All Articles Tagged "natural hair"
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
I know! Another article about hair! But with the Blue Ivy petition fiasco and the debate about whether or not white women can claim #teamnatural, it’s clear that we are still not quite comfortable with the various textures that are uniquely assigned to our tresses.
A friend of mine recently decided to go for the “Big Chop” after years of perms and weaves. It took her a long time to finally go for it! She worried about whether or not she would readily adjust to such a drastically different look. She was used to having long hair, so the thought of not being able to wear a simple ponytail or a high bun, made her wary. But she was also tired of spending endless hours at the beauty salon, begging her boyfriend for money to get her expensive extensions installed. Her own hair was showing signs of wear and tear, which resulted in her relying on the security of hair weaves.
One afternoon while having brunch she announced to all of us that she was going to step outside her comfort zone by embracing the “natural hair movement”. We all applauded her and promised to give our unrelenting support. I never thought she would actually contemplate giving up her regimen, but a week later she greeted us with her new look. She looked incredible. Her eyes looked bigger, her skin glowed, and she even seemed taller. Her short Afro was everything! Finally we could see her gorgeous features without the aid of her trusted bangs and flowing mane. It was fresh, youthful and complimentary and I was so happy to see her enjoying her much-needed makeover.
She was relieved that her gamble had paid off, and even more excited that we loved it. But there was just one problem. Her boyfriend of six months was less than enthused with the prospect of his girlfriend being stripped of her long straight hair. She never really discussed it with him beforehand, which made the big reveal even more shocking and harder to digest. We tried to console her by explaining the fact that he probably needed time to get used to her shorter do. He was accustomed to her looking a certain way, and since he wasn’t privy to the fact that she was considering a major alteration, his reaction wasn’t necessarily unreasonable.
But almost two months later, her boyfriend is still reeling from the fact that she is now a bona fide naturalista. At first he started off with innocent jokes, but it has since escalated to full fledged demands. He is actually trying to convince her to go back to her weaves because she was a lot sexier when she had longer hair. Now that she has an Afro, she had lost that level of appeal that drew him in when they first started dating. Yep! He went there. Hitting below the belt by intertwining her attractiveness with the style of hair she chooses to wear.
Things have gotten so bad that their relationship is currently in code red status. They fight all the time, and there is barely any intimacy left. My friend is ready to walk away any day now, even though she is trying to hold on for dear life because she loves him. But of course she is disappointed that the man in her life is not supportive of her grooming habits. He refuses to understand why she made the change, and more importantly he won’t respect her decision regardless of whether or not he gets it.
It got me thinking about how I would react if I were in a similar situation. Is it mandatory to find out what a guy’s preference is when it comes to hair before getting serious? It sounds ludicrous, but based on my friend’s current situation; it definitely is a legitimate concern. I have never dated a guy who seemed hung up on how I wore my hair, but then again, I never wore weaves. I suppose we attract certain types of guys based on the way we present ourselves.
Would you dump a guy if he forced you to wear your hair a certain way?
Actress Teyonah Parris’ star is ascending in Hollywood right now. While many of us know her from the hit show “Mad Men,” it’s not the only credit she has under her belt. She’s going to be starring in three movies including They Came Together, Dear White People and A Picture of You and also a new project, executive produced by LeBron James called “Survivor’s Remorse.”
And in addition to being exceptionally talented, Parris has also been a hair crush of ours since she stepped out on the red carpet at last year’s SAG Awards. And though she’s been shouted out by several women and black women’s websites for the beauty and versatility of her afro, Parris told Marc Lamont Hill, of Huffington Post Live , that the transition was anything but easy for her. In fact, it was such an emotional journey that she cried and had to have a friend help her show her newly natural hair to the world.
Read what she had to say about the experience in the transcript below and then watch the video at the very bottom of the page.
You know when I first started in film, and I don’t want this to sound the wrong way, I very much tried, and not consciously, but I tried to be what I saw because that’s what I saw growing up. And I wanted to be beautiful. Who doesn’t want to be beautiful? And so consciously or unconsciously you try to mimic what you see. And I just had this moment where, I was actually in Harlem, and I was walking with my girlfriend and I saw this girl and I was like ‘I wish my hair could do that.’ And my friend was like, ‘It can.’ And I was like no, no it can’t. And I was like ‘Girl when I wet my hair, it just gets so straight.’
And she really looked at me like ‘Are you serious?’ She said, ‘It’s because you perm it.’
And I guess it was like, as Oprah says, an aha moment and I realized ‘Oh, I have no clue what my hair does naturally.’
So going natural was just a challenge to myself because I wanted to see what it did what it looked like because I hadn’t seen it since I was a little girl and even then I didn’t do it.
So it started off as a challenge to myself and I transitioned by wearing weaves and then every few weeks, I would take it out and see how much was afro and how much was still straight and then put it back up and cut off some as we went along.
And then it came the time when it was time to wear it out because it was all transitioned, all the perm was off.
Marc Lamont Hill: Were you nervous?
I cried. I cried. I was not used to seeing myself like that. I did not want to walk outside. I literally…I had to have… *pauses* oh goodness. My girlfriend, the same one who’d said a year or so before ‘your hair can do that’ she had to literally come over to my house and walk me outside because it was such an emotional experience and it wasn’t just about hair. It was about what my perception of beauty was and had been for all of my life and then I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like ‘That doesn’t look like what I thought was beautiful.’ And we literally held hands walking down 135 and Park Ave. And so that was my first moment in the world with my natural hair. And I know it doesn’t matter but that day, I got so many compliments on my big afro and I was like ‘Are they talking to me? Oh, ok.’ And it was really that moment of ‘Ok, I can do this.’ That was just my beginning of my journey into being natural. And since that day, it’s still been hard at moments. It wasn’t like ‘Oh, I was fine after that.’ No. It takes time.
At this moment, it’s not like I’m standing on a soapbox like it’s a mission but I really am personally, beyond what anybody else thinks or cares about, am trying to live in my truth and change the way I view beauty. And if other people’s perceptions change while I’m trying to work on myself, then that’s great. And hopefully a few little brown girls out there will look and say, ‘Oh, look I want my hair like that.’ And hopefully sooner than me, the age I was when it happened to me.
You can watch Teyonah Parris’ entire interview with Huffington Post Live in the video below. The part where she speaks about her natural hair starts around the 18 minute and 15 second mark.
Taliah Waajid said when she initially presented natural hair care business cards in Atlanta, people would react like she was “giving them poison.”
That was in 1991.
Undeterred, Waajid, would eventually not only win over enough customers to open salons across Georgia, she would also establish her own natural hair product line and present “The World Natural Health & Beauty Expo” which will debut in New York City on July 19.
The Expo, which has been an Atlanta staple for 17 years, has served as an educational platform for Waajid to teach others about the benefits of natural hair. With 40,000 stylists and consumers attending the most recent Atlanta show, Waajid hopes for a similar turn out at this weekend’s show at the Times Square Marriott Marquis.
The two-day event will not only provide specific information and exposure on the advances for natural hair care, beauty tips, and the impact of healthy living overall, attendees will also have the opportunity to attend free seminars and interact with exhibitors and hairstylists to sample, review and purchase products and services. While she has never before presented the Expo in The Big Apple, Waajid has high hopes that her message that “natural is better” can now take fire and spread throughout New York and beyond.
“When we did the first show I think we had about 25 vendors and maybe 150 people came and every year it became larger and larger. We now have thousands of people walking through our doors and feature over 200 vendors. The transition for natural hair has really come full circle for me,” Waajid said. “I was always impressed by the Bronner Brothers Show. I thought it was so great how everyone – professionals and consumers – came together through hair and I thought we could do something like this for natural hair and that was how we started and now it has just really taken off.”
While Waajid now enjoys success, selling her Black Earth Products line in stores like Walmart, Target and even internationally, the entrepreneur said it really was a struggle to convince retailers that consumers would buy natural hair care products. They were unsure whether customers even wanted to have a choice in the natural category.
“There were really no products on the shelves to help those that wanted to wear their hair natural. So I started talking to retailers about the need and importance for consumers to have these options,” Waajid said. “I was one of the first brands that was in the beauty supply setting for natural hair and my main goal was just to educate enough people to maintain and ensure that this category stayed strong.”
And stayed strong it has. As MadameNoire reported this past November, relaxer sales continue to take a nosedive. According to Mintel, a consumer trends firm, relaxer kit corporations revenue has suffered a 15 percent decrease since 2011. For natural hair-care specialists like Waajid, this furthers her resolve to continue to train others through her Taliah Waajid Seminars and shows like the upcoming Expo.
“Education is the reason why we do the Expo. It shows people that now that you have made the decision to go natural, you can learn the products and make the best decision for yourself on what your hair needs and different styling techniques,” she said. “Over the last 17 years with the Expo, I have seen a transition with my career. I went from knocking on doors trying to teach people about natural hair, to now every time I turn around there is natural hair everywhere. I like to think I had a big part in that.”
Chris Brown is known for switching up his hair. Hmm…kind of like Rihanna… But I digress. Whether he’s rocking platinum blond like Sisqo or gray like your grand daddy, he keeps us guessing…or scratching our heads. When recent images of Chris during his hearing surfaced, I noticed that, among other things, his hair had grown out quite nicely and homeboy was almost rocking curls.
And it looks like Chris has decided to go with that for a while. When he first got out we saw he styled it into a high top fade and today, he has it parted and combed over in a look that is all too reminiscent of Malcolm X’s fried, dyed and laid to the side days. If you’ve seen Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, you know Detroit Red went through all types of trauma to get his hair to lay right. Back in the day, even black men felt the pressure to straighten their strands or wear wigs in the case of Teddy Pendergrass in his early days with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
And he wasn’t the only one. See James Brown, Sam Cooke etc. Black male entertainers had a bit of their own “big chop”/ “go natural” movement.
We don’t know if Chris is using chemicals or if this is just some gel and water but take a look at what he calls a nod to the thirties and let us know if you’re feeling it.
“I Had Completely Lost Faith”: Weather Woman Fired After Defending Her Natural Hair Lands Huge New Job
We first told you about Rhonda Lee back in 2012. The meteorologist out of Shreveport made headlines when she was fired from her job after responding to the comments of a viewer who took to Facebook to say that she unless she was a cancer patient, she needed to ditch her TWA for a wig. She politely responded by saying the following:
And she also responded to a male viewer who criticized the show for a segment they did that year called “Three Minute Smile” that just so happened to feature a few too many black children for the critic’s liking. Again, Lee politely put the viewer in check. But unfortunately for her, even her polite responses weren’t appreciated by her employers, KTBS 3 News, and she was fired for violating their social media policy. Lee filed a complaint about her dismissal (since she was fired in 2012, I would say nothing really came of that complaint), and she went on to find work elsewhere, but in an interview with NewsOne, recently said that she started to feel down about everything going on.
“A month ago, I told my husband that I’m pretty sure I would never work in weather again.”
But the good news is, Lee has found a new opportunity, and she announced the news on her Facebook account:
“I am very happy to announce that I have accepted a position @WeatherNation! It is a national job that will allow me to reach millions of homes every day. By all accounts it is my dream job and I am thrilled to be a part of the WeatherNation family.”
And she spoke to NewsOne about moving forward.
“I had completely lost faith, but in a matter of a week or so, all of a sudden, three people showed interest in me. It was an awakening is what it was. I really had given up.
It’s revealing to me that you should never give up. I tell people that all the time in any speech that I give. For me to actually follow my own advice is a pretty beautiful thing.”
She also said that her new employer heard about her situation with KTBS and isn’t worried about her social media presence, let alone her hair.
“It wouldn’t require anything more than a brief explanation. My new boss said, ‘I heard about that,’ and we moved on so that was it. Every once in a while in life, you find good people with good sense who know talent when they see it and know a good employee when they see it.”
So you quit your job to go solo, or perhaps, your job quit you. Maybe you’re on a “use what you’ve got” challenge. Maybe your usual go-to stylist just isn’t keeping your hair happy anymore. In any of these cases, you’re on a salon sabbatical and have a tight hair budget. Now that you’re in money-saving mode and trying to figure out what to do next, and the luxury of weekly or monthly visits to the salon is a sacrifice you’ve chosen to make, don’t worry. There are ways you can keep your hair in perfect condition while you’re on a salon hiatus.
Get the best products within your budget
It seems strange to advise one to raid the beauty supply store when on a budget. By purchasing the proper tools and products in the beginning, you’ll be able to further recreate styles that you love. Buying magnetic rollers, a hooded dryer, metal duckbill clips, a professional-grade flat iron or curling iron, and engaging in a little practice, you will slowly but surely be able to achieve salon styling. Plus, buying in bulk ensures that you will get great deals on products that you know work well.
Recreate your favorite salon treatments at home
Brainstorm ways to recreate your salon favorites to fit within your budget. Creativity in figuring out ways to recreate your favorite treatments make you feel accomplished. If you love relaxing under the dryer as your hot oil treatment sets in your scalp, look into buying a hooded hair dyer, or dryer attachment. We’ve all got an aspiring cosmetologist in the family, right? Why not let them wash and dry your hair?
Look to your kitchen for guidance
Mixing up your own product saves money, especially when you use natural ingredients that are available. There are recipes to help you whip up your own product and I’m sure you have useful products and foods in your kitchen that you’re overlooking. Think about olive oil treatments, or Shea butter and coconut oil concoctions for hair and body use.
Prepare to stretch your relaxer
When you get your relaxer, arrange some time to chat with your stylist, or a past stylist. Ask her for maintenance tips or for her favorite product recommendations. She may give you a great hair profile from her perspective that will help you in your journey. Additionally, get to know those magnetic rollers. The roller set method not only helps to hide new growth you might not be ready to work with, but the method can smooth down that growth by applying some tension to help straighten roots.
Discover your hair
If your natural hair is professionally straightened, you may find it difficult figuring out your locks. You have to get to know your hair. Put your hands in your hair. Learn about your hair texture and hair behavior. If you don’t know where you’re starting, you won’t know how to properly straighten your hair or work with it in the future. Don’t risk damage because of too much heat on fine hair that can’t handle it, or too many passes through with the flat iron (or old-school pressing comb) on thick hair. Introduce yourself to your hair, get to know it and embrace it. It will save you lots of broken strands and heartache.
Consider protective styling to ease into a new ‘do
If you’re donning a short style when funds get tight, choose a protective method that will ease you into a style with less precision and that doesn’t need to be cut as often. Alternatively, if you know for a fact you won’t keep up with your new growth, you might need to formulate an exit plan for that relaxer. Consider protective styling in the form of braids, weaves and wigs that will help transition you into caring for your hair.
Embarking on a strict hair care regimen and budget—no matter the reason—isn’t easy. With some preparation, you can keep your sanity and your hair in tact.
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the tribute Future gave to his two babies fiancée Ciara and his new son Future. If you look closely, in the Instagram picture, you can see a sneak peek of Ciara’s hair and they look like locs. As a fellow dread head, I noticed this and quickly put it out of my mind. But yesterday, Ciara released a series of images where she’s showing off her loc extensions and personally I’m here for it but the response was mixed. Wonder if Ciara was inspired by her fiancé/baby fatha Future?
Take a look at the pics and let us know if you dig these.
As if there isn’t enough debate when it comes to Black hair — particularly natural versus permed hair — a new element has been added to the discussion: white women being heralded as #TeamNatural.
The issue arose late last week when a White hair and beauty blogger, Waterlily716, was featured on CurlyKikki last week proclaiming, “There’s something very freeing about accepting your natural hair.” Waterlily, real name Sarah, has apparently been “natural” all her life but only recently started wearing her hair out (as opposed to in buns and ponytails), which is why she started her vlog to teach other women like her how to manage their curls.
The key phrase there might be “like her,” as Sarah and her 3a and 3b curls which she prefers to style via a wash n’ go don’t exactly represent the ideal behind the natural hair movement that has been growing in numbers in recent years, which is to celebrate kinky, koily hair that is so often labeled as needing to be tamed and encourage healthy, chemical-free hair. Sarah may know a little something about the latter, but it’d be hard to believe she’s ever been directly or indirectly oppressed for her hair texture — a tale far too many Black women can tell — hence the uproar over here feature.
Six hundred comments and running are currently debating the necessity of a white woman being highlighted for her curls, which, for some, reignites the pink elephant in the natural hair room, which is the preferential bias toward even natural-haired women with longer hair and looser curls. As Ebony Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux wrote:
I’ve been surprised and disappointed to see how much of the natural hair movement has centered on “curly” hair, when that isn’t hardly the most common hair type among our people. Until recently, due largely to the efforts of bloggers/vloggers like Jouelzy and the team at 4C Hair Chick, who have taken up the charge of highlighting kinkier hair textures, there has been too much visual representation of sisters who have what has been described as “multicultural hair.” No shade to biracial women or those of us who get asked “What are you mixed with?” because of their hair texture, but the natural hair movement is at its most powerful when it encourages sisters to celebrate all our biologically-determined hair textures, not just the ones seen in rap videos.
To be fair to Walton, her site is not about Black hair or Black power. The “About” page states “CurlyNikki.com was created to serve as an online ‘hair therapy session’ for those struggling to embrace their naturally curly hair.” Her mission is clear: affirming those who wish to embrace a certain hair texture. But I think it’s worth considering what sort of precedent could be set here if more bloggers embrace an inclusive approach to natural hair.
In other words, there are plenty of places for White women to be uplifted and validated so is it really necessary we push diversity and inclusiveness as if we’ve forgotten the natural hair movement and such platforms that celebrate it were created for Black women to have a safe space to discuss and triumph over deeply-rooted hair issues White women could possibly never understand?
Seeing the backlash, Sarah wrote a rather lengthy response addressing the criticisms of her post, noting:
I’m not denying my privilege. And I’m not trying to upstage other women’s struggles, or erase the connotations of the natural hair movement with African American women.It ‘s horrible that little girls are suspended from school because of their hairstyle; it’s awful to think that women are told their natural hair is not professional. The military shouldn’t have a place in telling women that styles like braids and locs are not permitted. These things all happened, but it doesn’t mean other women of other races don’t struggle because of their hair as well.
But I’ve been calling my hair natural for years. Lots of girls of different races who have looser textures struggle with accepting their natural hair as well. My story is not a story of a large struggle, and I tried not to paint it that way, but I have subscribers who come to me after they’ve relaxed or straightened their hair for years! It’s just as life-changing and uplifting when those girls learn to embrace their natural hair… To me natural hair is about hair, not race or texture. I understand that natural hair is often associated with black women, but other women have a claim to the term as well. The term is not specific to any race.
While Sarah is right about the term and there are no doubt plenty of women who benefit from her advice, the fact that her story is not a story of a larger struggle implies her story isn’t our story. In the same way Black feminists had to break off from the larger feminist movement because their struggles weren’t quite like ours, the term natural hair may belong to everyone, but there’s a bigger cause behind #TeamNatural and the Black women who rep it.
What do you say? Can White women be #TeamNatural?