Natural Hair

A Path To Opportunity

Accented Glory Visionary Tonya Cross

by Tonya Cross

Opportunity Knocks

Most would probably classify me as an ol’ school natural! I began my natural hair journey in 2000, 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 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.  

Accented Glory Puff Holder
Accented Glory Afro Puff Holder

 

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 accessories 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 hair 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 designs! So, I took a leap of faith and launched a handcrafted accessory brand for women called Accented Glory. 

 

My  brand offers hair accessories that are created with materials that minimize damage to textured hair, provide a comfortable wear, and endures natural hair care products. I choose fabrics and materials that won’t cause friction with textured hair and that assist in maintaining healthy tresses. I test wear our designs to ensure they are not only stylish but also comfortable. I also use minimal amounts of adhesive and rubber materials when creating my designs. Naturals’ hair care regimens include oils and oils have the potential to breakdown adhesives and rubber. 

 

 

Expanding My Horizons

 

My natural hair journey has opened doors in so many areas; most of which are related to Accented Glory. Before starting my brand, I had no entrepreneurial or marketing experience. With the guidance of my oldest daughter and online network 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’m thankful that my three daughters are actively engaged in helping me build Accented Glory. I honestly couldn’t do it without them – they have truly become my tribe; my support system!

I have also started creating jewelry designs! My handcrafted jewelry includes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. My motivation to create the jewelry line was to expand our design options for our brides and bridal party customers.

Accented Glory Rhinestone
Accented Glory Rhinestone Vine Earrings
Accented Glory Pearl Earrings
Accented Glory Pearl Earrings

Embracing Greatness

Last year I launched Accented Glory’s “Embrace Your Crown – Embrace Greatness” series. I gave fellow naturals an opportunity to share how their natural hair journey has impacted their lives on my blog Accessory Diva. I created Accented Glory’s first tee shirt design for this series that encourages my fellow naturals to “Embrace Greatness

Accented Glory Custom Hair Flower Arrangement
Accented Glory Custom Order  Floral Hair Accent

Reading the stories of other naturals, allowed me to reflect upon own my natural hair journey. My 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 accessory or jewelry designs. 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 what new opportunities my natural hair journey will lead me to next!

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Tonya Cross – Visionary and Accent Designer of Accented Glory

How has your natural hair journey impacted your life?

Follow Accented Glory on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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Hair Growth, Kinks & Coils, Natural hair journey

Naturalista Joanne

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Hi, my name is Joanne Guiste and I am a naturalista from the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica. I have been natural for just over two years.  I did my big chop on October 7, 2014.
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The main reason was for the health of my hair.  I had started experiencing excessive shedding and lots of pimples in my scalp which brought on pain, more shedding and tears. Going back natural was in an effort to get back my hair to the healthy state it once was and to grow it to be as thick as it was before I started relaxing.

 

My advice to someone who wants to return natural is to do it because it’s something you want to do and not because everyone else is doing it.  When I decided to go back natural I had not realised that there was so much hype about the ” natural hair movement” because I went back natural for me.  So in choosing to return to natural don’t get caught up in all the “science” that is associated with taking care of your hair.. the journey will not be easy but love your hair for what it is and learn your hair so that you know and understand what it needs… and always remember “health before length”.. healthy hair will grow.

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Some products that I use are the Shea moisture brand of products and currently I am using the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line.  I use my home made Shea and cocoa butter cream, as well as home made castor and coconut oils.  I use other oils such as jojoba, olive and vitamin E.  I use a local brand called Ny’s naturals and Eco styler olive oil gel for styling.

 

If I had to chose a favorite natural hairstyle I would have to say twists… Because I have the option to make small or medium sized or even large twists and wear them in pin up styles or loose… and what I love about twists is when you take them out it becomes a new style that can further be transformed into a number of other styles.

 

Some natural hair tips!
– remember your hair is unique to you so learn it and love it for what it is
– water is your best friend and not just on your strands but for inside as well.. be sure to drink lots of water
– eating healthy ensures your body is healthy which in turn extends to the health of your hair
– and just have fun with your hair…. you will be amazed the styles you come up with by just experimenting and having fun with your hair

 

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Connect with Joanne on:

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all as her online presence @MumNatural

Visit her blog at www.mumnatural.com

Klik hier voor meer gratis plaatjes

Would you like to be featured? Inquire by sending an email to naturalista4me@gmail.com!

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Hair Growth, Kinks & Coils, Natural hair journey

Naturalista Sabrina

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Hi, my name is Naturalista!! I did the big chop on 2.27.13 and today is my anniversary of 4 years. I have done the big chop several times before deciding to let it grow and I don’t regret a thing. I must admit that I am a natural hair fanatic and a product junkie. I attend hair shows and sport natural hair t-shirts on a regular.

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Big Chop

My motto is what works for me may not work for you so experiment with products or groceries until you find your MOJO!! I love old school products like pink lotion and AmPro styling gel, the newer naturals steer away from these products because of the ingredients but they are not harsh on my tresses and I love them. I am also a WordPress blogger, YouTube Vlogger, Instagrammer, and Facebook guru.

If you are planning on going natural just know it takes perseverance and a strong will to travel this path because natural hair is work. Your hair will not look like the girls on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook because we were all blessed with different textures.

Don’t try to be like someone else, be you. That is what makes you unique. Embrace your 3b, 3c, 4c whatever you were born with because its apart of you. Never listen to the naysayers because they want to join the natural club but are afraid of the stereotyping. My last tidbit of advice – enjoy the journey and embrace your kinks.

I try to keep my hands out of my hair by wearing a protective style during the week like twists or braids; don’t be afraid of your hair fall in love with it and doing that you will appreciate your hair more.

Connect with Naturalista on:

WordPress- https://svgonzalez85.wordpress.com/

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/user/svgonzalez85

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/natural.lista/

Facebook- https://m.facebook.com/natural.lista/

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Klik hier voor meer gratis plaatjes

Would you like to be featured? Inquire by sending an email to

naturalista4me@gmail.com!

Hair Growth, Kinks & Coils, locs, Natural hair journey

Naturalista Ola

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My name is Ola, twenty four years old, Nigerian studying and living in Germany. I’ve been natural for three years. Before deciding to go fully natural though, I was always switching between low cuts and growing my hair out only to cut it off again. I have an androgynous identity on the gender spectrum so growing up and having to conform to the beauty standard for girls in my birth country was really hard on me. I was buying expensive wigs and changing hairstyles every month. Instead, I preferred to wear a low cut.

 

 I started growing my hair out again in 2014 after chopping it off earlier and didn’t know what to do with it… so on a particular day, I went on YouTube and stumbled upon black youtubers with natural growing hair. Well, I was amazed and taken back at what my natural hair could do, the curls, twist outs etc. I wanted hair like that so I decided to never cut my hair and instead grow it out.

 

 I must say this that hair for us in Africa was never a political issue as compared to USA Europe with the compulsory conformity to white standard imposed on black bodies etc. Conformity to Western standard of beauty was more subtle as a result of the influence of western norms and media gibberish on our perception of bodies and beauty. It wasn’t quite easy to see a young girl with her natural hair except for some of our mothers who we considered old-fashioned anyway. The rest of the girls who grew their natural hair were the religious ones who did it for religious reasons. We didn’t wanna look like them of course, we wanted to look pretty, so as soon as we could, we applied chemicals on our hair, bought wigs and flaunted different styles of hair.

 

 So ja I was shocked when I saw on YouTube girls who were very beautiful with full head of afro, all twisted out and curls. I wanted that. What we simply lacked was representations and education. I sat to gulp them all, very excited about what the future had for me. Before this, I was always very self-conscious about beauty standards etc. Well these beautiful representations gave me wings to fly. I did the different styles I watched on YouTube with my hair, I looked at myself and began to see a different image, a beautiful self-confident one. I began to get very comfortable in my skin, and stopped wishing for straight hairs.

 

 Fast forward to 2016, I decided to convert my afro into locs… so now I have locs and this is absolutely the best decision I have ever made. Ja I loved my afro but I don’t miss it either. I’m the simple one style kinda person who doesn’t care too much about switch ups and all. I also love the fact that I can wake up and in seconds step outta the house. My locs gave me the freedom that my afro never did. I remember my friends telling me wtf Ola you spend lots of time on your hair, because of course I had to twist my hair into three to four strands before sleeping and then untwist them every morning to comb out. I loved and enjoyed every bit of it because it’s my hair and I won’t have it any other way, but I love my locs more. I’m more comfortable in my body with my locs. I even stopped using makeup because I really do look in the mirror and say wow I’m beautifully made. My locs gave me that perspective and I’m forever grateful.

 

 My advice for anyone trying to go natural is, it’s your hair. You cannot be comfortable if you don’t accept yourself. You would always look at others and the comparison will never end. Beauty is a state, both internal and external, it is what you think of yourself when you look into the mirror. Do not let society define you because what society does best is reduce our body into sites for the production and display of power, carve us into pieces of jellyfish forever needy of validation. The problem isn’t our difference, the problem is the interpretation and perception of our differences and how we are narrated as not good enough. That’s always the way society works. The one who has the power is able to wield it in whichever way and narrate the story to suit him. So, do not let society own you, own yourself, shine so bright it dims the one who tries to stifle you.

 

 I’m actually not a product person, I’m too lazy to sit and go on a quest for hair products so I basically just use simple shampoos and moisturizer with coconut oil. Coconut oil I’d say has been one of my consistent product. Now that I’m locd, I use Avalon organics Zitronen shampoo and coconut oil to oil my scalp after every wash. And I semi free form so I don’t retwist and all. Simple and light-hearted… I am more than happy to finally have to grow my hair just like white people. I constantly say, why should mine be different, you leave yours in your own way, I leave mine in my own way. It’s not even up for discussion. It isn’t something we are supposed to sit and have a discourse on, going natural or not, but since history has made it so. Then ja we gotta keep talking about it and also show our kids undiluted images so they love and embrace every part of their black bodies unapologetically.

 

 My favorite natural go to style is just letting my locs grow full all over my head. I love the full natural locs than retwisting regularly to give them a defined look. So, I let my locs do whatever they wanna do. All I do is separate the roots after every wash and continue with living life.

Klik hier voor meer gratis plaatjes

Would you like to be featured? Inquire by sending email to naturalista4me@gmail.com.

Hair Growth, Kinks & Coils, Natural hair journey

Naturalista Tracey

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Hi my name is Tracey.  I am a month shy of turning 49 years old, I am also a wife and a mother.  I am currently attending school to become diagnostic medical sonographer.  I have been natural 12 1/2 years.  In 2004 I was laid off and could not continue to perm my hair.  So I started getting my hair braided.  One day I went to get my hair braided and asked the stylist, “If you cut the permed hair can you braid my hair?”  She answered yes and the rest is history.
I would encourage anyone wanting to return natural to love themselves, be confident and don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad about your decision.  It does take patience, you must find what works for you.  Your natural hair is beautiful and so are you!
I love bentonite clay to clarify my hair and scalp, Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner, Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque, Mielle Organics Moisturizing Hair Milk, NeKeShea Butternut Leave In Conditioner, and Vitamin E oil.
I have two go to styles:  Wash n Go’s and mini twists.
However, I am taking a turn in my natural hair journey.  I began my loc journey as of 2-12-16.  I hope that you will join me and watch the progression of my loc journey.
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Connect with Tracey to follow her journey: