By Sheila Ferguson

The Cleveland Observer recently interviewed licensed cosmetologist, author, and newly-minted filmmaker Ladosha Wright, who is the proprietor of the Reverence Design Team Hair Salon in Cleveland Heights.

We caught up at the salon to talk about the serious buzz surrounding the November 11, 2022 release of her upcoming 30-minute film short titled The Narrative. The film will be available on YouTube.  

Many in Northeast Ohio already know her as the author of Curly Hair Adventures, as well as What They Don’t Tell You at The Hair Salon, and The Beauty and Barber Survival Plan. She is also a YouTube hair care instructor with 11,000 viewers and growing.

Author, Ladosha Wright

For those just getting familiar with Ladosha Wright’s work, she is a lifelong Clevelander and product of the Cleveland Public Schools, Cuyahoga Community College, and Fairview Beauty Academy. She humbly defines herself as “a proud Mom, sister, and friend, hardworking sister entrepreneur, and hair activist and scholar. Yet I am an ‘identity politics educator’,” says Wright. Ladosha uses the term “identity politics” to highlight her life’s commitment to uplifting the self-esteem and positive regard of the worldwide African community.

Ladosha’s career profile is the platform for movie-making. It reads like both an adventure story and a Who’s Who of talented Americans. Wright’s whirlwind story spans the worlds of everyday community life, the work-a-day life of a hair stylist, testimony at the Ohio State House Capital, and travels across the continental United States to Gambia and Senegal, and back. As a professional, her career certifications include:  

  • Social Services Case Worker.
  • Licensed cosmetologist.
  • Continuing education instructor to licensed hair care professionals.
  • State of Ohio cosmetology educational and licensing policy activist, (2012- present).
  • Product innovator of Wright Hair Products and the Wright Polish.
  • Global cosmetology education and occupational development coordinator for Senegambia in Gambia and Senegal.
  • Literacy philanthropist supporting the Wright Library of the Gaye Njorro Skills Academy of Banjul, Gambia.
  • Consultant to RevAir, the creators of the world’s first reverse hair dryer.
  • Collaborator with the Kent State University Museum’s Textures Exhibit.
  • Recipient of the Ubuntu Hair Love Project Award from The Cleveland Foundation’s Neighborhood Connections grant, to address issues of hair discrimination.

Ladosha says all of her life experiences are “the blessings and the building blocks for [her] creativity.” Yet she credits her early work in community outreach as the real driver for it all. She recalls, “Back then, I recognized that if I could help my clients look and feel better about themselves it was healing and forever life-changing. Because of that, I set out to debunk all of the hate-filled myths and stereotypes about Afro Hair that has held us hostage for centuries. My purpose is to strike down all of the falsehoods that have harmed and separated us from ourselves.”

Wright says that the use of such terms as nappy, kinky, ugly, or hard to manage hurt self-esteem. These statements are not truthful, as the real beauty and variety of Black hair derive from what is called the “Mother Textures.”   

Foremost, she says, “The Narrative is a natural extension of my written works and creative entrepreneurial pursuits. Film-making was just the logical medium for getting the knowledge out on a large scale to people across the globe.”

Wright describes The Narrative as a classic documentary-style digital story. As its screenwriter, producer, and director, she dares to tell “the true story of Black hair.” In The Narrative, Wright blasts all of the myths, stereotypes, and disinformation that have vilified Black hair across the ages. True to the documentary form Wright surveys the field and shines a light on the beauty of black hair via the lens of Black Hair icons and innovators like Annie Turnbo-Malone, Dr. Willie Morrow Jr., Olive Benson, and Barry Fletcher. The Narrative is further enriched by commentary from Dr. Cheryl Morrow, Renee Gadar, Fatou Saine Gaye, Kevin “Chill” Heard, Robyn Hill, Brenda “Miss B” Haddon, Cassandra Houston, Bobby “Bushbay” Jackson, Dr. Edgar B. Jackson, Kofi Piesie, the Hon. Shirley Smith, The RevAir Family, Bessie Taper, Victoria Webster, Ankh Wesr, Kendra Weems, Ivan Williams, and Waverly Willis.

Finally, this is a pioneering effort, which elevates the issue of Black hair and Black hair care. The work is epic, factual, and analytical with a twist of introspection and its vindication of Afro hair and its elegant “mother textures.”

Of this work, Ladosha closes by saying, “I’m excited. I’m nestling into the artist’s journey. We as an African American industry and people as a whole have to go within, ask and answer ourselves individually for the collective….exactly what are we doing?” 

Be sure to pull up The Narrative on YouTube on Sunday, November 11, 2022. This writer gives it two thumbs up!