By Alicia Wilson
Ladies and gentleman, I am a hair creep! A hair creep is someone that loves to do research and gossip about hair. A person that enjoys everything about the hair industry and learning more about it everyday. The Black Hair Experience brought the true hair creep out of me, making my hair dreams come true.
Being a Black woman, sometimes you have to put up a barrier. Not everybody gets to see that sensitive side of you. One thing that Black women are most sensitive about is our hair. The Black Hair Experience takes this sensitive side of us and tells us to embrace it. By bringing back all the great moments of Black hair — like my mom holding my ear down while she was hot combing my hair — it reminds us to be proud of being a Black woman.
When I found out that The Black Hair Experience was not only coming to Texas, but coming to DFW, I jumped for joy. Every single person that knew me, knew that I had to be there. When I arrived, I got to experience something amazing. Seeing Black hair be glorified — and in such a beautiful way — brought tears to my eyes.
As soon as I parked my car, I could feel the energy. When I opened the doors, I could hear the music and good vibrations. It was like something magical came over me, making me feel at home. As I walked through — knowing that every single woman in that building has felt what I have felt, tormented by society, not understanding that their hair is beautiful just the way it is — it felt like I had found my tribe. The Black Hair Experience knew my hair journey and made me enjoy even the parts that I dislike the most. For example, the flatiron installation brought me back to all the times I cried when I heard the sizzle sounds close to my ear. Only this time, I laughed about it.
In another installation, I was taken back to the 1990s. From the hot comb on the stove to the colorful braiding hair wall, it was as if I was experiencing my teen years all over again. Seeing the Word Up magazine posters, the retro phone (although my parents didn’t allow me to have one in my room) and the bright colors brought me back.
Although each one was incredible, my two favorite installations were the Roller Pit and Give Black Women Their Flowers. Even though I hated getting my hair rolled when I was a kid, obviously, I loved jumping up and down in the roller pit. The Give Black Women Their Flowers installation may not have been quite as amusing, but it really spoke to me. The scene was set with a pink couch. It was nice and fluffy. The words “Give Black women their flowers” were surrounded by yellow and pink flowers. And beautiful green vines surrounded the flowers. Most often, we don’t give each other our flowers and let’s be honest, society doesn’t either. The Black Hair Experience finally gave them to me, making me feel special. This truly meant the world to me.
The creators of The Black Hair Experience, Alisha and Elizabeth, are the definition of “Black girls rock.” They really did understand the assignment of making a Black hair experience. I got the opportunity to speak to both Alisha and Elizabeth about the exhibition and how they got started.
DW: How did y’all get started?
Elizabeth: We have been doing this for two and a half years. We decided to go to Dallas first and knew it would be a great place to start! We knew y’all don’t have a lot of things like this. Also, we know the Crown Act is not passed here in Texas, which is really important to us. We also teamed up with Aunt Jackie products to sponsor the event. We want to show love and goodness to everybody that comes to the installation.
DW: What is the goal of this tour?
Elizabeth: We want to make sure that every person that walks through the door is seen and has a good time. It’s not often that Black hair is celebrated. We want to celebrate Black hair no matter how you wear it.
DW: Were y’all able to express your own hair stress throughout your hair journey and how did that play into creating the installation?
Alisha: We met in corporate America. Dealing with the struggles of conforming, we wanted to have the ability to step outside of that and have the ability to express ourselves through our hair. We wanted the ability to not feel “unprofessional” based on our own personal hair choices. Being mothers, we strive to make sure that our daughters understand how beautiful their hair is.
Plan Your Visit
The Black Hair Experience is on tour now, with two additional locations in Maryland and Atlanta, and another coming soon to Austin. Inside, you get to enjoy 15 unique, photo-ready installations. It will be here in the Dallas/Arlington area through January 2022. If you are under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult. If you have children younger than 10 years old, you can sign up for Mini and Me days on the website. General admission tickets are $30 and VIPs are $50. Hours are 3 pm-8 pm Thursdays and Fridays and 10 am-8 pm Saturdays and Sundays. The Black Hair Experience is located at 1500 North Collins St. Arlington, TX 76011.
Dear Alisha and Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for inviting DW to the opening of The Black Hair Experience. The whole event was so beautiful. I felt like it was a 90s flashback. I could hear Brandy’s “In My Room” playing in my head the entire time. Your team planned a perfect event. My hair dreams really did come true. Not only did you provide a space where I could feel at home, but you surrounded me with so many different beautiful Black women. I walked around and you talked to so many different Black women there. And there was so much happiness in all of our voices. It was in that moment where we were all complimenting each other, not even knowing we were doing it.
As I walked around to each installation, I could tell that you made it out of love and care. I could feel your passion about Black hair coming through. When I got to interview you ladies, it felt like I was sitting at a coffee date with my home girls; that’s how much I felt at home. You made sure that we were comfortable and that we were in the right area to ask questions. You walked around and interacted with everybody. You were really part of the community. That was the best part about meeting you, you made sure that I felt at home, as I’m sure you do for others as well.
Congratulations on starting this tour and securing an amazing location. Thank you so much for starting here in Dallas with us. And making me believe that this hair revolution is more than just a conversation. It is a movement and we have some powerful ladies behind it.
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At this time, I want to give you ladies your flowers. You deserve all the praise and all the blessings that are coming your way. Thank you for helping me find my tribe and making me love my Black hair even more.
Alicia Wilson, Hair Creep