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Curly Nikki

An Open Letter to Natural Hair Vloggers

By January 27th, 202140 Comments

An Open Letter to Natural Hair Vloggers

Youtube has been an invaluable resource throughout my natural hair course. The ladies who take the time to make videos to share with us, all rock in their own special ways.

The only complaint that I have really, is that some don’t seem to consider their D/deaf or Hard of Hearing audience. Vloggers, please do not forget your D/deaf audience. There is a massive amount of D/deaf & HOH people all throughout the country, and I am sure many of them are naturals…or wanna be, and can benefit from the information shared within those videos.

Imagine finding a natural hair video on Youtube, that you feel, just by looking at the title that your pressing question may finally be answered. So you click on the video, and once it starts, the Vlogger is speaking so fast you can’t possibly rely on lip reading, and there is not a tap of captioning included, highlighting the main points. You’re a little disheartened but not to worry, there is always the more info/description box, so you head there and its blank or gives you not a hint as to the break down of that video.

I swear every time I find a video like that it feels like some D/deaf natural is somewhere relaxing her hair in frustration.

Why is this important to me? Because I am a deaf natural & so are some of my friends. I can not tell you how many times I’ve been faced with the above mentioned scenario. Clear pronunciation, facing the camera when speaking, captions within the video or a detailed description box are treasures to me. Blogger/Vlogger Mae of Natural Chica is a wonderful exemplar of this!

{Check out Caption Tube, and this helpful article on Mashable for video captioning help}

Another option could be that if you have a blog in addition to your Youtube channel, you can briefly summarize your video in a blog post. Nothing major, simply include the title of the video, ingredients & step order if it’s a tutorial. If it’s a review, tell us whether or not you’d use the product again, and if you’d like, a one or two sentence reasoning. Heck if you don’t have a stand alone blog…send the info to me and I’ll post it on Curly Hue (giving you full credit of course). Just do something… just don’t leave us out.

40 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    CurlyHue…..Great points!

  • Natural Panamanian says:

    Wow, I am glad CurlyHue mentioned this. I am also HOH, and there are time I felt frustrated with Youtube video. I only watch what they do with their hair or read their blog.

  • Sojournin says:

    You may be deaf,my dear, but you are getting something right…your hair is lovely!

  • Unknown says:

    This was such a wonderful post! It's a reminder that our experiences aren't singular and we want to be as inclusive as possible!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this. I live in a city with a large deaf population but I never thought of this. Thank you so much!

  • Kayla says:

    I am not hearing impaired and I still like to see the elements you've listed in this post on YouTube. I love the description box being filled out and I like the vlogger to face the camera. I try to do these things in my videos because of my own preference.

  • Anonymous says:

    Curly Hue, thank you for speaking for all of us Deaf/HOH naturals! I have been deaf since I was 13, and have been natural for almost a year (one year anniversary is coming up on the 23rd, yay!). Like you, I get so frustrated with the lack of accessibility with video tutorials. I don't even bother reading posts with videos because of it–and I get so upset that I can't try a fly hairstyle all because there's no captioning or written details.

    In addition to captioning, I'd love to see meet-ups happen for Deaf/HOH naturals, that would be FUN!

  • CurlyHue says:

    Thank you for posting that link Anonymous! I was just about to 🙂

  • Natarsha says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I just started my blog and vblog on YouTube and one of my closest friends is deaf. This article will influene me to give as many details to my videos and blogs as possible.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nm! I was just like, wait, I'll google it my damn self. For anyone else who's curious: http://deafness.about.com/cs/culturefeatures1/a/bigdorsmalld.htm

  • Anonymous says:

    Curious, why do you write D/deaf? I'd love to know! Thanks.

  • CurlyHue says:

    @Charnika: the CC button captions are always WAY off unfortunately! Lol

  • Ings says:

    Mind blown.
    I don't know anyone who is deaf/hard of hearing but I'm actually embarrassed that this never crossed my mind. I only think of captioning for subtitles in movies =
    Glad that you wrote this, definitely an important message.

  • hairscapades says:

    You know, I never really thought about that either and my best friend in high school and one of my young friends now are both hearing impaired. However, because I have a blog and am a novice blogger, I have text under almost all of my HUGE 14 video "library" because I always forget something!! Also, I talk a lot … so, you know … I write a lot too!! LOL!! So, with no forethought, I think that most of my videos are somewhat hearing impaired friendly (also, most are hairstyle tutorials, so they are visual). That being said, this will definitely make me more conscious of this audience and ensure that I put at least some type of brief description in all videos via the description box, caption boxes or a link back to my site. I'd love feedback on where I could improve! Thanks for the post! It was eye-opening!

    Shelli

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Skillsgill

  • Randi415 says:

    Wow this never crossed my mind. Thank you for this beautiful post and very helpful tips. I only have two videos, just photos of my journey but if I ever do talk on videos I'll be sure to use your tips. Thanx again.

  • nikkacostia says:

    I'm HH,and I was having this problem with some vlog, and netflix until they fixed most videos recently. Next conquest is OnDemand shows/movie for Comcast.

    Thank you for writing this
    -Renika

  • Jami says:

    this was an absolutely beautiful post. I've always wanted to see captions b/c it can be easier for me to "hear" certain words that I can't make out, but I never said anything. You being apart of the HOH community have more of a justified reason to bring this to attention. peace.

  • Anonymous says:

    A word to vloggers related to music:
    If you play music with restricted rights, then you won't get a worldwide audience. I live in Europe, in a country where a lot of youtube videos won't play because of rights issues. And we're so glad that there's such a wealth of info out there for naturals, but we can't get at it coz music played in the background isn't rights-free. Bummer.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day! Thank you for bringing it up! I took a course in hearing disability and I myself is HOH individual and it got me aware of the deaf naturals not being able to benefit from these videos.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this CurlyHue! I will try to do better in the future when I make videos. I try to put as much info in my description boxes, but will do more! Thank you again!

    www.youtube.com/user/KinkycurlyTree03

  • NaturalArtMaven says:

    Thanks for posting this article Nikki and thank you CurlyHue for writing this. I vlog/blog and never thought about this. I will try to do a better job of including all of the info in the comments section and reposting to my blog. I will definitely take and use these tips!

  • CharyJay says:

    Hey CurlyHue! Great article!

    Are you aware of the CC button at the bottom of the video in the bar next to the video control options? It turns on captions in all videos. I know it can sometime be a bit off if the video maker does not talk clearly and annunciate, but it's worth checking out!

    In my product reviews, I always post the product's information including the ingredients and instructions on how to use it. At the end of the video, I post my "Final Verdict" where I post how I feel about it, but I sometime talk to elaborate on how I feel about the product to provide more information.

    The Closed Caption button would be very helpful to the deaf and HOH audience.

    Hope that helps!

  • Anonymous says:

    As a hearing person I appreciate this article and the tips as well. I like it when vloggers have captions and don't have a lot of talking. My other gripe is music – stop it. I don't need to hear your India Arie throughout the tutorial.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, I never thought about this but I'm sure the vloggers don't mean to leave the hearing impaired out. I hope they follow this advice. That's why I loove watching Mae's videos. They're always clear and well edited.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wish the vloggers would speak loud and clear and turn up the volume!!!
    Nothing turns me off more then a video you CANT HEAR 'cause the person is talking so low or there sound is too low. I usually close the video and move on to someone else!

  • MsChina627 says:

    You are absolutely right and I am thankful that you brought this to my attention. So far I've made about 8 videos (only posted one on you tube as I need to edit the others) and I didn't even think to add more text for anyone that may be deaf. I will be sure to incorporate notes either in the video itself or in the description box.;-)

  • CurlyHue says:

    Thanks for your comments! Thank you Nikki for featuring this article!

    @Tia it warms my heart to find deaf friendly channels!

    @WestNDNbeauty, thanks for your effort with the ASL videos! Just be mindful that not all D/deaf & HOH people sign…and if they do, it may be different from American Sign Language (there's MANY types).

    I for one, only experienced sudden deafness 5 years ago, so my family and I are not as fluent in ASL as we need to be…but work towards it daily.

    Thank you again & much love,

    ~LaTonya

  • Anonymous says:

    Kudos for posting this Nikki. This article was written in January but none of the other major bloggers picked it up. It shows that CN.com is committed to fostering an inclusive community.

  • CurlySha says:

    I 2nd that Crystal. I feel so bad, I'm not a video blogger but thank you CurlyHue for pointing this out. Will definitely pass it along to my friends who do put up video blogs for naturalistas. Much love to you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow as a natural curly and a deaf interpreter, I never even thought of this . Your rant was well received.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I am hearing impaired and it frustrating try to figure out some of those YouTube videos. I'm newly natural and I'm always looking for help for me and my daughter's hair. I will most definitely check out your videos!

  • DrChuck24 says:

    @ Tia I have watched some of your videos and wondered why you didnt speak in them. That's awesome..and so are your videos btw lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear CurlyHue:

    Bravo! Hurrah! Well done!

    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of CN readers and posters!

    I am HOH, and your comments resonated with me!

    Because of my frustration with some of the vids I've seen, I now open and pause several videos at a time; I let them download and then fast forward through them. If I don't like what I see, I close them and go on to the next.

    There is NOTHING more frustrating than to sit through the end of a video to hear the poster declare the technique an "EPIC FAIL". Really? You couldn't put your review and thoughts in the comment block – instead of wasting 10 minutes of our time???

    Thanks for letting me rant!

  • Unknown says:

    My vids contain no talking at all because I want the deaf and non-English speaking audience to be able to enjoy them also. Since I demonstrate how to do styles I don't have to talk and if I have pertinent information to relay, I type it out for the video, put it in the description post, AND do a blog post. I never want to exclude any group.
    My YouTube: HerBestHair

  • Anonymous says:

    I am not hearing impaired, but I don't like it when YouTubers play music while they are talking. Either talk or play music, but please don't do both at the same time. I automatically turn the volume all the way down on a video like this if I watch it at all.

  • Mrs. G says:

    Wow! Excellent post!

  • westNDNbeauty says:

    I am very aware of this issue and have a few videos in ASL because I was trying to capture the attention of the Deaf and HOH naturals out there.I know a couple have found me and have commented on my videos.

    My YouTube: wwestNDNbeautyy
    My Blog: Confessions of a Blog Vixen

  • Angelina says:

    As a person who can hear, it's easy to forget to be mindful about people who may be have difficulty hearing. Especially since it's not obvious. After reading this,even though I'm not a video blogger, I will work on how I communicate with others; make sure I'm facing them and clearly pronouncing my words. Thanks for this article, I'm glad this was bought to light.

  • ATribitt says:

    I am a hearing individual and i still appreciate those vloggers who follow this advice. it's imperative!

  • DrChuck24 says:

    Wow. I never even thought about this audience. I just assumed that the hard of hearing/deaf population stayed away from youtube. Thanks for this open letter. You have definitely opened my eyes. I make videos from time to time and will keep the pointers you mention in the forefront.

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