As long as new hairstyles protect, moisturize, and don’t pose a threat to her hair, sophomore Alonah Spencer is willing to try any hairstyle known to mankind.
Things such as heat damage from blow-drying and constant flat ironing can fry hair very easily, but with proper care and styling, these threats are a little less scary. Along with taking care of her hair, Alonah strives to have her styles come out looking the best that they can. Feeling good about herself and her appearance gives her the boost of confidence that she may need to get through the day.
“I don’t like not having my hair done,” Alonah explained. “I feel like I’m not looking my best. [Feeling my best] is not only feeling good about myself but keeping myself up [on] things like wearing nice clothes and wearing hairstyles that present you in a way that makes you look and feel ‘your best.’”
And while “feeling your best” has amazing end results, the process of getting there can be rigorous. Alonah can spend up to nine hours getting her hair braided professionally, and she can also spend two hours alone doing her own hair.
As Alonah has realized, there’s a lot of work and care that goes into maintaining her hair, but in the end, it’s something she truly prides herself on. From a young age, Alonah has put herself out there despite how daunting that simple task can be, and from doing so, she has grown more confident as she expresses herself.
To express herself further, Alonah looks to social media. Many social media platforms have been the hub of Alonah’s individuality for as long as she can remember; Instagram all the way to TikTok inspire her on a daily basis to try something new. At a younger age, everything was new to Alonah, and it was quite intimidating, but in the past couple of years, she has learned a lot about herself as a person through connecting with her confidence and individuality—something she hopes everyone achieves.
“I would say to people who are afraid to try new hairstyles [that you should] perfect it at home,” Alonah suggested. “You don’t always have to flaunt what you’re doing. If you feel more comfortable at home, try new things and then work your way to showing new people—it helped for me.”
Alonah has learned a lot not only about hair care and styling but also about herself in these past couple of years. A lot of practice has gone into Alonah putting herself together with the way she wants, and while her mom isn’t an expert when it comes to Alonah’s hair type, she still encourages Alonah and pushes her to try new things. Dabbling in her individualistic style, Alonah recently cut her hair, and her mom is always giving her compliments.
“My mom [is my biggest supporter throughout this],” Alonah said. “Even though she was against me cutting my hair, she is still complimenting me and telling me it looks nice. And with every new hairstyle, she always has something nice to say or has something for me to fix.”
Alonah is very grateful to have her mom in her corner at all times hyping her up; their relationship is something she can’t take for granted. While Alonah has been exploring who she wants to be and what she wants to present to other people, her mom has been extremely supportive and uplifting through it all.
Along with her mom, Alonah’s close friends at school love her hair and are always excited to see the changes that Alonah makes. They wouldn’t change her hair or Alonah, and that is super special to her.
With so many people lifting her up and complimenting her, every day Alonah feels a little more comfortable with herself; she has her friends and family to thank for the safe space she has been given to truly experiment with her hair, style, and individuality. Throughout all of the hairstyles, everyone supports Alonah, but most importantly, Alonah is confident in herself.
“[Confidence from being myself] changed my life because I feel better being myself when my hair is done and when I look my best,” Alonah said. “A lot of people can’t say that [they’re confident in themselves], and for a long time, I couldn’t say that about myself either. Having good hair really did change the way that I see myself.”