by Minister of Information JR
Self-love is the first and most important love that an individual or a community can have. Without it, self-hatred develops. And I believe that our community is crawling out of the cave of self-hatred with more women desiring to do their hair naturally, and more men desiring women who are not afraid of their natural beauty.
A lot of the time when we talk about natural hair, the discussion turns to the Korean domination of the African hair care market in our community. Although that is an issue that needs to be addressed, that is not where I want to take this. I think it is more important for Black women to hear Black men and other Black women say they are beautiful – without the temporary hairstyle which we call a perm.
I met Camille, a student at Mills, at a café and I noticed her natural hair and beauty. I asked her about it and asked her if I could interview her so that we could talk about her natural mystique …
M.O.I JR: Why did you decide to wear your hair naturally?
Camille: As a child, I always felt un-pretty, to say the least, having to wear my hair straightened. My hair was super thin coupled with an intensely dry scalp. No matter how straight my hair was, or how many butterfly clips I adorned it with, flaky thin hair just isn’t cute!
I decided to go natural after I graduated high school. In my freshman year of college, I picked up a book in my friend’s brother’s room called “Hair Story,” and the rest is history.
M.O.I. JR: How long has it been natural?
Camille: Since 2005. I can remember the first time I felt my naturally coiled hair. It was that tight curl, like the number 8. It was soft, pluffy, but insanely difficult for a first timer to comb. I fell in love standing there in that mirror that day.
M.O.I. JR: How do you feel after many years of wearing it natural? Are you more comfortable now than before?
Camille: I feel like it is the most accurate extension of myself. It is the perfect accoutrement to the exterior me. I love it! I can do so much with it – twist it, twist-out it, fro it – I can do so many things.
M.O.I. JR: How do other Black women respond to your hair?
Camille: I always get stopped by women, whether in the grocery store, in line at the post office or at school. So to answer your question, women respond to my hair either with an attitude like, “Your hair is so fly, I wish I could do that,” or “I’ve been trying new things; how do you get your hair that way?”
M.O.I.: How long have you been styling natural hair?
Camille: Pro’ly since 2007. After I left Ghana and had to deal with styling my hair more regularly. So I’d say it was around then.
M.O.I. JR: How do people get in touch with you?