If there’s one thing I remember about my childhood, it’s the scheduled routine I had with my hair. Every two weeks I was sitting in a salon chair or breaking my neck over the kitchen sink. Almost felt like my life revolved around getting my hair done. I can’t even count how many times I cancelled plans because I knew I was going to spend the rest of the day sitting in a chair.

When I wasn’t in a salon chair, I was sitting on my living room floor with my mom behind me. I would update her about how school is going and she would tell me stories about her childhood. It was nice. Although getting my hair done felt like an obligation, I always felt a sense of comfort sitting on that floor. My mum worked a lot so I always valued that quality time we spent together. Even if we just sat in silence watching Law and Order.

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A couple weeks ago I was twisting my hair before bed and I started reminiscing about those moments I had with my mum. There’s something so intimate about having someone do your hair. Especially someone close to you. It always felt like she was telling me she loves me without having to physically say it. Even when my mum did a terrible job putting flexi rods in my hair, I still appreciated the time she took to help me out. 

For this photo set, I wanted to convey those feelings. My mum always told me I’ll be judged for the rest of my life, especially about my hair. I think that’s why it’s so comforting having another black woman do your hair for you. They just want you to look and feel your best. These photos are a thank you to all the beautiful black woman in my life who shaped me into the confident woman I am today.

Photographer – Jenelle Smith (@jenellesmith_)

Models – Chrystian Brooks (@chrystibee) and Chrystal Brooks (chrystill)
Brand – Pansy (@pansyco
Assistant – Danielle Mamath (daniellemamath)

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