These days YouTube is filled with how-to videos on natural hair of all textures and most of us can point to one of our favorite blogging gurus for the best natural hair tips. But before the videos and the blogs, the Detroit Free Press says Sheila Everett-Hale was a pioneer in the natural hair realm. The Detroit native started her business, Everett’s Natural Beauty Salon, in 1995 and now also holds classes at her Everett’s Natural Hair and Beauty School which opened in January. Her students come from across the country and some even join the class from Skype.
“This is not a fad, like during the black power movement of the 1960s,” Everett-Hale said to the Detroit Free Press. “Women are saying, ‘Our hair is our glory and God didn’t make any mistakes in what he gave us.’ ”
But Everett-Hale isn’t the only natural hair pioneer still pressing her way to business success in the growing industry. She is also joined by Nefertiti Harris and Chris-Tia Donaldson. Harris, who has been doing natural hair for 18 years, is the proud owner of Textures by Nefertiti. Her shop has grown from including just one other stylist in 2003 to five stylists in a new 1,100 square foot space.
“There’s more of an acceptance of natural hair,” she said. “There’s a young population that’s more educated, more aware … and a lot more creative about how they’re wearing their hair.
Donaldson agrees that natural hair is now the norm. She’s written the book, “Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair,” which is now in its fourth printing edition. Recently Donaldson also launched her own hair care product line.
“We have over 75,000 fans on Facebook, 15,000 Twitter followers, and over 2 million blog views, making us one of the fastest-growing social networks for African-American women interested in natural hair and healthy lifestyles,” she said.
As Harris points out, “after you accept you for you, other people will say, ‘You look so beautiful.’ That’s so nice. There’s a fearlessness that comes with embracing yourself naturally.”