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Last night I went to North Carolina State University’s campus to attend “From Root to Tip – A Discussion on African American Hair” sponsored by Women Empowering Society Together (W.E.S.T.), Campus Curls and Kinks, African Student Union, Zeta Phi Beta and NCSU Women’s Center. I was very interested in hearing what educated young women had to say about natural hair. Well, I was pleasantly surprised!!!

The program started at 7 PM sharp so I got there around 10 minutes early. They were very professional and engaging. They greeted everyone as entered the room. One of the organizers of the event, Derykah, personally came up to me and introduced herself as she had never seen me attend one of their events before. (Note to self: A+ Derykah)

The program started with an introduction from the president and co-founder of Campus Curls and Kinks, Lakesha Alexander followed by a short film of how kinky, curly, and coily hair has been portrayed in the media over the years. Most was bits were entertaining while some were disheartening and thought provoking. After the short film, the panelists were introduced. They had a very diverse group of students with different classifications and majors that included men!!! I was intrigued as sometimes we don’t always get a man’s perspective. LOL. Not only were the panelists diverse (Some had hair, some didn’t. Some were natural, some weren’t), but the audience was equally diverse. I was surprised to see as many Caucasian people, men and women, in the crowd.
The discussion started out with “Why I like my hair?” Some of the responses were as follows: it holds truth, versatility, uniqueness, it’s all mine, it tells a story about me without me saying a word and nothing has to be done to it. They continued with Black hair matters because in this day and age we aren’t told how we have to wear our hair. It’s free from control of White America.  Now I’m telling you, these kids (yes, I said kids because I’m old enough to be their least a few of them) weren’t pulling any punches just because they were in “mixed” company. Don’t get me wrong, nothing was said that was disrespectful, but it just wasn’t said like they said it when I was their age.

The discussion continued when the panelists were asked, “How have members of other racial groups reacted to your hair? Is there a fascination?” Young men and women alike voiced their opinions and observations but the one statement that struck me was “people of other races are fascinated with our hair because they JUST DON’T KNOW. It’s not a negative thing. They want to know more about us.” One white student was a little curious. She said that she washed her hair EVERYDAY because if she didn't, she would have enough oil in her hair that she could fry a chicken, to which everyone chuckled. But she did want to know how often we washed our hair. She heard different answers...once a week, once every two weeks, every other day, it just depends. What she learned was that every head of hair isn't the same. I'm sure it was an eye opener for her. After pondering it for a while, that’s so true. I'm reminded of my co-worker’s reactions when they see my hair in its natural state verses when they see it straightened. It’s hilarious! I get “your hair is soooo versatile! I wish I could get my hair to do that.” (Ha! No you don’t! LOL)

Check my hair in different stages...

Freshly washed natural hair.
Natural hair pinned up.
Natural hair out and fluffy.
Natural hair straightened.

There were many other questions asked but one I thought needed some attention was, “What is the black male experience with hair? What is your take on women with natural hair?” As my grandma used to say, now we’re cooking with grease! I really wanted to hear young men give their honest opinions regarding hair in today’s age of Beyonce’, Rihanna, Lady GaGa, Miley Cyrus, etc. One of the young men on the panel said there’s something attractive about a woman who’s CONFIDENT about her natural hair. Another male attendee said “I want my daughter to be proud of who she is that’s why I love women with natural hair.” Awww, REFRESHING!!!!

If you are in the Raleigh area and want to be apart of a "natural" discussion, check out Campus Curls and Kinks!

Do you have an organization on your college campus or in your community that celebrates natural hair??? Please SHARE!!!
Peace and Blessings!


02/28/2014 6:13am

I love how you can do your hair in so many different ways. Your hair looks amazing.

02/28/2014 10:14am

Thanks Xiomara! It's cumbersome and times, but I love it. :-) Thanks for sharing!

02/28/2014 11:24am

I love this!! And all the different styles of your hair. I am also a naturalista. A newbie though. Almost 6 months post BC. I'm loving it. My hubby was super fine with my long, relaxed hair & is just as supportive now.

02/28/2014 11:45am

Christy that's great! Stay encouraged. Glad to hear that your husband was supportive! Mine has been as well. :-) Thanks for sharing!

02/28/2014 11:25am

Hair has got to be one of the most important of human features. Wouldn't know what to do without it, so I appreciate what hair I have! Thanks for sharing this, it looks like you had a great time!

02/28/2014 11:52am

Michelle, hair or lack of hair is definitely important. It can be polarizing. Having had no hair before, I definitely appreciate it more! Thanks for sharing!

02/28/2014 12:45pm

Sounds like a very interesting event. I am glad that people of all cultures attended and that people are not wanting to "conform" to what they think hair should be. I have said this before, I LOVE your hair! It looks cute in all the pictures you shared.

02/28/2014 1:09pm

Thanks Sue!!! I appreciate that! Hopefully, more people will more accepting. :-) Thanks for sharing!

02/28/2014 12:56pm

Having had the (a-hem) pleasure of being bald due to chemo, I was just thrilled mine grew back. :-)

02/28/2014 1:11pm

Amen Peggy!!! I have a better appreciation of ALL hair! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

02/28/2014 3:35pm

You have amazing hair!

02/28/2014 3:52pm

Thanks Sophia!

02/28/2014 3:49pm

Your hair is beautiful any style you wear it!! Great read!

02/28/2014 3:52pm

Thanks Emily! I really appreciate that!

02/28/2014 4:31pm

Your hair looks gorgeous!! And what a great post this was. Very interesting :)

03/01/2014 3:06pm

Thank you! :-)

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    Decided to go natural after successfully finishing chemo for Stage 3 breast cancer. I didn't always do everything right, but did the best I could do. I have a great support system - family, friends and church members who embraced my decision to go natural. So, I decided to pass along the information I've gathered over the years to encourage anyone that they too can do this!

    What is a ManeAngel???

    A ManeAngel encourages, educates and helps you embrace who you are while hopefully entertaining you along the way. ManeAngels is for EVERYONE...not just those who have "natural" hair.  We don't exclude anyone.  So, for those who are relaxed, laced, etc. you are welcomed too! Remember, you were made in the image of God...fearfully and wonderfully made!  Embrace it and enjoy the journey!


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