BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In the Black Community, hair is sacred. Two local salon owners say it’s like their crown.
“Everything about your life, starts from here,” Fausat Adekoba, owner of Nikki’s Beauty Supply and Salon, pointing to the top of her head. “Back home in Africa they say, ‘watch who touches your head. Watch where you go to do your hair. That’s what makes us women. That’s what brings out our beauty.”
Adekoba, a licensed cosmetologist has owned Nikki’s Beauty Supply and Salon, in Bakersfield for three years, but she’s been doing hair since she was a little girl in Nigeria. It wasn’t until she saw her daughter, Adeifi come home from elementary school one day years ago, crying that she brushed paths with hair discrimination.
“This boy was telling everybody that Adeifi had fake hair on. So I was very angry,” Adekoba said. “But this new generation, like Adeifi, is going to school with their natural hair. That is how God made them to be, that is who they are.”
Adekoba said things are gradually getting better thanks to social media movements. Plus, last year, California became the first state to ban discrimination against “race-based hairstyles” through the “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace and Public Schools for Natural Hair,” or The Crown Act.
“I believe a law is good because it helps people keep us on an even ground, where we’re not judged for certain things,” Williams said. “So, I think as Black people we’re now comfortable being who we want to be.”
“Natural hair,” Adekoba explained, can be worn with or without extensions, which can be also turned into three-strand braids or twists. Williams said women may choose to get their natural hair roller set, or wear it in a bun.
“Protective hairstyles” like a weave, is when the hairstylist weaves hair into the natural hair to protect it from chemicals and excessive heat styling. These styles can last a couple of months.
“In the past, people were more interested in our hair because it’s different than yours. You have so many multicultural people, mixed kids or whatever, that now everyone’s just trying to learn how to deal with it,” Williams said.
No matter how Black women choose to wear their hair, Williams wants people to understand that “All our hair is different. It’s all different textures, lengths, colors, lengths, but it’s just hair,” Williams said. “It should be about the person and who they are as an individual and the job they do.”
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