In November, I attended a conference called Dominate 360. This conference was located on the beautiful island of St. Maarten and brought together entrepreneurs from all over the Caribbean, Europe and the United States. However, among all of the attendees, I felt truly privileged to meet International Speaker and Business Strategist, Latoya Fonville. She is actually a woman of the soil (meaning she is from St. Maarten)! This woman was so beautiful inside and out. Her spirit was just so pure, warm and welcoming. It was so weird, but I fell in love with her spirit right away. After speaking with her the first night of the conference she gave me this bit of advice that I will never forget.
First thing’s first…NARROW DOWN YOUR AUDIENCE
So if you don’t realize by now, I am pro natural hair! In my immediate circle of friends, I am known as the Naturalista. I get texted memes about natural hair, I get asked questions about natural hair and how to maintain it and I love it lol. Natural hair is just something that I am passionate about for various reasons.
When I originally started this blog, I wanted to speak to Naturalistas everywhere! I wanted to share my journey and my experience with the hopes that maybe others who are struggling with the decision might make the decision to go natural themselves. HOWEVER…and this is a big however, Latoya brought up this valid point. What is a Naturalista? Because ladies, recognize that natural hair ranges from bone-straight to kinky-coily. What I mean is black women are not the only women with natural hair! Caucasian or Asian women, for example, have natural hair as well. What do I know about type 1 or type 2 (straight, wavy) hair?! If I am being honest, I have no idea how to take care of hair that is not type 4 (kinky, coily hair). Even with hair that is type 3, I am sure that there are different ways to take care of it than how I take care of my own. Ladies, if you have type 1, 2 or even type 3 hair, don’t come to me lol. Because I just don’t know! Honestly! That reality woke me up real quick like an ice cold shower in the morning.
I realized that I can’t be an ambassador for all. So while I love to see women, all women, wearing their hair naturally (the way it grows out of their head), I have to acknowledge that I only share the experience of having type 4C hair…which happens to be the most difficult of the type 4 hair-types while we’re at it.
Second thing’s second…DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAND YOUR GROUND
Latoya called me the 4C lady and that I am lol. But then like the thinker that I am, my mind already went ahead. This was my next concern. At times I think maybe I offend ladies who wear their hair relaxed or texturized. It is never intentional, but I am definitely pro just embracing yourself naturally. I figured if I thought I was alienating certain women now, I definitely would if I catered to only ladies who are 4C. This is when Ms. Latoya began to preach to me (see didn’t realize she took me to church but she did lol).
Basically she told me that you can’t be afraid of alienating or offending people. You just need to set your target audience and speak to them. She gave a personal example of her business. She is a Christian Business Strategists; therefore, she makes it clear to all of her clients that all her counseling and consultations are done from a Godly perspective. She had to be true to herself, her God and her message even if it offended or alienated some. She said, “You got to stand your ground in business as well.” Tell ‘em Ms. Toya lol!
Last thing’s last…FOCUS ON WHAT YOU KNOW
I walked away that night with a new perspective. The truth is I am a Naturalista, among many Naturalistas, but I am specifically a 4C Naturalista. 4C means that my hair is thick and coarse, basically nappy (lol). I happen to be proud of it. Even today when I research information on maintaining natural hair it is so difficult to find women who are 4C. Many of the very well-known Naturalistas are type 3 or 4a and 4b. Now ladies, recognize that even though 4a and 4b are also type 4 hair…(Those who are 4C know this)…that 4C hair is a whole other story, man!!
4C hair does what it wants! It cannot be tamed! It shrinks…A LOT! The various hair strands curl and twirl and twist and hug each other in this intimate dance of love on your head…lol Ok, I got carried away, but you get the point. I figure maybe other 4c naturals feel this way as well. Maybe they are looking for a popular face to 4c natural hair just like I am! Initially, we were not as heavily represented as the other Naturalistas. However, I notice greater awareness, tolerance and commercialization of 4c natural hair (such as the below).
In the caption: Texture appreciation still needs a bit of fixing. If you’re a part of the Natural Hair Movement, you have to support all textures, and yes that includes 4C.
In mainstream media, 4C is not considered “good hair.” It’s that hair that is considered nappy, difficult to manage and undesirable. Well! It gives me great pleasure to be an ambassador for 4C type hair and to show others that 4C hair IS beautiful.
People with less kinky textures tend to go natural faster than persons with coarser textures, because many women find 4C hair undesirable. However, if your hair is type 4C, you should know that your hair is also beautiful. It is, in fact, manageable and it can do so many things!! And I intend to show you!! Stay on this journey with me!!
Long live type 4C hair!! Ha!
Allow me to re-introduce myself…
Dat 4C Chick.