Leandra’s Hair Story

Leandra’s Hair Story

The earliest memories of hair I have are surrounded with a lot of grief and effort. No one in my (mom’s) side of the family had hair like mine and although I was never made fun of ….

Leandra America's Next natural Model Candidate

The earliest memories of hair I have are surrounded with a lot of grief and effort. No one in my (mom’s) side of the family had hair like mine and although I was never made fun of I never felt good about my hair unless it was blowdried straight. This only happened on holidays, and outside of that my hair was typically a frizzy mess that required lots of hair products and hard brush strokes.

At the age of 9 my mom put a perm in my hair. I had defined, full wavy curls, and I loved it. It was the eighties and curly perms were in. While my hair was growing out I had severe breakage. I was in middle school during this time and was teased relentlessly about my crazy looking hair. What was once “in”, quickly became what was “out”. After getting rid of the curly perm we went to a relaxer. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. My addiction to creamy crack began at the age of 11 and there was nothing that could keep me from my horrible hair habit for the next 15 years. The high was instant.

Until my cousin who was also an addict decided she was going to kick her habit. She transitioned for two years and her gorgeous ringlets made me think I could do it too. We have the same hair type (being from my father’s side) and went though similar hair trauma.

I developed encouragement from seeing her wonderful tresses and was inspired to grow my own. I began first by not going to my pusher (Sally’s) to get my product. I then began doing research. My findings were so great that many nights I would read profile after profile crying tears of joy; glad I had finally found a network of women that I could relate to. After transitioning for a mere 4 months I decided to do the Big Chop. I couldn’t take having two different textures. I can’t say I went through any harship while trasitioning. I barely had two inches of growth in all that time (my relaxer did not help my hair grow) , but I did it anyway.

On July 21, 2007 I was reborn. I celebrate this day as my natural birthday. I found that it was easier than I thought and wore my TWA proudly. My happiest moment was when I came home after the BC and washed my hair. My curlies stood at attention and greeted me joyously in all their glory.

 

I cried, I screamed, I laughed. I became my realest self. What I want most for people to know about me is that my “naturalness” is not something contrived, experimental, or political. It is the most direct expression of my truest inner self. My hair represents my vivacious, animated, loud, and sometimes funky personality. It captures my spirituality in it’s free flowing nature. I am me, I am real, I am the essence of nappturality.

 

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