Nia Long graces the cover of the August 2012 issue of Essence Magazine alongside her two sons, 7-month-old Kez and 10-year-old Massai Jr.

Inside, the 41-year-old actress talks about life with her sons and her boyfriend, basketball player Ime Udoka, and also what it was like reconnecting with her father.

“I’m in my forties, post baby and I’m thinner than I’ve been in years,” she tells Essence in the issue. “The last step will be letting my hair go natural. That’s when you’ll know I’m free…”

For more on Nia Long, pick up the August 2012 issue of Essence when it hits newsstands this week!

Be the first to receive breaking news alerts and more stories like this by subscribing to our mailing list.