(Blooming Entrepreneurs) “I had to follow my heart when I decided to loc my hair. It’s my hair, on my head and I haven’t looked back since…”

I’ve been really fortunate to interact with quite a few entrepreneurs who I want to highlight on the blog. Shawna Kaye is a personal branding strategist and digital branding consultant who I met recently while out and about at an event. I had to share her experience as a blooming entrepreneur with natural hair on the blog! You can learn more about Shawna by visiting her website where she has a few freebies for folks to utilize: www.shawnakaye.com.

“I consider myself to be one of the natural hair pioneers because I went natural during a time when it was not popularly accepted. After high school, I realized that I didn’t want to get perms anymore, so I transitioned by growing my hair out for about six months using rod sets to blend the different textures. After rocking several transitional styles, I decided that I was ready to cut my hair and when I went home my family reacted to my teeny weeny Afro by saying that I looked like Shaka Zulu or Kunta Kinte. Coming from a conservative Jamaican background, anything related to being natural at the time was shunned, and even when I decided to get locs they were apprehensive about that as well because they feared that I would be labeled a Rasta, which was considered taboo.

I’ve had locs for nine years on top of three years of loose natural hair growth. My hair should be down to my knees, but I’ve cut it several times — anytime I feel like it’s too long. There are times when I think about growing it out and being a loose natural, but I’m an entrepreneur so I need a style that’s low maintenance. I take my shampoo, conditioner and oil sheen and keep it moving. I love my locs and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. I had to follow my heart when I decided to loc my hair because it’s my hair, on my head and I haven’t looked back since. The same people who talked crap about me loc’ing my hair are now saying that it’s beautiful, so go for it if you feel a conviction in your heart. At the end of the day, people will hop on your bandwagon when they see that things are going your way.”

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