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Conversations with the Inspiring Paige Bouldin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paige Bouldin.

Paige, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up, I’ve always had super thick hair! Due to my hair being so thick, my hair was always a lot to handle. When I was a girl, my mother would either do my hair or I would get it professionally done. However, when my mother got carpal tunnel in both of her hands and when money was low, I was forced to do my hair myself.

So within that time, I learned what works and doesn’t work for my hair. After high school, I started dyeing my hair and wearing weaves pretty often, which led to my hair starting to break off and become unhealthy. I became so dependent on wearing weaves that I felt unattractive whenever I did not have one in. It wasn’t until my husband proposed to me when I realized I wanted to go on a healthy hair journey, because if I expected my husband to love all of me, I had to love all of me myself. Within that time, I started experimenting with my natural hair and doing protective styles (i.e. braids, twists and crochets styles) and I got so good at it, that I would get asked all the time who did my hair. When I would tell people that I did it myself, I would get a lot of “OMG, I could never do that myself.” As a result, I decided to start doing hair tutorials and posting them on my Instagram and YouTube. At the time, I was working in education and my students started seeing my hair videos on their feeds so my classroom soon became a hair salon during nutrition and lunch. I also started to pay attention to my students and notice the difference in their class participation depending on if their hair was done or not. They would wear their hoods knowing that it was against the school rules, have their heads down during class and refuse to pass out papers to make sure attention was not brought to their hair.

One day it clicked, and I had a revelation about starting a program teaching my students how to do their own hair. I didn’t want them to make the same hair mistakes as I did and I wanted to instill confidence inside of them because hair is where many girls finds much of their confidence. That is when “Confident Combs” was born. Confident Combs’ mission is to build confidence in young black girls by teaching them how to love and appreciate their natural hair, how to style their hair using different protective styles techniques, and how to make money styling other people’s hair. Given the long history of cultural identity and resistance of black women in America, Confident Combs believes it is important for young black girls whose heritage stems from such history to have adequate knowledge of the various ways they can maintain their hair.

Historically, natural hair has been deemed “untamed” or “unprofessional.” Certain products and false images of what should be considered “appropriate” hairstyles for black girls cause notions of false imagery that cause them to feel like they need to assimilate into a culture where natural hair is unfortunately undervalued. This is damaging to the self-love of the black girl. Confident Combs will aid in teaching the skills needed to love and maintain a head full of healthy hair, and thereby, instill the confidence that is necessary for young girls to care and love themselves and not feel like they need to seek external validation.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say I’ve been my largest challenge because I’ve been sitting on what God has blessed me with to bless others, but I have been afraid of failing. However, I know that if it is sent from God, then there is no way I can fail. Now I’m ready to attach my work to my faith!

What should we know about Confident Combs? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Confident Combs is known for facilitating a 6-8 week program at schools and after schools programs, teaching girls how to do their own protective styles, box braids, twists, crochets, but mainly sharing healthy hair tips to grow strong healthy natural hair.

Outside of most of our work being done on school campuses, another thing that sets Confident Combs apart is that we seek to impact the whole family by hosting hair styling workshops for mothers and fathers periodically throughout the year.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I feel one of the biggest barriers in female leadership is the lack of community and support from other female leaders. It seems that everyone is in competition instead of coming together to support, collaborate and build each other up. It takes a village.

Contact Info:

  • Email: Confidentcombs@gmail.com
  • Instagram: confident_combs | @Paige.Bouldin



 

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