9 Celebs Reveal The Exact Moment They Chose To Go Natural

Going natural is a big, big decision. And once you choose to ditch the relaxer for good, the transition (and upkeep) is something that takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. But man, is it worth it. Speaking from experience, nothing compares to raking my fingers through my own set of thick, healthy coils and seeing it grow each month.

Solange, Gabrielle Union, and more stars can relate. Hollywood used to define "red carpet hair" as long, smooth, and bone-straight. But now, that definition is finally extending to include the glorious curls, coils, and kinks that should have been there all along. Ahead, read the stories on why some of our favorite celebs big chopped — and never looked back.

Photo: Via @traceeellisross.
Tracee Ellis Ross inherited the best curls on the planet from her mom Diana. But there was once a time when she preferred her hair straight, for all the wrong reasons.

"For a long time, I was trying to beat my hair into submission so that it would do what I thought it was supposed to do to be sexy, so that it would be silky," she told Redbook. "But the more I supported my hair in its authentic texture, the more choices I had for it to do hundreds of different things. That was exciting to me. I'm really grateful to the whole natural hair movement. It's a genuine expression of how the culture of beauty is expanding to be less about perfection and concealment."
Photo: Via @tameramowrytwo.
If you're a nineties baby, you probably grew up inspired by the Mowry twins' style and charm. Now, Tamera is being inspired by the youth: namely, her own. "The reason why I decided to [go natural] was because I saw my son have these luscious curls and I knew I used to have them," she told Hello Giggles. "A women’s hair is like a crown on top of her head and I had relied so much on my hair as a woman to enhance my beauty. When I chopped it all off, I didn’t have that and had to look deep inside to find confidence and beauty within myself. It had to come from within. I didn’t hide behind my hair anymore."
Photo: Via @gabunion.
Like many others, Gabrielle Union chose to stop relaxing because of the harsh chemical damage. We've seen her in plenty of fabulous protective wigs and weaves since then, but these days, she's rocking her natural curls... and looking gorgeous, too, because duh.

"This is actually one of the first times I wore my natural hair on a carpet," she told us in April. "I rock a lot of braids, a lot of twists, a lot of natural hairstyles, but it's never been down. This is my first natural hairstyle where it's been down and free, and where I got to use all my products, which was amazing! I've been treating my own hair with as much care as possible."
Photo: Via @halleberry.
At the Oscars, Halle Berry shocked the masses with her head of corkscrew curls. Some even claimed that it was a wig. Despite the haters (and the fact that she'd been wearing the curly style for weeks), Berry told Vogue that there was a special meaning behind her look that evening. “The dress is glamorous with a sense of romance that made me feel feminine and fresh," she noted. "With this look, I celebrate my natural hair by allowing it to be wild and free.”
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
"[Before going natural], I was working out, swimming and going on vacations with my son, and I always felt as if my hair held me back," Solange Knowles once explained to Essence. "Cutting it off was a pivotal moment. I enjoy not having to worry about it."
Photo: Via @tarajiphenson.
“When I did Baby Boy [in 2001], I had new growth and I was ashamed. I was like, ‘Oh my God, my hair is terrible, don’t look at my new growth,’" Taraji P. Henson once revealed to People. "The young lady who did my hair [for it] asked me, ‘What are you talking about? Your hair is beautiful! Why are you even getting a relaxer? All you have to do is know how to work it.’ So I grew my relaxer out."

Now, she's giving the same advice that hairstylist gave her to others. "Every time I see women who have daughters, I say, ‘Don’t ever [use a relaxer] on her hair.’ If you don’t, I think it will be thicker and grow longer.”
Photo: Via @angelasimmons.
"I just figured that I didn’t really need it," Angela Simmons, who's usually rocking a waist-length weave, told Fashion Bomb Daily. "And I did notice that my hair was way thicker without the perm and it just seemed healthier without it and I just didn’t want to put any more chemicals in it. So I just left it alone... When I get weaves in, I just sew it up and leave it alone."
Photo: Via @lavernecox.
Laverne Cox has a beautiful head of curls, but was real about why she doesn't wear them that often in an Instagram post.

"Wearing my hair natural with its beautiful kink and curl on the daily is a bit too much work for me," she wrote. "I usually opt for protective styles, wigs and hair pieces for my everyday styles. But back in January when we did this shoot, this is the look I was most excited about. I haven't relaxed my hair since 2011. My natural hair journey continues and I want to celebrate that as much as the other looks we rock. I also want to celebrate my natural hair sisters. I love you!"
Photo: Via @violadavis.
Viola Davis says she once used wigs as a "crutch." So the 2012 Emmys, during which she walked the red carpet with her natural hair for the first time, was a huge moment for her. "I would not say that I was 100 percent comfortable until I walked onto the carpet," she told us. "And I'll tell you why: Number one, I felt like I had to be. Number two, I just wanted to be me. Every time you walk that carpet, the pressure to be your authentic self, but at the same time not stick out... That balance is something we are all trying to reach when we walk out the door every day. How do we fit in, but be ourselves and be true to ourselves?"
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