All Articles Tagged "African American hair"
People are superficial. Time and time again studies have proved that most people (whether consciously or unconsciously) make judgments about other people based on physical appearance. How this manifests in the workplace is that unattractive people often get the short end of the stick. Economist Daniel Hamermesh reveals in his book Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful that, “…the attractive are more likely to be employed [and] receive more substantial pay…” This research has been out for a while, but I hadn’t given much thought to the implications of the findings in my personal life until I had to re-enter the job search market.
Job Searching With Natural Hair
I typically wear my hair in dreadlocks as a matter of convenience and have done so for the past three years. So when I started meeting with recruiters and interviewing for a new job, the thought of changing my hair for the sole purpose of landing a job didn’t even occur to me. Curiously, even though I felt that I was a great candidate, I wasn’t getting any call-backs. Frustrated and annoyed with my lack of progress, I called my sister to vent about my job search woes. Her advice: wear a wig. Really? So my stellar resume, exceptional work experience and superstar personality meant nothing? I refused. I was adamant – I would rise against the tide of corporate conformity!
Fast forward to a few weeks later, still no call-backs. I started thinking about a recent experience that I’d had in my local grocery store when a young white girl excitedly pointed at me, turned to her father and said, “Daddy, daddy look! That girl has funny hair!” Maybe my sister was right after-all. So I reluctantly pulled on a wig for my next interviews, and rather coincidentally, I started getting call-backs. Now, this obviously could just mean that I got better at interviewing. But on the other hand, maybe there was something more vile underpinning this coincidence…
Black Hair and Discrimination
In an episode of the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast, Lori L.Tharp discusses how negative perceptions about natural Black hair in Western societies stems from the racist slavery era. During slavery time, it was often assumed that a Black person who had lighter skin and less kinky hair texture had some white blood mixed in them. These slaves would often be treated better than their darker-skinned and kinkier-haired counterparts by the slave masters, as they were thought to be smarter and more teachable because of the white blood running through their veins. Kinky hair textures weren’t even referred to as hair – rather as wool, effectively dehumanizing Black people. Thankfully, things today are certainly not to that degree of racism, however, vestiges of slavery remain within our modern culture. The story we generally see in the media is that natural Black hair is not worth seeing – it’s something that ought to be covered up. It’s unattractive. When it comes to the workplace, some companies even go so far as to disallow natural hairstyles for Black women under the company dress code. Podcast host Cristen Conger sums this up quite precisely as “…racism under the guise of professionalism.”
Dreadlocks, especially, come with a host of negative stereotypes. We all remember Giuliana Rancic’s unfortunate comment about Zendaya Coleman’s locs smelling like weed and patchouli. While Giuliana might have meant this as a joke (albeit in poor taste), I have no doubt that there are some people who genuinely believe that all dread-heads are druggies.
So, if dreadlocks are a stigmatized hairstyle, and research has shown that it only takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression of a stranger, plus attractiveness is one of leading traits assessed the quickest by people and is known to impact success in the workplace, then does the intersection of all these pieces of information mean that I had been knocked out of contention for getting the job before I’d even opened my mouth in the interview? I wonder.
After landing a job I continued to wear a wig to work so as to not ruffle any feathers or distract people from the quality of my work. I’ve worn wigs in the past but never for a full eight hours per day, five days a week. I hated it. Taking off my wig when I got home was the best part of my day – like exhaling after holding your breath for a long time. I lasted for a few months doing this but then couldn’t do it any longer. I’m back to wearing my locs full-time and accept the risk that some ignorant people may not look favorably on my hair styling choice, but at least I’m comfortable and no longer feel like an impostor.
Curly, kinky, and wavy hair needs a lot of moisture. It takes the moisture from the natural oils in the hair a longer time to get down the hair shaft because of the beautiful twists and turns of the hair pattern. And this can cause dry hair and breakage and that’s why it’s essential to replenish the hair with great products. Here are some great products to try for your daughter’s natural tresses.
Bee Mine Botanical Moisturizing Shampoo is loaded with botanical extracts to gently cleanse hair, remove residue and moisturize while enhancing natural shine. It leaves hair touchably soft & smooth and will nourish the scalp and strengthen the hair without stripping or weighing it down. It will cleanse, hydrate and quench your dry hair. Apply a small amount to wet hair gently massage to create a lather. Rinse thoroughly repeat if needed. Follow up with conditioner.
SheaMoisture’s Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Conditioner softens and smoothes children’s hair, making it easy to detangle and work out knots. It helps nourish and strengthen hair while protecting against breakage. The mango butter is a moisture-rich emollient that leaves the hair feeling silky smooth. The carrot oil nourishes hair, helping to prevent breakage and promote growth. And the orange blossom soothes sensitive scalps. After shampooing, apply a dollop to wet hair. Gently run fingers through hair to distribute evenly. Rinse well with warm water.
African Pride Dream Kids Quick Bounce Detangling Pudding’s intense moisturizing properties help manage tangles, instantly improve softness, and boost shine in naturally curly, wavy, kinky-coily hair. The smooth creamy feather light kids formula contains the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Herbal Extracts used for generations to help strengthen and protect hair. And it’s formulated exclusively for children’s delicate hair and scalp.
Coconut oil is great for penetrating the hair with its vitamin E, vitamin K, protein, fatty acids and iron. Not only does it moisturize but it prevents hair breakage by sealing the hair follicle. It has also been known to eliminate dandruff and promotes shiny hair. To use as a deep conditioner apply to damp clean hair in sections and comb through from root to tip. Pin it up and leave it on for half an hour then rinse and create your natural style.
The Carol’s Daughter Mirabelle Plum Leave In Conditioner is a lightweight, silicone-free moisturizer that detangles, strengthens and adds weightless body to lifeless strands. Made with Mirabelle Plums plus a fusion of oils, it intensely rehydrates and restores hair so it appears visibly stronger and fuller. Now you can quench your hair’s thirst for ultimate health without weighing it down. The powerful ingredients include: Mirabelle Plum, Biotin, grapeseed oil, aloe leaf juice, and sweet almond oil.
We’ve all seen that woman whose edges are completely gone and her hairline is receding. Maybe you’ve been through it yourself. It could happen to any of us if you constantly wear weaves, have significant hair loss after you have a baby and if your hormones are out of whack.
Whether they are a result of genetics, a health condition or excessive pulling and weave wear and tear, there’s still a way to save thinning edges.
Here are the best ways we’ve found for preventing hair breakage:
Scalp Massage With Essential Oils
Unless you have a diagnosed skin or hair issue, then your thin edges can grow back. The hair follicles and blood circulation need to be rejuvenated. The first thing you need to do is take out your weave for a little while to let your edges breathe. Afterward, start a gentle massage routine twice a day and rub in small circular motions in the problem area. Below are some essential oils that help stimulation. The rosemary and peppermint oil should not be used alone, but rather, mixed with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil.
Rosemary oil is known to increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles, which can lead to longer stronger hair. It works great for dandruff too.
Peppermint oil gives a cooling /tingle effect and purifies the scalp.
Castor oil consists of a triglyceride of fatty acids containing vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids, minerals, and proteins, which all help with hair regrowth and hair loss.
Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and minerals and has been used as a hair oil for thousands of years, keeping locks strong and nourished.
Aloe Vera is not an oil, but the gel-like substance contains an enzyme that helps promote new hair growth for some and can be applied directly to the scalp.
Vitamin E oil is great for skin and hair. It has an antioxidant that helps with scalp circulation.
Unclog Your Follicles
It’s important to get rid of dandruff and bacteria, which can clog the pores. Make sure you are washing your hair at least once or twice a week and gently scrub your scalp well.
As a result, your hair will be able to breathe, and this can aid in growth.
If you wear a lace-front weave, then make sure your hair that is cornrowed underneath isn’t too tight. However, if you tend to leave the top and front of your hair out with a partial weave, then you are probably manipulating your edges too much since that’s what’s left out. In the constant effort to blend your hair with the weave, you could be doing quite a bit of damage to it. Try your hardest to stay away from the heat for at least a month. If you can’t do that, then minimize it to twice a week. And make sure that you are wearing a satin or silk scarf at night to protect your edges.
images: COURTESY JENNIFER HUDSON
Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson revealed a much shorter hairstyle on Instagram — and we’re loving it!
“All black every thang! Who needs hair, when u serving face!,” she captioned the shot on her feed Friday morning.
We’ve always loved mama J-Hud’s pixie styles over the years. But with this hot new look is serving confidence and ease!
The award-winning actress and skillful singer is taking her talents to Broadway this fall, playing Shug Avery in The Color Purple. We’re sure this style will make those wardrobe and wig changes that much easier.
Would you make a chop like this?
A few month’s ago, a photo was circulating on the internet of a little girl, who had just gotten her hair done by her teacher. To no one’s surprise this garnered reactions on both ends of the spectrum from the cyber world. As a mother, I was torn in my opinion of the situation, with no reason to think it could ever happen to me. As I read through the responses of Facebook friends, and their friends I thought, If I was a teacher, and a student came into class with her hair matted and linted, yes I would probably take it upon myself to spruce her up. However, in regards to my daughter this was not the case. Last Thursday, after a fresh hair wash, and slightly running behind I decided against my better judgment to let my daughter go to school with a headband and her curls out. BIG MISTAKE.
Thursday afternoon, like every day I went to pick up my daughter from her schools playground. As she ran toward me, all I could do was mouth to myself, “wtf?.” Seeing my reaction her teacher scurred behind her, quickly offering an exonerating explanation as to why my daughter didn’t look the way she did only a few hours earlier. “I did her hair, I hope you don’t mind?! She said she was hot.” I was furious. My blood was boiling, and there were no nice words I could find. I offered a limp smile, and could barely utter, “it’s fine.” I was fuming. My daughter’s hair had been brushed, with whose brush? I couldn’t tell you, parted, and braided in plaits, and embellished with rubber bands and barrettes, out of the teachers own supply.
After about 30 minutes to an hour, I called the school and spoke with the director and asked that Lyric’s hair not be touched by anyone, at all, for any reason. She assured me she would talk to the teachers, but I could tell she really didn’t care. For days I debated with my cousin, a former daycare teacher about the violation, boundary infringement, and the subliminal message being taught to my daughter. My cousin argued the teacher had no ill intentions toward my child, and that she thought she was doing a good thing. She assured me her actions meant that Lyric was a favorite in the school, and now that I have made this an issue they will probably treat her differently now.
While I’m 100 percent sure the teacher had no ill intentions when she decided to do my childs hair, but more so just wanted to get her hands in some Black hair. Against my better judgment, I assumed the unspoken rule about not touching Black hair was well known. Needless to say, no matter what the circumstances may be, no matter how tired I am, that hair gets braided down daily! I refuse to allow my child to be mislead into believing her beauty, and worth are defined by what pleases the pale faces of the world. I am a patron of the facility not for beauty treatments, but to first educate, and second care for my child. Unfortunately, I have stigmatized myself as “that mom”, and prayerfully my daughter doesn’t suffer of any ill treatment because of this.
Would I feel as strongly about this situation had her teacher been Black, and decided to do her hair? Nope, because to me that would of been a sister looking out, a homegirl hook up because of the unspoken understanding all Black people share. Is that biased, ignorant, racist? Call it what you want, but because of the history of the Black body, in relation to White people, (ownership, and exhibition) I will never be ok with White hands in my childs hair.
What would you do if your daughter’s teacher did her hair?
Have you had a tricky situation that needed to be addressed at your child’s school? How did you handle it?
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.
With summer rapidly approaching, we must prepare of tresses for various situations and weather conditions. While planning our very own vacation, as well as placing our hair on vacation with a great protective style..we must be sure to keep our hair moisturized and healthy during this time. While enjoying the sun, saltwater and chlorine this time of year, it’s best to keep your moisturized and conditioned to stay strong against any possible damage or harm. Using the proper products to keep our hair safe and secure during this season is very vital to its continuous health.
We all have our favorite hair care products that we just can’t seem to live without. As the seasons change, sometimes the rotation of your favorite products must do so as well. While enjoying the summer months, the fear of damaging your hair should be the least of your worries! Preparing to beat the heat and protect your crown is very easy when you’re well-prepared.
Summer Regimen Solved: 7 Best Hair Care Products
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!
15 Tips & Products To Save Your Girl’s Hair During Summer Swim
It seems that no one taught us to dislike or even despise our curly or kinky hair. It seems that from the moment we become aware of our hair, we’re trying to correct it. In all actuality, someone did teach us to dislike it. From the women who are lauded as beautiful in magazines, on television screens, watching our mothers sit for hours getting relaxers applied. Having relaxers applied to our own heads before we even fully understood what was going on–the message that straight hair is better has been and continues to be all around us.
And while we can certainly relate as Black women, this issue is not unique to us. Girls and women, of all races and ethnicities, who don’t have naturally straight hair are dealing with these feelings.
So it should really come as no surprise that our daughters, nieces, little cousins and other young girls in our lives don’t hold their hair in high regard. According to a recent commercial, created by Dove only 4 out of 10 young girls think their curly hair is beautiful.
What can help increase that number? Surrounding the curly/kinky-haired little girls in our lives with people who celebrate the texture of their hair. And while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to start examining how you feel about your own tresses.
This is not news to us. The “natural hair movement” has been attempting to do just that for some time now.
And Dove is making the same statement–with a more multicultural approach. We’ll certainly let them be inspired by our brilliance if it means curly haired little ones–and some older ones–can feel better about the hair on their heads.
Take a look at Dove’s #LoveYourCurls commercial in the video below.
If you’ve seen Porsha Williams for any length of time, you know that the girl stays with a weave. Long ones. Whether she’s doing Farrah Fawcett curls, big, loose curls or rocking it bone straight, we’ve yet to see her without her signature strands.
That was true until last week when Porsha gave us a very short glimpse into what her real hair looks like.
Take a look at the picture below.
And hours later she was back to this.
And the finished product looked like this.
Porsha looks good either way and in the industry she’s in, she certainly needs to protect her real strands. But her natural hair is pretty impressive too. It would be nice to see that every once in a while. What do you think?