This post is overdue by several months, but I just learned of the death of natural hair vlogger Domineque Banks while doing research online for a hair health news story. Banks was well-known in the natural hair community and a pioneer who began posting videos showing her hair journey that blew up in popularity on YouTube and was followed by a host of folks interested in this topic.

As I read the news, I learned that Banks died of complication due to lupus. It was the first time that I’d heard of her illness. Interestingly, lupus is an illness that causes hair loss, but Banks was noted for her long, lush locks that she grew as part of a personal challenge to show African-American hair can grow long, healthy and strong.

I loved watching each and every one of her videos because besides the information and tips they offered, these tutorials inspired me to begin my own hair growth journey. Whenever I’d have setbacks, I could always turn to YouTube to find one of Banks’s videos to renew my motivation, and learn more information about natural hair maintenance, upkeep and styling.

According to the news stories I read about Banks, she was just 27 years old when she died. But she had accomplished quite a lot in these few short years. When I think about Banks, I also think about how YouTube helped to shape and connect this hair community with its videos.

Amazingly to me, not so many years ago, I’d never have thought to see so many videos with women sharing their hair care secrets with each other. Through the years, I’ve witnessed many incidents where women haven’t shown this kind of willingness to come together as a community and show so much care and concern toward each other.

Instead of sarcastic comments and snide remarks aimed at each other, the hair communities have, for the most part, been peopled by members who have been very supportive of each other. I, for one, simply love it.

Domineque Banks is just one of many personalities who I’ve followed through the years. Naturally, she will be missed by many, who, like me, feel they came to know her from afar.

Below, I’ve embedded a couple of my most favorite videos that she’s ever posted. If you don’t know Banks, please click on either one or the other of these videos. If you have time, watch them both. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.

RIP, Domineque. You’ll be missed.