• Shani Mixon, Author

Hair Crush Characters

Updated: May 3, 2020

Readers, from time to time, ask me about the characters in my stories. I get questions like, Do you actually know someone like this, Who is this character based on, and What happened in your life to create a character like this. My answer remains the same and that is all characters are fictitious and based on no one in particular. I get it. Some of the storylines in the book dramatically hit home. Truth is that I think of situations that may or may not have happened. Because my stories are realistic, some people can relate. I can see myself in some of the characters and others can, too. I think we all can find ourselves involved in deception, truth, deliverance, breakthrough, heartbreak, and much more. However, there is one aspect in my characters where I can truly see myself. That is the embrace of natural hair.

The #naturalhair movement for many African-American women is cliché. Most rock it in some form or fashion. We wear it in braids, cornrows, locks, puffs, twists, braid-outs, blow outs, hot-combed, under lace fronts, and so on. My fingers will hurt if I continue to write of the plethora of black women’s hairstyles. It’s the versatility that makes me fall in love with my own hair.

Let me be truthful, it has taken awhile for me to build a relationship with the 4b/ 4c bend of my hair, but I did. Why? In 2012, when the word #bigchop was a trending hashtag, I decided to get one and discard my relaxed tresses. I rocked my TWA (teeny weeny afro) with pride. I received both comments and compliments and took them with a grain of salt. My main concern was the fear of my all girl 7th and 8th grade class would look at me like, “Girl whatchu’ doin’ with that hair.” The unfiltered adolescent crew liked it and admired my newly found bold statement of freedom. Within no time, my finger snap length hair grew into bouncy bantu knot-outs that could be pulled to my shoulder blades. Of course, there was snap back. The shrinkage was real, but my hair was healthy.

Let’s fast forward to 2014, my family and I moved to a less progressive city during the “just rock your natural hair movement.” Let me explain. Many women in my new city wore wigs and lace fronts. Let me repeat, there is nothing wrong with wigs. They are beautiful. When I wore my natural hair, I got a few extra stares or even frowns when I let my tresses fly free without bounds. I had become the pink elephant in the room.

Let me tell you what took the cake. THE WHOLE CAKE!

Soon after settling in to my new home and job, my supervisor asked me, “How do you feel about your hair?” Now, I was definitely taken for a loop, spin, and dunk from her unapologetic question, but I took a moment to take a deep breath and assess the unfiltered woman in front of me who sported a short tapered wig. My response was, “I love my hair. I embrace the natural hair that God has given me.” There was more said, but our conversation remained cordial although I wanted to punch a hole in the wall. Anyway, she expressed that she didn’t want people to think it was okay for others to wear their hair all over their heads like mine. In other words, she didn't want my hair freedom to influence others to do the same. She offered to pay to put braided hair extensions in my hair. In my ignorance, I accepted, because I desperately wanted to fit into my new city that I now called home. My time at the job didn’t last. I couldn’t stand the thought of changing who I was to fit in with what I wasn't. How could I teach my three daughters and son that it was okay to lose your identity and self-love to make someone else happy or comfortable? How could I live with that? I resigned, snatched those braids out, and returned to my own hair freedom. I vowed that I would never lose myself again, and I once again embraced my hair.

In 2015, released my first book, I made sure that my main characters rocked natural hair. Mia sported natural hair, In 2017, Melody rocked her natural tresses, and in 2020, my girl Nova stood her ground with spongy locks that screamed of her heritage.

Now, I currently rock #Sisterlocks. I love it! What are Sisterlocks? According to, Sisterlocks is a natural hair management system that creates tiny style-able locks. It allows women with tightly textured hair to take advantage of a wide range of today's hairstyles without having to alter the natural texture of their hair or add any products or heat.

Sisterlocks have me feeling free in my natural hair journey. I want to shout out Kim Dalton, from Loc N Livtru Studio LLC in Oak Park, MI. She started me on my Sisterlocks Journey in 2017 and I haven't looked back since. She installed each one of my Sisterlocks! I credit her for teaching this newbie how to understand my hair and developing a forever love for the art of Sisterlocks that I proudly wear as a crowned masterpiece. She is a brand ambassador who is a standard bearer and is committed to doing Sisterlocks right. I remember the countless times we talked about the ups and downs of natural hair acceptance and the beauty of hair in its natural state. Kim is an amazing professional!

My next character lead will definitely have Sisterlocks and she will wear her natural crown of glory with pride. Just you wait and see! I might make her hair touch her ankles. I don't know. Only time will tell

To all, never lose yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Psalm 139: 13-15

13 For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven inthe depths of the earth.

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