Mother - Author - Entrepreneur
We asked Award Winning Author Annika Spalding some questions about some of her hair experiences!
Can you relate?
What hair type are you?
I think my hair type is 3B
What is your first hair memory?
I remember deciding to do my hair myself because it hurt when my mum did it. My mum was white and knew very little on what to use for my hair. We used baby oil, so I put that in my hair and combed it out, and tied a ribbon around my head like a headband. I’m not sure what I looked like but I was pleased with myself.
What race are you?
I’m mixed race, mum was white British, my dad is black British, his parents were from Jamaica.
What hair style was your favourite growing up?
I didn’t have one, I didn’t like my hair and my mum couldn’t convince me it was beautiful. She’d say that I was lucky, that “people pay a lot of money to have hair like yours” but I never felt lucky. I always wanted to have straight hair because I thought that was better. That’s all I could see wherever I looked.
When I was around 13, I had my hair in braids (which we called extensions) for my mum’s wedding and it looked so good. It hurt my scalp so I took it out soon and instantly regretted it.
In my teens, my mum had bought me some Babyliss straighteners that I soon used on my hair. It pretty much burnt it but I was persistent. I’d still wear it tied up but I’d have a side fringe.
What style did you hate?
I just didn’t like my hair.
How old were you when you started doing your own hair?
I think around 8 or 9.
Can you share a hair story with us?
I never really knew how to take care of my hair, what products to use or how to love it. But when I became a mother to a child whose curls are tighter than mine, I knew I had to learn. I didn’t want my daughter to hate her curls like I had mine. Around this time, I was witnessing the movement of black women embracing their natural hair and it encouraged me to embrace mine. I asked for help and advice of friends who knew more and guided me through what to buy and what to avoid.
Anyway, I have two daughters and they have different hair types. My youngest daughter’s hair is almost like mine but my oldest isn’t. I watched YouTube videos years ago on how to cornrow hair but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I gave it a go anyway and for the last 8 years I’ve been doing a terrible job but good enough to ensure it grows. Recently I decided to revisit YouTube and found two more videos that really broke it down. I’ve since been doing a much better job of her hair and I feel happy about it. It’s one thing knowing how which products to buy and how to wash her hair, but to be able to do her hair is really what makes me feel like I’m doing something right. I don’t want her to feel like she is different, or that her hair is different or that it is effort to look after it, I want her to grow up knowing that loving her hair and taking good care of it is just part of who we are as women of colour.
You can find out more about Annika via the links below:
Award-Winning Author & Writing Coach