Take one look at Nia Pettitt, and you'll instantly feel inspired. The 19-year-old, curly haired Londoner is the gal behind a social media initiative encouraging women all over the world to embrace and celebrate their natural hair. Nia is known on Instagram as FroGirlGinny, where she has garnered more than 230,000 followers. They flock to her for daily hairspiration and advice for maintaining their voluminous locks.
What started in August 2014 as a small school project soon blossomed into a full-blown movement in which Nia uses social media to organise "Happy FroDay" meetups each year. These fun events feature empowerment talks, photo booths, music, and flower bars for attendees to decorate their curls. "It is just a time for girls to get together and embrace their beautiful natural hair," Nia told us via email. She also motivates her followers to use the hashtag #HappyFroDay when proudly posting selfies on social media.
Nia admitted to us that she hasn't always been so confident about her larger-than-life mane. "When I was around 5 or 6, people would always laugh at my hair, as it was very different to all my other friends," she said. "It made me have low self-esteem." This teasing is what led her to begin relaxing her hair at a young age. "In that time it was very much me trying to fit into the standards of beauty," she told us.
"Once you love your hair, it's like you unleash all this confidence, which then inspires you to love everything else about yourself."
A few pep talks from her mother, who often experiments with her own hair, inspired Nia to ignore the haters and embrace her locks just the way they are. The Instagram star is now a veteran in the natural hair world, offering helpful styling and care tutorials on her YouTube channel.
Her favourite products for maintaining her mane? She swears by DevaCurl, a company for which she's a brand ambassador but also regularly uses products by Design Essentials, Frizz Free Curls, and Skimdo to keep her hair in check every day.
As for other women with naturally curly strands, she has some words of wisdom to pass along. "Once you love your hair, it's like you unleash all this confidence, which then inspires you to love everything else about yourself," she explained. "Take your time with finding what works for you, but also try to find bloggers or girls who have hair like yours so you have a guide on your journey."
Ready to join in on Nia's journey? Be sure to follow along with her #FroGirlAdventures on social media, and keep your eyes peeled for more announcements about her annual meetups!