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Spain's Natural Hair Article in JOURNEY

I had the pleasure of interviewing Thea of SidiBeauty.com about her experience being natural in Spain and running a natural hair website specifically for the Spanish-speaking community. Natural hair is a phenomenon that is sweeping the Earth among those of African descent and those who just have curly hair in general. It is a movement, if you will, protesting chemicals and or changing your natural state to fit in to the dominant culture. Read about what I discovered here! Thank you to the Editor-In-Chief, Candace Kelley, for posting the story.

Update: The website has moved to JourneyHairMagazine.com.

Spain's Natural-Haired Damas
How A Spanish Speaking Blogger's Site became Caliente!

by Asia Martin
     It's happened to many of us. We see a kinky haired woman of color and she opens her mouth and she's speaks fluent Spanish! We are kindred spirits and indeed there are many Spanish-speaking sisters who have the exact same hair as African-American women. In fact, droves of women  from Spain have been posting to various sites and Facebook pages showing off their natural haired communities. So when I stumbled upon Spain’s popular natural hair blogger Thea Belinda, it peaked my interest and found out the ladies of Spain are doing their thing!
     Victoria, Spain is chock full of old wine cellars, historic churches and plenty of naturalistas! Thea hails from this community and is a self-described "mixed woman of Afro descent” and has what she calls “Afro-hair.”  Her mother is from Equatorial Guinea and her father is Nigerian. It was Mom who opened one of the first “afro” hair salons in Spain, in a country where she says how to care for Afro-hair was not taught.
     In her salon she shared her knowledge about the kinks and curls that people in their community wanted to know about. Decades ago, the salon helped women with kinky hair manage and nurture their look. Mom was so ahead of her time!
    Just over a year ago,  it was natural - no pun intended - for Thea to create the popular site with international flair, www.sidibeauty.com. Named after her Nigerian grandmother, the site has product reviews that rival any site in America.  The sister sites includewww.sidibeauty.blogspot.com.es/ and  www.sidibeauty.tumblr.com/.
     When Thea began this journey she was finding products filled with petroleum and mineral oils, but thanks to the internet, she was able to change the site’s direction. Now women get Spainish-language reviews about products from around the world.
     “I started reading, researching and I met up with thousands of sites writing, talking about afro/ black/ ethnic hair but just a few were in Spanish. So then I focused on not just writing but sharing my knowledge and experiences about Afro hair.”
    She adds that the natural hair movement is growing in Spain with many women blogging about their experiences, but the movement has yet to fully surface onto the streets the way that is has in America.
     Her site gets visits from mostly Spainairds but she also gets plenty of hits  from Mexico, the U.S., Colombia, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Chile, Venezuela.
     Thea joined an initiative, started by a fellow Spaniard-blogger and vlogger known as Ebony Negra Flor (www.negraflor.com), to share experiences and information to the afro descendants in Spanish-speaking communities. Sidi Beauty, not only offers information and products but also holds natural hair workshops.
     “I think we should embrace our natural beauty. Anyone should be able to choose how they want to tress their hair. No matter whether they want it natural or relaxed or weave, permed or dyed but what really matters is  this must be an option not an obligation.”

     Blogger Thea Belinda is natural and wears extensions as a protective style. She’s lived in Vcitoria, Spain since she was a toddler. She has a background in biology and is the founder of SidiBeauty.

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