You describe yourself as a “taboo buster.” Give us an example of that as it relates to hair.

In my ideal bathroom, I have multiple shower heads and one of them has to be an overhead shower head that runs like rain. I would have several mounted on the ceiling, and I’d be in heaven! Some women tell me they wouldn’t dare get that because it would mess up their hair. My response? Girl! Throw some caution to that wind and live your life! It’s just water.

I love water in my hair, especially if it doesn’t have chlorine or salt in it, and the good thing about that is that I know what to do when I’m done. I’m going to put some Verbena Coil Conditioner in it, comb it through, throw in some chunky twists and go to sleep. When I wake up the next morning and shower again, I can rinse the excess from my hair while leaving some in. Once I give my head a good shake and get out the shower, I can undo my twists and rock a bomb wash and go. With a little Ambrosia Curl Cooler gel, I’m out, I’m free, and my curls are poppin! That’s all I need and I’m hitting the scene.

Some women return to their natural hair and don’t like the hair that they meet. What do you say to them when that happens?

First, you have to realize that many women got their hair relaxed at such a young age that they really are just meeting their hair for the first time as adults. When they’ve been used to processed hair for so long, it can be an adjustment. I try to exercise patience with this group and encourage them gently. I say to them the same thing I say to myself:

“Girl, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful. God didn’t make a mistake. You are as you’re supposed to be. Now, take your curls and go work it!”

We have to be confident because usually the issue isn’t really outside. People who dislike their appearance typically have issues on the inside that have a lot less to do with hair or their outward appearance. They have to address the inside first, and that can be a difficult conversation to have. So I tell people about myself because I can’t tell them what to do with themselves. I tell them that I’m happy with who I am and the choices I’ve made and that I like me. So if anyone steps to me and tries to tell me how to fix me, I’m going to look at them like they’re crazy and like they just may catch these hands. You know why? Because I like me and I’ve taken the time to get to know the me that I love so much. I tell them that in hopes that it rubs off.

So when I deal with people who have a poor body image, especially as it relates to their hair, I realize that I can tell them all day long that they have nice curls and nice hair. They won’t internalize it because there’s something else inside that’s blocking that space. Their negative internal voice drowns my positive voice, so I have to share my energy and love of myself with them.

I tell clients to trust me and let me show them what their curls can do. Those with thin, wavy, or curly hair always want thick hair with a tighter coil. Those with a tighter coil always want the Tracee Ellis Ross look. In my mind, if we could all just learn to love what we have, we would all be better off because the truth is that you can manipulate your hair to get any look you want.

So somebody who has thin hair and wants a thick bush, get a crotchet and rock an afro. If you have a thick bush and want some loose curls, get a crochet. You can have whatever look you want. That’s the versatility of black hair. We can do that. We can be whomever we want, but I think that it’s important if you’re blessed enough to have hair that is still growing out of your scalp that you embrace it because it may not always be there. You have to embrace what you have while you have it.

Just celebrate every single thing that you can about yourself and about your life every single day because it’s a blessing to be here. You have to treat life like that. It’s not just about hair. I don’t want to live my life focusing on one thing.  It’s one part of who I am, but it’s connected to all the other parts, so if I can get someone to love her hair, maybe I can talk to her about loving the other parts of who she is. And that’s really the goal. The conversation isn’t about the hair.  That’s just our entry point. The goal is getting you to like yourself.

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