Tendai Morris: A Woman, The Business and The Journey Behind It All

46317740_265793804130841_21126974193795072_n.jpg

Tendai Morris, the creator of Healthy Hair Solutions and host of “Texture Talks”, was not always the hair guru her clients know her as today. Before she earned her title as “The Hair Whisperer,” she was the 12-year-old from Missouri who spent her summits at her father’s barber shop in the summer, sweeping hair. 

“After spending so much time at the shop, I didn’t want to do hair,” Morris said.

Her father, Leo Price, transformed a former Italian pizza joint in Jennings, Missouri into a barber shop. Past the glass door that welcomed customers were six brown and black leather chairs, stationed for Price and each of his children.

Price taught his children the tricks of the barber shop trade. When his children asked for allowance, he replied, “I’m not no money tree! Grab them clippers.”

Despite this upbringing, Morris had no desire to carry on her father’s legacy as a hair stylist.

Tawanda Tinsley, her older sister, convinced her to at least expand her skills at cosmetology school. 

Morris enrolled in the Beauty International school in Missouri, along with her sister. But she wasn't sure what she really wanted to do with her life. When it was her turn to style hair, she hid, not wanting to increase the amount of hair appointments she took.

Unsure of her place in the hair business, Morris took a job at U.S. Bank in 2009. Her new co-workers couldn’t help but notice how beautiful her natural hair was. 

At first, she resisted her co-workers’ requests for her to style their hair. But eventually, she began scheduling hair appointments around her 9-to-5 job.      

Morris realized that hair may be her true calling after all. She decided to take a leap. She quit her bank job and started her own business.

46296978_2468854209806610_5468084750444920832_n.jpg

In 2013, Morris launched Healthy Hair Solution. Her top priority is to educate consumers, clients and hair stylists. She also promotes healthy hair with her product, Whisper Whip Hydration.

One component of her business is Texture Talks, which are educational seminars hosted in various venues and via Facebook Live. She teaches clients and consumers more about hair through lectures, demonstrations and a Q&A with experts.

The Texture Talk is part of what Morris calls the “natural hair movement.” Morris said natural hair encourages women to be an authentic version of themselves, while straightening hair causes a sense of insecurity because they are disconnecting from who they really are. 

“Mimicking someone else’s natural beauty diminishes your own to the point that others and you believe it,” she said.

Morris' teachings are a culmination of what she learned in cosmetology school and the tricks she picked up from watching hair experts do tutorials on YouTube. 

Morris' focus is on helping women fall in love with their natural hair by learning how to properly care for it. This desire stemmed from a lifetime of trying to change her own hair to what she thought was socially acceptable.

As a teenager, Morris wanted to suppress her beautiful, natural curls into straight, relaxed hair, even though her father warned that the chemicals were damaging. 

Despite the harmful effects, Morris saw her textured hair as nappy and ugly. Like many young women, she conformed without asking many questions.

Then, when she was in her early twenties, she began to embrace her roots. Her collarbone length and chemically straightened hair was gradually replaced by tightly coiled curls. Initially, cutting her straightened hair was to try something new, but she realized that she had been forcing her hair to be straight to fake who she was.

“Texture tells where you came from and what makes up who you are,” Morris said.

Morris has what hair stylist, Andre Walker, refers to as Type Four hair, which means her curls are coiled and tight. 

“This is my life. This is who I am,” Morris said.