Check out my interview for Refinery 29 where I talk about my natural hair experience along with 8 other amazing women like Founder of Carol’s Daughter Lisa Price, Writer and Image Activist Michaela Angela Davis, owner of Sincerely Tommy Kai Avent-deLeon, Senior Fashion Editor at The Huffington Post Julee Wilson, and more! Read my interview below and read the rest of the interviews here –> Refinery 29.
Written by Taylor Bryant
Nikisha Brunson, Cofounder Of Urban Bush Babes
Tell us a little history of your journey with your hair.
“I haven’t always liked my hair and embraced it. Growing up in Brooklyn in the ’80s and ’90s, my hair type wasn’t seen often, so I didn’t fit in. Unfortunately, the kids and teens I grew up around made sure I knew I didn’t fit in and I was severely bullied. Part of the bullying included making fun of my hair all the time. So, by the time I reached high school, I made sure to straighten my hair using flat irons, hot combs, relaxer, etc., so I could fit in with everyone else’s standard of beauty and to make everyone else comfortable.”
Was there a defining moment when you started to love your hair?
“I started to love my hair during my later years in university, when I was acting and auditioning for roles. I was exposed to beautiful people from around the world who accepted me for who I was and [who] thought my hair was beautiful. I began to see that what God gave me was beautiful, and in order for me to be comfortable in my own skin I had to love my hair and embrace it.”
More and more women are starting to embrace their natural coils. How do you feel about this newfound movement? How do you see it evolving?
“I love the movement of women embracing their natural hair! It’s so beautiful to see women accepting every part of themselves just as God designed them, no matter what negative experiences they’ve had or just lack of knowledge on how to care for their hair in its natural state.
“I think it’s evolved, and will continue to evolve, into how we can live healthy from the inside out. A lot of naturals stay away from relaxers and other hair products full of chemicals that aren’t healthy for the body because of health concerns. A lot of us also pay attention to nutritional health and exercising, which comes with the benefit of growing and keeping your hair at its healthiest.”
How do you think both natural hair blogs and bloggers/vloggers like yourself have influenced this movement?
“I think we’ve been — and continue to be — huge influences in this movement. We are public advocates for embracing natural hair. We are teachers who take our time to research the best ways to take care of our hair and then share it with others. We give a platform for all women with natural hair from around the world to be seen in a beautiful and positive light.”
What’s your favorite part about being natural, and what’s the hardest part?
“I love that I can be an advocate for a person at any age to embrace a part of themselves in a positive way. I love the versatility of natural hair.
“The hardest part would be the stereotypes that go along with being natural. For example, some people think if you’re natural it means you’re more real and not insecure and you’ve fully accepted yourself. Also, the divide between the natural hair community and relaxed-hair community with all the negative opinions on how women who relax their hair don’t love themselves. That is not cute.”
What are your go-to products?
“Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo, Folie Honey + Marshmallow Root Shampoo Bar from my own apothecary line, Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Conditioner,SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque, and Folie Prickly Pear Hair Oil again, from my own apothecary line.”
How, if at all, is your natural hair an expression of your personal style?
“My hair is definitely an expression of my personal style. Depending on how I choose to style it, my hair can say different things. It can say I’m comfortable with how I look, I’ve embraced it; it can say I’m bold. And my favorite, it can say I’m a creative or an artist.”
What’s some of the best hair advice you’ve ever received?
“Wear your hair the way you want to wear it. Don’t be concerned with what anyone else has to say.”
What advice would you give to women struggling to accept their hair and wanting to embark on their own journeys?
“Take it one day at a time. Follow other women on their natural hair journeys, and women who are advocates and teachers. Become a part of the beautiful communities that have been created, so you can get encouragement and gain knowledge while on your journey.
Read the rest of the interviews here –> Refinery 29.