Josie is a 22 year old student and hairstylist on the side from Randolph, Massachusetts. She has always had a complicated relationship with her hair, but has grown in confidence and love for it over the years. She has also discovered the centrality of hair for black women in her work as a hairstylist. Read her hair story below.
I’m Josie. I’m 22 and I’m a student [and a hairstylist on the side!]. My hair and I haven’t really always been on the best terms. Like as a child, I remember having extra coily hair, because I have tight curls and it gets kinda nappy. And I went to school with all white people so my hair was always just something that I was bullied for and made me different. They were always like why is your hair like this? Why does it stick up? I became very self-conscious about it and so I started cutting my hair at a very young age. And as I grew older and became more stressed, I started cutting my hair whenever I was depressed or sad. At first it was just to not have something for people to talk about. But as I starting finding myself it was something for me. Like this is me, this is my cut, I love cutting my hair. And I do it for myself now. I’ve been coloring my hair for about a year and a half. With color - I’m a bright person and I love colors, so it gives me new ways to express myself. Like right now I have the blonde, and I plan on doing silver soon. I just love gray hair on dark skin. I think it looks so beautiful. I really enjoy doing hair. I started when I was about 10. I started with my own hair and then after my hair, my mother would let me practice on her or my sister. As more people saw that I could do hair, I got offers like “Hey, I’ll pay you.” I learned all the styles I can do from my mother or from YouTube. I really enjoy it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and have a better understanding but people are very connected to their hair! Like when they do their hair they feel good, so them feeling good makes me feel good like - I did that. I inspired someone. I helped somebody find themselves and find their confidence.