All Articles Tagged "hair"
In only a few days the gates of Commodore Barry Park will open and music fans will be treated to some of the best music Brooklyn has heard all summer. On August 22 and 23, AfroPunk makes its descent upon New York City offering performances from Grace Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Lauryn Hill, Thundercat and many more.
Aside from the music, AfroPunk gets its cache from the beautifully eclectic audience of attendees who make for awesome street style.
A part of the appeal is having a day to night hairstyle that’s fun, protective from the weather and manageable. For those of you who aren’t hair savvy, have no fear.
SWIVEL, a fresh new app for textured women, has an awesome promotion going on with four NYC salons specifically for the festival. Offering 15 percent off at Carol’s Daughter Mirror Salon, H2 Salon Brooklyn, Mia-Shanelle and Noël New York Salon & Boutique– some of the salons are even specializing in specific looks. Read: This is the weekend to go bold.
To take advantage of the SWIVEL promotion click here.
For standout hairstyles from last year’s AfroPunk festival head over to StyeBlazer.com.
When I was pregnant with both of my daughters, I had heartburn most hours of the day — straight-up torture. With my first, I could eat a piece of dry toast, turn to the side and feel a wave of acid rising from the pits of my stomach. It wasn’t normal. I was convinced. Family members insisted, “Ooh wee! That baby’s gonna have a headful of hair!” I groaned, living in the moment, as I was the one suffering with each morsel consumed. When she was born, I saw that maybe that was some truth to the myth, my little girl emerged from the womb plump and rosy-cheeked with thick, curly, dark brown hair.
“That baby looks Spanish,” her father quipped a few days after. I rolled my eyes at him, “Ma says I had hair like that as a newborn too.” In the following days, houseguests came through to poke and prod at our first daughter in amazement. She was born light-skinned, with little slits for eyes and all that hair sitting atop her head like a winter hat. She hated when I washed and combed through it. She still does nine years later, which I find hilarious.
I was still relaxing my hair then but I’d decided years before having kids that chemical straightening would be their choice once they got to high school. As for me, I read up on natural hair care and vowed to keep mineral oil and other no-no’s out of my baby’s scalp. Her hair kept that texture until she was closer to one-year-old, which is the norm I believe.
She’d browned up, closer to her natural skin tone, which pleased her dad most of all because he liked to half-joke that when they were out together alone, running errands, people tended to stare “like I kidnapped her or something.” Her hair had begun to kink-up which pleased me most of all because I could start with my haircare regimen for her and stick to it since it was unlikely that my baby’s hair texture was going to change again anytime soon.
My own mother was all about adding waxy hair grease to my baby’s head and pulling her hair up from the roots to make her more “presentable.” To who though? It was the Blue Ivy Treatment, from my own family. By the time our little girl was two-years-old, it seemed everyone in the world had a tip or a suggestion about what I should be doing to and using on her hair. It was like I had an entire comment section in my face at family gatherings. I was Bey and she was Blue. And all I wanted to do was holler, “Don’t y’all have your own damn kids?”
It didn’t happen the same way with our second daughter. She was a chunky one too out of the womb, darker, with a headful of hair but her’s was bone straight. It was amazing. They looked alike but the details were so different. Down to the difference in hair textures, even as newborns.
She’s four-years-old now and while her hair has curled up a little, it’s been years of her dad asking innocently, “When is her hair gonna change?” The little one takes her hair from her grandfather who has a soft, loose curl. Who can ever tell with Black kids? We’re all so mixed up in our heritage but I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that she’s so dark-skinned that makes most people doing her hair, raise an eyebrow. Others, without a filter, will ask if I relax her hair. “Why your first baby — the brown-skinned one — got kinkier hair?” I usually act like I don’t hear the question. I just take care of my little girls and the hair that grows out of their respective heads, accordingly.
In November of 2010, I received my last relaxer. I decided that I wanted to transition to natural, but I wanted to let my hair grow a bit before I did the big chop. After several months of transitioning, I started to see what I thought was my curl pattern at the roots. I wondered what my hair would look like fully natural, and from the looks of my curl pattern, I was thinking of something along the lines of Tracee Ellis Ross or Corinne Bailey Rae. In all my delusion, I saw myself riding a bike through a grassy plain, rocking my small curly afro listening to “Put Your Records On” in complete bliss (I know I can’t be the only one). I became a Carol’s Daughter addict. I fell in love with their Black Vanilla Line, and it helped me manage the natural roots and the relaxed ends without drying out my hair. I thought I had it all together.
Eager to see what I would look like with an afro, I went and did the big chop in the spring of 2011. I was disappointed to see hair that looked like a Brillo pad on top of my head. My go-to site for help on such hair matters was Curly Nikki and, at the time, Moptop Maven. However, they had a different type of natural hair, and so did I. I soon realized that what worked for them didn’t work for me. We had completely different hair textures.
Feeling a tad disheartened, I started to get lazy with my natural hair. I did wash days, wash-and-go treatments, and stuck with pineapple puffs. It wasn’t until last year, after struggling for quite some time on my own, that I decided I was going to embrace the movement as a community. I didn’t really see the need for natural hair meet ups and mixers before, but I realized that when it comes to self-love and acceptance, that’s something a lot of women of color struggle with. I assumed these groups were a kind of support group where women shared hair stories, product reviews and celebrated their natural beauty, so I wanted to be a part of that. However, the more I attended these events, the more ostracized I felt.
One of the beauties of being women of color is that we come in all different shades and shapes. We have all different types of hair textures, styles, and features that set us apart. We are a melting pot of all things beauty. So why did I feel left out?
I started to notice that a lot of the faces in many of the small groups I attended fit the mold of light-skinned women with loose curls. That left us 4C, Brillo-pad hair women out. There was a noticeable difference between the women with the flowing, loose curls and the women with tough, shrunken, tight curls–like myself. I found it interesting how even with a movement that promoted self-love through natural acceptance for all women, there was still a divisive standard that marginalized a good portion of us. Scrolling through social media and YouTube channels in search of women whose hair looked like mine, I found women like Francheska of HeyFranHey, MahoganyCurls, and Taren Guy among others. But where were the sisters with strands like mine who could identify with the struggles of hair maintenance? Who hasn’t spent hours standing in front of the bathroom mirror trying to comb out and twist rough hair that leaves your comb with broken teeth? Where were the sisters whose hair always seemed to resemble a TWA until it was blown, stretched or straightened? Where were the women whose hair seemed to absorb water and moisture like the sponge that it resembled?
Aside from my closest friends, I found myself the odd person out at these natural hair events. There’s the loose curl girls, the loc’d sistahs who can’t use any of the products during the product giveaways, and the 4C girls (usually one or two) in the room talking among each other about how they wished they had more defined and loose curls because maybe being natural would be easier to manage.
But truly being natural is embracing our hair the way it is supposed to grow. Just because your hair doesn’t look like a certain someone’s, that doesn’t mean it is unkempt and untamed. It’s delightfully unique and complicated, just like you. And while I would have loved to have felt right at home during those meet ups, I’m learning to appreciate my complex hair as is. Our hair patterns and textures are vast and should be embraced. And for that to happen, we must examine self-love and acceptance without conditions and standards.
Need proof that being fit and having your hair on fleek are not mutually exclusive? Check out these famous fit females who make time for their health and their hair and keep both consistently on point.
A red carpet appearance doesn’t stop the fitness show for Rev Run’s baby girl Angela Simmons. The 27-year-old is a well-known fitness enthusiast, regularly posting IG pics and videos of her doing yoga, kick-boxing, and more. And then we see her kill it at appearances like in the pic above and we think, when does she have time? Extensions make it possible for the young beauty to easily go from gym to glam. And if you’re curious how she keeps her body on point, just check out this circuit below.
It’s GO time !!! @thebestdamntrainer thanks for joining @vanessajsimmons and I today !!! #ImReady 👊🏼 A video posted by angelasimmons (@angelasimmons) on
It may sound superficial, but if we’re being honest hair is a big consideration when it comes to Black women’s physical health. Even if we don’t let our strands stop us from busting a sweat, there’s no denying it takes some planning, pre- and post-workout, to put our best hair forward after a cross-fit class, Zumba, running the treadmill, or any other physical activity.
A few of MadameNoire’s editors have been going hard with their fitness routines lately so we decided to break down what we do to maintain hair that not only looks great but is healthy from the inside out. Read on to see how we care for our locs, permed, natural, and transitioning hair while working out.
So you’re going about your weekly co-wash when a bright red stream flows down into the shower drain. While it’s not quite the violent shower scene from the movie Psycho, the hot water and harsh cleansing agents in your favorite smell-good shampoo just murdered your once-fly, once-vibrant hair color.
Disappearing hair color happens to most of us who choose to wear bright hair hues. Whether the shade is a red, a chocolate, a blonde or even a blue, our bold hues dull over time and one day, we notice the hair color that garnered so many compliments just a week before is gone.
Common beauty knowledge tells us that we’ve got a solid month to flaunt new hair color before it begins to lose its luster. Recent clinical results have shown that hair color can fade up to five times faster in the initial week after walking out of the salon (or the kitchen) with new color. Knowing a few tricks of the trade can help you keep your color fresh and your hair healthy after coloring.
Understand, first, that hair color is a permanent change in the make up of your hair.
Hair color changes our hair because it opens up the cuticle of the hair to penetrate and deposit color. Hair color, relaxers, and other damaging agents ruffle the hair cuticle and, if you’re not careful, can make your previously healthy strands appear dull and dry.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the first action you can take to keep your hair and new color in tact is rinsing your hair until the water runs completely clear. You may worry that you’re rinsing away the color you just applied, but believe it or not, failing to fully rinse out color causes the domino effect of fading.
Use a shampoo and conditioner combo made for color-treated hair.
Created specifically to protect color-treated hair, Bigen Protect & Repair Shampoo and Conditioner uses rice water essence (Inositol) and sunflower oil to repair damaged hair, while it gently cleanses and conditions. This shampoo and conditioner combo also helps prevent future damage.
Keep a consistent hair routine to care for your hair.
Understanding how hair color works and what products will keep you hair healthy are key to protect your hair shade. The most important part of keeping your hair healthy is your plan following your hair appointment. You have to choose a simple (or complex!) hair care routine that you’re motivated to implement and stick with. Slacking in this area means a brassy head of hair and that’s not cute on anyone.
Maintaining the right mix of good hair habits and understanding the dynamics of hair color, plus using the proper shampoo and conditioner will keep any daring hair color you choose as bright and head-turning as the day you left the salon.
Update #2- 6/8/2015:
Today, Texas Governor Abbott will sign the HB 2717 bill that deregulates natural hair braiders from having to complete an arduous process in order to obtain and keep their hair braiding licenses. Attorney Arif Panju who works with the Institute for Justice’s Texas office said of the victory:
“This marks a final victory for natural hair braiders across Texas. It also serves as recognition that occupational licensing has gone too far when 1 in 3 Texans are forced to obtain a government license to simply go to work each morning.”
The HB 2717 bill was authored by Texas Representative Craig Goldman and sponsored by Senator Royce West in the Texas Senate.
Update #1- 4/24/2015: Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the HB 2717 bill that will deregulate the legislation imposed on the natural hair braiding business.
Previously, hair braiding trainers and beauticians had to complete barber, cosmetology and a 35-hour government-approved hair braiding course in order to teach or practice hair braiding in salons. Hair braiding stylists also had to earn a state license. If they failed to do so, their salon or hair braiding teaching session would be raided by law enforcement, resulting in arrest. The effort to deregulate natural hair braiding has been a decade-long fight.
Isis Brantley who has been arrested several times for braiding hair without the Texas state government license says of the new bill:
“I fought for my economic liberty because I believe there is a lot of hope for young people who seek to earn an honest living. This vote by the Texas House means aspiring hair braiders from across the state are one step closer to being able to practice an ancestral art that dates back centuries, and do so without a government permission slip.”
A federal judge in Texas ruled the laws on how hair-braiding stylists teach students how to braid were unconstitutional. The ruling was set in motion by salon owner Isis Brantley who filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Texas with the help of Institute For Justice in 2013. In the suit, The Associated Press reports, Brantley argued she was forced to take classes and exams that were unnecessary in order to receive a state-mandated license to teach hair-braiding.
Not only was the curriculum Brantley needed to study geared towards barbers when she wasn’t seeking certification for that profession, Texas also required her to convert her small hair-braiding business into a barber college and have 10 student workstations that recline, plus install a sink behind every two workstations. This meant Brantley would have to install plumbing in her salon although clientele is expected to have their hair pre-washed before braiding. The Root also notes Brantley had to spend “2,250 hours in barber school, pass four exams, and spend thousands of dollars on tuition.”
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks from Austin ruled the state regulations the excluded Brantley from receiving a certification in hair-braiding were unconstitutional and “absent ‘a rational connection with fitness or capacity to engage in’ hair braiding instruction.”
In a statement, Brantley said:
“I fought for my economic liberty because I believe there is a lot of hope for young people who seek to earn an honest living. This decision means that I will now be able to teach the next generation of African hair braiders at my own school.”
A spokeswoman from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation said she respects the judge’s decision.
Every time I prepare to go running, my routine is the same: Throw on some workout gear, grab my headphones, find a random place to stick my keys, and pull my hair back in a struggle ponytail to stuff it under a cap. Nothing about this 10-minute prep is inconvenient, but each time I cringe at the thought of how much maintenance it’s going to take to return my hair to a presentable form after a decent sweat session.
I’ve been natural for two years now. Long enough that my hair schedule and styles are pretty set, and even if wash day does skip around, my hair doesn’t fret. It gets me. Well, it gets me most of the time.
But because my fitness routine hasn’t been this consistent since those high school track and field days, my new natch pattern has no loyalty to this change of pace. Not to mention, every switch in seasons requires me to rework my hair product concoctions in order to keep my hair moisturized, frizz-free, and my blowouts protected from impending summer humidity. That means double the not-so-fun task of trial and error with hair products and styles all over again. Yay.
When I first started working out regularly, I was letting my post-cardio hair air dry. But the tangled ‘fro that followed, especially under my resident Bad Hair Day hat, was a frightening hot mess. In the hopes of improving the look and feel of my strands, I started co-washing every other workout day to ensure my hair was clean, which helps promote hair growth and retention, right? Well, that was overdrying my hair a bit, making it a tad too brittle. Despite my best efforts, my hair isn’t really cooperating with me and my new lifestyle.
So I’m starting to wonder, is this my punishment for wanting to be my healthiest self? Are my hair goals at a standstill because my body goals are flourishing? Hardly. Though I do believe it’s a dilemma every natural girl faces at some point during her fitness journey. So how do I keep my hair cute and clean, my edges laid, maintain my style from the gym to a possible post-gym outing, and not go crazy wrestling with my hair every day?
If you thought I had the answer, I don’t (I would not have written this if I did). I have yet to find that sweet spot of looking somewhat decent after exercising. And while I struggle to salvage my hair post-workout, I don’t think it’s impossible to do so.
As the saying goes (and remains true), everyone’s hair is different. So while throwing in quick Celie braids before hitting the gym works for some, I’m stuck with a head full of crusty tendrils after the sweat dries. (Sorry, I can’t get jiggy with chasing my summer body goals through St. Nicholas Park in a head scarf either.) It’s a process to nurture your hair to the point that everything you do with it just, well, works. And that’s just the nature of being natural. Add in the fact that you’re pounding the pavement and introducing a whole new set of elements to your ‘do every day, and it’s safe to say that managing natural hair can be extremely frustrating. This is especially true when you’re trying to get your body right. It’s a whole new hair obstacle that’s not for the faint of heart.
For now, the answer for me is a protective style (thankfully a hair appointment is set for the end of the month). I can’t focus on the extra TLC my hair needs right now. And although you can’t totally abandon your tresses, even with a weave or wig, my hair and my hands needs a break because mama is tired. I do love my hair and I’m dedicated to figuring out what it needs. But until I can figure out how to successfully marry my hair goals with my new workout schedule, it will be a painful process and a long summer…for the both of us.
Did you know that African-Americans use smartphones more than any other group? And now that we finally have black Emojis, we’ll probably never put our cellular devices down. If you know you stay with your phone in hand, here are a few apps that you need to have.
Does your day sound anything like this?
You rush out of the house without eating breakfast. You work two extra hours because your team is ‘lean.’ You stretch your day so you can make time to socialize after work, eating fried appetizers and throwing back drinks. Or, you might scarf down a cheeseburger in record time before shuffling your kids to their evening activities. Then, you fall into bed without following your nightly hair routine. You wake the next day, rinse and repeat, and the feeling of being overwhelmed builds. Momentary stress creeps up on you and becomes daily stress.
Those seemingly small daily stresses can lead to a feeling of being burned out. Whether self-imposed, situational or even environmental, stress can leave your hair looking crazy (and make you feel even worse).
Two experts share how re-incorporating a little TLC into your busy life can help you recover from the damage that stress causes to your hair.