I was raised to believe my beauty and my presence mattered. Growing up I spent hours in my Aunt's hair salon in awe of the women of various hues and hair textures that sat in her chair. I'd like to think these early representations influenced my decision to attend a historically black college. I craved to bask in the full experience of Black excellence. My time there emboldened me to make large sweeping strokes when painting a portrait of myself. And my hair was my paintbrush. It gave me the courage to be confident when entering the predominantly white field of fashion and beauty. My experiences continue to drive me to take up space and correct the distorted narrative of Black hair and beauty through the clients I work with and the content I create on my platform. Now, my hair is my protest and my peace.