Black women return to their natural roots for different reasons.
Jilyian Kelly, 22, a fourth-year biology student from Miami, was inspired to go natural by her best friend, who had been natural her whole life.
It also helped that Kelly’s mother decided to go natural with her. That was about six years ago.
Seeing the number of women at Florida A&M who also had natural hair yet had no place to openly discuss their experiences, Kelly started Facebook group “Orange, Green and Natural.”
The group – also open to people who desire to have healthier hair – is what Kelly refers to as a running blog on which people are able to post pictures, questions and articles that they may come across.
“I just thought it would be a good idea for people to be able to come on and basically share their regimen and how long they’ve been natural, their story because everyone has a different journey, everyone has to go through different trials and tribulations as far as hair is concerned and being an African-American woman hair is very important,” said Kelly, who wore her hair pulled back in a ponytail.
Tallahassee’s hot, humid weather influenced Breauna Larease’s decision to wear her hair in twists.
“I wore my hair flat-ironed until I came to FAMU, the weather wouldn’t allow me to wear my hair straight without a perm so I twisted it up and decided to stop fighting the elements and let it be,” said Larease, 21, a fourth-year student from Detroit.
Meanwhile, Tara Mosby, 21, a fourth-year public relations student from Houston, said the group has been very informative.
“I’ve learned a lot just from visiting the group daily and reading the stories of its many members. People often post photos and links to blogs,” said Mosby. “To me, it’s a convenient way to give and receive friendly advice about hair care.”
Kelly started the group during the summer and since then she has seen much progress.
“Right now, there are almost 520 members, maybe more, and it’s just great to see it growing every day,” said Kelly.
She said that because of the group’s name people assume that it is limited to just FAMU students, but her long-term goal for the group is for it to reach people beyond FAMU’s campus.
“I really would like for it to expand to other HBCU’s.”
Kelly said that the group encourages women of color to wear their natural hair in spite of the difficulties they may face.
For more information visit the group’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/orangegreenandnatural.