Friday, December 30, 2011

What Will You Do in 2012?

2011 is almost an afterthought.

And, in that spirit, I thought we'd reminisce about the things we did in 2011 and our goals for the coming year. Some of these goals came about from good old fashioned experience (the best teacher), while others are new on the to-do list for the year.

I'm a big believer in writing what I want down, so the same rule applies with hair.

Goal: To wear my hair stretched more
Wearing curly hair is a lovely thing. What's not so lovely, though, are the massive tangles and mid-hair shaft knots I get whenever I wear it curly with gel -- especially in the crown -- for a long period of time.

My crown has suffered major trauma as a result. I'm not sure how to remedy that, with the exception of more stretched hair via blowouts, twist outs etc. On a good note, I finally got twist outs and flat twists right this year, though they are still hit-or-miss styles for me.

Goal: Henna
I used to be a henna head, but haven't touched the stuff in more than a year. Just haven't felt like dealing with the mess. But I need to get over that ish, real quick. When I think about my hair when I wore it, I had fewer problems with tangled hair. Perhaps because of the protein? Maybe it's time to revisit it.


Goal: Growth
I'm not the obsessesed with growth type; I don't slap weird ish -- whale sperms, Monistat, Nizoral and anything else weird that pops up every so often on blogs and hairforums -- on my hair. I've always thought my hair grows relatively fast and, I even had some noticeable growth spurts this year.

For the record, the only thing I use is Chlorella (not for hair growth per se, but these pills keep my eczema in check). But, I do want to see what kind of lengths I can achieve this year. I've lost a little bit on the sides due to tangles, so let's see what happens on this length journey in 2012!

This has nothing to do with hair, but I think it's just as important. In October, I launched I've been pleasantly pleased, though there have been plenty of times I've wondered: 'Am I talking to only myself?'  Not a whole, whole lot of feedback.

Happened to see some stats for and I saw that it's gone international: After the U.S., Russia was the country with the most site visits (are there a lot of naturals in Russia? Who knew!), followed by the U.K, Germany, Canada, Latvia and finally, Denmark.

I've still got a lot of work to do on HairNista, but this kind of traffic has me grinning from ear to ear. So, my plans are to increase posting -- up from the 3 times a week I now post, and add more videos, product reviews, and more about the products I use.

Overall, though, I want to make HairNista more of a community for those who love hair and fashion, as well as add more fashion posts and vids/photos of my fashion.

There, I'm done with my goals. Let's do a mid-year check in about 4 month to see where I'm at, and then tweak as necessary. How about you? What are your goals for 2012?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

London Style

Green Waterfall Jersey Dress, £25, Dorothy Perkins via InStyle.Co.UK
There's just something about London-style that I love.

Maybe it's the fact that their fashions are quirky and different. 

Maybe it's the fact that, because it's overseas, that their fashion just speaks to me.

Or, maybe it's the fact that they give the finger to U.S. styles, preferring to beat to their own drum.

It's different enough that I just love it. I luv, luv, luv shops like like Asos, Zara and Topshop.

Sure, there are some designers that we share on both "sides of the pond," but then they've got their own, like House of Holland, for example. I got a chance to catch up with my European fashionistas over the weekend when looking through InStyle's UK edition.

Was amazed by how different, yet how chic, their styles are. For one, they call low-cost, yet stylish brands "high street." Think H&M and Target. And, I was suprised by their trends: They are big on Peter Pan collars. Who knew? And will and how fast will that trend get here, because I'm still having flashbacks from those peter pan collars I wore from 6th-8th grade Catholic school.

What do you think of London style?

The Switch Up

After nearly two months of curly, I switched it up and flat ironed. I parted in in the front and did two twists. What do you think?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa has been good to you, bestowing all the hair gifts under the tree that you've requested.

What was on your list?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Study: Natural Hair Among Black Women Growing


I love it when mainstream press shows naturals love.

Yeah, yeah, I know blogs from my fellow curlies like, and others make it seem like natural hair is the "norm," but sadly, it's not. We're an insulated, online community that, while overwhelmingly nurturing and supportive, can still feel like you are waging a solo war depending upon the natural community where you live.

So, imagine my surprise when I read an article on about "natural hair making waves among Black women." It quoted Design Essentials and a TV reporter who went natural, and a side article featured (a.k.a. Walton).

Earlier, we asked if natural hair had gone mainstream. This article seems proof that it is, and it's more than just anecdotal.

Here was the gold nugget:

"The number of black women who say they do not use products to chemically relax or straighten their hair jumped to 36% in 2011, up from 26% in 2010, according to a report by Mintel, a consumer spending and market research firm. Sales of relaxer kits dropped by 17% between 2006 and 2011, according to Mintel."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Hair/Fashion Crush

Ya'll know: I crush hard for my Hairnistas!

At least, that's what I thought when I saw this on NaturalHair.Tumblr:


Good googley moogley! I. Am. Freakin'. Loving. This. Look.

Natural hair and fashion are my faves.  It's rare, though, that a pic will capture both of my loves. I love er'ythang about this pic.

Let's start with the hair. OMG, the hair. The retro 40s bump in the front with the sky high bun in the back! Can you say she's killin' 'em? Loves it! Now for the clothes. I love the color combo: That mustard yellow is a classic color that, by the way, is huge for fall. It works really well in a suit.

Wonder if those longish jackets -- popular in the late 90s -- are making a comeback? Hmm...

I love everything about the look: the color blocked belt and the purse set this look off. The turquoise and purple in the belt and purse set the mustard ensemble off perfectly.

What do you think of this look?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Natural Hair Trends Influencing Relaxed Hair?

 Was chilling on a Sunday morning and I heard this hair ad on the radio:

"Moroccan oil infused Remy Hair. Stays Moisturized and Lasts Longer."

Now, I've seen all kinds of uses for Moroccan oil -- in gel, shampoos, conditioners, etc. But in fake hair?


It got me to thinking: Do natural hair trends "cross" over? I think they do. Yes, natural and relaxed hiar regimens are different. And, I know that what we do to our hair may require different products. But at the end of the day, hair is ... just hair.
Tons of naturals rave about Morrocan aka Argan oil. Don't see why relaxed heads wouldn't rave about it, too. Moisturizing is a big hair topic, no matter if you are natural or relaxed.

I've seen many hair trends start in the natural hair community ... natural ingredients such as shea butter, aloe and castor oil are now added to mainstream product lines like Creme of Nature, Bronner Bros, Soft Sheen Carson and Dr. Miracle, just to name a few.

These brands are often a little late to the party (sometimes, by the time they "figure" it out, naturals are on to the latest, new thing or product), but at least they tried.

What natural hair trends have you seen that influence women with relaxed hair?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Black Hair Prompts a "White Only" Sign?

You know, I thought Jim Crow was over.

But a landlord in Cincinnati apparently wants to bring it back, according to a story I saw on And wouldn't you know it, hair has something to do with it.


I don't know whether to cry or get super pissed. Right now, I'm leaning heavily towards super pissed!Seems that a Ohio landlord who is Caucasian put up a "White only" sign at her swimming pool. The sign is from 1931, and is purportedly an antique.

But antique isn't the reason why Jamie Hein, 31, erected the sign, which says, "Public Swimming Pool, White Only."  Reportedly, the sign was erected after an African American girl who was the daughter of one of Hein's tenants, used the pool on Memorial Day weekend.

According to the girl's father,  Michael Gunn, Hein put the sign up because the pool was "cloudy" because the girl's had chemicals in her hair. Now, I don't know about any chemicals, but I can tell you that girl probably had conditioner in her hair to protect it from the chlorine; I do my girls the same way.

My daughters have swam in plenty a pool. And each time, their hair is loaded up with conditioners and oils -- or whatever I think will block chlorine out. I dare someone to demand anything to me about their hair and the pool; that foolishness deserves no explanation, no rationale.

But that's what pool cleaners are for, right?

This isn't about hair; it's about racism towards people -- Black people.

Hein is unapologetic, saying that the sign is an antique decoration.

“I’m not a bad person,” said Jamie Hein of Cincinnati. “I don’t have any problem with race at all. It’s a historical sign.”

Gunn has filed a discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

You know, stories like this don't deserve any ink. But, they are a painful and stark reminder.

I could have sworn it was 2011, not 1911.

The woman has every right, no matter how uncouth and backward, to put up a sign on her public property.

But let me tell you what she can't do: It is against the National Fair Housing Act to show bias to tenants based on race, nationality, sexuality, family status, gender or disability. And that applies to any landlord -- whether it's an apartment, a commercial property or a residential property.

Hein's property is private, yes.

But she is renting it out to tenants -- which makes this a Fair Housing Act violation all day long.

How can a landlord erect that "white only" sign, and not expect for residents who aren't white to feel intimidated by that sign? She can put a sign up in her home with this racist mess all day long. But what she can't do is put it up in a home that's rented to tenants.

Gunn moved out in June.

Stuff like this makes me pissed. Call Rev. Al, Jessie Jackson,whoever you gotta call, cuz this is some bull right here. Act a fool if you want, but guess what? You are gonna get sued. I'm convinced that suing someone, especially in the litigious society we live in, is the only way things will change when it comes to race relations.

Folks won't play nice. A judgment or two will make folks wise up quick -- real quick. I'm the last to do Cum By Ya, trust that. Throw the word "lawsuit" around and folks do right. Let's fight ignorance and racism with the law -- one of the only weapons we have left.

And, she just gave investigators what they wanted -- she admitted that the sign was up, saying that it had nothing to do with Gunn's daughter.

"I’ve never said anything to that child,” Hein said. “If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights. It goes both ways.”


Makes me want to say this ish can't be real. Hair is one thing; that's what started this mess. But to put up a "White only" sign is something all together different.

In Sept., the Ohio Civil Rights Commision found Hein violated the Ohio Civil Rights Act by posting the sign.

Which, by the way, was stolen.

Hein is appealing the decision.

What she wouldn't be appealing, would by the plethora of National Fair Housing Act lawsuits that need to be heaped on her. This is a fair housing case, and should be treated as such, as well as any other civil, state and federal statues they can conjure up.

Hey, I'm no attorney, but I am certified in the National Fair Housing Act (long story, but had to complete it for social media marketing work I did for apartment property management companies).

Put the "White Only" sign up if you want to. Just know you will get sued.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's on Your Holiday Wish List?

It's Dec. 13 and my Christmas tree isn't up yet. I know, I know. Usually, I try to put it up sometime around the first of December. 'Tis the season, but it's a no-go this year, though, as I've got too much stuff going on.

I'm trying to get into the holiday season, but I am looking forward to getting some hair gifts under the tree.

I'd love to get a hair steamer (I do the towel in the microwave thing, but it would be nice to get a steamer); a new bonnet dryer; Curlformers (I already have the bootleg kind that I scored off eBay)and a new bonnet dryer.

Oh, yeah, and I'd like to treat myself to a twist out done by a stylist (maybe I can copy their technique)?

What's on your Christmas wish list?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gel Relapse

Earlier this week, I told you how hair gel is my hair crack.

Well, I've had a relapse. I did a wash and go updo with gel. I tried to do a 7-day no gel challenge, but the gel got the best of me. Hold up. I've got a good excuse. I had an interview Thursday. And gel gives me consistent styling; it's why I use it.

I usually wear my hair curly on job interviews, because:

1. I go as my hair is. If someone has an issue about my hair, it's best that they see it curly -- early! That way, if hair IS an issue, we can get over that hump in the beginning and I can keep it moving. Can curly hair be an issue? You damn right, but I definitely think it's less of an issue that what we think it is.

I've found that usually, curly hair tends to be "our" problem, not theirs. We stress over what white folks will think about our hair when, a lot of the time, it's another person who looks like us who has an issue with "our" hair. Go figure. As I said, though, if there is a curly hair bias, I think we need to get that issue out of the way pretty early so that I won't work there and no one will get hurt, LOL!

2. I tend to do more tried-and-true, tested formal natural styles on an interview. I have not perfected twist outs. Many times, they're a hit or miss. So I usually do a curly bun because it's super easy for me and the results are pretty much consistent. And I think that, like any hairstyle during an interview, it's best to error on the side of being too conservative.

I don't whip out the fro until I get the job.  I've heard some naturals say they wear their hair straight and then curly after their probation is up. I don't do that, but to each it's own. I'd rather folks get a clear idea of what my hair will look like. I'll wear it curly for months, in wash and gos and updos, and then wear it straight. Folks are usually surprised -- and that's fine. It's good for folks to see how versatile our hair is.

How do you wear your natural hair during an interview? Are you worried about natural hair styling before an interview? Do you think we worry too much about our hair in the workplace?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yo, Can I Get THIS Twistout?

Doing my usual reading on and I came across this twist out.

I Love My Hair app release party at Anthony Dickey's Hair Rules' Salon; Photos by Marta McAdams 
Luciousness at its finest. A bunch of curly girls at the I Love My Hair App release at Anthony Dickeyu's Hair Rules' Salon in NYC, with pics by photog Marta McAdams.

 I stalked the photos to see if I could see a reggie or products  (Nada).

My twist  outs come out looking nothing like this.

Makes me wonder if I will ever be able to get my hair like this. I'd even be OK if my hair looked twice as good as her hair. I thought about trying to recreate the style with my stash of Miss Jessie's and my soft bonnet dryer, then got tired and fell asleep. I know a lot of naturals are their own stylists, but I am seriously thinking about going to a salon to get a twist out.

Would you go to a salon for a twist out?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Less is More?

I'm the queen of slapping all kinds of stuff on my hair.

If product directions say a dime-sized dollop, I'll do twice that just for good measure.

What can I say? I'm just heavy handed, LOL!

I've got plenty of products stashed away (Miss Jessie's, a holdout from last year's BOGO, lots of samples, just waaaaayyy too much stuff). After I got a second day wash and go on Friday,  (I ended up liking it less and less as the day wore on) I went home, washed it out, conditioned my hair and applied Doo Groo for moisture.

I twisted it up, applied some Motions Wrap Foam for a bit of hold, and used a bonnet dryer for about 15 minutes. Only 2 products! Not bad, especially considering that I'm generally twist out challenged.
I think it's a keeper style.

Today, I just fluffed and went. I'm proud of myself; no gel!

What do you think? Does your hair respond better with more or less products? Have you achieved better twist outs with more or less products?

Friday, December 2, 2011

HairNista Challenge: No Gel 7-Day Challenge

Gel insecurity? Not sure if I'm feeling this? I thought it looked cute.
My name is Tenisha. And I am addicted to hair gel.

Gel is my creamy, err, goey crack? It's just something about how my hair hangs with gel.I've never got the knack of the tightly curly method of just using conditioner. I NEED something more in my hair than just conditioner to make it hang right.

I use conditioner (lately, Cantu Shea Butter) + Doo Gro under it, but I also use gel. Typically, I'm not able to get 3-4 day hair, either, so I at least have to wet it every morning. I'm so bad with it that my friend says I use WAY too much of it, LOL.

Unless my hair is flat ironed, it's rare for me to go two weeks without using gel -- usually EcoStyler with Argan oil, but before that it was Sallys Proclaim Activator gel. My hair just don't feel right unless I add just a teeny, tiny bit, at least to the front.

All of this worked fine until this summer, when my hair really began to thicken up -- especially the crown. EcoStyler started tangling my hear. I swore it off and began using Proclaim again. But I couldn't stand the feel of Proclaim in my hands, so back to EcoStyler we went.

Sigh. I just don't know if this recent thickness and length will allow me to wear a wash and go. I swore off Wash and Gos not even a few weeks ago, but they are my go-to style that I KNOW will turn out  halfway decent (my twist outs are often a #fail).

Curls, Curls, Curls
I think I have a curl obsession, no? I know. I know. In previous posts, I said I would stop using gel, because of knots. Well, I backslid... and started using it again. This week, I slapped a pound of it on the back of my hair. And let's not even talk about my damaged crown (found a few more tangles there, too).

Wouldn't you know it that some of the back of my hair, where the length is, has tangled. Can you say setback? I don't have patience to remove masses of tangled knots, so I snipped snipped two knots out this morning. I think I lost a good 3 inches, and I don't want to think about how long it took me to grow that -- nor how long it will take to grow back!

Major setback, HairNistas, or at least I feel like it's a major setback. My crown is noticeably shorter, and now the same issues are affecting my length.

That's why I'm committing to not using gel. I'm starting small -- one week, no gel. Let's be real. I'll probably have to replace it. Thinking about using Shea Moisture's Curl Milk or an old fave -- Hawaiian Silky 6 in 1 or Carefree Gold activator. Something, anything that won't tangle my hair, AND that's not made with gel.

Can I do it?

Yesterday, I put gel on it, but it was in an updo and slightly stretched. This morning, I fluffed my wash and go and got rare second day hair. Tonight, I think I'm going to detangle it and set it on curl formers for a Corinne Bailey Rae inspired curly do or blow it out because I'm tired of knots. Other than avoiding gel like the plague, I think I'm also going to up my detangling routine.

Lovin' this updo, but why do I ALWAYS cut by head off in pics?

Admittedly, I'd gotten away from it, after reading one too many blog posts about naturals who finger comb or don't detangle at all. I thinks my hair can still manage fingers, but I definitely need a comb!

What non-gel products do you think I should use for a wash and go? Does gel tangle your hair? Has this happened to you?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Doin' it Ghanian Style!

I'm a natural hair blog fanatic who checks, and religiously. And, yeah, I can get a bit obsessive with it, (like stalking the sites throughout the day) but anywho...

I was on when I saw this:


Can you say I am crushing on this -- hard?

It's from Sika Designs -- inspired and produced in Ghana, West Africa. The line uses Ghanian-inspired fabrics, patterns and designs, produced by expert Ghanian seamstresses and tailors, but with a very chic, mod Western twist.

Now, I love a good print -- especially Batik. But, this entire line is so feminine, so edgy, so me. The London-based  line is owned by Phyllis Taylor.

 I'm definitely loving this. What do you think?


HairSpiration: The Fro!

Saw this gorgeous head of hair on BGLHOnline and I just had to give it a HairSpiration! I love the fact that it's wild and free -- doing its own thang! Will be glad when my shrunken fro gets this long. I have to blow it out and twist it to get length.

Check out her reggie and her blog,