A bride who embraced her gray hair on her wedding day is feeling the love far beyond her nuptials in Coral Gables, Florida.
A clip showing Kadeja Jackson Baker’s makeup transformation for her June wedding has amassed more than 1.4 million views on TikTok, with hundreds of comments complimenting the bride’s look. “I love my bride’s natural, gray hair,” says the voiceover in the video posted by Tia Codrington, Baker’s makeup artist. “She’s had it since she was 16.”
The 38-year-old bride told TODAY that she has been surprised by the positive comments on social media, especially since it has taken many years for Baker to appreciate her own hair after beginning to go gray as a teenager. “They’re saying I’m embracing myself, but I would tell them, ‘Thank you for taking that on and seeing it that away and allowing it to inspire them. Thank you for embracing me,’” she said by phone.
“I’m gonna embrace my grey hair, I think it would look fireee with my curls,” one TikTok user wrote in response to the clip of Baker.
Another added: “I was 15 when I started to get my grey hair. Hated it but love it now.”
On Instagram, Codrington shared a longer montage that documented Baker’s special day at the Hotel Colonnade near Miami. The video captured the bride getting her makeup done, celebrating at her bridal shower and getting her first look with the groom, Derrick Baker, 39.
The comment section was flooded once again with compliments to the bride, with one user writing, “I’m on her page getting some hair inspo for my white streaks.”
Baker worked with bridal hair specialist Martine Saintval on a timeless look for her wedding day. “I wanted something that wouldn’t go out of style and would go with my look, like a nice, clean, glamorous look, and to just elevate my everyday style," Baker said.
When putting together the bride’s makeup look, Codrington told TODAY that she deliberately selected shades that would not only suit Baker’s wedding aesthetic, but ones that would compliment her gray hair, too. She explained that a nude lip would have muted her hair, opting for a soft mauve tone instead for the lips and eyes that enhanced the bride's features.
Baker, who wasn’t a big social media person before, said she’s been getting a lot of messages from people asking her for advice or calling her an inspiration. “Now they’ll move forward embracing this about themselves," she said.
Jarvis Lawhorn, Baker's wedding planner, said that right off the bat, he was "in awe" of his client's hair.
“This has all taken us quite by surprise, but I think it’s more of women empowerment to be comfortable in your own skin," he told TODAY by phone. "We all have things that we don’t like about ourselves, but it’s just been so amazing to see how she has conquered the world and showed what beauty can be within yourself and to be comfortable in it.”
Codrington believes Baker's hair is a part of who she is. "It’s her identifying piece and she just wears it so eloquently," she said. "It was her look, her thing, so I just felt like it’s good to see other people being inspired by our hair and maybe it could be someone else’s story one day.”
She also sees it as more than just beauty or hair, adding: “We’re all about appearances these days, even more so now, but it’s just a piece of being authentic that I just really hope that people embrace and see that your authenticity can be beautiful, too.”
Baker added, "Everybody should embrace themselves, love themselves, because everybody has something special to offer."