I don’t know if you read Curl Centric or not, but I do. Akira Byrd (http://www.CurlCentric.com) owns and manages a serious informational style natural hair blog. If you are attempting to grow out your natural hair, Curl Centric has some pretty solid information. Even if you’ve been natural for a while, her Natural Hair 101 is a great read. I was thrilled to find out that she is from Bessemer, Alabama.
A.A: You have been running Curl Centric since 2011, how long have you been natural? What made you choose to make the transition? What inspired you to become a resource for other naturals?
Hi Aisha! My last relaxer was January 2007.
I transitioned mentally before I ever stopped relaxing my hair. I helped my daughter transition to her natural hair back in 2005-2006, before the online natural hair communities. It truly felt like us against the world. As I helped guide and support her journey, I realized that she needed more. She needed to see, daily, how to manage and accept her natural hair. So, in 2007 I decided to transition physically to be a role model for her. I transitioned for about 16 months before big chopping. I needed enough hair to make a pony tail. It has been an experience of growth, personal realization, product hoarding, coming to grips that I am style-challenged, redefining beauty and just realizing that there is nothing wrong with my hair. While searching for information to help her, I discovered that women… grown women… were going through similar teasing and bullying as my daughter. That when I realized that teasing is not something the other children were going to grow out of. I decided to share my experience with women online.
A.A.: One thing that I like about your blog is that it is a true resource. What has been the best part of your natural journey? How did you become so knowledgeable about natural hair?
Thank you, Aisha! Our goal is to be a resource for women because they need to know that they are not alone in their journey.
Honestly, the best part happens on the Curl Centric Newsletter where the women share their stories and their struggles with me.
I have been hands on with natural hair since my daughter’s experience. I read and I listen a lot. I read cosmetology books, science journals and countless blogs.
A.A: Curl Centric recently released the Curly Kids Coloring Book. The coloring book showcases a wide wide range of curl centric styles on beautiful black characters. This book is great for home school; learners can write their own stories. The coloring book is so inspiring. My favorite image is the black mermaid with dreadlocks. She kind of looks like me. What inspired Curl Centric to do the coloring book?
My youngest daughter is the inspiration behind the coloring book. When the idea of the coloring book first came up, I wanted to surround my daughter with images that were relevant and relatable to her. I wanted her to have something to help her see natural hair in a positive way. Because she is so crafty and creative, a coloring book was fitting for her.
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A.A: I haven’t seen a lot of information in the past centered around natural hair care for this demographic on your blog. Is this something we can start to look for on Curl Centric?
We are looking to beta test a lot of information based on our audience’s feedback and questions to grow our market.
A.A.: The natural hair movement has really picked up over the last few years. How do you think this movement has affected your community?
The natural hair scene in Alabama has grown so much! So, the movement has been good because it has definitely brought awareness; now it is time to activate that awareness with action and teach our girls what we are learning.
A.A: What is next for Curl Centric?
We are so excited about the response and support we have received with the Curly Kids Coloring Book, so we are going to definitely look at avenues to expand and grow that market.
Aisha, thank you so much for taking the time and allowing me to share the Curly Kids Coloring Book with your audience!
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