Cindy Lyles interviewed by Briana Whiteside
How long have you been natural?
Since August 2005 (9 years).
What prompted you to go natural?
I'd always had a perm and couldn't recall being a little girl without one; I'd never knew my natural hair. I was only told it was easier to manage when relaxed. On a journey of self discovery and self love, I was ready to uncover my own standard of beauty instead of continually ascribing to dominant, hegemonic views of what beautiful hair was. After all, what was more beautiful than how my hair naturally grew out of my head?
In one word, how would you describe your journey?
If you could talk to our younger sisters who are natural, what would you tell them?
The first 3-5 months will be the most difficult for two main reasons. Your hair texture can be a bit tougher initially as it adjusts to no harsh chemicals; hold on, this too shall pass. Also, every time you look in the mirror, you'll be faced with rewiring your understanding of what beauty is. Freak not, beauty -- a unique, self-accepting, one of a kind expression that the world needs -- is staring right back at you.Related:
• The natural hair chronicles