All Articles Tagged "natural hair"

New Angelica Doll Allows Girls to Experiment With Twist Outs, Bantu Knots & More!

May 27th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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If you ever tried to do a twist out on Barbie’s hair — hmph — you’d be quite disappointed with the final results. But thanks to the new Angelica Doll, trying out popular natural hair styles will be a breeze.

The Angelica Doll is an 18-inch tall toy with a glorious afro that allows young girls to style kinky-textured hair into bantu knots, twist outs, curls, blow outs — you name it. Angelica also has features that are often a rarity among popular dolls on the market today.

“She has the wide nose and plump pout many young Black girls see in the mirror every day,” PopSugar said.

The mastermind behind the Angelica Doll is Angelica Sweeting, founder of Naturally Perfect Dolls. The lightbulb for this business idea switched on when Sweeting realized the dearth of kinky-textured dolls was affecting her little girl’s self-esteem. She wanted to instill self-love in her daughter and she was falling into the trap of yearning for Eurocentric beauty.

“My daughter Sophia was not happy with her kinks and curls because of the doll I was putting in her hands every day. Sophia wanted long straight hair, and she even started expressing a strong dislike for her facial features and skin tone,” Sweeting said on  her Kickstarter.

To get the Angelica Doll on toy shelves, Sweeting’s Kickstarter campaign set out to raise $25,000. So far, she’s racked up more than $46,000, with 21 days to go.

Each doll, according to PopSugar, will come with with three natural hair essentials: a miniature Denman brush, styling cream, and a spray bottle.

“I’m creating Angelica to let girls know that they are beautiful. Our girls need to see a reflection of their own unique beauty. It’s time for our young girls to have a new standard.” Sweeting said.

h/t PopSugar

13 Famous Women You Didn’t Know Rock Natural Hair

May 26th, 2015 - By Iva Anthony
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More and more women are joining team natural because they are starting to see the kinds of lasting damage chemicals can do to their hair. Plus, chemical-free locks gives women the versatility to wear their hair curly one week and straight the next. You may not have been aware, but these famous women are also down with #teamnatural.



Michelle Obama

Did you know that First Lady Michelle Obama is team natural? Celebrity stylist Johnny Wright made the revelation during an interview with The Root recently. FLOTUS has steered clear of chemicals in her hair for years now and Wright gets that famous bob bone straight with a flat iron. Would we ever see the First Lady rocking a curly ‘fro in public? “I don’t know. Maybe on vacation she will,” said Wright. “She is 100 percent natural now. It is a possibility.”

Did You Know The FLOTUS Is #TeamNatural?

May 21st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks onstage at the Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award luncheon at The Grammy Museum Featuring: Michelle Obama Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 16 Jul 2014 Credit: SIPA/ **Only available for publication in Germany**


Naturalistas rejoice!

Although we don’t really need another reason to love our First Lady, here’s another: she’s a naturalista!

Yes, you read correctly. Michelle Obama stopped chemically treating her hair years ago. Celebrity stylist Johnny Wright, who takes care of the FLOTUS’ tresses, recently discussed Lady O’s hair with The Root.

Instead of relying on chemicals, Wright says that he straightens Lady O’s hair with a flat iron. While he wouldn’t say for sure whether or not we’ll ever see Mrs. Obama stepping out rocking her natural ‘fro, Wright says that it’s definitely a possibility.

“I don’t know. Maybe on vacation she will,” he shared. “She is 100 percent natural now. It is a possibility.”

While Wright says that he doesn’t subscribe to the notion of good and bad hair, he thoroughly supports the natural hair movement, which the First Lady has embraced.

“I think a lot of women are starting to see what type of damage chemicals has caused their hair over the years, and they’re really starting to embrace their curls and really embrace the fact that they can be versatile,” Wright said.

“They can wear it curly. They can wear it straight. They don’t have to really conform to any particular look. They can do it all, and that’s one thing that is going to stick. That’s the revolution part of it. … The revolution part will stick. All about curl power.”

Love it.

Check out more famous women you didn’t know are natural here.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Confession: My Hair Makes Me Hate Working Out

May 20th, 2015 - By Niki McGloster
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Every time I prepare to go running, my routine is the same: Throw on some workout gear, grab my headphones, find a random place to stick my keys, and pull my hair back in a struggle ponytail to stuff it under a cap. Nothing about this 10-minute prep is inconvenient, but each time I cringe at the thought of how much maintenance it’s going to take to return my hair to a presentable form after a decent sweat session.

I’ve been natural for two years now. Long enough that my hair schedule and styles are pretty set, and even if wash day does skip around, my hair doesn’t fret. It gets me. Well, it gets me most of the time.

But because my fitness routine hasn’t been this consistent since those high school track and field days, my new natch pattern has no loyalty to this change of pace. Not to mention, every switch in seasons requires me to rework my hair product concoctions in order to keep my hair moisturized, frizz-free, and my blowouts protected from impending summer humidity. That means double the not-so-fun task of trial and error with hair products and styles all over again. Yay.

When I first started working out regularly, I was letting my post-cardio hair air dry. But the tangled ‘fro that followed, especially under my resident Bad Hair Day hat, was a frightening hot mess. In the hopes of improving the look and feel of my strands, I started co-washing every other workout day to ensure my hair was clean, which helps promote hair growth and retention, right? Well, that was overdrying my hair a bit, making it a tad too brittle. Despite my best efforts, my hair isn’t really cooperating with me and my new lifestyle.

So I’m starting to wonder, is this my punishment for wanting to be my healthiest self? Are my hair goals at a standstill because my body goals are flourishing? Hardly. Though I do believe it’s a dilemma every natural girl faces at some point during her fitness journey. So how do I keep my hair cute and clean, my edges laid, maintain my style from the gym to a possible post-gym outing, and not go crazy wrestling with my hair every day?

If you thought I had the answer, I don’t (I would not have written this if I did). I have yet to find that sweet spot of looking somewhat decent after exercising. And while I struggle to salvage my hair post-workout, I don’t think it’s impossible to do so.

As the saying goes (and remains true), everyone’s hair is different.  So while throwing in quick Celie braids before hitting the gym works for some, I’m stuck with a head full of crusty tendrils after the sweat dries. (Sorry, I can’t get jiggy with chasing my summer body goals through St. Nicholas Park in a head scarf either.) It’s a process to nurture your hair to the point that everything you do with it just, well, works. And that’s just the nature of being natural. Add in the fact that you’re pounding the pavement and introducing a whole new set of elements to your ‘do every day, and it’s safe to say that managing natural hair can be extremely frustrating. This is especially true when you’re trying to get your body right. It’s a whole new hair obstacle that’s not for the faint of heart.

For now, the answer for me is a protective style (thankfully a hair appointment is set for the end of the month). I can’t focus on the extra TLC my hair needs right now. And although you can’t totally abandon your tresses, even with a weave or wig, my hair and my hands needs a break because mama is tired. I do love my hair and I’m dedicated to figuring out what it needs. But until I can figure out how to successfully marry my hair goals with my new workout schedule, it will be a painful process and a long summer…for the both of us.

How Thank God I’m Natural Founder Chris-Tia Donaldson Took Her Haircare Company To Target Stores

April 29th, 2015 - By Rana Campbell
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christia donaldson thank god I'm natural.jpg

Over the past few years, the market for natural hair and body care products and services targeted specifically to women of color has increased. Many Black female entrepreneurs have found their space in the industry, becoming household names and providing inspiration to women (and men) around the world.

Meet Chris-Tia Donaldson, Harvard graduate, full-time lawyer and CEO/founder of natural hair and body care company, Thank God I’m Natural (TGIN), whose product line launched in 2013. In March 2015, TGIN started selling its products in Target stores nationwide, a process which the team documented heavily on social media.

We spoke with Chris-Tia about her business journey, what it’s really like to launch in Target, the difficulties of being a Black female CEO, and her advice for other small businesses that want to take it to the next level.

MadameNoire (MN): What inspired you to launch TGIN?
Chris-Tia Donaldson (CD): My story is one that is very common to most Black women. I was in law school, and in my final year, I decided to stop relaxing my hair. There weren’t really products on the market that were for women with curly hair.

There was a small movement on the website, Nappturality. I used that as a resource to learn as much as I could about natural hair. I wanted to take the experience and compile it into easy tips for those thinking about going natural or wanting to learn how to care for your hair. It turned into a 300-page book Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring For Natural Hair. The book came out three months before the movie Good Hair. We got alot of press and publicity. I went on a book tour, talked to different women, and did events everywhere.

There were a lot of products with great packaging and marketing that didn’t deliver on promises. I thought there was an opportunity to come up with something with high quality ingredients. We wanted something that would give women versatility, but also soft, manageable, and moisturized. That’s what we stand for.

MN: What were some of the challenges you faced while transitioning from author to product developer?
CD:  Procrastination was one of my biggest challenges. Fear of starting was my biggest handicap. I didn’t have a background in chemistry, ethnic hair, packaging, bottles, sourcing ingredients, or shipping containers. There was alot of things that I didn’t know that I had to quickly come up to speed along the way. There’s still a lot of things I don’t know.


MN: How did you know TGIN was ready to be in Target stores?
CD: I don’t think you can ever be ready for this experience.  People aren’t telling you everything you need to know throughout the process. I think we knew we were ready because we knew we could produce, had a quality product, and had the building blocks that could be scalable. Our [items] came in a shipper. Our labels were good. Our production was running well. We had a system for ordering and making sure that we weren’t out of stock. For Target, we had to take what we were doing now and multiple it by “x,” but the process stays the same.

MN: What are some business lessons you learned from this Target experience?
CD: It’s all about connections. You go out looking for one thing and the next thing it’s like, “What? You are the Target people? Okay, let’s connect.” You might meet a person [and tell them your story] and they put you in touch with someone.

You have to be what the brand is looking for. Your image, packaging, who you are as a founder, your story, your business acumen, etc. Any retail outlet wants you there because you are bringing them new customers. It’s a partnership. I can’t speak for all, but most retail outlets want to work with people who understand that. You have to come to the table ready to say, “How is this relationship beneficial to both of us?”


MN: How did going through the process of selling in a large retail store affect you?
CD: You have to let the hell go. People always asked me if I was excited. Honestly, I was more stressed than anything. On one hand, I was working on my Target paperwork which was: Identify the product and ingredient. What percentage of your sales does this account for?  On the other hand, I was working with my financial institution to help me figure out a way to finance the initial inventory. With that, they needed a new life insurance policy, a lien on my car and various assets, articles of organization, documentation of who was making my stuff,  and what my Target  projections were. There was no real process. You learn a lot along the way.

MN: Are you going to try to get into other major retail stores?
CD: I want to master this one first. I tell people, “You don’t come to the Olympics to come in 10th place.” My philosophy has been to keep things tightly focused. That’s why we are not a company where we have a shampoo in 20 fragrances. I like to do things on a small scale and do them well.

MN: How did you get your customers excited about your Target Launch?
CD: The Target people originally told me they were expecting me to be in stores between March 1 and March 15. I met with people before March 1 and they asked me what I was going to do if I wasn’t in stores before March 1. I told them I didn’t know.

We turned it into a contest with our followers. We said, “If you don’t see us, ask for us.” It caused our customers to go out and pull stuff off the shelf. We made finding the product a fun experience versus me knowing the exact date of  when we would be in stores. On May 29, it will be in every store. We capitalized on the uncertainty. We turned not knowing into something that people could become excited about.

MN: What other business benefits have you seen from launching in Target and expanding your retail reach?
CD: Before we were a major retail outlet, people bought from us online or in beauty supply stores.  I’ve learned how Black women shopped. Now that we are in Target, there are people who see us in Target and will come to our website and buy it. A lot of women will see it and hear the hype, but they want to do their research. People take you a little more seriously. We were the same company before March 1, but it’s like you move to a new level. There’s a new perception of your ability as a business woman.

A lot of people said to me, “You have a Harvard degree and you are selling cream out the trunk of your car?” You damn right I am. Guess what? I’m in Target now, 250 stores. There were a lot of people along the way that thought I was another girl in the park selling soaps and shea butter. Maybe I was, but I knew how to do this thing in a way that you get a certain result.

You can take a “natural,” “earthy,” or “personal relationship-driven” business, and with the right business structure to it, take it to the next level. You can have a passion and still be grassroots and do business on a large-scale.

MN: What is it like being a Black CEO in the beauty industry today?
CD: Being a female CEO and a Black female CEO, sometimes it’s hard to say you want to be number one. People look at you like you are crazy. People think that you should be happy to be here at this level. Like I said, you don’t go to the Olympics to come in 10th place. As women, we have a hard time embracing each other in the quest to be the best. Women are not taught to be competitive. If a little girl in ballet says she wants to be the soloist [and is chosen], we are taught to think, “Oh my gosh…they chose me! I’m so lucky!”

As a Black female CEO, some people are taken aback by you wanting to be the best. You have to give yourself permission to say you want to be at the top. A lot of women struggle with articulating that or thinking it’s acceptable.

MN: What’s next for TGIN?
CD: When you first get into Target, you are on a probationary period as part of an evaluation. Once we get over that, I’d  like to take a vacation. In terms of the company, I want to see it do well. I want to get into more stores, beauty supplies, Whole Foods… I want to knock all of that out.

Rana Campbell is a freelance writer and marketing/branding strategist. Connect with her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, Linkedin or visit

Trichologist Dr. Kari Williams Speaks On Preserving Your New Color And Restoring Damaged Hair For Spring

April 15th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Last week we introduced you to Dr. Kari Williams, a very talented and intelligent board certified trichologist and stylist to the stars. As she prepares to share her knowledge with hundreds of thousands of women at the Kinky Hair Unlocked hair expo in Atlanta on April 24, Dr. Williams divulged some of the hair dos and don’ts for us that she will share with followers, fans, and naturalistas next week.

She previously shared her advice on the right way to wear braids without losing your edges, and why she doesn’t think women should run for their lives when they find silicones and sulfates in their hair products. This time around, she’s speaking to us about preserving our bright and bold hair colors for spring, and what we should do to strengthen and restore hair damaged during winter. Let’s get to it.

Tips To Maintaining A New Color And The Right Products To Use

When you get a color that’s completely different from your natural color, you want to find products that are formulated for color-treated hair. Color is a chemical. The way that it stains and penetrates the hair shaft, you want to make sure that not only are you keeping the hair well-conditioned, but that you’re keeping the color vibrant. There are certain ingredients in chemicals that help maintain that vibrancy.

Look for products only for color-treated hair. There are serums you can put on the hair that maintain shine for color-treated hair because there are some color products that will cause the hair to become very coarse and dry. That always leads to breakage. So I always tell my clients, when you’re natural, you have to give your hair as much attention, care, and conditioning as if you were to use any other chemical on your hair. At the end of the day, the results won’t be the same if it’s not maintained.

Why Naturalistas Shouldn’t Scoff At Color-Treated Hair Products That Aren’t Specifically Made For Black Hair

People think, “Well, I’m natural, so that’s not going to work for my hair type.” I think that’s another misconception within the natural hair care industry. Because of the popularity of the hair typing system, we don’t have the knowledge of products that are actually going to benefit our hair. And when it comes to color-treated hair, it doesn’t matter if it’s curly or straight–it’s now color treated. Now it’s the color-treated type. You want to invest in shampoos and conditioners that are going to treat your hair now that is colored. It doesn’t mean that you can’t still use your other styling products to help enhance the curl and set your hair, but you want to switch your shampoo and conditioner.

Ultimately, if you’re not retouching the color, the color will naturally fade. The ends of your hair are the oldest and they’ll become more weathered, so the color will fade naturally.

No More Relaxer? How To Do The Big Chop & Apply A Texturizer The Right Way!

April 15th, 2015 - By jade
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We surprised one lucky MadameNoire reader with a short hair makeover courtesy of Luster’s Pink ShortLooks. Our winner Vonda received the big chop and a texturizer styled by celebrity hairstylist Lavette Slater. Vonda had no idea that she was getting a makeover, but her friend Michael wanted to surprise her before she goes off to law school.

The new and approved Luster’s Pink Shortlooks Texturizer Curl Softener is actually great for the process after the Big Chop making your hair more manageable while it is still short.

Check out the video to see her final look and learn some great tips along the way!


Trichologist Dr. Kari Williams Talks Right And Wrong Way To Rock Braids And Faux Locs For Spring

April 8th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I recently had the chance to talk to Dr. Kari Williams about all things hair. And to be clear, Dr. Williams is not just any ol’ random delivering advice on your hair needs. She’s a licensed barber, a natural hair care specialist, a Board Certified Trichologist, the CEO and founder of Mahogany Hair Revolution Salon and Trichology Clinic, and serves as President of the Board for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. And did I mention that she does the hair of Brandy, Jill Scott and Willow Smith? She’s no joke.

And that’s why she’s giving a major presentation for Kinky Hair Unlocked, a hair care symposium taking place in Atlanta on April 24. The event will educate women on how to tend to their hair needs in order to achieve healthy hair. I talked to Dr. Kari about what folks in Atlanta can expect from her presentation, and obtained some major insight on all the hair issues we’ve all been dealing with.

I’ll be posting more of her advice as the week(s) go on, but for now, here’s what she had to say about why we shouldn’t run from sulfates and silicones, and the right and wrong way to rock braids and faux locs.

What Myths She Hopes To Dispel At Kinky Hair Unlocked

It’s bringing together the top tier experts and influencers in our industry. What makes us different is that we have background knowledge. Anytime I’ve done events in the past with other bloggers, I always tell the attendees, it’s great that a community has been built around haircare, specifically the natural hair care industry where women can tap into one another and get tips, suggestions. But what has happened with the influx of a lot of bloggers and people trying to experiment and do a lot of things is that it’s created a lot of myths and misunderstandings. What’s going to make this event different is that we’re bringing together these experts, myself being one of them, to really give consumers real knowledge. My hope, and my presentation, is to dispel a lot of myths. My presentation is pecifically going to be about the science behind hair care, but most importantly, what’s in your products. And really, we’re going to look at the ingredients in your products and try to understand what those ingredients really mean and how it can benefit you and your hair type to ultimately create a foundation to help your hair grow healthy. I want to generate a conversation, especially when it comes to the topic of silicones and sulfates. I know that when a lot of people begin to pay more attention to the labels and what’s actually in products, suddenly sulfates and silicones became the bad guy for hair. A lot of people were attributing scalp discomfort and hair breakage to these particular ingredients without fully understanding how they’re formulated in their products, and the benefits they can receive when these particular ingredients are used in moderation and formulated correctly.

Why Sulfates And Silicones Really Aren’t So Bad

Sulfates are actually derived from coconuts. It’s this type of information that I want to share with the audience. I also want to challenge the audience. If we’re looking at specific ingredients that we see all the time and we put the product back on the shelf because we’re like, “Uh oh, I see a sulfate,” or “Uh oh, I see something that has a cone in it and I don’t like that,” or “Uh oh, I see the word alcohol and I don’t want that.” A lot of the time, when we see the word alcohol, those are actually emulsifiers. But we don’t understand the chemistry as consumers. So you see alcohol and you think drying. No, that’s simply an emulsifier so that the oils and waters can mix.

On Doing Brandy’s Braids

I’m her regular stylist. I’m so humbled and blessed to be her main braider. I tell her all the time, “Girl, I can’t believe I’m now giving you the braids, because when I was younger I wanted the braids.”

The Right And Wrong Way To Do Protective Braids

You can wear a braid style up to 8-10 weeks. If you’re going to wear them for the max amount of time, I highly recommend that you get a touch-up between four and six weeks. A touch-up means getting your hairline re-braided. The reason why this is important is because that’s the area that’s manipulated the most and that’s the area that suffers the most damage because we’re manipulating it the most, as far as pulling it back into styles.

The hair around the hairline is the most fragile. So when you think about adding an extension, whether it’s a braid or a faux loc, that’s weight on a small section of hair. And the more your hair grows out, the more fragile that hair becomes because instead of it being anchored to your scalp, it’s now hanging on loose hair, which weakens those strands. That’s the common cause of the traction and breakage we see around the hairline. So typically, after four and six weeks — because the hair can grow up to half an inch a month — you’ll have some new growth, and enough new growth where you can go around the hairline, touch it up, and now you can wear the style for another month without compromising the health of your hairline.

Why Faux Locs Need To Be Treated Differently

Faux locs, you can go a bit longer. What people like about faux locs is that the older they get, the more natural they look. Because of the dual layer and process, I tell my clients with faux locs that they can go up to seven weeks before they need to come in for a touch-up. My faux loc clients will wear their faux locs up to three months. I tell them that four months is pushing it. It can cause some matting and some breakage when they’re taking out the locs. But up to three months is fine, but definitely, get a touch-up in between that time to help with the health of your hairline.

If You Can Use Faux Locs To Grow Real Locs

You can. There’s a different technique I encourage you to use–and different hair. With the popularity of faux locs, synthetic hair is used to create the look and it’s more affordable. But if you want to actually start locs from faux locs, I recommend using human, afro, kinky hair. It’s going to blend better into your natural hair, and it’s not going to be as heavy.

Black Women Rejoice! TSA Is In The Process Of Ending Black Hair Searches

March 30th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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TSA Is In The Process Of Ending Black Hair Searches

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re a Black woman with naturally textured Black hair whose flown somewhere in the past five years, there’s a good chance that your hair has been patted, squished or searched by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

But after two Black women (with a little power and clout behind their names) complained to TSA, this practice (is informally) on its way out.

According to Business Insider, Malaika Singleton, a neuroscientist based in Sacramento, California, wore her hair in sisterlocks as she was traveling to a conference on dementia in London. And like so many of us, Singleton’s hair was pulled and squeezed.

“I was going through the screening procedures like we all do, and after I stepped out of the full body scanner, the agent said, ‘OK, now I’m going to check your hair.'”

The same thing happened to Singleton in Minneapolis on her way back from the conference.

Unhappy with the treatment she’d received in both airports, Singleton contacted the American Civil Liberties Union. Coincidentally– or perhaps not since it happens so often–one of the lawyers there, a Black woman, who also wears her hair in sisterlocks, Novella Coleman, had experienced the same thing– twice.

She too was traveling for work. Coleman just so happened to be joined by White and Latina colleagues who didn’t endure that type of search.

When Coleman asked the officer, why her hair was being searched, she was told passengers wearing hair extensions were searched. But Coleman’s sisterlocks were her own. Another officer said that people with “abnormalities” with their hair were searched.

Quite ignorant and discriminatory, indeed.

She too had filed a complaint about the practice back in 2012.

But it never went anywhere.

Coleman, the ACLU attorney, filed another complaint based on Singleton’s experience and on Thursday, the TSA responded, agreeing to conduct anti-discrimination training sessions with its officers when it comes to screening African American, female hair.

In an e-mail from the office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement, Bryan W. Hudson, wrote:

The Federal Security Director for MSP (Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport) and the Federal Security Director for LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), through his Field Counsel, also agreed to participate in the informal resolution process. MSP and LAX will both provide retraining to their respective TSA workforce to stress TSA’s commitment to race neutrality in its security screening activities with special emphasis on hair patdowns of African-American female travelers. MB (The Multicultural Branch of TSA) will also commit to conducting an onsite training at LAX, subject to coordination with TSA LAX leadership, during the 2015 calendar year. In addition, even though TSA does incorporate nondiscrimination principles into its regular training, MB will work with the TSA’s Office of Training and Workforce Engagement to make certain that current training related to nondiscrimination is clear and consistent for TSA’s workforce. Furthermore, in light of recent concerns, MB will diligently work with TSA secured airports and monitor them for consistent implementation of DHS and TSA policies. MB will specifically track hair pat-down complaints filed with MB from African-American females throughout the country to assess whether a discriminatory impact may be occurring at a specific TSA secured location. 

You’ll notice the resolution is informal and no formal decision has been made. But still, it’s a step in the right direction. And since this story is being reported across several media platforms through the country, I’d hope, internally, TSA is sending additional communication and hosting more training sessions to make sure this stops happening in L.A., Minneapolis as well as all the airports throughout the country.

When was the last time your hair was searched at the airport? Are you optimistic about this reform or does it feel like hot air to you?

“This is A Disaster” The Time President Obama Did Malia’s Hair

March 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Fab four. #ThrowbackThursday #TBT

A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

This story is ancient in pop culture news terms. But it’s new to me and just too adorable not to share. So here I am bringing it to you, on the off chance that it might have slipped under the radar for you too.

Remember back in 2012, when President Obama was running for re-election he and First Lady Michelle Obama were having dinner with voters? Well, President Obama being the charismatic dude that he is, he shared a very charming story about the time he had to style his eldest daughter’s hair.

My favorite story out of this is Malia, when she was 4, she had a little dance thing. Well, Michelle was gone that weekend so I’m taking her to ballet. And I get her in her little leotard and her little stuff. I did her hair, put it in a little bun.

We get to the dance studio and one of the mothers there right away comes up to Malia – she thinks she’s out of earshot of me and she says, ‘Sweetie, do you want me to redo your hair?’ And Malia who she’s 4 says, ‘Yes please, this is a disaster’ you know, she didn’t want to hurt daddy’s feelings.

I love this story because I’ll forget the week my mother was out of town visiting her brother, my uncle, in California. I remember it for basically one reason and one reason only. It was the first and last time my dad was left to style me and my sister’s hair for school that week.

The first day I naively thought that since my dad was go great at everything else he did with us, doing our hair would be the same. I was sadly mistaken. Not only does my father have large and heavy hands, he had absolutely no idea how to style our hair like our mother did.

But that didn’t stop him from putting up a good front. That morning before school he asked us what we wanted. I was about 8 and by this time I’d had a relaxer for a few years. And since it had been a while since I’d been to the shop, my hair was too old to be worn down. So I told him I wanted a ponytail.

My father’s hands trying to scoop up the strands of my hair felt like mallets clunking against my scalp. It was anything but pleasant. And on Tuesday, I told him I’d do my own hair. My sister, who is just under two years younger than me, whose hair wasn’t relaxed, just had to suffer until my mom came back home.

Needless to say, after a week of me attempting to protect my scalp and my father struggling with my sister’s three staple braids, we were looking rough…real rough when we picked my mom up from the airport.

We all look back on that week and laugh. Those are some pretty fond memories, even if it was less than amusing when I was going to school looking crazy.

Did your father ever have to do your hair for some reason? How did he do?