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Celebrating natural hair from sisterhood groups to the salon

Without enough stylists specializing in natural hair, many black women continue to ​take matters into their own hands.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Before moving to Sacramento, Sydni Chattman was a professional NFL cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers. Most of her teammates were white and wore their hair straight, Syndi wore her natural curls

"I had a father come up to me and I was at an event so I was in my Chargers Uniform and he was like I really want you to meet my daughter she doesn’t want to wear her natural hair but just seeing you, and mind you I was one of three black women and I had my natural hair out," Sydni Chattman said. 

After moving to Sacramento, Sydni wanted to continue to be that face of representation for girls who looked like her by wearing her natural curls but finding a beautician who knew how to style her hair was slim to none.

“Hair salons weren’t necessarily a place for natural hair women to go and get their hair done that was normally something we did in our own home,” Chattman said.

So she decided to create the organization Naturals Night Out where women with locs, Bantu knots, and kinky curls could come together to talk about their hair and celebrate their authentic selves.

“I need to find some girlfriends, people, women that look like me who could help me with my hair but also can pour into me,” Chattman said.

Camille Janae is one of the few natural hair stylists in Sacramento that specializes in textured hair care services

“Not doing any services that involve straightening of the hair blowing it out anything that is altering the natural texture as well as we don’t provide any services for straight hair,” Janae said.

Due to the rarity of people in her specialty Camille said her clients come from Texas and Nevada just to get their hair done.

“Also clients in my experience sometimes have tried to go to salons wearing it curly and due to there not being a lot of education or experience with styling it that way, they left disappointed which then diverted them back to wanting to wear it straight,” Janae said.

Although the passing of the Crown Act prohibits hair discrimination, there is still much more work to be done when it comes to educating people about different textures of hair and making what is an easily accessible self-care regiment for others just as available to black women

“I think The Crown Act addresses one aspect of it but it is a very layered issue so I feel that until the education within cosmetology changes and there is more in-depth information provided for students as well as current license stylist that is still going to be a struggle for people that want to wear their hair in its natural state,” Janae said.

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