All Articles Tagged "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.
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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…”