“When I started focusing on living a more holistic lifestyle, I stopped relaxing my hair…”

“When I started focusing on living a more holistic lifestyle, I stopped relaxing my hair. I transitioned to natural in 2009 and started growing it out in 2016. Having my daughter earlier this year also influenced my decision to let my hair grow out more. Initially, I wanted to loc my hair, but I always kept it cut short until now.”

“Both of my parents are health nuts, so I’ve been natural all my life…”

“You caught me while I was sitting here with my eyes closed in the park enjoying the warmth of the sun before the weather gets too cold.

Both of my parents are health nuts, so I’ve been natural all my life. Being natural hasn’t really impacted the way that I live because it’s really the only lifestyle that I know. If having natural hair inspires more women of color to live a healthy and organic lifestyle then that’s definitely a good thing.”

 

“I recognized that I needed a change, so I started snipping my hair and combing it out..”

“I cut my locs because my birthday was a little over a week ago and I just turned 34. I’m going through a time of transition with a lot of different things, including my personal and professional life. I’m a clinical social worker and a therapist working primarily in healthcare with a network that focuses on undocumented  black immigrants. I had my locs for about two years. I recognized that...

“People are figuring out that your natural hair can grow and that it is beautiful….”

“I’ve been natural my whole life except for the time when I relaxed my edges and my edges have never been the same. I lived in Phoenix, AZ until I moved to Washington, DC for medical school when I was 24 years old. Having grown up around a majority of non-black people, I was kind of ashamed of my hair because people would always try to touch it and would...

“Going natural and cutting my hair was me saying ‘no, I’m taking my power back’…”

“I decided to take time off before pursuing my undergraduate education. At the time, going natural and cutting my hair was me saying ‘no, I’m taking my power back’ because I was always looking for answers outside of myself. Loc’ing my hair has helped be more patient. I can visually see how strong and healthy my hair is as it grows and I mature. I’m excited to attend Howard University...

“I often choose to do my own hair and makeup…”

Shanel James will represent the United States at the 2017 Miss International beauty pageant to be held in Japan in November. Let’s show her some love!  “I’ve been involved with the pageant world for about ten years. I went to a high school in Maryland that has a lot of former Miss Maryland USA contestants which exposed me to the pageant process. I’ve done multiple photo shoots which is amazing...

“I have a hard time wearing my hair like this at work…”

“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.”

Reflections on Entrepreneurship and the Natural Hair Community

“I have come to realize that it’s much deeper than that…” This quote is from a woman who I met and interviewed on the street for Blooming Queens. She made the statement when referring to the mindset shift that occurred during her transition to natural hair. She let me know that gone were the days when she only focused on having super long hair because she entered a new phase...

“I knew that wearing my hair curly sent a message…”

*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.”