I love a collab! I love the creative juices that overflow in every meeting. I love discussing ways in which businesses can strengthen one another. I just love the overall natural feel to them. Each time I do a collab, I vow to blog the creative process from beginning to end, but alas, here I am. Posting content for a collab back in August today, in October. (Doh!) But as it is Black History month, it actually feels like the perfect time to share this special project I worked on with Mini Manes.
To set the scene, Mini Manes is a total badass! We’ve been friends for nearly two decades, but the way she inspires me, ’till this day, she probably has no clue! She came to me back in what I want to say was 2013 with an idea for a business. I backed it 100%, we talked it through, mocked up a logo and she really didn’t look back. Since then, she’s a published author* (cling cling!) an amazing fairy god mother to my little girl. So when she asked me to photograph her vision of a “black hair through the ages” visual timeline with kids, I jumped at it!
The project spanned over a week. We needed to be mobile and adaptable (enters The Little Pop-Up Studio) so that all our girls had a subtle backdrop and enough natural light that would emphasise their selected hairstyle. We’d turn up at their homes, Mini Manes would do their hair and then they would have a mini photoshoot after, they loved it!
The 1970s – The Fro
1980s – The Loose Wet Curl
1990s – Box Braids
The 2000s – Relaxed/Straight Hair
2010s – Natural Hair Styles (Bantu Knots)
Today – Styling Baby Hairs
Watching the girl’s confidence grow from before having their hair styled by Mini Manes, to after really warmed my heart, it was even better watching parents react and get excited too. Every little girl deserves to feel that beautiful and to be told it too, which is why with every image taken came a hefty boost of endorphins.
Black hairstyles have evolved so much over the years primarily down to our now extensive knowledge of hair care. We are learning that different curls and coils require different ingredients, routine and generally speaking, love. I (like most black women) have been told my hair is unprofessional and undesirable in the past, but in more recent years, we are finally striving towards changing the narrative. It really doesn’t matter how we wear our hair, as long as we love our hair as it is – a strong message that I try to remind my daughter of everyday in some way. So that no matter who comes a long and who might say something even somewhat demeaning, she will see her hair as crown and never want to take it off.
Fundamentally it’s all in the name of self-love, which I’m whole-heartedly dedicated to helping little people discover for themselves as early on as possible.
Thank you to all the little Queens who took part <3