Leona Lewis recently spoke to Glamour about her reasons for ditching the straighteners and wearing her hair naturally. We're checking out the result and some other celebrities who are embracing their curls.
1. Leona Lewis
Singer/songwriter Leona Lewis told Glamour magazine that a frightening health scare led her to pursue a more health-conscious lifestyle, a move that includes ditching her hair straightener.
In the interview, the 32-year-old revealed that after suffering from horrible pain in both her neck and throat for a period of time, she discovered that she has an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease.
This discovery caused a turning point in her life.
"I just got to a point where I wanted to start over physically and emotionally. I started eating better and I stopped straightening my hair."
During the interview, Leona explained why she felt the need to straighten her hair in the first place:
"I entered the music industry with thick, curly blond hair. But when I signed my first record deal at age 20, I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by images of straight hair: on TV, in movies, and in real life."
The reason she started wearing her hair straight was simply because everyone else seemed to be doing it. And so, she went along with it and spent years straightening her curls.
Today, the British beauty embraces her natural thick curly hair at every occasion.
Fortunately, Leona isn't the only one to came to this realisation and more and more women seem to be willing to break the industry's expectations of beauty and show off their naturally gorgeous hair.
2. Alicia Keys
For her latest album Here, Alicia went makeup-free for her photoshoot, which seems to have led the singer to feelings of empowerment, freedom and true beauty.
A year ago the American Soul and R&B singer, who is the proud owner of fifteen Grammys, started a #nomakeup movement.
Alicia wrote a piece for Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's online newsletter Lenny Letter to explain her personal motivations for going all natural.
Reflecting on why girls may feel the need to look like society's ideal of beauty, the Girl on Fire singer says:
"You grab the brush and gel and pull your beautiful big hair back into the tightest ponytail you possibly can to contain your unique hair in a bun — hiding a piece of who you are in order to fit into a picture of what others seem to see as perfection."
Of course, this extends to putting on make-up to look as "pretty" as all the people in the magazines. Alicia explains that she's not against make-up in general, but against the feeling of 'needing' to put on make-up and restrain your hair before you stepping into the public eye.
3. Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington has had a few opportunities to show off her natural hair in her acting career. In Django Unchained, for example, you can pretty much enjoy her marvellous curls throughout the entire movie.
The above picture shows Kerry next to Shonda Rhimes, the creator, writer and producer of the hit-TV show Scandal, in which Kerry plays the lead role of political 'fixer' Olivia Pope.
Shonda is all about addressing social issues and clearing up misconceptions through her work, especially when it comes to stigmas being placed upon black women.
For the most part, Kerry's character, Olivia, wears her hair straight because it is what her industry expects of her. However, Shonda has cleverly written numerous scenes where Olivia can wear her hair loose and natural.
In some scenes, she finds herself lying on a beach while in other episodes, Olivia is dreaming of a different life where she avoids political scandal and wears her hair naturally.
Whatever the reason, we love that Shonda is giving Kerry the chance to wear her hair naturally within the series and exploring the topic through creative plot lines.
4. Viola Davis
The Academy Award winner took to Instagram, proudly showing off her natural hair. She captioned the pic:
We love it too, Viola.
Of course, the incredibly talented actress plays the lead role in another masterpiece from Shonda Rhimes - How to Get Away with Murder. In the American drama series, Viola stars as star law professor and ingenious lawyer Annalise Keating.
Combine Shonda and Viola's powerhouse creativity and you get one of the most iconic moments on television. In one particular episode, we see Annalise wearily remove her hair and makeup.
The scene conveys the message that many successful black women feel the need to wear wigs and heavy make-up so as to conform to society's image of a 'successful business woman'.
5. Janelle Monáe
Thirty-one-year-old Janelle Monáe is a soul and funk singer, dancer, and actress who is famous for having a huge variety of stunning hairstyles. No matter the occasion, she has always embraced her beautiful curly hair.
Her Instagram feed is filled with pictures of her rocking long braids, pinned up-dos, creative hair jewellery and beautiful natural untreated hair. Additionally, she posts photos of other people wearing their hair uniquely and confidently and gives them a shout-out.
6. Solange Knowles
The Cranes in the Sky singer is one of those rare stars, who wears her hair in its natural shape almost all of the time. She doesn't feel the need to fit in or look a certain way.
Instead, she celebrates uniqueness and the simple art of staying true to yourself and being just who you are.
The 20-year-old Disney star is a true role model for today's younger generation. She embraces her roots, promotes self-love and supports the progress of achieving equality for all, at any given opportunity.
A few month ago, she took to Instagram to share the excitement of her hair finally growing back to its natural shape after years of damage:
"When you've spent the past however many years growing your damaged hair back, avoiding heat, wearing wigs and trying every natural product in the world and you finally see a little curl pattern comin back..."
Along with other celebs on this list, Zendaya was a part of Beyoncé's visual Lemonade album which contains a powerful message of standing up against an industry and culture that still embodies misogyny and racism.
The album promotes having pride in who you are, how you look and what you have to offer to this world.
All the women who took part in Beyoncé's visual album wore their hair naturally.
8. Serena Williams
The tennis star wears her hair naturally all the time and loves it, whether she's smashing a tennis ball, appearing on TV-shows, attending events or just enjoying her private life.
In Beyoncé's Sorry video, Serena rocks her fabulous mane while dancing next to the singer.
Watch the video for Sorry here. Warning: Potentially offensive language within:
9. Amandla Stenberg
The Hunger Games star is used to wearing her hair curly and natural both on and off-screen, which is not a huge surprise - it's stunningly beautiful. No straightening iron is going near this gorgeous hairdo.
What did touch her head a couple of weeks ago, however, was a razor. The young actress shaved her head for a movie role. Sacrificing for her art at such a young age - what an amazing young actress!
Amandla appears throughout the Lemonade visual album, including one scene where she sits on a tree next to Zendaya.
Last but not least, the queen of Lemonade herself - Mrs Knowles-Carter. Once a member of the girl group Destiny's Child, the Freedom singer used to straighten her hair all the time.
These days the star still styles and straightens her hair for certain occasions, but recently she has been giving her fans a glimpse of her natural hair through her latest videos, during stage performances and even in the odd Instagram post.