Diane Bailey, a stylist, who owns Tendrils Hair Spa in Fort Greene, NY has been on a mission since 1987 to help Black women learn to love the beauty of their hair, as well as to properly care for their gravity-defying tightly coiled tresses.

Perms which do so much damage to Black women’s hair have caused hair loss, burns on the scalp, as wells as thinning and brittle hair. Not to mention the fact that little girls should never be subjected to the harsh and caustic chemicals that are in perms.

Caring for natural, multi-textured hair can be done, once one learns the proper way to wash, comb and style it.


May 24, 2011, 4:39 pm  Updated: 9:03 am

Diane Bailey Keeps Hair Au Natural


For many women beauty is pain, but Diane Bailey says it doesn’t have to be so bad when it comes to hair care, at least.

Since 1987, the stylist, who owns Tendrils Hair Spa in Fort Greene, has offered specialty services that help women keep their hair natural without having to use harsh chemicals.

When Ms. Bailey first started her salon there weren’t many options for women with multi-textured hair.

“If you wanted to express yourself, you had to get a perm,” she said. “We wanted healthier options, options that would give a different type of aesthetic, a different type of beautiful.”

Now, Ms. Bailey wants to help parents figure out the best way to care for their children’s hair.

On May 15, Ms. Bailey offered a workshop called “Mommy and Me: An Introductory Guide to Multi Textured Hair Care” at Still Hip in Clinton Hill. The goal of the workshop, which Ms. Bailey intends to make an ongoing series, was to teach parents and their children that all hair types are beautiful — especially when you know how to care for it properly.

A lot of Ms. Bailey’s clients are African-American mothers who have had negative experiences with their own hair. From sores on their scalps caused by relaxing chemicals to traction alopecia, which is hair loss from constant pulling on the hair, these women want to keep their children’s hair chemical free.

She also said that she fields a lot of questions from mothers who are not of the same race as their children and do not have the same type of hair.

In the last ten years, the number of people in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill who identify themselves as multiracial has increased from 4.4 percent in 2000 to 4.9 percent in 2010. Although the 10-year increase was not significant, that percentage remains one of the highest in the city.

Nicole James, a mother of three, came to the workshop from Queens in hopes to learn how to style her daughters’ hair. She also felt that it was important to break the negative cycle of African-American women who hate their hair. “I want my kids to know there’s no such thing as good and bad, it’s just hair,” Ms. James said.

Ms. Bailey echoed that sentiment, saying that the 2010 Sesame Street video above, called, “I Love My Hair”, was ultimately the inspiration for the workshop.

“Just that little song that says, ‘Whether it’s straight or braided or locked, I am beautiful.’ She’s talking about the inside, rather than the outside,” Ms. Bailey said. “When I was a little girl no one said that to me…now these young women have that.”


Rock your hair, little girl!

1 Comment

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  1. InsideJourneys

    Kudos to Ms. Bailey.
    I’ve always said if we’d have spent half the time we’ve spent developing chemicals to make our hair straight, to understanding our hair, basic care and maintenance, we would have been much better off.
    I thank my mother for insisting that I not put chemicals in my hair. I’ve been natural nearly all my life and love it!
    Thanks for this, I hadn’t heard.

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