For this month’s “Behind The YouTube Vlogger” feature, I’m beyond excited to bring to you guys Ms. Brittany. Brittany who goes by Kyss on YouTube; is the extremely creative vlogger behind KyssMyHair. If you’re looking for a fierce updo, Brittany is your go to girl. She’s also very down to earth, relatable, humorous and beautiful, inside-out.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Brittany and I was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. I went to college in MN and since I’ve graduated this year, I’ve moved back home to the Bahamas.
What or who inspired you to start a YouTube Channel?
Honestly, YouTube was an experiment for me. I, along with three other Bahamian ladies at my college, started a natural hair blog that was supposed to cater to the natural hair community in The Bahamas. That didn’t work out too well, mainly because none of us were in Nassau at the time.
Around the time the blog started, I began to post pictures of my natural hair onto BGLHgallery and I got a lot of views for my pictures, so I thought I’d start a YouTube channel to complement the blog.
In retrospect, I don’t know what made me think I could do YouTube. I literally learned how to do natural hair as I made videos. I came in with no experience. Ultimately, instead of focusing on The Bahamas, I just started documenting my hair journey and the rest is history.
Describe your Channel?
One of the reasons I never wanted to be natural when I was a little girl and a teenager is because I felt that there weren’t many things you could do with natural hair. I thought it was either cornrows or a puff because it was all I was exposed to. YouTube and the Internet in general, opened my eyes to the dynamics of natural hair and all its capabilities. I seek to push the boundaries of natural hair on my channel and prove to women that you can be natural and be fierce at the same time.
For the most part, Kyss My Hair is a natural hair channel mainly because I have natural hair. One of the disadvantages of being natural on YouTube is that people expect you to only wear your natural hair because of whatever reason. I’ve seen a lot of natural hair gurus get a lot of flack for wearing wigs and weaves. On the flip side, many African American/Black gurus are natural underneath their wigs and weaves. Because the demand for great natural hairstyles is so great and because I believe I have talent in that area, I made the decision early on to stick to natural hair videos. I may upload a wig that I believe natural haired women may find appealing, but that’s about it.
How long have you been on YouTube?
I’ve been on YouTube for a year and a few months now.
What camera and software editing tools do you use?
Where do you get inspiration for your videos?
I get inspiration from the internet. My computer desktop is completely covered with pictures of hairstyles. I love to be inspired so when I see a photo of a hairstyle I like, whether it be on BGLH, Pinterest, Facebook, or Tumblr, I save it there. I look at them day in and day out and when I get a jones in my bones to record, I pick one and I either try to replicate it or switch it up to fit my style. I also find inspiration from hairstyles on straight hair. I love the challenge of doing something on natural hair that people think can only work on straight hair.
I’m also very inspired by natural hair celebrities such as Teyonah Parris and Janelle Monae. I also love Solange Knowles, but mainly because of her style. Her hair looks great, but in terms of styling, she keeps it simple. I’m even more inspired by hairstylists. I love Felicia Leatherwood, Darico Jackson, Tamika Fletcher, and Camille Reed. They make natural hair fabulous.
What is the most frustrating thing about being a YouTube Vlogger?
The most frustrating thing to me is finding the time to record. I started my channel the summer before my senior year of undergrad and I didn’t really know what I was doing so I didn’t upload much. However, when I discovered my place on YouTube (circa October 2012) and wanted to upload more I found that I really didn’t have time to. I would record on Saturdays and edit the following Saturday. I had too much work to do to dedicate to YouTube during the week and school came first. Now that I’m home, there are more important (and slightly stressful) things to worry about like the future. Graduating will do that to you lol. This made me a little less motivated to make videos. (Editing is a pain but I always love the final product). Not mention moving kind of set me back because I had to figure out spacing and lighting in a brand new place.
Anyway, I’m rambling. Now that things are looking up I found myself more inspired to make videos. I’m starting school again soon so the plan is to set aside two days a month for filming and film about four videos. Then, set aside another two nights to edit. This is the only way I’ll get anything done.
What is the best thing about being a YouTube Vlogger?
The best thing about being a YouTube vlogger is I have the ability to affect someone’s life by standing in front of a camera in my bathroom and fixing my hair. It’s astounding to me. I’ve had friends who are straight hair fiends tell me that they’re thinking about going natural because of me. To me, that’s big.
Have you met any of your viewers in real life?
Yes! Many of my Facebook friends already know I make videos so if I see them out they may make reference to them. Nassau is really small so I’m bound to run into one of my friends from high school who knows I make videos. I however, just a few weeks ago, a young lady and I were waiting for a group job interview. I asked her a question and after she answered she said, “You make YouTube videos right?” She said she watched my DIY pencil skirt tutorial video (on my fashion channel). Coincidentally, I wore the skirt I made to the interview.
After we were done, I asked her to walk over to the MAC store with me. I bought a lipstick and I ended up buying her one too. I was thinking of announcing that if any of my followers who live in The Bahamas see me in a makeup/beauty store and come up to me, I’ll buy them something. One person per store though lol. I like to bless people because I’ve never needed for anything in my life.
Please mention one video that you have made that is your favorite, and why?
This is tough because I rarely watch my videos after I upload them. I hate the sound of my voice and I’m still conscious about them. I still say to myself, “Oh I should’ve edited that out or why did I say that?” However, if I have to choose, I pick my “Muffin Top” tutorial because I like over the top hairstyles.
How long have you been Natural? Describe your Hair Journey.
Just like YouTube was an experiment for me, so was returning natural. I mulled over returning natural from December 2009. I had my last relaxer in April 2010 and I big chopped that May.
I didn’t go natural because I am anti-perm. I went natural for three reasons:
(1) I thought natural hair was beautiful. I came across some YouTube videos and thought, “hey her hair kinda looks like what my natural hair looks like…but it’s gorgeous!” I thought natural hair like mine was ugly before December 2009 (sad face).
(2) I was generally unhappy with the length of my hair. I thought I should have retained more length so I thought I’d go natural and if it doesn’t work, I don’t think they’re going to stop making relaxers any time soon.
(3) I didn’t like the fact that I thought my natural hair was ugly. I am not my hair, but hating something that naturally grows out of my body to the point that I want to permanently alter it to look like somebody else is a problem for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all women who relax their hair hate their hair, but I certainly did. The journey was ROUGH starting out, but it got better with time.
What Is Your Hair Regimen and Favorite Products?
I wash every two weeks and I deep condition every time I wash. The only products that are constant in my regimen are water and castor oil (for sealing and to oil my scalp). I’m not committed to anything else because you know how sometimes a guy may be doing everything in the world to get you to fall and then once you fall, they pull away. Well, that’s how some products are for me so I don’t stress out. In terms of shampoo, anything that doesn’t have sulphates in it is fine with me.
Here are some products I like:
Conditioners: (I call these the triad lol)
Organix Coconut Conditioner (thick with proteins)
Aussie Moist Conditioner (awesome slip!)
Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (also has awesome slip, but not as much as Aussie Moist. I think it’s more nourishing though.)
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner (some times I mix this with aloe vera gel. It’s kind of thin.)
Deep Conditioners: I like to mix these up depending on what my hair needs.
Egg (for protein/strength)
Honey (for moisture)
Mayonnaise (for shine and moisture)
Olive oil (for moisture)
Hot oil Treatment (for shine and to help minimize frizz)
Castor oil (to seal in moisture)
What is your favorite Natural Hair Style?
I like anything that’s pinned up and out of my face. I’m not a fan of twist outs on myself. I like retro inspired, 1940s-60s hairstyles and anything that looks like I’m doing the most. The phrase less is more does not apply to me. More is more even though less is sometimes better. lol
What is the best thing about being Natural?
I can do pretty much anything with my hair. Natural hair is the most versatile type of hair. I’m proud to say I’m natural.
What is the most frustrating thing about being Natural?
Natural hair is not easy to take care of (when you haven’t been natural for a long time). I don’t want to be misunderstood because this is a touchy subject. On one hand people say natural hair is easy to take care of when you’re not trying to do too much, but then I get people that constantly ask me how to combat dryness etc. and things are not coming easily to them.
Truthfully speaking, straight hair is easier to maintain. Somebody might respond to that saying, “It’s only easier to maintain because that’s what you were used to before you went natural.” While this is true for many women, it’s also not true for many other women. Twist outs and braid outs can take a long time and for busy mothers/professionals/
students, it’s taxing. Then it goes back to “Oh you’re doing to much.” Call me crazy, but I like versatility. I don’t want to wear a ponytail everyday. To sum it up, natural hair takes patience and dedication.
What advice do you have to those who are newly natural or are considering going natural?
Like I said, If you are newly natural, it’s important to exercise patience. If you’ve been relaxed for a long time and can’t remember what your natural hair was like, you have to take time to get to know it and understand it’s mannerisms. Watch lots of YouTube videos and surround yourself with natural hair things. Don’t mind negativity from friends and family members. It’s your decision. Try out products, and develop a regimen that isn’t based on products, but time management because your hair will change. Wear weaves and wigs until you are comfortable wearing your hair out, but don’t give up.
List 9 random things that your viewers may not know about you.
- I have never seen The Lion King (I know. I know.)
- I don’t know how to ride a bike.
- I don’t drink from the bottom of cups. I think there are particles down there. lol
- I pulled the iron down on myself when I was a toddler and I have a big scar on my left wrist as a reminder.
- I can’t stand orange juice.
- I have the attention span of a no. 2 pencil.
- I went to Costa Rica on a dental volunteer trip my sophomore year of college.
- I don’t have trichotillomania, which is the uncontrollable desire to pull hairs out of your head, but I do pull my edges when I’m stressed out. Sometimes my hair comes out, but it really isn’t my intention.
- I LOVE Beyonce.
Who are some of the other YouTube Vloggers that you enjoy watching?
African Export is the reason I went natural. She introduced me to crotchet braids. Prettydimples01, Taren Guy, Black Onyx, Xgoldn, simplyounique and Kimmaytube also inspired me early on. I enjoy watching Zarah Charm (she’s a hairstylist in Baltimore, Maryland). I also love Fusion of Cultures, MsVaughnTV, Naturally GG, Iknowlee, donedo05, My Natural Sistas, CharyJay, Naturally Curious, and naptural85. I know I’m forgetting some others, but every week I discover someone who I didn’t know was on YouTube. I love finding great new channels!
What is your advice to those just starting out or thinking about starting out on YouTube?
If you’re doing this for money or to be YouTube famous, your chances of failing are high. You’ll realize that a lot of time and dedication is required to be successful on YouTube. Vlog because you love whatever it is you’re vlogging about. Most of the famous YouTube gurus started their channel experimenting because they had something to share, something that would make someone’s life easier. Do your research, know what your purpose is, and do not stray from it.
Invest in a decent camera (it doesn’t have to be an expensive dslr), a lamp (with white fluorescent light), and a good editing software (the one’s that come with windows and macs are fine). Edit your videos. It does not have to be fancy at all, but people like to see clear, edited videos. Make your videos short, about 5 minutes give or take depending on what type of video your doing. One minute in internet time is like 5 minutes because people have short attention spans and have lots of other things to do. When I realized that people were only watching on average 3 minutes of my videos, no matter how long they were, I decreased the length.
If you want to get more exposure on the internet, you have to be active. The internet is very fickle. If you look at my channel, you’ll notice that a few of my videos have a lot of view and some have way less. It’s mainly because people shared them. Send photos of hairstyles etc. to blogs and tumblr. It will help a lot.
Lastly, do not compare yourself to others. One of the mistake I found myself making when I first started making videos is comparing my day 1 to somebody else’s day 365. Start where you’re at and move up. Making videos takes practice. Don’t expect anything to happen overnight (unless you get a major shout out from someone who’s popular lol). YouTube is supposed to be a community. Watch other people’s videos and comment if you like them. Be inspired and inspire others.
What would you like to tell your viewers?
Thanks for watching my videos and sharing them with your friends! I’m forever indebted to bloggers because I owe a lot of my views to them sharing my videos with their followers. I’m really humbled. Oh, and comment more! I won’t bite.
Where else can we find you on the web?
My blog: kyssmyhair
YouTube Hair Channel: KinkyIslandGirl
YouTube Beauty Channel: MsBrittanyBass