After embarking on a natural hair journey that propelled her into the booming IG beauty industry, NYC-based blogger Aysha Sow is showing no signs of slowing down.
Her dedication to inspiring women to be confident in their own skin and hair is a breath of fresh air in a culture that pressures women to meet unrealistic standards.

SHEER: Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you're from.

AYSHA SOW: My name is Aysha Sow and I am 26 years old. I was born on the West coast of Africa and raised in the Netherlands and Belgium. I am currently a digital content creator based in NYC and I have been doing this full-time for the past 8 months.

SHEER: How did you get into digital content creation and begin developing your Instagram and YouTube channel?

AS: I started sharing my love for my natural hair on IG around 2016 and that's when I really got introduced to the natural hair community. It opened an entire new world to me and I was in awe of all the beauty I saw and the love there was for natural hair. That is how I really started sharing more of my hair journey and that led to me venturing out into other spectrums of digital content creation such as YouTube.

SHEER: How do you navigate the beauty and fashion world as a woman of color?

AS: I try to stay as focused as I can, simply by being myself and not forgetting why I started this in the first place. It’s easy to lose sight once you are deep into it and then you start doing it for the wrong reasons.

As you guys know it is still Mental health awareness month and I want to thank @thisfellow for tagging me, as I am joining a couple of other people on sharing my personal journey and thoughts on mental health awareness. Growing up, as a young black African girl mental health is not something often (or not at all) discussed at home. Any level of pain, hurt, illness or discomfort that goes deeper than the surface, is not something that is talked about. But simply prayed on, prayed away, prayed upon or just wiped under the rug. You are often left to deal with it on your own, which can be very hard if you are still young and trying to navigate through life. Therapy? That's a taboo, black people don't go to therapy. Or at least that's what we've been told all our lives.. I've dealt with my own fair share of personal issues that have led to panic attacks, very bad anxiety and maybe even depression? All these things made me question the state of my mental health, and because I was always dealing with it alone, it made me feel even more lonelier than ever. I think about how many people's lives could be changed for the better if we open up the discussion of Mental Health Awareness, especially in households or cultures where this is still a taboo til this day. So many people suffer in silence because they are too afraid to open up about it, they are made to feel ashamed for dealing with this, or they feel like no one cares what they are going through, and that shouldn't be this way. I think a way we can start making others feel comfortable in opening up is also by starting to ask questions. Questions that go a little deeper than "how's it going girl" but instead "how is your mind and heart doing today?" It may sound like a weird thing to ask, but you'd be surprised at how people will react when you ask them this. Passing it off to you @themarissacallahan. #LoopforGood #Mentalhealthawareness

SHEER: What are your favorite places to shop for makeup and skincare products? And what are your favorite makeup and skincare brands?

AS: I don't really shop for makeup and skincare anymore because I get sent so many PR packages with beauty and skincare products. I am already overwhelmed with the amount of products I receive, so I try not to go out and spend more money on it. I really love LA MER (I have one of their products and it is like liquid gold for my skin), and for more affordable skincare, I love going for my TULA products! When it comes to makeup I am a huge Bobbi Brown fan. Everything they put out is amazing and I feel like they have amazing products and color ranges for black girls.

SHEER: Are there specific hair products for 3C/4A hair you swear by? What products do you prefer to use in your hair for summer months vs. winter months?

AS: Actually at the moment, I am on a hiatus with my natural hair. It hasn't been feeling the same as before and I’ve decided to take a break from styling my hair by wrapping it in a headwrap or putting it in a bun. I am trying to get back to loving styling my natural hair. I noticed that products that used to work well on my hair back then don't work as well now. Also our hair changes a lot so you will have to switch routines pretty frequently.

SHEER: Are there any beauty and wellness trends you’re excited to try this year or put your own spin on?

AS: You won't believe this, but I still haven't tried out the colorful eyeliner trend yet. I’m usually not one to follow trends, but this is one that I really want to try out, because I just LOVE how it looks on everyone, especially black skin.

SHEER: How did the "WOC" visual campaign come about?

AS: This idea came to me when I was up at night and couldn't sleep. I was kind of frustrated by how the beauty and fashion industries often seclude us black women from campaigns and projects. There is always one token black girl and that is it. I wanted to showcase a group of women who were all black but different shades, and different shapes, and different backgrounds, etc. I wanted to show how versatile we are and how beautiful we are even though we are so different yet share so much in common. I asked my friend Micaela to be a part of it and she helped creative coordinate the project with me! It came out amazing and it was my first time bringing a personal project to life and I felt very inspired afterwards. I definitely want to do more personal projects in the near future.

SHEER: In what ways do you believe the beauty industry can work more effectively towards being diverse and inclusive?

AS: HIRE MORE BLACK ARTISTS, MORE BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS, MORE BLACK MODELS, MORE BLACK DIRECTORS, MORE BLACK PRODUCERS, MORE BLACK WRITERS. HIRE MORE BLACK ARTISTS PERIOD. If you want more diversity and inclusivity, they need to start hiring more black people who work ON their teams. I'm talking the people that make the decisions, the people that sit at the tables discussing how projects and campaigns come to life.

Check out some more of Aysha’s work below.



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