There's Levels to this Chick

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They say building your brand is like riding a bike...

... No they don't really, but there are lots of similarities!  

When I first began this journey, I had no idea what it would become. As a teenager, I loved two things: taking pictures, and writing in my journals. Honestly, I've been a writer since I can remember. I'm one of those people who kept diaries from 3rd grade all the way through high school. I still have all of  them, although when I go back and read what was on my mind at the age of 15 I'm certain I should probably burn them.

Fast forward to my days as a student at THE illustrious Howard University (where are my Bison? H-U!) I worked on the Bison Yearbook staff first as the Office Assistance, and then as Senior Copy Editor my senior year. Pitching and writing stories, editing, and creating layouts was giving me life! It gave me an opportunity to really connect with Howard students, and curate an accurate yet vibrant representation of what it meant to be Howard University student in 2008. Ever since then, I new I wanted my own publication. 

 

 

It's surprising how much our hobbies can tell us about our purpose in life. Shortly after joining Instagram in 2011, I began to notice my hair was breaking off pretty badly. Around that time I was experimenting with sew-ins, something I'd never typically worn. But my hair kept getting shorter and shorter from trimming off dry, dead ends, and I wanted (read:needed) that length. I was also addicted to straight hair, like most women who experienced adolescence in the late 90's/ early 2000's. 

 2011 at my 26th birthday party rocking a 3/4 sew-in. Hair: Outer Remy Saigon

2011 at my 26th birthday party rocking a 3/4 sew-in. Hair: Outer Remy Saigon

While sew-ins achieved the look I wanted, they only did more damage to my leave-out. I was constantly flat ironing my leave out at any sign of frizz, or whenever it would lose it's curl. Eventually, my leave out was fried and I had to give the sew-ins a rest. During this time I had an epiphany: my hair was extremely damaged, and if I kept down this road I'd end up incredibly unhappy sooner than later. As a 26 year old woman who'd been getting relaxers since I was 11, color since I was 16, and direct heat straightening pretty much year-round, my hair needed more than just a break - IT NEEDED REHAB. So, in the early 2014, I started a 3 month "no heat challenge" and posted casually about it on Instagram. Little did I know that there were women everywhere sharing my same experience, and were curious to see how my little "experiment" went. Today, roughly four years later I have a YouTube channel, this here blog, thousands of followers, and a TEDx talk - all dedicated to the lessons and experiences through this natural hair journey!