I met Ego during my most recent Aveda Masters photoshoot in Shenandoah, Texas. Her flair for life and her warmth immediately tipped me off that she was something special. I've invited her to share her story and our awesome photos from the shoot with you. Enjoy!
My name is Ego Slayer, but you can call me Ego. I am a Bay Area native but a proud Houstonian! I'm 21 plus shipping and handling which evens out to about 28 flat. I am a proud wife, mother, daughter, dreamer and student. I also have the honor and privilege of being a proud Veteran of the United States Navy! Hooyah! I knew at a young age that I was into hair and fashion and being creative and I am grateful that my parents supported my dreams and crazy hair colors! Growing up with all this sweet Hershey dark chocolate was no easy task. I always saw colors that I wanted to try whether it be hair or makeup and people often told me I was "too dark" to rock those colors. Like most young girls, I didn't like being told I couldn't do something. My mom saw my passion in me and my dedication to finding out a way to wear these colors and slay them. In 2005, she enrolled me in Barbizon Modeling school in San Francisco! It was the start of something amazing. I was able to be whoever I wanted to be on camera and on the runway and nobody could tell me no! My personality and ability to make anybody laugh made every experience that much more amazing and over the top! Although Slaying was always the dream, education came first. I graduated high school in the top 5%. A month later, enrolled in college. After completing college, I enrolled in the World's Finest United States Navy. Of course, my creative side was muted just a little bit in order for me to retain the respect I earned in my uniform. I counted down the days to when I got out, not because I hated the service, it was actually the best decision I ever made, but because I couldn't wait til I could get my hair long and multiple colored, my nails long and strong with all the rhinestones I could find and to get back to just being absolutely and unapologetically me!
In 2013, I became aware of some medical issues which resulted in me losing 80% of my hair, and not in a cute type of way, but in gross patches wherever they decided to be. I'm not going to lie, I was devastated. My hair is the crown I could never take off and now it was gone. I looked around at friends and family rocking their natural hair, slayed to the Gawds or even their sew in's with the edges personally laid by the HairGawds themselves and knew it would never be me. I used to wear wigs all the time and everywhere because I was so insecure about how I looked. I felt like no one thought I was a woman without hair. I was often overlooked for many things because I didn't have the look some were looking for because I had no hair and not even enough to add an extension to. For about three years I dealt with severe depression and even refusing to leave the house without some type of wig just because I didn't want to endure the pain or the looks or even answer the questions people had in relation to my condition and hair. In 2016, 11 years later, i decided it was time for me in to invest in myself and my dream and make it happen. I researched different brands and schools and hairstylist and reached out to some celebrity stylist that all agreed, Aveda was the way to go. On February 19, 2017, I sat down with Joelle at Aveda Institute in Shenandoah and made the decision to commit myself to my passion. I came in the door with confidence and a smile and introduced Ego to Aveda and allowed them to introduce themselves to me.
April 10, 2017 was the first day of class and the first day I got to meet the ladies I would embark on this journey with. BTW, My fellow Aveda Avengers give me life honey ! Even though I grew up doing hair, I didn't know how to service all types of hair. In going to Aveda, I was around beautiful hair all day, and none of it was mines. Boy that used to mess me up a little bit. Watching everyone get their hair done knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do to enjoy the moment. As I phased up, each teacher gave me a special boost of confidence. I used to wear wigs all the time in class and the one day I didn't, THEY ALL LOVED IT! THEY STILL LOVED ME! For absolute once in my life, I WAS NOT DEFINED BY MY HAIR OR THE LACK THEREOF! Yo! My teachers made me feel so good and they never even knew how much they changed my life. Eventually, my health started declining and I had to let the school know of the medication I was actually dealing with and why. Can you believe they still loved on me? They had my back. Over the holiday season, I lost some family members and it was hard especially after living through Hurricane Harvey. One of my Masters teachers, Mitchell Magic, told me before the holiday break that "he wanted me to be the Ego that came through those doors in April only bigger and better. Be me! Be the light I want to see! Don't hide because I feel I will be judged for being different, own that stuff! Everything I'd ever need to be success is inside of me." When we came back from break, Oh baby, I was reeaadddyyyy!
From January until I have had the honor in participating in various school events but I had the elite honor of being the Master's photo-shoot model for Savannah. Between Savannah and I, we came up with a Vampire beauty mistress. Everything you could want on the inside but not what you may prefer on the outside. During the shoot, my teacher, Toni mentioned I had the most beautiful curly little blonde hair under my wig. To hear somebody else refer to my hair as beautiful had me feeling all bubbly! I mean since she mentioned it, I had to show Bergette what she was talking about. Bergette let me know it was good to go, and I did it! I did what I used to be afraid to do ! I snatched my wig off and let the camera see my bald headed, curly, short, melanin beauty! I gave that camera all of me! I did it for the kids that laughed at me! The people that told me no! The folks that said black girls couldn't have blonde hair, and for the people in that building that love me when I'm just me! I left my struggle on that set and I gave life!
This look is a reminder that I am not my hair. I am some fine, sexy, hershey dark chocolate either way honey! This is a public declaration that I am here and I am HAPPY with who I am! This screams, " This does not define ME, it adds more FINE to me!"
What you see here, is what happens when Art, Extra, Passion and Pain collide ! And that joy you see, is the power of the Slay.
NamaSlay, Ego Slayer
This hair journey has been nothing short of amazing. As part of my journey, I endured hair loss due to medication. I used to wear wigs to cover my insecurities until I realized, I AM NOT MY HAIR! Now I celebrate myself whether I have hair or not. I’ve learned to love every flaw and beauty that I found in myself. I finally realized that my hair doesn’t define me, it just adds more fine in me !
Providing Cuts with Compliments and Color with class !
Slay every day. Nama-Slay. I learned that phrase from Ego, and I'm definitely adding it to my vocabulary.