Finally, a Barrette That Won’t Let Your Natural Hair Down

 
 

I often reminisce about the countless times my mother sat me down on the floor while she pried and twisted and ripped pieces of plastic bands and sometimes metal from my curly locks — even taking some of my hair with them.

My mother, who has straight, jet black hair, tried her best to understand how to manage my mixed curly, kinky hair, though in reality there were not many options available on the market that targeted natural hair. As a child, I never shied away from hair accessories. In fact, any time we made it to the store I would gravitate toward the hair aisle where I admired all the different options and stealthily collected them while convincing my mother to let me try them out. Out of all the trials and tribulations, two distinct accessories forever imprinted in my memory are the twin bead ponytail holder and the plastic telephone cord scrunchie.

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The twin bead ponytail holders, or to my childhood mind “bubbles,” came in all sorts of colors with metal and plastic features. There was a strong love-hate relationship with these bubbles as I would dream of the day they’d stay on for a full school day. But that never happened. These poor things would hold on for dear life, but very often I would hear a loud popping sound and knew immediately that half of my hair was out and wild and there was nothing I could do about it. This always left a feeling of betrayal as they consistently let me down, but the next morning I doggedly began the cycle again.

At one point, I attempted to use a plastic telephone cord hair scrunchie. Big mistake. I was left with tangled coils and knots that felt impossible to tame. It seemed as though its grip was telling me, “Well, you wanted this, so you’re going to have it.” I ended up running to my mother, who, after countless rounds with the bubbles, was used to my cry for help. She sat me down and began her process of removing the plastic coil, again leaving me with ripped ends and damaged hair. Let’s just say that was the first and last time I ever put one of those in my hair!

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In hindsight, I realize that those accessories did not work well, nor did they support my hair texture. Consequently, I damaged portions of my hair in the process. Now as an adult who is constantly on the move, I’m in need of easy-to-use hair accessories to help me feel put together, even when I’m not. Specifically, I look for more sustainable options that work with my naturally kinky curls and also have a sense of style.

SAYA Designs seems well-equipped to take on both my hair and the deficiencies of more common hair accessories. Hair forks, like The Barrette I tried, have been used for thousands of years and are a durable alternative to bubbles and phone cords. With my hair in a half-up half-down style, I inserted the hair fork with ease, and it withstood the weight and texture of my ‘do. I then tested it with my favorite lazy day hairstyle, the pineapple, which, to my surprise, also held up. In both styles, it felt snug and sturdy, and I now know what to use for easy and effortless hair days.

The founder of SAYA is, coincidentally, also named Victoria. She created her company out of a deep love of nature, a growing awareness of environmental issues, and a desire to create beautiful things with purpose. Tapping into the circular economy, SAYA’s hair sticks are made from waste materials — root wood salvaged from plantations in Indonesia — and hand carved by artisans in Bali. Each piece purchased plants up to ten endangered trees in rainforests through their Indonesian partner organisation, GAIA, which supplies seeds, trains farmers, and lobbies the government on behalf of forestry issues. The rainforests there are some of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world, yet they also have one of the highest deforestation rates — just under half of the original forest cover remains thanks to commodities such as wood and palm oil.

Regenerative by design, SAYA’s pieces will neither take away resources nor add to the waste already littering the Earth. And if I store it in the provided pouch, keep it out of water, and use it often enough, the natural oils in my hair will keep the wood nice and smooth. Goodbye pain-inducing plastic balls of fury, and goodbye telephone cord wanna-be scrunchies — there’s a new hair accessory in town, and it’s saving my curls and the planet.


 

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🎥 Featuring Victoria Jameson. Hair, photography, and filming by Mika Locklear. Direction, editing, and makeup by Magdalena Antuña. Styling by Meggie Copeland. Assisted by Jillian Mitchell.