For those unawares, Tamron Hall is a MSNBC anchor, correspondent for NBC News and NBC’s Today Show. Although clearly very beautiful, she is not just another pretty face, but a twenty year news and TV journalism veteran. She is also the first African-American woman to co-anchor the NBC Nightly News. Name a celebrity or influential figure and Tamron has met them, name a topic and Tamron has covered it. By the end of our trip I was referring to her as my personal Wikipedia, because she could spout off facts like well…Wiki.
Like many Black women on television, straight hair has been her professional life and look… that was until our trip together to South Africa. After hearing about my hair story and experiencing for herself, the positive and supportive natural hair community, she felt inspired to finally share her curly story with the world.
She’s worked in several media markets and at a few different TV networks. In most cases it is rare to find anyone working on set that is truly knowledagble about textured hair. In a moment of pure honesty, she also shared that she sometimes felt a bit of resentment at her White colleagues who could wake up in the morning and come right in to work, entirely ‘appropriate’ or ‘professional’, but that she’d have to spend hours- that she could’ve spent resting or preparing- manipulating her hair to meet the straight hair standard of beauty. Sound familiar any one?
Tamron has been natural for a while but most folks wouldn’t know. Until this post, only close family and friends have witnessed the awesomeness that is her curly hair. She shared that most vacations end with her having to wear her natural hair and that when she returns from vacation, she has to take an extra vacation day to get her hair straightened for work. As we all know, straight hair is also beautiful and the limited use of heat-treated styles does not necessarily prevent us from having healthy natural hair. However, I suggested to her that the NEED to straighten one’s hair for personal or professional reasons can sometimes become a ‘quality of life’ issue. Tam’s response…“I totally agree, and hope that being honest about my story helps other textured women struggling with this issue to try going natural either full or part time.”