Who would have known that hair could change a life? I mean, in a meaningful, path-altering way? You know, really give you a whole new perspective and shape your experiences for years to come. Who knew that hair could be a lens with which to view myself and to approach the world? Hear me out before you say “it’s just hair.” I know it is, but for me my natural hair journey has brought a fullness of life that I never imagined possible.
I started my hair journey in July 2011. I scoured the internet for YouTube tutorials, blogs, articles - any piece of information that could help me follow through with my decision to stop applying relaxers to my hair. I spent countless hours reading, watching, subscribing, and researching everything and anything related to natural hair care. And with time, I began to get a grip of how to take care of my hair.
The power of watching others like you
But beyond the hours spent watching YouTube tutorials and reading blogs by hair gurus, was an even more powerful revelation. Natural hair was the hook, but with time the journey took on a force of its own.
Beyond the hours spent watching YouTube tutorials and reading blogs by hair gurus, was an even more powerful revelation.
See there’s something powerful about watching your life lived through one who's bodied like you. There’s something bolstering, reassuring. There’s something validating about watching a YouTube beauty guru apply her makeup and watching your bodied self, mirrored in another, partaking of the rituals of being. Makeup applications, tutorials, hauls, regimens, talks, and hours spent on blogs and videos. As if, almost watching oneself. As if, almost learning what it means to be oneself. It is symbiosis.
It’s a process by which young, black women are working through what it means to be young black women. Beyond acrylic nails, the latest reviews and lookbooks are a conversation across screens. How should I present myself to the world? Should I wear natural hair or wear human hair wigs? Should I be a minimalist or a bohemian beauty?
The power of online connection
My natural hair journey has gone beyond just natural hair care; it’s shaped my perspectives on self-care and on the power of using social and web platforms to tell a different story, a new story about the black woman and in my case, the African black woman. Natural hair care has allowed me to connect with women from across the world - we’ve laughed, shared experiences, built friendships, and spurred each other on.
The power of influence
It’s truly an honor that as life would have it, I’ve had the opportunity to share my hair journey with a new generation of naturalistas via my blog. As I share my story, I’m not just sharing hot hair tips and tricks to give you long, natural hair, I’m letting you in on the beauty of womanhood, particularly black womanhood. I’m spreading “love and sunshine” to an often forgotten and underrated demographic. I’m challenging a political narrative that has been defined by other bodies other than our own.
What an honor, what a time to be alive, what a time to let my kinks and curls, and in deed my soul, be free.