Lily connects with her roots - through her roots.
A quick glance at Lily's shining blue-green eyes, fair skin and light freckles does not tip you off about the shades of her history. But if you let your eyes wander to the delicate dirty blonde coils of her hair, you just might guess right.
Lily Lynch is a twenty-year-old student from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is blessed with a heritage of Mi'kmaq First Nation, African, and European. "My hair was the element that connected me and made me more aware of my African ancestry."
Our past informs our future. In her search for discovering her heritage Lily uncovered her passion for black history. "I want to be a junior high history teacher. As I grew up, the only story I heard of black people coming to Canada was through the Underground Railroad. But that's not the whole story." In the summer of 2013 Lily worked at the Black Loyalist Heritage Museum and learned about the black female role in history. She studied and shared HerStory.
Lily's hair journey started off like many black women's: Lily, her mom, a comb, and a whole lot of imagination. "My mom used to put hats on me. Lots of hats." Lily's mother was an adventurer. African style hats, corduroy hats, big hats, pointy hats, braids, poofs - she tried it all. "Sometimes she would gather all my hair on top and tie it together with a ribbon. I liked that. It made me feel kind of pretty."
At fourteen, Lily grabbed a pair of jagged arts and craft scissors and cut off her hair. "I just felt like it was time." Lily was the only girl with short hair in high school, and she liked that. She liked being different. All the other girls had long straight hair. "People knew who I was because of my hair. I looked distinct from other people. There were other girls with mixed hair or curly hair, but other girls did the disguise." Lily describes the disguise as when women are uncomfortable in their beauty and decide to cover it with weaves or extensions. "I feel like the disguise is making yourself into something that you might not naturally be."
Lily admits that for a long time, she didn't know how to take care of her hair. "I just did what other people told me to do. I learned by observation." Lily grew up across the street from two half African half European girls her whole life and would often visit their house and experiment with their hair products. "They usually used Blue magic on my hair to try and make it look like theirs. One time they had this clear gel with sparkles and I was so excited to use it. It didn't work at all."
Now she does a lot of co-washing and moisturizes using oils. Lily's top 5 products are: morrocan oil, mixed chicks leave-in conditioner, coconut oil, conditioners (any kind). And the olive oil brand . Lily's favourite hair tool is a wide-toothed comb.
|"Lily's hair journey started off like many black women"