The Founder: Megan Yasu Davis’ journey to beautiful began with acknowledging the ugly truths in her life. Enduring different kinds of abuse starting at a young age, did cast a shadow of fear and doubt in her spirit. Those experiences lead her to have low self esteem and a lack of confidence. She is no stranger to the highs and lows in the struggle with her body image. Every physical feature has experienced some type of rejection by others, but her walk toward self acceptance is ongoing. With the prayers and encouragement of women in her life along with her will to be the best mother she can be, she draws from her deep rooted faith to gain strength and courage to overcome the trenches of fear. Going natural in 1997 was the first step toward her personal liberty and the embracing of her nature-created uniqueness.
She studied cosmetology in both Louisiana and Ohio as well as the history of African hair and culture which all have lent themselves to the cultivation of a brand that has opened the dialogue of what beauty is and how natural hair is a part of it. This has established a strong community of women and their families who wear their natural hair unapologetically. She uses her education and experience to be an ambassador for cultural inclusion in the field of beauty, challenging laws and curriculum and striving for change. Her journey has taken her to places and connected her with people who have inspired her daughter organizations, The Ohio Natural Hair Health & Beauty Expo, The Toledo Afro Club, The Young Naturalistas an organic hair and body line as well as a network for small business owners and consumers. Yasu (her middle name) which means peace and sound in Japanese is the foundation of her passion and purpose.
Website: The Kitchen Salon was established in 2007 as resource for natural hair care. Its straightforward documentation of the natural hair journey has been widely used as a reference for people around the world. Before it was a website, “It’s Natural, A Gathering” was a series of meetings and workshops that were held in private homes and churches. These informative sessions were designed to educate others about the care and maintenance of natural hair. The materials provided for each workshop were written by Megan Yasu Davis, who later published her findings and experience on her website. Today, The Kitchen Salon remains a valuable resource for naturals to learn the basics of natural haircare, love their own hair and live their natural hair journey with confidence.
“Kitchen” refers to not only the place within a home or building where food is prepared, but it also refers to what African American Culture describes as the hair nearest the nape of the neck (aka “the kitchen” whereby the hair is often gathered together in small “balls”). Likewise, it has been the natural practice that people gather in the kitchen of the home to eat and talk about everything from children, to shopping, to beauty.
A “salon” is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation, in urban settings, among like-minded people.
Products: With one doctor’s appointment to her son’s pediatrician, life changed. Because of his severe eczema, the doctor said that store -bought lotions should not be used on his skin. Her husband had a tub of shea butter which he used as a skin moisturizer, but when it was applied to his skin, we saw the inflammation disappear. That was when the Herbal Balm was created. Over time, as TKS workshops continued throughout the community, it was the attendees who encouraged her to create her own full line of hair and body products. She has been making products for her clients since 2011 and they will soon be more widely available in retail stores and online.
Services: Yasu provides natural hair consultations with referrals to local stylists to suit individual needs. She also is a loctician who promotes healthy locs and offers installations, repairs, maintenance and styles in a private studio. Booking is by appointment only to ensure a peaceful client experience.
Community: The Kitchen Salon was established within the local community by hosting over 50 events including meetups, presentations and workshops for:
- The Toledo Lucas County Public Library
- The University of Toledo
- Bowling Green State University
- Lourdes University
- Pickett Academy
- Girls of Hope
- National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center (Wilberforce, OH)
- International Natural Hair Meetup Day
- Minority Health Month
- Women’s History Month
- Black History Month
- And others
Causes: The Kitchen Salon and its daughter organizations have supported and sponsored local and national events with donations of goods and/or services which include:
- The Family House Shelter
- The Bethany House
- Local Churches
- The Padua Center
- Kool Kids Rip the Runway
- National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Media: Megan’s editorials and images have been featured in The Toledo Blade, The Toledo Journal, The Sojourner Truth Newspaper, The Toledo City Paper, and had columns on Yahoo Contributors, Examiner.com. She also was featured on Dreadlocks.com, in the Curlkit, Essence.com Classycurlies.com, Curlynikki.com, Motowngirl.com, Tomoka’s Twists, Diy Keep it Kinky and others and her products and events have been reviewed on various youtube channels. Her column Fros, Fashions and Finds is published monthly in The Sojourner Truth Newspaper. She has appeared on WTOL Your Morning, Fox Toledo Your Day, WIMX The Urban Beat with Larry Whatley, and WXUT.
For more information or to book an appearance, speaking engagement or workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 419-984-0395