With the rise in popularity of natural hair comes the proliferation of blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to the subject. I dare you to Google “twist out tutorial” and see how many results pop up with a plethora of products and methods for just this one style.
By and large, YouTube is an incredible asset, particularly for styling tutorials and how-tos. Some ladies are just documenting their natural hair journey and sharing discoveries, while others are heralded as “gurus” of length, style, techniques, information and more. But sometimes, the videos can be a little over the top with editing effects and sponsored product pushing. But rather than record a rant, NYC-based comedian Akilah Hughes created a hilarious parody titled, “Every Natural Hair Video Ever”.
From the self-indulgent hair montages to the “same length for the past 6 years” length check, Hughes’ humorous poke at the natural hair community is refreshingly accurate and lightheartedly incriminating.
After obsessively replaying the video, watching several others and doubling over in laughter, I had the awesome opportunity to connect with Akilah for a little Q&A about hair, comedy and YouTube videos:
The “Every Natural Hair Video Ever” video is hilarious. What moved you to actually putting it together? Was there a tipping point for you that made you say, “I’ve GOT to do this”?
Truthfully, it has been on my mind a lot. I get tons of questions on my tumblr every week from girls asking me to do hair videos and while I love my hair and would like to give advice where I can, I know that (A) I’m not an expert and (B) what works for me won’t necessarily work for anyone else. I also don’t do many different styles so the videos would for sure get repetitive. This video was my answer to all the requests.
Your video can also be seen as a virtual list of pet peeves for subbies watching natural hair videos. Out of all the ones covered in the video, which 3 things irk you the most about natural hair videos on YouTube and why?
I think the biggest thing has been that some natural hair gurus have literally the exact same fro every week and make videos just about using different stuff on their hair when no noticeable change has been detected. My ultimate goal for my channel is to only post valuable content and I get the feeling that some girls have been phoning in their videos for a while. Aside from that, editing is key! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but at least let your own aesthetic drive the graphics. No more default title scrolls from iMovie! Also, as far as editing, there is absolutely no reason for your video to be more than 5 minutes. You can edit down and use subtitles and just explain what people have to do. People just have to get the concept, they don’t have to watch you microbraid your entire head.
Enough about bad YouTube videos. What makes a GOOD natural hair video? Can you recommend a few videos for readers, subscribers, and aspiring natural hair YouTubers to go by?
Good natural hair videos get to the point, are informative, and don’t take themselves too seriously. I love a good, simple tutorial video. Here are some of my faves:
Shameless Maya: Twist Out Tutorial
My Natural Sistas: Natural Hair Updo
Naptural85: How to Keep a Head Scarf from Slipping
Who are some of your favorite natural hair YouTube vloggers and why?
I love ShamelessMaya, Chescalocs, Naptural85, HeyFranHey, and a few others. I think they have just been in the game long enough to try to make their content fun AND informative.
We know you’re a comedian and YouTuber on the rise, but this IS Black Girl with Long Hair. So we must ask — how do you achieve the signature style you rock (it’s FAB) in all your videos? Share some of your favorite products with us! Okay, maybe just share with me. I’m the product junkie here.
Well thank you! I like my fro, even if it hates working with me. My routine is super relaxed (punintentional). I co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner and detangle in the shower. After that I just put Kinky Curly on my wet hair and let it air dry. I wear my hair like that for a few days (doing a few large twists at night to keep the length and volume and avoid tangles). I should watch more tutorials…
Any upcoming projects BGLH readers should know about?
I’m working on a lot of comedy stuff for MTV’s youtube channel, so you should go subscribe! It’s a lot of fun working here, and I think the sketches are pretty quality.
Where can we find you on social media?
I am always online! Find me!
How do you feel about “Every Natural Hair Video Ever”? Comic relief aside, do you think it has the potential to change how natural hair YouTubers will present their content? Personally, I’ve got some content and editing homework to do.….