All Articles Tagged "natural hair"

We Need To Talk About Kanekalon Hair

April 22nd, 2016 - By Patia Braithwaite
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Corbis

Corbis

Here’s a confession – I’m a lazy natural. To that end, I’m a fan of protective styles I can leave in until they look crazy. Since I gave up the creamy crack, I relish the choice not to spend a lot of money on my hair, and I don’t like having to spend hours doing it each day.

I feel you all judging me already…

This mindset is, essentially, how I began my long and illustrious affair with kanekalon hair. The year was 2013, and I was at the point in my natural hair journey where I’d look in the mirror and sigh. I’d pull at a strand and note with satisfaction that it was beyond my chin only to let go and watch it jump up by my ear.

Blame society, blame humidity or blame chronically low self-esteem, but I didn’t feel sexy or glamourous with my perpetual afro puff.  As a result, I did what most naturals do when they need inspiration: I logged onto YouTube to see that everyone was obsessed with Marley twists.  For those who don’t know, Marley braid hair is a type of synthetic (kanekalon/toyokalon) hair that mimics coarser hair textures. Women in the hair videos were giving me natural hair glam by flipping their twists over their shoulder, and turning in slow motion, so the hair fanned out (with R&B instrumentals in the background).

I spent the next two years in and out of Marley twists, beating my face, painting my lips blood red, and wearing my twists in a severe bun atop my head.  My friends told me I looked regal. A homeless woman called me out in the subway for wearing “two dollar pack hair.”

There were mixed messages, but I didn’t care.  I was happy until I was bored.

When I went back to YouTube, I discovered that the Internet was over twists, and had moved into crocheting Marley hair. Though I loved the way it looked on other women, I yearned for something that looked a little bit more like my 4c texture hair. Marley hair, though coarse, sometimes has a sheen that looks unnatural. When I came across Cuban Twist Hair, I was stuck. It looked like my hair on a humid day. I looked at a few more tutorials, studying the technique and listening for reviews on the hair:

“The hair is soft.”

“The hair looks and feels like 4c hair.”

“This hair is everything.”

Ultimately the hair is $6 a pack, so I didn’t really have to agonize over it much. I purchased four packs and went to work. It was amazing – the hair looked like it was growing out of my head.  Even the expensive clip-ins I’d splurged on didn’t blend this well.

The thing is, though, Cuban Twist Braid hair feels like sh*t.

To be fair, it doesn’t literally feel like human/animal excrement. It feels like steel wool you’d use to plug holes near pipes to keep out mice.

“Your hair looks amazing,” my best friend gushed as she went to touch the Cuban Twist Hair that was crocheted into my head.

“Thaaaanks,” I said as I resisted the urge to dodge her hands. “But it’s not for touching. I actually wouldn’t wear this hair if I had a boyfriend.”

We laughed, but I couldn’t help but wish someone on YouTube had told me what I’d just shared with her. You know, it’s nice, but not THAT nice. I also didn’t expect to meet someone shortly after.

I’m not anti-kanekalon.  A person can’t, in good conscience, spend $6 on hair and expect a miracle. My issue is with some of the ‘faculty’ at my beloved YouTube University. Hair manufacturers send YouTube reviewers sh–ty hair and these reviewers are so happy to get free hair that they often feel compelled to soften the truth (I can’t blame them).  To avoid making the mistakes that I did, consider reading the cesspool that is the YouTube comments section. Often, people who have had different experiences with products will share their stories and provide an alternative view. Also, be wary of anyone who received the hair in exchange for a review. Women who paid the $6 are obviously less encumbered.

While a better woman might have taken the hair out after realizing how truly bad the quality, I rocked with it. I loved how natural it looked, but I was constantly nervous about how other people were experiencing my hair. One night, as I laid my head on my brand new boo’s chest, I was paranoid with whether or not the tendrils were scratching him.  I didn’t ask. I’ve learned not to ask questions I don’t want an answer to, but when I mentioned, a few weeks later, that I was about to take my hair out, he was way too excited about it.

I put it back in to spite him (I’m a jerk).

And I guess that’s my point: It’s one thing for me to feel a bit insecure about the texture of my cheap hair, but the choice is 100 percent mine to make.

I love so many things about Black women, but my favorite thing is that we boldly own what other women tend to hide: that there are so many different ways to be beautiful.  There is the beautiful that comes from being carefully coiffed, anointed in expensive potions and dripping with gold.  There is controversial beauty that comes from waist trainers and butt injections. But there is an equally fierce version of beauty that emerges from the stretchmarks around our arms. There’s the beauty that shines when we wake up. There is the beauty that comes from natural hair hit by humidity, and that beauty is feral. It cannot be contained. What we know, is that all versions are valid, and if we let it, even kanekalon becomes a crown.

Save The Scalps Is On A Mission To Prevent Traction Alopecia In Young Girls

April 19th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Corbis

Corbis

There’s no shortage of memes about Black women’s struggle to protect their edges, but the reality of traction alopecia is far more serious than any Internet trope may let on. Despite all of the knowledge on healthy hair care that’s now available online, many young girls still fall prey to unhealthy hair practices passed down from older women in their families who don’t know any better, and D.C.-based organization Save The Scalps is on a mission to prevent this generational hair curse throughout our nation’s capital.

“Save the Scalps has set out to not only reverse this thinking for young girls not yet privy to the information, but also for older women with no clue about how to manage their natural hair,” wrote founder Kealah Abdul-Barr in an email.

So far the group has given hair presentations at numerous colleges and businesses as well as middle and high schools throughout the DC area, introducing girls to the negative effects of unhealthy hair practices and then providing natural hair alternatives. In a recent presentation at Kennedy Recreation Center, group members noticed 100 percent of girls ages 12 and up in attendance suffered from stunted hair growth or excessive heat damage.

“The older girls see perms and flat irons as a ‘rite of passage’ in a sense,” Abdul-Barr said. “When they want to look more ‘mature’ or ‘adult,’ they begin to perm and heat their hair. This inevitably leads to damage.

This [cycle of poor hair care] sprung from the idea that natural is isn’t ‘professional’ or beautiful and has been taught to us for generations. Many feel like its harsh and unfair to tell a girl that the way the hair grows out of her scalp isn’t fit for society and she thus has to change herself to mold to society’s standards of what beauty is. This also leaves us with the notion that Black hair is not what beauty is.”

Thanks to Abdul-Barr and her organization, by the end of every presentation the girls have come to see that natural hair is beautiful and often go on to do more research online to learn how to care for and style their hair without harsh chemicals. As the group builds to extend its reach across America, its also looking to expand the takeaways girls get from the program. One such hope is to be able to provide girls with a natural hair starter kit that will aid them in their transition as well as a how-to guide for management. A far more ambitious feat is to host a Natural Hair Beauty Pageant at the Washington D.C. Howard Theater so young women can see the wonders of natural hair proudly on display. Of course, funding is required to accomplish these goals and Save the Scalps is currently accepting donations of money and time to realize these efforts and continue “Giving [girls] the light and new-found confidence in their natural beauty that many naturalistas rave about.”

To donate or get involved with Save the Scalps, visit their website at www.savethescalps.com.

 

Teacher Gets Class To Rock A “Sasha Bun” After Bullying Black Girl For Her Natural Hair

April 14th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Facebook

Finally, in the midst of all the stories of Black girls being taunted and even fired for how they wear the hair that naturally grows from their heads, someone has been thoughtful enough to change other’s perception of our beauty.

On Facebook, a first grade teacher in Rome, Italy, named Alexondra Purnomo wrote a post titled “The Sasha Bun” in which explained how she got a class full of Italian kids to go from poking fun at one Black student for her natural hair to mimicking her exact same hairstyle. She wrote:

My school is predominately Italian kids. Probably more than 95%. I have a new(er) student who is black in one of my classes. This week she came to school without braids. Some of the kids made fun of her for her short hair so she started wearing a (winter!) hat to school and refused to take it off. Today, together with the Italian teacher Veruska Meloni, we talked about being different and it not mattering. Whether we are short, tall, light skinned, dark skinned, blond, brunette, with or without glasses, boy, girl, braid, bun, sneakers, shoes… This student finally took her hat off today. She had a little bun on the top of her head. The other teacher and I both put our hair in buns on the top of our heads saying it was the “Sasha bun.” Then one by one, all of the girls (and boys! 😂) wanted their hair in a “Sasha bun.” We were able to come together as a class and bring a smile to Sasha’s face after a long, tough week. It gave me chills to see 19 kids come together to help one fellow student. Grazie mille a Veruska!

The photo above is the result of Ms. Purnomo’s paradigm shift, which lasted long after the teacher’s initial lesson. In an update on PopSugar, Purnomo said that Sasha had returned to school wearing her winter hat, but after classmates cheered her on saying, “Ma Sasha, sei bella,” (“But Sasha, you’re beautiful!”), she removed it and showed off her hair the rest of the day. Plus, several other girls came to class rocking the Sasha bun too.

Responding to the virility of her story, Purnomo wrote another message on Facebook explaining why Sasha’s experience in class was so personal to her and so important to correct:

“Wow! I’m so grateful and excited that the Sasha Bun got so much attention! Never would I have thought my simple Facebook post would have gone viral. I’ve even had strangers message me thanking me for sharing this story.

For me this story is important because I come from a biracial family (Italian-American/Indonesian). I was fortunate enough to grow up around people who always accepted me for who I was. And that’s exactly what I want for my students.

I went from teaching many years in the South Bronx, New York, where the majority of the school population was Black/Hispanic to now teaching mostly Caucasian students. No matter what situation you find yourself in in life, there is always someone who is “different.” These differences are what make each individual unique and special.

I really hope the Sasha bun sparks a deeper conversation both in schools and at home. I think it’s also important to understand the difference between teasing and bullying. Teasing happens when kids don’t understand something that is different from them. They giggle without realizing that it hurts someone else’s feelings. When they don’t learn about diversity, then it can turn into bullying. That’s why it’s up to us educators (and humans) to teach children awareness of this diversity. The earlier we teach that being different is what makes each of us special, the more natural it becomes in making our world a more tolerant and accepting place.

We were lucky enough to have our story heard by many but I know that many of my fellow teachers out there are doing just the same in their own classrooms. Trying to make a positive impact is why we do what we do!

Well done Miss Purnomo.

Who Really Asked Those Questions? The Problem With BuzzFeed’s Questions For Black People

April 13th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Anybody working in the digital space is trying to get like BuzzFeed. They have amazing, engaging content that is often both entertaining and informative. But this time,with their “27 Questions Black People Have For Black People,” they missed the mark…by a long shot.

No doubt, we have questions for each other, but none of them are the ones presented in the video. In case you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here.

For those who can’t watch, the good [Black] people at BuzzFeed asked questions like:

Why is so hard to be on time?

Why do Black people look at your shoes before they greet you?

Why are we more likely to engage in the new dance trend than we are to get involved in politics or opening a business?

Before we go any further, let’s just dissect these first few questions. Yes, there are some of us who struggle with being on time. I am one of those people. But trust me, I grew up with, work around and know tons of Black people who are exceptionally punctual. The lateness thing is a stereotype, true for some people but incredibly unfair to paint the whole community with that brush.

But you know, perhaps they just wanted to start things off with a little levity. And that would have been fine, if the following questions had more substance. They did not. Instead, the tardiness one was followed up with Black people looking at your shoes before they greet you. Listen, I’ve been Black for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never known that to be a thing. Do Black people care about footwear? Yes. (Arguably not more than any other race.) Do we look at a person’s shoes before speaking to them? Nah. In fact, speaking, acknowledging someone’s presence when they enter the room is far more important to Black people, across the diaspora, than a person’s shoes. So while we might notice the shoes, checking them out before we greet you, unless it’s inevitably the first thing we see, is not a thing.

And this last one about the latest dance trend and being involved in politics and opening businesses just pissed me off with its outlandishness. When you’re “involved in politics” or “opening a business,” it’s not visually stimulating or entertaining. Nothing about going to a rally, voting or researching a candidate’s platform is worthy of a YouTube video. And neither is the daily grind and sacrifice of opening up your own business. Those type of mundane activities aren’t going to go viral. Just because there are more videos of children, celebrities and everyone else doing the Nae Nae doesn’t mean Black people aren’t doing groundbreaking behind the scenes.

But I’m not here to provide answers to some of these ridiculous questions. The point of this post is just to question it, really. I’m wondering why BuzzFeed and the people who work for BuzzFeed were so quick to rely on stereotypes? In all honesty, most of the questions Black folks have aren’t for one another, they’re for White people. As many of the answers to these questions can be directed right back toward White people and they ways in which they taught us to hate ourselves.

Questions about the preferences for light over dark skin, the demonization and politics of natural hair all point back to Eurocentrism. And most Black people know that. Which begs the question, who really wrote these questions? What was the real purpose of the video?  There are actually quite a few people suggesting that White people were behind it. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure but when they got to this question:

Why do we call each other the N word but get vehemently upset when a White person uses the N word?

I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, there were likely some White folks involved in this. Black people know the answer to that question. There is a grave difference between someone outside of the community using the N word than someone inside of it. Even Black people who choose not to use the word understand this.

And the same for those BLM question:

Why do you protest Black Lives Matter and then tear each other down in the next breath?

Stop it! Black Lives Matter is about addressing the systemic oppression of Black people not the way we chastise, criticize or critique one another within our own community. It’s the equivalent of someone bringing up Black on Black crime during a Black Lives Matter discussion. Black on Black crime is punished. We’re asserting the fact that Black Lives Matter because our lives have been devalued or taken by the people who are being paid to serve and protect us. There’s a huge difference.

Honestly, this whole video might have come off a bit better if White people were actually allowed to ask their questions as opposed to Black people pretending it came from them. Then the discussion could have gone somewhere instead of being dragged throughout Twitter and the Black blogosphere.

There were a few questions in the video that were actually of merit, like our hesitancy to support Black-owned businesses but that was about it. I would have been down with the homophobia in the community question as well, but I’m not willing to accept that Black people are more homophobic than any other race of people. The whole world has to work on that.

As I said, most of the time BuzzFeed gets it right. But you can’t always be on top. It just sucks that it was the day when they were asking Black folks questions that they decided to slack a little bit.

What did you think about the video and the questions posed?

Woman Cites Discrimination After Zara Managers Tell Her To “Fix” Her Hair

April 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Zara Managers Tell Employee Her Braids Are Unprofessional

Source: CBC News

Another day, another incident of a Black women being discriminated against for her ethnically-styled hair.

According to CBC News, 20-year-old Cree Ballah was sent home from her job at a Zara, in Toronto ,when her managers told her the look was unprofessional.

Ballah, who had box braids at the time, had them gathered in the back.

One manager asked her to take the braids out of the bunch and then came back with a second manager.

Ballah told CBC, “They took me outside of the store and they said, ‘We’re not trying to offend you, but we’re going for a clean, professional look with Zara and the hairstyle you have now is not the look for Zara.”

The managers then asked her to try and fix her hair.

Ballah said the whole ordeal was humiliating and their reprimanding her, outside of the store, in the mall where other employees could see them, was unprofessional.

Ballah left the mall that day and later filed an official complaint with the human resources department, citing discrimination.

“My hair type is also linked to my race, so to me, I felt like it was direct discrimination against my ethnicity in the sense of what comes along with it,” said Ballah, who describes herself as bi-racial. “My hair type is out of my control and I try to control it to the best of my ability, which wasn’t up to standard for Zara.”

Ballah met with company officials but was still unsatisfied with the way the incident was handled.

Zara said that the company is diverse and multicultural and does not tolerate any form of discrimination. They also said that they “engaged directly the employee on this matter and respect the privacy of those discussions.”

The statement noted that there is no formal policy regarding employee hairstyles, just that they look professional.

Though Ballah hadn’t quit when the CBC story was first published, late last week, she said that she likely will.

It’s so discouraging, and almost frightening to think that these companies, who claim to be on the cutting edge of affordable fashion, trying to appeal to a vast number of female consumers, would be so ignorant and close-minded when it comes to Black hair.

Teacher Takes Creative Approach To Stopping Students From Bullying Classmate Over Her Natural Hair

April 10th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Shutterstock

Natural hair has been making a lot of headlines lately, but mostly for all the wrong reasons. Either a young girl is getting expelled from school for embracing her afro puffs or a young lady/woman is being chastised for proudly rocking her natural curl pattern in the workplace and being labeled as “unprofessional.” The list literally could go on, but recently an inspiring story about a young girl’s journey to embracing natural hair has caught our attention for all the rights reasons.

Alexondra Purnomo, a first grade teacher in Rome, Italy, noticed students at her predominately Italian school were bullying and teasing a new student. Why? Sasha, Purnomo’s new student happened to be the only African-American girl in her classroom. When the young girl showed up to class without her usually hairstyle of braids the teasing comments by classmates poured in.

The Sasha BunMy school is predominately Italian kids. Probably more than 95%. I have a new(er) student who is black in…

Posted by Alexondra Purnomo on Thursday, April 7, 2016

“Some of the kids made fun of her for her short hair, so she started wearing a hat to school and refused to take it off,” Purnomo wrote on Facebook. Sasha then began to wear a winter hat and refused to take it off. Purnomo and another teacher decided to use this situation as a lesson about racial differences, and show that no matter if you’re “short, tall, light skinned, dark skinned, blond, brunette, with or without glasses, boy, girl, braid, bun, sneakers, shoes… ” you are uniquely special.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

After their talk, Sasha took off her hat and revealed a small bun on the top of her head. Purnomo and the other teacher decided to wear their hair in topknots, too, and called it the “Sasha Bun,” to make her feel more at ease and comfortable. “Then one by one, all of the girls (and boys! 😂) wanted their hair in a “Sasha bun.” We were able to come together as a class and bring a smile to Sasha’s face after a long, tough week. It gave me chills to see 19 kids come together to help one fellow student.”

Pop Sugar  shared an update on Sasha, reporting that she did return to school rocking the infamous winter hat. But, classmates “cheered her on saying, “Ma Sasha, sei bella,” (“But Sasha, you’re beautiful!”), she removed it and showed off her hair the rest of the day.” Not to mention, girls in her class are still sporting their Sasha buns.

 

She Tried It! Taliah Waajid’s Pure And Natural Shea-Coco Line

April 7th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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waajid 2

About a month ago, my co-worker came into the office and handed me a jar of Taliah Waajid’s Curly Hair Curl Souffle. She had just attended an event by the hair care brand and said the other women in attendance were raving about the product like it was the best thing to happen to Black hair care since Madame C.J. Walker, and since she wears her hair straight she thought I could use it. I’m never one to turn down a free hair product, especially one with a reputation like that, and when I had the opportunity to put all of Taliah Waajid’s Pure and Natural Shea-Coco line to work on my locs I couldn’t wait to see how everything worked in unison.

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Day 1 after co-washing with 2-in-1 Shea-Coco Co-wash, applying curl souffle, letting hair air dry, and adding Monoi Oil.

By now you know wash ‘n go is my thing, and now, so is this Shea-Coco 2-in-1 Conditioning Co-Wash. Every couple of days, when I’m in the shower and I notice all of my curly products are starting to build up, I squeeze just a hand-palm’s worth amount of the conditioner in my hand and let it sit on my hair while I’m in the shower and rinse at the end. Any residue I had is gone thereafter and my hair feels soft and pliable again for styling, which usually goes in the direction of applying the Curl Souffle and letting my hair air-dry, or I sometimes blow dry with my diffuser when I’m in a rush. Unlike many other curl hair creams and puddings, with the souffle, I don’t feel the need to add another gel-like curl product on top. The consistency actually provides enough hold and definition by itself and my hair is much softer because of it.

 

Day 2 after dampening, re-applying the curl souffle, blow-drying, and adding Monoi Oil.

Day 2 after dampening, re-applying the curl souffle, blow-drying, and adding Monoi Oil.

Still on a mission for an oil that actually adds luster to my curls without weighing them down, I’m gave the Monoi Oil a whirl three different ways: applying it to wet hair on top of the souffle; adding it to damp hair about 5-7 minutes before I was done blow-drying; and putting the product on once I was done styling my hair completely. The third application method appears to have worked best for me, once I learned a little bit of this product can go a long way (instead of sopping it on my hair when I was done styling). The Monoi Oil is thick, though not as heavy as Jamaican Castor Oil for example, so you really only need a dollop of this serum to seal in moisture and add shine. And as a bonus, you can also use the oil as a pre-poo treatment or even a skin softener.

For touch-ups when my hair is just damp and I’m not starting over from scratch, I also incorporate the Shea-Coco Condition Daily Leave-In Conditioner which gives my curls good hydration so I don’t have to overdo it with too much of the other curl defining products.

The products in the Shea-Coco line are all 97%-100% natural as well so you’re not just making your hair look good, you’re actually doing your hair some good, by moisturizing and conditioning, and also protecting it from harsh elements.

To check out this line, you can head to your local beauty supply, Target, Walmart, or Sally’s, or purchase online at www.naturalhair.org.

Working While Black: I’m Tired Of My Boss Commenting On My Hair

March 31st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Working While Black: I’m Tired Of My Boss Commenting On My Hair

Have you ever seen “Awkward Black Girl,” with the obnoxious and highly inappropriate boss? Boss Lady? She’s a White woman, a fictional character but I would bet good money that she’s based on a real person. She has to be. How do I know? Because my boss behaves…or behaved the exact same way.

Let me explain.

I work at a small production company in Los Angeles, where many women are still beholden to wigs and weaves. I’m not here to shame anyone. That’s their choice. But I choose to wear my hair naturally or in natural styles. Read: Black, Afrocentric. Like most Black women, I like variety. One day, I’ll wear a sizable afro. The next it will be styled in an updo. Sometimes I’ll get braids and other times I’ll straighten it.

What, to me, is just a very common desire to switch the style up, is usually a huge topic of discussion for many of my White coworkers, particularly my boss.

When I came in for the initial interview, I had my hair slicked back into my go-to bun. But anytime I’ve ventured away from that style, my boss seems to believe that I’m trying to make some political statement. When I wore it in an afro, she made sure to pull me to the side. And after I dodged her annoying attempt to touch it, she smiled awkwardly before saying, “Oh, you’re more in touch with your roots today.”

When I had long extensions, she made sure to tell me I was giving her “homegirl vibes” before asking me how much of it was actually mine.

And then, most annoyingly, when I decided to wear my hair straight, she came up to me, touched my shoulder, looked straight in my eyes and said, “I really like your hair. It makes you look much softer.”

That was it.

I had to tell her about herself right then and there.

“You know, I would really appreciate it if you would stop commenting on my hair from here on out. In all honesty, many of your comments, while they might seem harmless to you, are offensive and stereotypical. Telling me I look softer with my hair straightened insinuates that, in it’s natural texture, my face looks more rough or masculine. It’s a sentiment rooted in a very Eurocentric beauty standard. And as a woman of African descent, it’s not something I’m trying to live up to.”

She stood there, her mouth agape, her eyes widened in horror.

Then, I pulled one of her moves, touched her shoulder gently and said, “I don’t really expect you to understand all of this. This is why it would just be better if we eliminate all conversation about my hair going forward. I’m sure you understand.”

She nodded slowly. I thanked her with a quick smile and walked off.

Aside from our very necessary professional conversations, very few of which don’t happen over e-mail, she doesn’t speak to me much anymore.

And that’s alright with me.

Get Happy Tendrils: Best Oils, Fruits And Veggies For Your Natural Hair Regimen

March 29th, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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Shutterstock

The best thing about adding these oils, fruits and veggies to your natural hair regimen is that they are super affordable (for the most part) and can be found in your local grocery store.

Get ready to take notes and try something new.

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Shutterstock

Grapeseed Oil is a light, non-greasy oil that is rich in Vitamin E and linoleic acid, which strengthens hair follicles and aids in the reduction of dandruff and dermatitis. You can pick it up easily at the grocery store.

 

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Jojoba oil is the most similar to natural hair sebum making it ideal for keeping the scalp’s natural balance. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, and E and it can be used to treat issues with dandruff — especially due to its antibacterial properties. The high fat content helps to strengthen hair follicles.

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Olive oil is a penetrative oil that has a heavier consistency than the other two which makes it a great sealant to the hair shaft and is great for adding shine and combating frizz.

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Coconut oil is a penetrative oil rich in Vitamin E and Lauric Acid. It is known to reduce frizz, add  shine, and reduce damage during the wash process. It also mixes very well with raw Shea Butter.

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Argan Oil often called Liquid Gold is rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids. Commonly used as a styling agent it makes hair more manageable and adds a healthy, attractive shine to any hair style.

 

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Foods rich in biotin, a member of the vitamin B complex, may help prevent hair loss, which can help you maintain a head of healthy, strong hair. While many animal products are a rich source of biotin, avocado, raspberries and raw cauliflower are good fruit and vegetable sources of this hair-benefiting vitamin.

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Vitamin E, like vitamin A, is a natural antioxidant. It can help protect your hair from becoming damaged from sun exposure as well as exposure to environmental toxins.  Spinach and carrots are top contenders.

 

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Foods Rich In Vitamin C: Like vitamins A and E, vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, providing protection for your hair from toxins. It also helps you produce collagen, which is necessary for hair production. Chow down on all of your top citrus fruits to get plenty of Vitamin C.

#NaturalIsProfessional: Campaign Challenges Notion That Natural Hair Is Not For The Workplace

March 23rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Natural is Professional.com

Source: Natural is Professional.com

I tell this story all the time because it’s simultaneously hilarious and incredibly relevant. When I went off to college, I decided to go natural. Thankfully, my mother, who had already made the transition, was very supportive. But two years later, as my graduation date neared and my mother started thinking about the prospect of me getting a job, she suggested that I invest in a good wig to strengthen my chances of being offered a position. She was sure that my afro would be a hinderance to my employment opportunities.

I told my mother that I wasn’t going to buy a wig because I would never want to work for a company that couldn’t appreciate the real me.

That moment said quite a bit about identity politics for Black women, the generational gap between my mother and I and the perception of Black hair as somehow untidy and thereby unprofessional.

But it’s a new day. And Black women, across the world, are seeking to combat that very erroneous and hurtful notion that our hair is not good enough.

Happy Hair Boutique, located in the Bahamas, is joining that conversation with their campaign and hashtag #NaturalIsProfessional.

According to the campaign website, owner of the boutique Carol-Lynn Taylor explained the purpose of the campaign saying, “The goal is to illustrate to our public that natural hair is accepted in the workplace and more notably in the professional environment.” Taylor and her company have been running the campaign for the past three years, every February during the boutique’s “Love Your Natural Hair Month.”

The website says:

“In February 2016, a number of high school students received backlash about their natural hair being “untidy, un-groomed, unkempt and looking like it hadn’t been combed for days.” Also February marks Happy Hair’s 3rd Annual ‘Love Your Natural Hair’ Month. It only felt natural to join the two. 15 Natural Hair Professionals and four up and coming Natural Hair Young Professionals, including a medical engineer, a dentist, a CPA, a future doctor, a business owner and more, came out to show their support for these students and to prepare them “for today’s job market.” The result is countless stereotype-breaking, positive black hair images flooding social media timelines to make people rethink what professional hair can be.”

Such a beautiful and much-needed idea.

Check out some of the images from the campaign below.

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