Forest Park native Sonya Moore is on a mission to help African-American women in Greater Cincinnati unleash their fierce, chemically-unaltered hair goddesses within. We talked to the founder of the natural hair support group ’Nati Naturalistas about life as a natural and why it’s never OK to touch a black woman’s ’do.
Why did you start this group? I wanted to connect with other women within the Cincinnati area to openly discuss the emotional and physical impact that is experienced when “going natural.”
“Emotional and physical impact”? That sounds heavy. Is this kind of thing easier to talk about now because people are more accepting of natural hair? Yes, people are more accepting of natural hair because it’s becoming more mainstream. It’s pictured more in TV and print ads. It’s a multi-million-dollar business—you can’t ignore it.
What’s your must-have natural hair care product? A steamer. Steaming opens up your hair follicles and allows natural hair to receive all of the benefits of deep conditioning to achieve moisturized, frizz-free, shiny hair. You can use the best product on the market but if your hair isn’t properly moisturized,
it won’t work.
What’s your bad weather contingency plan? I used to keep bobby pins and a headband with me. But I just cut all my hair off.
That works too! OK, hair touching: yay or nay? You wouldn’t walk up to a pregnant woman you didn’t know and touch her belly. Your hair, natural or relaxed, is a unique representation of you and your personal brand. It’s offensive to touch someone’s hair without permission.
Originally published in the November 2013 issue
Photograph by Annette Navarro