Hair is such a big part of people's "visual" identity and in a lot of cases, it affects a person's entire identity. I did the "big chop" while I was in London about 10 years ago. I was studying abroad and no one knew me so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to redefine my look. The shock of it all lasted about a month. I was self-conscious because I had short hair and I felt so unattractive. I was the first of my friends back home to go natural so I kept thinking about what it would be like when I got home. Eventually, it started to grow and I discovered new ways for styling it and my boyfriend, now husband embraced my hair when I returned to the US.
Natural curly hair has become so hot and there is not a single day that I don't get asked about my hair. Carol's Daughters recently launched a great Transitioning Movement campaign for their line of natural hair products. More and people are embracing their natural hair even in this heavily extension-happy beauty culture.
Listen, natural is not for everyone and I always get annoyed when "curlies" look down on anyone who hasn't made the transition. Whether you straighten, extend, or keep-it-natural... just be true to yourself, be confident, be kind, promote love, and always, always keep your COOL.