SOUTH LOS ANGELES -- At KIPP Scholar Academy, Miss Rose Miller always had a reputation for being ‘in the know’ when it came to hair.
“They just had a lot of questions like, ‘Miss Rose, how do you do your hair like that?’” the cheerleading coach said as she set the tables for her weekly after school class. Since the unaffiliated charter school in South Los Angeles offers free after school care until 6 p.m., she decided to start a cosmetology class.
In the class, the kids make their own beauty products from all natural ingredients.
“The girls are really obsessed with having their hair on point,” said seventh grader Dierra Hassan. “When I make it here I know what I’m putting in my hair…plus it’s cheaper.”
And the act of sitting down and talking about hair is changing things up for the girls and boys who take the class.
“When I first came I really didn’t like natural hair styles,” Dierra said.
“In my community, I noticed that natural hair..is not embraced as much as it should be,” Miller said.
So Miller starts with the basics. The tweens learn their hair type and how to properly take care of it. It meant learning about themselves.
“It all starts from within, just love yourself and accept what you have and work with that and then expand,” Miller said.
And it turned out the more the tweens learned about their hair and how to take care of it, the more they liked what they saw.
“Yeah, I’m going to start having my hair more natural,” Dierra said.
“I can see the growth, I can see the curiosity. I can see the change and it makes me think I’ve played a part and I’ve done my job,” Miller said.
Because while products only touch the surface, confidence shines from within.