All Articles Tagged "African American hair"

Wait…What?! In Touch Weekly Likens Solange’s Fro To A Dog’s Mane

December 17th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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In Touch Weekly Likens Solange's Fro To A Dog's Mane

Source: Instagram (The Shade Room)

Clearly the people at In Touch Weekly skipped both the annual diversity and racial sensitivity seminar. Or perhaps they don’t have one at all. Because in a column called “Double Creature,” the magazine published a little blurb likening Solange’s hair to that of a dog, a Yorkipoo named Jackie.

So it’s worth noting that the magazine itself did not make the comparison, the owner of the dog did.

“Yorkipoo Jackie is “basically twinsies” with Beyoncé’s sis, says the 5-year-old pup’s owner, Brian Murray Jr. ‘They rock the same hairdo…’ 

There are a couple of problems here. Initially, I read this wrong, believing that the person who wrote in was 5-years-old. Which would have been a bit more understandable. You know, kids don’t understand offensiveness just yet. But after a second read, it says that the dog is 5. The owner is a grown man. So not only do we have a grown man who doesn’t deem this comment offensive and racist but the whole In Touch Weekly editorial team also didn’t see a problem with the blurb and thought it was ok to publish it. Ridiculous!

I’ve seen publications compare the looks of a celebrity to animals but that only works in extraordinary circumstances. And this right just ain’t it.

What do you think about this column?

“You Hire Me, You Hire My Hair” Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Natural Hair On Network Television

December 5th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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It’s no secret that Tracee Ellis Ross is something like a hair icon. With luscious, bouncy black curls it makes a profound statement on television. And that point is not lost on Tracee. But she’s not the only one.

In fact, Black women on television, particularly ABC have been ditching the straight strands. Olivia Pope let her curls flourish when she was standing in the sun with Jake on “Scandal.” Tracee, as Dr. Rainbow Johnson on “black-ish”, rocks her natural hair. And perhaps most memorably, Annalise Keating, at the suggestion of Viola Davis herself, removed her wig before she confronts her husband about his extramarital affairs on an episode of “How To Get Away With Murder.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tracee spoke about the significance of that moment.

“I think what is important about Viola Davis taking her wig off on How to Get Away With Murder is that it illustrates that there is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be. I think right now television is one of the places where women are pushing up against that and saying, “You know what? I don’t need to play this game anymore in order to be considered beautiful…What I think is exciting is that to a certain extent, there is a revolution happening where black women are owning their own beauty, despite the standard of beauty that in the past has not had space for it.”

And then:

“I think it’s huge that I’m wearing my natural hair texture on ABC in prime time…I’m very conscious of how I wear my hair on the show, and yet it’s the way I wear my hair as Tracee. You hire me, you hire my hair and you hire my ass. It’s all coming with me.” 

And the church said Amen.

I think it’s worth mentioning that one commenter on EW‘s site mentioned that Tracee got the opportunity to wear her natural hair as Joan on “Girlfriends.” And as one respondent offered, that’s true but “Girlfriends” was a show targeted to a demographic who was more likely to accept this type of hair. Wearing her hair naturally on that show was like, “preaching to the choir.” (All types of Black church references for you today.) But “black-ish” on ABC reaches an entirely new demographic and audience, allowing Black women to exhibit a different type of beauty, our natural state of beauty, to people who are still largely ignorant.

It’s a good thing.

The other side of the coin though: the only type of natural hair the mainstream and others in the Black community are readily willing to accept, without hesitancy, comes in the loose, curly form more often than not. While the youngest daughter on “black-ish” has hair that is coarser with tighter coils, it’s largely absent in mainstream media. But hopefully, Tracee and Viola and Kerry will help to bust those doors down as well.

Perm Scabs & Other Things I Don’t Miss Now That I’m Natural

August 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Things I Don't Miss Now That I'm Natural

First and foremost, this is not a post trying to divide us along the lines of #teamnatural or #teamrelaxed. I’m tired of all the hashtag teams anyway. It’s not even a post, trying to persuade women to “go natural.” This is just my personal story about my own hair transformation and the things I appreciate about my own hair–or appreciate more– now that I no longer have a perm.

Do Weaves Make You Feel More Attractive?

March 17th, 2014 - By Ezinne Ukoha
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fight over hair weave

Source: Shutterstock

A few weeks ago, I was catching up with a friend, who had just returned from a trip and I noticed that her hair was different. As I tried to find her amid the sea of bodies in the packed restaurant, I took out my phone, ready to call and ask where she was seated, until I finally zeroed in on her. Viola! The reason I had a hard time pinpointing her was because her hair was different. When she left NYC she had long gorgeous braids and as I approached our table, I could see that she had traded that in for a weave.

As I embraced her, I joked about the fact that her hair was different and I asked her why her trip to LA had sparked the need for a weave, since her braids were relatively new and quite gorgeous. She laughed and explained that she wanted a change. She then proceeded to try to convince me that ever since she switched from braids to extensions, the amount of male attention she has been receiving has skyrocketed. I gave her a curious glance, and quickly surveyed her trumped up do. It looked contrived and frankly didn’t quite suit her. But I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that, so I smiled and told her I was happy that she was happy with her hair.

But the truth is that I was and still am confused. Her braids were glorious! She had gotten them done in Nigeria for almost nothing and yet they looked like a million bucks. Every time we met up, I always made a point to compliment them and she responded positively. But once the weave was secured, she was beyond enthusiastic. It was as if she had undergone a major makeover and her whole life was finally going to change. The man of her dreams just needs to see her with long straight hair paired with severe bangs.

This particular mindset makes me wonder how many of us rely on extensions to validate our beauty. I personally have indulged once in my life, and it was for a photo shoot for a hair magazine. I am definitely not saying that I will never get a weave again, but as long as I am able to maneuver my tresses in ways that work for me, I probably won’t utilize that route anytime soon. My point is that my friend clearly didn’t feel confident walking around with an ethnic style. Weaves have always been her mainstay. When I saw her with braids, I was elated. Mainly because she looked fabulous, and I was excited to see her step out of her comfort zone and try something new.  It’s obvious that she felt restricted and unattractive the whole time, and I am sure spending time in LA didn’t help matters. I think they choices we make based on twisted perceptions hurt us in the long run. She is so convinced that weaves are the best way to go, that she didn’t even try to give her new hairstyle a chance. If the kind of guys she attracts are the ones that are drawn to long fake hair, are they really worth her time?

Weaves are not the enemy; we are our own worst enemies. We use them as a shield to hide under, to help propel us to a level of status that we think we deserve. But in order to meet quality guys, we have to be comfortable with our most basic self. It’s time to relinquish the relevance we have given to our hair and embrace what really makes us who we are. I hope my friend will get to the point where she doesn’t need to rely on her weaves to make her feel worthy.


What Your Bank Account Thinks Of Your Natural Hair

December 11th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From StyleBlazer 

If you let Mother Nature take control of your hair, you will be in for a real treat. All the extensions, weaves, and clips-ons will just be a phase of the past and your hair will thank you for the hands-off approach because frankly, the chemicals and the weave won’t be tearing your luxurious locks apart.

Your hair is best at its natural state. So naturally, you gotta take care of it. Not to mention, the normal wear and tear hair goes through each day (the tight headbands, pony tail holders and the constant brushing is a definite cause of thinning in the front of your head).

Natural hair care keeps your hair truly healthy, but what are the real-life costs of going natural?

My mother, my sisters and I all have dreadlocks. The cost of being natural to us is very cheap, compared to the large amount of money we would be spending on a relaxer or perm products with five women in the family. So what do we use? Dr. Bonner’s Pure Castile Liquid Almond Soap ($10 give or take), some lock and twist gel (about $5), Arganand coconut oil (around $15 to $20 for both), and we call it a day. (We also occasionally braid and curl our hair with pipe cleaners, in which case we have to sit under a hair dryer for a few hours).

All in all, our natural hair routine is around $40 dollars every two months. Not only are we using natural hair care products that keep our hair healthy, but also the routine is pretty cheap compared to the hundreds and thousands of dollars many women spend on their hair in just one month (no really, check this out). 

Generally what moves women to go natural is the hair breakage and thinning from chemical treatments, and the costs of keeping up the chemically-treated hair. According to, more than 65 percent of black female consumers have relaxed hair. It’s around $50 to $250 for a relaxer to last six weeks, which means the cost of chemically processed hair is far surpassing my family’s mere $40 dollars for our natural hair upkeep.

Is the natural route the way to go? Read on for more details at 

And Another One: Porsha Stewart Launches Beauty Line

November 21st, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Porsha Stewart

Source: Instagram

Earlier this year Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Porsha Stewart, officially launched a line of premium quality hair extensions, Go N*ked Hair. Now it looks like the soon-to-be divorced reality TV personality has ventured into the beauty business as well. According to BET, in addition to Go N*ked Hair, the Atlanta native has also launched Beauty by Porsha, a line consisting of hair care and beauty products.

Products offered by the new line include Bye Frizzy! towelettes, which are supposed to assist with the taming of flyaway and unruly hair strands.

“I needed a product to keep my hair neat and smelling fresh. We created ‘Bye Frizzy!’ for all women who need a quick refresher,” says Porsha.

In addition to Bye Frizzy!, the line also offers Bye Brittle! nail hardener, which is said to restore damaged nails. Porsha is among the ranks of several reality stars who have taken a stab at the beauty business since snagging roles in popular reality shows, including Basketball Wives‘ Tami Roman, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta‘s Rashida and fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kenya Moore.

 Do you think you’d be interested in trying out any of these products?

Break The Cycle: Tips To Avoid Hair Breakage This Fall And Winter

October 22nd, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Well, it’s that time of year again ladies. Summer has officially bid us adieu. The beautiful green leaves have turned a rusty auburn color. The long summer days that we’ve grown accustomed to have become shorter and colder. Fall is here and winter is just around the corner. Though this seems to be a time of year where black hair really takes a beating, it doesn’t have to. Check out our five easy tips for maintaining healthy hair and retaining length during the colder months.

1. Necessary trims

While some women opt to trim their ends on a specific schedule, for example, trimming off an inch and a half every six to eight weeks, others have noticed that clipping their ends in these short intervals isn’t always needed and is sometimes even counterproductive to hair growth, since hair actually grows on average 1/2 inch per month. Instead of sticking to such a rigid schedule, try paying attention to the specific needs of your hair and trim those ends accordingly.

2. Shampoo and deep condition regularly

This tip probably sounds like the same old broken record playing over and over, but deep conditioning is extremely important to any hair care regimen and even more important during the Fall and Winter months. Having clean hair is extremely important, but while shampooing helps to rid your hair of any impurities, it can also strip your hair of its natural oils leaving hair dry and brittle. Cold weather only seems to worsen these conditions. Moisturizing deep conditioners assist in combatting this issue. Adding a deep conditioner to your haircare regimen may add a few more minutes to your routine, but it is certainly worth it in the long run.


– See more at:

These two seem like no-brainers, but deep conditioning is extremely important to any hair care regimen and even more important during the cold fall and winter months. Using a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your hair of dirt and impurities is crucial, but it can also strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving hair dry and brittle. Cold weather only seems to make these conditions worse. Thankfully, moisturizing deep conditioners are the perfect secret weapon to assist in combating this issue.

Celebrity hair stylist Tippi Shorter suggests maximizing your deep conditioning experience by placing a towel in the microwave for 45 seconds and applying it to the hair once the deep conditioner has been applied.

3. Make sure hair is completely dry after washing

The days of those lovely summer wash and gos are pretty much over–if you live in a place with cold falls and winters.

“In winter, dry your hair before you leave the house! It really pays to get up half an hour earlier to blow dry your hair, or a couple hours to let your hair air dry. Of course, the time will depend on the length and thickness of your hair,” says Erin J. Bailey of BlogHer.

4. If you’re into hair extensions and weaves, maintain your hair underneath between installations

When wearing beautiful hair extensions and sew-ins, sometimes it’s easy to forget about your own lovely tresses. Celebrity hair stylist and WE tv star Kim Kimble suggests allowing for good breaks between putting in new extensions.

“I do a hot oil treatment and deep conditioners while my hair is out. And when you wear extensions, you do need to give your hair a break.  I’m going through my break period right now, as I’m not wearing extensions today.  And you also should use sulfate free shampoo and detangling conditioner so that it doesn’t dry out.  So while your hair is out, that is your opportunity to treat it, since its hard to get to when you have the weave in it,” says Kim.

5. Protect your tresses from wool scarves and jackets

Though we adore our lovely wool scarves and jackets that not only look good, but help shield us during those brutally cold fall and winter days, they aren’t necessarily the best items when it comes to our hair. Wool causes breakage due to friction. It also has a tendency to deplete your hair of necessary moisture. To protect your locs against this, we suggest updos, full sew-ins, or other protective styles that keep your hair up and away from your shoulders.

10 Pivotal Moments In Black Women’s Hair History

March 13th, 2013 - By Tuere Randall
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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.

Do You Think Your Natural Hair Is Stopping You From Being Hired?

March 6th, 2013 - By madamenoire
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Source: Shutterstock Source: Shutterstock

From BlackVoices

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.


Facebook Live: CurlyNikki Answers Hair Questions About Trimming Natural Hair, Heat Damage & More!

February 12th, 2013 - By MN Editor
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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.