As the natural hair community has grown, there has also been an increase of YouTube videos, channels, and sense of community in the YouTube world. And I am all here for it. I've watched tutorials for everything from learning new wrap styles to enhancing hair styles I already have down pat. I'm definitely an advocate for learning new things, but a recent experience had a naturalista doubting if YouTube tutorials can truly help you to master different styles.
The faux goddess locs are the hot new trend that many ladies are rocking and I wanted to be summertime fine. I headed straight to YouTube to look for all the videos I could find on how to do individual crochet locs. After my 3rd video I was like hell yeah, I got this style down pat. After too many trials and errors and two trips to the beauty supply store I soon learned a lesson that I feel a lot of women have had to come to terms with...hairstylist go to school for a reason! While I may be my own personal hairstylist; I am no professional.
I say all this to say that YouTube tutorials can be very helpful, but we also have to assess our own skills. If you know you can't braid, then chile don't be mad when your crochet style looks a mess after a few days. Don't fall victim to a case of what I wanted versus what I got, because you overestimated your skills girl. Always apply the Golden rule when attempting new styles with YouTube tutorials... practice makes perfect!
Cierra - Accessory Diva
Most would probably classify me as a natural hair veteran. I began my natural hair journey in 2001, before the natural hair movement regained its popularity post 60s and 70s. Like most, when I first started out, I struggled with finding hair care products that met my natural hair needs. It was also difficult to find hair accessories. Most hair accessories in retail stores catered to a much younger demographic and were not natural hair friendly. So here I was, in a dilemma. I wanted to dress up my new natural tresses with age appropriate accessories, without damaging my hair.
Fast-forward 12 years later, after raising three beautiful daughters who are also naturals, I picked up a new hobby – crafting hand-made hair accessories. The hobby was both a time filler and therapeutic. Once I had a few prototypes created, I was surprised to find that my daughters liked the designs and started to wear them regularly. Soon they began to request specific designs, like the afro puff holder, to accent certain natural hairstyles. Other natural haired women started to notice our hair accessories and asked where we got them. When they found out I made the accessories, they wanted to purchase my products! So my daughters and I took a leap of faith and launched a handcrafted hair accessory brand for women called Accented Glory.
Many positive things have been birthed through my natural hair journey, most of which are related to my brand. Before starting Accented Glory, I had no entrepreneurial or marketing experience. With the guidance of my oldest daughter and small business online groups, I've learned a lot in the past few years about marketing and entrepreneurship. I’ve also built a natural hair Facebook group community, Accented Glory Naturals, of 300+ members that I co-manage with my daughters.
The relationships I have established as an entrepreneur have been great. I’ve met other forty plus female entrepreneurs who have decided to pursue their passions later in life too. Many of us are balancing full time jobs while building our brands. I’ve chosen to keep my full time job because I have two daughters in college. The steady income from my 9-5 helps to ensure their tuition is paid. Although having a full time job and business can be stressful at times, I'm thankful that my three daughters are actively engaged in helping me build the Accented Glory brand. I honestly couldn't do it without them - they have truly become my tribe; my support system!
Lastly, my natural hair journey has taught me a lot about myself, my passions, and my drive. Whether it's building a brand or mastering a flat twist style, with the right tools, I can do anything I put my mind to. Building my own brand has helped me to discover my passion to create beautiful things by hand. Now anyone can reap the benefits of this passion when they wear my hair accessories. Accented glory fosters my daily drive to be a better version of myself and to turn obstacles into stepping-stones. I can’t wait to see where my natural hair journey will take me next.
Tonya – Visionary and Accent Designer of Accented Glory
We NOW have "Embrace Greatness" Lady Tees!
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Since being natural I have been able to love and appreciate myself more! I have learned to love my hair for what it is - kinky, coily and a little frizzy! It has been an awesome journey learning my hair and making the right choices to bring my hair to its healthiest. Though I have had some difficult moments with my hair, overall being natural is the best thing I could have done for my hair - it is healthier, thicker, longer and stronger and the last time I recall my hair like this, I was a young child. Then, I did not really appreciate my hair type but now I have embraced its uniqueness. I know to some, maybe many, it's "just hair" but being able to truly love and accept my hair has boosted my confidence and creativity and I'm excited to be able to encourage others to experience this journey as well!
Morgan (Instagram: The4cProject)
Choosing to wear my hair in its natural state has allowed me to be able to embrace my hair has built my self confidence. It has also influenced my daughter's to love their natural hair too. My girls are my motivation and knowing that they embrace their hair at an age where appearance means so much is awesome to me. They are in the 7th and 9th grade.
When I first started the natural hair process, I chose to wear locs. As I continued to grow and learn as a person, I wanted my hair to grow with me. The process of achieving a goal in life to me was very similar to how my hair grew. The beginning process was hard; I had to stay focus and dedicated. As time went on, my hair continued to grow and learn it's pattern. It became something beautiful. Then I started a new cycle in my life and cut my locs. I continue to keep my hair in its natural state, because it was now a part of who I am. My hair has its own natural hair pattern and continues to transform as it grows, just as I do!
Even though the process of washing and styling my hair has increased in time, I feel my hair is much healthier. I also feel like my skin looks better without the relaxer chemicals being applied to my scalp. I get complimented much more on my hair now then I did when it was relaxed.
My natural hair journey began around age 30. My relaxed hair was damaged and brittle so I decided to go natural and see if I could grow some healthy hair. Transitioning natural and working in Corporate America wasn't the easiest thing to do back then, so I went natural for about a year and then cracked under the pressure to conform and fit in the workplace. I ended up relaxing my hair after my manager called me into her office one day to inquire about how I was doing. She made it a point to tell me that I needed to get my hair done.
Since that time, I've attempted to go natural three more times with no avail. I still was not experiencing the healthy hair results that I wanted and I felt self-conscious about my tiny fro.
At age 40 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. During radiation treatments my hair began to thin out in the crown of my head. I made a decision to cut my hair really short and once again let it grow back naturally. So far it's been great this time around. The difference is that I was more confident and strong, after just surviving breast cancer. My perception about myself has completely changed. It's been about 8 months so far and I'm still loving it and it's growing and very healthy. I receive overwhelming compliments on how nice and thick my hair is.
I am now loving my natural hair!
The reason I went natural was because my hair was shedding a lot. I wanted to try something, not knowing all the maintenance that comes with being natural. I must admit I didn't first love my natural hair. It was something out of the box for me, so I had to learn to love and embrace my natural tresses.
I am going into my 5th year with my natural tresses and I am truly loving every minute of it. Being natural is so free and versatile. You have to love your tresses and have fun with your hair. My husband is my biggest supporter; he will wash and grease my scalp as needed, yes I grease my scalp...LOL.
I am enjoying my journey and will continue to embrace my natural tresses. I love seeing natural sisters embracing their beautiful hair whether its locs, twists, flat ironed, FROs or just wash and go's. We sisters are starting a movement that's here to stay, love your tresses.
My choice to be natural, positively impacted my life in many ways. I have been natural for five years and have enjoyed experiencing the needs of my hair. Throughout my natural hair journey, I have become educated about appropriate products needed to achieve versatile styles, while maintaining my hair in its natural state. The decison to become natural has brought about unique opportunities and awareness within the natural hair community. Such opportunities include being crowned 2014-2015 Miss Born Natural Beauty in Columbia, SC. This experience was awesome and confirmed what I already knew, which is, Natural Girls Rock! I am a strong believer of embracing your own natural beauty and not allowing society define it for you! From one natural to another, I am glad that I decided to embrace my hair in it's natural state and enjoy mentoring others who have decided to start their own natural hair journey.
Faces By ETOSH
We NOW have "Embrace Greatness"
Visit our online store to purchase.
The last feature that naturals should look for in hair accessories is style. At Accented Glory, we’re aware that everyone has their own unique style. With style, there are three factors of influence: taste, age, and look.
Taste – Whether you're a flower child or like bling we have something for you. Our Floral Hairpins are perfect for updos or a side swoop style. For our earthy naturals, we have our Cowrie Shell Headband and shell Hair Cuff designs to accent your locs, braids, or twists. Our Rhinestone and Bohemian Headbands add just enough bling to accent your style and not take over. Our accessories allow your beautiful tresses to be the main attraction.
Age – At Accented Glory we believe that you’re NEVER too old for hair accessories! One never age out of style; it’s just a matter of finding hair accessories that fits your personality. If you LOVE hair accessories or considering using accessories to accent your natural style, remember age is just a number. EXPRESS YOURSELF!
Look – With our accessories you can go from elegant to casual; the look you create depends upon the hair style you choose. Our accessories are very versatile and can be worn numerous ways. For example, our head wraps are 14" x 72", which provides various style options (see slide show below). Multiple styles from a single product are a plus!
Whatever your taste, age or look you want to achieve, Accented Glory has something for you! Our designs were created with naturals in mind. Shop at our online store for the style that works for you!
Cierra has been apart of Accented Glory Team since it's launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a college graduate who desires to pursue a career in law.