As Black women, we're all too familiar with the pain and agony that's equated with "beauty."
This is probably due to our mothers conditioning us since youth to accept the mantra "beauty is pain" with each "ouch" as they tug on our hair—and tell us to "sit still." Even as adults, these words echo in our heads with every agonizing pull, twist, and burn we experience at the salon.
But, when we heard the story of a YouTube personality who lost all of her hair due to a single sew-in weave, we had to ask the question: how much pain is beauty worth? Meet the beautifully radiant Sierra Baynes, who experienced the unthinkable—balding from a bad weave.
Known for her stunning features, flawless makeup, and slayed hair, everything changed when she hired a cheap, non-professional to do her hair.
“For the most part, I’m not hurt or sad about the situation,” aren't words you expect to hear from a women whose scalp was severely damaged after a sew-in gone wrong—but that’s exactly what Sierra revealed as she spoke exclusively to BET Style. “I just felt like if I could help other people out with sharing my story, then why not.”
Mission accomplished. She went viral with over 512K views on her YouTube video by sharing her hair horror story—and ultimately why she decided to shave it all off. If you have a stomach of steel, see the disturbing video for yourself below:
In brief, the video explains how Sierra allowed a "stylist" to do a sew-in weave. Unfortunately, they braided Sierra's natural hair entirely too tight, causing blisters and bleeding.
After enlisting her aunt to help remove the 2-month-old weave, Sierra suffered hair loss, scabbing and what she later learned was serious scaring after her girlfriend photographed the back of her head.
According to Sierra’s Google search, she found that she was experiencing severe scalp damage, caused by extreme stress on the hair follicles.
We applaud the confident 20 year-old for finding the confidence to sit in front of the cameras and share her story. Seriously, how many women do you know that would be willing to share their flaws for the world to see?
“I just love myself, I love how strong minded I am. Nothing can tear me down, I’ll always be confident. My mom embedded confidence into my head at such a young age,” Sierra confessed.
She recently shared more details about the experience and addressed the many questions viewers wanted to know. Peep the second video below:
She admits those who watched her video have given her “a bunch of love all in all,” the one question that was continuously asked: why she didn’t speak up about the tight braids?
According to Sierra, the person who did her hair for “cheap” came to her house with, “two BC Powers,” an over-the-counter analgesic pain reliever, and told Sierra to take the pain killer before she, “braided her hair.”
When we asked if she had any regrets letting a non-professional do her hair, her answer is clear: “Yes, I do. But at the same time I don’t, because everything happens for a reason. If she didn’t braid my hair so bad then I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to share my story.”
And, it looks like Sierra’s quest for a healthier scalp is seriously paying off:
Why we don't think you need to cancel your next hair appointment just yet, this cautionary tale is intended to make sure you don't go through the same thing.
She warns other women:
“If someone is braiding to tight, speak up! Don't be afraid. [Seriously], unless you want your head to look like mine, you better speak up." Her finally words? "Skip the hook-up and go to a professional as well.”
We hear you 100% loud and clear sis.
(Photos: Courtesy of Sierra Baynes)
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.