My favorite style for Farouk James is a wash and go, air dried. I love the way his natural curls form without any manipulation--it’s at this time he gets the most compliments.
If you’re crazy about curls, chances are you have run across the latest viral sensation, curly kiddo Farouk James. His curls makes many green with curl envy and his classic style make this young gentlemen stand out in the crowd. I was able to get a chance to talk to Farouk’s mother recently and got some insight into the inspiration and care for these awesome curls!
Hi, my names Bonnie and I'm a mother of three. The two eldest are over the age of 18, so when I'm asked how many children I have, I can honestly answer 1 as Farouk James is the only child. I was a mother at a very young age and I was aware that I having made the choice to have mixed children I had a responsibility, along with teaching them about their culture, but also in maintain and embrace their hair to insure they could stand tall and be confident with who they are. I taught myself to braid, corn row and even though my family hated my Sunday hair regime with my daughter (which included a 2 hour braid and sometimes tears) I remained determined to continue.
How long have you been embracing your son’s natural curls?
Farouk James was born with dead straight hair but this only lasted for about 2 months; his father had instructed me that his hair must not be cut until he is 3 years old due to his Ghanaian culture. I agreed and respected his preference as it was his first born boy and I knew how much it meant to him, but to be honest I never expected Farouk's hair to grow so long! I embraced his curls as soon as they sprouted through. I had a lot of time on my hands in his first 2 years of life (I hadn't began university at the time). I love grooming his hair and we very rarely experience tears. In fact, my sister--whose children are white--cry more when their hair is combed! I find the whole hair care experience a positive bonding and nurturing one, second to breast feeding.
Do you have any style inspirations in the curly community?
My favorite style for Farouk James is a wash and go, air dried, I love the way his natural curls form without any manipulation. It’s at this time he gets the most compliments and questions about how I "get his hair like that." I can answer, "This is his natural style!" and usually leave a look of disbelief on their face. That's why I love doing his YouTube hair journey videos to show the world that the most natural things are the most beautiful.
Farouk often has ideas of his personal clothing choice. It's usually between a suit and tie or a superhero outfit, and because I strongly believe in self-expression, he is likely to get his own way within that regard within reason.
Our inspirations include Taren Guy and Mel Burgos of (Rock Yo Rizos) who recently done a big chop. In the UK, I admire the inspirational talents of Fro Girl Ginny and Rene Daniella (Own By Femme) and the way they help empower young girls to be themselves...I mainly admire the people who have experienced a struggle and overcome diversity remaining true to themselves. I have had curly hair and for me, it’s pretty easy to maintain. I really respect those with more difficult textures who put in the work to maintain their natural, although I appreciate we don't all have the time. Our favorite page is Urban Bush Babes for hair care ran by the twin sisters TK and Cipriana Quann--their page is full of love, laughter and hair care.
How do you merge your love of fashion and hair?
I have never followed trends when it comes to hair. Everyone is an individual--a natural hair style is timeless and never goes out of fashion. It’s annoying to hear that the afro is "back in". It’s insulting to people’s natural hair or any texture to consider them cool or not based upon what one was born with! Of course with clothes it’s a different thing it’s a human design and created--not made by God--so I can accept harsh personal opinions.
It’s annoying to hear that the afro is "back in". It’s insulting to people’s natural hair or any texture to consider them cool or not based upon what one was born with!
When dressing myself, I always start with my shoes and go from there; with Farouk, dressing can only start from the hair. I have to ask myself "Will that clash with his fro, his curls, the size of his hair and the colour? It’s a very interesting concept to others.
Describe your personal style.
I have a very eclectic style and is always mood reflective. I believe what you wear can attract people or scare them off. So if I have a busy day and I don't have time to chat I will wear one colour plain colour maybe dark blue, grey or black which I have found works. But I do love socializing general so I wear bright colours always coordinated. I'm also dyslexic which makes colours very important and useful for me so I use them as much as possible.
Farouk and I often combine styles and when we are together: I start with his hair, my shoe,s and the planned day. If it’s a trip to the park, of course comfort and movability for him is priority. However, Farouk often has other ideas his personal clothing choice. It's usually between a suit and tie or a superhero outfit and because I strongly believe in self-expression, he is likely to get his own way within that regard within reason. For example, I will not allow a Darth Vader outfit to be worn to church!
What are the pros and cons of having your son be an online sensation?
The pros are definitely to inspire and give others the confidence to embrace their own natural hair and to break the stereotypes that people have about afro hair and even further about white mothers who have mixed kids in that they cannot maintain afro hair.
I haven't found any cons as of yet for him being online as he doesn't get any more attention from being there, it has always taken me an hour to get a pint of milk from my local store from being stopped by people asking questions about him. I love when he wears braids during the week as it gives me a break!
Only time can tell what may come from his online popularity. I am vigilant and if is see any negativity which could affect Farouk James then I would obviously reconsider our position about being online.
Only time can tell what may come from his online popularity. I am vigilant and if is see any negativity which could affect Farouk James then I would obviously reconsider our position about being online. And the great thing is if I cut his hair he would no longer be recognized so easily. Farouk is a confident kind loving humble little boy and that's how I want him to remain.
Favorite product routine?
My first stop for products are natural shea butter--which I have sent to me from Ghana--and organic coconut butter. These are my holy grail of products and I have plans to create a hair product line from them. In the meantime, I'm trying virtually every brand I can to see what works with Farouk's high density, low porosity mix of type 3c and 4 curls; because his hair is so diverse from the back to the top to the ends, I often have to use different products in places during one session. All reviews will be honestly posted on YouTube and Instagram. Not to say that one product that works for us will work for someone else!