Eight years ago, I cut off the last few inches of my relaxed ends and began a journey that would completely change my life. I started a YouTube channel so I could join the growing online natural hair community, people with whom I could share experiences, hairstyle ideas, and product recommendations, since there was no such space on my undergraduate campus. That YouTube channel turned into a blog called Klassy Kinks, with the mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world and prove that highly textured natural hair could be both classy and easy to maintain. The Klassy Kinks blog evolved over the course of five years to a destination for beauty, style, travel, and witty musings for the multi-faceted, multi-hyphenate woman.
In the past eight years, the community that I built through Klassy Kinks empowered me to see myself differently and really become the woman I am today. We have gone through many different hair color and hair style iterations, but also journeyed through major life events together. You’ve watched me succeed and fail, and have celebrated with me in the former and forgiven me with the latter. I also suffered through various trials privately, and though I never shared them with my online community, the encouragement, support, and friendship I received from complete strangers on a regular basis helped me get through some of my darkest moments. Blogging allowed me to discover who I am, and embrace that ever-changing, ever-growing woman fully and unapologetically.
The blogging space has changed dramatically in eight years. YouTube videos were shot on pc webcams; now YouTubers have full production studios and sets. Bloggers shared pictures of their hair on Fotki (shout out to you if you remember this); now we’re on Instagram. Though I began by documenting my natural hair journey on YouTube, my blog expanded as a chronicle of my broader life journey to adulthood, through a PhD program, from a long distance relationship to an engagement to an intercultural marriage, and to womanhood. The Klassy Kinks community has been gracious enough to grow alongside me during this journey, and for that I am grateful.
All good things must come to an end, so I am incredibly excited to share with you that KlassyKinks.com is now IjeomaKola.com! Although the name has changed, the content, passion, and authenticity are still the same. There is a spruced up home page layout, more clearly organized menu and categories, and updated anchor pages. All your favorite old posts from Klassy Kinks are still available and reachable on IjeomaKola.com. It’s definitely more of a glow up than a complete overhaul, but I hope you find the new organization more user friendly and informative.
Another important addition to the site, and one of the reasons I decided to change the name to my own, is that it now contains a space for me to share my research. My journey in academia has been fraught with many battles, but at my core, I am still a skilled researcher and it felt silly to downplay that any longer. Ever since I embraced the multiplicity of my interests, both my brand and my wellness have blossomed, because I am no longer afraid of being outed as a blogger in academic spaces and I have been able to use my online reach to empower other women of color with the tools and resources to pursue higher education.
Ironically enough, I shot these images at the main branch of the New York Public Library, one of the largest library systems in the world. Standing poised, fully glammed, hair blazing in front of New York City’s biggest collection of knowledge is exactly who I am. Beauty and brains. Style and substance. Thank you so much for joining me along this journey thus far, and I hope you stick around to continue on this next leg with me.
So Goodbye Klassy Kinks.
It was great creating you, sharing you, and being you.
But it’s time to let you go.
Dress: Dress the Population via Rent the Runway
Shapewear: Shapermint High Waist Hip Hugger Boy Short
Shoes: Tamara Mellon Frontline Platino
Makeup: Ijeoma Ezinne Beauty
Photography: Skovro Visuals