All Articles Tagged "natural hair"

9 Reasons Beyoncé Will No Longer Rock With BET

August 27th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

BET done messed up now. Watching their award show every year, it’s a bit clear that the big named stars are starting to show up increasingly less as they cross over and make it with the mainstream. It’s quite sad, actually. And while we might not have understood their absence before, these days Beyoncé has every reason not to show up…like ever again. Here’s why.

My Hair Looks Like Blue Ivy’s And I Think It’s Beautiful

August 27th, 2014 - By Ezinne Ukoha
Share to Twitter Email This
Splash News

Splash News

So… I promised myself that I was over the endless hair articles that clog up the Internet daily. But after witnessing the public thrashing of Blue Ivy’s locks after her unbearably cute appearance at last Sunday’s VMAs. I couldn’t resist chiming in on a topic that has been exhaustingly rehashed for no good reason.

First of all, Blue Ivy is an adorable girl who has super star parents. She is a celebrity by default and so she will always be judged based on her looks. It is pathetically sad that she has to endure the wrath of ignorance before she is even able to construct a complete sentence. But thanks to the luxury of social media, we are susceptible to the fiery nature of naysayers and inconceivably rude people who take pleasure in mocking or degrading innocent victims.

Blue Ivy can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to her appearance. The jokes about her looking more like Jay-Z than Beyonce erupted the same day her official photos were released. Who cares what she looks like? The girl is wealthier than a nation right now and she will not have to rely on her beauty in order to live a pretty fulfilling life. Be that as it may, I happen to think she is the cutest thing ever! And yes, I am aware that since North West entered the world, the comparisons have been relentless. Particularly since one of them has that “good hair” that we all salivate over, and the other has, well, something that looks like our worst nightmare.

It might be your nightmare but it’s my reality. Yes, my hair looks like Blue Ivy’s. It’s thick, natural, and gorgeously wild. No, I don’t like to pile on a plethora of products in order to achieve that “shine” because it does nothing but clog up pores and cause my scalp to itch, which unleashes itching sessions that I can quite frankly, do without. I also don’t believe in combing or brushing my hair needlessly, especially when all I have to do is pick apart my curls and fluff accordingly.

Everyone is griping about how “dry” and “unkempt” natural hair tends to be when it is left it’s own devices. I think I know what the real issue is and you are not going to like it. It is clear that we will never be completely accepting of the tresses that we blessed with. Our hair is unique and comes in various textures, which means that there is no regimen that will work for everyone. None of us has the right to project our insecurities on someone who doesn’t seem to live up to our standard of the “perfect mane”.  Just because you wash your hair every other day doesn’t mean I need to do the same. And if you love the way Miss Jessie’s products bring out your curls, that’s awesome for you, but I don’t get those same results.

There is nothing wrong with Blue Ivy’s natural hair, but there is something wrong with the way black women react to it. You seem to be so convinced that you would do a better job. I am sure this is because she represents something that you are uncomfortable with. Almost like an embarrassing representation of our true selves. That’s why so many of you are determined to hide behind your weaves that cost more than your rent. You can’t bear to expose your that part of you that not only leaves you vulnerable but potentially makes life just a little more complicated.

For those of us, who don’t mind being natural, we embrace the complexities and revel in the freedom that it brings. I am not saying that natural is the only way to go, in fact, I am contemplating getting a weave in a couple of weeks. Hair is an accessory and I treat it as such. I also never tell anyone how to manage their mane, nor do I make mothers feel inadequate about the way they care for their daughter’s tresses.

Blue Ivy’s hair looks like mine, in fact it may even look and feel better than mine. I am offended for her and for myself, when I read and hear the nasty comments floating around. In case you are clueless, let me help you out – natural hair is hair that is devoid of chemical treatments. Aside from moisturizers and gels, your hair is basically riding the wave of it’s own God-given texture. Blue Ivy’s hair looks fits that description and so does mine. So get off her back, and pick a more appropriate topic to discuss. Like maybe how we can endeavor to send the right message to our little girls about self-esteem and self-acceptance.

“To Me, My Natural Hair Is Professional”: Navy Discharges Black Sailor Over Her Dreadlocks Despite Recent Changes In Hair Regulations

August 25th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
Courtesy of Sims

Courtesy of Sims

After 12 years of service in the Navy, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Sims was dismissed late last week because of her hair.

According to USA Today, Sims told the Navy Times that she had been wearing her locs in a tightly wound bun since 2005 and didn’t receive any pushback until recently. Officials decided that Sims’ locs were against regulation, as they believed the style would be too bulky to be worn with a gas mask.

The spokesman for the Chief of Naval Personnel, Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, stated that Sims was being honorably discharged for disobeying a lawful order, and that she was ordered earlier in the year to fix her hair and get it within regulation soon after she reported to training command in Illinois in April.

The 32-year-old said that at previous camps that she worked at, including seven years of instruction at the Naval Medicine Training Support Center in Texas (and in Virginia and North Carolina), her hair wasn’t a problem. With that in mind, she decided to keep her hair as is. She said that because her hair was in a bun (and not the “widely spaced hanging locks” that are prohibited), and she didn’t have trouble wearing gas masks or helmets with her locs, she told the Navy Times that she didn’t think the regulations were reasonable.

“I don’t think I should be told that I have to straighten my hair in order to be within what they think the regulations are, and I don’t think I should have to cover it up with a wig.”

She claims the options she was given included shaving off her locs or covering them up with a wig.

“To me, my natural hair is professional. It’s all how you keep yourself up. I could just have a regular bun and not take care of that and it could look unprofessional.

I am happy that I took the stand that I did. I still stand by it. I would do it again if I had to.”

Sims isn’t letting her discharge get her down. In fact, she is set to start pre-med classes at Loyola University in Chicago this week, studying biology.

All this comes after the Department of Defense announced that locs, braids, cornrows and other natural hairstyles would be more accepted after a review or regulations.

However, the changes in the rules and regulations put in place by the Department of Defense in terms of the Navy didn’t really eliminate size and spacing requirements like the major overhaul done for the Army, aside from saying,  “two-strand twist and multiple braids may hang freely if above the collar and must encompass the whole head.”

With all the regulations still put on natural hair in the armed forces, Sims said she isn’t the first, and won’t be the last to stand firmly against them:

“I won’t be the last one standing up fighting for this issue. I have faith in our junior sailors because they are the future of our Navy, and the majority of them were supporting the right thing. “

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

August 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

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.

Fine And Fluffy All In One: How To Get The Multiple Textures Of Your Hair To Work For You

August 15th, 2014 - By LaKrishia Armour
Share to Twitter Email This
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

 

You’re at peace with your natural hair—finally! You’ve got a few go-to styles and styling products that make your curls and coils swing and shine. But therein lies the problem: your curls AND coils. Though you’ve got a routine that works, you’re still not sure of how to handle the multiple textures and curl patterns you’ve got happening at any given moment atop your head. No worries. Here are five ideas to help marry your hair textures and make styling it less complicated.

 

Choose a Tool

Taming your hair’s split personality is as easy as choosing the proper tool. A Denman brush, when used properly, creates a smooth, uniform curl in areas that lack definition in the curl pattern, or with hair that has dueling textures. When using a Denman brush, thoroughly detangle the hair and use a conditioner with lots of slip. Brush sections of the hair instead of swiping through your hair in one pass in order to reduce breakage and prevent your newly perfect curls from looking like a shrunken helmet. Squeeze out excess water to avoid disturbing the curl. Another “tool” you can use to get a more uniform curl is your finger. Take small sections—about two inches or less in width—and twist the hair around your index finger to create a more seamless texture at the ends of your hair. Although it won’t be as uniform as using a Denman brush, this is a good option too

Strategic
Styling

Parting your hair on your ‘best side’ is an easy solution for mismatched textures. A braided or twisted bang area is perfect for your bangs if they are more fine and straight and come off as droopy. And if you’re feeling vintage, victory rolls are perfect for when your problem area is above the ears. The secret here is to make sure you’ve got the basics with you when you’re on the go: a few hairpins, bobby pins, a ponytail holder and a small container filled with your favorite conditioner. Most if not all of these things can fit in an old breath mint tin.

Diffuse and Dry

Use your blow dryer with a diffuser to speed the drying time on areas that tend to droop. For areas on your head that tend to shrink, using the blow dryer with or without the diffuser to elongate hair at the root is a quick fix—especially if you’ve got differing hair textures on either side of your head. If you’re getting ready for a night out and have 15 minutes to spend under the a hooded dryer, do what I call a ‘soft braid out.’ Braid your hair while wet and sit under a hooded dryer for 15 minutes (or wrap in a T-shirt if you’re air drying while doing your makeup). Then, as a last step before leaving your house, undo the braids. Your hair will be damp, but the impression from the braids merges your textures together.

Mix and Match Styling Products

When dealing with multiple textures on one head, you’ve likely tried styling products that worked awesome on one area of your hair, yet were ‘meh’ when it came to the other parts. Pull out some of those product fails and try using the heavier ones on areas that are coiled tightly and that tend to shrink, while using the lighter products on areas that tend to droop or wave. If you’ve got a traditionally stubborn kitchen, try using a conditioning gel or edge control gel on those areas to keep them smooth and similarly textured.

 

The Tried and True Method

When in doubt, or if you just don’t have the patience to try something new on a Sunday night because you know you won’t have the energy (or the caffeine!) to deal with a mishap on Monday morning, go with a braid out or twist out using your favorite curling cream, setting lotion or frizz control product. You’ve heard this one over and over again. It’s always mentioned as a solution because it’s easy and it usually works well. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Get It Right! Military Revises Hair Regulations

August 14th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: US Army

Source: US Army

Earlier this year, the Army came under fire for their new rules regarding tattoos, grooming, uniforms and particularly hairstyles. The hair regulations banned women from wearing twists, dreadlocks and multiple braids, and cornrows that are bigger than a quarter of an inch.

Black military members spoke out about the rules saying that they were racially insensitive and they also objected to language which described natural hairstyles as “matted” and “unkempt.” Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard started a petition on the White House’s website writing: “These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent.”

The story caught the attention of several congress men and woman and even news sites and blogs, particularly Black women’s websites, like ours. 

After all of the backlash, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday, of this week, that the military is revising the ban to include a wider range of hairstyles.

Hagel’s review comes after female members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to the defense secretary calling the guidelines discriminatory and targeting “soldiers who are women of color with little regard to what is needed to maintain their natural hair.”

In a later to the Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge, Hagel wrote:

At my direction, over the last three months, each Military Service reviewed its definitions of authorized and prohibited hairstyles, and eliminated offensive language, including the terms ‘matted and unkempt’ from both the Army and the Air Force grooming regulations. Additionally, each Service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting our military requirements.”

CBC member Barbara Lee praised Hagel’s announcement saying that while she was a daughter of a veteran and understands the need for uniformity in the military, they need to recognize that “natural hairstyles do not reflect or create a lack of professionalism or respect for the Armed Forces’ high standards.”

She said that she was pleased that words like “unkempt” and “matted” were being removed.

The hair regulations were actually keeping one military officer from being promoted. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Sims, 32 said wearing her hair in locs, pulled in a bun, while on duty. Her superiors told her to cut her hair or wear a wig and when she refused, her commanders processed her for separation for “serious misconduct.”

Here are some of the changes being made to the regulations.

Army

  • Determined the terms “matted and unkempt” are offensive and will eliminate them
  • Authorized temporary two-strand twists
  • Increased size of authorized braids, cornrows and twists; removed spacing requirement
  • Authorized a ponytail during physical training

Air Force

  • Determined the terms “matted and unkempt” are offensive and will eliminate them
  • Changed the name “dreadlocks” to “locs”
  • Authorized two-strand twists, French Twists and Dutch braids

Navy

  • Determined no offensive language in the current policy governing hairstyles
  • Removed some dated terms and descriptions on the Navy’s “Frequently Asked Questions” website, including “‘Twist’ hairstyles are not authorized because they fall within the guidelines of being faddish.”
  • Authorized a two-strand twist and multiple braids may hang freely if above the collar and must encompass the whole head

Marine Corps

  • Determined no derogatory or discriminatory language in current uniform regulations
  • Convening a special uniform board this summer to consider the expansion of authorized hairstyles

“Pick Up A Book, Educate Yourself”: Tia Mowry-Hardrict Slams People Talking Rudely About Her Son Cree And His Hair

August 14th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This

One minute the hair of a child of a public figure isn’t groomed enough, the next, the hair of another child of a public figure is too groomed. Is it so hard to let people live?

Tia Mowry-Hardrict posted some beautiful images on her Instagram account the other day of herself and son Cree spending time together, and in the pictures, the boy is snapped with a topknot and a small bun at the back of his head. Cree has always had a big head full of curly hair, so to keep it tamed for their outing, she tried a new style. However, people who follow her page weren’t too fond of the hairstyle, saying that it wasn’t appropriate for a little boy, but instead, a girl. The debate went on for a while, and the Instant Mom star decided to respond with a whole new post:

I am proud to have a SON that embraces his natural hair :). Hair length does not define your sex. Last I checked a pen*s and a vag*na does. Pick up a book, educate yourself, and embrace cultures outside of your own and maybe you will see that there are PLENTY of MEN wearing top knots and MEN with long hair. Here’s a shout out to all the moms who have boys and girls with natural hair! Live ON!

This isn’t the first time that she has had to get with people for their comments about her son. She did so in 2012 when individuals online criticized the then-1-year-old’s looks:

“I really don’t understand why people feel the need to belittle a child, someone who doesn’t even have a voice yet to express themselves. I just think it’s disgusting—disgusting that we live in a society that focuses on looks.”

 

Naturalista Hair Showcase & Competition Comes Back For A 2nd Year

August 1st, 2014 - By Rachael Devaney
Share to Twitter Email This

 

Angela Walker

Angela Walker

Angela Walker said her “Naturalista Hair Showcase and Competition” will return this year with the power to “influence the modern naturalista.”

Walker, owner of N Natural Hair Studio, in Maryland, will hold her second annual natural hair care show from Saturday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Double Tree Hotel in Silver Springs, MD.

The event will feature workshops and panels lead by Camille Robbins-Reed, Charmaine Ford and Shawne Morgan. Vendors like Keilove Botanica, San Jules, Black Crown and Bougie Babe Designs will also be on hand. With her 2013 show a success, the salon owner hopes to exceed expectations and provide a new platform for natural hair care education.

intricate braids

The Naturalista Hair Showcase and Competition returns this year with various stylists from around the country either showcasing or competing for their chance to become the winner of both a loose hair and loc styling competition.

“This is the first and only hair show that I know of that will have hands-on classes that are filled with curly hair mannequins, where stylists are physically showing attendees how to do different styling techniques that attendees can then create right there on the mannequin,” Walker said. “We need to deliver quality education aside from product usage so that people understand they don’t need to be a product junkie to maintain and style their hair.”

Walker is expecting around 2,000 attendees for the two-day period and hopes to reach as many people as she can. One tool to broaden awareness about the natural hair movement will be a “Social Media Lounge,” where attendees can take pictures and live tweet about the event, as well as mix and mingle with instructors and panelists. She said the more people that learn about her hair show can learn about how to keep and maintain natural hair that works for them.

“Natural hair shows are so important in relaying the message that choosing to keep your hair natural is organic and beautiful. I want to perpetuate that, keep that thought process going,” Walker said. “So my thing is that people are walking around thinking that there is only one way to wear their natural hair but if they know how to style it, they won’t be so quick to quit or give up on natural hair care.”

 Camille Robbins-Reed, owner and stylist at Noire Salon in Silver Spring, MD, takes time out before instructing her class, Natural Hair Theory 101, which was the opening class from last year’s show.

Camille Robbins-Reed, owner and stylist at Noire Salon in Silver Spring, MD, takes time out before instructing her class, Natural Hair Theory 101, which was the opening class from last year’s show.

Walker has high hopes for this year’s show and can see a bright future for the natural hair care industry.

“When you start to see the big name companies that have been selling and promoting relaxers switch over their marketing and language then you know you have power. It means that natural hair is becoming so popular that they have to take notice and can no longer ignore that industry,” Walker said. “We now see new product lines embracing natural texture – and it’s not a flippant decision. It means they are understanding the sustainability of our industry.”

Last year’s headline blogger Mae aka Natural Chica, was the feature speaker during the highly-anticipated blogger panel. The panel was moderated by Jonna Scott-Blakes of Naturally Glam.

Last year’s headline blogger Mae aka Natural Chica, was the feature speaker during the highly-anticipated blogger panel. The panel was moderated by Jonna Scott-Blakes of Naturally Glam.

But what is even more important to Walker is that wearing hair natural is connected to the well-being of overall mental and physical health.

“I don’t believe that Black women should be wearing our hair straight – I mean it’s cool if someone chooses that – but it just isn’t how our hair grows. Why should we alter the texture of hair that is so beautiful?” she said “With more people going natural, it is creating a community where children are seeing their mom wearing natural hair and they are growing up and wearing their hair natural and it is turning hair back into something it always should have been.”

#GetWellMeechy: Natural Hair Vlogger Battling Rare Brain Tumor

July 28th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

There are so many natural hair bloggers out there, but of the more popular ones, is Meechy Monroe. Meechy, whose real name is Tameka, started sharing her natural hair journey in 2010 , in an attempt to encourage and inspire women.

Four years later, her YouTube channel boasts over thirty thousand online subscribers. Meechy, along with her sister, who goes by the name MsVaughnTV, created the successful natural hair duo, “The Monroe Sisters” and have traveled the country and parts of Europe speaking about embracing natural hair.

But sadly, Meechy’s work was…redirected this past April when she suffered an unexplained stroke. As a result she developed slurred speech, facial drooping and numbness in her right hand. Meechy would have two more strokes before doctors would diagnose her with a rare sarcoma (a vascular, cancerous tumor) in her brain.

In the course of three months, Meechy had suffered three strokes and had to have two brain surgeries, the last of which was July 3. The strokes affected the language processing center of Meechy’s brain and she was diagnosed with Aphasia, a disturbance of the delivery of language, not linked to the loss of intelligence.) So, in an open letter to her fans, she writes: “I’m still the same Meechy! Just with some challenges.”

In preparation for her brain surgery and subsequent radiation and chemo therapy, instead of losing her hair, Meechy had it shaved off and donated it to Locks of Love, the organization that helps cancer patients coping with hair loss.

Meechy plans to keep her subscribers and fans informed of her journey but writing about her recovery on her blog.

If you’ve ever undergone any type of medical procedure, you know that even just one surgery can be extremely costly. And Meechy has had two and still has to undergo chemo and radiation. So, her mother, sister and other family members started the #GetWellMeechy campaign and have set up a GiveForward campaign to help raise $100,000 in funds to help offset some of the costs. Thus far, the campaign has raised $30,697 from 988 donors.

If you want to send notes of sympathy, you can mail them here P.O. Box 286621 Chicago, IL 60628 or send them directly to Meechy at this e-mail address GetWellMeechy@gmail.com.

It’s frightening to think that one moment you can be living your life as normal and then the next, you’re faced with a life threatening and life altering disease. But Meechy still describes herself as blessed and her family has said that she’s remained optimistic throughout her physical and speech therapy.

We’re definitely thinking about Meechy and keeping her and her family in our prayers.

You can read Meechy’s full story here and watch her journey in the video below.




Bring Your Fundraising Ideas to Life

Hair Help: Tips For Dealing With Short Hair When You’ve Run Out Of Styles

July 24th, 2014 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
Share to Twitter Email This

With short hair comes great responsibility, and a great need for patience. Short bobs can’t always fit into neat ponytails when they’re messy, and untidy TWAs can’t always be perfected with a headband and a hair pick. However, they can look fabulous with a steady hand, a few techniques and essentials. So try not to be frustrated with your short ‘do. You, like everyone else, could just use a little help. We’ve got you covered!

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Bobby Pins

When God made coco bread and vodka tonics (two of my favorite things), he also made bobby pins: the tiny hairpins that treat fly-away hairs and secure perfectly executed bangs. Yes, for both natural and straight hair, a full set of bobby pins can make a big difference.

Hair too short for French braids? Part your hair down the middle, and then twist your hair toward the rear as if you’re doing two French braids, and secure the “twists” on your way back with bobby pins. If that seems too basic, try arranging the bobby pins in some creative ways.

Been dying to give yourself Bantu knots since you saw Rihanna and Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black rocking them? Then, you may benefit from using bobby pins to keep your knots in place. And if you don’t want to wear them out of the house, they can help create an awesome curl. If your hair is too short for Bantu knots and you’d like a managed curl, then give yourself a collection of tiny braids at night, roll and secure them with bobby pins, and then unbraid them in the morning and hit the tips with a tiny bit of pomade to keep the curl lasting longer.

Conditioner

Short-haired babes, you should condition like you’ll never see moisture again. Kidding, don’t over condition. But seriously, moisture does away with breakage and it tends to make hair more manageable. Along with cream conditioners, the use of small amounts of 100% almond oil, grape seed oil, castor oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil can make a real difference – it will give you shine and soothe the texture. Also, abandon “grandma’s rules,” i.e., don’t over grease your scalp, as many oils including olive oil and coconut oil can cause dandruff. But be sure to give that scalp a little TLC.

And beyond all of that, conditioner is the key ingredient in the “wash-and-go” look, whereby you water your hair using a spray bottle that’s a combination of water and oil. Soften your hair with leave-in conditioner, tussle it and then hit the streets.

Delicately Comb

In my opinion, particularly for natural hair, it’s best not to use a comb with small teeth. It’s simply bad for business. It should be wide tooth or bust. Actually, if you can completely forgo using your comb and use your fingers to carefully undo knots, this is best, albeit a little time-consuming. Beyond the fact that it limits breakage because you aren’t scrapping at your hair with a glorified fork, depending on your texture and usual style, you’re untangling and styling your hair at the same time.

And as a styling reminder, know that different parting techniques create different looks, and if you’re ever unsure of how to create a natural looking part, place your comb against your inner brow above your left eye, and draw the comb backwards.

Accessorize

Go glamorous! With less hair comes a great opportunity to show off those stunning cheekbones, those dimples, that smile and that glimmer in your eyes that people rarely notice. Make earrings, eyeliner and fabulous clips your thing. And if you’re feeling as though you’re over the headscarves and headbands, perhaps you just need a few new tricks for them, including using your scarf to pull your too short hair into a faux updo.

How do you jazz up your short haircut?