*Pre­pared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1Me­Nat­u­ral­ly

Intro­duce your­self!
H:
My name is Har­mony. I was born and raised in Orlan­do, Flori­da. Cur­rent­ly resid­ing in Tal­la­has­see, Flori­da. I am a Fash­ion Design­er of my women’s wear line ‘A Beau­ti­ful Piece by Har­mony’, Style Cor­re­spon­dent for Car­ols Daugh­ter and a part-time Retail Asso­ciate.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
H:
My moth­er was a cos­me­tol­o­gist, so she was my sole hair care provider until I went to col­lege. My hair was relaxed and I rocked a short Halle Berry cut for most of my teenage years. Upon enter­ing col­lege, I real­ized that I would need to incur a new hair main­te­nance bill that had been free of charge all my life. Not to men­tion, have a whole new set of hands in my head, some­thing that I just was not accus­tomed to. Not very long after a few salon vis­its and my best friend apply­ing a very harsh box perm in my hair, I noticed sev­ere break­age and dam­age. It was at this point that I real­ized I need­ed a change, although the nat­u­ral route was not in my sights just yet. I owe that awak­en­ing to my col­lege expe­ri­ence and the many diverse indi­vid­u­als who helped shape a new direc­tion for me, which for now, I will call cul­tur­al con­scious­ness.

Of course this was at a very sur­face lev­el ini­tial­ly, some­thing that peo­ple some­times seem reluc­tant to admit, afraid that it may sug­gest a sort of shal­low­ness. How­ev­er, I find that this is a very impor­tant stage in the process, par­tic­u­lar­ly with going nat­u­ral because most of our big chop sto­ries involve being inspired by the appear­ance of a friend or even a stranger who enchant­ed us with the pres­ence of their nat­u­ral beau­ty. This is a pow­er­ful ener­gy and although sur­face in nature, it runs very deep and often ini­ti­ates an entire lifestyle change, from hair to food to cloth­ing and child rear­ing. A good friend and co-work­er of mine car­ried that mag­ic. I fell under the spell and have been hap­pi­ly and nap­pi­ly intox­i­cat­ed by it ever since.

When and how did you tran­si­tion into nat­u­ral hair?
H:
In 2001, after build­ing great friend­ships with peo­ple already on the path, I decid­ed to go all the way. My plan was to wear braids and let the new-growth reach a length that could be styled. How­ev­er, I am very ten­der-head­ed and was nev­er one to wear braids very often, so that plan fiz­zled with­in the first mon­th. In addi­tion, while allow­ing my new growth to come in, I noticed how strong my roots were, lit­er­al­ly. The con­trast between my nat­u­ral hair tex­ture and that of my perm was quite an awak­en­ing. The perm was so limp, thin and life­less, while my roots felt alive, elas­tic, kinky coily and full of char­ac­ter. It was like a eureka moment! Why was I hin­der­ing such lus­cious tex­ture from see­ing the light of day? I went to the bar­ber that same day and asked him to take it all off. No tran­si­tion nec­es­sary for me!

In what ways (if any) has going nat­u­ral affect­ed you?
H:
Going nat­u­ral is not just an issue of aes­thet­ics. It serves as a gate­way to an entire lifestyle change if you are open to the dis­cov­ery of self. There is a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion that hap­pens, from research of prod­ucts that work best for var­i­ous hair types, to net­work­ing and mak­ing life-long friends who have cho­sen to take that jour­ney as well. I’ve met some of the most amaz­ing indi­vid­u­als at nat­u­ral hair shows, through YouTube, social net­works and just passers-by while out and about, who are intrigued by my hair and want to know more about it.

Three years after my big chop I became veg­e­tar­i­an, and began to study more about African spir­i­tu­al tra­di­tions as well as oth­er world reli­gions. I feel that the phys­i­cal act of chop­ping away the harsh chem­i­cals that sur­round your crown clears your men­tal capac­i­ties and quite lit­er­al­ly frees your mind to dis­cov­er your­self and the world. It is indeed a beau­ti­ful and nec­es­sary trans­for­ma­tion for our peo­ple.

How would you describe your hair?
H:
I’ve always said that I have ‘Pow­er to the Peo­ple’ tex­ture. It’s a full fist in the air with no apolo­gies, lol. When I rocked my fro, it was a per­fect sphere and now that I am locked, I love the full­ness at my roots. I do not like to see my scalp, and a full, thick base gives my locks the lion’s mane look that I love.

What is your reg­i­men?
H:
Ear­ly on, I would blow my hair out a lot to wear my full fro. If I had to do it all over again there are prod­ucts I would use now that I was unaware of then, like those which pro­tect again­st heat dam­age. When I began lock­ing 4 years ago, (after hav­ing 3 con­sec­u­tive dreams that I was locked, which was my cue to make that move) I would wear ban­tu knots about every 3–4 months. This was my reg­i­men to insure that my locks did not join into one giant mass, although I did and still do let many of them dou­ble and triple up for added thick­ness. I enjoy wear­ing tall Badu-esque head wraps as well for an up-do effect and a great pop of col­or.

How do you retain length and mois­ture in your hair?
H:
Fresh aloe gel and olive oil were my pri­ma­ry prod­ucts of choice in my begin­ning stages. I kept it sim­ple and still do in many ways. I recent­ly start­ed using Car­ols Daugh­ters Black Vanil­la Leave-in Con­di­tion­er for a quick and sim­ple way to keep my hair hap­py and hydrat­ed. I love the smell and ease of this pro­duct.

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
H:
As I men­tioned ear­lier, I’m sure my hair suf­fered from heat dam­age dur­ing my blow out days, so if I were ever to cut my hair and start anew, I would be more mind­ful of the stress I put my hair through. Anoth­er lesson that I actu­al­ly still have yet to learn is to sleep with my hair cov­ered up. I’ve nev­er been a fan of sleep­ing caps because they refuse to stay on. I’ve given up that fight and just sleep on a sat­in pil­low­case occa­sion­al­ly.

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
H:
Allow­ing my hair to be itself is hon­est­ly my most con­sis­tent rou­tine. I don’t fuss about it and I am not obsessed with length. All of the stages of the nat­u­ral hair process are fun, frus­trat­ing and an over­all learn­ing expe­ri­ence. I hon­est­ly miss some of my short­er length stages because my hair would sit up and out more eas­i­ly and cre­ate a cool, wild style. I’d also like to add a thought about our hair and the issue of peo­ple touch­ing it. Most of the com­ments I hear about this issue are extreme­ly neg­a­tive and unfor­tu­nate­ly, many peo­ple view this ges­ture as an attack on their per­son­al space. I total­ly under­stand that one’s space should be respect­ed, but I would like to offer a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive to con­sid­er in this regard. When some­one asks to touch my hair, I expe­ri­ence it as Moth­er Nature admir­ing her cre­ation. Most peo­ple ask because they are gen­uine­ly intrigued by our essence. It is pow­er­ful, so look at it as an oppor­tu­ni­ty, not to have neg­a­tive ener­gy passed unto you, but you pass­ing the beau­ty of our ances­tors and her­itage to the world.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
H:
Please check out my Face­book Fash­ion Fan page:
https://www.facebook.com/abeautifulpiece View my newest pieces and share feed­back. I wel­come your thoughts and sug­ges­tions~
Vis­it my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/people/fashionsbyharmony to see what is cur­rent­ly avail­able for pur­chase. I cater to wom­en who appre­ci­ate a mod­ern African aes­thet­ic that cel­e­brates the beau­ty of Us!
https://www.facebook.com/iheartmyhair I Heart My Hair is my new fam­i­ly with whom I will be shar­ing fash­ion and style infor­ma­tion under the title of Fash­ion Ambas­sador? Very excit­ed to build with the­se awe­some indi­vid­u­als, See you There~
Twit­ter: @harmonyrashel — if you’re into that sort of social net­work, lol

Any­thing else you want to add?
H:
I’d like to send a spe­cial thank you to all who helped me to secure the title of Car­ols Daugh­ter Style Icon, which award­ed me an up-com­ing trip to Paris and a spot on their site as Style cor­re­spon­dent for the entire year of 2012, start­ing in Jan­u­ary. Please stay tuned to my fan page for updates. I have many great vlogs in store for every­one. And remem­ber to love your­self inside and out, unapolo­get­i­cal­ly and with no ques­tion. We are all a part of a mis­sion to redeem and main­tain the Dig­ni­ty, Grace and Beau­ty of the Black Wom­an. Be the exam­ple and watch the world smile at us with grat­i­tude. Peace and Love ~ Har­mony

Meosha

Just anoth­er lover of nat­u­ral hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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23 Comments on "Harmony // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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anastasia

Gor­geous lady with awe­some Locs! Had to do a dou­ble take, ha!

Harmony
Greet­ings Every­one!!! I hope all has been well and Nat­u­ral­ly Fab­u­lous in your lives. Just want­ed to update you on the ven­ture I will par­take in with Car­ols Daugh­ter, cov­er­ing Fash­ion, Style and Hair tips! Yay!!! Please check it out when you get a chance at the link below and like, share and give feed­back if you’d like. I’d love to get dialog start­ed there and exchange Fab­u­lous ideas with each of you. I thank you in advance for your sup­port and a spe­cial thanks to BGLH for the Awe­some inter­view oppor­tu­ni­ty! Have a Great Year Every­one, make it Count!!! Peace… Read more »
Harmony

Oh yeah, for­got to link my youtube chan­nel, lol Thanks again every­one:)

http://www.youtube.com/user/PeaceandLoveHarmony?feature=mhee

Peace and Love ~ Har­mony

Lila Mandela

omg I live in tal­la­has­see too! we should cre­ate a nat­u­ral hair mee­tup :D

Harmony

Thanks Lila, yes we should:) Link me at my site above so that we can exchange emails/contact info~

Peace and Love ~ Har­mony

Shun B.

I loved this arti­cle Har­mony! Yes, I remem­ber when you rocked that short cut in high school. I love to see the wom­an you grew into. I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to hear about the trip to Paris.

Anya

YEAHHHHHH HARMONYYYY WHOOOOO HOOOO I am so excit­ed for you YEAHHHHH I can’t wait to hear about your trip and its suc­cess… Tears tears… con­grats mama… going to spread this now. 

Kiss­es,

Anya

Zenith

Why was the first pic changed??

Beth

Nev­er mind her hair. SHE is stun­ning.

Tamara

WOO!!! Freeform locks, its about time! lol Har­mony is gor­geous :)

Jeronda Hill

I JUST LOVE YOUR HAIR HARMONY!! STAY FOCUSED BOO!

Nia

Her locs are beau­ti­ful! She is a gor­geous lady!

VegetarianBabe

Amazing(I love the first picture)..makes me want to get locs, but I change my way mind too much to get the­se, so I’ll just admire the love­ly locs from afar.

thegirlwiththecrown

Gor­geous Locs. I real­ly enjoyed this fea­ture!

Fro

Her hair is just gor­geous.

Yirssi

Her locs are so incred­i­ble. It’s times like the­se that I feel tempt­ed to get locs!

Erica

Her hair in the pic­tures look real­ly good, but I must admit that main 1st pic kin­da scary. It reminds me of the medusa with the snake ten­ta­cles lol… But she can be a mod­el though because she is very pho­to­genic

mechakitten

Its inter­est­ing you men­tion medusa. Dont be scared…Medusa means “sov­er­eign female wis­dom,” in San­skrit it’sMedha, Greek Metis, Egyp­tian Met or Maat. Medusa was wor­shipped in North Africa before import­ed into Greece. Sto­ries change over time. Some­times the things you think are scary were made that way to keep peo­ple close-mind­ed about things. Per­haps in the ancient art her hair resem­bled dread­locks. I think the look suits her well, because I think she looks like an god­dess her­self. I hope youre not scared any­more now that you know wsup!

Harmony

LOL, I’ve had a few peo­ple say that about that pic, par­tic­u­lar­ly the men…I can’t dis­agree with ya, they do have that medusa vibe, but I always thought she was dope, lol!

Thanks for tak­ing the time to read the arti­cle, I appre­ci­ate you all:) Bless­ings

renee

This wom­an is awe­some. We havent seen a locked wom­an in a while so this is great. She is so right about how some­times when ppl ask to touch our hair, our defens­es should­nt auto­mat­i­cal­ly go up. For most peo­ple, even black ppl, it is a learn­ing expe­ri­ence for them and quite a com­pli­ment to us. 

‘We are all a part of a mis­sion to redeem and main­tain the Dig­ni­ty, Grace and Beau­ty of the Black Wom­an. Be the exam­ple and watch the world smile at us with grat­i­tude.’ -I real­ly liked this line.

African Mami

What are the­se kind of locs called?? They are sooooooo LOCILICIOUS!!!!!

I want to do mine exact­ly like hers!

Liz

One of my biggest loc inspi­ra­tions!

Destinee

GORGEOUS locs!

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