All Articles Tagged "natural hair"
If you didn’t get the memo the first time, Nicki Minaj wants you to know that she, as my friends like to say, is “draping,” and despite her love of colorful wigs and extensions, has long and healthy hair.
Minaj took to Instagram last night, and without a caption, warning or real reasoning (other than the fact that she just wanted to), posted a barrage of photos not only showing off her hair, fresh after a wash, but her body too. Posing in the mirror with her wet hair down her back, and also holding her locks up in a wet ponytail, it seems Minaj wanted to send a message about her real hair just in case her last few photos didn’t make folks a believer. Not sure why her chest had to be exposed to send that message, but hey, whatever works for her.
This isn’t the first time Minaj has posted a photo of her natural hair. Last year she gave slight glimpses of it while at the salon, but the pictures didn’t have her face in them. And of course, early last month she posted photos of her natural hair as she prepared to shoot the video for her controversial song, “Lookin’ A** Ni**a.”
Check out more pics of her hair on the next page, and let us know what you think about the photoshoot she dedicated to her silky strands.
“Going natural” or returning to natural as some would say can be a trying journey for any woman. Adjusting to another standard of beauty, relearning how to take care of your own hair and figuring out which styles compliment you the best are not easy tasks.
But add to that the pressure of appearing on television, where natural hair isn’t exactly the norm. And then add to that the emotions that come with having just overcome a battle with breast cancer. It’s a whirl wind of emotion.
And it’s Memphis news anchor, Pam McKelvy’s life.
McKelvy, an anchor for WMC, had been very open about her battle with breast cancer in February of 2012. McKelvy opted to have a double mastectomy and then underwent chemotherapy. During the process she lost her hair and had been wearing a wig on air since last March.
But last week, she decided to switch it up. As McKelvy talked about a woman’s “crown of glory,” she declared: “I’m going natural. No more relaxers to straighten my hair.” And then she removed the wig she’d been wearing to reveal a face-flattering, tightly coiled afro.
She said, “All right, this is it. This is my new hair.” McKelvy, a former beauty queen and 15 year TV journalist, couldn’t hold back her tears as she spoke about what it took to get to this place and the gratitude she feels toward the station for being so supportive of her during her cancer journey and her hair transition.
“I made my choice because I think about the message I send to young women about confidence and self acceptance.”
McKelvy also mentioned 12 year old Vanessa VanDyke, whose hair was deemed “distracting’ by a Florida school.
McKelvy continued: “The times are changing, and God’s delivered me with a brand new spirit and a head full of hair, and here it is. I want everyone to know that no matter what you go through, it’s not about what’s on the outside, it’s about what’s on the inside. And I feel, on the inside, I am more radiant and beautiful than I’ve ever been.”
You can watch McKelvy’s inspiring segment in the video below.
Some fabulous celeb women are rocking very chic new ‘dos this week, and we’re loving it!
Gabrielle Union, like many big stars, hit up the post-Oscar festivities last night looking fabulous. She hit the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscar party and did so with her own natural hair, which she showed off on Instagram yesterday.
“I took my weave out and got creative with my natural hair… @larryjarahsims is a master magician#theprocess”
The beauty showed off quite a bit of length, which was was flipped, curled and tied into a knot at the back of her head, and also included an ornate bump at the crown of her head. While at the Vanity Far party in her sparkling Nicholas Oakwell gown, she snapped pics with new Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, and had nothing but love for the Kenyan beauty:
“Best part of my night… @lupitanyongo is everythang! Quite simply, this woman gives me LIFE! Humble, smart, sincere, drop dead stunning and talent to spare… SOOOO PROUD!!! #lupitalove”
And Union also took pictures with Tyler Perry, Serena Williams, Regina King and more. Clearly she had a fabulous night!
Away from the Academy Awards madness, supermodel Naomi Campbell also showed off a new ‘do, but this time it was a full and fabulous ‘fro.
Campbell is known for her long wigs and extensions, the latter of which having been blamed for the hair loss the beauty has dealt with over the years. She decided to give all that a rest for a light brown afro wig that looked great on her, as she did media rounds with The View, The Graham Norton Show, and while shooting an appearance on 106 & Park. Campbell was hitting the talk show couches to promote a new season of her reality show/modeling competition, The Face.
What do you think of both looks on these beauties? We can’t get enough of them! Share your thoughts below.
Wearing weaves and lace fronts is nothing new in the entertainment world. All of these years, our favorite female celebs have changed hair colors like we change lipstick, and we’ve all either been in awe, or damaged our own hair attempting to attain the “it” hair color or hairstyle of the moment.
In their line of work, fake hair is almost a must because it’s a great way to save their hair from constant styling, frying and dyeing. Which leads many of us fans to wonder what exactly lies beneath the wigs and the weaves. And to pacify us, many celebs have taken to social media to show off their real hair.
But what’s the big deal about famous women revealing their freshly washed natural hair if it’s being held captive under an expensive and exotic sew-in until it tangles into a A$AP Rocky-inspired mess? And why do fans want to see said hair? We’ve all got hair under the “hair”. No matter if it’s you, me or Gabrielle Union, there is some sort of hair sprouting from our scalps whether or not we choose to let it be seen regularly.
When we get hair reveal photos, the starlet is usually at the salon. This means our favorite celeb has her real hair out for probably all of two hours. Seriously? Usually, there’s not enough detail for you to see the person’s hair and face at the same time. Plus, the celeb whose real hair is in question usually ends up bragging the length and luxurious texture of their real hair (which they are showing for five seconds), while reiterating how it’s naturally similar to the Peruvian hair they are about to get re-installed. It’s definitely interesting with a side of annoying to see or hear a celebrity trying to prove to the public that they’ve got plenty of thick, healthy hair on their head. Again, we all have hair. Yawn.
So knowing this, why do we get so excited about celebrity hair reveals?
I guess you just wonder what they’re really working with sometimes. If it looks great, we fawn over them even more than we did when said starlet was rocking a weave, and all is well in the world of social media. However, if Ms. Starlet’s hair is less than stellar, she gets dragged. Secretly, in a mean girl way, we’re relieved to find out someone fabulous has edges that aren’t so fabulous and see-through ends underneath their fancy lace front. We’re also fascinated to know if a celebrity we stan for looks just as good rocking her real hair as she looks when she’s working the red carpet. Through all of the social media bragging, we do hope there’s an element of pizzazz—a shimmer of glamour in her natural beauty, and a beauty that she actually loves.
Most of all, we want to know if she looks like us.
Does her hair look like mine? Does she have a ‘fro? Is she relaxed with a classy, shoulder-skimming bob? Does she wear her wrap at night? Does she use a product I’ve heard about and can get my hands on? It really comes down to this: What do we have in common and can I relate to her ‘real’ life outside the cameras?
In the “off season,” when a celeb isn’t promoting a film, new album, going on tour or living a lifestyle requiring excessive manicuring, there’s not a real reason (other than maintaining a particular aesthetic) to wear wigs or weaves. We should say to them: “Girl, wear your messy ponytail–or better yet, your headscarf–to the grocery store like the rest of us.” Because we do, in fact, want them to be relatable. That’s why we are so curious to find out what’s under those expensive hairpieces. It’s like seeing a sneak peek of the real her.
When it comes to celebrity hair “reveals,” sometimes we just like to know that underneath the expertly applied makeup, expensive designer clothing and worldwide stardom, there’s someone normal. Someone who was once a nice girl from a medium-sized city. Someone like us.
I have an embarrassing confession: As much as I love my hair, I didn’t always. When I was 12 years old, I prayed for “Good Hair.”
Girl, I know.
I was influenced to take action because of certain a girl two years older than me, and by default way cooler, who had her edges of legit, wispy baby hair always brushed back to perfection, with swooped edges that only seemed to happen when one has a less curly hair texture. I was so envious that in my despair, I asked Sweet Baby Jesus for the same finely-textured, perfectly wavy hair that flowed from the heads of girls like her.
As a kid in the awkward-looks phase, I thought she was pretty and cool and I wanted to be pretty and cool too, but unsure of how to accomplish it in my own way. Looking back on it, it’s sad that I even had the thought in my head to ask–in prayer no less–for such a thing. I remember after saying my nightly graces, adding in one last line: “Please give me pretty hair like __. I want to have good hair like hers.”
A significant amount of time has passed, and it’s pretty obvious Sweet Baby Jesus stubbornly has not delivered on that request. For good reasons, too. In addition to an old-fashioned dramatic soap opera slap, I needed to learn to be content with what I was given biologically.
There wasn’t a pivotal moment where the heavens opened up and a rumbling voice told me my frizzy ‘fro was a crown and thus, the mark of royalty. It was simple: As an older teen, I got tired of fighting with my hair. Plus, as a waitress at a greasy burger joint back in the day, washing my hair after each shift was a must. I refused to spend two hours straightening my puffy hair three times a week.
So I stopped.
I stopped fighting with my hair, I stopped trying to attain epic, Aaliyah-esque smoothness, and I stopped worrying about how the sphere of people in my life perceived my hair. There was no turning back after that, and I’ve been a fan of the wash-n-go ever since. I appreciate my hair for what it is: thick, frizzy and strong. And for the last few decades, I’ve been delighted with the hair and the looks that I have. Realizing and accepting that you’re going to be you every day, and embracing your physical characteristics is one of the best parts about growing up.
Now, my hair philosophy is this: Let your hair do what it wants–including warranting you being called Scary Spice, Sideshow Bob, Frizzy-Haired Black Girl, Diana Ross-gone-wrong, and many other creative names. Let your hair do what it wants, even if it means you have to start over with a Big Chop or a shaved head. At least you know you’re empowered and free being yourself.
I recently decided to cut my hair off and go natural. I made the decision on a whim and I felt empowered doing it and I love my new TWA. But my boyfriend absolutely cannot stand it. This is who I am so I’m wondering whether or not our relationship stands a chance? What do you think?
Dear Newly Natural,
That’s a tricky question, for many reasons.
It’s possible that he doesn’t dislike your natural hair, just the particular natural hairstyle you have. Just as there are dozens of different things women can do with weave or relaxed hair, there are dozens of different “natural” hair styles — twists, afros, short dreads, long dreads, braids, etc.
I bring this up because it’s often implied that if a Black man doesn’t like a Black woman’s natural hair style, he’s really a self-hating slave to the euro-standard of beauty. And while that may be true in some cases, usually it just comes down to a man getting used to his woman with a particular hairstyle, and not immediately feeling the change. And this is something that happens with white women, Asian women, Latinas, whoever.
Also, although men are the ones who get criticized for being upset about a woman’s hair change, many women actually would feel the same way if their bf/husband made certain changes. For all the women attracted to and/or dating men with dreads, I’m sure you’d feel a certain way if you came home one day and he cut all of his hair off. Same with the women who attracted to and/or dating men with full beards. And, I personally know that my fiancee would have an issue if I grew out my hair and decided I wanted to look like Pusha T.
You also have to consider the fact that maybe it’s not about the hair. Perhaps he’s upset you made that decision without discussing it with him first. Not asking permission, mind you. But discussing it. Perhaps the hair issue is a symptom of a deeper communication problem.
Granted, if you’re the type of woman who changes hairstyles and hair colors four times a month, you don’t need to have that conversation because he likely knew before you even started dating that the multiple change thing was a part of your package. But, if you’re a person who has had the same look for a number of years, you should give your man a heads-up if you’re planning on making a drastic change.
That said, a situation like this can say a lot about your relationship’s health. Basically, if he’s truly into you, he’ll eventually get over it and get used to your new hair. Maybe he won’t ever love it, but it won’t be a deal breaker either.And, if the hair continues to be an issue, he’s not the one for you.
Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com.
So before we peeped Nicki Minaj showing off her tresses on Instagram yesterday, apparently Gabrielle Union had done the same thing right before her. The “Being Mary Jane” star took to IG two days ago to give hope to weave wearers everywhere when she posted the pic above with this caption:
Ladies… You can achieve hair growth… With a weave! This is allllll mine, no clips, no extensions, hadn’t even been pressed…And it got this healthy thick length from responsibly wearing weaves. #weaveandflowletitgrow
This isn’t the first time Gabby decided to show all of us what she’s working with under all that long, silky yaky, but it appears the actress just wanted to give us a bit of an update on her hair progress. Too bad we never get to see her rock her real hair on red carpets, huh? At least we figure this pic will go over better than the one when she posted when she dyed her hair blonde for a movie role and people tried to revoke her black card SMH.
What do you think about Gabby’s IG post? Impressed she’s maintained this length underneath the weaves?
Nicki Minaj is really trying to make people jealous out in these streets. The rapper took to Instgram last night to show off her natural hair, pulling a Beyonce “Single Ladies” ponytail move, and most people couldn’t believe the length of the 31-year-old’s hair as she boasted “no perm, no extensions.”
This actually isn’t the first time a Nicki Minaj natural hair craze occurred. Last year, the Black Barbie teased us with a pic showing the length and thickness of her tresses, but her face was out of the frame. This time around, Nicki appears to be owning her style and even rocking it in a photo shoot of sorts.
After these makeup chair-type pics, Nicki showed off her hair again in a top knot and skimpy see-through body suit, and we have to say we think we could get used to this look — minus the pasties over her boobs and stuff. We wonder if Nicki is going to stick with this toned-down natural look or we’ll see her in a platinum blonde wig and over-the-top makeup again before the weekend is over. What do you think?
Check out Nicki’s other pics on the next page. Are you feeling her natural updo?
You’re young, black, perhaps you’ve moved to a new city where you barely know anyone. Perhaps, you – like so many of us – have grown tired of the often immature cyclical club scene and the stuffy networking mixers. You just want to eat, drink and be merry with like minds in a safe and welcoming atmosphere. Before you even think it, don’t worry – you’re not asking for too much.
I was growing weary of attending the same old events, looking for genuine connection where there were only business cards, fake smiles and sideways glances at every person who walked through the door. No one seemed interested in genuine conversation, only What can we do for each other? I decided to sit out social events indefinitely, until something that better fit my lifestyle came along.
I had heard great things of Our Family Dinner and was pleasantly surprised that the experience was everything I had anticipated and more. Click through to learn more about Our Family Dinner and two other awesome events you’ll want to tell your friends about this year!
It’s with us from the day we’re born. For many of us it’s a source of pride, our crowning glory. My grandmother used to call it our “beauty” as she warned me never to cut it. It’s our hair, black hair. And as you know our hair is a very weighty topic. While some regard our hair as fleeting fashion choices, others have made it a lifestyle choice. And whether we want it to be or not, the way we wear our hair even makes political statements. And Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps explore all of these topics, along with the history of black hair, going back to the 1400′s in West Africa, in their Hair Story: Untangling The Roots Of Black Hair In America. Released 13 years ago and re-released with a foreword by Melissa Harris Perry, Hair Story will have you nodding in agreement, shaking your head in annoyance or outrage and raising your eyebrows at the new information you learn. We had a chance to speak with the authors of the book about the re-release. Byrd and Tharps talked about everything from hair superstitions to Gabby Douglas to the way we use our hair maintenance to express love and friendship. See what they had to say.
MN: What do you say to people who say, “It’s just hair”?
Ayana: It’s not just hair. If it were just hair, Gabby Douglas would have been able to win the Olympic Gold without people on Twitter exploding. And then the Twitter attacks, to Hollywood, to news papers to all over the place talking about what her hair looked like while she was making Olympic history. Or other children who are talked about online about their hair. Or people who are not hired for jobs or people who are told they have to change their hair if they already have a job if their hair’s natural. Or women who feel they’re not dateable if their hair’s a certain way because men won’t like the texture or length. Or men who won’t date someone whose hair is a certain length or texture.
There’s still all these other, very real–sometimes impacting not just your self esteem but sometimes your financial life– obstacles that come up with hair. And I think until those are removed, we’re going to keep talking about hair. On the flip side, on the positive side, I think there are a lot of really good conversations that come out about hair. When you read Hair Story, it’s not a book of doom and gloom. We also really highlight the positive cultural conversations that happen, cultural productions whether it’s art or photo exhibits, just different things that people create about black hair and the community that’s forged around black hair and I actually don’t see any reason for those conversations to ever stop because it brings a lot of joy to people having them and also it brings a lot of common ground.
Lori: Until American culture can catch up with hair equality, then we are going to still talk about it. Because there is still discrimination felt by black women and black men, in the workplace, in social circles based on their hair. We’re still seeing women being fired from their jobs because of their hair. That’s an economic issue that has to be discussed. Now all of this Twitter chatter etc that happens ‘what does her hair look like?’ That might be a little excessive. But that’s what social media has brought us to. Every topic gets over discussed.
MN: Why do you think the black community is so concerned about the upkeep of other people’s hair? Is it an issue with the politics of respectability?
Lori: As a community we are still judged. One black person does something and the whole community is condemned. We joke about it when a horrible crime happens, ‘oh, please don’t let it have been a black person.’ And that’s, of course, unfortunate and ridiculous but it’s a fact and it is the truth. If we perceive, and I say that as a collective we, one of our own, who is in the spotlight, is doing something we see as negative then we fall all over ourselves trying to make sure that that negative thing is fixed right away so that the white man doesn’t figure out that we have flaws. Because we’re still playing some sort of catch up. Make sure that there’s nothing that we can be criticized about. I mean look at Rachel Jeantel.
We have these public figures and we have to make sure that when they’re on the national stage that they show off the best of us. So when it comes to hair, because there’s still this group mentality that appropriate, proper and acceptable hair looks a certain way. And that hair is smooth edges, nothing too aggressive, nothing too natural, nothing too Afro-like. And unfortunately that is the kind of the collective, acceptable hairstyle. Now on the other hand we are seeing the natural hair movement broadening people’s ideas of acceptability but that’s still a fringe movement when you look at the numbers of black women who are still straightening and or relaxing their hair or wearing weaves that are straight. So this idea that the natural hair movement has completely revolutionized what people think is acceptable hair is not true. We’re definitely expanding. So this attacking of young children or Pam Oliver’s wig, yes, I feel like black people still feel like we can attack one another with this idea that if we don’t call each other on it, then whitey will. And that’s really regressive thinking. I’m sure a lot of people aren’t making those thoughts consciously but I do believe that we still have that mentality left over from the past of policing each other’s behavior and physical appearance.
Ayana: Even though we see a lot of attacks on hair online, social media has also become this place where people really will build these supportive communities for people who are attacked. I think the one of the most obvious examples is the Locs of Love project that Yaba Blay did after the little girl was told that she had to cut off her locs or get expelled from school. But through social media, within 24 hours, Yaba was able to gather over a 100 women who sent in really encouraging letters and photos of themselves. I think in the past, pre social media, someone would have heard about the story, turned to their friend and said, ‘That’s a damn shame.” And that would have been the extent of it. But within two days, this little girl could see this outpouring of love and support for her. So I also think that’s a really positive side effect of what happens with black hair and social media, that we’ve never seen before. And I hope that continues to be the trend for what happens on Twitter when it comes to hair as opposed to cutting people down.