DePaul embraces the beauty of natural hair

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DePaul embraces the beauty of natural hair

Cory Barnes (left), a coordinator at the Black Cultural Center, and Tosin Songonuga (center) pose for photos taken by the president of Roots to End, Christine Augustin (right), at the Black Cultural Center on Thursday. This photoshoot was a part of Natural Hair Week, celebrating natural hair and bodies organized by Roots 2 End.

Cory Barnes (left), a coordinator at the Black Cultural Center, and Tosin Songonuga (center) pose for photos taken by the president of Roots to End, Christine Augustin (right), at the Black Cultural Center on Thursday. This photoshoot was a part of Natural Hair Week, celebrating natural hair and bodies organized by Roots 2 End.

Jonathan Aguilar / The DePaulia

Cory Barnes (left), a coordinator at the Black Cultural Center, and Tosin Songonuga (center) pose for photos taken by the president of Roots to End, Christine Augustin (right), at the Black Cultural Center on Thursday. This photoshoot was a part of Natural Hair Week, celebrating natural hair and bodies organized by Roots 2 End.

Jonathan Aguilar / The DePaulia

Jonathan Aguilar / The DePaulia

Cory Barnes (left), a coordinator at the Black Cultural Center, and Tosin Songonuga (center) pose for photos taken by the president of Roots to End, Christine Augustin (right), at the Black Cultural Center on Thursday. This photoshoot was a part of Natural Hair Week, celebrating natural hair and bodies organized by Roots 2 End.

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DePaul University teamed up with student-led organization Roots 2 Ends in celebration of Natural Hair Week on April 8-12. Workshops, healthy discussions, hair-care tutorials, competitions with prizes and a photoshoot were all part of the fun in embracing all hair types.

Roots 2 Ends President Christine Augustine, a psychology major with a minor in sociology, said that the purpose of the weeklong celebration is to bring together those wanting to embrace their hair and identity.

“It’s open for all hair types but we’re just celebrating those who are natural [and] who are trying to be natural because today, black hair is not seen as beautiful,” she said. “We’re basically a natural hair organization, but our goals are basically providing a support system, a safe space but also helping African Americans to love their hair as well as their bodies.”

Christine started Roots 2 Ends in April 2018 as a blog and social media group. The organization is steadily growing in popularity on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by empowering and educating students of African descent through their natural hair journey.

“I’ve noticed through my natural hair journey I had to love myself first in order to embrace my hair but also do my hair,” she said. “So, we’re also an org that helps those find their identities and it doesn’t necessarily have to be doing hair, but it could be through their body and any entity really.”

“The reason why I started Roots 2 Ends and I started blogging is because it’s all about self-care and self-love towards myself and another way that I take care of myself is doing my hair, and I want to help others find ways to just love themselves through self-care.”

Mykia Whitehead, who follows Roots 2 Ends on social media, was happy to have been a part of Natural Hair Week and said more events like it should be brought to campus.

“I think this was a good class, especially for black women, black students and I hope that more black women — even black men and students at DePaul will come to these events for black students,” she said.

Marlee Chlystek | The DePaulia

Whitehead is a super senior at DePaul’s College of Law and is working toward a degree in criminology. She is a strong supporter of the resources and courses DePaul’s Center for Black Diaspora and Black Cultural Center offers.

“I appreciate these black courses because honestly, I’m here and I didn’t know how to do hair and now here I am with more tips I can take home with me. It was very nice.”

Senior English major Jacara Davis said that it’s important to celebrate natural hair as a normal part of life.

“For a while I thought kinks were wrong, even my curl pattern and volume were wrong,” she said. “Things that I should have thought were scientifically proven to be normal and natural. I tried working against [it] so it’s a wonderful, inverse thing to put just as much or even more positive attention on my particular category of hair now than I did negative. […] Hair is kinda always there and does its job, but humans always find a way to prioritize other things other than it. To keep our hair happy and not causing us so much trouble on a regular basis, when we want it to behave, we need to basically develop a relationship with it.”

“Let it be as wild and voluptuous as you knew it would be when you were born a person of color or someone with kinky or curly hair grade. Don’t change it.”