#Black Hair Spot - HerStory: Portia Clark's Style


Portia Clark - TV Personality

Portia Clark is a mother, writer, and wife. She is a clever radio personality for CBC, the oldest broadcasting network in the nation, and a household name. Portia aptly divides her attention between her passion for public broadcasting and her deep love for her children.



Portia's beautiful children are 4 and 6. "They are the centre of my life," she says. Time spent styling her own hair has been displaced to taking care of her children's hair. Portia is of Barbadian and Nordic heritage, and her husband is an English Caucasian man. They weren't sure how their children's hair would end up looking. "We thought our son could be anywhere from being a redhead to having an afro--to having a red afro," Portia admits with a laugh. Her son was born with soft ringlets that demand little to no maintenance. Portia says she finger detangles her son's hair and has it cut once a year. Ridiculously easy. Her daughter's hair is another story.



Portia's daughter's hair is completely different from her son's. "Hers is a lot closer to my hair," Portia explains, "she has a few different hair types and does not enjoy having her hair played or dealt with." Portia is experiencing a bit of what her mother went through when her mother was trying to style Portia's hair. Portia was adopted into a Caucasian family and her mother had no idea how to style or take care of her hair. "My hair would always look unkempt because I didn't want her to touch it."



Now that she has experienced both sides of the situation Portia is much more sympathetic to her daughter's squeals of pain and contempt for the comb. "It's not worth either of our time for me to be chasing after her about her hair," says Portia. So she usually leaves it. Once a month Portia will sit her little girl in the bathtub, douse her head in conditioner, and take time to work through the knots.



Black Hair and TV Broadcasting

For 7 years Portia hosted the CBC supper hour news with natural hair. That is rare occurrence now - never mind 10 years ago. "I have received different advice from consultants throughout the years on how I should or shouldn't wear my hair on TV," says Portia. They asked her to cut it, sleeken it, and tame it so that she would be less of a distraction. She has now defined what "presentable" and "professional" means for herself.



Portia says she's excited about Black Hair Spot because it is a resource she didn't have access to when she was developing her hair identity. "It took time for me to figure out how to do my hair in a way that matches my identity," says Portia.

What does your hair say about your identity?

Community Comments