Created in 2016, the KC Curly photoshoot event brings Black women and girls together to celebrate their natural hair.
For the last six years the founder of KC Curly, Christa Rice has been creating the annual photoshoot event to help women of color see the beauty of their natural hair. This year for the sixth annual KC Curly event the theme was called the purple edition. Those who wanted to participate were asked to wear purple, have their hair in a natural or protective state and wear floral/flower crowns.
Rice was inspired to create the photoshoot event after reflecting on her years of experiencing texturism within her multicultural family.
“As a kid I had the thickest hair in all my family,” she tells The Kansas City Star in a recent interview. “My family is Black, Mexican and Native American. We all look different. Me and my sister both had these curls that nobody else has, and my family used to tell us we needed to perm it because it was too thick. As a kid hearing that, you begin to feel it is ugly.”
During this year’s KC Curly event, more than 100 women and children showed up to be a part of the photoshoot held at Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial.
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Rice hopes her event will inspire women of color to feel empowered to wear their hair the way they want to despite societal pressures.
From 2016 to 2018 it’s estimated that 22.7% of hair relaxer sales declined. As during this time many women of color began to gravitate towards hair products with clean ingredients as well as Black-owned brands. Though recently some Black women have chosen to turn back to relaxers as they see it as an easier way to maintain their hair and now many relaxer brands have reformulated their products to feature healthier ingredients.
As for the future of the event, she hopes to expand it by collaborating with other women of color who are doing similar events.
“I hope that the people who are throwing these hair shoots that are similar to mine can reach out. I would love to see some sort of collaboration,” Rice tells The Kansas City Star. “But every year it is getting bigger and better. I learn something every year, and seeing these little girls wear their natural hair for the first time and being so proud warms my heart. It feels like Christmas.