courageous Black women with different shades, hair textures and lengths proudly rocking their hair in its natural state; I saw how happy they were and how healthy their hair was.

That was when the blindfold lifted from my eyes. I knew going natural was for me and could not stand living a lye a day longer so I had my oldest sis put in some kinky twist and began transitioning. I grew anxious after continuously watching videos of women who were taking the plunge to BC, so three days after my 24th birthday I had my brother (who is also a barber) cut off my hair; I had been transitioning for just 1 month. My hair was cut down to about 1/2 an inch and the rest is history.

After BC

Along with the hair went the burden and insecurities I faced most of my life; it was like the world was lifted off my shoulders. Although I went through an emotional roller coaster having a TWA, I am glad I did it. This journey has stripped me of my pride and insecurities and built me up into a strong, confident and proud black woman. Through it all I learned to find my inner beauty.

I know everyone goes natural for a different reason, but for me it was more than just cutting my hair off, this decision has drastically altered my life and rebuild a wiser, better me. I look back at the days I was uneducated about my hair and get so upset that I did not inquire and asked questions. I am no longer living in the dark cave. When I see natural hair I see so much beauty and empowerment. I am forever thankful for this experience. This is why I say natural equals freedom; I was freed the day I BC’d.

I am here to share the love and passion for natural hair, life and its beauty. God did not make any mistakes when He created us and our hair texture and to wear it proudly is telling Him we are thankful for the BEAUTIFUL image He saw and created in us. I am here to inspire and grow. So let’s talk about hair!!

Peace & blessings



  1. You are beautiful and so is your hair!

  2. Great story! Congratulations, Durlene.

  3. wow, thank you so much.

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