Healing Through The Hair
Isis Brantley discovered her bliss – as an “ancestral” natural hair stylist and cultural artist – while still a teen. Opening a little hair braiding shop in “sunny South Dallas,” she went on to become one of the leading international authorities in natural hair care for peoples of the African diaspora.
She is a sought-after speaker for hair shows, cultural events, talk shows, podcasts, campuses, and church groups, on topics of natural hair care and natural hair in the workplace. Her work has graced the covers of Essence and other international magazines; she has appeared as a guest speaker and lecturers at campuses around the nation, such as The University of Texas at Austin, Sewanee College in Tennessee, Chatham University in Pittsburg, and NYU.
Isis has over the years touched thousands of heads, healing many through both proper hair care education and training, as well as through her spiritual guidance, and by openly sharing her knowledge of healthy eating and wellness. However, in 1997 her temple of hair love was shattered when her salon was entered by seven cops, who proceeded to inform her she was under arrest for the crime of braiding hair! Cuffed, and stuffed in the back of a police car, she was carted off like a common criminal, stripped and searched, and tossed behind bars, for the “high crime” of braiding without a State license. She is the only braider in the United States to ever be jailed for practicing the tradition of braiding hair, the legacy of our African Ancestors.
In 2020 her main focus is on natural hair in the workplace – a birthright, and providing education to foster, adoptive and step-parents of noncolor having children of color, on how to properly care for their child’s hair.
This latter effort is sorely needed to raise the self-love and self-confidence of these children who are often bullied in school. Her message of economic liberty also resonates with any group that believes in financial independence. Her charismatic beauty and gift of speaking from the heart, eloquently and truthfully, touches all in any audience
She has appeared in workshops at the Philly Locks Conference, Taliah Waajid’s World Natural Hair Show and Nappywood, and has collaborated with other famous natural hair stylists such as Hiddikel Burks of Chicago and Anu Prestonia of NYC. She has been repeatedly honored and recognized for her work in her home town, and elsewhere, such as being the guest speaker for Black Excellence Awards & Gala, Houston.
Over the decades since she first became an enterprising braider, she maintained her Institute of Ancestral Braiding where it would make the greatest impact, in “tha hood”. Her salon Institute became a beacon of hope, positivity, and a repository of cultural and spiritual ancestral knowledge, readily accessible to customers and to hundreds of young women, and men, who sensed there was more to life than trying to live day-to-day on handouts.
Isis has helped women struggling with drug abuse, financial duress, and mental health challenges; and her magnetic personality continues to attract educated and culturally conscious “melanated” folk who seek a touchstone in the community, such as her friend, performing artist, Erykah Badu.
The Isis Project (T.I.P)
The purpose of The Isis Project (TIP) is to promote community development, through charitable fund raisers, special events, and educational training.The mission of TIP: To help in the development of small businesses in low income and historically impoverished urban areas; to provide assistance to the community in various capacities