HAIRspiration: Darlisia Grant Lyles


I was inspired to become natural by my friend, Renise. She used to talk to me about her hair and the things that she did with it. I was very curious but scared because I didn’t think I could handle what I called “the work” that you have to put into natural hair.

I received my first relaxer at the age of 14. I was natural until I went to high school because I thought perms were so cool. My hair was very long and thick before my relaxers, but I wanted to be like most of the black girls at my school. My mother didn’t want me to get a relaxer but I begged her so much until she broke down. After the first relaxer my hair was still long and thick.  As time went on, it started to get very thin at the ends. My hair then became shorter and shorter because I had to clip the thin ends off. By my junior year in high school, I started getting really cute hair cuts because my hair wouldn’t grow like it did before the relaxers. I knew the relaxers were killing my hair, but I was already addicted to the creamy crack. Through my years in college, I kept my hair cut in cute short styles. I would let it grow out a little and then go and get a bob or something. I took pretty good care of it but my hair wasn’t strong enough to handle relaxers.

I graduated from college, got married, and started working.  I was still addicted to the creamy crack! That was about the time Renise went natural and started talking to me about her hair. I would ask questions and she would answer them, but I still was very afraid. I didn’t think I would look right and I didn’t know what my husband would think of it. After I had my baby, I started going on YouTube and watching videos of different women that were natural. NikkiMae was one of my favorites then.

I started throwing away my relaxers so I wouldn’t be temped to get a touch up. I went without touch ups for about three months and then on March 17, 2010, two days before my baby’s 1st birthday, I did the Big Chop.

It has now been 1 year and 9 months so far and I love it!!! I don’t think I will ever go back to the creamy crack. I love the way God made my hair and I appreciate all that I can do with it. I have learned so much from different women in the natural hair world on YouTube and I will continue to try to inspire others. 



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