Understanding my natural hair is comparable to being in a deeply committed relationship. You constantly find yourself trying to understand the needs of your partner while preserving your peace of mind. You may even take a break in the form of a clean cut or an emotionally “protective style.” Though, you always find your way back to each other because you know you’re meant to be together. I’m at a point, now, where I am intentionally taking the time to reconnect and educate myself about my hair. What makes this journey that I am about to embark upon even more special is that I’ve found a partner that’s helping me to discover my hair identity. 4th Ave Market is the largest black owned online store, in the U.S., for haircare and beauty products for people of color. We’ve teamed up to create a video series titled, “Discovering My Hair Identity,” that will show the process of learning my hair type and ultimately the right products to use. As I discover my haircare routine, 4th Ave Market will offer a wide selection of brands and products that will ultimately bring about the best hair of my life!
4th Ave Market
Founded by young entrepreneurs, 4th Ave Market aims to put the needs of people of color at the forefront. The company’s mission is to connect consumers with manufacturers to significantly increase access to an array of products that serve all types of textured hair. In creating this platform, 4th Ave Market is able to invest in the brands that serve the unmet haircare and beauty needs for this community. The inspiration behind this brand stems from the name itself.
During Jim Crow era, in Birmingham Alabama, the 4th avenue street was known as the “Black Business District.” This was where 60% of black owned businesses operated. From grocery stores, banks, salons & barbers, restaurants and so on, these businesses were created to serve and provide for the black community. In turn, all of the commerce generated was being invested back into these businesses which continued to build a financially sustainable community. This same concept is now being replicated through 4th Ave Market by intentionally cultivating a space of commerce that connects both the brands and consumers representing people of color.
Relationship With My Hair
The first two years of high school, I made sure my hair was always straightened. Wearing my natural hair to school was something I never entertained. But I can recall the exact moment when I began to embrace my natural hair. I was 16 years old and as a spirit day activity, my class had been assigned to dress up from the 1970s. When I thought of black women I could emulate from that era, I immediately pictured Angela Davis. Her hair was a powerful crown and I believed that I too could craft my hair in the same fashion. Wearing my natural hair for the first time to school was nerve-racking at first but as soon as I walked down the halls I received praise, love, and admiration. From that day on, I didn’t care to straighten or relax my hair. I began to love its volume, curls, and frizz.
Since that transformational day, I’ve continued to rock my natural hair for the last 12 years. And while that’s a long time, I can confidently say I still don’t know everything about my hair. I generally know the types of products that I should be using but there is definitely room for improvement. My current routine is quite minimal. I usually stick with a wash-n-go, braids, or a twist-out. I use the Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream as my wash-n-go product. It’s quite heavy on my hair and doesn’t seem to support it’s natural bounce. When I choose to do a twist-out or braids, I usually use the Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil w/ Hemp Seed Oil. This product definitely moisturizes my hair but again feels quite heavy.
Each video will focus on the steps that will build towards the knowledge and understanding of one’s hair type, products to use, and the maintenance routine. While I will be discovering which products are right for me, my objective is to have the viewer follow the same path in order to find the products that are right for them. With the help of 4th Ave Market, viewers will then be able to choose from a wide selection of brands and products. In this series I’ll cover the topics listed below that will take everything back to the basics.
- What’s My Hair Type?
- What Ingredients Go with My Hair Type?
- What’s My Hair Routine?
- What Products Are Right for My Hairstyles?
- How Can I Find the Right Products on 4th Ave Market?
Through my journey, I hope that other young women and men can see the ways in which I’ve discovered my hair identity and have created my own personalized haircare routine.
I’m excited to begin this journey so be sure to follow along and visit 4thAveMarket.com to find all the beauty and haircare products you need!