All Articles Tagged "hair"
Last month I was gushing over the fact that I tried my very first weave and, thanks to the amazing quality of the product from Heat Free Hair, the experience — and the blend of the weave with my natural hair — was incredible. I haven’t updated you on maintenance life since that post, so let me tell you what life is like with this weave: easy!
My routine before I go to bed looks something like this: Flexirod my own hair that’s been left out in the front, gather the weave on top of my head in an upright position, cover with a bonnet. Sleep.
My routine in the morning: fluff weave, spray with a little water, add a moisturizing curl product. Remove flexirods, blend natural hair with weave, apply oil, go.
Wash day routine: Wash, condition, comb through hair with Kinky Curly Knot-Today Leave-in/Detangler, add Beautiful Textures Curl Defining Mousse, air dry.
See how easy that is?
Given how much simpler Heat Free Hair’s For Koils collection has made my beauty routine, I had to let all of you know about their pop up shop that’s happening in Atlanta this weekend. On August 22 and 23, curious consumers will get to shop the signature Heat Free Hair collection and meet the team behind the brand celebs like Brandy, Kandi Burress, Amber Riley, and Tamar Braxton love.
Check out the schedule:
• Friday, August 22 (11am – 7pm) and Saturday, August 23 (9am – 5pm): Multi-Day Retail Experience at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. Wefted hair, clip-ins, and closures will be available for purchase in Heat Free Hair’s three signature textures: For Kurls, For Koils and For Kinks.
• Sunday, August 24 (12pm – 3:30pm): Big Hair & Brunch Event at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, hosted by Heat Free Hair founder Ngozi Opara and author Alexandra Elle
Food, drinks, and hair? You know you need to be there. To RSVP for the pop-up shop or purchase a ticket to Big Hair & Brunch visit:
The petition for the Carters to comb Blue Ivy’s hair has been making news rounds since last month. But that’s not the only out-there complaint that fans have lobbed at their least-favorite stars. From getting Tyler Perry to stop making movies to getting Ciara to stop singing, these are the most ridiculous celebrity petitions that have ever been on file.
“Stop Ciara From Singing”
Ciara and her fans have had a rocky relationship for a while now, but this petition to get Ciara to stop singing seems over the top:
I just signed the following petition addressed to: 2012 STOP CIARA FROM MAKING MUSIC CAMPAIGN.
YOU TIRED OF BACK BENDS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF FLOPS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF CORNROWS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF THIN ASHY VOCALS? SIGN!
So I got my first weave Sunday. OK, technically I did let my old gay neighbor convince me he could do a sew-in back in 2009 but I spent more time cutting those tracks out of my head than I did wearing that mess on my head so, yes, I consider this my first weave.
It’s summer and in case you aren’t aware, the humidity in New York is brutal. I haven’t worn my hair straight in the city since 2011 because by the time I step out of my front door and go underground into the subway I look like I just electrocuted myself. And so, tired of bootleg wash n’ gos, slicked back pony-tails, and braids threatening to leave me on Team #NoEdges, I reached out to Heat Free Hair for some options to beat the heat this year.
I knew about Heat Free Hair from an article on Kandi rocking the new product line on our sister site StyleBlazer and a profile on MN Biz about the 25-year-old genius behind the Heat Free Hair Movement, Ngozi Opara. So, I reached out to her rep who directed me to their website to choose a weft of my choice (after explaining what a weft even was) and I fell in love with the For Koils collection (below).
Heat Free Hair weaves come in three natural textures to match standard hair types: For Koils (3B-3C), For Kurls (3C-4A), and For Kinks (4B-4C), in lengths from 12″-24.” They also offer wigs and clip-ins in the same categories. I didn’t want to get too crazy my first time around so I opted for two 12″ bundles and hoped for the best.
The install process was simple. I went to Celebrity Sew-ins in Brooklyn based on the recommendation of a weave-connoisseur of a friend and was in and out of the chair within two hours.
My biggest fear was not liking the end result because the hair would look unnatural. But that wasn’t an issue at all. What as an issue, however, was the fact that the weave was a dark brown color and the leave-out (my hair) around the perimeter was black and the salon didn’t have any dye. So I was left to my own DUI project.
Equipped with Optimum’s Amla Legend demi-permanent in jet Black, I dyed the tracks myself, ran a little Kinky Curly Knot Today detangler through the hair, as recommended on the tip sheet provided with the bundles, and let the tracks air dry with a few flexi rods to curl my own hair, and voilà.
To be honest, I couldn’t have asked for a better first time. The hair is completely natural looking, feeling, and lightweight, and it blends with my own hair far better than I could’ve ever expected. Plus, in the morning all I do is take out the flexi rods on my own hair, fluff the weave, blend, and go.
If you’re a first-timer like me, you likely have a ton of questions about daily and nightly maintenance, plus the longevity over time so check out the Q&A with Heat Free Hair on the next page. And for those who are ready to take the plunge, good news: Heat Free Hair is gearing up for its first pop-up shop event. Sign up to their mailing list at www.heatfreehair.com to be one of the first to learn the location. What do you think?
Weave can be a wonderful thing, but not if you don’t take care of what’s underneath. At least that’s the lesson we think Instagram’s #noedges is trying to teach.
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?
Whether you sew, clip or glue it in you belong to the sisterhood of the hair extensions. And there are a few things that every member knows about rocking a weave.
You’ve Got to Pat
Even before Wale released his weave anthem, we were all doing the pat to scratch between the tracks (or before a touch up).
Looking to make a hair statement? There’s no better way than to ditch the product, put away the blow dryer and jump into dreadlocks. With some of Hollywood’s biggest stars proudly rocking locs, we felt it was only appropriate that we salute some of the most memorable dreadlock looks over the years.
We’ve all been there. He put his hand up before you could stop him and now he knows that all of your fabulous hair isn’t home grown. He’ll get over it, but he’s going to need a minute to recover. Check out these hilarious memes on the stages of grief when he finds out your hair isn’t real.
— Ron Ro (@RonGz13) July 3, 2014
“I thought we had something real…”
Surely, by now you’ve seen this beautifully done, short documentary style video Vogue produced of Lupita Nyong’o braiding parting and styling her friends hair. It’s on all the black websites. And honestly, since it was everywhere I wasn’t going to post it here because it was a scene we’re all–or most of us are familiar with.
Many of us can remember a time we sat in between somebody’s legs or in the elevated salon chair and had someone work magic on our heads. It’s something we take for granted forgetting that this really is a beautiful ritual and, as Lupita’s narrative illustrates, one of our connections back to the motherland.
And I particularly like what Lupita said:
“Braiding just tells a story…Your hair is your frame if you jack someone’s hair up, the world sees it. For me, braiding hair is an intimate thing. It’s getting up close and personal and I like to do it for people that I know and love and trust.”
So, if you’re like me you’ll watch this video again and again, noting the texture, colors and even elegant smoothness of Lupita’s voice as she maintains a time-honored, African and African diasporic tradition.
Are hair relaxers for black women going the way of the dinosaurs and shell top Adidas?
I know it all sounds ridiculous considering the black girl perm has been with us since the day that Garret A. Morgan’s Hair Refining Cream declared a war on “bad hair.” And considering that the perm itself has survived some pretty stiff hair trends including the Black is Beautiful movement of the 60s, which brought up braids and afros, and then the “Good Hair Revival” era of the Jheri Curl, which I always suspected was a part of COINTELPRO (after all, it was created by a white man). Perms even survived the god-awful wave nouveau curl phase of the early 90s. If you don’t remember, this phase gave its wearers all the benefits of looking like a distant Debarge but without all the drip-drip, messiness of a seedy covert spying program aimed at destroying revolutionaries and progressive movements.
What I’m saying is that the perms reign was pretty solid. And I was for certain that despite Chris Rock’s best efforts to thwart its impact, women were going to hold tightly to that jar of Optimum Bodifying Relaxer much in the same way Charlton Heston warned that the only way you could take his gun was “from my cold, dead hands!” But with every good empire there must be a fall. And it seems that the perm’s time has come.
According to the Boston Globe, not only have sales for perms been on a steady decline – thanks in part to the second wave of the Natural Hair movement – but attitudes are changing in general among women, who seem to be rejecting the idea of straight hair period. Or as noted in the article:
“In less than a year, the Boston Naturals Hair Meet Up Group has grown from 200 to 800 active members. Experts are reporting a bump in the number of women looking to go natural, particularly over the past two years. The Boston group is no anomaly. Most major cities now have groups for women who dub themselves “naturals,” or are considering going natural.
A look at the website My Natural Hair Events shows dozens of gatherings, and video blogs on YouTube are filled with advice on styling natural hair.
Modjossorica Elysee, the 28-year-old head of the Boston Naturals, says the growing interest in chemical-free black hair is not simply a trend.
“I see a lot of women who have started to accept themselves and their hair,” she said. “They’re encouraging their children to start accepting themselves. This is entirely new.”
Two years ago, MN reported that relaxer kit sales dropped 17 percent between 2006 and 2011. But as the article in the Globe notes, hair relaxer products have dropped from $206 million profit in 2011, to $158 million in 2013. Also feeling the pinch are leading black hair care product makers L’Oréal (I know right?) and Alberto Culver Company, which according to this article, has seen its command of the industry (almost one-third of the market) take a major hit. In the meantime, natural hair care products and business are sprouting up in their places.
And so are hair extension companies. According to this article, a report by the Professional Beauty Association has shown a 28.5 percent increase in the number of U.S. salons that offer hair extensions in the last couple of years. And this bit of research by Mintel (by way of the Huffington Post), shows that, nearly six out of 10 Black consumers wear a wig, weave or extensions, Many of those new hair extension businesses are not only black owned but patronized by largely black clientele. What that suggest to me is that the decline of the perm might have little to do with the rejection of European standards for the sake of self-acceptance of our own hair, but rather changing attitudes about chemical enhancements when length and even that straight look can be achieved through less harmful means.
On a purely anecdotal account, I have been noticing less and less perm heads walking the streets around my own small microcosm of black women-society. Even among the girlfriends, who choose to rock their coils straight, exist a strong reluctancy to perm. Instead the grand majority of my straight-haired girlfriends are opting for another throwback: the press and curl. That comes courtesy of the Dominican shops, which have also exploded in recent years and served as a more hair-healthier alternative to the relaxer.
Even on my daily early morning walk around the neighborhood this morning revealed more weaves than either perm or natural hair styles among women waiting for the bus. So clearly the hair-tide is changing and it certainly looks like we’ve taken our last strand test and seen our last scabby edges and neck – at least until the government finds a new way to infiltrate and get us back aligned to European beauty standards.