Kayla Jones-White, The Black Bear – Kinks, curls, and naps: terms that are a reality for many of the African-American women on campus.
Because of the inherent time, technique, and funds that go into maintaining black hair, it can be a tedious and neglected task for the collegiate.
The ladies of the Theta Pi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. had their annual natural hair event on March 28 in which they addressed natural hair problems, regimens, and products perfect for the woman on the go.
Members of the Theta Pi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. with the winner of their “Naturalista Swag Bag.”
The event began with an icebreaker activity in which members of the audience were asked to reveal their hair type and holy-grail products. Through this brief task, the women in attendance were able to obtain a consensus on which natural hair products work for their hair type. They were prompted to connect with ladies who shared their hair texture in the hope that they could exchange tips.
Next, a panel of students spoke about their hair textures, journeys and other varying aspects that natural hair entails. Te’Asia Atwater, a junior majoring in criminology, had her hair both chemically processed and completely natural. Atwater had insight on both ends of the spectrum.
Atwater said that she made the decision to cut off all of her hair while experimenting with different looks. Afterwards, because of the short length of her hair she had no problem processing it with relaxers and color.
“It was short and hard to manage,” she said. “I didn’t have much hair so I didn’t mind treating it with chemicals.”
After expressing herself through the length and hue of her tresses, Atwater said that she returned natural because she knows that is what’s most beneficial for her hair.
Following the discussion panel, there was a facilitated question and answer portion. People asked questions spanning an array of natural hair topics from their favorite YouTubers specializing in black hair to which products were friendly to the college student budget.
To end the event, the audience was invited to make do-it-yourself hair masks with all natural ingredients, many of which could be found in the grocery store. The Theta Pi Zeta’s provided bananas, olive oil, eggs, coffee grounds and more so the ladies could make their concoction specific to their hair needs.
Members of the chapter also informed those in attendance of the benefits of each ingredient, subtly promoting natural ingredients and products over artificial ones.
Vanessa Smith of the Theta Pi Chapter Zeta Phi Beta captured the essence of the purpose behind the entire event with eight words.
“You do not go natural, you return natural,” Smith said.