Some black women refuse to wear their hair out in its natural state due to myths that ethnic hair is unmanageable, high maintenance and painful. While hair stylists have recently tried classifying ethnic hair to help understand the maintenance routine, some people, including myself, still feel their hair does not fall under this labelled spectrum.
With our schools deeming ethnic natural hair as distracting and the corporate deeming it as unprofessional, it is no wonder that finding the perfect hair products and hairdresser is a hunt for people of colour.
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Co-founder of Nubian Crown Hair Studio, Yvonne Diogo, says her main inspiration to start a natural hair salon was her struggles as a new mom of two daughters.
Diogo describes her experience by saying, “I visited a range of salons. I saw a gap in the market because some salons specialising in natural hair were very highly-priced though the quality was excellent, and then some who were more affordable and had great quality didn’t have the best location, especially for a mom, travelling with two young girls in terms of safety”.
As a co-founding of a hair salon that addressed her struggles and did not cost the earth, Yvonne told us some myths she has found untrue and has been shackling black women.
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- Natural hair is difficult to manage: No, it’s not. It’s not difficult to manage when you’ve got the right products and understand your hair. If you understand the science of hair, you will know that it’s all about the coils. The tighter your coil is, the less moisture It has. So it will be more manageable if you aid your hair by topping up and infusing moisture.
- Ethnic hair does not grow: That is not true at all. It grows to lengths. The challenge is breakage. So because we are not nourishing the hair by deep conditioning regularly from the cuticle to the cortex, the hair dries out. The deep conditioning regimen, ideally every two weeks, will help retain length because the hair is happy.
- We need to apply heat to style our hair: We don’t have to. The hair is a lot healthier without heat because, by nature, it’s dry; it becomes much healthier when you style it in its wet condition. So straight from deep conditioning to towel drying with the microfiber towel, moisturising with oils and cream, and then putting it in a protective style.
A woman’s hair is her crown, and black women having hair that can take different forms and hairstyles is a superpower that needs protection.
Yvonne says, “The styles that they install, whether it be braids, locks, or braids, they are going to be installed using techniques that are not going to damage your hairline and not going to damage your hair follicles. Therefore, providing beauty for the long-haul.”
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