Breaking the Stereotype of #hairgoals

Hi! My name is Shayla Jay and you may or may not know me from @sass.and.braids on instagram. I’m a 19 year old freelance hairstylist who specialises in braids and up styles. Big thanks to Jordan & Clarice for giving me the opportunity to write a guest blog post for you guys!

As you know there is a hashtag or saying we hear so often while scrolling through our social media …. “HAIR GOALS!” Now think of what comes to mind?…. Long, generally blonde, tousled waves that fall effortlessly down to the lower back and look just as gorgeous thrown up in a messy bun.  Yep, you all know the hair I’m talking about! It can be seen in messy bohemian posts, tropical beach shoots, romantic wedding up styles and of course the out and natural ‘girl next door’ photos! The blonde shows up the braid detail perfectly, the highlights or bleach gives it texture and the length brings endless style ideas! As a stylist, it is dream hair to play with!  So for many reasons, it has earned it’s hashtag #hairgoals!

Now, for those of us who were not born with this hair, we have tried to grow, thicken, straighten, curl and lighten. We have taken hair vitamins, used hair extensions and even played around with wigs. All to give us a taste of this dream hair! I run an Instagram account full of braid content I do on myself and when I can achieve anything that helps with the look of longer, fuller hair I’m all over it. If I can create and achieve anything that falls under the #hairgoals, my posts go crazy, get shared by other accounts and my followers instantly increase. My most successful post was a five second crown twist I did on myself. It went viral for the overall look of the photo that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve without my extensions.

So, a few months ago in my own world outside of hair accounts and achieving #hairgoals, I decided to give my own hair the big chop! I have always kept it longer to braid on although it is fine, thin and always ends up looking stringy. Wow!! It was the best thing I have ever done!! The short edgy cut instantly gave my hair the illusion of fullness, body and bounce.  I was even stopped in the street by people commenting on how much they loved my hair! I felt like a new person in confidence and finally loving my OWN hair!

Now… back to the harsh magnifying glass of social media…. remembering I run an instagram account full of braids on myself, I got a lot of negative comments towards my action. There were a few stereotypical comments about losing my “long blonde #goals hair”. However, the most disturbing are the comments that I no longer look as “pretty”. Keep in mind my hair they were all admiring was fake. A scary new reality that doesn’t seem to matter as long as it falls under what we label as #goals.

Trends and #goals are here to stay! They might change with the era and come and go with celebrity influences but don’t forget to have your OWN #goals for yourself! I’m loving my new found confidence and have been able to help involve those with shorter hair to know they can also achieve some fun braids too!


Veerle Clarice

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