A new club on campus is on a mission to encourage students to embrace and appreciate their natural hair. The Having Appreciation in Realness (H.A.I.R.) Club is an organization at Seton Hall that has recently been recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA). According to its mission statement, “We are working to create a safe space in the natural hair community where you can learn more about how to care for and appreciate your natural hair.”
The president of the club is Akaysha Palmer, a sophomore diplomacy and international relations major, and the vice president is Gisellyn Miranda, a sophomore business management major. Although the club is fairly new, it has come into existence after a year of preparation.
“Akaysha came to me with the idea of our freshman year,” Miranda said. “Since then we’ve been embracing ideas, things we wanted to do, our vision for it, and this past semester was when we came up with the constitution and sorted out all the logistics for it.”
Palmer founded the club, and she and her friends all make up its executive board. Palmer said she wanted to help inspire students who may feel lost regarding products or ways on how to properly care for their hair.
“I wanted students within the natural hair community to feel included on this campus and learn more about what natural hair care is and how to care for your hair,” Palmer said.
Miranda said she wanted to start the club because natural hair is a big deal to her.
“It’s just another way to support others,” Miranda said. “Even if it is something you don’t understand, the fact that you are involving yourself in it shows you are immersing yourself in the perspectives of others and I feel like that is the best way to grow.”
Miranda said she connects hair care to self-love and knows that having maintained physical attributes can help people feel good about themselves and boost their self-confidence and body positivity. She believes that people’s physical qualities make them feel good about themselves, and help them have that self-esteem. She said they can go out and accomplish their goals with confidence.
“I believe that it is super important to start with yourself because that is the foundation of your goals,” she said.
Palmer and Miranda have a lot of plans for the future of the club. Both said they believe it is going to be incredibly successful based on how successful it is already. They have a whole list of events they want to organize. Some of these events include hair product giveaways, DIY hair masks, hair Family Feud and hair cultural appropriation.
Palmer and Miranda said one thing they want to do is volunteer at hospitals and work with kids battling cancer and anyone who is experiencing hair loss. Palmer said she also hopes to host a curl fest celebration on the Green with various hair product vendors where students can purchase products at a discounted price.
Although the HAIR club has only had one meeting thus far, they gathered about 25 interested students. One of these students is Brianna Hibbert, a sophomore biochemistry major.
“It’s a very unique club,” she said. “I think that it really brings awareness to topics that some girls are very shy to ask other people about when it comes to their own hair.”
Hibbert said the club is a possible safe haven for anyone with questions on how they can properly care for their hair. One thing she hopes to learn from the club is how to take better care of her hair and help others learn more about the topic.
Rebecca Amrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.