Tackling Natural Hair: Featuring Monica Stevens of MoKnows Hair
Article originally posted on HerCampus
Women are accepting their natural looks, disowning what society deems acceptable, and embracing their own natural hair. Natural hair has become a trend amongst African American women, as these women are removing relaxers, perms, and flat irons from their hair-styling routines and are embracing their kinks, curls, and Afros, as is. This noteworthy trend is something that is being led and inspired by a multitude of natural hair bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers).
“I've had natural hair off and on through life”, said Monica Stevens, hair blogger from MoKnowsHair. “I have stuck with it this time because of all the product selections that make it easy to style. Back in the day (the 90s) there was John Frieda salt spray and Tresemme mousse... all of which were dry and rough on the hair, so I would always go back to straightening, usually with a mild relaxer to tame the frizz.”
It’s evident that women have embarked on this natural journey because of the new availability and diversity of hair products. There are hair products that now suit all hair textures, and Monica is one of the many people who promote products that are meant for the hair textures of African American women. Along with promoting the products, she gives tutorials on how to use these products and style natural hair. Stevens has even taken the effort to further her knowledge on hair by becoming a licensed cosmetologist.
“Graduating from Aveda Institute NYC”, said Stevens. “I was offered a full scholarship from the director of communications of Aveda corporate.” Since graduating, Monica has become an ambassador for Aveda and has joined Sally Beauty as a hairstylist and texture expert. “School filled in any gaps of knowledge I had. I am able to take my experiences with natural hair styling and apply more professional techniques and knowledge making me more equipped to be helpful to clients in ways beyond basic styling.” Monica goes on to note how grateful she is to Aveda for being offered the scholarship.
The up-rise in women accepting ones’ natural hair and flaws can be viewed in correlation to the up-rise in women openly expressing their self-love.
“Self-love is paramount and no amount of gel, no type of twist out, or perfect highlights will give you that”, said Stevens. “Beauty is inside, out, and recognizing the beauty in yourself is what truly allows you to grow.”
“I don't believe that natural hair [is] monumental for self-love [for every woman], said Taylar Berry, a college student from Oakland University. “I believe it was monumental for me because I kind of hid behind the weave and perms. I personally believe that if you are comfortable in your skin it doesn't matter if you are natural or not.” Berry has recently taken on the big chop and notes how it initially impacted her confidence poorly. “I felt ugly because I've had hair my entire life. But after some time, I actually became comfortable in my skin. I became comfortable with my natural beauty.”
One can assume that tackling natural hair is the key to accepting your natural flaws, and for some women, like Monica Stevens, natural hair blogger, it was and she wants people to take pride in their hair; but for women like Taylar Berry, a student from Oakland University, it was just time for a change, and in the effort of embarking that change, she grew to accept her natural flaws.