Healthy hair, healthy mind


Samuel Colmar

Students visit the Tina Braids booth at the Natural Hair Care Expo on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at the Gatton Student Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Nia Chancellor, Reporter

The University of Kentucky Collegiate Curls and Student Activities Board (SAB) give students with textured hair the care and attention they need.

The phrase “Feeling good in your skin” was brought up multiple times during the Natural Hair Care Expo Collegiate Curls and SAB hosted on Feb. 9 in the Gatton Student Center Ballrooms.

SAB members gave out two tickets to each person who entered the event to use on any of the Black-owned, small business products set up in the ballrooms. 

Tables were set up that focused on different kinds of textured hair, hairstyles and products. 

The business provided products just in time for spring break for braids and locs, as well as curly hair, natural oil for hair and skin and even some travel-sized kit products to take with you on the go.

Many different types of people attended this event, which was very refreshing to see. 

It felt like a judgment-free zone where everyone just wanted to feel confident, which was massively emphasized during the whole three hours the Natural Hair Expo took place. 

Quotes were shown on the screens in the ballroom that said, “Love your hair!”

Just in this short period of time, it felt very reassuring to have people who look like me talking about these issues, and it made me feel like a part of a community on campus that relates to how I feel and what I have gone through.

As a Black woman who is from Kentucky, I have always lived in predominantly white areas, and I never really knew how to manage my hair and felt embarrassed with my natural curls. 

Many of the small business owners who attended were named “experts” within this field, and they were very welcoming and friendly. Many students came and asked them, “What would you recommend I use to manage my hair?” Conversations like these are so important but not talked about enough.

I was even able to get some advice and tips on how to manage my braids. 

I got two products from Tina’s Braid’s that I used to freshen my braids and moisturize my scalp. 

This is such an important event because not many hair stores for people with textured hair are close to campus, so having these small businesses coming to us instead allowed students to put themselves first. 

Events like this on campus especially are much needed for people of color. UK should consider advertising more of their diverse students and organizations, like Collegiate Curls, that focus on people of color and their needs.

SAB and Collegiate Curls hosted an amazing event that created such a safe and welcoming environment. 

This is definitely a step into the right direction in regard to creating more conversations on campus about diversity and inclusion. 

This sense of unity can only happen when people are willing to learn and be open minded.