The natural hair phenomenon – which has remained a topic of discussion thanks to enthusiastic transitioners, social media and films such as Good Hair – shows no signs of slowing down. Birmingham master barber, stylist and instructor and 12 year hair industry veteran Darrius Peace is introducing MyHairAintNappy.Com, a resource he hopes will “help redefine what we consider, or what we’ve learned to [think of as] beautiful and incorporate organic beauty into that definition, [and to help others learn] to love and embrace themselves in their organic form.”
How did you get into the hair industry? When I got to UAB [where he received a bachelors degree] I decided I would grow my hair out. Because it was really difficult for me to find someone to do the styles I wanted – I thought every girl could braid, and was disappointed to find out every girl can’t – it got me into [styling my hair] myself . [When] people inquired who did my hair, I told them I did it myself. Soon I established a small clientele on campus. Then I decided to legitimize myself and get certified, and there was a barber college close to Rast Hall. I went there to get proper licensing and certificiation so I could become a professional hair stylist.
What motivated you to launch MyHairAintNappy.com? At some point I am going to retire from doing hair. When I do that, I want to leave a legacy. I want to have a mark in the industry so my children can say, ‘Here was my dad’s contribution to the hair industry.’ It’s been beautiful in the four walls of the salon, and now I’m able to [share expertise I’ve only shared in the salon] with the world.
Peace’s plans for his brand’s footprint extend beyond an online resource; he has also written and published a companion book, My Hair Ain’t Nappy: A Black Man’s Introspective on Natural Hair, which can be purchased on the website and at amazon.com.
“The book offers information on how to effectively transition – both mentally and physically – into accepting, embracing and loving your natural hair. It’s a must-read for all those that are transitioning or even have a thought of transitioning to natural hair,” Peace says.
Are you against the use of chemical relaxers? I don’t want anyone to think I’m opposed to relaxers – I’m not. I prefer that if you’re going to wear anything that isn’t native to your natural curl pattern, that you don’t wear it because you think your hair is nappy. I hope that black people begin to employ more positive terminology in reference to our hair textures and omit words like “nappy” and all those other words that are antithetical to our being beautiful.
What’s the biggest mistake you feel naturalistas make with their hair? I think the biggest mistake I’ve seen is people not seeking professional expertise. YouTube has been a very valuable resource, but it’s mainly comprised of amateurs who have learned to master their own texture. But a professional hair stylist has encountered various hair textures and can offer custom solutions to help you optimize your hair growth.
What do men really think about women with natural hair? To be frank, brothers don’t care. It ain’t even about your hair; it’s about you. We love confidence, we love beauty, and we love you when you love you.
For more information, connect with Darrius Peace via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of Darrius Peace