NapturallyMe teaches girls to embrace their natural hair

Photo courtesy of Instagram

Story by Katrina Johnson / Contributing writer

Sometimes society’s ridiculous beauty standards can make it hard to accept yourself, especially if you’re a young girl. That’s why Monica Thomas and Whitney Russell want to inspire young girls to embrace their natural hair. The Murfreesboro natives started a local business and empowerment program earlier this year called NapturallyMe.

The program is geared toward young girls with wavy, curly and kinky hair. Thomas and Russell said their goal is to “plant (the) seed of loving yourself at a young age.” The pair’s passion for this program is obvious, as it stems from their own relationships with their hair.

Thomas shared her struggles with self-acceptance when she was younger.

“Having bone straight hair was ‘it,’ and (that’s) what I wanted,” she said. “At the time I didn’t feel like my natural hair was pretty.”

Now, she and Russell have worn their hair naturally for a long time, and which is full of healthy, voluminous curls. However, it took a while to embrace them, which is why they know how important it is for young girls to learn to do the same.

“Learn Create Embrace” is NapturallyMe’s motto.

“Learn” is all about educating people about hair. Thomas and Russell teach people about the science behind hair follicles, essential oils and butter and what types of products work best with different hair textures.

“Create” refers to creating natural hair products like shea and mango butters, peppermint shampoo and conditioner and natural oils to condition the scalp. A moisturizing conditioner can prevent the hair from getting damaged and promotes elasticity.

The final part of the company’s motto, “Embrace,” is all about getting girls to embrace themselves and their natural beauty.

Russell said it is about “empowering and making girls feel beautiful with their natural hair.”

“Most importantly, (it’s about) teaching them to love their hair. Hopefully by being surrounded by other young girls, they will be able to relate to others who have curly hair as well,” Thomas added.

Their first event was held last year in October at First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. They had a Powerpoint presentation that taught the girls about different hair textures and ways to keep their hair moisturized and healthy. After the presentation, participants got to create their own natural hair products, which Russell and Thomas said the girls loved. Shortly after their first event, many parents began contacting them wanting to know about the next NapturallyMe event. It was clear that the two women had gained the support from more than just the kids.

In December the empowerment program held a Christmas giveaway on their social media and website. Two winners were selected to receive free natural hair products at the end of the month.

These young African-American entrepreneurs are doing something huge for their community, and it’s inspiring to watch. The rapid popularity their empowerment program gained was evidence of the importance and need for the business.

One thing is for sure, these women are going to continue educating girls on the power of embracing their natural hair, making their dreams come true and positively impacting those around them.

Follow them on Instagram and check out their website to keep up with upcoming events and the premiere of their natural, homemade products soon.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    February 23, 2018

    This article is interesting to me because my hair is in the process of transitioning back to natural. I first got a relaxer (which many African-Americans refer to as perms) when I was 10. I wanted to wear my hair down like Tia and Tamera Mowry did in the early seasons of Sister, Sister. I was told when I was younger that I didn’t have the right kind of hair to wear naturally out. Before I was 10, I wore my hair in small braids with beads on the ends or either big braids with hair bows. I relate with what Monica Thomas said, “Having bone straight hair was ‘it,’ and (that’s) what I wanted.” When I got older, I wanted straight hair like most of the girls in my school. They were mostly Caucasian. I wanted hair that you could run your hands through and not get stuck. I wanted flowy hair, because I thought that’s what was considered good hair. So, that’s why I wanted to get a relaxer. I was really excited when my hair was relaxed and straightened. I didn’t realize at the time that my natural curl pattern would be messed up because of the chemicals. The only way to get the natural curl pattern back is to let your roots grow out. Some people get the “Big Chop” where they cut their hair short. That way, all the permed hair is cut off. I chose to let my natural hair grow out longer. I haven’t had a perm since 2016. So, I’ve been keeping my hair in braids or twists mostly while my natural hair is growing back. Now, the only permed parts of my hair are at the ends. I’ll cut those off eventually and wear my hair out. It’s good to know that there is a program that teaches young girls to embrace their natural hair. I definitely didn’t, when I was younger. NapturallyMe has a great way of doing that with their motto of “Learn Create Embrace.” Also, it’s great that they not only teach girls to appreciate their hair, but on how to take care of their hair too. I’m glad that this article was written to inform others like me. Many of my friends are wearing their hair natural too. I didn’t know this program existed until I read this, and I’m grateful for that.

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