All Articles Tagged "hair"
Ever since Willow Smith was old enough to whip her hair, that’s all folks seemed to talk about. But the starlet’s mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, is finally giving her take on things declaring her daughter is not her hair.
In a short note on her Facebook wall, Jada wrote that Willow won’t be a slave to preconceived ideas of what “little girls should be.” Written to a friend, she says, “The question why I LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.”
You can check out the full note over on ESSENCE.
What do you think? Is there a limit to a child’s freedom of expression?
The road to natural hair is paved with good intentions. The joy of not being a slave to routine chemical processing and heat styling certainly is alluring for many. Many natural hair divas will tell you they find there’s more freedom and versatility in styling hair in its natural state. There are many more positive reasons for going natural; it all depends on who you ask.
I went natural for all those reasons three years ago, ready to embrace my natural coils and free up my schedule and budget in the process. Unlike many other naturalistas, I didn’t do the “big chop” (or BC as it is called in the natural hair community). I just let the relaxer grow out, relying on weaves and blowouts during the transition phase. When the relaxed hair finally grew out, I tried out a few low-maintenance natural hair styles, but was disappointed that I didn’t have the length or the talent to recreate all the fabulously luscious styles I saw the natural hair divas on YouTube rocking.
One attempt at a two-strand twist turned into a messy four-hour ordeal that left me with disastrous results. I followed the directions on the curling product jar to a T, or so I thought. The end result was a frizzy, tangled mess that looked like the ‘before’ picture in a hair product ad. Talk about an epic fail. I felt as if I had let my natural hair sisters down. I was losing hope.
Impatient and indecisive about the direction I wanted to take with my hair, I weaved it up for a couple of months while I decided what my next style move would be. After the weave I thought I would get a blowout for a couple of weeks, mainly to check my hair growth. There was only one place I would go for my blowout; the place where dreams were born and legends were made. Several of my natural hair girlfriends went to the same Dominican salon and their hair looked healthy, flawless and fabulous. I didn’t need much convincing or an appointment for that matter. So to the Dominican salon I went.
I had heard horror stories about the excruciating heat you’re subjected to at the Dominican salon. Someone told me about her one and only experience at a Dominican salon, complete with amusing re-enactments of weeping and gnashing of teeth. She made it sound like it was hell fire and damnation. But I had so many other friends who went to these salons and had great experiences and hair to prove it. I decided I would go through the experience just one time to check my growth and wear my hair in a different style for a couple of weeks.
The stylists at the Dominican salon were wonderful. They welcomed me into the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts with open arms. Literally. When I walked into the salon, I was greeted with a hug and immediately ushered back to the spa-like shampoo room. I walked past rows of women under dryers with what looked like ear muffs on their ears. Ladies in the stylist chairs getting their hair blown out didn’t seem to be in tears or crying out in pain. All I knew was that I wanted to get the same flowing end-results they were getting.
When it was my turn to meet the hair dryer, it was hotter than I would have preferred, but it didn’t kill me. All I knew was that 45 minutes after I walked into the Dominican salon with my tightly coiled afro, I was leaving with a sleek, bouncy chin-length bob. I was now a member of the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts.
Fast-forward three months later. My visits every two to three weeks were starting to take a toll on my hair. I started noticing hair breaking off around my temples and along my hairline. The strain of the heat was beginning to show. No amount of sisterhood hugs could erase the fact that I was losing the natural hair I had spent more than two years to grow. As much as I hated to admit it, I had to leave the sisterhood.
When it comes to Dominican salons, I can say I’ve been there and done that. I’m not knocking the experience though. I have countless family members and friends who have been going to Dominican salons for years, and their hair is so sleek and healthy you’d think they had perms. I just know that it’s not for me. It’s been almost three months since my last visit to the Dominican salon, and I’m starting to see a little evidence of growth around my edges. Maybe after all I put it through, my hair has forgiven me.
True fashion forward ladies know that style inspiration can come from just about anywhere – other fashionistas, magazines, store mannequins and even YouTube. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a new natural hairstyle or weave, or if you’re looking for a way to revitalize your wardrobe or tips on thrifting, you can find everything you’re looking for and more on YouTube. One visit to a fashionista’s YouTube channel for a style demo often leads to clicks on other videos and inspiration. Before you know it, you’ve stepped your entire style game up a notch in a few hours, and people stop you on the street to compliment you or to ask “where’d you get that?”
Impeccable style is contagious, and a good fashionista makes style accessible. While there are many women doing their thing on YouTube, here are seven of the best hair and fashion vloggers on YouTube (in no particular order). Is your favorite YouTube fashionista on the list? Check out our list to find out and click on the names to follow the women to their YouTube videos. Feel free to recommend your own favorites below.
Tags:african american, African American hair, african american style, african american stylists, African American women, african american women fashion, african american women hair, african american women style, AfricanExport, All Things Fabulous 101, AllThingsFab101, Beautiful Brown Baby Doll, Beauty, black women and hair, black women fashion, black women fashionistas, ButflBrwnBbyDol, Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey, Fashion, fashionista, fashionistas, hair, hairstyles for black women, Lover4Fashion, MsPhillyDiva, Phillydiva, Socialite Sande, SocialiteSande, style, TheSocialiteLife, twitter, youtube, Youtube Channels, youtube videos
Let me start by saying I think it’s great when famous people use their celebrity for good causes. But it’s also very troubling when those efforts end up being more about the celeb than the actual effort and the campaigns are done in a way that belittle the severity of the situation and the real people dealing with the issue they’re discussing. That is clearly the case with Lala Anthony’s Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign.
This is the advertisement for the effort aimed at raising awareness and money for breast cancer early detection and research. It may be hard to read the print so let me explain what’s going on. The ad reads:
A woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and Lala is covering hers up for a cure. The television personality is taking a stand to help raise awareness by putting herself in the shoes of a cancer patient and covering up her locks.
Lala will only unveil her hair if she receives 10K tweets…etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Where do I begin?
Given that Pantene is a line of hair products, it makes sense to launch a campaign related to hair, but a well-done campaign dedicated to breast cancer this is not. Wearing a beanie, or a hat, or a scarf or anything along those lines is nowhere near equivalent to “putting oneself in the shoes of a cancer patient.” While the physical side of losing one’s hair while undergoing chemotherapy is certainly a major concern for most women with breast cancer who have to go that treatment route, it is hardly their most primary concern. Not to mention simply covering your hair versus losing it because your body is being pumped with radiation and other chemicals in an attempt to save your life are two very different things. Wearing a hat is a style choice at best, having your hair fall out as a result of being diagnosed with a deadly disease is an emotionally, mentally, and physically trying experience that should not be trivialized in this manner.
Adding more insult to injury is the fact that Lala’s hair isn’t even fully covered in this advertisement. She has a thick bang hanging out one side of the front of her beanie and a perfect hairline on the other. That’s not something a woman undergoing chemo could do. And the irony of pushing a product titled “Beautiful Lengths” is not lost on me. Were this a product that was specifically tied to breast cancer (other than having a pink lid) I could get behind this. But it comes off as beyond insensitive to push “visibly stronger, longer hair” in this campaign, even if the point is that buying this product will help support breast cancer research and real-hair wig donations.
Furthermore, the issue at hand has clearly become more about Lala and #BeautifulLengths than breast cancer, mastectomies, and sick, balding women. Lala will only unveil her hair if she receives 10,000 tweets using the hashtag #BeautifulLengths? One, who is checking for her hair like that? And two, why not tweet something more meaningful (to someone other than Pantene) like early detection or breast cancer awareness or something along those lines? And adding more insult to injury is Lala’s Instagram which shows numerous pictures of her with her hair clearly down and uncovered. Where’s the transparency? Where’s the commitment to the cause? Where is the true concern for breast cancer because it’s a horrible disease affecting hundreds of thousands of women every year not because it’s free publicity?
I don’t doubt that this campaign started off with good intentions, but somewhere along the lines things took a sharp left. It’s disappointing that between LaLa, Pantene, P&G, and all the other marketing and PR people involved, they couldn’t see what a mess of an idea this is. Yes a woman’s hair may be her crowning glory, but let’s not forget that we are also not our hair. Tweeting to help unveil Lala’s beauty i.e. her hair implies that women with cancer, and consequently without their hair, have lost their beauty. That is far from the message of hope these women need to hear. The next time these “great minds” get together to plan a public awareness campaign I need them not to think alike because the result is catastrophic. I would encourage them to instead go to #BeautifulLengths to empower breast cancer patients rather than take a shortcut to shame.
What do you think about this campaign?
There are a lot of issues tangled up in a woman’s hair. When making a change, especially one as drastic as going natural, there is a lot to consider. One of the most daunting questions to consider on the brink of a transition, though some will never admit it, is how men (or one in particular) will respond to it.
It’s no surprise then that Curly Girl Collective‘s most recent event, entitled “Mane Attraction: His Voice, Her Hair” and billed as “a ground- breaking, thought provoking, panel discussion on how men feel about women with natural hair,” was packed to capacity. As part of its mission to foster acceptance and celebration of kinkier hair textures, the collective decided it was time to include the male gender in the natural hair conversation.
“Our first event was in May 2011. We’re serving to bring unique questions and topics that are top of mind,” said Charisse Higgins, Director of Public Relations for Curly Girl Collective. “The fact that so many people are coming out to hear what the fellas have to say about natural hair; it’s beautiful. And it’s good to see the guys are here to support, or to voice how they feel about it.”
Surprisingly, the sea of afro-textured crowns that filled the venue did not intimidate the men in attendance. The raucous discussion’s main point of contention came when a moderator declared that any woman in a committed relationship should consult with her man before making drastic changes to her hair.
Bloggers Franchesca Ramsey (S*** White Girls Say…to Black Girls) and Cipriana Quann (Urban Bush Babes), represented for women on the panel and minimized the importance of hair. Despite being the reason we had all gathered in Brooklyn, there was so much more to us than our hair. By their logic, a man should be as invested in a woman changing her hairstyle as he is in her changing her nail color.
The men on the panel, namely bloggers Jozen Cummings (Until I Get Married) and Slim Jackson (Single Black Male), agreed with some apprehension. “What I don’t like isn’t nearly as important as what I do like,” said Cummings.
The idea that a woman not be valued by her hair may be naively feminist. A guy asking for a head’s up when you plan on coming home looking like a stranger isn’t asking for much. Communicating changes to your partner can be viewed as a sign of unity. However, any man that believes an experimental haircut or new texture warrants walking papers probably doesn’t value his woman much to begin with.
The event’s interactive mural asked attendees, “What is attractive about women with natural hair?” Confidence, carefree-ness, and natural beauty were some of the top responses. Maximizing our appeal to potential partners is an important part of the job description we give our hair. But, the women attending the event made it clear; hair is a personal affair.
When asked to give advice to women considering going natural, the panelists encouraged the audience to trade fear for confidence. Everyone will have their opinions, especially during those awkward stages, but ultimately, the only opinion that counts is your own. Many women fail to realize the impact the opinion they have of themselves has on how others view them. As one male panelist said, “Be comfortable. Your lack of comfort is what really affects the relationship.”
Though the black community would have you believe every woman who relaxes her hair hates herself, I think I speak for a lot of us permed ladies out here when I say the choice to slap on the “creamy crack” every so often is more about convenience than contempt of self. That being said, for as many things there are about perming one’s hair that make it easier to maintain, there are still a few inconveniences (read: problems) that come along with opting for this styling choice. Let’s talk about them, shall we?
“Before we got together, we were doing all this research. There was a great supplier that we both stumbled across, “ said Kori Davis, brand manager of extensions line Hair Crush.
Already co-owner of Blush boutique along with Kora Mylum, Davis thought it would be a good idea to link up with hair stylists and owners of Glamour Gyrl’z hair salon. Sisters Jai and Janice Chambers operate the shop with their mother Jackie Bradfield not too far from Blush boutique on 9 Mile road in Detroit.
Unknowingly, the two groups of entrepreneurs began investigating gaining separate access to hair extensions before learning they were all seeking to extend services in their individual businesses. After finding a promising hair manufacturer in India they joined forces.
“We figured we might as well come together because the more we buy, the bigger supply we’ll be able to put out for the demand of hair,” said Davis.
The Benefits of Forming a Partnership
Testing out the supplier by wearing the hair around town, the founders discovered friends and customers were interested in where the hair came from. When they researched and pinpointed a manufacturer in 2010, the founders sold their extensions without a staple brand. It was then they decided to move forward with making the business official.
“We did have to test a lot of hair and go through a couple of manufacturers. We wore the hair to test the shedding and we are satisfied with our product,” said Janice Chambers, creative director of Hair Crush. Her sister Jai is vice president of the company while Jackie serves as president.
In one of their very first meetings, Chambers remembers the founders sitting at a table tossing around potential names for the soon-to-be hair line.
“We were thinking about all things hair and the fact that everyone fell in love with the hair. One of us was drinking a soda — a Crush — and we were bouncing names off of each other. Kora was like, ‘Everyone loves the hair, why not Hair Crush?’ and we just went from there,” Chambers said. “We were so happy with the product, we wanted to share it with everyone else.”
by Tuere Randall
All the lovely ladies who happen to live in Atlanta can thank their lucky stars. The makers of the Huetiful Hair Steamer just opened their flagship Huetiful Hair Salon to pamper those who want to exchange their hair stresses for radiant tresses. Huetiful hair steamers have made quite a splash in the black haircare community, especially among women who have particularly parched strands that require extra TLC and need a revved up way to infuse their manes with moisture. Well they have kicked it up a notch by entering the hair services game with treatments that focus on getting hair to its optimal health. I caught up with Ken Burkeen, Founder and CEO of Huetiful, and he was gracious enough to take time away from the Huetiful Salon opening to speak to me about his newest endeavor and to get the nanoSMOOTHING lowdown.
TR: So you started out in Fortune 500 companies professionally. What made you switch into the haircare business?
KB: Well, I’ve always had a passion for being an entrepreneur, so starting my own business was a given. But it was while at Procter & Gamble that I realized that Pantene [their line marketed to women of color] wasn’t addressing all the needs that black women had for their hair. And I had heard women discuss the challenges they had with their hair — dry brittle hair, manageability, time consuming — that I saw that there was an opportunity for me to make a difference. I was able to use the skills that I learned as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble and as a marketing executive for UPS and apply them to my own company. Here were these women of color, or hues, who were really looking for a way to take better care of their hair. That is how the idea for “Hue”tiful came along.
Tell us about the nanoSMOOTHING treatment?
The nanoSMOOTHING is similar to the Brazilian Keratin treatment without using all the dangerous chemicals. The Brazilian Keratin treatment works by bonding Keratin (a protein) into the hair shaft to make it smoother, but Keratin is a large molecule and has to be infused into the hair with agents like formaldehyde at very high heat. At Huetiful, we worked with a scientist to find a smaller molecule, cystine, which is an amino acid in Keratin. Its strengthening properties are infused in the hair at a lower temperature than the Brazilian Keratin Treatment. The result is hair that is less porous, smoother, stronger with more manageability using much less heat.
How much less? 450 degrees is the recommended temperature for the Brazilian Keratin treatment.
Well it depends on the individual’s hair type, but I would say on average around 405 degrees.
Ok, well that’s still a bit high, but it’s some improvement.
Well, another benefit is that with the nanoSMOOTHING treatment you only need one, maybe two heat passes with the flatiron, with the Brazilian treatment it’s about five.
Got it. Is this the Huetiful Salon’s signature treatment?
What’s the difference between the nanoSMOOTHING treatment and a texturizer?
A texturizer is basically a less aggressive relaxer. The chemicals in a texturizer breakdown the disulfide bonds in hair permanently altering the curl pattern, whereas the nanoSMOOTHING treatment restructures hair by fortifying it with cysteine, an amino acid that the hair is already made of without disturbing the curl pattern. Another way to look at this is that when you put a texturizer in your hair, it has to be washed out. You can’t leave it in. The nanoSMOOTHING doesn’t need to be washed out. That’s because it’s made with more natural ingredients and doesn’t have all those dangerous chemicals in it.
Beauty Maven: Shea Radiance’s Funlayo Alabi Talks Building the Brand and Gives Her Top 5 Tips for Winter Skin
Maryland-based eco-luxury beauty brand, Shea Radiance, recently celebrated the launch of their hair care products in Target stores nationwide. Husband and wife team Shola and Funlayo Alabi couldn’t have been more pleased to see the fruits of their labor of love come to fruition. From home-based business to major beauty brand, Shea Radiance has grown by leaps and bounds since its start in 2005.
We caught up with Funlayo, who acts as the company’s President and Creative Director, to discuss how they built their brand, and to get her insider tips on fall and winter skin care.
Madame Noire: How would you describe Shea Radiance’s products to someone who is hearing about your company for the first time?
Funlayo Alabi: Eco-Chic, Luxurious, Effective Shea Butter based hair and body products
MN: Before founding Shea Radiance, you and your husband were experimenting with raw shea butter as a solution to your own children’s skincare issues. Did you have any prior experience in the beauty industry before then?
FA: Technically no, we both have IT backgrounds, but we had a passion to create unique products that we could not find in the market. Not having prior industry experience really helped us think and formulate outside the box.
About this Episode
Natural and curlylicious TV personalities Rene Syler and Karyn Parsons chat exclusively about every woman’s favorite topic of discussion: hair! Check out their hilarious exchange on how they maintain their manes! Make sure you also watch their full Mommy In Chief episode: Are You A Good Enough Mother?
About Rene Syler
Rene Syler knew she wanted a career in television. Unfortunately she did not come to that realization until after she had spent thousands of dollars on a degree in psychology. She forged ahead and after reporter/anchor jobs in Reno, Birmingham and Dallas, landed a plum assignment as one of the anchors of The Early Show on CBS. In March 2007, Rene’s first book Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting was published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment. From that her website, www.goodenoughmother.com was born. Rene lives in Westchester, New York with her husband, Buff Parham, children Casey and Cole and their yellow Lab Olivia.
About Karyn Parsons
Karyn Parsons is best known as the character “Hilary Banks” on the long-running television show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Today she is a wife and mother of two. Parsons is also the Founder and President of the Sweet Blackberry foundation after being inspired by the true tale of a determined slave and the remarkable lengths he travelled to find his freedom. While growing up, Parsons’ mother, a librarian in the Black Resource Center of a library in South Central Los Angeles, would share stories of African-American accomplishment with her daughter. A mother and activist, Karyn created Sweet Blackberry to use the power of stories to inspire youth. Follow her on Twitter @Karyn_Parsons.
Want More Mommy In Chief? Watch these episodes:
- Episode 1: Are You A Good Enough Mother?
- Episode 2: New Motherhood and Balancing A Bust Work Life
- Episode 3: How To Decorate An Eco Friendly Baby Nursery
- Episode 4: Foodie, Nicole Friday on Kids and Career
- Episode 5: Melissa Beck, From Hollywood to Stay At Home Mom
- Episode 6: Single Mom in The City
- Episode 7: Mommy Mogul and Marketing Wiz Monique Jackson at Home With Her Boys
- Episode 8: Beauty Maven Jodie Patterson Talks Four-Day Work Week for Moms
- Episode 9: Tonya Lewis Lee on Motherhood and the Importance of Women’s Health
- Episode 1: Back 2 School
- Episode 2: Happy Halloween
- Episode 3: Socially Responsible Kids
- Episode 4: Money Talks
- Episode 5: Keeping Families Healthy
- Episode 6: Thanksgiving Madness
- Episode 7: Highlights and Best Moments
- Episode 8: Stylish Moms
- Episode 9: Best Apps for Moms
- Episode 10: Socialite Kids
- Episode 11: Hair Talk with AfroBella
- Episode 12: Happy New Year!