Black Hair, Let’s Care: Curly In College created to build community for students with natural hair

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Curly In College is a college campus organization many people never realized they needed. That is until founder Ashley Scott says she had a horrible experience at Purdue University. At that point, she decided to no longer get a straightening chemical in her hair and embrace her natural curls.

"I didn't have a support system, so I wanted to create a safe space for college students to have a period of self-discovery," Ashley said.

Curly In College started as an online blog in 2014. Men and women posted about their experience wearing their natural curls and even shared product information. Four years later, more than 85,000 people engage on the website and 19,000 students come together on college campuses nationwide. IUPUI is the latest chapter to join the community.

"We didn't know where to go because a lot of girls they come to campus, they can't find a hairstylist or they can't afford it at the time because college is expensive. So that's where I decided we need a Curly In College on this campus because women need to learn to embrace their natural beauty and learn how to celebrate it and love themselves," said President Arria Woolcock.

The ladies say this group has made their large campus feel small and gives them a way to personally connect.

"It's not often that you're running into people that have natural hair because we're a very small population so when you do it's easy to spot someone out in maybe a lecture who has natural hair as well and so it's easy to make new friends and find common ground on what your hair type is or what products you use," said Vice President Gabrielle Carpenter.

When Ashley started out on her natural hair journey, she had no idea her hair would make history.

"Curly In College is now the first and largest national network of college students celebrating natural hair on campus."