All Articles Tagged "weave"
Summer’s officially here and, for many women, with the changing of the seasons comes a changing of the hair.
EssenceFest always marks my official entrance into summer heat — and humidity, thanks to New Orleans’ swampy climate — and this year (like last) I didn’t want to be bothered with my hair. And so, I took a dip into the land of milk and yaki again, via SONO ATL‘s Virgin Luxe Hair Extensions.
There’s no hairstyle I love more than a bob (except a high bun), so when I was offered a chance to review one of the SONO ATL weave lines, I knew a lob (long bob) was in my future. SONO’s hair collection comes in three textures, straight, wave, and curly, so I opted for three bundles of the straight Brazilian variety also known as Keep Em Straight Bish. (Don’t let the name detour you.)
The 100% Virgin hair comes in a natural brown hue, and because I live for jet Black hair, my first order of business was to basically de-virginize the hair and dye it the darkest shade possible: blue-back. In the past, when I’ve dyed multiple weave bundles I didn’t get the color saturation I desired so this time I used two bottles of a blue-black rinse and let it sit on the hair for 30 minutes, rinsed, applied a conditioner, rinsed again, and let the hair air dry for a couple of days. Note: A little conditioner can go a long way so be careful not to overdo it, or else the hair will have an unnatural sheen to it.
The first thing my stylist, Olivia of Bombshell Studios NYC, said when she saw the hair I wanted her to sew in was how pretty it is and that she vowed to buy packs of it if I told her it held up well a month later — meaning it didn’t become matted, shed, or tangle easily. I know virtually nothing about weave so for a hairstylist who handles wefts (a word she had to teach me during my appointment) every day was impressed by the extensions, I figured I’d made a good choice.
Installation of the hair was as easy as any sew-in I’ve had– quick and painless. I didn’t opt for a hair net because I wanted my own hair to be able to breathe and I, somewhat reluctantly, left the middle of my own hair out to achieve a more natural look. Being natural and always wearing my hair in a curly wash ‘n go, I was worried my own hair wouldn’t be straight enough to blend in with the Brazilian extensions, but that actually wasn’t an issue, thanks to a flat iron, edge control, and an anti-humidity gloss and shine mist.
When I came in to work someone thought I’d just straighten my hair, which is always a good sign (for me) when I have a weave. I don’t like for extensions to look unnatural, which is why I’m pleased with the results of the SONO ATL line which is holding up well for me in 85-plus degree weather. I’m not tangling, I’ve have body, and the hair carries just the right amount of shine. To grab a bundle or two for yourself, click here.
*Editor’s Note: I ended up getting a closure before my trip to NOLA because my stylist was worried about me applying to much heat trying to straighten and blend my hair and damaging my curl pattern. It proved to be the right move, and with some layers and soft waves, I still achieved a natural look.
Here’s a confession – I’m a lazy natural. To that end, I’m a fan of protective styles I can leave in until they look crazy. Since I gave up the creamy crack, I relish the choice not to spend a lot of money on my hair, and I don’t like having to spend hours doing it each day.
I feel you all judging me already…
This mindset is, essentially, how I began my long and illustrious affair with kanekalon hair. The year was 2013, and I was at the point in my natural hair journey where I’d look in the mirror and sigh. I’d pull at a strand and note with satisfaction that it was beyond my chin only to let go and watch it jump up by my ear.
Blame society, blame humidity or blame chronically low self-esteem, but I didn’t feel sexy or glamourous with my perpetual afro puff. As a result, I did what most naturals do when they need inspiration: I logged onto YouTube to see that everyone was obsessed with Marley twists. For those who don’t know, Marley braid hair is a type of synthetic (kanekalon/toyokalon) hair that mimics coarser hair textures. Women in the hair videos were giving me natural hair glam by flipping their twists over their shoulder, and turning in slow motion, so the hair fanned out (with R&B instrumentals in the background).
I spent the next two years in and out of Marley twists, beating my face, painting my lips blood red, and wearing my twists in a severe bun atop my head. My friends told me I looked regal. A homeless woman called me out in the subway for wearing “two dollar pack hair.”
There were mixed messages, but I didn’t care. I was happy until I was bored.
When I went back to YouTube, I discovered that the Internet was over twists, and had moved into crocheting Marley hair. Though I loved the way it looked on other women, I yearned for something that looked a little bit more like my 4c texture hair. Marley hair, though coarse, sometimes has a sheen that looks unnatural. When I came across Cuban Twist Hair, I was stuck. It looked like my hair on a humid day. I looked at a few more tutorials, studying the technique and listening for reviews on the hair:
“The hair is soft.”
“The hair looks and feels like 4c hair.”
“This hair is everything.”
Ultimately the hair is $6 a pack, so I didn’t really have to agonize over it much. I purchased four packs and went to work. It was amazing – the hair looked like it was growing out of my head. Even the expensive clip-ins I’d splurged on didn’t blend this well.
The thing is, though, Cuban Twist Braid hair feels like sh*t.
To be fair, it doesn’t literally feel like human/animal excrement. It feels like steel wool you’d use to plug holes near pipes to keep out mice.
“Your hair looks amazing,” my best friend gushed as she went to touch the Cuban Twist Hair that was crocheted into my head.
“Thaaaanks,” I said as I resisted the urge to dodge her hands. “But it’s not for touching. I actually wouldn’t wear this hair if I had a boyfriend.”
We laughed, but I couldn’t help but wish someone on YouTube had told me what I’d just shared with her. You know, it’s nice, but not THAT nice. I also didn’t expect to meet someone shortly after.
I’m not anti-kanekalon. A person can’t, in good conscience, spend $6 on hair and expect a miracle. My issue is with some of the ‘faculty’ at my beloved YouTube University. Hair manufacturers send YouTube reviewers sh–ty hair and these reviewers are so happy to get free hair that they often feel compelled to soften the truth (I can’t blame them). To avoid making the mistakes that I did, consider reading the cesspool that is the YouTube comments section. Often, people who have had different experiences with products will share their stories and provide an alternative view. Also, be wary of anyone who received the hair in exchange for a review. Women who paid the $6 are obviously less encumbered.
While a better woman might have taken the hair out after realizing how truly bad the quality, I rocked with it. I loved how natural it looked, but I was constantly nervous about how other people were experiencing my hair. One night, as I laid my head on my brand new boo’s chest, I was paranoid with whether or not the tendrils were scratching him. I didn’t ask. I’ve learned not to ask questions I don’t want an answer to, but when I mentioned, a few weeks later, that I was about to take my hair out, he was way too excited about it.
I put it back in to spite him (I’m a jerk).
And I guess that’s my point: It’s one thing for me to feel a bit insecure about the texture of my cheap hair, but the choice is 100 percent mine to make.
I love so many things about Black women, but my favorite thing is that we boldly own what other women tend to hide: that there are so many different ways to be beautiful. There is the beautiful that comes from being carefully coiffed, anointed in expensive potions and dripping with gold. There is controversial beauty that comes from waist trainers and butt injections. But there is an equally fierce version of beauty that emerges from the stretchmarks around our arms. There’s the beauty that shines when we wake up. There is the beauty that comes from natural hair hit by humidity, and that beauty is feral. It cannot be contained. What we know, is that all versions are valid, and if we let it, even kanekalon becomes a crown.
(As relayed by Lauren R.D. Fox based on a culmination of experiences)
While on vacation in Denver, Colorado, I met Jay who lived in the surrounding area. We hooked up and the sex was so good I decided to hang out with him for the rest of my trip. Although my friends were peeved that I ditched them, I was in dire need of testosterone, especially after being on vacation for a week with six women.
During that time, Jay took me to his favorite restaurants and lounges. Everything was perfect — until one morning he suggested we go for a run. Now to be real, I had no business working out with my 20-inch Peruvian weave. By the time I met Jay, it had already been through so much—chlorine water, sweaty, smoked out clubs and me being too lazy to put a silk scarf on at night. But I began to really like Jay and didn’t want him to think I was “that” type of Black girl who didn’t participate in physical activities because of her hair. So I decided to take the “L” and run a few miles with Jay. Our run became a hike; Jay said he wanted me to see the impeccable view of the city. So again, I found myself taking one for the team in the name of lust and adventure.
By the time we made it to the top of the mountain, I felt proud of my physical capabilities but when Jay suggested we take a victory selfie, my happiness suddenly turned into fury. My leave out was in need of a flat iron and my weave a tangled mess. Although I tried to smile for our picture, Jay could tell I was upset.
He suggested we go back to his place so I could unwind and figure out my hair situation. By the time we got back to his place, I tried combing through my weave with my fingers, only for them to be met with knots. I washed my hair but that only made the situation worse. On the brink of tears, I told Jay he’s responsible and needed to pay me $200 for the damages caused by his run-turn-hike. “You’re wildin’’” Jay said as he chuckled, although I didn’t find the situation funny.
Should Jay pay me or am I overreacting?
Four months ago I did a big chop which, though traumatizing at first, I’ve actually come to really love. Still, the hair lover in me missed having a lot strands on my head and with the winter months finally arriving I knew a wash n’ go wouldn’t be a go for much longer, lest I want to catch the flu, so I reached out to Nubian Hair Oasis about trying one of their lines.
At the beginning of the fall we profiled Donnet Bruce, the founder of Nubian Hair Oasis, who balances her time between running the budding hair extensions line and her 9-5 as a Digital Marketing Manager. Impressed by her hustle and her product options, I decided to give the Empress Curls line a try.
Having rocked a curly weave for the first time two summers ago, I wanted to kick my look up a notch this go ’round with longer locks and more volume so I had two-and-a-half 16-inch bundles of the kinky curly virgin hair installed (the last time the hair was only 12 inches). During the install I was nervous because I didn’t want my look going from a little ‘fro to a big mane of hair to be too dramatic, but my stylist assured me I wasn’t going to be walking around the streets of New York City looking like Diana Ross circa 1972 so I let her go ahead and put more than two bundles in — and she saved half of the third bundle just to make sure I wouldn’t freak out at the difference.
At the end of the two-hour install I was in love. Because my hair matches the texture of the Empress curls and I no longer have straight ends from trying to transition to natural (benefits of a big chop), I’m able to easily blend my hair in with the extensions. Most times I do opt to pin my hair back for a better blend because my hair is so short in the front and since I didn’t have the weave cut into a particular style the short pieces at the top would stand out too much among the 16-inch strands. But I have to say from the remarks I’ve gotten from strangers about my curly hair, it’s safe to say anyone who doesn’t know me doesn’t know that this hair isn’t my own.
Maintenance during the past three weeks has been incredibly simple. After making the mistake of laying on the hair at night with just a silk pillow case one too many times and having to do some serious de-tangling in the morning, I’ve opted for the pineapple method of pinning my hair up on top of my head at night and in the morning spraying water on both my hair and the extensions to give it a boost. After dabbing on a bit of curling product, I’m good to go. Washing has been equally simple; after a quick shampoo and condition I just let the hair air dry with a leave-in or curly product of some sort after de-tangling and that’s all the work it takes.
If you want to give your hair a break in the winter months but still rock your same texture, I definitely suggest giving the Nubian Hair Oasis Crown Curls (afro kinky), Empress Curls (kinky curly) or Nubian Curly (loose curly) extension lines a try. MadameNoire readers who use the code MADAMEROYALS will get 15% off their orders!
And if any of you are looking for an install in New York City, definitely give Olivia M. at Bombshell Studios a ring. She’ll even come to your house if you need her to!
We told you earlier this week that a stylist had to put the hair of a client on blast after the woman left a sew-in installed for nearly a year. Mold grew all up and through that thing, and the sight of it still makes the hair on my body stand up. Yikes!
To keep you all from allowing anything nearly as disgusting from happening to your heads, we chatted with LaKenya Morris, owner of Allure Beauty Bar in Atlanta, and a star of WEtv’s Cutting It In The ATL. A weave specialist, the talented stylist, and entrepreneur is known for creating custom wigs, weaves, and extensions. Morris says her priority is to maintain the integrity and health of hair. So we asked her, what are the do’s and don’ts of wearing a weave while taking care of your own hair underneath? She broke it down with 10 succinct but helpful tips on what to do when wearing a weave.
DO Be Realistic About Your Style Goals
And that includes those parts! But seriously, try to go for a style that looks natural and be realistic about how long it needs to be in your head.
What’s the longest you’ve worn a sew-in for?
Professionals say two months should be the maximum amount of time you stretch a weave. And yet, people continue to push the limits. Like the woman in this video posted online who showed what happens when you try to make a sew-in work for more almost a year. The results are quite icky–and moldy.
— Edamame Mudiay (@__broke) December 27, 2015
But she’s not the first person to have their hair put on blast for allowing mold to grow so much underneath a weave they wouldn’t have removed. Remember this woman?
And there was this woman, whose hair folly was shared on Lipstick Alley:
Obviously, this is nothing new. Still, it’s not only gross, but it’s also dangerous. You don’t want mold growing in such massive proportions that it’s spreading down deep into your scalp and possibly making you ill, all for a hairstyle. Jesus, take the weave.
It seems that famed South African trumpeter, composer, and Pan-Africanist Hugh Masekela, best known for “Grazing in the Grass” and organizing the Zaire 74 festival to promote Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s Rumble in the Jungle, is not too keen on Black women wearing the wet and wavy.
According to the South Africa City Press, Masekela caused quite a bit of a stir recently while receiving an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University. He refused to take pictures with any Black women wearing hair extensions. As reported by the paper, the trumpeter told a student who just had taken a picture with him,”You’re lucky that you were sneaky enough to have him take a picture of you next to me, otherwise I would have refused. I don’t take pictures with girls who have your kind of hair.”
Masekela continued his rant against the “sneaky” student and other wig and weave wearers during a follow-up press conference at the University in which he added, “We spend about a billion rand on other people’s hair each year. I don’t even know where to begin on this issue.”
As the paper reports, he also had words for the youth of South Africa, in general, who he accused of turning their backs on their culture, including their native tongues, storytelling, and even music.
And here we go again…
We get it: Some of you don’t personally like weaves. However, the obsession that some of our people have with Black women and hair extensions, including making false analogies about self-love and weave-wearers’ alleged commitment to their culture and people, is way past the point of healthy. And sanity for that matter. Every Black woman with a blonde lace-front isn’t trying to be a white woman. Sometimes she’s just a woman with a preference for a certain tacky hair color and style. And we talk so much about the billions Black women are supposedly giving away to the Asians based upon our hairstyle choices like Black men aren’t out here giving away “our” money to Nike, Konig (who makes rims) and every Arab in cheap gold shops.
Never mind how we continue to be abused, underpaid, assaulted and sometimes killed for just being Black women in various parts of this world. According to some of these so-called Pan-Africanists, the worst thing that white supremacy has ever done to Black women is brainwash us into rocking the 100-percent Brazilian. And this is why I have a hard time taking folks seriously.
However, what makes Masekela’s sentiments even more peculiar as he received his honorary degree at Rhodes University is that earlier in the month, students, including some who wear weaves, were engaged in massive protest to demand that the school remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from the campus. For those who are unaware, Rhodes was not only the founder of the college, but also a British imperialist who is responsible for colonizing Rhodesia, which today is known as Zimbabwe.
As reported by The Daily Vox, The “Rhodes Must Fall Movement,” as the students call themselves, was formed over a month ago and seeks to “decolonize higher education.” And not just at Rhodes University, but on other college campuses throughout South Africa. Outside of the removal of the statue, students want the university to hire more Black academics and offer more Afrocentric curriculum options.
And as The Daily Vox notes:
This means creating a campus environment that is welcoming to black students. The response from some UCT students to the Rhodes Must Fall movement has revealed the day-to-day racism that slips under the campus radar – white students calling black students in the movement “monkeys” and “k****rs” or “savages” who “destroy everything they touch” on social media; black staff and students frequently reduced to tears by the racism they encounter from their peers.
“When we say ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ we mean that patriarchy must fall, that white supremacy must fall, that all systematic oppression based on any power relations of difference must be destroyed at all costs,” Kealeboga Ramaru, a student in the movement, said just before the statue fell.
Thus far, the students have been successful in their aim to get the university’s administration to remove the statue, which was taken down and housed in a secret location earlier this month. Kudos to them. There should have been some acknowledgment of the brave efforts of these students to decolonize their campuses. Yet, when asked his thoughts on the student-led activism, the City Press reports that Masekela was “dismissive” saying that the youth should focus on “bigger problems,” like poverty, inequality and crime. And then he went in on Black women and hair weaves…
Funny how a Pan-Africanist can have so much to say about Black women and their hairstyle choices — in the name of protecting the heritage and the collective wealth of African people — yet be so dismissive when it comes to actual efforts to decolonize. Even funnier is that this ardent protector of African aesthetics and values would even bother showing up to accept an honorary degree from an institution not only founded on the principals of erasing the local culture, but a university that continues to deny his people a place on its campus.
He should have been standing on the front lines and taking pictures with all of the students, including the ones with weaves. Instead, he chose to use Black women as a wedge and engage in the same sort of policing that has held our people back globally. That’s why it is hard to take some Pan-Africanists seriously when they act no different than the oppressors.
With Spring on its way, we’re sure you want your hair to be on fleek!
Thanks to Snob Hair Couture, that wish can come true! Known for its long-lasting versatility, natural flow and movement, with minimal shedding, Snob Hair Couture is available in a variety of lustrous textures such as Brazilian (relaxed straight, loose deep, amazon wave),Malaysian (Curly), and Mongolian (Curly, Silky). With Lightweight and supple bundles, Snob Hair Couture is chemical free, guaranteeing a flawlessly natural and refined extension style. In order for you to get your hair laid to the gods, founder of Snob Hair Couture, Doris Perry, and MadameNoire are giving away two free bundles and Snob apparel to one lucky winner.
To enter the contest be sure to follow Snob Hair Couture at @SnobHairCouture and @MadameNoiredotcom on Instagram and post a fierce selfie or photo of yourself channeling your inner alter ego with the hashtag #SNOBBIN
Check out Snob Hair Couture’s promo video from their latest hair shoot and good luck!
We told you back in January of 2013 about Charda Gregory, a young woman who had the weave viciously cut out of her hair by a police officer in a suburb of Detroit after being detained for trashing a hotel room. The whole incident was caught on tape through the security cameras inside of the police station. The officer, Bernadette Najor, was fired for her acts. However, she claimed that she was told to remove anything not permanently attached to prisoners, and early reports and testimony claimed that the officer thought Gregory’s weave could be used as a weapon against others or to commit suicide. Despite all the uproar about the officer’s behavior, and despite the decision made by her department to fire her, she will be reinstated.
According to the Macomb Daily newspaper, Najor will be get her job back with full back pay, seniority and fringe benefits. This is happening because an outside arbitrator, Nora Lynch, brought in by the Warren Police Officers Association, who challenged the firing, ruled that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to warrant Najor’s termination. She was initially suspended with pay soon after the incident. The Officers Association felt that officials overreacted by firing her and threw Najor under the bus to please the public. Arbitrator Lynch stated in her ruling:
“To view the video without the benefit of an audio component and without carefully weighing the accounts of officers who were present does not reflect the reality of what occurred. The officers, who were interviewed separately, gave consistent accounts, agreeing that the prisoner was combative and resistant and their actions to control her did not involve the use of excessive force.”
Peter Sudnick, an attorney for Najor and the Warren Police Officers Association said “the arbitrator determined that she did not violate any of the terms and conditions of the (employment) contract.”
“It was a pretty clean case. She was completely exonerated.”
Yes, she was exonerated, despite the man who fired her, Police Commissioner Jere Green, and the internal affairs division, saying that Najor was out of line to treat the inebriated Gregory the way she did when they initially investigated the video and situation.
“The video clearly shows she’s intoxicated. Unless I’m blind, I don’t see where she’s offering any resistance whatsoever.”
And she was exonerated despite the city awarding Gregory $75,000 ($50,000 to her, $25,000 to her attorney) in a settlement for her ordeal, and dropping the malicious destruction of property charge against her.
Gregory was arrested in Nov. 13, 2013 after being accused of destroying property in a motel room. Her attorney told the Huffington Post that the reason she trashed the room was because she felt that she had been drugged. Gregory claimed that she woke up in the motel room not knowing where she was or the people who were there with her after having a couple drinks at a party earlier that evening and then blacking out. Police took her into custody and on the way to the precinct, she kicked through a window of the police car and was pepper sprayed for it. Gregory had trouble standing once she got into the station, but didn’t look combative or out of control at all. It’s unclear in the video where things went left between her and Najor, but Gregory was pushed into a seat to be restrained, and that’s where and when the weave cutting happened.
Najor claimed in testimony that she was told by her supervisors that anything not permanently attached to a prisoner must be removed, including things like false teeth, belts, shoelaces, glasses, etc. She also said that the incident with Gregory wasn’t the first time she removed hair weaves, as there isn’t a written policy about dealing with them. She also claimed that when she tried to initially remove the weave after Gregory refused to, the detained woman was resistant (“threw an arm”), so that’s where the chair to strap her down came in.
In Lynch’s ruling, she said that the removal of the weave was simply a “precautionary action”:
“The grievant (Najor) testified that she had heard the prisoner make remarks about suicide, and even though she didn’t think the prisoner was serious, she decided to take the precautionary action of removing the weave to make sure that the prisoner did not use the weave to hurt herself or others.”
The Huffington Post tried to reach out to Gregory and her attorney, but received no response, and there has been no statement from Najor, or the WPOA, about her reinstatement. But the Warren Police Department issued a statement to HuffPo and said the city “strongly disagrees with the arbitrator’s decision.” They stand by their initial decision to fire Najor.
“The actions taken by the Warren Police Department were appropriate and required. Despite that, this is a nation of laws, and even where we believe that an arbitrator’s decision is plainly wrong, we will follow it.
The City will continue to strive to make this excellent police department even better.”
True Indian Hair Founder Karen Mitchell Talks Racism, Sexism Within Weave Industry: “It’s A Secret, But Not Really”
Weave has been big business for years now, with new hair lines popping up just about every other month it seems. But as consumers become more savvy about their hair care regimens, looking closely at all products they put in their hair from chemicals to oils, and now weaves, only forward thinking business providing quality options will survive and True Indian Hair is one such success story. Started in 2004, over the past 10 years, founder and owner Karen Mitchell has built a brand of virgin Indian hair that clients stand by, stylists recommend, and celebrities swear by. But how did she do it in an industry wrought with massive competition, racism, and sexism? Check out her story below and her tips for easy weave and natural hair maintenance.
How did you start True Indian Hair?
I was a fashion coordinator and I got to travel to India with my boss to visit factories. While there I realized that Indian hair was starting to be a huge trend, especially for African Americans. Indian hair has been around forever, but it wasn’t such a big deal for us. We were getting package hair and it wasn’t a big deal for us. I started buying a couple packs for myself and I would bring it back and sell to friends and family. About a year later I got laid off from my job and during the hustle I was doing for my hair business, I realized it could be lucrative. I started doing research on large companies who were making millions and some even billions and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m laid off. I could do this or go back to a 9 to 5.’ So I started doing this full-time. I decided I was going to open a store and I opened my first flagship store in Brooklyn and that was in 2005. I’d been selling the hair since 2004.
The weave industry is notoriously racist against African Americans. Has that been your experience?
Being a woman was more of an issue. I found when I started I wasn’t being respected. I wasn’t getting good prices. I wasn’t able to sit down and negotiate the way I wanted to. I was brushed off and they didn’t want to take me seriously. I find that within the virgin Indian hair market, there’s definitely more room for minorities and women to break into it, as opposed to the packaged Chinese, Korean hair market. So, it was a little bit easier. I have friends in the other market and it’s hard. We’re not allowed to sell that hair. It’s literally kept from us. They give us the cheapest brands to sell. You’ll see there are few African American stores that sell packaged hair because it’s kept from us. It’s a secret but it’s not really a secret.
What has growth been like for True Indian Hair during the past 10 years?
Business has grown tremendously. I’m planning to open two more stores within the next year. I’m looking to open a store in New Jersey and one in Atlanta. I have three stores. I ship all over the world. I literally went from being a $100,000 business to being quite lucrative, where I could be considered a millionaire at this point. It’s a great business, but it’s not easy. I see so many people get into it thinking it’s easy. Some people don’t take it serious. I don’t get sleep. I do my research. You have to stay on top of the quality.
How do you handle competition?
I always say ‘Everybody and their mama sells hair,’ I mean everyone! It’s a good thing because the virgin Indian hair market is actually easier for us to break into. A lot of the racism that people experience in other markets doesn’t necessarily exist in this market. The doors are open. You have to have funding and you have to know what you’e doing and love what you’re doing and believe in it. I wear weaves. It’s apart of me and our process when we get the hair is very hands on and involved. We still have a team of people who wash every single bundle that comes into our warehouse and do the standard brushing and pulling to make sure the hair’s not shedding excessively and the wefts are sewn properly; if it’s not we’ll send it back. We all love a quick buck but if you really want a brand that’s going to become something that competes with other brands you really have to become apart of the process.
How has the natural hair boom affected your business?
It’s actually been great for my business because now I get to add additional lines to my business that cater to people who want those natural textures. I’m natural under this [weave]. I love it. Our new collection, the Inspire Collection, has a z curl pattern which is like an afro curl. It’s soft. You can blow it out and wear it straight. It’s still virgin hair so you can color it. It’s great for women — and men. Our Relaxed Straight option is very sleek but there’s some texture to it, which is similar to relaxed hair on African American women so it’ll match that texture very well. And then we have kinky-curly which is similar to a biracial curl. It’s flowy, has a lot more movement. It’s a sexy, bouncy curl.
What inspired the new Vixen collection?
My 34th street location really opened the market to so many other cultures and women. I have a lot of Caucasian clients now and people who are asking for colors that I didn’t have. We started doing custom coloring but that’s a process so I wanted to begin with a line of standard colors and the Vixen collection was born. We have bold which is a platinum blonde; caramel which is a golden blonde; and we have honey which is a lighter shade closer to number 27.
What’s the proper maintenance for True Indian Hair?
If you take care of your hair, it will last six months to one year. If you bleach it it may not last as long because you’re breaking down the hair and it requires more maintenance and moisture. Maintenance is easy. The first maintenance point is to buy your hair from True Indian Hair (laughs). You have to wash your hair every seven to 10 days. What happens with buildup and oils from your own natural hair is it gets into the weave and when extensions are dirty it tends to tangle So wash your hair every seven to 10 days. Use a great moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. The hair is no longer getting nutrients because it’s no longer growing from the scalp so it needs moisture. It’s real hair.
Don’t sleep with wet hair, especially curly hair. You have to let the hair dry. When you sleep with wet hair the strands are just rolling around each other and tangling. Salon maintenance is also important. If it’s colored hair, for you to maintain the hue, you have to use a shampoo and conditioner geared for colored hair. Don’t keep extensions in for more than six to eight weeks. Condition your own hair and trim your ends. I like to tell people to give their hair a break of one to two weeks before weaves. You can use clip-in extensions or ponytails from our line in the meantime.
What separates True Indian Hair from the masses?
The quality. It’s our hands-on approach. Our quality assurance is on point. Our clients love us. The company’s growing and we have great reviews. We value quality first and foremost.
For more on Karen’s line of extensions, check out TrueIndianHair.com.