I’m pro nat­u­ral hair because it’s nat­u­ral, it’s ours, it’s mine and no one, no stan­dard or beau­ty or ugli­ness, no stereo­type should dic­tate what I do with some­thing as defin­ing and as per­son­al as my hair. ~Bri­an­na



BGLH: Where are you from? Are you a native of that coun­try?
Bri­an­na
: I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, in the West Indies. Born and raised here.

BGLH: How did your fam­i­ly end up there?
Bri­an­na
: I’m a pro­duct of peo­ple from all over the place; Africa, India, Chi­na, Scotland…I can’t real­ly say how I end­ed up here!

BGLH: Why did you decide to go nat­u­ral?
Bri­an­na
: I was con­vinced the first time I had my hair relaxed, at 14, that I was destroy­ing it. I was used to hav­ing my back length nat­u­ral hair combed and braid­ed at night. I guess my moth­er got tired of doing that all the time! I, per­son­al­ly, have nev­er felt com­plete with relaxed hair. I found it more com­pli­cat­ed to deal with than nat­u­ral hair. I have very sen­si­tive skin and frankly relax­er scared me a bit.

BGLH: When and how did you go nat­u­ral?
Bri­an­na
: Over 3 years ago. [Bri­an­na is now 25.] I just stopped going to the salon. I just stopped relax­ing my hair. I didn’t take the warn­ings about hair dam­age too seri­ous­ly. I just told myself it’d work out. And it did, for me. I final­ly went to a lox­ol­o­gist (a hair­dresser spe­cial­is­ing in nat­u­ral hair. That’s what we call them) and cut all the relaxed bits off. I was so pleased after the wash­ing and twist­ing and dry­ing. I actu­al­ly felt proud of myself and my total­ly healthy head of hair.

BGLH: Could you describe your reg­i­men? What prod­ucts and ingre­di­ents do you use?
Bri­an­na
: I have a week­ly rit­u­al that takes a cou­ple hours. I wash and con­di­tion; noth­ing spe­cial — Pan­tene Relaxed and Nat­u­ral or Head and Shoul­ders. Then I sit down and comb the whole thing, divide into thick sec­tions which I braid and let dry. After that, I just undo the braids, run my fin­gers through and put on a head band. That’s my entire reg­i­men.

BGLH: What mis­takes have you made in your nat­u­ral jour­ney that you’ve learned from?
Bri­an­na
: I let myself be talked into tex­tur­is­ing my hair!! I did and because my hair is fine and curly-to-wavy, the tex­turis­er just made it go limp and STRAIGHT. I don’t think I have for­given myself yet. I was so upset, I cut off a year’s worth of hair grad­u­al­ly and start­ed over. I’m not going to touch it again.

BGLH: How does your hair work for your life?
Bri­an­na
: I work in Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. I’m a uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent. I’m also a girl who draws and paint. I haven’t encoun­tered any instances of out­right dis­crim­i­na­tion or neg­a­tiv­i­ty in any sphere of my life. At the same time though, there are assump­tions asso­ci­at­ed with being young and Black with nat­u­ral hair.

BGLH: How is your hair an expres­sion of your personality/inner self?
Bri­an­na
: I’m a strong willed per­son and I loathe dis­hon­esty and insin­cer­i­ty — I think my hair is begin­ning to express that. I get the “Empress” com­ment alot — peo­ple think it’s regal. I enjoy watch­ing it grow and mak­ing sure it’s healthy; much the same way I am about my char­ac­ter and my life and my art. I paint girls with main­ly nat­u­ral hair because I think it should be cel­e­brat­ed.

BGLH: Why do you paint nat­u­ral wom­en? Is there are phi­los­o­phy behind that?
Bri­an­na
: I have always found wom­en beau­ti­ful; the ele­ments that make faces unique. I find strength and dig­ni­ty beau­ti­ful. I think that because my work could be described as being large­ly self por­traits, the wom­en reflect what I am expe­ri­enc­ing at this stage in life – lov­ing my nat­u­ral hair… It was always a per­son­al thing. I’ve only been open­ing it up to the pub­lic for about a year and a half. I do sell now though.

Some of Brianna’s art


BGLH: Why are you pro nat­u­ral hair?
Bri­an­na
: I see no rea­son why nat­u­ral hair, in all its forms, shouldn’t be an accept­ed and admired thing. I come from a place where, not too long ago, peo­ple with dread­locks weren’t allowed to work in banks. We still have the prob­lem where pri­vate schools are dis­crim­i­nat­ing again­st stu­dents with dread­locks. I think it’s high time we got rid of the neg­a­tive assump­tions about nat­u­ral hair.

I’m pro nat­u­ral hair because it’s nat­u­ral, it’s ours, it’s mine and no one, no stan­dard or beau­ty or ugli­ness, no stereo­type should dic­tate what I do with some­thing as defin­ing and as per­son­al as my hair. That being said, I believe that once it doesn’t come out of adher­ing to what is per­ceived as beau­ti­ful or accept­able or out of self hate, we should be free to do what­ev­er we want with our hair.

BGLH: Is there a fotki or web page where we can find you?
Bri­an­na
: Yes, I blog at http://briannamccarthy.blogspot.com. I look for­ward to see­ing you!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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27 Comments on "Brianna // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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unknown des­ti­na­tion. With telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions play­ing a major role in the world today, a voucher to recharge­hold you enter­tained, your main prob­lem is decid­ing on what to eat.You will find lots of inter­est­ing things toex­is­tence for near­ly six­ty years and it can be tes­ti­mony to the company’s eye for fash­ion that they con­tin­ue tothe D4Ho­tels domain name. This involved a legal dis­pute between Dun­ne and a for­mer man­ager as to who wasshop­ping cen­tres to choose from and here we have picked out a few for you not to miss.The main shop­ping karen mil­len store afford­able and easy on the eyes.But don’t… Read more »
Bri

Thank you so much Ladies!

And Leila — Thank you!

AfroButtafly

What a beau­ty! And I love the art­work too. I need to get a hob­by. LOL

jenteel

beau­ty and tal­ent! love it!

luvmylocs

great fea­ture. i love the piece with the wom­an with the short afro with the flow­er in her hair. keep up the great work!!

Shanel Nicole

Great arti­cle, I vis­it her blog at least once every few days to see whats new on her blog. Her art work is beau­ti­ful~

The Star

Wow, her inner beau­ty is real­ly reflect­ed inside and out. Her hair (and art­work) are gor­geous!!!

Erica

Hey Bri­an­na! Have you con­sid­ered putting togeth­er an Etsy store? It’s for folks who make their own crafts and art­work and want to sell them. You’re def­i­nite­ly tal­ent­ed and I see a few things I want on my walls!!! I’m not sure exact­ly how it works, but just go to Etsy.com and I’m sure you’ll find some info there.

Jadeite

You’re are is gor­geous! I pic­tured where I’d hang it as soon as I saw it.

Nakieda Jasmine Massey
Nakieda Jasmine Massey

Oh my, I made the same mis­take when I first went nat­u­ral, I thought a tex­tur­iz­er was the right thing to do, but I don’t have a very tight curl pat­tern so in essence it was a relax­er, and like you it was a years worth of hair growth down the drain, it was all chopped off but now 1 year lat­er it has grown back bet­ter than ever, I still have some work to do but I’m hap­py with it!
Cheers!

Patricia Grannum

Oh wow, It’s great to see Bri­an­na fea­tured here. I inter­viewed her over at my blog last week (http://bit.ly/48at3Q) The inter­view was most­ly about her work but she has great hair too! Glad to see a wom­an from Trinidad cel­e­brat­ed.

http://womanofcolour.blogspot.com

TheDailey

very cute hair… i like how it looks in an afro! wild curls :]

Bri

Hey Peo­ple, I’m thrilled that you like my work so much! I don’t have a place I sell work through at this time…but if you’re inter­est­ed feel free to email me here: brianna.mccarthy@gmail.com

Thanks and take care!

Bri­an­na

Gina

Beau­ti­ful Hair.

Anonymous

Bri­an­na, if you read the­se com­ments, please post where we can buy your art. I couldn’t find it any­where on your blog. If your stuff’s not for sale, it should be. Your work is stun­ning. I can eas­i­ly see it on greet­ing cards, notepads, wall mounts, tee-shirts. I see a few pieces I want myself.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair

Hey guys,

I’m glad you like Brianna’s art! She emailed BGLH to com­mend the blog and once I saw her hair and art I knew she had to do an inter­view. So glad she agreed :)

If you want more infor­ma­tion about her art, check out her blog (the link is in her respon­se to the last ques­tion).

~Leila

thelady

I love the sec­ond paint­ing. Do you sell your art?

cjbrown

I agree! The art­work is won­der­ful and your per­son­al­i­ty is refresh­ing!

Please post if the art­work is avail­able for pur­chase!

Anonymous

your art­work is beau­ti­ful. very unique. your hair is the bomb too!

Anonymous

LOVEEEEEE your art. Where is it sold as I would love to own a piece.

Bri

This is so awe­some! Thank you so much!

yours truly

yay a trini fea­ture! glad bri­an­na got some spot­light here. she’s a true beau­ty and quite tal­ent­ed as well.

as for the dis­crim­i­na­tion thing, she is on point. as a mat­ter of fact, i know some­one per­son­al­ly with dread­locks who spoke about being dis­crim­i­nat­ed again­st a pop­u­lar bank here when she put in an appli­ca­tion there. we’re mul­ti­cul­tur­al but still have a long way to go.

Pat

Your draw­ings and paint­ings are beau­ti­ful and I love the way you use colours. Awe­some!

TAMMYANKA

such a beau­ty. I like the non­cha­lant way she describes her tran­si­tion. He art is beau­ti­ful!

Licklemslady

Your work is beau­ti­ful! I’d like to dec­o­rate my liv­ing space with por­traits and paint­ings like yours so that it coun­ter acts the images broad­cast­ed every­where else. I’d like for my lit­tle girl and boy ( when i get around to hav­ing them) to become accos­tumed to see­ing those images around.

Foxy not-so Brown

i love your art­work!!!!!!!!

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