Lion Brand Studio Staff Member & Instructor Will Johnson talks about the inspiration behind his new workshop: Protective Styling with Yarn, for Natural Hair.
“Last winter’s chill was the absolute last straw for me! It was a season when going to the barbershop to get a simple cut just wasn’t appealing anymore. With temperatures reaching negative numbers, winds that would whip across my face, and an unforgiving chill that would leave my hair dry, brittle, and breaking, I needed to make a change.
One particularly bitter day, I was on a phone call with a close friend (we were flirting with some apartment listings in warmer climates) and all the while, she was braiding her hair …with yarn! Now, she’d been doing this for a few years, she’d run to her local craft store and a day or two later, would have wild purples and blues appearing to grow from her scalp! I’d also been seeing the style pop up more and more on fashion and hair blogs. That was the day I finally thought “Maybe this is something I can get into!” I began to research why this trend was becoming so popular.
Then I stumbled into a world quite like none other. The Natural Hair Movement. Yarn braiding, twists, locs, and so much more, all grew from the (affectionately called) “Naturals” – crafty, creative people wanting to make a difference with their natural hair. The movement charts a creative journey of people with curly/kinky hair, who have consistently found themselves left out of the western world’s exclusionary standards of beauty – standards which criticized the natural, curly texture that grows from a person’s head as not acceptable or desirable. The movement began the work of reclaiming hairstyles that showcase, enhance, and protect the natural texture of curly, kinky hair.
I was convinced. I grabbed a skein or two of Heartland, a weekend, and some patience, and I had a healthy, breakage-free, neat style that was professional, versatile, fresh, and best of all, inexpensive! My yarn braiding workshop coming up in October will show you the steps I took and some of the research I found to make these styles possible for you too.”