All Articles Tagged "African American hair"
March is women’s month, and because it follows on the heels of Black History Month, there’s no better time to talk about a topic that is very important to Black Women — hair care. Here are our top eleven moments in Black Hair care History.
Self-Styled Entrepreneur Madam CJ Walker Makes Her Mark With Black Hair Care Products (1905)
Combining both beauty sensibility and business savvy, Madam CJ Walker (née Sarah Breedlove) built a wildly successful hair empire, around, among other things, the innovation of the pressing comb, which made it more user-friendly for Afro-textured hair (she had the teeth widened for her target market). Ambitious, driven, and dedicated to her company, Madam CJ Walker became the first female self-made millionaire in the United States.
Tags:African American hair, afro, angela davis, Aunt Jemima, black hair, Black Power Afro, carols daughter, Chris Rock, cicely tyson, Good Hair movie, history of black hair, janelle monae, Madam CJ Walker, moments in black hair history, natural hair, Natural Hair Revolution, Viola Davis, Viola Davis at 2012 Academy Awards
Is the texture or style of your hair preventing you from being hired? Sounds like a pretty silly question, however it was precisely the topic at hand during a panel discussion entitled “Black Women, Their Hair & The Work Place – A Dialogue” at Georgia State University.
Approximately 100 women gathered last week to contemplate the idea that their skills, talent and intelligence could be overshadowed by a hairstyle. And more often than not, the concern is based on women of color sporting their natural hair.
Yes, the hair that grows naturally from the roots of our heads could be contributing to the growing unemployment rates. Baffling.
Read more on BlackVoices.com.
Did you miss natural hair blogger Curly Nikki’s live chat discussion earlier today? If you have questions about how to keep your hair moisturized, how to trim your own locks and skip the shop or how to find the right products for your texture, check out her response to some of these questions below. If you don’t see your hair questions represented below, be sure to check out CurlyNikki’s new book, ‘Better Than Good Hair.’
Kelly: What should you use on edges that are thinning?
CN: I would recommend massaging nightly with castor oil (which has anecdotal evidence of thickening edges)
Lisa: Have you used the Bantu leave in? I want to use products on dry hair so that I get a fuller longer effect…what products work best? Some products leave a residue dandruff look when I try to use them on my dry hair.
CN: No, unfortunately. I love doing dry twist and braid-outs on blown out hair too. The best results (but least moisturizing) are a lightweight mousse like TIGI Totally Baked. LOVE the results, but my hair doesn’t feel as moisturized as when I use a creamy leave-in. For definition and moisture, try Qhemet Moringa Tree or Cocoa Conditioning Ghee.
WhertheresawillDesiree: After suffering a bacterial infection in my scalp, I had it treated and now my hair is extremely thin in that area..what can I do to make it grow!! it’s been several months.
CN: Sorry to hear that, chica. I’d see a dermatologist first. And see if they recommend a topical treatment or multivitamin.
Rhoda: Kids and trimming their natural hair…I am anxious about trimming my daughter’s hair, but don’t trust any local salons. Suggestions…
CN: You can purchase some professional hair scissors (10-50 bucks at Walmart, Target or Sally’s Beauty) and twist her hair up into 8-20 two strand twists. You can snip the very ends of each twist off, so that your results are even. I do this with my own hair and it works great! However, in my opinion, nothing compares to a professional trim. I’d schedule one with a trusted stylist twice a year.
Melissa: Well, after going natural for about a year, I went back to a relaxer. My hair was so thick and course until I felt that nothing was working, and it stayed dry. For some reason I just couldn’t manage it. I want to go back natural though…so what can I use or do to get it beautiful, healthy, and manageable?
CN: I’d highly recommend developing a solid regimen, and incorporating frequent deep treatments with heat. Also, if you find your hair to be too much to work with every other day or even bi-weekly, you can utilize protective styles, with care (paying attention to your edges and keeping your ends moisturized).
Patricia: I have been wearing my hair natural for over a year. I still about every four months go to the salon, get it trimmed and straightened, but I now prefer the natural hair.
My question is, I completely understand that every hair day is different, and I DO know my hair type (When wet it’s probably close to a 2C and 3a. It can get a little overwhelming (and expensive) trying to find the perfect combination. Any suggestions/videos?
CN: Your hair is lovely (i can see your profile pic!) and I’m happy to hear you’re embracing your natural texture. You’re right in that it’s going to take tons of experimentation to find which product combo will work best for your texture. If I can make one recommendation, it would be looking into AG Fast Food + Recoil. It seems to be a popular product combo among curlies with hair similar to yours. I’ve tried it with success as well! It gives curl definition, moisture and shine with moderate hold. Good luck!
Nicole: I don’t color my hair. Does henna come in any other colors besides red? I’d like the benefits of henna without the color. My hair is a mixture of browns.
CN: Henna stains red and red alone. Any other mixes you see at the store (brown, blonde, etc.) contain other ingredients and I recommend to avoid them. Purchase body art quality henna from a reputable vendor (butters-n-bars) and mix it yourself. For more info on henna, check out this link–
If you want to try a similar plant, check out cassia (turns grays golden… but imparts a clear sheen to dark hair) check out this link
Maria: My hair is naturally curly, because of straightening it so much it won’t curl anymore, what can I do to get it to curl again.
CN: Sadly, if your hair is heat damaged (breakage OR loss of curl) there’s nothing you can do but trim away the damaged bits or grow it out (pretty much the same as transitioning). I experienced heat damage almost 10 years ago (white dot breakage), and I’d trim a little every month to prevent from a drastic chop. I kept my hair balanced (tons of moisture and soft protein treatments) and utilized protective styles to keep manipulation and friction low. I hope that helps. Sorry you’re going through this! Lots of us have been there. For tips on safer heat styling, check out this link-
Anndrea: What products can I use on my daughter so her hair is not so dry.
CN: I love Qhemet and CurlJunkie products on my daughter. They’re mostly natural and don’t cause her sensitive skin to break out. Qhemet is a highly moisturizing line and my daughter’s hair is DRY and the Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee keeps her hair moisturized for days.
We’ve all been there before. You head to a fabulous new salon to perk yourself up a bit, but wind up leaving feeling worse than you did when you walked into the place. While there may not be too much you can do to fix the current situation except grow your hair out or wait a few weeks to recolor, these tips will help you avoid any future hair scares and get the style you want the next time around.
I recently read an article that said women shouldn’t go natural because no one has time to wet their hair every day and moisturize every night. I nearly choked on my dinner. Do people do this? Realistically, are people out there tending to their strands at every waking moment and following “the rules” to a tee? I find that hard to believe. While we are all prone to stressing over the strict do’s and don’ts of proper hair care every now and then (guilty as charged!), I’ll let you in on a little secret: Sometimes, and perhaps I shouldn’t be telling you this, it’s OK to let some things fall by the wayside for a little bit. Besides, stressing about doing everything right all the time will only make your hair fall out anyway, right? Here are a few so-called hair rules you should feel free to break.
During a recent trip to the hair salon, my new stylist, who happened to be white, asked about my ethnicity. When I told her I’m black and Italian, she said, “Your hair’s beautiful. You must get this from your Italian side.” Picture my face falling to the ground.
Last month, a white woman who shall remain nameless because I have to see her regularly commented that she liked my hair. That seemed innocent enough, until she said it was nice because it wasn’t “too kinky.” Excuse me?
A few weeks prior, a black man I met at a club said he knew I had “something besides black in me” because I’ve “got that good hair.” Black relatives and friends have proudly used the “good hair” phrase to describe their own hair as well as mine, apparently unaware they have bought into white supremacy in the process.
On the flip side, some people have suggested that I get a relaxer or a Keratin treatment, as if coiled hair is a disease that only harsh chemicals can cure. I stopped relaxing my hair when I was 16 and have no plans to relax it again. I like my hair in its natural state; I enjoy wearing it curly, blow-dried straight or twisted in rope-like strands depending on my mood and the occasion.
But just last week I spoke with a woman who, despite clear indications that I was happy sans chemicals, and despite the fact that I did not ask for her advice, insisted that relaxers have improved since I last used them and I could probably find a mild one that would work well on my hair. Work well to accomplish what? Help me conform to her warped standard of beauty?
Generally, I don’t think these people are trying to be malicious. I just think they’ve been mentally programmed to believe that whiteness – in all its manifestations — is superior, and these ideas are so deeply engrained in their psyche that they are no longer questioned or even acknowledged.
Many people don’t realize that when they use the term “good hair,” they’re essentially saying that black hair is bad. They don’t grasp that if beautiful hair “must come from my Italian side,” the implication is that my black ancestry could only produce ugliness. They don’t reflect on why they prefer hair that isn’t “too kinky” and why they can’t see coiled hair without suggesting some sort of chemical treatment to straighten it. They’ve simply become brainwashed by a society busy sending messages in both subtle and glaring terms that white is right.
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Earlier this week this woman at Noodles and Company, (if you’ve never tried it, you better ask somebody!) complemented my locs. Before I could even say thank you she went into her story, telling me how she too had tried the lock thing but couldn’t make it past the rough patch. I nodded my head in solemnity and agreement. *Moment of silence for the rough period* It was a lot. And I can’t say I was exactly prepared for it. With that in mind, I thought about all of the things I wish (Cedric the Entertainer voice) somebody would have told me about the lock journey. So in an attempt to help another sistah, who’s considering taking this step, here the things you need to know before you lock it down.
The road to natural hair is paved with good intentions. The joy of not being a slave to routine chemical processing and heat styling certainly is alluring for many. Many natural hair divas will tell you they find there’s more freedom and versatility in styling hair in its natural state. There are many more positive reasons for going natural; it all depends on who you ask.
I went natural for all those reasons three years ago, ready to embrace my natural coils and free up my schedule and budget in the process. Unlike many other naturalistas, I didn’t do the “big chop” (or BC as it is called in the natural hair community). I just let the relaxer grow out, relying on weaves and blowouts during the transition phase. When the relaxed hair finally grew out, I tried out a few low-maintenance natural hair styles, but was disappointed that I didn’t have the length or the talent to recreate all the fabulously luscious styles I saw the natural hair divas on YouTube rocking.
One attempt at a two-strand twist turned into a messy four-hour ordeal that left me with disastrous results. I followed the directions on the curling product jar to a T, or so I thought. The end result was a frizzy, tangled mess that looked like the ‘before’ picture in a hair product ad. Talk about an epic fail. I felt as if I had let my natural hair sisters down. I was losing hope.
Impatient and indecisive about the direction I wanted to take with my hair, I weaved it up for a couple of months while I decided what my next style move would be. After the weave I thought I would get a blowout for a couple of weeks, mainly to check my hair growth. There was only one place I would go for my blowout; the place where dreams were born and legends were made. Several of my natural hair girlfriends went to the same Dominican salon and their hair looked healthy, flawless and fabulous. I didn’t need much convincing or an appointment for that matter. So to the Dominican salon I went.
I had heard horror stories about the excruciating heat you’re subjected to at the Dominican salon. Someone told me about her one and only experience at a Dominican salon, complete with amusing re-enactments of weeping and gnashing of teeth. She made it sound like it was hell fire and damnation. But I had so many other friends who went to these salons and had great experiences and hair to prove it. I decided I would go through the experience just one time to check my growth and wear my hair in a different style for a couple of weeks.
The stylists at the Dominican salon were wonderful. They welcomed me into the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts with open arms. Literally. When I walked into the salon, I was greeted with a hug and immediately ushered back to the spa-like shampoo room. I walked past rows of women under dryers with what looked like ear muffs on their ears. Ladies in the stylist chairs getting their hair blown out didn’t seem to be in tears or crying out in pain. All I knew was that I wanted to get the same flowing end-results they were getting.
When it was my turn to meet the hair dryer, it was hotter than I would have preferred, but it didn’t kill me. All I knew was that 45 minutes after I walked into the Dominican salon with my tightly coiled afro, I was leaving with a sleek, bouncy chin-length bob. I was now a member of the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts.
Fast-forward three months later. My visits every two to three weeks were starting to take a toll on my hair. I started noticing hair breaking off around my temples and along my hairline. The strain of the heat was beginning to show. No amount of sisterhood hugs could erase the fact that I was losing the natural hair I had spent more than two years to grow. As much as I hated to admit it, I had to leave the sisterhood.
When it comes to Dominican salons, I can say I’ve been there and done that. I’m not knocking the experience though. I have countless family members and friends who have been going to Dominican salons for years, and their hair is so sleek and healthy you’d think they had perms. I just know that it’s not for me. It’s been almost three months since my last visit to the Dominican salon, and I’m starting to see a little evidence of growth around my edges. Maybe after all I put it through, my hair has forgiven me.
True fashion forward ladies know that style inspiration can come from just about anywhere – other fashionistas, magazines, store mannequins and even YouTube. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a new natural hairstyle or weave, or if you’re looking for a way to revitalize your wardrobe or tips on thrifting, you can find everything you’re looking for and more on YouTube. One visit to a fashionista’s YouTube channel for a style demo often leads to clicks on other videos and inspiration. Before you know it, you’ve stepped your entire style game up a notch in a few hours, and people stop you on the street to compliment you or to ask “where’d you get that?”
Impeccable style is contagious, and a good fashionista makes style accessible. While there are many women doing their thing on YouTube, here are seven of the best hair and fashion vloggers on YouTube (in no particular order). Is your favorite YouTube fashionista on the list? Check out our list to find out and click on the names to follow the women to their YouTube videos. Feel free to recommend your own favorites below.
Tags:african american, African American hair, african american style, african american stylists, African American women, african american women fashion, african american women hair, african american women style, AfricanExport, All Things Fabulous 101, AllThingsFab101, Beautiful Brown Baby Doll, Beauty, black women and hair, black women fashion, black women fashionistas, ButflBrwnBbyDol, Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey, Fashion, fashionista, fashionistas, hair, hairstyles for black women, Lover4Fashion, MsPhillyDiva, Phillydiva, Socialite Sande, SocialiteSande, style, TheSocialiteLife, twitter, youtube, Youtube Channels, youtube videos
I’m writing this in response to a comment I read somewhere in cyberspace that one woman made about another woman’s comment regarding natural hair. Apparently the first woman must have said something about natural hair not being for everyone, to which the disgruntled commentator replied, “I don’t understand when people make comments like that! How can natural hair not be for you, it’s the hair you were born with?!!!”
Now, on the one hand, I can somewhat understand this very black and white declaration of frustration. That said, the world is seldom black and white. And not all naturals face the same issues (or at least not to the same degree as others). Here are the 5 (no, not 50) shades of grey that make it quite possible that the hair you were born with might not be for you (long term).
1. You Lead A Very Busy Lifestyle
If you’re like me, you might work a full-time job and then go home and work your side hustle, or maybe the rigors of your job demand long hours spent in the office or in front of a computer. You might even be juggling a career AND family! God forbid that you actually want to have a social life too. The 4 to 5 hours that it takes me to prep, wash, detangle, deep condition, detangle again, and twist my hair makes me yearn for the days of yore when I could spend two hours once a week getting a wash and set with minimal moisturizing maintenance until the next salon visit. You might not have time to fit in all your work, maintain a social life AND moisturize and seal your hair every night, and it’s likely that the hairstyles that make it easiest to care for your hair are not necessarily the ones that you want to wear while out flirting with that cute guy at the bar over cocktails. I personally am tired of feeling like I have to keep a separate appointment book for my hair. Of course this is mostly a problem if you do your own hair, but what if…
2. You Haven’t Found A Stylist You Trust
I have had issues with stylists before. There was the one who took my hair out (and if I see him again, there’s gonna be some furniture MOVING!) I also had a run-in with a woman who came recommended by a friend. Well, she wreaked havoc on my hair. The truth is, all she wanted to do was talk me into getting a texturizer or relaxer because, she said, that would allow my hair to grow to the length it formerly was (before dude jacked my hair up). When I explained that I had mid-back length hair while I was a natural (when pressed) she went behind my back and told my friend that I must have been lying because there was no way my hair could have been that long. I went to her twice, the last time I went, it was a hot summer’s day and by the time I walked the three blocks from her salon to Amoy Couture to inquire about a Brazilian Blowout, the stylists there couldn’t even believe that I had just spent nearly four hours getting my hair done.
For the record, I’m not down on ALL stylists. Since I’ve gone natural, I’ve found a couple that I liked quite a bit at higher end salons (such as Ouidad), but that brings me to number…
3. You Don’t Have The Cash To Splurge On Someone Who Specializes in Natural/Curly Hair
Let’s face it. Going to a natural hair care salon can be pricey, and understandably so! It takes time and patience (two things that many of us are short on) not to tear through those beautiful kinks (and often those dreaded tangles and knots). Natural hair stylists know this and charge accordingly. After all, if it were so easy, you wouldn’t be going to them, would you? NEWSFLASH: there is a reason why many of those natural hair salons (such as Miss Jessie’s) offer “silkeners.” And face it, it’s okay if…
4. You Miss Your Healthy Relaxed Hair
Here’s another newsflash (for some): HEALTHY RELAXED HAIR is NOT an OXYMORON. It is actually possible to have radiant, chemically straightened tresses. And if you like to wear your hair straight frequently, you will do a lot less damage over time relaxing your hair every few months (stretching is key) rather than subjecting your strands to the amount of heat that it requires to achieve, and maintain, straight natural hair (although there are a more than a few sistas out there who have succeeded at the art of “heat-training their hair). Plus, you know if the weather is humid and you have porous hair, this is an exercise in futility anyway. But perhaps the biggest reason of all for not sticking with your natural hair is…