I’m Kayla, I’m 22 and I am an Assistant Community Outreach Coordinator at a Public Health Nonprofit. My mom and I are really close and she did my hair up until I had kind of surpassed her skill level *laughs* Her go-to would be twists or braids with barrettes. Then when I was maybe 10 or 11, I started going to a salon and getting it straightened and I would straighten it myself. I did that for a while, then got it relaxed in 7th grade. I kept that up until last year. But end of 2018 we don’t do that and 2019 we don’t do that anymore either! I stopped relaxing for many reasons but I think mainly time, money and the damage it was doing to my hair. Now it’s longer, stronger, and I actually have a curl pattern! It feels much better. I decided to get out of relaxing when I first tried box braids. I liked braids but I had them done really tight and when I took them out my hair had broken off so much bc of the relaxer and the pressure. I was like “I need to make a change.” That was the start of going natural. I have been doing sew-ins since. I do my own. It takes forever! It’s a frustrating, exhausting process but comes out just how I want at no cost to me. It has protected my hair - it’s way stronger now. I just cornrow it and apply the sew-in with minimal leave-out. I've been going back and forth for a while about doing something really different with my hair. The braids were the first time I really have. Even with sew-ins, it’s always the same length and color, a middle or side part and straight. I experimented this summer with a curly texture and I loved it. It was longer than I would typically go. So moving forward, I want to switch up lengths and textures, and then *maybe* switch up colors. I want to do navy, but every time I almost do I’m like “ah, but the brown looks so good!” I haven’t gotten a relaxer in 8 months. The difference is night and day. My hair wasn’t happy, it wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t flourishing. I feel like now, having graduated with a real job, I’m much more of a grown woman and my relationship with my hair is much more of an adult relationship! I give it the products and attention that it needs and in response it comes out looking how I want it to. There’s been a lot of growth - in every way!