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WATCH | The natural hair advocate untangling stigma and instilling self-love

“Natural hair is not a statement,” Celine Bocks says. “It's the closest thing I can get to being myself.”

Bocks is not a hairstylist, but a healer. For decades of South Africa’s history, natural hair was stigmatised and treated as inferior.

People of colour are still impacted by this today. “Growing up with kinky hair was a difficult journey because people are just looking down at you,” Bocks says.

Now, she’s fighting back with the most powerful weapon – love.

Bocks started the Citrusdal Natural Hair Beauties group with her sister to instil dignity and worth in her community.

Brought to you by Beautiful News

Through this initiative, Bocks offers workshops where girls are taught how to nurture their hair.

“The best hair is healthy hair,” she says. Untangling harmful perceptions, Bocks is sending lies about cultural identity down the drain and helping youth embrace themselves.

As well as practical know-how, the girls are equipped with the emotional tools to bolster their self-esteem.

“I want the next generation to love their hair,” Bocks says. She’s empowering her community to celebrate their hair as it is – a glorious crown.

“You don’t have to pretend to be someone else,” Bocks says. “Just be you.”