Saabirah Lawrence started her blog as a simple outlet of her thoughts, feelings and issues she felt passionate about, 3 years on she is still going strong and has plans to inspire those who want to get into the same field. We caught up for her to talk about all things natural hair and blogging.
So Saabirah, why did you start blogging?
I started the blog because I wanted to do something that was for me. I was working in a job I didn’t really like and I had no way of really expressing myself. I started to read other peoples blogs and enjoyed them so thought I would start my own and I used it a a way to express myself and talk about things that I couldn’t talk about at work. I thought let me just put it out there and see who can relate and connect.
What has been your experience of being part of the blogging community?
There has been a lot of positives, I’ve met so many more people, it’s built my confidence and I really like the fact that I can meet people and we can connect through blogging, especially if its about natural hair and lifestyle, as its just easier to connect with people because you have a common interest. The main thing that I’ve found challenging about blogging is how to deal with it professionally because I’ve come into it as a hobby. Now people are like ‘what’s next, what are you going to do?’ And I’m like what is next and what can I actually do so I now have o think about the professional side of it which takes research and speaking to different people. I do feel like this is something I want to develop and be able to get an income from and the fact that I enjoy blogging makes it event better because Think when you can make a living out of something you enjoy it won’t feel like work.
Can you give us an overview of your natural hair journey so far?
For as long as I can remember my mum did my hair, she would either braid it or put it into to bunches and that was my standard hair style. When i got to secondary school I started to do my hair myself, my mum told me I was old enough to do my own hair and she hadn’t really taught me how to do it as it’s quite hard to teach your child how to plait so I had to keep practicing different styles and learnt how to do my hair that way. I did a lot of straightening because my mum wouldn’t let me relax my hair, well to be honest I never really asked but I just knew and as there were straighteners about I knew I could just use them. I had this thing that to have my hair looking slick it had to be straight and I also wanted that shine so I would straighten my hair a lot. Then I started to open my eyes to the natural hair community and i though ‘Oh ok’ and because I’ve always had natural hair it wasn’t a big transition for me I just had trouble thinking of what styles to do with my hair. SO seeing the community opened me up to styles and products and how to actually maintain my hair what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing. s a result of that I’ve stopped using heat on my hair apart from when I blow dry my hair and even then I try to use a heat protectant because I’m more aware of what heat damage can do. And now my joinery is still figuring out what my hair likes and what it doesn’t like and it’s really fun to just play around with my hair and see what I can create.
How do you feel about your hair now?
I kind of just see it as my hair but i know that it has political connotations and in some places a real statement but for me it’s just my hair and I have fun with it. It great when I get complements for things I do with it and its something I like to do and take care of.
On your blog you talk about natural hair, race, mental health , body positivity and other things you’re passionate about. Do you see all these topics as separate things or do they all overlap somewhat for you?
I feel like they do overlap, for example being happy with the way my hair is is part of self love and it’s also part of being body positive in a sense because this is how I am and people need to just accept it. So I think they all intertwine in some way; having a positive attitude about my body and my hair feeds into good mental health as well so it can all link together and connect in ways but they are also separate as well because they all require different focuses. Both my mum and sister are going through a transition stage with their hair and they’ve both said it has actually changed the way they see things just by looking after their hair more and wearing more natural styles. I think by you just embracing yourself it changes the way people see you. Its also really nice to know that I’ve inspired them to try more natural styles and look after their natural hair more.
As a content creator you’ve had to opportunity to be a brand ambassador, try different products for brands, attend and spoken at events etc. What would like to see from brands, events and companies to support people like you?
It’s difficult to say because I’ve been to quite a few different events and I’ve enjoyed them for different reasons. In terms of what brands could do to help, I think I want to know more of the basic knowledge of creating content and blogging and how businesses incorporate people like me into that. Making that relationship between the content creator and the brand a lot more easier to form and more mutually beneficial. I once went to an event and a lady said ‘before you ask someone to do something for you, ask what you can do for them’ and it kind of how I feel. WhenI do a review for a brand that’s great but once I’ve done the review I feel like I want to do more than just a review for them but I need some direction in terms of how do I keep that relationship going once I’ve don’t the review.
You mentioned in one of your blog posts that you would like to host your own event at some point, can you give us an idea of what that would look like and how you would like it to run.
A lot of the time I’ll have ideas for things but be like ‘I hope someone else does this’, and then I think to myself maybe I should do something. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and discussed it with my friend as I would like to do some joint events as well, but I think my first event would be about starting out as a blogger and how to navigate your way through that. Figuring out how the industry work and looking at some of the different perspectives of those who have been blogging for various amounts of time. I kind of what to reach out to people like me who started blogging just as a hobby and are doing it on a budget, because I don’t have loads of equipment like lighting and cameras. So that’s basically where I would start, how to start a blog, blogging on a budget and the importance of building good relationships. I really want to help those coming up with some of the experience that I’ve learnt because think this industry is just going to keep growing because there are so many different ways you can go with it.
If someone wants to start blog what would be the one piece of basic advice you would give them?
A lot of people say ‘how do I do do it’ and my response would be just start. Once you start your journey has begun, be yourself because that really helps. At the beginning I was just doing it as an outlet and then I really started to enjoy it and started to express myself even more. That’s when people get to know who you are and you become ok wth yourself and what you’re putting out there. Just be yourself and the right people will gravitate towards you, be honest and be consistent by planning and try to get out there and meet people at different events as that will give you more ideas on what to writ in your blogs.
Can you share one of your top haircare tips with us?
My go to hairstyle is ether a braid out or a twist out because I love the definition I get; I recently learnt the LOC method from other bloggers and I try to incorporate that into my routine even though when it’s cold I don’t really want to put water in my hair but I still try to do the whole routine so cream and then finish with an oil and I think it really helps. Protective styles is my biggest tip, I don’t out my hair in a lot of braids or things like that but I’ll do my own hair and twist it and plait it just throughout the week so it gets a break from me having my hands in it all the time. Also wash your hair often I think that’s a good tip and just find out what work for you and stick with that.
Do you have a positive mantra or saying that you can share with us?
There’s so many that come to my mind! I can hear my mum, she say’s ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and it does work. sometimes I feel like I’m too scared but I’ll just do what i need to do and it works out. I like the whole idea of speaking everything into existence and speaking positively about things, and even when little things happen i want to speak positively about them because there’s always room for growth, so I think it just helps to speak positively where and when you can.