Natural Testimonies: Candice

Where do you come from? What do you do?
I'm from Chicago, IL. I'm a senior in college working toward my degree in Public Relations and Advertising.

What made you want to become natural? What inspired you? My boyfriend of 3 years was my main inspiration to go natural. We had a really big argument about black women and their hair. All of a sudden he didn't like my straight relaxed hair and I was offended. I felt as if he was attacking me as a person but he just wanted to challenge me to think about how the media plays a role in how black women perceive beauty. Every since we made up after that argument (LOL!) I started to notice the handful of girls on my campus going natural and did tons of research online about natural hair styles. I started to picture my self in those styles and tried to imagine myself doing the things that the brave young ladies on YouTube was doing to their hair. Imagining wasn't good enough so I decided that if I wanted to know what it would look like I would have to go through with it.

When did you become natural?
My last relaxer was probably around January 2009. In March of 09, I got a fly asymmetrical hair cut. It was shaved low in the back and my stylist said that I didn't need a relaxer yet so I didn't get one. I was excited when the back of my hair would curl up!! I transitioned for about 9 months until I got fed up with the sew-in weaves and braids! On October 17th I woke up and decided that the dead ends had to go. I was trying to decide if I should get one more sew-in to last through the fall and cut it in the new year. I decided against it and I now I'm glad I did!

What is the best thing about being natural?
I never feel as though I have to look a certain way to fit in. That was a struggle that I had for most of my adolescent years. My very first relaxer wasn't until I got into my second year of high school. But I would have my hair straightened every week so that I could look like the other girls. At work one day, this older natural woman came up to my register and complimented me on my hair! I was so honored. She told me, " going natural was the best decision she had ever made. You never have a bad hair day, it is what it is". That is so true. Even on the days when I feel my absolute worse, I still get hair compliments because it is so unique.

What is your attitude to bad hair days?
Sometimes I days where I make it worse than it really is! I'm a very emotional and dramatic(as my hunny would say) person. So even on my worse days its not that bad! lol But on my bad days, I simply moisturize, add a head band and my signature flower clip. I put on a fly outfit and hook up my makeup and I instantly change my whole perception of my hair! Also, in the summer, having a pair of "I'm the shit sunglasses", helps me to block the haters!

Name 3 products you couldn't live without.
The basics- Shea butter, Leave in conditioner(right now its cantu leave-in), and eco styler gel for the edges

What have you learned from your natural hair journey? I have learned how to embrace what God has given me. This goes beyond the hair. How could one thing on the outside affect how I feel and my self-esteem on the inside? Once I learned to embrace my hair, I began to take pride in the rest of my image; my skin color and race, my body, and my personality.

How has being natural affected how your self image?
I feel like my idea of beauty has become simpler. I know longer have to hide behind makeup and straight long hair. I used to wear foundation every single day to just go to class, and I used long hair and bangs to hide my supposedly big head! lol sounds silly now that I can think back on it.

Tell us a bit about your blog; rule no.1 - make it beautiful? I was inspired by a t-shirt that I got from It's a loose fitting shirt that just says "rule no1. make it beautiful". This gave me the idea to write out rules to my life as a guide to remind myself of what really matters when I'm having a bad day. The rules I write are focusing on accepting your self, appreciating all kinds of beauty, and giving support to other women.

What advice would you give to new naturals or someone considering going natural? Don't say "my hair wont be able to curl like that/ look like that" or "my hair is too nappy for me to go natural". Both of those statements defeat the purpose. You have to go into it with a clear intentions and an open mind. You wont know what your hair will look like until after you cut the permed ends off and know that as it grows it will continue to change. Accept it.

Where else can we find you on the Internet
I have a page on I love that web place. Its like the ultimate way to connect with naturals who may be able to give you advice or share their hair experiences. Also visit my blog! Like I said before, I write the rules to my life to help encourage myself and others to remember whats really important in life!

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