Before I began making my own videos, I was frantically searching YouTube for inspiration for my hair. At that time, I was considering venturing back to my hair’s natural state but wasn’t sure if I could maintain it on my own. I had friends who were natural but frequented salons. I hadn’t had the best experiences in the salon chair so I felt sticking to being a kitchen beautician would best fit me. I was quickly overwhelmed with all the different videos of women with a variety of hair types who were discussing what each needed and what worked for them. I didn’t know what my hair type or texture consisted of, but I began watching women who inspired me with their personalities and their honesty in sharing their routines.
I signed up for my own channel (hence the name Mskelabug) so that I could rate and comment on videos. So after watching them for hours (yes, I literally watched YouTube instead of watching cable) I transitioned and eventually began recording my own videos. I was always asked how I was able to get my hair so straight and full of body so I decided to make a few videos detailing my process. When I had my first subscriber, first comment, first “OMG, I love your hair” I decided to continue. So here’s a list in no particular order of the ladies I watched and can acknowledge as those who helped me on my journey:
1. Hydratherma Naturals
Saleemah Cartwright of Hydratherma Naturals was one of my earliest inspirations. In fact, one of my friends who inspired me to transition (Andrea) told me I should watch YouTube(specifically Hydratherma Naturals). Saleemah had beautiful hair no doubt, but it was her warm personality and willingness to share her journey that spoke to me. I was unaware of people sharing their personal lives on a public forum. At that time, I only thought of YT as a source of people showing off their crazy antics for views. Saleemah proved to be different. She would show before and after pics of her natural hair journey. Matter of fact, she is why I refer to this process as a journey and not just "going natural"!
So I was pumped up and excited about possibly transitioning or big chopping my hair as I came across this girl with super long and healthy hair. Her videos often showed her with her back to the camera displaying her hair’s length. It was GORGEOUS to say the least. I was intrigued and wanted to know her every step in achieving and retaining her length. Reniece didn't do many videos, but the few she had showcased her journey from relaxed to post natural.
Besides beautiful hair, I’m drawn to beautiful personalities. MahoganyKnots is nowhere near short of personality. Many, including myself, did not know that MahoganyKnots consisted of a duo of best friends, EbonyKnots (KiKi) and MahoganyBella (Farrah). Most of the videos consisted of a bubbly young lady, EbonyKnots demonstrating how she made some of the most creative styles I had ever seen. Not to mention, her hair itself was gorgeous. Then one day I saw the other half of MahoganyKnots, MahoganyBella and her personality and tutorials left me wanting to grab product and try the styles on my hair. The duo of best friends was so refreshing to see. I can recall meeting Farrah and instantly hitting it off. She is one of the reasons I don't straighten my hair as often anymore. She advised me to embrace my curls and I haven't looked back since.
Taren Guy. What can I say about her? There was this beautiful girl with a contagious laugh who had hair for days and I wanted her hair. Her curls were beyond gorgeous. Her look was almost effortless. I can recall numerous times trying to recreate her bantu knot outs and big hair. I loved how she would step outside of natural hair. She would often walk around Brooklyn, take a train with friends, and share special moments with us of her children.
Search for natural hair on YouTube and I’m sure you’ll spot KimmayTube and her leave-in conditioner recipe. That is exactly what I did. Kim Love was the type of Vlogger I watched extensively. It seemed as if whatever she put on her hair was some type of magical concoction. Her hair would grow, in my opinion, at record amounts. Not to mention, she was fit, business savvy, and spoke with so much confidence I couldn’t help but watch her. She gave so many tips on what had worked for her hair and brought forth an awareness of pH and how black women could grow healthy hair with patience and care.
Imagine coming across a soft spoken, positive energy giving individual with a smile that would light up a distressed transitioners day on your computer screen. NikkiMae/Natural Chica had a warm and inviting energy about her that I appreciated. She wasn’t trying to sell you her opinion or say her way was the correct and only way. Mae would do twistouts that had incredible volume with such ease. Over the years I’ve watched Mae blossom into a confident woman who continues to share her journey through life and not just hair. She has been able to build a brand and continues to inspire everyone who watches her.
Last, but definitely not least there was LexiWithTheCurls. I now know her as Alexis, but back then I wanted her hair. She was a natural who wasn’t afraid of color and heat which stood out so much to me. Her color was amazing and her tutorials were easy to follow! She would often have cameos from her boyfriend Ore and also from her dog Bentley! I couldn’t help but watch her videos. I can recall watching her flat twist tutorials and attempting it on my own. I liked her spirit. Alexis has continued to be an inspiration for me as well as a friend who pushes me as a Vlogger/Blogger.
All of these women inspired my journey in one way or another. What I admire the most about each is that they have been able to build a brand for themselves and branch out into other areas. You should definitely get familiar with them. If you are already subscribed to them, re-visit their channels as well as their websites.
Be Blessed & Be A Blessing…
Kela**pictures are not owned by me and were borrowed from their sites**