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1 Oct

Meet The Mom That Wrote ‘Hello Hair’, A Children’s

It took 28-year-old Anita Grant greater than 20 years to let anyone outside of her close family see her natural hair.

The Toronto, Canada native said it was because she’d seen mainstream media tout euro-centered beauty standards that made her feel like, as a black girl, she had to cover—a notion not unusual for her neighboring sisters within the US and beyond.

Black women’s hair has been some extent of critique for hundreds of years. As TIME’s Areva Martin identified, the hate reached way back to when as when the US’s parent country, Britain determined that African hair was closer in texture to sheep’s wool than human.

This wasn’t lost on Grant.

Growing up, she found solace in reading popular 90s Black hair magazines like Sophisticate’s Black Hair and Hype Hair to attract inspiration from the confident models sporting versatile styles on their glossy pages.

“I at all times switched it up with different wigs and extensions because that was what made me most comfortable,” Grant shared with Essence, explaining that her mostly white classmates often made her feel like a spectacle due to her standout features.

Over time, she said she adapted, but never felt quite right in her skin. But when she learned she was pregnant along with her daughter last 12 months, Grant knew she needed to make a shift. “I didn’t want my baby girl to feel the way in which I did growing up,” so she got here up with the concept to pen a children’s book centered around Black hair confidence.

Hello Hair features 100 illustrated hairstyles to encourage creativity. “I actually desired to encourage Black girls ability to take care of their very own hair, and reconnect with their personal identity through their crown.There comes a time in every girl’s life once they inherit the responsibility of washing, detangling and styling their very own hair, the goal is to make that transition positive for the following generation. Through visual representation, this book showcases the flexibility of Black hair and promotes a variety of styles from afros, braids, twists and locs,” Grant said in a press release shared with Essence.

Hello Hair follows the story of 4 young best friends having a day on the salon together that soon realize they didn’t know all of the things their beautiful Black hair could possibly be styled. Their stylist then hands them a book displaying the chances, and there begins their journey of self-exploration and love.

The book is slated to be released on July 3, the date the Crown Act officially goes into affect. This was intentional. “I desired to commemorate the special moment since it marks a time in our history where Black women are officially allowed to completely embrace our versatility from the within out.”

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