As African women, we feel that there’s nothing better than World Afro Day, a global day of education and celebration of afro hair in all its glory. If you are not aware that this day exists, where have you been?
The most crucial facet of this day is that it empowers individuals with afro hair to love and celebrate its versatility. So, we thought it was apt to highlight five female celebrities who inspire us daily with their natural hair journey.
In addition to the magnificence of her voice, SZA's natural hair has never failed to empower us to make a better effort with our own. Born Solani Imani Rowe, it's hard to believe a time when she did not possess healthy curls full of volume. But after becoming ill as a teenager and losing all her hair due to her medication’s side effects, SZA vowed to stay true to her natural curls and stopped relaxing her hair.
We think it's great that she has always worn her hair big and looked to Lauryn Hill for inspiration. As someone who has been on a productive natural hair journey, SZA understands the importance of healthy tresses, and we love her for it! She's a fan of coconut oil for a deep condition and also believes in the power of a co-wash.
Most of you may remember Kat as Bonnie, the sassy yet powerful witch on the Vampire Diaries. We admire Kat's journey towards loving to learn her natural hair as many of us have faced this struggle. While shooting for TV and film, Kat opted for more 'manageable' hair such as perms, wigs and weaves as this is what society wanted from her. But it took her a while to accept her afro hair and African roots as, from an early age, Kat's mother, who is white, used to drop her off at a black hair salon.
This felt like rejection to Kat as it indicated that her parent couldn't handle her afro hair. But since the pandemic, we are glad to see that Kat has finally embraced her curls. To achieve her healthy, natural hair, she's been careful not to use any direct heat on her hair. Like us, she is also a fan of Jamaican Black Castor oil for those problematic areas on your scalp.
Tracee Ellis Ross
After experimenting with her hair in her early years, Tracee also learned to take care of her beautiful curls. Once she started listening to her natural hair's needs, her curl pattern was able to get to a healthy place. But we completely agree with her with she says that her hair when she wasn't on the television show Girlfriends was popping!
What we love about her hair story is that we should be ready for the texture of our afro hair to change as we get older. While she is not prepared to accept her grey hairs yet, like many of us, she understands the complicated yet rewarding nature of natural hair. Recently, she launched Hair Tales, a docuseries in collaboration with Oprah Winfrey. If this does not showcase how pivotal she is in the natural hair movement, I don't know what does.
As Gabrielle currently showcases that she is on holiday with getting family on Instagram, one thing is clear; she is proud of her natural hair. We love how unapologetic she has been about her natural hair since 2017 and how she has never failed to hold anyone accountable if they said anything against it.
We adore this as it inspires us to educate others who fail to recognise the beauty of afro hair. She’s also admitted that after 20 years of her hair being abused, she had enough. These days, she’s learnt to accept that her natural hair is beautiful regardless of whether it is in an Afro puff or Senegalese twists.
Whether it’s World Afro Day or not, you can make sure that your afro curls stay as healthy as possible by having a routine in place. It’s also essential to follow the natural hair journeys of those who inspire you to embrace your natural curls as we do.