When I was 14 years old, I decided to stop going to salons to do my hair. Until then, I had frequented a place near my house to get my hair pressed and blow-dried every two weeks. I sat in a salon chair and watched as smoke rose from my head as hairdressers forced my hair into something it was never meant to be.
Of course, back then, I pretended to not see the damage I was inflicting on my hair. I wanted to emulate the beauty of white girls I saw on my television. My hair wasn’t straight and long like theirs. What I did not realize then was how dangerous that mindset was for my own self-worth. It took nearly all of my hair falling out for me to finally stop going to the salon.
That reluctant act was the beginning of my natural hair journey. With my mother’s help, I began to regrow the 4C kinks and coils I once denigrated. As each wash day arrived, my mother would comb my hair and remind me that whiteness did not equate to beauty. The beauty I longed for already existed within myself; I just had to learn to see it.
We began looking at hair tutorials online to help take care of my hair. At first, it was frustrating. All of the girls we watched had hair that did not look like mine; not much of what they suggested worked.
I had to actively search for YouTubers that had 4C hair so I could find the help I needed. As I scoured the internet, I finally came across people who could help me. For the entirety of my natural hair journey, these are some of the women that have not just helped me to manage my hair, but pushed me to accept myself as well.
1. StarPuppy / @starpuppy_ | 193k subscribers
I found her channel through her video, “I’m Not Black Enough | an introspective.” I saw myself in her as she humorously discussed feeling out of place in her own community because of her interests and personality.
What attracts viewers to her channel is her honesty. She does not provide false narratives of a perfect relationship with her hair. Glover’s hair is thin and 4C and she sometimes has difficulties with accepting it.
Her page contains videos where she discusses learning self-acceptance and how that was intrinsically related to her hair. Despite her frustrations, Glover refuses to demonize her hair. Rather, her YouTube page reflects the fact that the journey to self-love is non-linear.
Even if you do not have thin 4C hair, I would still recommend her channel. You won’t regret it.
2. Lydia and Alma / @lydiaandalma | 31.2k subscribers
The first time I watched Lydia and Alma was their video titled “ALMA’S 4C AFRO TUTORIAL | BIG FRO | STRETCHED SHRINKAGE.” I saw their thumbnail and immediately clicked. It was a woman smiling effortlessly as her large, thick 4C afro came into frame. I remember that moment so clearly because it was the first time I saw someone who had an afro just like mine.
Lydia and Alma are two sisters that make hair care, comedy, fashion and lifestyle videos. Usually, they do videos together where they try different styles or show their wash day routines. They help their viewers navigate the process of managing 4C hair in a simple and accessible way. Their page has encouraged me to embrace my hair as it is, rather than manipulate it constantly.
Lydia and Alma radiate positivity in a way that is rare online. They are funny, bold and confident Black women who relentlessly advocate for self-acceptance.
CharyJay’s video on twisted updos made me an instant fan of hers. I had never attempted to style my hair as intricately as she had in her video. Yet, her comforting explanation of the hairstyle made me want to try. I enjoy how calming her tutorials are; they make the sometimes overwhelming process of taking care of 4C hair easier.
Her videos discuss anything from hair care to gardening to veganism. She frequently posts videos in which she tries different products and updates viewers on her life.
Like many of the other women on this list, viewers gravitate to CharyJay’s channel because of her honesty. She takes her viewers through each step of her journey, all while encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves.
4. WestAfricanBaby / @westafricanbaby | 67.1k subscribers
When it comes to trimming my hair or looking for new styles, I watch WestAfricanBaby.
I have especially enjoyed her wig videos. Through her reviews, she shows her viewers how to step out of their comfort zones when it comes to their natural hair routines. I had never tried wigs before I started watching her channel, but she has made me consider doing it someday.
WestAfricanBeauty also posts videos on Disney characters, the relationship between natural hair and black women, and hair dye.
5. GreenBeauty / @greenbeauty | 327k subscribers
This channel is the perfect blend of science and hair care. Green Beauty dives deep into detail on what works for black women’s hair. She discusses protein treatments, deep conditioning methods and lays down the basics of maintaining natural hair.
The video from her that has helped me the most is one titled “How I’m Restoring my THINNING EDGES.” I do protective styles often and that has caused some slight thinning in my edges. Her video helped me understand how to combat that problem and be mindful when it comes to taking care of my hair.
She has helped me the most in figuring out what products work for my hair and why. From watching her channel, I now understand how to properly take care of my hair in the best way possible. For anyone at the beginning of their natural hair care journey or just looking for help, I definitely recommend checking out her channel.
Watching these ladies taught me how to take care of by hair. But they also offered something far more meaningful than that. These incredible black women’s self-acceptance and honesty made me want to do the same. They were more than natural hair care YouTubers to me; they were a representation I sorely needed. Thanks to them, I learned to accept myself, kinks, coils and all.