How Blogger-Turned-Founder Frédérique Harrel Is Normalizing Afro Hair
Just because Frédérique Harrel has landed on our Must Follow list of 2018 does not mean she is new to the influencer scene. The Paris-born, London-based fashion blogger has been inspiring her community of followers (over 168,000 across Instagram and YouTube) since 2013 when she first launched her blog, Freddie Harrel. But the former fashion marketing consultant did not set out to become a role model or "influencer" when she started to blog — Harrel was just looking for an outlet to share her stories, voice her opinions, and discover who she really was. Along the way, she would amass thousands of female supporters who were inspired by her positivity and self-love. Harrel would eventually host confidence workshops, called She Unleashed, where she could connect with her fans with the goal of helping them feel more confident and strong in the face of daily challenges like sexism, racism, and self-doubt.
As if all that was not enough, Harrell (who also just had a baby last year) launched Big Hair No Care in 2017, her own brand of fair (meaning ethical, non-human, synthetic) hair extensions in hopes of "[normalizing] afro hair" and making products for women of color more accessible and affordable.
According to the Big Hair No Care website, most virgin extensions for natural hair are made from Asian or Caucasian hair, which are then are processed to "achieve a kinky texture." As a result, it feels heavier and does not give a natural "cloud fro effect." Harrel's clip-ins are lighter than human hair, more affordable, and are easier to maintain.
Last September, Harrel wrote a love letter to her afro in Look UK, sharing her relationship with her hair (which wasn't always adoring) and how her journey to appreciating her "crown" led her to launching Big Hair No Care.
"I love looking after you, watching how you respond to my care is so rewarding and I can’t believe I spent to many years simply ignoring you," Harrel wrote.
Below, Harrel talks about what's next for Big Hair No Care and her advice for people on the path of self-discovery.