Sunday, April 12, 2015

Natural Hair and Modeling Part II

Being a model requires you to stay up-to-date on the latest fashions and trends. I usually do this by reading the magazines, watching the entertainment television shows, and reading blogs. It's important to know what colors are in, and what hair styles people are wearing. Some models imitate what celebrities are doing while others create their own styles. I like trends, but tend to stay close to the conservative side of things.
Early Years
Growing up I wore my hair mostly in braids, I had a Care Free Curl, and then I graduated to the good old-fashioned press and curl. I remember after getting my hair pressed that as soon as I began playing outside my hair would retreat right back to its natural state.
The Relaxer
I can't recall how old I was when I got my first relaxer but for the first time in my life I had some length to my hair. I continued to get my hair relaxed and then I got into modeling. Nobody could tell me anything. I got into hair modeling as a result of my long, thick, and luxurious locks. I modeled for several hair companies and I figured the relaxer was changing my life. Faithfully I got my hair relaxed every 6 weeks. I didn't mess with the weaves or extensions like most models were doing. I liked my hair bone straight and I typically got it wrapped and wore it that way. While pregnant my hair began to grow like a weed. Several months thereafter, I noticed that it started shedding and my edges were thinning out.
I recall dating this guy and him asking me if I would go natural. I was like heck no.

It's funny as you get older how things change. For 2011 I decided to go natural. I did it for health reasons, having someone in my life who influenced and embraced my choice, and to set an example for my daughter. I decided that I was going to transition into this instead of doing the big chop.
My hair stylist for over 20 years didn't think I was going to do this. She predicted I would do this a couple of months and then go back to the relaxer. Well I am 8 months in and I am loving every moment of it. I didn't inform my agents of my decision. I don't recommend aspiring models not informing their agents because in essence you are altering your look. Up until recently, I have been just getting my blown out when I get booked. I'm thinking about taking some pictures for my comp card with my hair curly so that I'll have another look to market.
So many aspiring models ask me all the time if I get more breaks being a curly head when I'm auditioning. After a recent experience I can confidently say YES I DO! I just had an audition for a national commercial and I decided to test the waters and go to the audition rocking my curly hair. My comp card shows me with my trademark relaxed hair looking like Mrs. Obama. LOL -- I arrived at my audition and 3 days later I got a call back. The actual commercial shoots next week so I am still waiting to see if I got it. I limited myself by not being true to myself. My confidence obviously was there or I would've gotten a call back. Besides, rocking natural hair puts you in the minority and gives you an advantage when it comes to modeling cause the majority of women are wearing their hair long and straight.
The modeling business is all about having that competitive edge on the competition and I think I've stumbled onto greatness. I'm being true to myself and loving every moment of it. I now truly have the best of both worlds and the clients and my agents have two options now when it comes to my look.
One things for sure, natural hair rocks!!!
I look more youthful with the curls and more professional and mature with my hair relaxed (blown out nowadays). I haven't had a relaxer in 8 months and I'm not going back. Anyone who's on that hair journey, I say continue to push forward. If I can do it you most certainly can too!
I am noticing more curly heads in print ads and on commercials. This is not a trend, it is definitely a movement that many women have decided to venture on while making a statement!
For a better understanding on what it means to be natural, please check this out.
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Tracy Hogan is a professional model and educator with over 20 years of experience in the modeling industry. She has taught modeling classes at a national modeling school as well as scouted talent for them. Tracy specializes in print, commercial, hair, promotional, runway and free-lance modeling.
You can also follow me on twitter at
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