All Articles Tagged "hair"
It’s that time of year again, but not everyone seems ready. These weaves look like how we feel about getting back to school. Let’s just hope the rest of the semester goes a little bit better.
The First Day
Remember how long you spent planning your first day of school ‘do? This freshman could have used a few more weeks of summer to plan hers out.
By: Pamela E. Williams
“I can’t be black, fat, and bald-headed.”
This comment was part of a discussion that involved having natural hair and being plus-size. As the words came out of my coworker’s mouth, I had no judgment, but wondered just how many Black plus-size women who are natural feel this way. Even people I admire in the blogosphere who celebrate their own curves — and those of of others — struggle with having short natural hair on a full-figured body. CeCe Olisa of the Plus Size Princess blog once wrote “While, I’m super happy with how they (SistaLocks) turned out, I was surprised that having “short hair” made me feel more vulnerable about my weight. In the past I’ve always added the hair I wanted for my ideal length with braids, weaves, etc. but I never thought about hair as part of my body image until I started rocking my natural hair at its current length.”
And yet CeCe and my friend aren’t the only ones. Being plus-size with short natural hair was something I thought I had resolved, but if I’m truthful with myself it is still a struggle. The quest for bigger, longer hair is a constant for many. Short natural hair on a big girl is not often seen as the ideal of beauty. Look at any fashion/lifestyle magazine and I bet you’ll find at least one that contains an article detailing the aesthetic desires a man has in a woman and I’ll wager again that on said list there will be some reference to long flowing, straight (read: European) hair. I probably don’t need to remind you of the husband who hated his wife’s natural hair who appeared on the Steve Harvey Show. It is no secret that the African American culture has embraced the Westernized standard of beauty, including many of our men.
As a Breast Cancer survivor, I ditched the relaxer in favor of my health and embracing my natural hair as it grew back after chemotherapy. My only problem is that it is taking its own sweet time to grow. In the meantime, I watch as thinner black women rock the short natural styles with ease. Lupita Nyong’o can do no wrong with her hair. Things are not all hopeless, as I have examples of full-figured divas such as Chrisette Michele doing the big chop and Jill Scott as she rocked her TWA on the cover of Essence, but I am sometimes a little self-conscious when I wear my own kinky 4c TWA.
The thought that short natural hair can make a woman appear less than attractive and, dare I say it, less than feminine has presented itself on more than one occasion. I had a little over an inch of hair when I was hit on by a lady at the gas station when I went out with my sister to run some errands and didn’t put on any make-up or my signature statement earrings. After politely letting the lady know that I wasn’t available or interested, she finished pumping her gas said goodbye. My sister laughed until she cried and then questioned flatly if I would now “perm” my short kinky curls. It hurt my feelings at the time, but I realized that this is what many go through.
We are told, or have somehow gotten the impression, that TWAs and other short natural styles will not look good on our plus-size bodies; that they will make us look bigger, or, to some, like a lesbian. If the self-esteem plummets, one may consider grabbing a box of Dark and Lovely, a wig, or some weave, often times to cover those insecurities about our weight. So where did the myth that big girls can’t rock short natural hair styles come from? Felicia Leatherwood, Celebrity Natural Hair Stylist, Educator & Expert believes that this mindset is cultural. In my conversation with Felicia, she said a person can only know what they have been introduced to.
“In America, many in the African American culture are focused on outer beauty. When I travel to Africa all the young girls have short hair like mine. They cut it off there because in some parts of the continent, they don’t want the girls to be focused on beauty, but on education. Here in America we are constantly fed certain images and told that is healthy. I mean you can clearly see their bones and ribs coming through their skin. In Africa the focus is on the inside. When you know what is beautiful about your insides, it creates a confidence that is unmatched. If all the black women who were curvy and considered to be overweight by doctors standards were all confident and just doing themselves that would infiltrate everything else…including their hair and the world would see that. If it was taught at a young age and preached and confirmed, it would become a lifestyle for Black women and our girls of color would grow up differently. Their body imaging would be so different.”
Felicia noted she starts any consultation with her clients by addressing the conversations in their head, where they originate, and why they feel the need to still hold on to those negative conversations. When considering going natural at any size Felicia gives the following advice:
- Locate three photos online that you find attractive; that raise your vibration and take them to a stylist who sees your beauty, gets it, and can break it down. Meaning the hairstylist will say “yeah, this will work. This can definitely happen. I can hook this up, add a little color…” You want somebody that’s going to support your vision of yourself and someone who is going to be honest. So get your photos and get consultations with some of the best hair stylists you can find that you feel can basically execute that look.
- The next step is really up to you. You have to feel magnificent when you look in the mirror. Recite positive affirmations daily. Just like Mary Jane in “Being Mary Jane” — there were Post-it notes all over to keep her pumped –we have to do that.
There is too much chatter from the outside world about how a person looks and you have to go within. If you truly want to be natural, you have one life. You choose what you want, you be that, and be confident in it. I’ve decided to do just that.
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…”