All Articles Tagged "African American hair"

4 Ways To Pamper Yourself On A Budget

July 4th, 2016 - By Alyssa Rachelle
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At the end of a stressful, eventful workday, the last thing on your mind is you. As women, we normally put ourselves last and unbeknownst to us, create excuses as to why we can’t get things done for ourselves. But if limited time and finances are reasons you think that you can’t indulge, here are simple ways to pamper yourself without breaking the bank.

Give yourself a manicure and pedicure

With the amount of resources available, there is no reason your nails can’t look chic at all times. To achieve the same look as you would in a salon, you just need a few items: nail polish remover, clippers, a nail file, and of course, nail polish (don’t forget a top coat!). The trick to a good application? One stroke down the middle of your nail bed, and one down the right and left side. And don’t forget about your feet. Use a natural scrub and oil to create smooth, soft skin before applying your colorful polish.

Become a yogi

Yoga is not just for hippies. Not only is it a great way to stay limber, but yoga can also help strengthen muscles and improve posture and balance, as well as improve back pain, reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia. Whether you’re a novice or a veteran, there are various types of yoga forms that will fit your needs. To begin your yoga journey or continue it, try these simple yoga poses at home.

Take care of your hair

Nurturing your hair doesn’t have to be a daunting task or an all-day event. After all, your strands have probably already been through a lot including facing excessive heat, toxins, dirt and just lousy weather. There are easier ways to give your hair the attention it needs while treating yourself to soft, clean tresses. Instead of dreading wash day, make it enjoyable by applying a hair mask using items from your kitchen. Simple items like coconut oil, egg yolk, and avocado can leave your hair and your scalp moisturized, right in your own home.

Have a movie night

Getting lost in someone else’s life is always a great way to take your mind off of your busy schedule and to force yourself to relax. Binge-watch the latest episodes of your favorite show on Netflix or rewatch classic comedic films with a glass of wine and a huge bowl of popcorn. Seriously, you should. Even experts have said that watching television can be a distraction and relaxation tool.

When Is Your Baby’s Hair Going To Change?

June 23rd, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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When I was pregnant with both of my daughters, I had heartburn most hours of the day — straight-up torture. With my first, I could eat a piece of dry toast, turn to the side and feel a wave of acid rising from the pits of my stomach. It wasn’t normal. I was convinced. Family members insisted, “Ooh wee! That baby’s gonna have a headful of hair!” I groaned, living in the moment, as I was the one suffering with each morsel consumed. When she was born, I saw that maybe that was some truth to the myth, my little girl emerged from the womb plump and rosy-cheeked with thick, curly, dark brown hair.

“That baby looks Spanish,” her father quipped a few days after. I rolled my eyes at him, “Ma says I had hair like that as a newborn too.” In the following days, houseguests came through to poke and prod at our first daughter in amazement. She was born light-skinned, with little slits for eyes and all that hair sitting atop her head like a winter hat. She hated when I washed and combed through it. She still does nine years later, which I find hilarious.

I was still relaxing my hair then but I’d decided years before having kids that chemical straightening would be their choice once they got to high school. As for me, I read up on natural hair care and vowed to keep mineral oil and other no-no’s out of my baby’s scalp. Her hair kept that texture until she was closer to one-year-old, which is the norm I believe.

She’d browned up, closer to her natural skin tone, which pleased her dad most of all because he liked to half-joke that when they were out together alone, running errands, people tended to stare “like I kidnapped her or something.” Her hair had begun to kink-up which pleased me most of all because I could start with my haircare regimen for her and stick to it since it was unlikely that my baby’s hair texture was going to change again anytime soon.

My own mother was all about adding waxy hair grease to my baby’s head and pulling her hair up from the roots to make her more “presentable.” To who though? It was the Blue Ivy Treatment, from my own family. By the time our little girl was two-years-old, it seemed everyone in the world had a tip or a suggestion about what I should be doing to and using on her hair. It was like I had an entire comment section in my face at family gatherings. I was Bey and she was Blue. And all I wanted to do was holler, “Don’t y’all have your own damn kids?”

It didn’t happen the same way with our second daughter. She was a chunky one too out of the womb, darker, with a headful of hair but her’s was bone straight. It was amazing. They looked alike but the details were so different. Down to the difference in hair textures, even as newborns.

She’s four-years-old now and while her hair has curled up a little, it’s been years of her dad asking innocently, “When is her hair gonna change?” The little one takes her hair from her grandfather who has a soft, loose curl. Who can ever tell with Black kids? We’re all so mixed up in our heritage but I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that she’s so dark-skinned that makes most people doing her hair, raise an eyebrow. Others, without a filter, will ask if I relax her hair. “Why your first baby — the brown-skinned one — got kinkier hair?” I usually act like I don’t hear the question. I just take care of my little girls and the hair that grows out of their respective heads, accordingly.

15 Tips And Products To Save Your Girl’s Hair During Summer Swim

June 3rd, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Summer is finally on its way and no one is more excited than your little girl. She’s already expressed that this year she’s ready to learn how to swim and she even has her swimsuit laid out for that day at the beach or pool. Make sure that you are fully equipped with the essentials to take care of her hair throughout the next few months — chlorine and salt water can wreak havoc on natural hair. Even relaxed hair needs to be protected from those summertime elements. If you need a little help choosing products and figuring out the best tips, Mommy Noire has compiled a list of 15 that ought to assist in keeping your baby’s hair on point even after a few hours a week in the water. Dive in!


Before jumping in the pool or ocean, be sure to wet your child’s hair down. The reason for this is because once the hair shaft is full of fresh tap water, it limits the damaging amounts of chlorine or salt water that penetrate the same shaft once they start swimming.



Be certain to layer the hair with rich conditioner after wetting it down to seal in moisture before they do a few laps. Some people prefer to use something penetrative like coconut oil, then sealing that in with something thicker like shea butter or castor oil.

Children Silicone Animal Cartoon Swimming Cap Tiger $4

Remember to grab a silicone swim cap for those days in the water. You can also top that with a lycra version from My Swim Cap. That particular product is so popular that the company is out of stock until June. The swim caps may let some water in but ultimately it decreases the amount of water natural hair is exposed to. If your girl has braids, spritz in a leave-in conditioner, then throw on the cap but don’t forget, you still have to rinse after the swim session. Then re-apply the leave in. Sounds like a lot of work but trust, her hair will thank you for taking extra care.

My Swim Cap $23

My Swim Cap is easier to wear than most we grew up with. And it’s flexible enough that if your baby has braids, she can tuck them underneath without it being uncomfortable.

Woman washing her hair


After swimming be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse. If conditioner or oil was applied before the swim session, use a clarifying shampoo that contains moisturizing agents that way, any excess product is scrubbed clean but the hair isn’t stripped of moisture.

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Shampoo $11

SheaMoisture has got to be one of the fastest growing hair care lines for natural beauties in recent years. Pretty much everything they make is beneficial in caring for our kinks and curls but this Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo is one of the most heralded items in their lineup. This product is great as a clarifying shampoo. It’s sulfate-free with apple cider vinegar added to maintain pH balances — and we know that apple cider vinegar gives hair some extra shine.

Don’t forget the conditioner! For obvious reasons it’s important to make sure that natural hair is always moisturized or you risk breakage and damage to the hair. A good conditioner helps maintain its softness until the next time you guys take a dip. Go hard once every couple weeks too and deep condition her strands. You’ll definitely see the difference.

Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask $40

This hair mask from Ouidad is a little pricey but think of it this way, you and baby girl can use it, plus it’s cheaper than having to get two haircuts at the salon. Mafura Butter and Kalahari Melon Seed Oil are two key ingredients in this conditioner, helping to restore what’s called the lipid (or ‘fatty’) barrier of the hair. It recreates a protective layer on each strand and — check this out — as the mask melts into the hair, coating it with moisture, it warms itself! So, no heating cap is necessary.


Never wash natural hair more than one time per week. But if you do need to freshen up between shampoos, just co-wash with a decent conditioner.



Maintaining the ends is essential in keeping your baby’s hair healthy in the coming months. If the ends of her hair aren’t taken care of, they can split all the way up the shaft! Then you have to consider a full-on cut instead of the trim you should’ve gotten in the first place. Applying light oil to the ends between trims helps a lot too.



On those weeks when there aren’t any swim classes or days at the beach, wash your girl’s hair with sulfate-free shampoo, it doesn’t have to clarify but it should still be full of components that will saturate the hair with moisture. When you wash with these products, it keeps her crown healthy, soft and shiny.

Creme of Nature Eden Hydrating Shampoo *price varies

If you do a little research, you can find some great products for your hair without breaking the bank. Creme of Nature’s been around forever but their recent Eden line is on the rise amongst natural girls. No sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum or alcohol is added. Instead, this shampoo is packed with avocado, olive and coconut oils to keep your baby’s hair hydrated, shiny and soft — all for under $15.



As a rule of thumb, you should already be avoiding products that are based in alcohol or synthetic lubricant ingredients, like mineral oil. Instead of styling the hair with gel, mousse or ‘hair grease,’ try a pomade made with natural components. Natural hair is always thirsty for moisture so using certain oils ought to do the trick, quenching her tresses from root to tip.


Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade $14

After washing and conditioning, guess what’s left? More moisturizing of course! Skip the ‘grease’ and cop something lighter and better for your baby’s hair like the Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade. This small jar is full of goodness like virgin coconut cream, mango oil, and hempseed oil all mixed in with heavier castor oil, which serves as a protectant. Whether you want to braid your girl’s hair up or just use it for fly-aways, this product is a must.



If you are thinking of protective styles through the summer, that’s a great option. Just remember to let the hair “breathe” for a few days to a week between fresh sets of braids. Also, avoid pulling the hair too tightly from the edges — that could do serious damage.


Father And Daughter Get In Formation Together

June 3rd, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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My Pick is my MAGIC WAND! It’s my protection. – Jaxyn

A photo posted by bennyharlem (@bennyharlem) on

On first glance, you might look at this picture and instantly think #HairGoals, but the relationship Benny Harlem and his daughter have is so much more special than hair — though their manes are pretty spectacular too.

The Beverly Hills, California, based artist makes it a point to include his daughter in his artistry, regular posting photos of the two sharing precious daddy-daughter time and illustrating just how important a father’s love is to a growing girl. It was actually this photo below which first put the singer/songwriter on my radar.

A photo posted by bennyharlem (@bennyharlem) on

As the caption, Benny wrote:

Won’t ever go without my daughters sunlight .. Our seeds grow in the upward direction if we continuously water and nourish them. Parents continuously grow if we pay attention to our children’s Godly Sunlight.

Last night, his inspiring love for his daughter caught my eye again as Benny posted images of them in matching Black Panther gear, declaring it a “Cold Summer.”

Cold Summer

A photo posted by bennyharlem (@bennyharlem) on

Truthfully, one article doesn’t do the wonder of Benny’s Instagram justice, as he captivates followers with his striking features and his affection for his little girl. Check it out for yourself and be prepared to be wooed. 

A photo posted by bennyharlem (@bennyharlem) on

Mom On The Move: Vivian Kaye Of Kinky Curly Yaki, Part 2

May 24th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Vivian Kinky Curly Yaki

Vivian Kinky Curly Yaki

Mom On The Move is a weekly profile of a mom mover and shaker. Women we admire, who inspire us and who have amazing stories to share, oh and they happen to have kids, too! While we love to talk about celebrity moms and their fabulous lives, we also love (and need) to know about real moms who are out here doing it all, just as fabulously. This week we’re profiling Vivian “Queen of Kank”, the founder and CEO of Kinky Curly Yaki.

Mommynoire: What was the beginning of your business like for you?
Vivian: At the time I started I was solo, so I was able to put all effort and 110 percent into it. Like I said, I had already started another business, so I just basically applied the same premise from my other business which was: keep it simple. You have to gear your business towards your audience and what you’re selling so because my product is natural textured hair, girls with natural textured hair aren’t necessarily high-maintenance, so I didn’t want to go for that glamorized, face down up 24/7 type of look and feel. And then in 2013, as the business was really starting to grow, I found out that I was pregnant, so that sort of threw me for a loop. I worked all the way up to the day before I had my son  took a month off, and then started back up again.There’s a photo of mem with him on my chest and I’m at a computer answering questions and everything. So, I was in a service industry before and now I was selling a product so I had to change hats a little bit. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of blogs on just running a business. I did a lot of bootstrapping in the beginning, I made my own logo, I did my own graphics…at the time I wasn’t so hot, but you know what? I did what I had to do with the budget I had.
How has it been balancing motherhood and being an entrepreneur?
I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s easy. Being a single mom and starting a business has got to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I say this, like, on the brink of tears. It’s not easy but my son makes it worthwhile. I’m blessed to have the support of my parents and my sisters because basically once a month I’m out and traveling for four days out of the week, so they help me take care of him. His father is still around but he lives in another time zone so it’s kinda difficult to coordinate with that, but I mostly rely on my family and without them, my business wouldn’t be where it is.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a business woman?
Well, one of the things I overcame is people inquiring, why would I buy hair that I can already grow out of my head? Or why would anyone want to buy kinky hair? It was a question I had to answer a lot, but no one questions why some chick is wearing 22 inches of Brazilian hair? First of all, just because it’s not silky doesn’t mean it’s not good hair. Another challenge was business growth and scaling; I started in my little apartment with those little plastic cubbies you get at Walmart and now I bought a house and it’s my whole basement. And now I’ve got to get it out of my basement and put it in a warehouse and hire a fulfillment staff and that’s hard. This is my baby, I don’t want to say it’s my first-born, but it’s hard to give it up.
So one of the challenges I’m facing now is that I need to get out of the business so that I can work on the business. Especially as a mom, it’s hard because you want to see your baby every step of the way, make sure it’s ok and do it the way you would want to do it, just like raising your child. But if you want help, you’ve got it let go and let them do it. I have a lot of good problems though, that’s how I know I’m successful.
What do you see next for your company?
We’ve got wigs, we’ve got frontals (closure pieces for sew-ins and wigs). We’re going to France in June to do the natural hair show. We do a lot of international shipping, and those are the next markets we’re going to focus on…we’re also working on a wholesale product for salons who want to sell our product.
What makes your brand stand out from the rest?
I like to say that I’m a pretty down to earth person and I focus on the for-us-by-us motto. I created this because I have a need, so I know that you have a need. You and I are the same, so we speak to you directly. It’s not, ‘oh I’m a fancy girl, with a fancy purse and I have fancy hair.’ Girl, I’m wearing my sweats, I have a few pounds on me and I have a son, I’m basically just like you. So I think our appeal is that we’re very down to earth, but up on the newest technology and we offer a variety of product. Everytime we try to take something out of stock, people are demanding it. Our brand is strong and we try to keep it 100.
Kinky Curly Yaki is not only about looking good and being fly, but it’s about feeling your best and helping everyone. I talk to moms-to-be and they tell me they’re having a baby soon and ask what should they do with their hair. I tell them about my own experiences– I lost a lot of hair in my crown, so now I wear wigs, and I had a lot of breakage and this is my texture now. We appreciate and love the support and we’re getting bigger and better.
Read Part 1 of our interview with Vivian here.

Mom On The Move: Vivian Kaye Of Kinky Curly Yaki, Part 1

May 23rd, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Vivian Kinky Curly Yaki

Vivian Kinky Curly Yaki

Mom On The Move is a weekly profile of a mom mover and shaker. Women we admire, who inspire us and who have amazing stories to share, oh and they happen to have kids, too! While we love to talk about celebrity moms and their fabulous lives, we also love (and need) to know about real moms who are out here doing it all, just as fabulously. This week we’re profiling Vivian “Queen of Kank”, the founder and CEO of Kinky Curly Yaki.

Mommynoire: How are you, Vivian?

Vivian: I’m great, I had a hectic morning like you. I just finished a spin class and I’ve been up since 2:00 in the morning. I went to bed too early , the same time as my son. I said “ok, we’re gonna go night night” and then fell asleep too, so that was around 8:30 p.m. And then I woke up at 2:00 am like ok, good morning. And then my son decided he wanted to start minding my business at around 5:30 this morning, so we were making pancakes at 6:00 a.m. and it was a whole thing. So I’ll probably start crashing at around 3:00 p.m. (laughs)

So lets get this interview in before you need a nap! Tell me about Kinky Curly Yaki, and how it got started. Do you have a background in beauty or hair? 

I don’t have any background in hair, I don’t have any background in anything but I guess motivation and ambition. I had a previous company as a wedding event decorator and I needed some hair that looked like me. I needed it to look professional, but not 30 inches of Brazilian hair down my back. I was tired of that whole ‘African in the front and Indian in the back’ thing, so I was looking for something that would work for me and look natural for me. In the course of this, I was going to networking events and people would ask me what my regimen was for my hair and I wouldn’t say specifics but I’d say it’s a wig or it’s a weave, and people would say “Oh my God, I would totally buy that, you should never tell anyone it’s a weave.”

And how long ago was this?

This was 2011. I was still working as a wedding decorator and because it’s a seasonal business, I thought, ok, I will start this up in the winter, just to see what it does.

So basically you found this hair that matched your own and figured out how to install it? What was your initial experience with the hair?

My initial experience was a weave, so I went to the hair dresser I used all the time back when I was relaxing my hair. I would just bring everything to her and she would install it. That was my 4th time going natural and I was like, I’m not doing this relaxer thing anymore, and that’s why I needed to find something that looked like my hair. So I brought this hair to her, she installed it, said it was gorgeous, I was like, thank you and then I put it in a ponytail and left.

Then you knew you were on to something?

From there, at the time, I was the only company that only sold kinky hair, and if other companies sold kinky hair it would be buried under the Malaysian, the Brazilian and the exotic texture du jour. No one else then was selling kinky hair, so I thought I should just go all out and sell just kinky hair and it absolutely took off. At the time, there was only one other company selling kinky hair and even then I was ahead of the game because I had five textures: two curly and three straight and since we’ve added a sixth texture. But man, it blew up. I pretty much had to put my other business to the side and focus solely on this business.

How did you get the word out that you had this great product?

V: I was a hair connoisseur before I started Kinky Curly Yaki, so I’ve always been interested but not necessarily doing hair but just how to be a lazy natural, I guess you could say. There’s this one woman who I e-met and I said, ‘Hey, I see you love big kinky hair and I have some big, kinky hair. How about I send you some and you tell me what you think?’ At the time I really didn’t think she was going to take pictures and post it all over social media and forums. And I was like, ‘Oh wow, oh ok, wow wow wow. So I guess you could say she was my first promoter. She posted photos and everyone love it. It didn’t just take off, it really took off.

KW: And you’re like, oh shoot, let me get rolling…

V: Yes, exactly, let’s clear out some space in my house and do it. That’s pretty much how it started.

Check out part 2 of this interview with Vivian of Kinky Curly Yaki.

4 Products That Snatch My Edges Every Time

March 28th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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There are three things you’ll always find in my purse: Vaseline, gum, and edge control. A year ago, that last item would’ve been hair gel but I have since come to understand traditional gel’s alcohol content doesn’t always leave my edges in good hands, as Dennis Haysbert might say. And more importantly — or less, depending on your priorities — I’ve come to realize there are edge control products that actually work just as well as gel but are healthier for your hair, which is important because we all know strong edges are hard to come by.

A well– (or not so well) tamed edge can completely take one’s look from messy to polished which is why I am always on the lookout for a gel or paste that will give me the best hold for the longest amount of time without the buildup (because as an edge connoisseur I will not hesitate to reapply throughout the day). During the past six months I’ve come across four products that have yet to fail me when I need to tame my edges, which is why I pretty much keep one at the office, one in my purse, one in the gym bag, and one at the house.

Loc N Loc Twist Wave Edge Gel

edge 1

Loc N is the product that actually made me kiss gel goodbye. When I did the big chop in October my beautician put this product on my edges to smooth them down and I was blown away. Never had a non-alcoholic product offered such control and shine, plus I never really needed to reapply the gel throughout the day — yes it’s that good! Loc N is also a bit pricey at $25 for a 16-ounce container, but I promise it’s worth the cost.

Creme of Nature Perfect Edges

edge 3

Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil Perfect Edges is the second edge control product to make me a believer. I’m actually a fan of this brand’s entire Argan Oil line and the edge control did not fail on its promise to provide firm hold without flaking, like most gels do. Though most days the regular strength product is enough for me, I have started using the extra hold to give even longer lasting control, especially on humid days or when doing a slick ponytail. (Note: I did apply a curl gel to smooth most of my hair in the photo above but Perfect Edges was used to smooth the hair in the middle part and around the perimeter of my hair.

Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste

edge 2

Curls’ Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste is the same thick consistency as Creme of Nature’s edge control and contains argan oil as well, along with mango and shea butter which add much-appreciated shine. The organic blueberry extract also gives the paste an amazing scent and I’ve been able to use this product not just for smoothing unruly edges but even for sculpting updos when my ‘fro won’t cooperate.

Mielle Organics Edge Gel

edge 4

Initially, I was hesitant to try Mielle Organics’ new edge gel because, unlike Curls and Creme of Nature, the gel has a thinner consistency that made me question whether it could provide enough hold. But as they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover — or a product by it’s texture. This edge gel, made with honey and ginger which stimulate hair growth, is just as the manufacturer described it, “non-gummy.” I enjoy the smoothness of the application and the light hold it provides, which it should be noted held up this morning in a downpour without an umbrella. If you only have a few flyaways threatening to get the best of your ‘do, this product from the African American-owned beauty brand will do you good.

Yes, Women With Type 2C and 3A/3B Hair Have Struggles Too

February 24th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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I can decipher hair charts about as well as the periodic table, but I’ve been told I’m somewhere along the 3B spectrum — mostly by women who like to label my hair with that dirty G word Black women say they hate but still use regularly as both a mode of shaming those perceived to be less Black and self-deprication. I usually respond to those “but you got that good hair” remarks that are thrown at me whenever I complain about not knowing what to do with my own hair or I’m listening to someone complain about theirs by saying “more manageable” because “good” feels awkward and without hair struggles I am not.

The 2C, 3A/3B alphabet soup hair struggle is a topic that’s been on my mind for some time now, but I didn’t feel convicted to actually put my thoughts into a post until I saw the response to the #SaveMyEdges parody we posted on Monday. Thinking this lighthearted video would give all Black woman a good laugh, I was shocked to find a comment that read: “This comes off as disrespectful and mockery to me and I have full edges so it’s nothing personal. The fact that most of the women are biracial yet they mention “black women” makes it come off more mocking.”

I don’t have time to debate bi-racial Blackness right now (but I shall another day), what I want to discuss is the misconception that just because you don’t have course, kinky, or a so-called 4C texture means your hair care routine is a walk in the park. The fact is anyone with African Ancestry, no matter the percentage, is going to have to put extra TLC into caring for their tresses, and yes that includes preventing the endangerment of their edges, much to the surprise of the same commenter noted above who also posited: “Biracials seldom wear hairstyles that create lost edges.”

Tell that to my bi-racial best friend who rocks box braids in the summer and who just lost about 4 inches of hair due to color processing. I’m not bi-racial, but that 35% of European ancestry that’s apart of my DNA was not enough to stop a box braid from yanking out an entire section of baby hair on the right side of my head three years ago. And because I couldn’t stick to the Jamaican Black Castor oil routine recommended to me, I became that girl with partially see-through edges on one side until I left perms, braids, and super tight buns alone (for the most part on that last one because I still love a bun).

Just a few weeks ago a friend of mine was complaining about how she can’t do anything with her straight, fine hair that people also like to tell her all the time is “good.”

“It won’t hold a curl; it won’t do anything. That’s why you always see it like this,” she said motioning to the low ponytail that has become her signature style. Sure, she may not have to do anything to it to beat it into submission in that ponytail, but she also envies other women who can rock big, wild hair one day, or have large curls the next, or even a funky updo, which her straight hair won’t allow.

Even with my ability to do a wash n’go, I know I’m not putting my best foot forward; I’m essentially getting by because I’m too lazy to take the time to twist and pineapple my hair every night and have a luxurious curly ‘fro like other naturals. And as soon as I lay down on any part of my hair, it’s smashed and I have to start over from scratch — like soaking wet hair, apply product and air dry or blow dry with a diffuser scratch because that spray bottle stuff doesn’t work for me. There’s also the fact that when I straighten my hair, the mere suggestion of moisture instantly turns my straight bob into a puffy, frizzy mess by the time I get from my apartment to the office. And there’s still no skimping on all those pre-poo, shampoo, co-wash, detangle, moisturize, seal, style, dry steps if you actually want healthy hair. Okay maybe the detangling takes a little less time, but does anything about all of that other stuff sound overwhelmingly “good?”

I didn’t write this to have a digital woe is 3B party, I just need for Black women to find one thing we cannot be divisive about. I know hair as a whole will never be it, but it would mean a lot if we could at least acknowledge we all struggle somewhere along the hair care maintenance spectrum, no matter how wavy or course our texture may be.

Things People With Locs Are Tired Of Hearing

February 15th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Understand Black Hair


Locs have been around for centuries, but faux locs were a serious hair trend in 2015, continuing to make waves in 2016.  Even people like Zendaya Coleman, who famously rocked them on a temporary basis, can attest to the stereotypes, misconceptions and straight up racist remarks that loc-wearers sometimes hear.

In response to Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic’s comments that Coleman’s faux locs made her look like “she smells like patchouli oil or weed,” here’s what the wise-beyond-her-years starlet had to say:

“There is already harsh criticism of African-American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”

If you’re rocking locs on a more permanent basis, chances are you’re that much more subject to the politics of Black hair.  Read on for a list of scenarios and comments that people with locs are tired of hearing.

Mom On The Move: Interview With Queen Of Cuts Cynthia Meadows, Part 2

January 11th, 2016 - By Danielle Elaine
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Cynthia Meadows

Cynthia Meadows

Florida’s very own Cynthia Meadows has quickly gone from her hometown’s “Kitchen Beautician” to arguably one of the country’s headlining hair stylists. In just a short period of time, Cynthia has attracted the eyes of the hair industry’s who’s-who list with her exceptional cutting-edge skill, and signature blindfold haircuts.

We caught up with this mogul mom-on-the-go, to pick her brain about some of her styling tips and tricks and mompreneur secrets of her trade. In this part of our two-part interview, check out what Cynthia had to say about balancing her most important title: mom.

What is your daily life like being a business woman and mom?

My day starts with the morning wake up which normally starts around 5:00 a.m. with prayer, fighting with my daughter to get dressed and to eat breakfast at 6:00 a.m. then to the daycare to drop her off. Now, to change from mommy-mode to business woman is the easier part of my of my day. A day of management, doing clients, marketing strategies, training employees, budget cuts, counseling my clients, and daily team meetings. I work a lot of late nights as a business owner, which I don’t enjoy but the best part of my day is coming home to my daughter.

How do you find balance between cultivating your passion and family?

In order to cultivate balance, you have to determine what’s important to you and make it a priority in your life. When it comes to family-values, find a happy medium that balances the things you need in your life. In my business, I’ve learned to delegate. As my business grows, my staff will have to increase in order for me to balance my personal life and business. Above all, I am a mom first, and with the help of my traveling nanny I am able to maximize my time with my daughter and get business done.

Do you want more children ?

Yes! I’ve always wanted to be like Toni Braxton’s mom with all her girls around her all the time. I’ll love to have about four more kids someday.

cynthia meadows 1

What are some important lessons you aim to teach your children in your life’s pursuits?

I live by these top three life lessons in life:

  1. Love and forgive. The degree to which you are able to truly love as an expression of your character, not merely as a feeling, the more you will be willing to forgive. The more you are able to forgive, the more you will be free to love. Character is a much more accurate voice exclaiming who you are than popularity, personality or status. So let your moral character speak so loudly no one can hear the gossip spoken about you by lesser minds.
  2. Invest regularly in your own human capital, in the development of your ability and talents, in your knowledge and education. Learn every day. Don’t rely exclusively on formal modes of education. Learn on your own. Get excited about it. Read. Study. Challenge yourself. Develop. Improve.
  3. Let patience be your first response, kindness be your first reply, courage be your default setting, faith be your first inclination, curiosity be your first question, perseverance be your longest answer, gratitude be your spontaneous condition and love be your first, final and only method.

I want to be a living example to my daughter–and future children–by showing them that anything is possible through faith and hard work. I don’t believe in excuses, just results. I have never worked for anyone but myself, not many people can say that.

What’s next for Cynthia as a mom and business woman?

As a mom, I’m just trying to get my toddler potty trained (laughs). As for A’Bliss, I am looking into franchising. I’ve been staking out property in top cities around the country, as well as working toward expanding my brand with a natural hair product and cosmetics line. I am also excited about providing opportunities to educate upcoming stylist. Within the next year I plan on hosting classes for those looking to continue their education, and enhance their skill set. 

What would you say is a great go-to style for busy moms like yourself?

Sew-ins or pixie cuts are a great style opt for any busy mom on the go. With a shortcut you can just wax it up and go.

How can a natural mom save time, and maintain healthy hair in the midst of a busy week?

My best advice is moisture! You hair needs moisture daily to maintain healthy hair. Incorporate natural hair remedies to your hair care regimen like mayonnaise for proteins, castor oil, eggs etc.

What are a few tricks you use on your daughter to promote hair growth?

There’s no magical trick to making hair grow, because mostly it’s a matter of genetics. There are however, some things you can do to help the natural process along and you may actually see your child’s hair grow faster. Adding certain foods to can actually promote hair growth and give children the nourishment their bodies need.

  • Peanuts, corn, and spinach contain vitamin E, which stimulates hair growth.
  • Folic acid, found in foods like asparagus, peas, citrus fruits, and turkey, will help promote hair growth by strengthening strands so they don’t break off prematurely.
  • Drinking water—four to six glasses a day—will keep hair hydrated.
  • Vitamin B produces keratin, a protein that strengthens strands. It’s found in bananas, whole-grain cereals, rice and eggs.
  • Dairy products like skim milk and yogurt—as well as broccoli and strawberries–are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth.

Many women wear braids and style their children in braids as a protective style, and because of the styles low-maintenance. What are some ways one can reverse breakage on the hairline from braids? What are some methods of prevention?

Many people are resorting to braids as a protective, low-maintenance style. I would highly recommend leaving the hairline out with braids and avoiding extra-tight braids that causes so much tension on the hair, causing it to break off.

What are some great tips and tricks to achieving a quick and cute style (using Paul Mitchell products) for your daughter?

For my daughter’s hair, I use the kid’s line which has a shampoo/conditioner with a detangling spray. I also use a Paul Mitchell Curls Twirl Around Crunch-Free Curl Definer cream to keep her natural coils tamed all day.

What’s a great Paul Mitchell styling product for the natural mom on-the-go?

A great PM styling product for a natural mom on-the-go is their curly hair products. They are a lightweight conditioning treatment that hydrates, detangles, tames frizz and won’t weigh the hair down throughout the day.

Click here for Part 1 of this interview where Cynthia talks about her life as a business woman.