The Confessions of a Male Natural Hair Blogger (I’m Guilty Too)

natural hair bloggerI hesitated to write this article, but as a male natural hair blogger, I want to set the record straight about several things within the natural hair community.

Please note that several of the things that I discuss here are not popular things to say in public, meaning they are not politically correct.

Honestly, I won’t discuss many of the things addressed in this article in complete detail because it’s not about creating controversy.

All I ask is that you don’t share this information with anyone. Wink! Wink!

Also, it’s important to note that you may disagree with some of the things discussed in this article and that’s perfectly fine. Remember, these are my confessions as a natural hair blogger. You’re more than welcome to disagree and have your personal opinion. These are my opinions.

Actually, I like to use different phraseology. These are my confessions, and afterwards, I promise progression. This article will serve as my journal (or diary) of events. Once this article has been published, I will move on to other things.

The Path to Becoming a Male Natural Hair Blogger

First, let’s talk a little bit about who I am for those who don’t know me. I’m Kenneth Byrd, one of the founders of Curl Centric. I’ve been writing offline and online, in a freelance capacity for many years, but only recently became a natural hair blogger.

My previous writing experience was mostly obtained while working for a local newspaper, where I wrote product reviews. I also have some experience writing online for various websites using my real name at times, but mostly pen names.

Believe it or not, my most often used pen names are Shirley and Sally, but I’m not providing other details just in case folks start searching on Google.

I’m married to a woman named Kira, who has been an advocate of natural hair long before I got involved in blogging about natural hair. I remember, several years ago, Jael would stay up late at night researching various natural hair topics.

This was many years ago, and I’m not good with dates, so less just stick with many years ago. I didn’t know at the time that she was building the base for a future business that would help support our family.

Who knew?

I knew very little about natural hair at the time. Actually, I still wouldn’t consider myself a natural hair guru (even though most gurus are phonies).

Just to make sure I’m clear, I consume quite a bit of natural hair information each week because there is so much to research and learn.

It takes consistent effort, and it’s important to learn about my niche continuously. Within the last few years, I’ve been diving into the science behind black hair care and the amount of information to consume can be mind-boggling – but I really enjoy it.

Before I dive into some of my thoughts about being a natural hair blogger, remember that this article and the content herein remain our little secret. Cool?

Confessions of a Male Natural Hair Blogger

male natural hair bloggerThere is a big difference in running a business and managing a blog. Unfortunately, many people don’t know the difference.

I studied business for several years in college. I was a double major undergrad, majoring in Accounting and Management Information Systems.

I then went out in the “real world” and got a job, worked for a few years, then went back to college and successfully obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from a well known University in Alabama.

I’m not telling you this because I think it’s some grand accomplishment, but because I want to make a legitimate point. I have studied multiple business models and analyzed what makes businesses successful and what makes them fail.

Having said that, I continue to be surprised that there is very little collaboration in the natural hair community and I’m not talking about having meetups.

Okay, maybe just a little; but the competition among the natural hair bloggers and “real” businesses is crazy. This natural hair game is so competitive.

It’s disappointing that more natural hair bloggers and businesses don’t work together.

Why do things have to be so adversarial?

Surely you’ve heard the saying “together we stand, divided we fall.” While it may sound like an overly used cliche, look at the Fortune 500 and tell me how many of those companies haven’t used a well-crafted acquisition and merger strategy as a part of their growth plan.

You’ll find a tough time a business that doesn’t utilize an acquisition and merger strategy, because that’s one of the primary business strategies that leads to rapid business growth.

For those who don’t know, the Fortune 500 contains the top 500 U.S. corporations ranked by gross revenue. Said differently, this is an annual list of the 500 US companies that generated the most income.

It’s weird that so many people say they’re in business to make money, but simply avoid many of the most profitable money making tactics readily available to help them be more successful.

Building relationships with other businesses and working together as a community would really be beneficial for the growth of many small natural hair related businesses (or any African American businesses). Economies of scale are almost a given, but there are many other benefits also.

I don’t intend to turn this into a macroeconomics article, so I’ll just say I’m baffled by the lack of true partnerships within natural hair community.

Now, before anyone gets their feelings hurt, this really isn’t meant to be a shot at anyone in particular, because I’m also a natural hair blogger.

It’s just that I see so many opportunities to improve the relative value of the services offered by natural hair related businesses and would like to extend my hand openly.

Kira and I are always interested in business partners, with mutual benefit, which collectively adds value back to the natural hair community.

So, if you have an idea or want to chat about an opportunity – don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Two Bloggers Beefing Means – One’s Popular, One Isn’t!

Have you ever noticed that usually when two bloggers are “beefing” that one of them is relatively popular and the other isn’t popular at all? Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but I have noticed this on several occasions.

Curl Centric isn’t about creating controversy, so I won’t provide case studies with names, but if you do a little research you can find some examples.

It’s interesting, because this is actually a “marketing technique” that many people in various niche markets have used for years to make a name for themselves. I will explain how it works.

Just think about it – if you call out the biggest name on the street and get a response, then all of a sudden everyone knows who you are too.

Are the women starting these beefs implementing well-crafted marketing plans or simply being messy?Who really knows? 

Bottom-line is if you hear somebody dropping names, they likely have a small unsuccessful blog (or product) or they’re creating one relatively soon.

Or, they might be one of the bloggers that specialize in controversy. That’s right – there are several bloggers who focus primarily on controversial topics because it drives more traffic and views to their website.

We were targeted by a controversial blogger at one point regarding an article that we posted. There were other bloggers writing about our website and offering their opinion on the article. Many naturals were offering comments without reading the article at all. How ridiculous does that sound?

I had one popular natural hair blogger, which I completely lost respect for, call me out for supposedly “writing the article”. She made a YouTube video (soliloquy) about the article and wrote a fairly long piece about the article for her blog readers.

The funny thing is that I didn’t even write the article. Honestly, I don’t think she really cared who wrote the article. Her goal was simply to get a few more visitors to her blog, which specializes in controversy. The tactic worked pretty well too.

Call it naivety, if you must, but I didn’t expect that type of rude welcoming into the world of the natural hair blogging.

I felt bad, not because of the immature blogger who started the controversy, but because I felt like I played a role in generating this controversy – and that’s really not my style.

Plus, Kira was sitting on the side of the bed pissed about how the situation turned out. She literally woke me up at 2am in the morning after seeing the aforementioned YouTube video.

I found the article that the guest blogger wrote very interesting and was being attacked for posting it on my website. It’s important to note that we never released the identity of the guest blogger who actually wrote the article (and never will).

To be clear, I don’t expect people to agree with everything that we post on the website. I do expect people to be tactful and respectful when they disagree, because that’s what I expect from adults.

Respectfully disagree, but control your feelings. So, this natural hair blogger was likely the first time that I encountered a Natural Hair Nazi.

So, these are some of my confessions. There might have been some things that surprised you. At any rate, that’s the truth (or my opinion) from deep inside the natural hair community. I hope you enjoyed the article.

1 Comment

  • This is absolute truth. A really disappointing and sad truth. I was telling my husband the other day that blogs I follow written by white women are so supportive of their counterparts – they give credit, they include links, and encourage their readers to visit other blogs and youtube channels. Why? Because that is how you build community, and there is enough web space out there for every one. Natural hair bloggers and vloggers? Such a difference in attitude and community. Or lack, thereof. There is never any credit given, never any sharing of blogs or vlogs with similar interests or topics, and never any support for what sister-blogs or vlogs are doing. I guess for fear of having their space taken over. It is absolute ridiculousness and shameful. My husband agreed and called it the “crabs-in-a-barrell” mentality. I have had several posts and articles of mine stolen – just taken word-for-word without any credit given or apologies when called out. I still can’t get a website to admit they took my exact words or take down the article they posted without my permission. What is the harm in just giving credit? Can you image all the good we could do as a natural hair community if we would just come together and share all of our ideas?

    People don’t realize that we can share this web-space. I took a blogging course not to long ago, and they answered a question of why bother sharing all of this with others. After all, they could just keep all the knowledge that has made them a multi-million dollar blog. They said that no one brings the same thing to the blogosphere – everyone is different and that is what we should all focus on: our strengths and what we can bring to the table. I may not look at natural hair the same way you do and vice versa, but someone can benefit from my point of view or from my experience. And with all of our varied experiences we can help so many more naturals understand how to best care for their natural hair.

    Sigh… sometimes it feels like a losing battle.

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