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  • Daria

Something New

Hello *taps mic* Hello! Welcome to the new blog for Zamora Natural Hair Salon in Temple Hills, MD. I’m Daria and this mass of curls on my head is Angela...because when I first went natural, when natural hair was still “new,” (as new as high-tops and skinny jeans) I used to walk to work and the newspaper guy at the Metro would always scream out “Angela Davis” when I walked by. Oh yes, I look just like Angela Davis, and Esperanza Spalding and Erykah Badu, and Solange...right? I know I’m not the only naturalista who gets this. Actually, my current natural hair idol is Teyonnah Parris. (Also a huge Mad Men fan.)

It’s been almost four years since my big chop, and while I love my natural hair, I haven’t given it as much TLC as I did in the early, experimental days. That’s why I was so excited to find this nearby natural hair salon in Temple Hills. Zamora’s going to whip Angela back into shape, making sure she’s hydrated and neat, making sure she gets a trim, and experimenting with all the styles I’ve wanted to try for years. I’ve never had any colouring or extensions-- braided, sewn, or clipped-- in my hair, so I’m ready to try something new.

You may have noticed I spell “colour” with a “u” and that’s the other thing-- I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, and am very interested in how hair informs culture and culture informs hair. One thing I’d like to learn from Tonika, Naturally Z’s owner and hair stylist, is what looks “travel well.” A big part of the reason my hair maintenance slowed down was because of my moving around. After 5 years in DC, I moved to New York to get my creative writing master’s. Now I’m back in the DMV and combining my love of natural hair with my love of the written word.

This connection is fitting because I went natural and started writing seriously around the same time. I had my last perm in the summer of 2010 and decided to be a professional writer later that year. 2011 is the year I “big chopped” and the first time I got paid for a piece of writing. (Go me!) I’ve always loved to write, just like my kinky-curly hair, it was already a part of me. I just decided to let it out.

Natural hair transitions, for a lot of people, are about (re)discovery. I went natural for many reasons:

  • I was bored with my relaxed hair and wanted to try new curly, voluminous styles. (Main reason.)

  • I wanted to focus on my health, and sweating and swimming are a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about your hair frizzing. The hair part proved easier than the fitness-- still struggling there.

  • I was being a little bit of a rebel-- you’d be amazed how many people were annoyed with me for changing my hair. Yes. My hair. My “good” hair. My long hair. Too many people thought whether I shortened my hair or wore it curly was their concern-- that I didn’t ‘deserve’ my hair because I didn’t do xyz with it, because I wanted to cut it. And because I’m such a wild rebel (note-- sarcasm) I decided to defy their expectations.

Now I’m opening myself up to new experiences with Zamora. What I’m most excited for is, not only do they have their natural hair salon in Temple Hills, MD-- Tonika can also come to you. She works as a sort of concierge stylist through her membership service. I can’t wait to see what Tonika can do. Hopefully you’ll come along with me on the journey and enjoy. Here are a few of the looks I’ve wanted to try:

  • Updo’s with crochet braids

  • New Curly up-do’s

  • Loc extensions

  • Braided mohawks

  • Two-toned, Colourful braids

  • Short hair- I’ve always had long hair and I’ve always been curious. Straight or curly, Halle Berry or Samira Wiley-- I love a cute short style.

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s purple and blonde weave in Beyond the Lights (because who doesn’t secretly want to be a pop-star?)

Who knows if I will do any of these-- or all! Are you ready for something new? What bold look do you want to try? Let me know. And hopefully I’ll see you sometime at Zamora Natural Hair Salon in Temple Hills!

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