Embracing My Natural Crown | Natural Haircare News
Tonya Cross
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Tonya Cross

Tonya Cross

The Beginning

In the early 2000’s natural hair wasn’t “the movement” it has become today. In fact, I started my natural hair journey back in 2001 before natural hair regained it’s popularity following its 1960’s and 70’s reign.

Prior to 2001, I was addicted to what most would call “creamy crack” AKA perm/relaxer. I got my hair permed regularly and wasted hours waiting in salons and enduring “shop gossip”. During one of these visits, the stylist was overbooked and my hair was over-processed because she was attending to multiple clients. Needless to say, my hair fell out.

Year of Wigs

I ended up wearing wigs for a year to allow my natural hair to grow back. During that time, I decided to allow my hair to return to its natural state. Luckily for me, I only experienced permanent hair loss in a small area in the crown of my head, which I’m able to mask with various styles that cover the area.

Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my natural crown. Also my small bald spot is a reminder of my choice to accept my hair for the natural way it grows from my head. It is a reminder to accept an authentic version of me. Sometimes bad experiences are pathways to greater things. Hair loss from a perm was that pathway for me.

Birth Of A Brand

Fast forward 12 years later, I find myself in the midst of a natural hair revival! More women are choosing to let go of perms and relaxers and embracing their natural tresses. A few years prior, I started making my own hair accessories because I couldn’t find any that were age appropriate or that were “natural hair friendly”. The hair accessories catered to a younger demographic and was created with fabrics and materials that damaged textured hair.

Soon after I started making my own hair accessories, my three daughters, who are also naturals, started wearing my accessories, as well. We would often get inquiries about where we purchased our hair accessories. Once requests started rolling in for my handmade accessories, Accented Glory was born.

Natural Over 40

In 2016, my oldest daughter encouraged me to put my face on my brand. She said it would be a great marketing strategy for more exposure; it was an opportunity to expand my reach and connect with our current fans, followers, and customers. I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes type of person, so the idea of becoming the face of my brand made me feel very uncomfortable. But after much encouragement, I was finally convinced to start broadcasting with Facebook Live. I created weekly videos sharing what was going on behind the scenes at Accented Glory. Although I was extremely nervous during the first live broadcast, I soon found that the more I did it; the more comfortable I became in front of the camera.

A year later, I was encouraged by my online blogger group members to change my social media accounts profile picture to a photo of me. This was another difficult step for me to take! Being a natural over 40, I questioned if this would affect my customer base. I wasn’t sure how younger naturals would respond to a seasoned natural, since a much younger demographic is more visible in the natural hair community. To my surprise, I received a warm and welcoming reception! Accented Glory’s social engagement also improved; affirming that showing the face behind the brand was a step in the right direction.

Embracing Greatness

Overall, my natural hair journey has been the gateway to numerous opportunities! My journey has taught me a lot about myself, my passions, and my drive. Whether it’s building a brand or mastering a flat twist style, with the right tools, I can do anything I put my mind to.

I have also connected with and developed relationships with some amazing people within the natural hair community. Other natural hair brands and small businesses have been very supportive and open to cross promoting my brand. Embracing my natural crown has enabled me to also embrace the greatness within me, and I can’t wait to see where my natural hair journey will lead me to next!

Author: Tonya Cross



Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. 

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