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Rear view portrait African American woman with long black braids

Source: Hero Images / Getty

Beauty and hair vlogger Alissa Ashley had Black Twitter in a frenzy today when word of her new hair style made it to the internet. Ashley shared that she had box braids done by celebrity hairstylist Dr. Kari Williams. For those who don’t know, Dr. Williams is a trichologist (a medical cosmetologist) who created the goddess locs we’ve seen on celebrities like Meagan Good, Brandy and more.

Basically, she studies hair and scalp from a scientific perspective. Ashley went to Dr. Williams for her to install her long, thin box braids and told the internet that she paid $550 for them…and $700 after tip.

Black girls around the country who’ve spent hours in chairs getting their edges snatched chimed in to question Ashley’s judgment. You can get braids just like these—or very close to them for less than $200 in some cases.

And when we learned that Ashley had to come wash and blow dried and paid for her own hair…whew chillay.

But to put some additional perspective on this, Ashley is a vlogger with 1.8 million subscribers. She’s likely got some money. And as a Black woman entrepreneur perhaps she wanted to support another woman in the movement. And given all the photos, video and Instagram stories dedicated to the braids, there may have been something in it for her as well. But either way, she is promoting a Black woman’s business. And those who can afford it, likely won’t be discouraged or dissuaded by the price point.

And when Ashley saw that she was trending for her financial decision, she responded, basically telling folks to mind their business.

And then to stunt on y’all, Ashley offered to pay $550 for another woman to get Dr. Williams’ braids.

In other words, she got it. And since she does, I can’t be mad at her for deciding to spend her money on a Black woman. With fashion and mainstream brands acting a fool every week, spending money with a Black woman who provides good work is an investment into the community.

We’re constantly talking about employing Black women and paying them what they’re worth but because $550 might be out of our price range or there are people on the street who can do it for less, folks will attempt to shame another woman. Ashley paying $550 for her braids doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Do what you can. And let Ashley rock.

Truth be told, we spend exorbitant amounts of money on products and services we think are worth it. And there’s nothing wrong with a Black woman thinking another Black woman is worth it.

Live, shop and beautify within your means and stop counting other people’s money.

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