A black woman by the name of Tamekia Swint is making waves in the African American hair world and what she’s doing is freakin’ amazing. The Chicago-native started a company called Styles 4 Kidz, a black hair school for adoptive moms. Their mission?
“To provide high-quality, compassionate haircare education and services for African-American kids in foster care and transracial adoptive families.”Styles 4 Kidz
With an increase in transracial adoptive families, Swint saw a need to fill a void in the space of educating white parents in how to style and take care of their African American children’s hair. “They’re not familiar with the [black] hair,” she said in a now-viral video. “I saw that this might be something where I can empower them.”
Swint started Styles 4 Girlz, NFP in 2010 after teaching a hair braiding class in Poland on a Missions trip. When she returned from her trip she met an adoptive mom needing assistance with her three daughters’ hair to which Swint helped. Impressed by Swint’s work, the mother then referred Swint to a network of adoptive moms that were in need of similar services and through this process, Swint recognized the real need for not only haircare services but black hair education for adoptive and foster families in the Illinois area.
In 2010, the company grew from serving 3 clients to over 500 clients across the United States. The organization changed its name to Styles 4 Kidz in 2016 and opened up one of the first, non-profit salons of its kind just two years later, ” a salon where foster and adoptive kids are empowered to embrace their natural, ethnic crown.” They call it “Hair Care With Heart.”
As an African American woman herself, Swint understands how important hair is to black culture, referring to our hair as “our crown” and additionally making mention to the role that hair plays in overall self-esteem, even at a young age. “When you feel good about how you look, that propels you into the world as a productive citizen.” Swint gets it and she’s making sure that parents of transracial families all over the country have the necessary resources and understand that, too.
I love ! Adopting moms & Non-black moms really need this kind of education / YouTube works too!— Ancient Astronaut Theorist (@incognitorari) May 19, 2019
This is SO needed! God bless them. I see so many mamas struggle with this in my line of work. They are always asking me, one of the only brown faces they see, for help. I always help!— AJ (@evolvingAJ) May 20, 2019
How that one baby went from upset to the purest smile is everything this world needs.— Writing Monster (@momothistle) May 20, 2019
This is beautiful and a long time coming. I remember when a WhtWoman approached me in the BlkHairSection at a grocery store. She timidly asked for help buying products for her (adoptive) daughter’s hair. We spent 30 minutes together. She seemed so relieved.— BovaryCee ♋️🌻🙋🏾 (@BovarysComplnt) May 19, 2019
I did that when I first started fostering my daughter. I was very appreciative of the advice I got.— Derek (@DAshwood3) May 20, 2019
My brother and his wife are foster parents. They just brought home one month twin baby boys. His wife has so many questions and was afraid to reach out to ask. But they want to give those boys a loving and safe home while still not ignoring who they are. This is beautiful.— Jess Cole (@JessColeBeauty) May 20, 2019
“This is about giving the kids what they need so that they can feel beautiful.”– Tamekia Swint, Styles 4 Kidz
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