BY SHANNON BOODRAM

Bags packed, mouth agape I stared at the email: come prepared to do your favorite day two hairstyle for camera.

If twenty(five) + years of life had proven anything to me it was:

  1. I could murder any word search puzzle within sight
  2. that the best thing I could for my hair is chop off my hands

Some people have the gift of creation, when it comes to my hair it is very much the opposite. From bad dye jobs, absurd self-cuts and a never-ending desire to cut my own version of botched up bangs, I have come to subscribe to the less is more club when it comes to saving my tresses from me.

So now let’s rewind to March 2013, my very first interaction with Naturally Curly in which I was invited to New York to shoot a vlog for L’Oreal’s new line Ever Curl. Reviews? That I can damn well do. I do know how to palm a fistful of jelly and slap it on my hair like no one’s business so I usually welcome these types of gigs plus my hair is extremely responsive to product so I am in fact a good candidate. But this “day-two style” part…how do I admit to these people who have knighted me as a hair guru that I literally only have two styles mastered: up in a disorganized bun when I don’t care, down when I do.

Tried a twist out – didn’t turn out. Tried a braided fish tail – looked like a deep-fried rat tail. Attempted a pinned updo – looked like a field of doo doo. Honestly your girl could not cornrow if it meant dodging death row. It’s like asking me to golf with my left hand, and I don’t even golf.

So I did what any other style-deficient girl would do and I enlisted the help of bobby pins to make a “tutorial” video fit for someone who just discovered they had hands that same morning. Thank you to the whole team from Naturally Curly for being kind enough to humor me but in actuality I am not the ideal how-to candidate when it comes to beauty. And don’t get me wrong this isn’t for lack of inspiration or effort, it’s genuine skill that is missing, moreover genuine effort to develop my lack of natural skill. I LOVE hair, love talking about, looking at, dissecting the culture of and learning about, hair! I am a proud member of the hair community but I also know my role within it.

This is why I truly get utterly confused when people ask me to do beauty vlogs at all…me? Of all the wonderful, versatile people to learn from out there we really don’t need to be encouraging everyone to stand atop the beauty soap box because as Jay-Z says it ain’t for everybody! *raises hand.

Shannon's Curly Hair Tutorial

And this brings me to the two points of this article:

  1. Not everyone who has found beauty in themselves can transfer that over to others. Furthermore it takes more than knowing how to brush your hair to give complicated advice to others. So let’s all collectively stop seeking advice from people who just aren’t experts because luckily we don’t have to look far anymore to find people who are. I see many women reluctantly take on this “beauty guru” role just because enough people ask. Know yourself and know who you are asking advice on yourself.
  2. Praise to the incredibly talented hair and make-up gurus who dedicate their time trying to help schlubs like me learn a lil something! Though I will fail every time, I love to watch how experimental and talented today’s women are with their hair. You go ladies and gents in drag!

So there it is, for my final article here for NaturallyCurly.com I would like to officially announce that I am not a beauty expert but I would like to highlight those who tried purple then dyed green! Those who can shave half their head or chop it all off knowing they will be okay on the other side. Cheers to you who make braids look like simple math and heat tools transform into magic wands. I salute your style, adore your versatility and above all respect your talents! My favs? NaturallyCurl (obvs), Shameless Maya, ItsMyRayeRaye, SunKissAlba, MilaVictoria, NaturallyGG, LuxyHair, da1nonlymixedqt aka Tiffany Darlyn, YNotKeeb, PatriciaBright.

I am totally comfortable with my hypothetical children looking at my small variances in style and look over the decades with thoughts of awe not awesome. I accept the fact that like my mother, I will spend my life preserving the look I love rather than fishing for a new one.

I am not the girl you should follow trying to chase down your own outer beauty – I’d rather pose the questions to analyze the inner. I am that woman who loves the culture and loves to engage in discussion on it! Thank you to NaturallyCurly.com for giving me a platform to do just that, thanks for giving me a forum to be a voice even though I am hardly your typical beauty gal. Most of all thank you to you all for reading and challenging me – I know I didn’t come with any useful tips but hopefully I provided ample food for thought.

This post is dedicated to all my fellow hair-lames who still love being a part of hair communities – I see you with your messy bun!!