HH: When did you decide to go natural ?
Anji Corley: Oh my goodness! I have been natural for 12 years now! I actually went natural before being natural was as popular as it is today. Before deciding to go natural, I came across an old picture of my mom wearing a big blonde afro. And, I became tired of relaxing my hair, and I have fine hair, so my hair was like a handkerchief in the wind. I decided to start listening to my hair and started loving my hair.
HH: How was your experience being the face of a major network (HSN) and wearing natural hair? I ask this because I am aware that careers such as this tend to dictate how you wear your hair, nails, and etc.
AC: I went in the door with my natural door. They never had a problem. The stylist were in love with my hair, and I have stylists of all colors. They made sure they made it known that they did not want me to change my hair. I got so many calls from viewers saying they loved my natural hair, and the natural styles I wore on set. I became known for my varying hair styles. They embraced me, which is very cool.
HH: What advice do you have for someone looking to transition?
AC: I tell women all the time, loving your hair is #1! There will be days you wake up and say, “What the heck is on top of my head?” It will not look right or feel right. We have been conditioned to think one way about our hair. If it’s not long, it’s not lovely, and if it’s not straight, it’s not right.
It’s not going to be straight, and it might not be long, but we have to fall in love with our hair. Just like we have curves in our body, we have curves in our hair. It was hard. There are a few times I can remember crying. After some breakage, and other challenging moments, I came to terms with the fact that going natural was the right decision. My hair started growing back faster, thicker, and stronger.
HH: What about women who may be struggling with deciding to go natural due to fear of not being able to get jobs?
AC: I think now, in 2015 it is so embraced. Your authenticity, your originality and your naturalness — so that includes your hair. Do not be afraid, bamboozled, hoodwinked, or any other crazy thought process or political out-vision.
Don’t allow yourself to think that your natural hair is not a part of you, because it is. There have been plenty of times I though of getting a weave for a few weeks, because it’s fun. We enjoy the transition from hair to hair or style to style. Just know that whether you’re on national or local television, in a magazine or modeling school, or you’re in the office or some other platform, embrace it! Other people will embrace it because you do. It’s a confidence that you wear. If natural is right for you, please have patience.