All Articles Tagged "natural hair"

Did Y’all See? Fake Friends And ‘Fro Woes

February 5th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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On this week's episode of Did Y'all See? the editors discuss the "natural hair tax" and whether Dominican hair salons are discriminatory, letting your man go on a trip with a friend of the opposite sex, and Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian's faux reconciliation. Watch the video above and weigh in on these situations in the comments section.

5 Silk Bonnets Bae Won’t Mind

February 3rd, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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It’s winter time, which means you not only need to be adamant about lining your wool hats with a layer of silk to protect your hair in the daytime, but you can’t go skimping on the silk bonnet at night either. Now it also happens to be cuffing season as well which means the goals of cuddling up with your boo and maintaining bantus may be at war with each other. Never fear, because we’ve found a few retailers whose silk scarf designs won’t totally run your man off. That way you can have your late not rendezvous and still look good the morning after too. Check out these options.



My Crowning Jewel

My Crowning Jewel created scarves to take the shame out of protecting your hair while you sleep. With their offerings, you’ll have bae questioning whether you’re going to bed or just taking a nap before hitting the town.

Sally Beauty Supply

Sally Beauty Supply


Evolve has turned the beauty supply silk wrap scarf into a thing of art for under $10. This brand not only boasts scarves in cute modern patterns that are long enough to hold big curls and coils, it also has snug fit headbands perfect for those of us who just need to keep the sides of our updo or pixie cut smooth while we sleep.





There’s a reason this retailer uses the tagline, “Not Your Mother’s Silk Bonnet.” Between the patterns on Sharmooz’s boutique scarf collection and the silicon grip which provides sliding, you may never take off these SNOODs which can easily go from daytime to night wear. We’re sure your boo won’t know the difference either.





You can get away with a lot just by supporting a man’s favorite team. Let Ebonnet show you how with their bouffant bonnets which will score you major points.




$15 might be more than you’re used to spending on a silk bonnet but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. AuntiGodmothers offers two-tone customizable silk bonnets that come in reversible colors of your choice as well as an array of printed patterns from polka dots to camouflage for a more updated look.

Is The “Natural Hair Tax” A Form Of Discrimination?

February 2nd, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Corbis Images

Corbis Images

Have you noticed that stylists are charging more for natural hair? I have, but not until two months ago. A few days after Christmas, I strolled my happy behind into the Dominican salon that I had been a regular at for close to a year but when I went to the front desk to check in, things went a little differently this time. You see, I’m a natural who straightens her hair quite frequently. But for the past few months or so, I became concerned about the possible damage the constant straightening is doing to my hair. So I started wearing it straight for two weeks out of the month and in a natural style for the other half of the month. Back in December when I went to the salon, my hair happened to be in a natural style and it was a problem. They tried to charge me an extra $25.00 to wash, roller set and blow out the same hair that they did a couple of weeks before for half of that price. I quickly jumped on Twitter to voice my frustrations and within minutes, my boss, who is a new natural, confirmed that I’m not alone.

hair collageI never returned to that salon. But over the weekend, I tried my luck with another salon back in my hometown. I had been a customer at this spot for years, and I was sure that my girls wouldn’t pull any funny business. After all, they know me and my momma. Girl, bye! As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by a huge sign that informed customers that they would be charged more for natural hair. As I stated, I’ve been natural for years and this salon has never charged me extra but Saturday, I was informed that if I wanted my hair done, I would be charged double the price that someone with relaxed hair was paying. I quickly turned around and proceeded to walk out of the salon. The woman at the front desk chased me down and told me that she would give me a “discount” this time.

“How is this a discount if it’s more than you charged me the last time I was here to get the same exact thing done?” I questioned.

After this experience, I went home and did some research and apparently, the “natural hair tax” is a thing. And after reading articles published by The Cut, Afrobella and Curly Nikki, I quickly realized that Dominican stylists aren’t the only guilty ones. While I had already encountered my share of black stylists who wanted to charge an arm and a leg to press or style my hair, I quickly realized that white stylists have also jumped on this trend. Afrobella recalls one experience:

I walk into a beautiful, brightly colored, black owned salon. Some of the stylists have natural hair done up in intricate styles. The walls are adorned with African-inspired art. I feel like I’m in the right place. I look at the price list — relaxers cost $65. Hair color starts at $45. Rates for natural hair all begin at $100. And there’s an asterisk after that last zero.

It literally feels like I’m being slapped in the face when I walk into a salon and I’m told that I will be charged more because of my race and hair texture. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my hair going forward, but I have to admit that I’m feeling pretty defeated right now. My day-to-day life is pretty demanding and on the weekends, I don’t have much time or energy to be fighting with stylists about unfair pricing or dealing with the anxiety that comes with testing out a new stylist every other week.

Have you experienced the “natural hair tax”? Have you just surrendered? If not, how do you get around it?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Who Says Bantu Knots Are Just For Bed? Not These 10 Beauties

February 2nd, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Bantu knots are a natural hair staple, but while many see the look as a setting style for bedtime these ladies prove you can proudly rock your bantus in the daytime too. So go ahead and get inspired to showcase your knots while the sun is up and extend all of your wash day effort a little longer before you unravel your bantus and reveal our gorgeous coils.

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Celebrates Both Natural Hair And Black Female Entrepreneurs

January 26th, 2016 - By LaKrishia Armour
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2014 and 2015 Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Contestants

2014 and 2015 Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Contestants

Most beauty pageants claim they’re about celebrating brains and beauty. But the beauty (and body) part often gets a majority of the shine while the brains get whittled to one or two questions on stage.

That’s what best friends Maureen A. Ochola and Jessica E. Boyd hope to change. The two created the Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina pageant, a natural hair celebration also focused on business that’s been disrupting the Southern pageant scene since its 2013 debut in their hometown of Columbia, S.C. It has proven to be a success, so much so that they’re putting on their third exhibition on April 16.

“I had a high-level overview of pageants when we started, and they all seemed to be focused on the just physical aspect,” Ochola said. “What I like about what we’re doing is we’re highlighting natural hair. We take that confidence and add on the business element because that’s really what you need to be successful in business. Confidence.”

The pageant focuses on the beauty of natural hair and the beauty of Black female business owners. Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina started as a program to grow interest and a customer base for the co-founders’ original business idea: a brick-and-mortar natural haircare beauty supply store. They started social media accounts to test their idea first, and the accounts gained popularity.

“The money that it takes to start a store, we really didn’t have,” Boyd said. “We thought: How can we stay relevant and make people continue to be excited until we can get the store open?”

The two chose to think outside the box and celebrate two things they love: natural hair and business. “We thought about a pageant,” Boyd said. “In December of 2013, we announced we would have it.”

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Co-founders Jessica E. Boyd and Maureen A. Ochola

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Co-founders Jessica E. Boyd and Maureen A. Ochola

The organic success of the pageant was a pleasant surprise to Boyd and Ochola. It gave them the initiative to explore the pageant as a legitimate extension of their original idea. It was clear that such celebrations were needed and gaining quite the following.

“After the first pageant, it kind of took off. We sold out of tickets,” Boyd said. “The impact it had on the girls and the community, in general, took on a life of its own. It wasn’t a question. We had to bring it back and do it bigger and better.”

It’s not a surprise that creativity in business is also one of the pageant’s key themes. Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina contestants learn firsthand about entrepreneurship and small business.

“Last year we added a twist: a business pitch idea because that’s essentially what we’re doing,” Ochola said. “Why not introduce that to these girls as well?”

Contestants attend seminars with coaches and successful entrepreneurs to perfect their business ideas. Instead of a Q&A interview format, contestants pitch a business plan to judges. Half of the inaugural pageant contestants, women ages 19-30, have actually taken action on their proposed business plans and made them more than just an idea.

“When [the contestants] saw that we were able to have the idea for the beauty supply store and also have the idea for the pageant, and were able to execute it on the level that reached across the globe, a lot of them were inspired to go ahead and start their own businesses,” Boyd said.

With the niche angle of the event and the force of social communication, including Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina’s Instagram page, the success of the pageant has brought about admirers, remixers, and straight-up copycats recreating their own versions of the event. Some even in the pageant’s home base of South Carolina. But Boyd says that’s a good thing.

“If this pageant can expand beyond our borders, that’s great! Ultimately, we want it to be the Miss Universe of natural hair.”

The two maintain a positive outlook and say they’re happy to plant a seed for the pageant in their city, in other cities and beyond.

There are tons of social media accounts and many positive online resources that cater to natural hair. Is there a need for a pageant to celebrate natural hair? Boyd thinks so and clarifies that their pageant is about more than just hair. It uplifts its contestants.

“South Carolina has not made the best news. Miss Naturally Crowned is in the center of all that. Imagine how powerful that is? We’re here to be positive, and combat the negative images.”

Both Boyd and Ochola believe the need is there, and the Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina pageant will continue to innovate and expand to meet the needs of its contestants and its audience.

“Being in a pageant not only brings you the confidence, but it allows you to to envision your dreams and bring it to other people,” said Boyd. “When you gain that confidence on stage and in business, nothing can really stop you.”

The application deadline to join in as a contestant in the Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina contest is Sunday, January 31. To support the Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina pageant, you can donate on their website as an individual, sign on as a business sponsor, or attend a local event.


LaKrishia believes every woman has the power to choose her own adventure. She’s the founder of BeautyShock.Me, a platform for Black-owned, indie beauty brands. She writes about creativity, lifestyle and big ideas at


Erica Ash Talks Maintaining Her Natural Mane & Her Go-To Protective Style

January 24th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Nicky Nelson/

Nicky Nelson/

Whether you know her for her role on STARZ’ Survivor’s Remorse as M-Chuck, BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood as Kevin Hart’s wife Brigette, or NBC’s Shades of Blue as Erica, Erica Ash is making major moves as an actress in Hollywood.

And at the same rate as she’s booking gigs, the former Emory University med student and Broadway starlet, she also changes her ‘do.

In a recent interview with Hype Hair, the actress chatted with the beauty publication about her hair journey, especially how she maintains healthy tresses. “Moisture, moisture, moisture is the key to maintaining our hair,” Ash, who sports her natural kinky curly texture with pride, said. “I use water-based products and try to put something on my hair every day. I pay special attention to my edges as they are so fragile.”

And of course, as an actress, changing hairstyles is a constant in addition to hear-styling and manipulating your mane to achieve various looks. To combat the tension her hair goes through while on the job, Ash swears by wrapping her hair every night and alternating between protective styles like braids/twists and wearing her natural hair out.

Ash also loves wake up-and-go hair, opting to spritz water on her hair instead of weighing it down with products and heat from styling tools. “My natural hair is short and naturally grows to frame my face. So that’s my favorite. I also like tree-braids. They’re east, fast, there’s not much pulling on your hair and they are very lightweight.”

True that, Erica! Who doesn’t love not comprising your hairs health for convenience?

Working While Black: I’m Scared To Wear My Natural Hair At Work

January 21st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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working while black feat

It was comedian Paul Mooney who said “When your hair is relaxed, White people are relaxed.” From my own life experiences, reading the news and seeing the ways in which Black people bend to adhere to the standard of “acceptable” hair, I know that to be true.

Many of us have dodged eager hands reaching out to touch our kinks and curls. We’ve fielded ignorant and sometimes offensive questions like “why our hair was like that?” or “Is it clean?” And we’ve seen the news stories where Black hair was under attack, whether it’s in the magazines or the military.

It was likely with those stories and our cultural climate in mind that I decided my best bet for getting hired would be to wear a wig. Truth be told, I didn’t buy a wig for the occasion. I’ve always been a fan of switching the style up. Braids, weaves, wigs, etc, in addition to my natural afro. But honestly, I was very strategic about making sure that I had an appropriate wig laid out for the interview, making sure that something as trivial as my hair didn’t hold me back from being offered the position.

Well, I got the job. For the first few days, not wanting to shock my coworkers or make sure they recognized me when I reported for duty, I decided to wear the same wig. Within the first few weeks, I realized that the environment was more conservative than I would have liked. I was one of three Black people in the whole building. And the other two, one man and one woman, were…let me just say “not woke.” Not only did they not do much to make me feel welcome, they basically ignored me all together. It seemed like they were under the impression that we were in competition with one another.

Even though they were ignoring me, they always seemed anxious and even a bit scared that their positions were in jeopardy. As much as I would like to think I’m stronger than that, I subconsciously let their attitudes influence me in terms of keeping my natural hair tucked away under my wig. Every weekend, I swore I’d wear my real hair and every Monday morning, I’d punk out.

What started out as an interview strategy has become a bit of a crutch.

I literally have anxiety about my coworkers seeing my natural, kinky Afro for the first time and the things they might say in response to it. And Lord knows I don’t want to hear any of my bosses tell me anything about my hair not being professional or appropriate for the job.

I’m hoping one day I’m able to get past it and my coworkers, bosses and even the strange Black folk will either understand and embrace it or learn to deal.

The Book Every Little Girl In Your Life Needs

January 19th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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love thy fro

You can never have too much positive reinforcement when it comes to little brown girls and their self-esteem which is why we’re so excited Casey Elisha created Love Thy Fro.

The book, written for girls between the ages of 5 and 8, tells the story of a young girl named Kemi who is in love with her big, beautiful, curly afro hair. “A simple book with a simple message, the book aims to teach girls the importance of loving themselves and embracing their ‘non-typical’ hair from a young age,” the book’s website states.

In a press release, first-time author Elisha explained her motivation for publishing thes book, saying:

“My decision to write Love Thy Fro was a very random one stemming from my realization that, if I were to become a mother to a daughter anytime soon, I would have a really hard time teaching her to be comfortable in her own skin due to the images of beauty that society constantly throws at us. I wanted my future daughters to know and appreciate their unique beauty, so I chose to create something that I felt would help show them this.”

Within the first two days of the book’s launch December 6, 2015 in Deptford, London, the first batch completely sold out, demonstrating the need for an uplifting message such as this one. To purchase your own copy of Love Thy Fro, click here.

Who Me? Celebs Who Became Accidental Hair Icons

January 18th, 2016 - By LaKrishia Armour
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Tracee and her mom Diana. Beyonce as a blondie. YouTube beauty gurus with waist-length hair. These are some of the typical celebs that stir up hair envy in Black women. But there are a several style changes celebrities and Internet personalities made that weren’t intended to cause a flurry of copycats but immediately ushered these men and women into being accidental hair icons.

Tressenoire Brings Natural Hair Stylists Directly To Your House

January 1st, 2016 - By Lauren McEwen
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Tressenoire 2One might assume that living in a large city would automatically equal easy access to a wealth of talented styling professionals who specialize in black hair, but unfortunately, pricing issues, incompatible hours and distance can all get in the way of finding a stylist who best suits your needs. These were all factors that inspired friends Octavia Pickett-Blakely and Regina Gwynn to launch Tressenoire, a Philadelphia-based service that brings natural hair stylists straight to clients’ homes, offices and hotel rooms.

“We’re looking at this largely underserved market where women of color spend nine times more on hair care products and services than our counterparts and the convenient kinds of options aren’t available to us,” said. Gwynn.

She and Pickett-Blakely set out to fill that void, founding Tressenoire in October 2014. The company is already expanding, serving markets in Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, and Westchester County.

Users can log on to the online portal, select a style (there are also examples on Tressenoire’s Instagram account, if you need inspiration) and set a date and time. While Gwynn said they are happy to schedule clients with a particular stylist, they really want the date and time to be the guiding factor in bookings.

“All of our stylists are amazing. We really do stand behind that. We select stylists from some of the best schools of the nation,” she said, explaining that the hair care professionals on their roster have worked with Carol’s Daughter and trained with Aveda and the Paul Mitchell Schools.

Clients should wash and detangle their hair before the appointment (the stylist will blow dry or re-wet the hair, if necessary). Stylists also come prepared with styling tools and products, but clients are responsible for supplying any hair extensions needed to achieve their desired style, though stylists can give detailed advice on what kind of hair to purchase.

“We like to over-communicate when we can to make sure that we’re setting ourselves up to win and can basically slay hair when we get there,” Gwynn said.

Gwynn became a naturalista long before the current onslaught of YouTube vlogs, blogs and hair care lines devoted to natural hair care began. Her friends would frequently ask her advice on how to best care for their coils and curls. Now, she says there’s almost an “information overload.” Not only do they want to provide a technology-driven, luxury service for their clients, but they also want to educate clients on how to best care for their own hair in between styling sessions.

Before the session starts, stylists do a one-on-one curl consultation with the client, making sure they understand the density and porosity of their hair in order to empower clients to take control of their hair care. Although Tressenoire doesn’t completely buy into the hair typing system, Gwynn said they do think it’s important to help clients “get into a lane that can help guide you so that the product junkie in you doesn’t go too overboard.”

“There is nothing like talking with a licensed beauty professional and having her talk specifically about your hair texture, curl pattern and hair type,” she added.

It might come as a surprise to some that a company like Tressenoire would be so popular in heavily populated, racially diverse cities like New York and Philadelphia, but Pickett-Blakely thinks that’s a “misconception.” What she’s noticed is clients don’t only require an adequate style that looks nice, but also proper care.

“Having both of those characteristics can be difficult to find,” she said. “A big part of our messaging and a big part of our goal is to make hair care and hair styling convenient, so we have stylists that are available at a variety of times each day and different times in the week week. We offer services at times that are not necessarily traditional times that other salons would be available.”



Tressenoire also strives to make their services more affordable. “There are amazing salons in these markets, but I think the other thing that comes into consideration is price,” Gwynn said of her company’s success. “I think sometimes price becomes a bit prohibitive for some women who really just want a great luxury experience, but maybe the wallet isn’t something that they can give over at that time.”

Lucky for Pickett-Blakely and Gwynn, their business has grown significantly during the past year due to client referrals. And their clients run the gamut from mothers who want to have their kids’ hair styled without the hassle of running after them in a salon to homebound clients who may not be able to travel for a hair appointment.

For clients who have experienced hair loss, Gwynn said having hair care services done in the privacy of their own home has been an added benefit.

“That’s definitely something that we’re mindful of. Wherever you are in your hair care journey or hair care experience, this is definitely a no judgement zone.”

For potential clients who want to check out the service before giving it an official try, or people who are struggling with their natural hair care journey and are seeking help, Tressenoire will offer a quick phone curl consultation.

“Whether you become a customer or not, we really are here to empower women and make the path to beauty a lot more easy,” said Gwynn.

To set up your first appointment, visit