It’s more than just curls and waves, it’s about community! We held our first Crown Club on April 6th, 2023. For those of you who missed it, this is the recap for you. For those who want to relive the excitement and everything our talented contributors, moderator and of course, the founder of StyldLife, Julie Floyd, spoke about, you’ve landed in the right spot.
We kicked off the free webinar with an opening from Julie Lythcott-Haims.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, Educator & Author
When Julie was asked to moderate the webinar, she jumped at the offer. As a biracial woman who grew up in a time when being biracial was considered rare, Julie grew up straightening her curls to fit in with her white friends. Over the years, Julie has become a person she could love and did the psychological work of healing the traumas of growing up in an environment where she wasn’t taught to love her hair. She began to wear her hair natural in her 30s but then in her 50s, she went through the grief of thinning hair due to menopause. Because of this, she wishes for everyone to be self-loving and accepting of natural hair like hers. (Read Julie’s hair story in her memoir: Real American)
“If only I knew you were gonna leave me hair, I would have loved you sooner.” — Julie Lythcott-Haims
From there, Julie Floyd explained the reason behind StyldLife’s Crown Club.
As everyone familiar with StyldLife knows, Julie in part created StyldLife because she didn’t have access to anyone who could help her style her natural hair. Growing up, Julie had chemically relaxed hair starting from a young age. In 2009, Julie saw the movie, Good Hair, and learning about how awful chemical straighteners are for hair got Julie thinking: could I wear my hair natural? Around the same time, her children began asking, why did their mom have straight hair while they had a range of different curls and coils? Julie didn’t have the answer, but she did wonder; if her kids looked beautiful with their curls, could she?
Jump to 2014 and Julie had built up the courage to go natural. She had no idea where to start and was left completely alone. She tried growing out her hair without the big chop, but she was only damaging her newly grown out curls by getting them heat straightened. Once her hair did grow out, she still didn’t know what to do. Julie wanted personalized attention, which is when StyldLife was born! As StyldLife grew, Julie realized there were a lot of women looking for the same personalized help for their curls and texture. When the Crown Act (which protects people from being discriminated in the workplace and at school for their natural hair) was passed, Julie saw it as the sign to create a club for everyone to be able to learn how to style and take care of their natural crowns.
“Naming the club the Crown Club was an obvious choice to me. It is an homage to the Crown Act and all the people who have worked to get the Crown Act passed in their states and continue to do the work. We all have our beautiful crowns that we wear in different ways.”
The contributors: Lana Symone, Jodi Anne- Whittingham, Miyoshi Dorsey, and Erikajoy Gardner (who you probably recognize as also a StyldLife stylist!), joined the conversation and introduced themselves.
Lana Symone, Social Media Influencer
When Lana started creating content in 2016, social media wasn’t yet the place to go for advice and how to videos on hair care. For Lana, she grew up being the only person wearing her hair naturally as all of her friends wore relaxers and had laid edges. She always wanted straight hair, but her mother was against it. Over the years, she grew to see her hair as unique. As she was starting out as a content creator, she decided she would become the person posting the type of hair content she wished to see when she was learning to embrace her hair.
Jodi Anne-Whittingham, Natural Hair Care Expert, Founder of Gwen-Estelle
Jodie Anne has been on her natural hair journey since 2011. Prior to that, she had her hair relaxed until it got damaged to the point of needing to cut it off. Her self-esteem had been so tied to her hair that she was not ready for the big cut. While transitioning, she found a website where women would upload hair pictures and share techniques and products they were using. After seven years, she was able to grow her back down to her waits, but it took patience and commitment. Jodie Ann began to make her own hair care products and at the suggestion of a friend, launched her haircare, Gwen-Estelle.
Miyoshi Dorsey, Founder & CEO of Mind 4 Wellness (M4W)
When Miyoshi was younger, her mother would complain about doing Miyoshi’s hair since it was long, and Miyoshi was tender-headed. At 8-years-old, her father forced her to cut her hair into a bob. She was traumatized. Reflecting back on it, she knows her father meant well, but it felt like her hair wasn’t enough. It was a reflection of who she was. Eventually, she went through the process of growing her hair out. Like Julie Floyd, Miyoshi would get her hair straightened until one day, she had enough of her stylist burning her hair. From there on, she committed herself to natural hair. As she gets older, her hair has even changed textures and wave patterns, but she has learned to love her hair regardless. Miyoshi has learned that hair can factor into one’s mental health, which is why Mind 4 Wellness is a holistic wellness approach that involves the mind, body, and spirit for healthy living.
Erikajoy Gardner,Cosmetolgist, Natural Hair-Care Expert
From the age of ten, Erikajoy had been getting her hair relaxed. A little over thirteen years ago, she decided to cut her relaxed hair into a pixie cut and color parts of it - which accidentally led her down the path of natural hair since colored hair can’t be relaxed. Erikajoy grew out her hair but would get it heat-straightened at the salon until one day, her stylist told her she had beautiful curls and should just cut off the relaxer. At first, she blew him off, telling him to just straighten her hair, but it sparked something in her. She let the relaxer grow out and then cut it off and began to wear her curls. It was more versatile than she thought it would be. She began to study trichology and decided she would not just teach women to embrace their natural hair, but also to live healthy lifestyles that support their hair.
Here are some shortened answers from our contributors during the Q&A section of the webinar:
What is one thing you wish you would have known before going natural, or a tip that helped you on your natural journey?
Jodi Ann said to not look at someone else’s curl pattern and hair, because everyone’s hair is different and has its own personality. Erikajoy said it's important to try different styles while figuring out what works for your hair. Miyoshi said it’s essential not to listen to dissenters when you start your natural hair journey. Lana said to go off your feel of your hair and see how product look mixed in your hand before you put them all in your hair.
What suggestions do you have for traveling?
Julie L. and Lana said to not be limited to the 3 ounce liquid limit, just pack the big version and check your bag.
What are the best vitamins and oils?
Erikajoy said to be careful with vitamins, first get your blood done and see what your bioresonance test says before you start taking vitamins. Certain vitamins when taken too much or combined with other vitamins can cause hair loss or other negative side effects.
Does anyone have for hat suggestions that accommodate a full crown?
Why did my hair grow so fast when I was wearing jerry curls and once I stopped wearing it, my hair grows slow?
Erikajoy said that from a cosmetologist standpoint, she’s heard this before. Figure out what you’re doing differently – usually people with jerry curls will make sure their hair is moist.
Has anyone ever experienced when you flat iron and your hair won’t return to natural?
Lana said that for a while she would flat iron her hair and her curls wouldn’t come back. After time and trimming her hair, they slowly came back, but there was never a trick for her to revert her hair back to curls. Erikajoy said that titanium flat-irons, no heat protectants and too high of a setting can cause this kind of damage.
If you have diabetes, how does that impact hair? What about menopause? What can we do if it’s causing our hair to shed and thin?
Erikajoy said that blood work and the possibility of holistic medicine can help, but you need to work with your doctor. Hair loss treatments that use stem cells are also a possibility, but they can be very costly.
And there were even a few giveaways!