“I’ve been natural for ten years. I was motivated to go natural because I got a bad perm and when I went to college everyone was natural. Honestly, it was something that I didn’t know was a possibility but I tried it out and stuck with it. I was spending so much money trying to keep my hair straightened that wearing it natural was the most efficient way. I don’t miss waiting in the hair salon. Even when I do go to the salon, I don’t go on a Saturday because I realized that I could not continue to give my life over to a random salon where I’m not paying bills.
I work for a member of Congress who has sister-locks, so I knew that I wouldn’t receive push back for wearing my hair natural in the workplace. Prior to working for the congresswoman, I had internships in corporate environments and if someone said anything about my hair they never said it to my face. I went to college in Philly, so I saw a lot of judges with Afros and dreadlocks. The precedent was a little higher there compared to where I’m originally from down south. A lot of family members still don’t really get it, so you just have to be comfortable with yourself.”
Visit That Someday is Tonight and Memory Maker Inc. to learn more about Chenire and how she helps people make a lasting impression. “This is my fourth year being natural, but I had a second big chop. Sometimes you get tired of the journey and want to chop it off again. I try not to be defined by my hair, however. I was at a point when I worked in corporate America...
2017 represented a phenomenal year of personal development and growth. I feel that something must have been in the air because I’ve noticed that quite a few people had a similar experience. Can you relate? If so, definitely let me know. Since I listen to quite a few (PHENOMENAL) podcasts that are hosted by black women and focus on a wide range of topics, I have a never-ending list of...
Learn more about JohariMade jams and jellies by visiting here website. “I’ve been natural since I started my locs in 2008. I was very anti-locs for a long time, but my daughter was about eight years old when I let her start loc’ing her hair– she even did a book report about it. Initially, I couldn’t imagine loc’ing my hair because I could only think of Whoopi Goldberg’s loc style, but...
“The first time I did the big chop was nearly five years ago. I just cut my hair for the second time because I wanted something exciting and new. I’ve dyed my hair so many times that I just wanted to stop and do it all over again. It’s a lot easier for me to deal with short hair because I can pick up and go.
When I started wearing my hair natural, I wore an afro and it was a little intimidating because people didn’t know how to address me. It kind of showed me the barriers and boundaries for certain jobs, especially when I started going through the interview process. People looked at me a bit different than they would if I had straightened my hair. It threw me off a little, but after a while I kind of learned to assert myself. I learned to be empowered and realized that if they can’t understand who I am and appreciate my personality then it’s just not worth it. Growing into it has been nice. I’ve found myself being sassier and way more confident.”
“I’m an attorney, so I’ve worn my hair in court to mediation. I don’t feel like I’ve been treated any differently because of my hair. Sometimes I wear it straight. Sometimes I wear it fro. It depends on what I’m up to because the fro actually takes more time. It’s a loving self-care process that relaxes me when I’m able to do it, but when I’m not able to do it I can get frustrated with myself. I’m like ‘no, you don’t have the time to put on all of the product and oils that keep it right for the day.’ At night I’ll put on the oil and I’ll feel better, but then I notice that it’s getting a little frizzy so I need to re-wash it.
Love your texture for what it is. I have three different textures going on due to mixed ancestry. The front is longer, the middle is super kinky and the back has looser curls. For me, learning the different textures was frustrating and I didn’t want to own that identity. I was like ‘oh my gosh, my hair. I can’t wear it out like this.’ I would do twists and then I just got annoyed with the time that it took to dry the twists, so I decided that I was going to just wash and fro.”
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...
“I live in London, but I’ve worked in other European countries where people would ask to randomly touch my hair. I’d be at work and people would literally touch my hair throughout the day, so I know that I would be the talk of the day if I wore my hair out like I’m wearing it now.
I’ve been natural for two years. One day I was having a hard time and needed a change, so I cut it off myself. It was very liberating. It was the first time I experienced having short hair which took a little while for me to embrace because in our community hair is everything. A lot of women in London have natural hair, but they choose to wear protective styles because it appears more acceptable on the job. I often wear protective styles myself when I’m back home. Things are slowly changing, however. Our main pharmacy chain which is similar to CVS started selling more products for Afro-textured hair about three years ago. A lot of people get their natural hair products from the US, so that’s important.”
“I went natural in 2010 because I had headaches that I thought were related to chemical relaxers. At the time, I cut my hair super short. I have a hard time wearing my hair like this at work because I work in a relatively conservative environment. I only recently started receiving more support when another black woman was promoted into a senior position. I’ve applied for promotions, but have yet to receive one. One woman at work regularly asks me if I will cut a certain piece of my hair, but I always say no.
My boyfriend has locs that touch the ground, so he’s always been supportive of how I choose to wear my hair. I wish that he was here with me now, so that you could see us together.”
*This is Blooming Queens first featured post! Featured posts indicate that we know someone personally or contacted an individual to request an interview after meeting them in person. More often than not, we’re interviewing women who we meet on the street, but we’d be remiss to not acknowledge the women who we personally know are great representations of Blooming Queens. This woman, in particular serves as a reminder to Carla to always own her voice in the workplace and not be afraid to be bold.
“Figuring out my curls took a while, but I mainly wore my hair curly instead of straight while in college. I realized that some men would only talk to me when my hair was straight, so I knew that wearing my hair curly sent a message about the person I wanted to attract which was someone who would appreciate my hair in it’s natural state just as much as when it was straightened.
I wear my hair down in all of it’s curly fabulousness. In IT, people like it because I have big hair and I’m typically one of a few women in my department. I never felt like I had to change my hair, however. At my current organization, people think that my hair looks beautiful.”