2.9 Editor's Pick
March 8, 2024

Shelia, Sylvia, & Melissa Burlock, authors of “My Divine Natural Hair” on celebrating African-descent Hair. With Waylon Lewis.

Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis presents:

In the latest episode of Elephant’s long-running, award-winning podcast and video series Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, Waylon features Shelia, Sylvia, & Melissa Burlock, authors of My Divine Natural Hair, Inspiration & Tips to love & care for your Crown—about African-descent women’s hair, wearing it naturally, celebrating your God-given inherent beauty and learning both practical healthy tips and the history of black women’s hair.

“We want Black woman to love our hair and the texture of our hair just as much as that wig or that extension, or to love how your hair grows out of your scalp just as much as you would love it when it’s permed or straightened. We really want to encourage Black women and girls to start from that place of loving the way your hair grows out of your scalp, and then letting that dictate the different ways that you style your hair.” ~ Melissa Burlock

Read an excerpt from their book here on Elephant Journal: My Divine Natural Hair. ~ Shelia, Sylvia, and Melissa Burlock

A clip of our conversation: 

“We wrote My Divine Natural Hair, Inspiration & Tips to love & care for your Crown because we want to celebrate African Americans’ natural hair, our Afro-textured hair. That was the whole purpose behind writing it because there’s so much in the media about our natural hair, and we wanted to come from the angle of celebrating our hair.” ~ Shelia Burlock

“Creating the book together has helped us think about readers creating their own communities to help them on their own natural hair journeys.” ~ Sylvia Burlock

“We still face hair discrimination. There’s this idea that we need to conform or be more American or “professional,” or tame.  So you see the representation on TV, but then you can still personally experience anything from microaggressions to it being actually illegal for you to wear your hair the way it grows.” ~ Melissa Burlock

Or listen to the podcast: 

“I think that scalp massages are one of the bigger things that I would recommend. You can find commercially-prepared oils that can be used for a scalp massage or you can buy the essential oils and dilute them in a carrier oil and then use them yourself. It’s a self-care moment. It can be a nightly routine. It’s taking back caring for your hair yourself.

I would suggest scalp massages because they activate the blood flow of the scalp, which helps accelerate hair growth. And it can be a relaxing routine to de-stress. Sometimes some hair loss can be connected to stressors, as well.” ~ Sylvia Burlock

“We call it ‘detangling’ the history because it’s all tangled up in racism and trauma. A lot of it comes out of enslavement. Even this idea of good hair, bad hair and how your hair can be connected to being able to move up socially. And how you appear, and how people treat you. All of that is wrapped up into how Black women wear our hair. Unpacking that starts with detangling all of that history and trauma and figuring out, okay, ‘why am I styling my hair this way?'” ~ Melissa Burlock

Inside the full conversation, we get into hair trauma, what hair compliments are appropriate and helpful, and societal standards:

Find the Full conversation, here.

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