SUAB hosts first ever “The Natural Hair Talk”

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Gabrielle Bell, Contributor

Student University Activities Board (SUAB) hosted its first “Natural Hair Talk” event,a hands-on natural hair learning experience where N.C. A&T students were able to come together and speak to professionals about hair care and in-depth demonstrations of maintenance.

SUAB Speakers Chair, Kendall Johnson, senior public relations student, expresses this Natural Hair Talk event was a step toward switching things up from the other staple events that SUAB hosts. “There are so many people, and so much talent on campus and I feel like there should be a way to highlight specifically something for our hair, especially during Black History Month…this would be the perfect time to highlight that and get students to learn more about their hair so they can take care of themselves”. 

The Natural Hair Talk event allowed students to hear from several hair care professionals about all things hair. Raven Dempsey and Cylesier Mimi Barnett, local hairstylists, took the time to educate on hair types,  the LOC/LCO methods, and the misconceptions of natural hair.  The audience then had the opportunity to share any questions or concerns they had with the stylists. 

In the breakout sessions, students got the opportunity to disperse and attend various stations around the room to get a close-up & hands-on experience with some local talents that work with different types of hair. The special guests showcased their work around the room and provided students with information about techniques they use, some background on their businesses, and great watch and learn sessions.

Special guest Sanjaya Bolton, a junior landscape architecture student and CEO of @Lovemylocsbyjay shared her loctician skills with viewers and demonstrated on a client how she retwist hair to ensure neat work and promote healthy locs. Sanjaya is a licensed natural hairstylist that has been doing hair for about 6 years.

“I think teaching is very important. Hair is a part of us and being able to speak on it is important for your identity, being able to know your own hair is beneficial…and the roots of our hair and where styles come from also,” said Bolton

Hair braider D’Aisha Davis, a sophomore Speech Pathology student, led a hands-on braiding session giving a small lesson on a client and teaching students how to stitch braid, a popular style of cornrowing. Students were given a comb and mannequin head to work with while Davis took the time to oversee and give one-on-one help with braiding. Davis says she enjoyed being a part of the event, with starting her business last September, the event provided good exposure for her business.

Sania Dacus, a freshman history student appreciated how informative the event was. She enjoyed being able to learn the basics of braiding without judgment. She says,  “It was very informative… It’s very important for the Black community because a lot of us are very silent about our hair because it’s supposed to be understood that we know how to cornrow and do the basic things, but it’s a lot of us that don’t know how to do the basic things… I really liked how they taught the basic things and I would come again. 

Micah Ross, a sophomore social work student, was also pleased with the event and expressed adamantly that she would attend again if the Natural Hair Talk became a staple SUAB event. 

“I feel like this is a good time to learn about natural hair because we are getting older, so if we have kids and daughters we can learn how to do it for their hair…I would come back again and I will,” said Ross. 

The Natural Hair Talk closed out with the students coming back together and  Kendall Johnson leading the audience in the reciting of a hair care mantra, “…My hair is my crown and my hair is worth celebrating”.

For more information on the special guests from the event, please follow them on Instagram: