#BlackRedefined: My Hair Journey

Mane. Tresses. Locks. HAIR.


Where do I even begin on my journey of love for the strands that grow out of my head? Let’s go back to elementary school...where I was one of very few little brown girls. Yes, I went to a predominately white school, so growing up I wondered why my hair didn’t flow in the wind like majority of my classmates. As I got older, I opted for weaves. At this time, it was not for protective styling but more so to get the “look” I thought I needed to fit in at my high school. I wonder now, had I rocked my fro if the administration would have allowed it or if they would have said I appeared “untidy” tho it be me. Natural.


Fast forward a few years. When I was on the hunt for a hair stylist during my post collegiate career, each salon I went to stylists always begged me to straighten my hair. I always turned them down and left with a sew in. A few years ago, I chose to stop relaxing my leave-out and edges and became all about that wig life. Wigs became my protective style as I tried to grow my damaged hair. Up until this point, I only liked my hair, but last year something happened.

Last year, I fell in LOVE with my hair. I had been going to Unique, my hairstylist for a while and she had gotten my hair all the way back to healthy. And one day after I had taken my braids down and washed my hair, I looked in the mirror and really just looked at myself. And fell in love with my hair. I had never really worn my afro out and about, but as I looked in the mirror and appreciated my gravity defying hair that had been hiding for so long, I knew I needed to show the world - well at least Nashville. So I wore it out without even thinking. I watched some hair tutorials and struggled with twist-outs, but I became comfortable with myself. I found my inner magic. I still haven’t mastered a successful twist out but that’s okay because I honestly love the fro that you see above. To my beautiful brown sisters whether you struggle with your kinky hair, your big nose, or melanated skin don’t turn and compare yourself others because Little Brown Girl, your magic is found within.

Photographer: Patrick Webster                                                                         

Gold Leaf Make Up Artist: Elizabeth Howard                                                                 

Creative Director/Model: Kay Elle                                                                                                                 

It is Black History Month, and this year I wanted to do something different. I have chosen to share pieces of me every Wednesday in hopes of encouraging others and highlighting some key people in my life. Follow on Instagram and share your powerful moments and stories on social media by using the hashtag #BlackRedefined and be sure to tag @JustKayElle too!