Debra Hare-Bey – Why We Need to Know Her

International I love Braids Day

Braids are beautiful. We at know this. African Americans know this, and the continent in which braids originated, Africa, know this. Braids aren’t just a style. They have meaning and importance. In Africa, braids tell your story of who you are, the tribe you belong to, and even your wealth. Braids are regal, royal, intricate, and full of creativity. They are created with love and skill. Braids are to be celebrated.

Debra Hare-Bey Salon Owner and Natural hairstylist
Debra Hare-Bey Salon Owner, Natural hairstylist and creator of International I love Braids Day.

Who Is She?

To say that Debra Hare-Bey is passionate about braids would be an understatement. She’s been braiding hair professionally for over 20 years. She, Debra, was the girl on her block who braided everybody’s hair on a stoop in Bed Stuy, New York where she grew up. For years she has been a much sought after celebrity stylist and the proud owner of the posh Debra Hare-Bey Private Parlour @ OMhh Beauty Oasis. At her salon, healthy hair care is implemented with a holistic approach, using natural and organic products from OMhh.

Debra used her passion for braids to create International I Love Braids Day. This year marked the third annual celebration which took place on July 27th and 29th. Why is International I Love Braids Day so important? Because as African Americans, we are the only culture where wearing our hair in its natural state or wearing our hair in various braided styles is demonized. Braids are looked down upon and considered too “ethnic” to have in certain professions. We hear the terms “unprofessional” and “ghetto” to describe and denigrate braids and braid wearers. Debra Hare-Bey begs to differ.

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Why Debra Hare-Bey is Needed And How We Can Help

In her own words, Debra said: “…braids are not only an opportunity to wear our hair in a style that represents us, but it’s also easy to care for, it makes us feel amazing and they look amazing.” Now more than ever, African American hair is being discriminated against and policed at alarming rates. That is why people like Debra Hare-Bey is needed. We need more people like her to speak up and speak out about the beauty of braids in all of its forms. We can only do this by first educating ourselves on our culture so we can have a deeper understanding and love for braids. Second, educate and teach others through events like International I Love Braids Day and What Naturals Love Hair Show.

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Braids by Debra Hare-Bey. Style: Nu-Loc Pixie

Where You Can See Her Work

Debra’s beautiful and unique braiding styles will be showcased in the upcoming 15th annual What Naturals Love Hair Show on August 17th in Brooklyn, New York. This event celebrates the salons, stylists, braiders, and naturalistas who spearheaded natural hair care well before natural hair became a movement. Get your tickets and support this event that celebrates natural hair and braids before they sell out, and be on the lookout for the beautiful creations of Debra Hare-Bey.

Braids by Debra Hare-Bey

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