All Articles Tagged "black women and hair"
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.
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If there’s one Biblical ideal almost every woman in the world has subscribed to from the beginning of time—perhaps unknowingly—it’s the scripture that states “a woman’s hair is her crowning glory.” When I say people have taken that passage and ran with it, I’m talking a Flo Jo sprint to Carol’s Daughter, the corner beauty supply, and back because no matter how much we want to throw out that cute, “it’s just hair” catch phrase we know good and well, our attitude toward what adorns the top of our heads is hardly as casual.
You mostly hear natural women say “it’s just hair,” when they are forced to explain why they no longer have any after a big chop. Interestingly though, as their hair grows back, their free time will begin to be spent scouring the Internet to find a how-to video for a twist out or reading product reviews or finding a natural hair meet up or trying to accept the new type of beauty that doesn’t involve several inches of hair falling from their scalps. It might have just been hair that hit the salon floor the day they got rid of it, but when it starts growing back it turns into much more—a project of sorts and for some, a new identity.
Even a woman who gets a simple haircut, not even a big chop, deals with the same. You can go from shoulder-length hair to a pixie cut and start proclaiming short hair, don’t care, but the moment you leave the salon, you begin to question how people will respond to you now. Will they think you’re still attractive, will you be seen as less or more beautiful than before, will your sexuality be questioned, are you even the same person? All that inquiry spawned from the simple snip of some scissors and $40-$100 missing from your wallet.
Just something as simple as a bad hair day can get someone cussed out quickly because you just don’t feel like yourself. It might be too humid and your hair is frizzy, your curls won’t last, you sweated out your perm, your hair’s too short to do anything with, you’re tired of wearing the same raggedy ponytail everyday—whatever it is, if any of those thoughts are the first ones to flood your mind when you start your day, chances are you won’t just have a bad hair day, you’ll have a bad day period; and anyone who comes in contact with you might as well.
And though there are a slew of other things that can go wrong, so to speak, with our physical appearance on any given day—a pimple, rip in our stockings, having on the wrong bra—nothing holds nearly as much weight as our hair not being up to par—even when it comes to our weight. If it was a toss-up between your hair being laid and you getting it in in the gym, the hair’s probably going to win. And if someone wants you to go somewhere and your hair is not looking right? Rain check please!
Hair is serious— to all women—and the gravity of it most of us haven’t been able to escape no matter how many times we chant, “it’s just hair.” The question is, is it a problem? Though in most denominations, people today are no longer bound by old testament teachings, if you still believe your hair is your crowning glory, is that such a bad thing?
Because society has become so beauty-obsessed there’s this unspoken, yet clearly evident attitude among those who aren’t apart of the beauty elite that if you care about your physical appearance, you’ve essentially drank the sugar-free Kool-Aid. It depends. One’s hair shouldn’t stop them from engaging in society but there’s a huge difference between being conscientious of what your hair looks like when you leave the house and trying to make the strands you were born with into something they weren’t mean to be just to fit some Eurocentric standard.
Outside of that merry-go-round, women should feel the freedom to say no it’s not just hair and I do care—just like you care that your skin is blemish-free or you can fit into that body-con dress for the party Saturday night. We’re allowed to want to be beautiful by our own standard and if that means investing time and money into our crown then so be it, that’s better than frontin’ like you don’t when you know you do.
Do you think it’s OK to spend a lot of time dealing with your hair and wanting it to look a certain way or does it mean your oppressed by society’s obsession with beauty?
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
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What girl hasn’t saved a gazillion images of her favorite celeb hairstyles to serve as inspiration for her own ‘do? But with so many of us going sans relaxer, it gets a little tougher finding natural haired Hollywood heroines. Thankfully many have also decided to trade the touch-ups for twist-outs. But are the coils working?
Come take a look at 10 celebs who went natural and our verdicts on the state of their hair at styleblazer.com
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To many, lace front wigs are a convenient way to get that long, flowing head of hair that is nearly impossible for most black women to achieve even with relaxers. For a generation of women brought up on Barbie, and now Beyonce, the idea that “down your back” tresses are the epitome of feminine has led to the lace front wig as the ultimate tool to achieve this look. Nearly chemical-free and versatile, the lace front comes in many styles and simply has to be glued on to get the glamour of a star. But a new “PSA”-style viral video is calling on all women who have adopted this trend to rethink the slap-on weave. TheGrio.com reports:
A tongue-in-cheek “anti-lace front” video has gone viral on YouTube and social networking sites. As of Thursday, the video, featuring a group of African-American women, was viewed nearly 40,000 times on YouTube.
The video called, “Anti-Lace Front PSA”, rallies women to take the lace off. Its commentary says “there’s nothing wrong with letting your naps show” and urges women to save “one scalp at a time” until “every real hairline is revealed.”
But with so many high-profile celebrities wearing hair extensions, black women are keen to get the “good hair” look. It is, for example, well-known that the likes of Beyoncé, Tyra Banks and Kelly Rowland, all wear extensions or weaves.
The problem is not everyone has the hard-earned cash to get hair done to Tyra’s immaculate standard. Badly fitted lace weaves are a walking disaster.
There is even anecdotal evidence, hair extensions, including lace weaves, damage the hairline and weaken afro-hair, especially if the glue is improperly applied.
Others say if wigs and hair caps are tight with unbreathable fabric, the friction of it rubbing against hair will damage the hairline.
Photographs have even surfaced on the Internet of Naomi Campbell’s (a self-confessed hair-extension addict) receding hairline.
Naomi, like many black women suffers from Traction Alopecia — hair loss caused by constant pulling and tension from weaves and/or chemical damage.
But it seems many African-American women will go to any length to wear “straight hair” even if it costs them their own natural hair.
Read the rest of this informative article on TheGrio.com.
Naomi Campbell is not the only woman suffering from Traction Alopecia, and going bald because of it. A recent study showed that a staggering 59% of black women in a sample suffered from some form of Traction Alopecia, which occurs when one’s hair follicles are permanently damaged by hairstyles that pull and tug on the hair in the same pattern over many years. Black hair care experts state that one can wear braids and weaves without damage being done to the scalp, but much care must be taken with the hair, and one must switch up one’s styles to prevent permanent damage. It stands to reason that a similar litmus test applies to the use of lace front wigs.
The application of lace front wigs involves exposing hair follicles to the chemicals in glue, sometimes shaving down the hairline, and often long periods of time when the scalp is not cleaned thoroughly, all of which will have a long-range impact on scalp health. Given all these variables, it is more likely the mis-suse of lace front wigs over time that can lead to hair damage, rather than the wigs themselves. Any style that involves covering your scalp, using chemicals, adding hair — done again and again over years in exactly the same pattern — will likely lead to Traction Alopecia, no matter what the style is.
For these reasons, my stylist for instance insists that I change my styles regularly, and do a “rest style” every few months, like a two strand twist with my own hair or a sew in weave over cornrows — kept in no longer than three months. Even the “rest” weave is checked after six weeks for pulling or potential stress areas on the scalp. How many black women take these precautions?
It’s great that the makers of this PSA and The Grio want to warn black women of the dangers of lace front wigs (while making us laugh), but these dangers apply to any style that stresses the scalp and is constantly repeated. Rather than create alarm about this particular style, it is more important to create better awareness of the healthy treatment of black hair. This will go much further to ending the scalp damage 59% of black women are enduring.
The PSA’s message about pride in “showing your naps” is so complicated, it deserves a separate commentary of it’s own. (A thorough exploration could fill a 1,000 page volume.) I for one wear styles that show my naps AND at other times the “Barbie” flowing locks. Unlike the message promoted in the video below, one look does not exclude the enjoyment of the other. Nor does enjoyment of a Beyonce-weave mean you are ashamed of your afro hair.
You just want to wear the weave styles in a way that preserves your hair health.
Do you find this video funny, informative, or just alarmist? Leave your comments below!
Alexis Garrett Stodghill is the senior editor of MadameNoire.com. Follow her on Twitter: @lexisb
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By Anu Prestonia, Natural Hair Care Expert
Someone recently asked if I think many people want Locs just so they can have long hair. I don’t know the answer to that; I think it’s a case-by-case observation. I do know that long hair has been a standard of beauty in western culture. It has been mentioned since the beginning of western writings in every form imaginable, including prose, poetry, songs, fiction, nonfiction and even in sacred writings.
Weaves, wigs and extensions are all the rave with women- especially black women. They’re great on one hand, because they can be used for protective styling while letting you maintain an incredibly fabulous look. But on the other hand, if worn incorrectly, they can (1) make you look a hot mess while (2) slowly but surely balding you in the process.
Last week I read an article in The Grio about a recent study that concluded very tight weaving is linked to a permanent type of hair loss that affects black women. The clinical term is central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, which means “scarring hair loss.” It is something that occurs only in black women. And to date, there is no treatment for it.
As a doctor, I wasn’t surprised by this recent study. I’ve shared this information about weaves with family and friends for years. Prolonged pulling at hair strands, which primarily happens when wearing tight weaves/wigs, causes scalp inflammation, hair breakage, and ultimately balding. And if going bald wasn’t bad enough, black women also add insult to injury when we rock hair pieces that also look a hot mess because we choose not to pay attention to important things like styling, maintenance and hair hygiene. We’ve all seen those ratty, bird nest-looking weaves and wigs. Not a good look.
Weaves, wigs and extensions are not just something you should slap on your head without much forethought, care, or even precaution. A lot can go wrong if you do. But does this mean that you can’t rock a fierce weave, wig or hair extensions? No- of course you can! But if you do, you have to pay very close attention to your hair, as well as the styling and maintenance of your weave/wig. It’s all your hair- even the part you paid for So take care of it- and love it! Here are six tips on how to rock a weave and not look a hot mess or go bald in the process.
Just recently, I had a rather interesting conversation with another natural haired woman. And according to her: “If your hair ain’t natural, you’re full of self-hate.” Mind you, this woman was also wearing colored contact lenses and acrylic nails.
I’m a natural haired woman, and I have a problem with her statement- mostly because it’s rather judgmental and a flawed attempt to psychologically breakdown every relaxed haired black woman. For many little black girls, getting our first relaxer is an indoctrination. It’s just like going to church: You may not know why you’re doing it- you just do it because Mommy said so. At least that’s how it was for me. I got my first relaxer in kindergarten. And the whole experience was never really something I thought about until I hit my teenage years. I certainly didn’t hate myself- at least not more than the next insecure teenage girl. But I’ll tell you what I did hate- doing my hair. It was a constant conundrum because I wanted to look good (as most budding young women do) but sweat, water, wind (actually all the elements) were my biggest adversaries. And for someone who loves working out, going to the beach, fishing, and generally anything that involves water and warm weather, relaxed hair started to work my last nerve.
And then of course, there was also the spiritual aspect of going natural. Years ago I was in Jamaica- surrounded by tons of beautiful, brown-skinned, natural haired women. And I literally had an epiphany- kinda like being unplugged from The Matrix. I was in the bathroom, looking at my frizzy, salt-water matted hair in the mirror, and I thought: ‘What the heck am I doing to my hair? Why am I trying so hard to look like this?” It was a profound moment for me, and I made the decision to go natural right then and there.
I love my hair now. And for me, natural hair offers wonderful flexibilities and freedoms that I didn’t have with relaxed hair. Personally, I’m pro natural hair and wouldn’t go back to a perm. But that’s my experience and my choice. Every woman is different.
It bothers me when natural haired women make statements like “if your hair ain’t natural, you’re full of self-hate.” Basically, it’s been my observation that there are two types of natural haired women: the “aggressive, judgmental” type and the “live and let live” type. I admit that my decision to go natural did revolve around a newfound self-acceptance and self-love. But I’m not about to make a blanket psychological analysis of every women that relaxes her hair. I’m my own person- and my experiences and decisions don’t apply to every other black woman.
So if you’re a natural haired woman that takes an aggressive, judgmental stance on natural versus relaxed, I would advise you to chill a bit- especially if you boast about “natural” equating to self-love, but then proceed to wear other kinds of fake out. Every woman has the freedom to express her beauty the way she deems fit- whether it’s natural or enhanced. Ladies, oftentimes it’s hard enough just learning to love ourselves. And we should all encourage each other, regardless of what’s on our heads.
What does natural hair mean to you?
Do you think that women who wear perms have issues with self-hate?
If you liked this article and want to know more about our writer, Dr. Phoenyx Austin, fan her on Facebook! Dr. Phoenyx is a physician, writer, & media personality. She is a young woman living passionately and truthfully- hoping to empower, educate, and entertain women through her witty, straightforward commentary on love, relationships, sex, and hot topics. She is also currently working on her first fiction book- a psychological thriller.
(Eurweb.com) — *An African American female television reporter decided to let her straightened hair “go natural” during sweeps week and let viewers see the transformation process, reports Richard Prince in his column Journal-isms. Rochelle Ritchie of WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla., called “The Big Chop” a success, and ratings confirmed that. The station put up a web page with her two stories and related ones. [Scroll down to watch report.] News director Jeff Brogan told Journal-isms that the ratings for the 11 o’clock news on Nov. 17, which featured Ritchie’s second piece of the day, increased from the lead-in show and stayed at the high point during the broadcast. That is “not an easy thing,” he said. The “share” of the audience numbered 11 at 10:45 p.m., rose to 14 from 11 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. and stayed there from 11:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., he said. The seven-minute piece aired at 11:15.
Madames, I’ll set the scene, but I have a hunch you know it well…
You’ve met a great guy, you’ve been dating for a while, and things are progressing well. But you’ve been holding out, no sleep-overs. Then, you decide that it’s time. You get your pedicure, remove any unnecessary body hair (ahem) and pack your toothbrush. But what about the hair on your head!?
When we’re alone, we have our hair rituals: conditioning cream, pin-curls, wrapping, a couple of french braids for waves the next morning. Then we wrap it all up in a do-rag or scarf. Right?
Has your man said the scarf is a turn-off or does he not even care?
Tell us what happens when you spend the night out. Whether your going to a guy’s house or spending the weekend away at a convention and sharing a room with a co-worker, do you let them see your do-rag?
Tell us, we know you’ve got lots to say on this one!