, , , , , ,

Ok, I know I kicked off the weekly blog post last Wednesday by talking about actress Viola Davis, and guess what? I’m doing it again.

Because of her Oscar buzz for the hit movie The Help this woman is everywhere, but I promise you, if the name Viola Davis hadn’t been attached to this photo above, taken for LA Times Magazine, I might not have known it was her (At least not for a few minutes anyway.) Without the wig or weave Davis looks like a completely different person. In my opinion this is the most stunning I’ve seen her look.

I’m sure that there is someone out there who doesn’t agree with me, and that’s cool. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a huge advocate for natural hair, and I’m thrilled to pieces whenever I see someone make the switch. I’ve had my waist-length locks now for nearly 15 years, but for years and years before that I slathered the creamy crack (aka chemical relaxer) in my head just like millions of other Black women across the globe.

Seeing Davis rock her mini Fro for this photo shoot brought back memories of the cropped do I wore and loved before locking up. As soon as I cut the relaxer out of my hair I wondered why I took so long to make the change.

Ah, the freedom.

No longer did I worry about chemical burns in my scalp, two and three hour salon visits, rain or even sweat for that matter. I could walk in a downpour or exercise until I perspired profusely without having to be afraid that my hair would “go back” or “kink up” because, well, it was doing what it was meant to do.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that going natural was an easy thing to do, because it wasn’t. Besides being treated differently by family and so-called friends, it took some time for me to accept the truth about myself, which was that I wasn’t born with straight, shinny hair. The other side to that truth was that the hair I was blessed with was coarse, curly, dry and soft all at the same time. For me one of the saddest parts of my transition was coming to the realization that I was a grown woman who didn’t know how to manage this “new” head of hair that I had been born with. But with this sadness came an excitement, and for the first time in my life I was getting to know the “real” me and loving every minute of the experience.

Emon Fowler, a Chicago-based cosmetologist who specializes in natural hair and holistic health, has made it her mission to help women of African descent who want to transition from processed hair to a fresh new, natural style. She refers to this movement as The Harriet Experiment, named in honor of activist Harriet Tubman who is believed to have freed more than 700 slaves from bondage.

Emon Fowler, creator of The Harriet Experiment

“My focus is to challenge and impact 700 lives through 12 transformation portals,” explains Fowler of the one-year endeavor. “As conductor of The Harriet Experiment my intention is to serve.  I am fusing people who want to evolve with sacred beauty services and monthly workshops conducted by holistic health practitioners, cosmetic formulators, relationship/intimacy coaches, and more progressive, enriching and liberating spontaneity.”

According to Fowler, nearly 50 people have become a part of The Harriet Experiment to date. Though still in its early stages of growth, Fowler says her creation has begun to take root outside Chicago with an endorsement from hip hop music legend MC Lyte with connections in New York City. The Harriet Experiment exists to help people break free from the emotional and psychological bondage associated  with the mainstream standards of beauty. With support from organizations like this Black women are more likely to recognize and embrace their natural beauty and the freedom of natural hair.

I sincerely hope that this photo of Davis doesn’t mark the last time that we see her rock this regal look. If she continues to sport this style for a while she will undoubtedly serve as a source of inspiration to women everywhere to make that move towards their own truth and self-acceptance.

Going natural may not be for everyone, but if you’re open to it, the truth can indeed set you free.

Click here if you would like to see the rest of the Viola Davis photos and read the full article in LA Times Magazine.

Big hug to Black Girl With Long Hair for sharing the Davis picture on their site and for inspiring this article.

Learn more about The Harriet Experiment and book a complimentary natural hair consultation by visiting www.IAMHARRIET.NET.

Until next time…


Viola Davis Photos / LA Times Magazine

Before you go, weigh in on how you think Viola Davis’ new hairstyle suites her and tell me what your thoughts are about natural hair?