All Articles Tagged "black hair"
Whether it’s healthier locks, added length or just maintaining proper maintenance, we all have hair goals we want to reach. But, for some reason, some of us never seem to get it together. Some of the reasons we’re unsuccessful in attaining a hair goal or implementing a new hair hack is due to laziness. Other times, the reason we fail is that we’re too eager to set hair goals for haircare routines we know we won’t go above and beyond for.
If you can’t seem to reach that seemingly elusive state of hair nirvana, here are a few reasons why that could be.
Rushing through your daily or weekly hair-care routine.
Ripping a comb through your wet, fragile hair is a no-go. Letting your hair remain unattended to under a Beyoncé-inspired wig won’t help protect your hair. Refusing to treat your locks nicely while you wack through them to keep them clean, neat and tidy will only hold you back.
Speeding through your regular hair care routine is a terrible habit because you lose more hair than necessary through breakage, tangling, or matting. Focusing on maintaining positive day-to-day hair habits will help you achieve hair goals.
Avoiding regular trims.
Letting go of length is hard. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a stylist and her scissors disrespect us while our backs were turned toward the mirror. However, keeping the ends of your hair neat and trimmed can actually help your hair grow. Regularly trimming your hair prevents split ends or knots from creeping up your strands and causing the hair to become wimpy. Plus, your hair will look better when you don’t have scraggly ends hanging on by a thread, dangling on your shoulders.
You live a stressful life.
Hey, most times stress is caused by external events that are totally out of our hands. And stress can and will make you pull your hair out—literally. If you notice more hair in your comb than usual, and on a continual basis, or you feel like your hair is falling out, you have a problem. Being overwhelmed all the time can shock your hair follicles, causing your hair to fall out from the root. Try a calming nighttime routine and daily scalp massage to unwind after long days.
Getting too ambitious with shiny, new routines.
This is the month you’re going to go all organic with your hair care. And you’re going to mix up and apply a homemade conditioner three days per week. And you’re joining a creative hairstyling challenge. And you’re going to cook an exotic dinner every night and give up red wine and Jack Daniels.
Girl, we wish you luck with all those goals because you probably won’t make it to the end of the week. Implementing small hair changes and goals will get you further along in moving forward in your hair journey (if you have one), rather than changing your entire beauty habits at the drop of a dime.
You have a bad attitude about your hair.
A negative mindset about your hair is the worst. It’s more detrimental than poor hair care habits or neglect. Choosing to believe that your hair is horrible, ugly, and not worthy to be seen will keep you from achieving any hair goal you have for yourself. And it will keep you from taking care of your hair altogether. Negativity causes you to sabotage yourself. Until you take the time to retrain your mind and reframe your outlook by putting on those rose-tinted glasses, nothing else helps—not even the best homemade organic conditioner.
Staying on top of your hair goals is challenging. I would advise you to focus on sustaining results you begin to see taking shape while also taking the time out to relax and treat your hair properly. Above all, stay positive about your hair and you’re sure to see results.
LaKrishia writes about creativity, lifestyle, and media on ARMOURELLE.com, her personal blog.
I don’t think it’s too much of an overstatement to say that there appears to be a crusade against Black people, particularly Black women. The plan has been so well crafted and devised that even Black women perpetuate the oppression against each other.
Recently, a Toronto principal kicked a 13-year-old 8th grader out of class because she wouldn’t pull her afro into a puff or ponytail.
The 13-year-old girl, whose identity her parents want to remain anonymous, was doing her work at Amesbury Middle School when the school’s principal, Tracey Barnes, approached her and instructed her to pull her hair back or spend the rest of the period in the office.
Barnes told the little girl that her hair was “too poofy,” “unprofessional” and needed to be corralled.
The girl said she was shocked.
“I didn’t see what the big deal was about my hair because it wasn’t bothering anybody. I was just doing my work so I didn’t see why I had to be pulled out of class because of my hair.”
While her family doesn’t want to receive any further backlash by revealing the young girl’s identity, her aunt, Kaysie Quansah, spoke out both on Facebook and to news cameras.
“I know that as a little, Black girl, it’s hard growing up in this world. It’s hard growing up with European beauty standards kind of pushed down on us from a young age.”
The girl’s mother said that the principal, a Black woman, had been bothering her daughter about her hair since she stopped wearing it hair in braids and started wearing it out, in a loose, natural kink.
Her aunt said that she was surprised to learn that the principal was Black, but also not.
“We grow up, all this time, feeling like we’re not beautiful. And so for her to see [my niece] and her natural hair and to think ‘Oh, she will never get a position or she won’t be accepted in society because of that’ feels like it was drilled in her when she was growing up and now she’s projecting that onto little Black girls who may have reminded her of herself.”
The school does require uniforms but hairstyle is not a part of the standard look.
You can watch the full news package from “City News,” in the video below.
“I Had To Do It”: Maria Borges Ditches Extensions, Rocks Natural Hair At The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
@iammariaborges making history @victoriassecret yesterday sporting #teamnatural hair on the left and on the right rocking a weave from a previous year. Both are glam, both are beautiful but seeing natural hair in this light is new and rare and I applaud it. I'm all about choice but from a place of strength and knowledge. #hair #jeweltonesbeauty #ateh #atehedit #atehjewel #atehanswers #weave #blackhair #curlyhair #curls #coils #4c #4chair #4chairchicks #naturalhair #mariaborges
Maria Borges walked in last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and event the year before. Both times, the leggy Angolan beauty looked stunning as she smiled for the cameras on the runway, hair running down her back.
But this year, her third walk down the runway in three years, Borges decided to try something different. Or better yet, she felt that she needed to.
“I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria’s Secret show with my natural hair,” Borges told Essence.com. “I was nervous, but I had to do it. When they said ‘yes’ I didn’t expect it, but I was so happy!”
The model went natural earlier this year, and instead of feeling any pressure to throw on a wig or wear extensions for the big show, she decided to show off and celebrate her TWA.
Despite initially being nervous about how Victoria’s Secret would react to her trying to walk in the show with her natural hair, she was glad to have done it. She was the first to walk the runway with an afro.
Borges, who was named Forbes Africa magazine’s top model of 2013, and has walked in shows for Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Dior and many more, offered this piece of advice to women: Never second-guess your natural beauty. Embrace it.
“Be strong. If you say you’re beautiful without hair and makeup, then they will believe you. It’s about being confident and always being yourself.”
And as she stated on social media, her gorgeous hair definitely stole the show.
To watch Borges slay the runway for yourself, check out the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on CBS, Tuesday, December 8.
When I think of hairstyles that one might deem a little too…let’s just say “colorful,” I think mohawks. I think extreme dye jobs. I think any style that sits up too high, is too bright or is just way too distracting and would probably be frowned upon in the workplace.
But what about box braids?
If you ask me, box braids, which can be pulled up, worn down or twisted and turned into a whole host of tame styles, are not distracting at all. They should be suitable for any workplace. My sister is currently wearing some, and she’s a physical therapist. And you couldn’t keep my other sister from wearing them at the prestigious accounting firm she works for.
But according to my friend’s boss, they’re inappropriate.
My friend doesn’t work in your typical office environment. In fact, she doesn’t work in an office at all. She works in a showroom for an anal-retentive woman who sells and creates luxury home decor. Some clients come in to order things, and others call in, but my friend is the one who usually has to deal with all parties. Does she need to look well put together? Sure. Do box braids fit an interior design showroom? I guess not.
While chatting near the end of the workday last week, my friend told her boss that she was ready for a change in hairstyle. She regularly wears a TWA that is cut low on the sides, and when she wants a little excitement, my friend throws on a wig. But to prepare for the cold weather, she showed her boss a picture of some braids and said she was thinking of trying something different. Not braids in a bright color, just something simple. Her boss’ response?
“Ummm. I’m not comfortable with that.”
Comfortable? Why wouldn’t one be comfortable with some simple braids?
And that’s what my friend was trying to figure out. Feeling a bit slighted by her employer’s statement, a boss she has hasn’t always had a good rapport with, my friend turned up her eyebrow and simply said, “Okay then.”
Realizing that she may have said something ignorant, her boss tried to clean up her words. But she only made things worse by insulting my friend’s appearance and saying she didn’t want her to even try the style because it wouldn’t look right.
“I don’t know. It’s just that, you know, I don’t know if it would look the way you’re expecting. Those kinds of styles are more for people with long, slim faces. Yours is a little wider. They might drown you out. You know what I mean?”
Despite a sorry attempt to clean up her statement, my friend’s boss never changed her tune to say that the braids would be okay for the showroom. Nor did she try to explain why the style wouldn’t work for selling fancy pillows and such. But as the owner of the interior design business, that’s just what she gets to say and do.
Still, it sucks. And it’s somewhat discriminatory.
Discriminatory in the same way that it was prejudiced for the Pentagon to try and tell female service members that they couldn’t wear twists, “thicker braids” and most other popular protective hairstyles worn by women of color. While it makes sense if the styles are keeping the helmets of service members from fitting properly, if they’re not, it’s just flat-out discriminatory. Hence, the uproar over the statute, and hence, the reason the U.S. Army reversed their decision on Regulation 670-1.
My friend never said that she planned to do anything elaborate with the braids, and if her boss was worried, she could have at least told her to try and keep them pulled back and neat. But to just shut her down and not allow braids because they make the woman “uncomfortable”? Because they don’t fit with what one considers normal? Because they might distract or bother stuffy, wealthy White folks coming in to buy equally stuffy products? That’s unfair. And it’s an unfair reality for way too many people.
Janelle Monáe isn’t the only one who can kill the game with her vintage-inspired hairstyles. You can do just the same with a little creativity. Try out these nostalgic hairstyles that are fit for a pin-up queen.
It’s hard enough for parents to send their children to daycare knowing how sick and twisted people can be; and it’s stories like this one that certainly don’t make it any easier.
According to ITV News, Shantel Wallen, a woman in Birmingham, England, went to pick her daughter up from the Erdington’s Little Ripley Nursery when she was given one of her daughter’s braids in an envelope…with no explanation.
The braid had been completely and cleanly removed from her daughter, Malaya’s, two-year-old scalp, leaving no stubble in its place.
The nursery called Wallen back in August to tell her that her daughter had lost one of the 12 braids in her head.
Shantel and her partner Jahzeel Davis contacted education watchdogs Ofsted and had a meeting with the nursery bosses.
She said, “When I found out, I was really worried that someone had tampered with my daughter’s hair. The hair is not easy to pull out, yet it had been removed so cleanly. It’s almost as if it has been waxed. The only way it would have dropped out is if Malaya had a medical condition and even if she did, it would have come out in patches. I’ve been to the doctors and there’s nothing wrong with Malaya.”
Wallen removed her child from the nursery, which she had attended since she was nine-months-old.
A spokesman for the nursery issued this very vague statement.
“This is highly confidential and there will be no comment. Procedure has been followed and everything is complete. That is all I can say.”
I guess procedure includes not telling the parent what the hell happened to her child when she was left in the nursery’s care. And I guess procedure includes sending this little girl home with the detached braid as a memento of her abuse.
Wallen absolutely did the right thing removing her daughter from this nursery and contacting officials. But for the parents and want-to-be parents out there, is there something else you would have done in this situation? Personally, I would need some answers. And if none were being given, the authorities would have to get involved because this is truly strange and unacceptable.
How would you handle this?
So you’re a new natural and you’re ready to gain instant volume and length. Or, you’re an oldie but a goodie at this natural hair game, and you want a protective style that isn’t a perpetual bun or braid variation. Or, maybe you just want to try a perfect halo of natural coils before completely letting go of the relaxer. No worries. You can achieve all this by making your own crochet wig with natural textured braided hair.
Whether it’s a U-part wig or a full cap–any variation will work, really. You can use a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to gather your supplies, construct your new best friend, and have brand new hair to rock on Monday morning. (Of course, it’s imperative that you name your wig something sassy like Mirage or Emerald.)
This crochet wig technique is making its way around the YouTube hair community. Here’s how to make your own:
You will need these items:
- A crochet latch hook
- Weaving caps in a color that match the hair
- 3-5 packs of soft bulk twist or synthetic braid hair
- A foam wig head
- Push pins or T-pins
Simple, right? Now it’s time to start making your new wig.
First, place both weaving caps onto your foam wig head and pin them into place using your push pins.
WIG HACK: You don’t have to use two caps, but doubling up helps support the weight of the hair.
Separate your braid or twist hair into strands before you begin constructing your wig. It will help you work faster.
WIG HACK: Try combining two complimentary textures from the same brand for a more natural look. (Of course, you will need to separate the strands and blend once completed.)
Starting near the nape area of the foam head, push the crochet latch hook through 3-5 holes.
WIG HACK: Varying the number of holes you latch through creates a wig with more volume and bounce.
Insert a strand of the hair through the hook, pulling downward back through the same holes. This will create a loop. Then put your thumb and index finger through the loop, grabbing the lengths of the hair to pull them down through the loop of hair. Make sure the knot part of the loop is underneath the strand to create a smoother base of hair.
WIG HACK: As you get closer to the front perimeter and the parting area, loop thinner strands using the invisible knot method. This means pulling only one end of the length of the strand through the loop instead of both.
Continue with crocheting the hair through the weave cap holes until you’ve completed the process and your wig is as full as you like. Try on the wig as you go along to better judge the fullness of the hair. (But by all means, get all the way into Diana Ross mode with the volume.)
Once your wig is complete, fluff out the hair by separating the strands. Brush a few to purposely frizz the hair for a more natural textured look. If you’re going for a uniform twist out style, leave the hair as is, but separate strands to cover any netting.
Crochet wigs are a fly style choice, whether it’s for protective purposes or simply something fun to wear on a whim. You can cover your own hair, but still feel like you’re owning your signature look. Plus, it’s like having a permanent twist out depending on the hair texture you choose.
If you need to revive a sad, droopy wig, you can! Just brush out the hair carefully so you don’t snatch it out of the knot. Then wind the strands around perm rods in varying sizes and dip the hair in boiling water to set the curl.
With a crochet wig, you can have the fluffy hair of your dreams any day you choose.
LaKrishia believes every woman has the power to choose her own adventure. She writes about creativity, lifestyle, beauty and big ideas at www.ARMOURELLE.com.
No offense to my caucasian compatriots, but I think we can all admit that there are some perks to working with Black folks. I should know. I would say that about 98 percent of the people in our office are Black. So, if one of us walks into the room with braids one month, afro the next, and a wig on an especially tricky hair day, it’s no big deal. The most you will see and hear is “Oooooh, that’s cute!” as one of us points to the other with a twisted mouth. No one loses their mind over it, and if someone does for some reason, it’s for no more than a few seconds. The inquiring mind gets the details on where they too can obtain such a style, and then we start talking about what’s going on in the news (i.e., gossip).
But that’s not the case for my best friend, Felicia. While vacationing together a few days ago, my girlfriend asked another one of my best friends about her braids. Felicia wanted to get some braids of her own but was worried about the reaction she would garner if she walked into her job with them. You see, my friend’s boss, a White woman, acts very brand new each and every time Felicia walks into the office with a new ‘do.
“Oh my gosh! Your hair! Did you do this yourself? What happened to the previous style? How do you do this one? You know I love your curls. My hair looks similar when I wash it…”
And not only does she gawk at it, ask round-the-clock questions about it, and attract uncomfortable attention to Felicia’s natural hair, but she also touches it–without asking. A lot. This bothers my sister from another mister. But because the touchy-feely hair creep is her boss, she doesn’t feel like she can say or do anything about the uncomfortable groping. If she does, she worries that she will get in trouble or make the situation a lot bigger than she currently thinks it is.
Therefore, Felicia avoids doing too much with her hair. The less she does, the less attention. But even a simple blowout can find my friend in the middle of a game of Twenty Questions. Felicia’s hair has become a form of entertainment for her invasive boss.
This struggle is not too far off from the one my sister deals with when she goes to her office with a different wig or style from week to week. She’s often asked how her hair goes from a healthy afro to a shoulder-length bob with bangs in one day.
“It’s a wig,” she tells them, to which they reply, “Ooooooh. How interesting…”
When my sister shares with me her workplace hair stories, I laugh. But she never finds them funny.
“It’s just so annoying at this point. It’s f**king hair! Enough already.”
And I can understand why she feels this way. I went to a holiday party with her and watched one of the partners of her firm and his wife have a colorful conversation about my sister’s choice of wig for the night. Ironically, they were the first of three people to say something about her hair that evening, and not just a simple “I love it!”
“Veronica has the most interesting hairstyles,” the sixtysomething man said to his spouse. “One day it’s long, the next it’s short. It’s always the topic of water-cooler conversation.”
And those conversations would be okay if it weren’t for the fact that they are exhausting for my sister.
I only field such questions about my hair when I’m on vacation somewhere far away, around people not used to seeing women who look like me: “Beautiful hair…is this yours?” Or, I deal with them when my hair is being groped by men who have had too much to drink at outdoor music festivals and lounges. They put their dirty fingers in my locs and then say, “Hey, I love your hair! Is this your natural color?” And in those few and far between instances, I’m quite irritated. I can’t imagine dealing with such foolery at my place of work. And yet, I know a handful of people who do, and who would rather play it safe with their hair than to attract unwanted attention and hands from coworkers and higher-ups.
But stuff like this always bothers me. And it confuses me too. People are either telling you your hair is too much for corporate America or drooling over it. The idea that one has to quell their mode of self-expression to avoid becoming the office science project is insulting. And it’s even more outrageous that my best friend is backed into a wall because her boss thinks it’s appropriate to fondle her hair and gets to do so because, well, she’s the boss. While I’m all for keeping the peace, I’m more for people keeping their hands to themselves and keeping the work environment a comfortable one. Just like we don’t need people grabbing on our limbs in the workplace, our hair is attached to our bodies and needs to be left alone as well. No one likes or wants their mane groped by tipsy and turnt men out in these streets, and it’s just as unacceptable, if not more, in a place where professionalism is supposed to be everything.
How would you handle this situation if your boss was inappropriately touching your hair and bringing a lot of uncomfortable attention to it?
— Damian (@DanVHefner) September 28, 2015
Black hair is so unique, so time consuming and yet marvelous that we could spend a lifetime talking about the great pains we’ve gone through to make it fresh and maintain its fly. You can’t have this conversation without mentioning the DuRag.
Worn by men and women alike, it wasn’t long before the DuRag became a fashion statement and artists, athletes and public figures were seen rocking the silky fabric on their heads.
Black Twitter, being the treasure trove that it is, decided to honor the DuRag today with the hashtag #DuRagHistoryWeek.
Check out some of our favorite tweets from today’s funniest trending topic.
The natural hair topic has long run its course. But, nevertheless, I’m going to ask this question: Should a woman be forced to straighten her natural hair to appease her bosses?
The inspiration for this question comes by way of Angela Green, weeknight anchor for WNCT in Greenville, N.C., who recently posed the same question in a video post on her Facebook page. For those with Facebook, you can watch it here.
For those without an account, here is my best early-morning transcription of Greene’s statements:
The topic is natural hair in the workplace. Very sensitive to a lot of people. I’m natural. As many of you may or may not know, I’m biracial. My mother is from Thailand and my father is Black. See my hair? Straight. Y’all comment about it all the time. But if I were to go natural, my hair would be curly. But for right now, we’re not going to do curly hair because my bosses like it that way, so that is what we are going to go with.
Okay, let me pause this transcription to point out how Green declares herself both natural and not natural at the same time. While it sounds like an oxymoron, it is also an important detail to note in the context of the question posed below. She continues:
Green: Let me let you meet Madison. Madison is a…what year are you?
Madison: I’m a sophomore. 19.
Green: 19 years old. This is the style right now for everybody, rocking natural hair every day. Well, she is about to do a production for work. She is in TV and broadcasting and the topic of her hair came up. She was told that it was what?
Madison: Too big and I needed to straighten it. Straighten it out. It would be distracting.
Green: Distracting, well that is a very interesting word. But in the world of TV we see it all. It just depends in what market, what audience you’re looking for right now. And really, your bosses and what they allow you to do. My advice is straighten for the sake of the school project. Depending on what market you get in, when you’re older, that is something that you have to deal with. But in the workplace, just for this one, my suggestion was to just straighten it out just to please everybody. But everybody won’t roll with that answer. What would your suggestion be to Madison and other young professionals rocking their natural hair?
Well, I am glad she asked.
Again, what is interesting is how Green defines “natural hair.” In this context, she uses it to describe her own hair, which is naturally curly, but has been pressed straight. Granted, she may define natural as being free from chemicals, which is a commonly held belief among Black women. But it also clear that she sees natural hair as more of a style than an actual state. This is evident when she points to Madison’s head of natural curls and says, “This is the style right now for everybody, rocking natural hair every day.”
In essence, her question is less about if Madison should be natural, but rather, how she should be natural.
And her question does have some relevancy. Be it wash and go or Freddie Brooks on fleek, big and bountiful curls do appear to be the most sought-after hairstyle choice among natural women. Even as some folks’ hair doesn’t naturally curl that way and even though there are more natural hair styling choices out there, including a press and curl.
And while Madison’s hair does naturally hold that curl pattern, there are more reserved ways she could maintain her natural, which does not comprise hair principles, health, style choice or job standing. For instance, a nice bun or classic updo.
Plus, it is not like European women in media aren’t asked to tame their tresses – and other “distractions” too. I don’t ever recall seeing a White anchorwoman with big, bountiful curls. Sadly, Green’s advice is the cold, hard truth of what it is like to work in television news, where the image of the person reporting the news counts just as much as the news itself.
Still, I find it quite disheartening that we are encouraging young women to accept the status quo, particularly as it pertains to beauty ideals and standards, instead of pushing them to break down those barriers. While it is true that image has always counted, it does not mean that we have to continue to breed new generations of women who continue to make image a priority just because that’s how it has always been.
Somebody has to be brave enough to say no. Somebody has to have the courage to walk into human resources and say, “Listen here you cogs of White supremacy, I’ll do a bun, but I am not straightening my hair. People will get used to to it. Anything else is discrimination.”
That’s how things change.
What I find most odd about this entire question about the appropriateness of Black/biracial women and natural hair – no matter how you define it – is how in one breath, society is encouraging us to accept White women, specifically with cornrows and faux-ethnic hair, while still telling women of color that their natural hair is too distracting.
But that’s how I feel about it. What are your thoughts? Is natural hair just a style or an actual state? Should Madison straighten her hair to appease her bosses and advance her career (i.e. earn a paycheck) or should she stick to her hair principles?