We welcome our guest Daisy Mack this week
My name is Daisy Mack and I am a natural hair stylist. I own a salon called Peezyheadz. The name itself is a throwback to a time when the kinky, nappy textured hair at the nape of the neck was referred to as “peasy” or in this case “peezy.” The look of this hair was like tiny, tightly woven, curled-up-into-itself spindles of hair. This was considered “bad” hair and an undesirable look. It could be viewed as one being unkempt or neglected.
The truth was far from it. The truth is for many people of color that peezy or nappy hair is our hair texture. What would happen to our individual and collective esteem if we did not grow up believing that fundamentally who we are is wrong or bad or ugly?
Many years ago I started my own natural hair journey. I was inspired to support others who wanted to do the same. My clients and I are black women who have decided to eliminate chemical straighteners from our hair routines. We strive to embrace and love our natural hair and curls no matter what the cultural narratives say about beauty. This experience is known as the natural hair journey and it is about self-acceptance. Not surprisingly, there are women who do not identify as being “of color,” but they also confront the pressures of straightening one’s hair or coloring it in order to feel more beautiful.
Women of Color – A Very Diverse Group
Like any other sub-cultural group, women of color are diverse. We have different beliefs and values as they relate to religion and spirituality; relationships; health; beauty and so on. In fact –
- More black women are exploring native religion and spiritual practices – while others are adamantly against it.
- More black women are revisiting their role in their family and intimate relationships, having realized the cost of being “strong” for everyone.
- More black women are exploring veganism and finding ways to alter the traditional recipes handed down generation after generation to make healthy foods for themselves and their families. There are others who are skeptical of change or have far less exposure to options.
- Lastly, more black women are on a natural hair journey. Others are struggling to balance the desire to feel beautiful and accepted with what are viewed as easier hairstyles…straight hairstyles like weaves and wigs. These do not chemically treat their own hair, but they are often overwhelming with the prospect of “managing” it.
The whole concept is that our hair is something to manage. It is not something to just allow to “be” and exist.
So What’s Black Girl Magic All About?
By now almost everyone has heard the phrase “black girl magic.” It has many champions and some detractors. The champion part is all about black women and girls encouraging and supporting one another. It is a social movement that picked up ground in 2013. Its intent is to acknowledge accomplishments and to essentially honor success in all of its representations. For this reason, the term “black girl magic” may also be used to hype an image of black girls or women who are beautiful and more specifically who seem to be embracing a natural version of beauty. In particular, they are celebrating the aspects of ourselves that are often criticized both within and outside of our culture.
The criticism of the black girl magic social movement is that it promotes the idea that we are somehow superhuman. That we have less pain or should always be strong. This critique points out that no, we are not magical. We are simply human…like everyone else…with our own similar and very unique problems.
Serving Black Women
What I’ve learned as a natural hair provider over the past 20 years is that for many black women, their relationship with their hair care provider is among the closest confidantes in their lives. I hear the peaks and the pits of the lives of my clients. I’ve even developed quite a following among black women therapists in Metro Atlanta.
The most important thing I provide (in addition to a safe space and sound advice for the natural hair journey) is my ability to listen and the heart I give my clients. I didn’t know what I would be able to share or have in common with therapists and coaches. But what I do know is that the most valuable thing any of us can provide for black women is a space to be heard and not judged. I have found that all of my connections with my clients stem from deep listening and presence.
Daisy Mack is the owner of Peezyheadz Salon. You can find her in Pine Lake, Georgia, just to the east of the Perimeter. Come see Daisy for natural hair care and a comfortable and safe place to share your journey.
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