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How was I the saddest of my life on the happiest day of my life? And how did that revolve around my hair? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Dr. Zakiya Antoine family medicine physician and the natural hair doctor. I help transform women’s lives by encouraging them to grow their own healthy, natural hair! Can I share my story with you?
Like most physicians, I have excelled academically all my life. I was introduced to medicine when I was only 8 years old through my experiences in the Girl Scouts of USA. From the moment I decided to become a doctor, I became determined to put forth the extra effort required to get me ahead in life. I made straight As and won every award that a young girl could win in elementary school. This continued on throughout high school where I finished as an honor graduate in the TOP of my class with a FULL scholarship to Xavier University of Louisiana to become a pre-med major. After again graduating with distinction from college, I continued my education at Tulane University where I obtained my masters of public health degree before continuing on to Ohio University to complete my doctorate in osteopathic medicine. During my first 2 years of medical school… I again excelled academically. I was at the top of my class throughout my classroom years in medical school.
My story sounds pretty awesome up to this point, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to have an educational foundation that sets you on the path to what most assume will be a successful career and happy life??? BUT…. I was hiding a very painful secret deep inside of me.
When it was time for me to graduate medical school, I was not happy. Not because I was failing, not because I couldn’t rise to meet the demands of the busy schedule for a 4th-year medical student. I was stretched to the limit in my personal life due to the malignant practices at the hospital where I trained. There were preceptors who lied about my performance on my medical rotations and gossiped about me like teenagers instead of the professionals they were supposed to be. I had grown close to only a few medical students in my class that I considered family because my family was in Louisiana. One of these friends who I had confided in for four years chose this time to act like I was aggressively stalking him to make himself look better to a girl he was dating at the time. I felt betrayed because he had also developed other toxic behavior towards me. I became withdrawn and neglected myself. When I finally went home to prepare for graduation, I realized that I had dropped 30 lbs unintentionally and much of my hair was thinning and falling out. I was SO devastated that I did not even want to attend my own medical school graduation.
Because of this painful experience… I have created a beauty brand that can help women transform their self-image, enhance their natural beauty, and have more self-confidence. My brand has already launched my signature hair care line, Strandtastic, which includes hair products that help women have longer, healthier hair one strand at a time. When women feel their outward appearance is at is best, then they feel better about themselves and create more opportunities for themselves. I just want all my #Curlfriends to live their best lives!
As you can see, it was about more than hair. Our hair is tied to our emotions – happy, sad or indifferent. Whether long or short, curly or straight, our hair tells a story of who we are and where we are on life’s journey.
Dr. Zakiya is a board-certified family medicine physician and is a nationally recognized author, speaker, health and wellness expert, and beauty brand CEO.
She transforms women’s lives by encouraging them to grow their own healthy natural hair.