‘A Love Letter To… My Afro’, By Blogger Freddie Harrel

With World Afro Day happening on Friday 15 September, we asked @FreddieHarrel, blogger and founder of extensions brand, Big Hair No Care (bighairnocare.com) to tell us why she is devoted to her natural curls...

To my afro,

I must say that in these 30 years of life, you and I haven’t always hung out, and what a journey it’s been to find you, my crown.

I remember growing up wanting you to grow downwards instead of upwards, to flow in the wind, like the cool girls in those American series. I desperately wanted to be like them. They didn’t have to wait patiently for six hours to have their whole head braided, or sit through a painful washday with a mum who didn’t believe in detanglers. I wanted easy, breezy and flowy hair.

[🎉EVENT ALERT🎉] so excited to announce we're finally kicking off our @bighair_nocare events! September is round the corner so we're soon back to work but also back to school! Confidence with our young curly-haired ones start with the affirmation that their crown is gorgeous and they also need to see heroes who look like them! So our first event called No More Tears is focusing on our bundles of joy!!! Join us this coming Wednesday in our shop in @popbrixton from 12 to 2pm! We'll have the superb Sal Wyn Baxter from @root2tip hosting a practical demo to help parents tackle issues such as tangles, breakage and lack of moisture, we'll also have our fave @lemon_drop_books doing a reading of his awesome books (we're so proud to stock them too!)! It's a focus on a curly hair so if you have mixed raced children and aren't sure what to do with their hair, come along!! Now for the grown ups, we'll be hosting a shopping night from 6pm on Wednesday too, filled with Prosecco, I'll be doing live installs and we'll get our hair diiiiiid 💃🏾🎉🎉 WHO'S COMING?! Tickets are only £3.8 and link is in the bio! 💃🏾😍

A post shared by Frédérique Harrel (@freddieharrel) on

Actually, I wanted to look like Aaliyah. I barely slept the night before relaxing my hair, I couldn’t believe I’d finally get to be cool, I was so excited! At first I didn’t mind the scabs and the burning sensation the chemical would leave on my scalp, or the way it would deflate my do and leave me with a limp ponytail.

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I almost found my true self accidentally – I got lazy. I just stopped relaxing my hair and would braid it all the time. You grew back and I started to love you more and more, your softness, the way you feel like cotton wool, the pattern of your curls, so freaking tight and elastic. I never knew how full you were, and how beautiful you’d make me feel.

I love looking after you, watching how you respond to my care is so rewarding and I can’t believe I spent to many years simply ignoring you.

Now you make me confident, I love to play with you, so much that it’s changing my life. I created Big Hair No Care, a way to enhance and protect you without harming anyone, we’ve even created a special space as an ode to the modern, liberated and self-becoming woman.

So to my afro hair, thank you for completing me, for making me proud and for giving me purpose. Now that I’ve found you, I shall never leave you. I hope you inspire others to go fro..

Freddie x