Due to weather considerations, the Back-to-School ‘Dear Black Girl: A Hair Care Extravaganza’ event is canceled. We will notify you when we have a new date. Thank you for your interest.
Roanoke, Va. -- Back-to-school time can put a lot of pressure on kids – not just to be their best, but to also look their best. For black girls confronted with conflicting standards of beauty, achieving a hairstyle that makes them feel confident can cause additional anxiety -- especially when there’s no money in the family budget for a salon visit.
“Did you know that at times African-American girls actually don’t go to school when they experience what they consider a bad hair day? Barber shops in the Valley and across the country give back-to-school haircuts for boys – but I have never heard of anything similar for girls,” said Roanoke Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Program Coordinator Pamela D. Smith.
Just in time for the start of the new school year, YAP’s Community Advisory Board is partnering with Nu Look Beauty Supply for the nation’s first Dear Black Girl: A Hair Care Extravaganza. The event is designed to teach girls ages 7-17, along with their parents and other caregivers, how to care for and love their hair. Anyone who wants to learn about black hair care is invited as area stylists participate in a panel, offering tips on styling, product usage, caring for various black hair textures and other useful tips. The event will include a natural hair styling demonstration from Salon Noir’s Jessica Daye. YAP will also work with stylists to give away a limited number of products – as supplies last -- for the girls to use at home.
For YAP Roanoke, the event symbolizes YAP’s belief that every aspect of an individual’s life matters. Dear Black Girl: A Hair Care Extravaganza is also an opportunity to extend YAP’s unique community-based alternative youth prison/institution programs and services to the broader communities it serves. YAP’s model with working individually with justice- and social services- involved youth includes community-based youth mentoring and in-home family advocacy. YAP taps into the strengths of those served, connecting each youth and each family with community-based health, nutritional, spiritual, financial, educational, job skills and other tools to help reinforce their foundation for years to come.
“YAP is effective because the model lets us serve the whole person and the whole family,” said YAP Regional Director, Virginia and West Virginia Valerie Koeppel. Working with our Roanoke Community Advisory Board to host Dear Black Girl: A Hair Care Extravaganza, we are scaling up a connection we might make for a few girls or a few families. We’re extending an aspect of YAP’s holistic service model to benefit the entire Roanoke community.”
Dear Black Girl: A Hair Care Extravaganza will include games, food and music. It will take place at the Community Solutions Center noon – 3 p.m.., Sept. 15. YAP has also partnered with Goodwill (Melrose Ave, Suite B) and Goodwill’s Youth Center and Nu Look (2729A Melrose Ave), which will serve as drop-sites for products, which YAP is in the process of collecting. If you have products to donate and/or wish to volunteer for the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos below courtesy of Salon Noir.