Tanya Wright

“If I could get control over my hair, I could get control over my life!”

I found myself uttering these fateful words in August, 2010. Six years prior, in 2004, my young brother died. I had just come off a long string of appearances on popular TV shows – 24, NYPD Blue and completed shooting 18 episodes of a CBS show called The Handler. I had a house in the Hollywood Hills, a Mercedes in the driveway. Things were glorious! Then, the unthinkable happened my 25-year-old brother was killed.

My life came crashing down. My house? Gone. Car? I handed the keys back to the dealer. These outward signs of success seemed trivial and completely without meaning. I roamed the earth putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve always been very good at getting things done but felt completely empty inside. I didn’t work for four years after. I had a savings and got a few things here and there, but I was used to a steady stream of acting work. I was auditioning and auditioning, but nothing. Then, one day someone asked me a simple question.

“Do you want to work?”

I realized that I did and that just because my brother died didn’t mean I should stop living my life. I had a whole lot more to give, a lot to do! I started writing again - my first love before acting came and stole me away. I made a little independent film called Butterfly Rising that made the rounds on the Indie film circuit. I began rebuilding my life, this time a leaner and meaner version of the previous one. I had less stuff and I liked it that way - truth is, I always did. I began to take stock of my life and things started to get busy again. I got a role on a new HBO show called True Blood where I was cast as no-nonsense Deputy Kenya Jones. Things were feeling good, better, but there was still something amiss. I looked in the mirror and saw it, saw the thing that had been the bane of my existence for most of my existence, and it sat square atop my head - my hair.

“If I could get control over my hair, I could get control over my life!”

My hair is a gigantic mass of corkscrew curls. If left to its own devices, it could grow to chia-pet proportions. I tried everything I could to control it - hot combs, relaxers, braids, weaves. You name it, I did it. During this time, I realized my hair was teaching me so much about myself, so much about life. I learned patience and determination. I realized that shedding was a natural part of life, a process of letting go. By letting go of the need to control my hair, I was becoming more me. I was happier, freer, safer and more joyful - in ways that the external world, with its ever present changes, twists and turns, couldn’t touch. I recognized this joy as God. Yes, I found God in the most unlikely of places – I found God in my hair.

Tanya Wright BookI Found God in My Hair is a collection of essays I wrote over a year’s time. The Essays discuss things that my hair taught me and how I was able to apply these spiritual principles to my everyday life. I created a half real, half fictional character named Hairiette. She discovers how to live through her hair in the form of a web series. Next is a hair care line made of shea and olive oil inspired by the passage in the 23 psalm: ‘thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over’.

I Found God in My Hair is the first of the trilogy. It is the first part of what has become, for me, my ministry. I am committed to the mission of our company, “to help make the world a better place, one hair at a time...”

In the midst of it all, I realized that, as I relinquished control over what I thought my hair should look and be like, I gained control over my life. My curls are happy and the most expressive part of me and the best thing I could do for them, and for me, was to let them be. My hair has now become my greatest joy!

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