My Natural Hair Journey

My Natural Hair Journey

♪ ♪ What’s up, beautiful people? It is your
homegirl, Ms. Shameless, all up in your building. Specifically,
possibly your phone, your tablet, your computer,
your TV. I don’t know. But let me know in
the comments below. This video is all about my hair. A lot of you might be like,
girl, your hair looks different. It’s straight.
The curls are looser. Yes. All of that is true. But I just wanted to walk
you through how I got here by going back,
taking it back to the past on what my hair
was like as a kid. I think as a child all
the way until I was 12 I’ve always had short
hair, shorter than this. And that was because
my dad always cut my hair and wanted me to look like
him. Don’t know why. Blah. When my mom left him, that’s
when I started to grow my hair. And I was low-key
happy, because I was like, yay, finally I get
to look like a girl, because everyone
thought I looked like a boy. But yeah, when I
was 12, we moved out, and then she
started to grow her hair. The products I was
using then were Frizz Ease — and it was so
expensive — by John Frieda. And so I would
use that on occasion, and I would
saturate my hair with it, and it was super rock-hard,
and I had major shrinkage. It would be down to here, but it really was
just chillin’ over here. What was my
relationship with my hair? My mom attempted to relax my
hair because I begged her to, but as soon as she put
it in I started screaming because it was
burning, so she washed it out. But my mom, if
anything, loved my curls. She, in fact, permed
her hair to look more like me and my brother versus
trying to get my hair straight. She would criticize me for
trying to get rid of my curls. But I just couldn’t take it. So that was cool,
that my mom loved my hair and told me to love my
hair, but I was just like, no. I don’t want to. It’s
just so curly and puffy. It was just puffy. I just did
not know how to deal with it. When you always
slick your hair in a bun, you have a receding hair line. My hair line was back
here when I was a kid because I always pulled it back, and then we were in the
mall going shopping, and there was this sales associate
at All Those Shoes [ph.], and her hair was out and curly, and my mom’s like, “How do
you get your hair like this? Because my daughter,
she doesn’t like her hair. She always pulls it in a bun.” So she told us about a
bunch of products she used, and I tried, and I
just was never comfortable. I would always wear it
half up half down or in a bun. Or better yet, the icicles. Did anyone do the
little icicles here? I would do icicles right here,
sometimes four, sometimes two, depending on how I felt. If you guys watch my
previous video, my throwback, the products of the time
were Pink Luster, Dep Gel. I would say the only
complication my mom had with my hair was
how thick it was. It was very thick, and
every time I went to daycare, it would be all over the place. So the daycare
teacher felt so sorry for me, this Jamaican woman, so
she started braiding my hair. Then I would come home to
my mom and she’d be like, “Your hair. Who did it?” And I’m like, “Oh,
my daycare teacher.” My daycare teacher
taught my mom how to braid. So my mom’s little
nimble Filipino fingers were braiding my hair, but I just
had three fat doodoo plaits, two on either and
one down the middle, or sometimes she’d go in-in
and give me four, maybe five. But they were always frizzy. And it was cute. But when this teacher went in, I was serving you all
kinds of braids with barrettes. I would say
braiding my hair as a kid was my favorite hairstyle. I’ll also say before my
hair was long enough to braid, my hair was too short
to do anything to it, so my favorite hairstyle
was taking my mom’s scarf, tying it in my head
— then it’s a long bow so I could run and my
bow would flow in the wind so I felt like I had hair. Because as a kid they
really brainwash you with those hair commercials, those
Herbal Essences commercials where it’s like,
oh, yes, look — it’s like, I don’t
have that. I have an Afro. So I will give you some little
fall-off with my hair scarf. My least favorite is
when my dad would take a pick and pick my hair
out and give me an Afro and would send me
off into the world looking like a boy.
Least favorite, then and now. I started doing my own
hair I want to say nine. Eight or nine I
started doing my hair. And that’s when I
gave you slicked back. I gave you this slicked back. Then it was a hair elastic here, then a hair elastic here,
then a hair elastic here. Oh my goodness, to
fake a long ponytail, my mom would pull my hair
into a half-up ponytail here and then a half down here, so it’s like two
ponytails on top of each other, and then she would brush
the hair into each other so it looked like I
had a long ponytail when it was really just
two nubs brushed together. [laughing] And I was feeling myself
with that hairstyle. Shoot. That was my hair
journey as a child pre-YouTube. I think I really started to
embrace my hair in high school towards the end of it, so at that time I actually
truly embraced my hair, and embracing for me
meant wearing it out. Not in a bun, not in a
ponytail, not in braids, but just wearing
it completely out. That was in like ’99. 1999, 2000, I was the original
natural hair, girls, okay? She was a OG. I always wore my hair curly. I would blow it out.
I would press it out. But I never
chemically did anything to it. Then fast-forward
to my YouTube channel, and everyone was asking
me about my hair, like, oh my God, hair
envy, I love your hair. How did you get it
to look like that? I was just like,
whoa, I never even — okay, thank you. Because
I couldn’t stand my hair. So I started to do
videos on my hair. And those did well.
They actually went viral.
did an article. A ton of hair outlets did
articles on me and my journey. But I was like, I
feel like an impostor, because I’m not a hair person. I’m just uploading
videos about being shameless. So I told myself, year
one, I’m going to shave all of this hair off, because
people are too attached to it, and I’m not, and
people are envying something that I don’t think defines me, and it’s not the be-all
and end-all of my beauty. It’s coming from
my inside outwards, emanating into the universe,
with or without my hair locks. But the big chop — the
shave-off of my natural hair that had no
chemical treatment — I thought it wasn’t a big
deal, even shaving my hair off. I will say I felt vulnerable, because I was letting
go of a lot of stuff. At the time I was
going through a divorce, and I just felt like
this was symbolizing me letting everything go. And it was cathartic. The next day I forgot
that I shaved my hair off, and when I saw myself
in the mirror I was like, agh, I feel like — I
felt old and I felt sick, because usually when you’re bald that’s associated
with age or illness. I didn’t like how I felt.
I didn’t like how I looked. But I was just like,
girl, you better work this. This is what it is. And it took some time,
but I finally got to a place where I can embrace being bald. And it made me strong. It made me feel like
I didn’t have to rely on this thing to get me
views, to get me clicks. And I loved me a bald moment. I would shave my
hair every two weeks when I started to grow
it, and every two weeks go to the barber
shop and buzz that. Started to rock some fades. Started to rock some designs,
not such good designs, either, that you would never see
because I never posted it. And then I started to play
with color. I started dying it. Bleach became my best friend. I loved it because bleach is
obviously awful for your hair. It strips it of everything. But when your hair is that short and it grows every two weeks, it doesn’t matter when
it breaks or falls apart, because two weeks, I
have a new set of hair. Once it was bleached,
I played with colors. I was teal, purple.
I did a lot of colors. And that was a lot of fun. I would say the
curls with the teal was my favorite phase
of the color wheel. And my hair has been short
for most of my YouTube career. I’ve been on
YouTube for five years. My hair was short
for four of those, and now it’s
finally growing back. But when my hair was
super short, when I was like, you know what, no
more color, Maya, I was just like,
be dark, be natural. So I did that. And then I started to
play with the texturizers. I started to get hooked
on the texturized life, mainly because
my hair was short, and I wanted that
look, that Nia Long, that nineties total — that
short — that’s what I wanted. That’s what I was striving for. And I would
always go to the salon. Having short hair
introduced a whole new world of salon living. I was in the
salon every two weeks getting my hair pressed
because I wanted that look. But then I said to
myself, you know what, I want to be able
to do this at home. Can you guys loosen my
hair texture so it’s easy? Because you need heat
and technique to really get it straight,
which I didn’t have, so he was like, “Okay,
let me just texturize it.” And he did an amazing
job. His name is Bear [ph.]. I’ll put it in
the info box below. But he did a great job on
having my curls still there but just slightly looser. He would just
literally put in the relaxer, wash it out as soon as he
put it in, and I was living. Then I went to a new salon because I was tired of
waiting in his waiting area for like two hours. I’m like, I got
things to do, buddy. So I went somewhere else,
and I started hopping around, and that’s when ish
started to hit the fan. When your hair grows
out, you have roots, right? So I only needed a texturizer
here. Not here. This is fine. This is living. This part
here, this is new growth. I need to treat this. She put it in my
entire head, and I was like, “What’s going on?
What are you doing?” She’s like, “Oh, I’m
relaxing your hair.” I’m like, “No, I
don’t ever relax my hair! Why’d you do that?” And so she washed it
out, she styled my hair, so I had no idea
what it looks like. If anything, actually, this is
when I had the bowl cut look. I love that moment. But I had no idea
what it looked like until I washed my hair out. Then my hair was
like, oh, yeah, we coasted. We’re not doing anything.
We’re just gonna chill. Not give you no curl, no
wave, just pfft. Devastated. So then I started
to grow my hair out. And I was halfway of new growth. Then I went to another
stylist to get it pressed out for an event.
Pressed, okay? Pressed. He damaged my hair. I
already had half of new growth. The whole thing now
was just like, wow, Maya. Learn, learn, learn from this. Don’t just hop into any salon.
Don’t just trust randoms. Really do your homework and
really do multiple screenings, because I messed up, and
now my hair, it’s messed up. Right now, there
was a roller set. I just put rollers in and I
slept with it and I took it out. But no more heat.
This is heat damage. I think the relaxer has
grown out, but I’m just like, this is not my
natural hair texture. I think back here is. Some
here. There’s some curl there. [fake-crying] I’m using this mirror. Shout-out
to Impressions Vanity. So now I’m having to learn
how to keep my hands to myself, leave my hair alone. But I’ve been playing. I’ve
had short hair for four years that I never really
got to do anything, so as much as I want to
cut off all this damaged part, I’m like, nah. I love braids. So let me play with some braids.
Let me give you some cornrows. Let me give you a high ponytail. The fact that I can
even put my hair in a little mini
bunny-tail is exciting for me. After four years of being short,
I want to have longer hair. I don’t know how
long I’m gonna go, but I am having fun
with some length, finally. I think I would say in
this hair journey of mine, I’ve played with the color.
I’ve played with the relaxer, texturizer, which is
something I can’t say I did when I started my YouTube. Everyone praised me for
being this natural girl. And I was like, I
just never went there. But I’m here now,
in that position of, how do I get my hair better? It really all boils down to,
be patient and let it grow out. In the meantime, I’m gonna
play with some roller sets. Lots of braids. And I think
I’m gonna start doing wigs. But what am I using
to moisturize my hair? Whatever they
gave me that’s free. I’m using the SheaMoisture
Jamaican Castor Oil, I think? It’s a mask. I don’t
know. I have a bunch of masks. I will insert the footage
of what’s in my bathroom right now right here. That’s what I’m using.
I’m not doing anything crazy. I’m not doing any
oils, unless it’s my scalp. I do oil my scalp, but I’m not
really doing much to my hair. But hopefully in the
next year, you see something fully natural without
heat damage and all that. Give me shoulder-length.
That’s the goal. Let’s aim for the shoulders. I hope you guys
found this video helpful. If you did, make
sure you like this video. I would love to
know your hair journey, so let me know in
the comments below, are you wanting to grow your
hair, cut your hair, dye it, straighten it, perm it? Who does perms? I low-key want
to perm my hair back to curls. But my friend said no,
so I was like, okay, okay. I learned my lesson, okay? Let me know what your
next move for your hair is. And until next
time, remember to do you, be you and stay
true, boo. Be shameless. Work with what you got, okay? I’m just gonna work with
this. I’m gonna make this work. ♪ ♪


  1. Post
    Livi Blâdes

    Definitely can relate most of my life natural up to the age of 13 then started dying and relaxing my hair then went natural for two years and cut it off but now back to relaxers trying to grow my hair out straight and as long as possible

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    Brazil Lewis

    i am not allowed to cut, color, or chemically alter my hair even now in my 20s because my mom will probably disown me BUT i do want to get a buzz cut then try to grow my hair down to my butt

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    After three years of having short natural hair I decided to finally grow it out I'm in that werid twa stage, but I keep my hair in braids to keep my hands from out of it as it grows. Going natural is the best decision that I have ever made yeah I get shade from famliy members who have short relaxed hair but I don't care because I'm loving my natural texture.

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    Life As Lady Bam

    My hair is so damaged (heat) I've tried natural couldn't handle it didn't know what to do with it! Decided to relax it & now I relax every 6 months hair is now bleached & stop very damaged! I just dk what to do now 🤷🏾‍♀️

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    This is why I don’t trust beauticians. They don’t listen and think they know your hair better than you because they’ve been taught to generalize hair. So then you leave with damaged hair or something you didn’t ask for. Smh. Honestly my hair is the longest it’s ever been with the back falling about bra strap length and the shortest in the front a couple inches below my chin(had bangs 10 years ago). Been natural since 2012 and it’s been a rollercoaster ever since. Right now I’m trying to get my hair to grow past the point it’s used to being at. I’ve tried different things over the years but honestly I think vitamins are my go to for achieving my goal. I at least want all of my hair to be waist length. Then I’ll cut it maybe to bra strap and donate my hair. I eventually want to dreadlock my hair though.

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    Mermaid Motel

    Honestly you made me embrace my hair ahaha you shaved it off 4 years ago and I began to grow it out and now its past my butt. One day ill shave it though

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    I remember when you shaved all that hair off… lots of black women felt that…. like… nooooo! Why?…lol. We get it, but yeah…

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    Molly Bolly

    hi i am a little girl and i want to grow my hair so i would go on youtube and see what to put in your hair to make it grow faster and longer so when i first start to grow my hair my aunt would do it and it would grow and i can put my hair in a big ponytail but not that big and like now my hair just not growing but when i go on youtube it would say what stuff to put in your hair but like it dident grown but what i do is make my own face mask and it work and i use to look on youtube and see what face mask u can make at home and i try it it dident work that much but now i just go on google and see if this and that is good for your face and my face mask that i make on my own what i looking it up my stuff work real good and helping my face and i only 11 and is u a model?

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    Lady Hermit

    This is my hair now. It was so curly. I havent put any heat in it for about two years and still my curls are soft to wavy. I've grown to love it for what it is right now but will love to get my curls back to thier original state 💃

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    Siobhán K.

    Girl, I miss the natural wash and go 3c that you had !!! Your hair etc…. but just for all us natural curls, return to the club please we miss you!!!!! 🙂

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    Jobbie civanne

    I’m so depressed. Not becuase of your journey I love it and all of the reasons! But I feel like you big chopped like LAST year. And its been four years!!!! Where the hell does time go?

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    Lisa Sims

    you tried so many things…its so great to hear your story bc i feel there is a narrative that the natural hair journey should be so limited and constrained to many universal rules and don'ts. While I feel your journey shows that its a personal decision…this showed your hair in a large variety of stages…thx for posting.

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    I swear Maya you're my idol! like I love watching your videos because I relate to you too much! I started my hair journey bc of you (and a few others) and when I found out you were black and filipino too I felt like I found my long lost twin low-key 😂. But yeah I am also in the mood for change and want to cut my hair as well because I feel I am tied to it. Like I am not my hair, it does not define who I am. lol anyway I love Maya stay shameless 🙂

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    Carolynn Alvarez

    Gosh, you're beautiful AND funny. You don't take yourself super seriously and I love that. Very human, not just this picture perfect YouTube version of human if that makes sense.

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    Essence Lashai

    I used to get perms until I stumbled upon your youtube channel 5 years ago. My grandmother is all obsessed with natural hair freak so she was so happy when I told her I was going natural. I often look at you videos for inspiration in which my favorite look I tried to get her to always do was the twist out style you did to the background of the "frizzy hair" song lol..

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    Purple Storm

    Lol I cut off all my heat and color damage but I started to use heat again and I’m itching for color. Idk but being all natural is so boring and high maintenance for me. 😩 I just don’t have patience I wish I did!

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    Tamara Fagan

    Found a stylist in a salon and I have the impossible; relaxed, healthy hair. It took years and lots of mid chops. When I moved away from her, we kept in touch and I do exactly what she says. I cut my own hair, relax it about every four months depending on the weather, and use all natural products. And when I say natural, I’m saying looking at the ingredients and being able to pronounce each ingredient. It still curls up. The only heat I use is a blow dryer. For most of my life I had short hair and now I cut it before it gets too much beyond my shoulders. Light moisturizers, no parabens, leave in treatments and constantly wrapping it up at night. I just want healthy hair; shit healthy everything. 😜

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    kim fraz

    I had short hair for 10 years and ive been growing it out for a year. My only problem is im addicted to hair color lol. They should ban,me 4rom the beauty supply store lol
    I just love your energy ❤❤

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    These past 6 years it's been a cycle of cutting my hair near bald, growing it out (via back to back braid extension styles) and then wearing it out after a year, becoming frustrated with the maintenance needed for long, loose 4c and then cut again. I cut it again on the 1st of May and I'm 6 months braid free just enjoying my hair in it's shrunken state. I'm talking not a bantu know or tired arms from twisting in 6 months y'all! However I know I don't want to go back to relying on braids (it's just a painful, time and money consuming experience for me) so – inspired by you and @sxvllen on IG with the bowl cuts – that's now my route. For the first time ever I'm about to get into experimenting with my hairstyles. Specifically short cuts but no relaxer on my scalp *EVER*; I didn't go natural at 16 to go back to that scalp burning. So I'm going to get an undercut, and go crazy with the top part. I don't know how my straightened hair will fair with heat and our unstable weather here (dry today, humid tomorrow but hot always) so I may texlax but I want to be able to alternate between my beautiful kinky hair and straight hair whilst I have the undercut.I'm gonna dye and fry this baby for the sake of some fun and the nazis can jump xx lmao

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    Girl, all you need is one product for heat damage for curly hair: Aphogee Two Step Protein! That ish saved my heat damage, my curls legit came back to life after one use!

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    Bella Mecia

    Throughout this whole video I felt like we are just two homegirls kicking it in our room having conversation about our hair. I adore your transparency, it's truly amazing. I sware I could listen to you talk all day

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    Kayla Williams

    I feel sorry that u had too deal with hairstylists that don't know what they doing this is why I only let my mom and grandma who are both hairstylists do my hair bcuz I trust them to give me what I want

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    I can recommend you Joico Moisture Recovery shampoo and conditioner or Moroccan Oil for everything. You can get Joico at Ulta or have your stylist buy it for you. I have tried a ton of shampoo and styling products and Moroccan Oil is so fab!!! It's my go to. In Moroccan Oil I would recommend the Moroccan Oil Smooth Shampoo and repair conditioning treatment mask. For styling, the MO styling cream and the MO treatment oil. I'll ask my friend who is Global Ambassador for the line what he thinks as well. He does @golden_barbie's (IG) hair.

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    You convinced me to shave my head. Right now I'm at the bleaching phase and next month I'm going to finally get it coloured rose gold. I have found a hair dresser that I love so I'll make sure to keep her for the rest of my journey! Thanks for the info and advice, I'm so excited to no longer be hiding behind my curls and to embrace having short hair. I don't think I'll experiment with texturizers or any sort of relaxer because I've had intense hear damage before, but I'm excited to have my natural pattern back and see how it looks at different stages. 😘😘

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    layloo dallas

    GURL, we have the same hair childhood! until I was six and grew my hair by myself, when I wasn't in school I used to wear a lambada skirt on my head to pretend I had long hair. And would hate my father for detangling my short curls to a fro.

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    Shyless Mo

    It seems to me as though your mom became free after she left ❗️An in doing that she Empowered her daughter to love herself an empowering the strong woman we see today❤️I can relate🙂

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    Terrell Birdsong

    I have had perms my whole life and I really want to go natural in my mind Lol! Now my mind, hair and actions need to align. Thanks for sharing…2018 might be the year for my "just do it journey".

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    Selene C. Jordan

    I really enjoyed that. What an interesting journey you have had, indeed.
    What’s crazy is that your 2012 hair is my hair goals.
    Fabulous, girl, fabulous.

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    Leyla Rustamova

    I'm not black, nor did I grow up in a multinational country (I'm Azeri) so i never fully understood African American hair tradition, but I was always very interested in it, maybe because I'm a curly head. Can someone tell me what "pressing" is? Is it damaging or..?

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    Katrina M

    Always fun to watch! May i request tht you do a video on what you ate as a child till adulthood. With both racial influences of both parents. I know its a weird request. But im into health and i find different racial diets fascinating esp asians.

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    Jasmine Singh

    i went natural in 2014 –completely shaved my hair (you can see pictures on instagram ( @_jadusole) and had I stuck to moisturizing, no heat and protective styling it would be grown out by now but I keep messing with it and screwing it up and now it's all limp and the curl pattern is not the same. I just wish I could get something consistent going and get it to be healthy again. the length is fine . It's in between shoulder and neck length but it's damaged so that's no good.

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    ashlin dacosta

    I have heat damage too so I'm gonna go on this journey with you my curls are gone and I want them to come back😭

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    Tia Davis

    So happy to see a curly girl with short hair talking about the struggle. I had armpit length hair and went for a deva cut ended up with a big chop and I hate it. Happy to see that others make hair mistakes and show us that part of the journey too. Love it!

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    Crystal F

    I’ll be honest my hair is such a struggle! I wanna do “a big chop” or just something that’ll help me tame my hair easier. I have come such a long way when it comes to styling but I just overall always struggle with my hair 😭

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    Kiya Johnson

    We have the same type hair. I've used a relaxer for years to keep my hair from puffing up if it rained🤣 but my hair grew so fast while using it 🖤

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    Design Lauré

    I am actually thinking of locking my hair these days. I've been doing some research on it from YouTube and learned that my hair might not be ready just yet to loc on a healthy level. I love my girls but I'm also lazy with my hair and I think it's stopped growing and the curls aren't curly… Just a lot. So I thought about locking. Not only for length but for a new look, new style

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    Audrey, Nhu Pham

    I've been struggling with trichotillomania for several years now and have never been able to grow my hair out long . I've always had short hair for as long as I can remember. I think I'm going to shave my head again after growing it out for the last year and a half. Hopefully, someday I could over come this.

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    naissa Wache

    It’s funny, because my dad used to shaved my hair when I was a little girl and everyone thought I was boy. They did so cause my mom and my dad did not know how to manage 4C texture.

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    1Ladydiamond T

    Your hair is NATURALLY CURLY!!! WHY put a perm in it when GOD gave it to YOU that way?!!! You're gorgeous, your hair is gorgeous so let it flow!!! 💜

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    I just cut off my long curly hair. I’ve never had hair this short before & I thought it was gonna be no big deal! Yeah I also went through it and cried and broke down. But, it has also released me from the feeling that my hair defines me. I did it once but now imma just grow this out! I’m in the braids stage too

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    Counselor Ashlei

    You look like the little girl from That’s So Raven, I cant remember her name! But she used to follow Raven around and they would dress alike lol

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    Sheree Morgan

    My hair is below my shoulders now, and natural. But I am thinking about going much shorter, basically, I want a fade. Easy maintenance!

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    Amara Grey

    I’m so sad I shaved my head when I was 15 but i didn’t play with it at all, it was covered 24/7 and now I’m sad I didn’t play with colours and shit

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    Hair Curls & Symone

    I started off great with my natural hair and now it has major color and heat damage. I prefer my hair straight 😂 so you’re not alone Maya! Kudos to you for starting over in your journey

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    Nina Abdo

    First time I saw you was five years ago and you courage me back then to cut my hair and to get over my fear , so I had the idea and not the act but am very optimistic for this year and I think it's going to be the year that am bolling my courage and get over my fear starting with my so I guess want to say thank you for being supportive by being you ❤❤❤❤❤

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    Adrian Williams

    My hair texture is not too different. It is a little drier but same. I was natural for 5 years I the dummy That I was places a relaxer/ color in for less that ten minutes and my hair fell out. And in some places in patches. It is growing back but I cut it again. You are right hair does not define me.

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