“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel
Blogger Nikiwe Dlova took this quote to heart about four years ago when she decided to cut her afro and went for an undercut. This moment led her to experiment more with different hairstyles. Nikiwe’s crown is ever-changing, and she loves how her emotions and state of mind can be translated into beautiful works of art on her head. Accompanied by this was the desire to share her motivation to change a hairstyle she was so comfortable with. “[I wanted to] inspire other people to express themselves through their hair and I also wanted to showcase other people who are doing the same thing.”. This thought gave birth to her blog, ownURcrown.
Through documenting her own hair journey and that of others, Nikiwe has found that conversations about colourful braids, afros and hair oils can be decoded and reveal understandings about who people are and the relationships they are building with themselves. “And that’s how ownURcrown was formed. And I spelt ‘your’ as UR to emphasize that U R who U R. Just own it!” she expressed enthusiastically. Throughout the interview Nikiwe continued to share moments of her own hair journey with me. From this I got a sense that every hairstyle change represents a new layer being unfolded; in this way she reveals herself to herself. “I love my crown whether it’s natural, has a wig on or with creative hairstyle.”. Just as important as sharing hair journeys is giving credit to the hairstylists who create magical crowns. Her blog has extended into events “that are all about freedom of expression, just to showcase a lifestyle.”. She has also collaborated with shoe and clothing brands that align with her style and the message she is getting across about people’s relationships with their hair.
At the moment she is working on a series for Women’s Month called ‘Betty Evolves’. “[It] relates to the Benny and Betty (threading) hairstyle we used to do when we were young so I’m evolving it to suit the modern, grown women… This is my first exhibition so I’m so excited!”
Be sure to check out ownURcrown to keep up with what Nikiwe gets up to.