Girls Getting Back To Their Roots

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 00:00 Written by  Published in NFP/Charities Read 2246 times
Natural kinks, coils, and curls are one of the most distinguishing features on any black girl, yet African Canadian girls are pressured to alter the natural texture and appearance of their hair.

Many girls grow to believe that naturally textured hair is unattractive.

The Power to Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization, is debunking this idea with its Roots of a Girl workshop on July 19 and August 2 from 11:00- 4:00pm at 720 Bathurst Street. The workshop is for girls of African-Canadian descent of all hair textures, including chemically treated hair, between the ages of fifteen to twenty-two.

The Power to Girls Foundationrecognized a significant shift in attitude toward natural hair after noticing the recent popularity of natural hair stylists on YouTube and blogs around the world. Black women were slowly becoming interested in reverting to their roots. In response to this movement, Power to Girls partnered with I Love My Hair and together they created the Roots of a Girl workshop, encouraging black girls to understand their hair and to improve their self-esteem by embracing their natural hair, no matter the texture.

“There is no such thing as bad hair. The moment you say you have bad hair, that’s exactly what it’s going to be for you,” says Aisha Addo, founder of the Power To Girls Foundation.

Aisha Addo is a natural hair advocate with a unique approach to natural hair care. Aisha doesn’t have a popular hair inspiration and she doesn't think you should either. Rather than identify with popular hair labels such as type 4C or 4A hair, she describes her own kinky, soft and hard hair, simply as “African Hair”. Aisha’s go-to product is Raw Shea Butter and her favourite style is wearing an afro and allowing her hair to breathe. While Aisha might occasionally look at style inspirations online, ultimately she believes that everyone’s hair is unique and that one shouldn’t expect their hair to look and behave in the same way as someone else’s. “You’re your own hair inspiration. Love your hair and what it can and cannot do."

Aisha and her close friends launched the Power to Girls Foundation in 2011. The organization emerged from Aisha’s personal life experience as an immigrant from Ghana. 

Aisha grew up in the Canadian foster care system where she struggled to find herself. She did not have mentors or people to look up to, as her mother and other family members still lived in Ghana. Aisha had low self-esteem, but realized that she wasn’t alone.  She found many of her female peers within the community had no one to speak to openly about some of the issues they were facing. Aisha decided to start a support group at her church called My Sister and Me, a program for girls to mentor and be an ear to each other’s issues and concerns. Soon enough, the girls came together to start the Power to Girls Foundation. What started as an outlet for Aisha has now helped many other young women in the community to grow as well.

The Roots of a Girl workshop will feature a panel discussion/wisdom circle in which participants will discuss the history of black hair, the use of chemicals in hair and its effects, and healthy hair care. In addition, important topics such as; the ways in which body image is portrayed in media, mental health, and personal hygiene will be discussed. Day two of the workshop will offer hair clinics, DIYS, and hair tutorials performed by professional hairdressers and stylists to assist the girls with the long-term maintenance of natural hair. “Don’t rush the natural hair process. Sometimes we try so hard to get to the end, that we don’t learn about ourselves in the process," says Addo.

GET INVOVLED:

Register now for the Roots of a Girl workshop on July 19 and August 2 at Power to Girls.com. The Power to Girls Foundation is also looking for any natural hair care items that can be donated to the event. Please contact Aisha Addo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with donations.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 18:10
Casey-Anne Bradfield

Casey-Anne Bradfield is a blogger at www.torontorelationships.com. Toronto Relationships is a place to discuss the dynamics between the intimate connections people make with one another throughout their lives. Some of her topics include dating, parenting, work and career relationships, as well as friendships. Casey believes in the concept of human growth and development and her stories always come from a place of acceptance, responsibility, and self-reflection, as these are the principals in which Casey believes are the key to a happier and more supportive lifestyle. In addition to writing blogs, Casey is keen on supporting others’ success stories, as she believes strongly in the power of support and altruism.

Casey's appreciation for social improvement came about as a response to some very difficult experiences. Some of these difficulties were: Seeing the after affects of a life in the Children's Aid Society, losing a close family member to a criminal lifestyle, growing up in a single parent household, being isolated from her extended family, living on her own at a young age, being bullied, and being sexually assaulted. Casey feels that every difficult experience she has encountered has served to make her a stronger person and her hope is that others going through similar situations will also move forward and go on to empower themselves and others.

Website: www.torontorelationships.com
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