My hair journey began when I was a small child, in the late 1980s. I remember sitting on the stool in my grandmother’s kitchen, staring at the Blue Magic jar as I braced myself for the hot comb that was about to touch my scalp. I feared that I would get burned, but I knew that my grandmother was a hair-pressing ninja.
As I grew into a young lady, the thick hair grease that I had always used to silken and straighten my coils of hair was no longer giving me the look I wanted. Overwhelmed by the textures of my natural hair, I experimented with perms, cornrows, braids, sew-ins, and even revisited the pressing comb. The result of which amounted to heat damage, split ends, and inconsistent hair growth throughout my mane.
I felt defeated by my hair! Needing a solution for retaining and maintaining healthy tresses, I began researching how best to achieve this goal. On May 10, 2013, I finally made the decision to do the BIG CHOP – I cut all my hair off to let it grow back fully natural!
The ILL brand not only represents natural hair and beauty but also embodies my childhood memories of graffiti, food, fashion, boomboxes and cassette tapes! Naturally ILLustrated is a celebration of all black women; of our past and modern culture, marrying the best parts of the 1980s with today in a special filigree/graffiti artistic style. Naturally ILLustrated not only embraces our hair but also exhibits our power as black women and men.
Sherrie Savage is the illustrator, designer, event planner and blogger of Naturally ILLustrated. Naturally ILLustrated celebrates natural hair and black culture through original drawings and illustrations.