Nearly 100 students, ranging from 2A to 4C hair types, gathered in the Oxford Road Building at Emory on Sunday, September 10th to take part in ‘A Seat in the Salon.’ Partnered with Emory's Black Student Alliance and Shea Moisture’s Atlanta University Center (AUC) Ambassadors: Nzali Scales, Kenya Crosby, David Holden and Kennedy Weathers, students of color learned from the shared knowledge gathered in the space, and we afforded hair-care tips and beauty hacks. Guests discussed the stereotypes that society associates with certain hair types, colorism in the Black community, and the historical question, "What is good hair?"
While the question is very subjective, the Shea Moisture AUC Ambassadors and students concluded that "good hair" is a "good way to rock your own your hair". Students had the opportunity to ask specific questions to the Ambassadors about protective styling, deep conditioning, and transitioning tips. Towards the end of the event, ambassadors performed hair demos on participating hair models ranging from nearly all hair types. Students, both male and female, left the event with a better understanding of not only how to take care of their hair, but also on ways to love their hair no matter the texture, length, or curl pattern.
A conversation was started with this event. A conversation that gave voice to very isolated and silenced struggles with self-love and blackness. Black Star’s Editor-in-Chief and the host of the event, Christell Victoria Roach, says “good hair, unfortunately for people of color, has always been defined by white society. So I think we need to define that for ourselves, and we define that by inserting choice into all of it.” So, in order to continue that conversation on hair and self-love and self-care, Black Star is choosing to launch a Black Hair Blog, A Seat in the Salon in order to directly continue a discussion on Black hair that creates space for and normalizes this aspect of our identity.
The purpose of this blog is to continue the dialogs around hair, identity, and hair-care tips that began at A Seat in the Salon. The goal of the blog is to provide a space for Black students who have struggled with loving themselves because of their hair texture, or for those who never understood how to take care of their hair. Through this blog, myself along with contributions from readers and staff, will provide readers with hair-care tips for varying hair types, styling and protective styling tips for natural and transitioning hair, review of certain products and brands, and coping mechanisms for truly loving and accepting your curls. The most successful version of this blog, A Seat in the Salon, is the establishment of a hair community.
A Seat in the Salon is especially important to me because as I embark on my natural hair journey, not only am I learning more about my curls, but I am learning to love my curls and myself despite the stigma society places on someone with my hair type (4C). As I was introduced to perms and texturizes at a very young age, growing up, I never knew my natural curl pattern. I sought ways to cover my dry and heat damaged hair with braids and weaves, thus never allowing my natural hair to breathe. It was not until my sophomore year of college when I decided I wanted to start over and take better care of my hair. I am not the only one who has embarked on this hair journey. I am not the only one who has had to learn how to love myself from my head to my toes.
There are a plethora of experiences when it comes to Black hair and our hair journeys. Not everyone has the same feelings or challenges with their hair, so hopefully this blog can serve as an outlet for people to share their experiences. Join the Conversation! Black Star Magazine constantly seeks content from our readers whether it be digital, prose, or a short article about your hair journey. If you are interested in sharing your experience, please contact us for more details by reaching out to Black Star Staff, sliding in our org’s DMs (@blackstaremory), or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All kinks and kurls welcome!
By: Monet Timmons, Staff Writer