Friday, March 30, 2012

Is There Ever Such A Thing as Too Much Hair?

Largest afro according to Guiness, but how can she see?
For some naturals, the focus is all about length -- mid-back, waist length, butt and hip length hair.

But at what point is too much? At what point is too much length or hair a bad thing?

So many hair sites and forums "ooh" and "aah" the longer the natural hair. I sometimes wonder how well-known naturals with long hair icons like Cipriana and Sara manage with their hair. It's got to take hours to wash, detangle and style -- a routine that you have to do all over again in the next few weeks or so, depending upon your washing schedule. And these aren't heat trained naturals with flat ironed or press hair, naturals with twist outs, fros, braid outs and clouds of kinks that are probably prone to SSKs and tangles.

When Is it Too Much?

I think about all of that hair and I get tired just thinking about it. That's why some naturals swear off length like it's the plague. They want length, but manageable length that won't take all day to wash, comb, dry and style. So they forego super long hair for just long hair.

I get it. I've seen a few pictures on natual hair blogs of hair that totally overwhelms all facial features; all you see is hair. That's never been my M-O. For me, hair should compliment, not hide, your facial features. I never want to "hide" behind  my hair.

Yet, for others, length is the ultimate quest.

But if you're complaining about how long your wash day and regimen takes now at shoulder length, can you imagine how much it will take when your hair is waist length? Or, how much more products you'd use?

Would You Make the Sacrifice?

That's why some naturals skip length; it simply takes too much time. That's part of the reason why I cut my hair off in 2006. I'd had enough of hair, and doing my two young daughters' hair. So I cut mine all off. Like shaved off.

Today, my daughters are old enough to maintain their own hair. As of late last year, they've been getting their hair professional styled so I rarely touch it. Six years late, my hair has grown back -- and then some.

But I sometimes miss how easy it was to maintain my hair back then when it was just short curls -- not a lot of product, no fussing over deep conditioners, and not a lot of time spent detangling. True wash-and-go hair.

Short Hair As A Preference

Short hair, for most of us, is a choice -- a choice that I will probably make again some day. Everyone doesn't want, or need, long hair.

I tell myself that I'll keep growing my hair until I'm 40. Then I'll probably cut it all off and get a TWA. Besides, short hair makes most women look younger. At least, I think so. Instead of worrying about split ends, tangles and matting, I'll worry about a different type of maintenance regimen -- as in making sure I get regular cuts and trims to maintain my TWA. 

Maybe I'll keep it that way. At least for a while.

What do you think? Would you forego length? What is your maximum length?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

HairSpiration: Esperanza Spalding


Esperanza Spalding emerged onto the music scene a few years ago with her trademark fro -- and we've been in hair love ever since!

A Grammy nominated bassist, Spalding is known as much for her beautiful fluffy coils as for her music -- which she's played for the Obamas at the White House. She has flaunted a variety of natural hairstyles -- her mile-high fro at the Academy Awards, a chic updo at the Academy Awards last year, pinned back styles and dense, curly fros.

Now, I'm not one to tell people what styles they should wear with their own hair, but Spalding was recently sported wearing what looks like a wash-and-go. I like it, but I like her fro better! Since her big, fluffy cloud of curls is her trademark, I'm not used to seeing her without them.

This look is going to take some getting used to.


What do you think? Fro or no?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5 Ways To Color Block Your Wardrobe

Color Blocking
Color blocking is all the rage this season.

It's the next best thing since sliced bread. But there's a right way -- and a wrong way -- to do it, and color blocking takes a bit of color savvy to get it right. It's not automatic, but with these tips, we'll have you color blocking in no time.

1. Start with your favorite color as a base. Who said base colors have to be neutrals? I love deep pink shades -- fuchsia (or hot pink) and corals. I often start with those colors and work my way around, using those colors as neutrals.

2. Get out your color chart. Colors are a science. Not all of them go together and no, black and white don't go with every damn thing! Find out which colors naturally pair well together by hue -- orange and blue, purple and orange, green and blue, yellow and orange, yellow and green, blue and purple, and so on. If you are unsure, use your color chart as a guide.

3. Incorporate bursts of color. Nothing brightens up an outfit more than a burst of color. And, color blocking isn't a do-or-die thing: you don't have to have an ensemble, how about just an accessory? If you've got an orange dress, add a bright blue belt. Or throw on a mustard yellow cardi over that bright blue dress. Use color blocking this way if you are afraid to go all out. The look you are NOT going for is the matchy matchy. It's OK to use different shades of colors.

The turquoise blue belt is what makes Malinda Williams' outfit WERK!

4. Use a neutral as a base. If you are just unsure how to color block, you can always keep things a bit more subtle by using neutral colors like beige, khaki, tan, white and grey as neutrals. A bright orange top with a khaki bottom works. So, too, would a mustard yellow shirt with a gray bottom. Use your imagination. The sky is the limit.

5. Don't overdo it. While fun, color blocking should not be overdone. Your entire ensemble doesn't have to be color blocked. How about just a few accessories here and there? Or, if your outfit is color blocked, add a neutral shoe in a tan or beige as a way to balance the look out.


Do you color block?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

HairTroversy: How Do You Handle A Hair Compliment When Wearing A Weave/Wig?


Sometimes, even the most well intentioned comment can go all the hell wrong.

I was at Rack Room shoes today when I saw what I thought was a headful of thick, natural hair. Mid-back length straight, thick hair, lots of body and thick curls at the end.

Before I could compliment her, she complimented me: "Your hair is so pretty!" I returned the compliment and said: "Actually, I was going to tell you, I like your hair."  She immediately pointed to her hair said, "Oh, thank you, I'm natural under here. It's hot and I had to do something with it. I couldn't take it anymore. "

My face was probably looking all kind of wrong, because I had no idea she had a weave. The ends of her hair were thick, like sponge roller thick type of curls. Most weaved up girls get the long, pin straight weaves. This young lady had thick, but straight hair. I just knew it was hers.

When A Compliment Goes Horribly Wrong

Turns out it wasn't, and it left me feeling awkward as hell. I immediately felt like I might have made her a bit uncomfortable. If I could do it over again, I wished she would have said thank you and kept it moving. I didn't need an explanation about why she wore her hair the way she did; that's her business.

All of which left me thinking: Is there a right way and a wrong way to give a hair compliment?
Should the receiver of the compliment just say thank you and keep it moving or should they admit that it's not their hair?

I don't like to throw shade. If it's obvious that a person has a wig/weave and I like it, I just say, "Nice hair" and leave it at that. Now, sometimes the person will say, "thank you." Other times, they'll admit it's not theirs.

Hey, I'm cool with both. Personally, I've done both when I wore wigs, but especially the latter when I was new to wearing my La Jay wig. The more comfortable I got wearing it, "thank you" became the only explanation needed.

Do you admit you are wearing a wig/weave when you get a compliment? Do you make excuses for wearing a wig/weave?

HairSpiration: Pump Up The Volume


I love her hair! So thick and lush. Itching to do a light blow out, so maybe I'll see if I can pull off this look.

Either way, it's a great summer style.

My hair is thick, but I don't know how I'll make it appear this dense or have this much volume?


Love her curls!

What products, techniques or methods do you use for curl definition?

Can All Skin Types Pull Off Color?


There's no doubt about it -- color is HUGE this spring, from retro bright neon colors to warm tangerines, brilliant blues and vivid yellows.

But after talking to a co-worker recently, as I wore a bright tangerine dress last week, I realized not everyone can  wear color if they have paler (some Caucasian) skin tones. This particular co-worker told me that she wishes that she could pull the look off, but felt that the color would wash out her pale skin.

I told her I wasn't so sure about that (maybe not a bright tangerine dress, but use color as an accent with things like scarves, belts, shoes, etc). Here's what I do know: NOTHING looks better on brown skin than color (I take that back, maybe a bright, crisp white).

We are fortunate enough that our brown skin is truly a canvas, and colors are our palettes. From the lightest of the light to the darkest of the dark, our rich undertones can pull off just bright colors with no problem. Usually, the darker the person, the more bolder color they can pull off.

Appreciating What We've Got
So often, there is a secret wishing and lament of how our bodies are different than Caucasians (our thick lips, full hips, beautiful backsides and kinky hair). I get it. When you grow up being the "minority" there are times that you just want to be like everyone else.

But since all I've ever been, and know how to be, is a Black woman, there's no need in me now wishing my natural hair was straighter, my chocolate skin was lighter, my African body type waifier, my ass was smaller, or my big nose was pointier.

As I tell my daughters, we have naturally what other races pay thousands for, for free -- melanin-kissed skin that doesn't wrinkle as easily, pigemented skin where tanning is an option, not a requirement, backsides that Kim Kardashian had to pay for, thick lips that don't need any collagen and hair that doesn't need weave to make it appear fuller.

Do You Accept Yourself?
It's called self acceptance. Certain aspects of your personality? You can change that. But unless you go under the knife and get major plastic surgery, certain body parts aren't going to change drastically, even with weight loss. And after nearly 40 years of being a Black woman, it's a message that we all need reminding of -- to like and work with what we've got, because no wishing in the world will make us something else.

This is what my older self wishes I could have told my younger self: Oh, how I wish that I felt this way when I was about 13, when I remember telling my grandmother that I was too "dark" to wear bright clothing. Sad to admit it even now, but maybe it was the many times that I was teased on the playground for my complexion that explains why I internalized that and felt that way then.

That's part of the reason why I especially gravitate to bright colors now because of my earlier rejection of them -- that, and because they look good on me! It's also why I'm particularly glad that we've come to accept our natural hair. It's a small start, but at least it's a start.

Do you struggle with self acceptance? What does your older, wiser self wish you'd have told your younger self? Do you think all skin types can pull off color?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Battle of Shrinkage

Dry twist and curl on damp hair with Dax
HairNistas, it's been a week of record 80 degrees in ATL -- in March!

Those warm temps, combined with the good bit of rain/humidity, have wrecked havoc on my hair regimen. I know, I'm in the South, but we jumped right from a mild winter to a hot spring -- and my hair hasn't gotten the chance to catch up! I had hoped to wear my hair straight for a while, but now I'm really not sure if that's going to happen --- though I desperately need my ends trimmed.

I did a light blow dry and wore my hair in dry twist and curls for a few weeks, with good results. That style looked good -- until I put glycerine on it (a mistake) and spent one too many day in rainy weather. Natural or not, my hair still shrinks in rain and especially in humid conditions. My shoulder/collar bone length hair when fully stretched shrank to frizzy ear length hair and I'd had enough!

Back to the Wash and Go, I Go

Wash and go on previously flat ironed hair. Can I get this hair back, please?

Went back to my old standby -- the wash and go. Been wearing a wash and go for a week, even tried the Curly Girl method with a "Mixed Chicks" version of leave-in from Sally's that I had lying around for a while. #fail. This is why I remembered I didn't like it: It was cute when wet, but flaked, shrunk, tangled and just didn't act right in my hair once it dried.

If this is what my hair is going to look like this spring, I may have to make some changes. ATL has its share of humid temps -- not dry heat that plays well with straighter styles. And I've got an entire spring/summer to get through. Then, I think, what's wrong with shrinkage? Why don't I like it?

Embracing My Shrinkage

Maybe if my hair was waist length and shrank to shoulder length, that wouldn't be as much of an issue for me. But I'm not there yet, and it's going to take a few years of aggressive growth for me to get shrinkage results like that. 

Even my wash and gos shrink, more than they used to, IMO. I had APL hair during my last flat iron in December and neck length hair when wet products are applied.) Clearly, I've got some self reflection to do and maybe I should just embrace the shrinkage and work with my hair, not against it.

Giving the CG Method a Second, Third, Fourth Chance

I'd really, really like to make the curly girl method my go-to style this spring, but I'm not sure if it's going to work. Maybe it's the conditioner I'm using, so I've got Tresemme Naturals and Trader Joe condish on my shopping list for this weekend.

I'm even thinking about buying some Kinky Kurly Knot Today leave-in and mixing it with some aloe vera juice and oils using the KimmayTube method. One thing's clear: I've got some experimenting to do this weekend.

Hairnistas, who live in humid climates, what do you? What styles do you plan to wear this summer/spring?

Old School!

Was at Dollar General when I spotted this afro pic. The only thing it's missing is the fist, LOL.

Can't wait to use it, tho I'm hoping it doesn't rip my hair out but go through tangles.

Afro sheen, anyone?

What old school products have you tried recently?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is America Ready for a First Lady with Natural Hair?


Reading one of my favorite natural hair sites -- -- after a day of meetings and my heart skipped a few beats.

I saw THE picture.

I. was. done. The pic was sent to CurlyNikki via Twitter, but it's gone viral in the natural hair community and it's all over Facebook and Pinterest. Hell, it probably was a trending topic on Twitter or all I know (it wasn't by the time I saw it). 

The Natural Hair Pic That Shook Twitter
At first, I thought: WTH? Is this real? A closer look revealed it was a Photoshopped image, but the visual?

The image was so good that for a split second, I had to get myself together! Had the First Lady gone natural? She'd be that "curl friend" in my head. I just knew she'd be all up on, and, looking for advice to maintain her natural.

Would she do a twist out, wash and go, braid out? What's her regi? Products? Then I thought, "Whose hair is this?!" LOL. A naturally curly friend told me it was NaturalChica's hair. If so, what a compliment to have your hair Photoshopped on the First Lady!

Straight vs. Curly

What If?
Had me imagining for a moment: What if First Lady wore her curly natural hair? Now, let me say that I've always believed that First Lady is a heat trained natural. Plus, I heard her stylist Johnny Wright say on the Steve Harvey Show that FLOTUS has her natural hair flat ironed/pressed -- no chemicals.

But it got me to thinking, what if?

Malia and Sasha have been known to rock twist outs, puffs, braids etc. But what about FLOTUS? What if she ditched the heat?

How cool would that be? A good friend of mine and I have talked about this for months, about how the world would take First Lady Michelle Obama with natural hair. Would her natural hair be accepted or criticized?

HairNistas, you know I'm all about doing you. If you like it, I love it. Michelle Obama looks good no matter how she wears her hair. Her straight bob styles and updos are always FLY -- shiny, full of beauty, body, thick and lush. In a word -- gorgeous!

Yet, I think she would look as equally stunning -- if not more -- wearing her hair naturally curly.

The Reaction
Is America ready for a curly first lady? I don't know, but I hope so.

FLOTUS is one of the most powerful women in the free world. You'd like to think that she could wear her hair curly and not a peep be uttered -- in a perfect world, it would -- but that's not the case. Everything she does, says, wears and doesn't wear -- remember the media hype over her bare arms? -- is talked about, examined and debated.
No matter what she does, FLOTUS gets plenty of hate. Remember that New Yorker magazine cover a few years ago of a gun toting Mrs. Obma wearing an afro? Yeah, she would get some of that reaction, I'm sure. But for the most part, white folks could probably care less.

The problem would like with us -- Black folk.

My question: Are Black folks ready for a curly First Lady?

No doubt, we'd have the biggest problem with it. Trollers on ratchet blogs already dog Sasha and Malia out for their natural hair styles. Do you really think it would get better with FLOTUS?

 I can just see it now:

FLOTUS? Damn! Has everyone gone natural?

How is she going to represent with THAT on her head?


That is NOT my FIRST LADY!

WHY didn't she wait for second term for this ish? Obama isn't going to elected a second term for real, now.

Calm down, everyone. FLOTUS isn't rocking her curls -- yet.

But we'll be waiting with open arms if and when she does!

What do you think of the image? Would FLOTUS be accepted with her curly hair?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are You Changing Your Regimen For Spring?

For naturals, spring doesn't just mean flowers blooming and warmer weather; it also signals a time for hair regimens to change.

Usually, spring gives way to lighter hair products, as we head into summer.

The cold air of winter is over, and so with it are the heavier butters, creams and conditioners that were mandatory during harsh winter climates. Warmer temps often mean lighter products -- and bye bye for some to glycerine and heavy products.

What I'm Doing For The Spring
I'm not sure yet how my regimen will change for the spring. Though I've been wearing a wash and go for about a week (I haven't had time or energy to blow dry my hair for a dry twist out). I'm
ditching glycerine as a moisturizer because it makes my hair swell in the spring/summer. I'm sticking with Dax, because I'm pretty happy with the results.

I'm also on the hunt for a light, leave-in conditioner. Trader Joe's or Giovanni's maybe?

I had planned on wearing my hair flat ironed all winter, but that plan didn't work out. I only flat ironed my hair maybe 3 times, max. Maybe that's a good thing?

Winter Plans Didn't Work Out
The spring weather definitely will affect my choice of hair styles. In GA, the humidity is no joke. Which means that for me, straight styles are a no-go, especially the hotter it gets. I'm done with fighting against my natural hair -- I'm all with working with it.

My hair instantly poofs if there's even a hint of moisture in the hair. Which equals #fail when it comes to straight styles in the hot, humid Georgia spring and summer. For me, wearing straight hair is unrealistic, because it won't stay straight.That doesn't mean that I won't wear a light blow out, but I'm realistic about my hair will and will not do.

How are you changing your regimen/hair styles this spring? Are you looking forward to different styles this spring?

HairTroversy: Mocking or Celebrating Black Culture?


I hesitated to write about this after hearing about it last week, but news of Vogue Italia's recent cover story, Haute Mess, begs the question: Are they laughing with us or at us?

It's ratchetness, at best.  The "Over The Top" spread features white models with what many would call "street" or more derisively, "ghetto" flavor: colorful weaves, gaudy makeup, colorful hair, long fake nails, big doorknocker hoop earrings and hairstyles straight from hair shows with Oreo slogans sprayed on them.

Do women wear these clothes? Of course, they do. All day, err day. Take a ride through any major city and you'll see this and more. Hell, my big hoop earrings are a wardrobe staple.

But that's where the problem lies: Instead of celebrating our colorfulness, ingenuity and creativity -- and what some folks would call "ghetto" fashions - Vogue chose to mock us, not celebrate us.

There is a difference -- a big difference.


Is Black Culture Loved or Hated?

Black culture.

We are loved one minute, yet hated on the next.

White culture loves Black culture, enough to constantly jack our steez. Let's remember, there would be no Elvis were it not for Chuck Berry and Little Richard and for you younger folks, no Justin Bieber were it not for Usher. And no Mick Jagger or probably even the Beatles were it not for Motown's soul filled hits.

And before you cry that music is universal, yes, it is. But those royalty checks for "universal" music always seemed to be in the names of the white music producers and record companies, not their creators. You know, the black folks' whose blues, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz and hip hop music was built in the jook joints of the south, the pulpits of the Black church, and the griminess of the inner cities.

Yet, white culture hates Black culture, enough to mock us, copy us in unflattering ways and make us parodies -- too many times that I can count. It's this crazy juxtaposition that is so schizophrenic. Often, these two parallels happen at the very same time.

My Take

Affinity and respect of the culture? I don't have a problem with it, as long as you give us credit. Black folks are geniuses at taking scraps and turning them into mountain hills. Give us a little bit and BABY! We'll make it do what it do!

And it's not just fashion that's being slammed, it's our hair, too. Notice the hairstyles with Skittles, God awful lacefront wigs and loc wigs in blonde. Just as they are mocking exaggerated Black fashions, so, too, are they mocking Black hair.


We Get No Love
Lakeisha may not have had the name brands and preppy clothing that Buffy in the Hampton wears, but she is the Madam C.J. Walker of street fashion: Her clothing, styles and mannerism are copied the world over. She took what little she had and made it her own. Believe that her clothes may have only cost $50, but she'll make them look like a million bucks. She may not have Louboutins in her closet, but you can best believe that her shoe game is on point, regardless.

But mocking it or taking our steez for your own? Houston, we have a problem. Don't take black girl swag and make it your own, with a few exaggerated, stereotypical mannerisms and then expect us to be OK with that. That's the same type of ish that a Lady Gaga gets praise for being unique and creative with her colored wigs, while Lakeisha gets the side eye.

This is just another headache for Vogue Italia, which doesn't have the best reputation in the international Black community for celebrating or even recognizing our culture. They'd rather just pretend we don't exist, if evidenced by the lack of models of color in its pages.Vogue Italia has done spreads with models in Black face, so trust and believe that this no cumbuya moment when it comes to Black folks; they have lots of apologizing and backpedaling to do.

Vogue Italia's Defense

On Friday, Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani defended the spread.

Most of fashion all looks alike. It is really beautiful, but it is very similar in a way. You go to London, and everything has flowers. You go somewhere else, and everything is minimal. We wanted to make something quite extravagant. It’s more to push people to be creative and extravagant. … Because I read everything in the blogs, but honestly, we just thought it was the concept of extravagance, of creativity, even something over-the-top, something that is not usual. If you want, you don’t dress like that, you don’t put on this kind of makeup, but it’s just to make a fake, to go over-the-top, it makes you happy in a way, more alive, more colorful — sometimes fashion looks sad.”

And she doesn’t think that it was racist:

A racist image, I really do not understand. I went through the pages so many times. Like when we did the Black Issue, everybody said that we did that on purpose because Obama was the person chosen to go to the White House, and if you just think one second, not more than one second, you can see that to make a magazine like what we did for the Black Issue, it takes six months [to do]. … People wanted to see an economical and a financial [decision], just to get more money, because we talk about Black Issue, it’s probably because the president is black. What do you answer? They don’t know what it means to work at a magazine. That’s it.”

I smell bullshit. The insensitivity is absolutely frightening, were it not for the "slave" earrings  fiasco, describing large, gold hoop earrings (their words, not mine). After all this, you'd think that Vogue Italia would at least try a little harder.

A recent Vogue Italia magazine featured models with natural hair, but I'm not willing to let them off the hook just yet for all of their awkwardness when dealing with Black and brown folks. A few pics of natural hair aren't enough to erase years of abuse, insensitivity, misrepresentation and downright disrespect. Why is Vogue all interested in Black culture now? Too little, too late.

There is no consistency. You want to respectfully honor Black culture? Then we can talk. But until then, all you get is the stereotypical hand. Don't mimic the culture and then expect us to be grateful that you somehow "noticed" us after all these years.

We've been here, all along. And just like anything else in Black culture, you'll "discover" our trends years too late, when we've moved on, gone to the next new and fresh thing. Cause we stay FLY!

What did you think of the Vogue spread? Do you think they are mocking us or celebrating us? Do you feel a certain way when White culture copies Black culture?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What are you wearing for spring?

At work, making it WERK! I swear their bathroom has the BEST lighting in that dark building!

I've been wearing bursts of color for months -- bright scarves and dresses -- but today is finally the first day of spring.

Add to it that most of the country is basking in super warm temps right now and I pulled out my sleeveless tangerine sheath dress today  that I got from Tarjay last season for under $20!

Speaking of tangerine, it's on trend for spring. Tangerine is one of the most popular colors this season, according to the color predictor folks at Panteone. Overall, you'll plenty of bright colors this spring.  And, in a nod that's totally retro and reminiscent of the 80s, neons are back. I can't believe it, but I saw aisles full of neon yellow, orange and blue scarves, sneakers and even sandals at Target the other day.

Not sure how I feel about this trend. Been there, done that. Adding a bit of neon flare to your wardrobe isn't a bad thing ... if done the right way. Do it wrong and you'll be looking like a HAM!

What colors are you wearing for spring?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celebrity Stylist Derek J Threatened In Atlanta Hair Salon


Folks take their hair seriously, so much so that gunfire recently erupted at an Atlanta hair salon owned by celebrity stylist Derek J.


Derek is a flamboyant stylist known  for his reality show apperances on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, apperances on the Chris Rock documentary, "Good Hair" and his stylish heels and flashy outfits.

But this was no reality show -- and no director yelled "cut" -- when reality show actress Frankie, sister of R&B signer Keyshia Cole, showed up at Derek's J Spot Salon complaining of a bad wig job by rival stylist, Corwin Pledger.


'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Stylist Threatened | Video - ABC News

The J Spot tried to fix the botched hairstyle and reached out to the stylist who unsuccessfully did the do. That's when things got nasty. Pledger showed up at the salon and, according to J Spot co-owner LIsa McCall, pulled out a gun.

Spot Salon co-owner Lisa McCall told ABC News that when she asked him to leave, he waved his gun in her face, threatening her.

"He said, don't think I won't, don't think I won't," McCall said.

McCall said Pledger shot a bullet in the floor. Pledger told Atlanta radio station V-103 that he shot at a stylist's feet after hot curling irons were thrown at him, but McCall denied those charges.

Drama At The Hair Salon
I'm no hair salon expert, but I don't know many hair salons that would call a stylist and try to fix their work; they'd just fix it and be done with it. IJS. I know we bond over our hair salon time, but too many have too much drama --- stylists, customers and everyone else fighting.

Now, a stylist might get stabbed with some hair shears if she cuts someone's hair off when she says she's only doing a trim. Or she could threatened to get burned with a hot pressing comb if a client's hair falls out after a relaxer.

These things have been known to happen. But a stylist pulls out a gun about a bad wig job -- because they were offended that someone didn't like their work? Come on, son!

Let's add this to the many reasons why I don't regularly patronize hair salons anymore ... too much drama!

What's the worst drama you've seen in a hair salon?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Is Natural Hair A Back in the Day Thing?

I see so many natural girls embracing their natural curls, kinks and coils these days, that I sometimes wonder if I'm going to pinch myself and wake up. Everywhere I turn, I see curls and fluffy hair -- on blogs, on YouTube vids, on commericals and especially in real life.

It's a welcome change, from the 90s, when we wore our hair wrapped, fried, died and laid to the side. Straight was the order of the day -- whether it was a wrapped bone straight like Aaliyah or the pump waved, french rolled and gelled up styles that ushered in the 90s.

Natural Hair Icons in the 90s
Not everyone wore their straight, though.

My hair crushes were actresses Cree Summer from Different World and Lisa Nicole Carson from Ally McBeal. They both rocked gorgeous curls, but I didn't think that my hair was anything like theirs.

I would have laughed at you if you told me that I'd have any kind of curl in my thick hair, which stood out in the stick-straight hair of the 1990s. I thought the only way I would get a curl would be to wear a wig or a weave. How wrong I was! Who knew I had curls that I could coax with just water, oil and gel?

Straight Hair Ruled
Maybe straight hair was a natural hair phase back then; after all, we had just lived through big hair of the 80s. Bigger hair was better then -- but those Dallas-like hairstyles were usually reserved for white girls. Black women wore Jherri curls, flips, shags and layered cuts,big curls, and a few afros sprinkled in.

The straight hair of the 90s was about as far away from the huge fros and afro picks of the 70s as you could get. To appreciate the styles we have today,  it's important to remember the styles of the past.

How have styles from the past influenced you?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Supa Dupa FLY

Thought my hair looked supa dupa fly! Lasted 3 wks w/dry twist and curl on damp hair w/dax and castor oil. Hair got bigger each week - loved it!

Last week, I added glycerine

But glycerine + rain + humidity = shrunken fro, not the look i was after. About to start the process all over again with a deep con and light blow dry this wknd, but in desperate need of a trim. Will post pics soon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Natural Hair On The Runway

The fashion industry is known for breaking the rules.

Natural hair is no different, and more models strutting the catwalk are embracing their natural curls, coils and kinks.

Not since Roshumba burst onto the modeling scene in the 80s wearing what's now known as a TWA has natural hair played such a prominent role in fashion spreads. Sure, models like Alex Wex and Noemie Lenoire have embraced their natural curls and bald heads on the runway.

But they were the exception -- not the rule.

Is Form Following Fashion?

That's changing, according to Vogue Italia, who lamented the crazy hair care practices of the past  that fried many a Black models' hair. As a result, supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks were left with horribly thinned edges and severe alopecia.

Black models were enough of a rarity; really, did they have to worry about their hair, too?

Vogue Italia writer Marjon Carlos wrote this:

"These haunting experiences are rarely talked about among the fashion world and often concealed in frustrated Facebook statues, or tweets, or woeful interview admissions from present-day Black fashion favorites Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn, messages that acknowledge a problem, but rarely hold few responsible."

That's changed, though, as textured hair now regularly makes an appearance on the runway. Designers are leading the way, showing plenty of natural haired models.

“It is uplifting and inspiring then to see the newest group of Black models storming the catwalks in full embrace of their natural hairstyles, from cropped Afros, flat tops, to buzzed scalps–and in turn being embraced by the industry that has typically approached black hair with skepticism and harsh critique.”

Fashion influences the masses, sets trends.  Let's hope the trend continues when it comes to natural

What do you think about natural hair on the runway?

HairTroversy: The Natural Divide?

The more natural hair becomes "mainstream," the more I wonder if there's a growing natural hair divide between straight and permed hair.

But, as more take the natural hair plunge, I'm starting to wonder if the whole, "I'm naturaler than thou attitude" is catching on. I'm feeling some kind of way about this, especially after this conversation last week:

Talking to a fellow natural  (she wears Sister Locs) and a co-worker with weaved hair strolled over -- no, our convo had nothing to do with hair. She half jokingly said, "Oh, us weaved girls aren't welcomed over here."

I told her, "No, we are not like that."

And I meant it.

Natural Hair Drama?
Natural nazis aren't new --- they lurk on blogs, forums and on YouTube, calling everybody out who THEY feel isn't natural, whether they wear hair flat ironed, colored or God forbid, relaxed. It's really not that serious.

It's almost as if we are sniffing shea butter and coconut oil, because many of us have hair amnesia when it comes to this. Most black women have had perms at some point or another. But we act all brand new, as if we've never had a chemically processed, straightened hair on our head. And we put down other Black women if they have straight hair, almost as if there's a natural superiority because we wear our kinks, coils and curls.

When Straight Hair is on Someone Else
How soon we forget: The same attitudes that we detest in others about the opinions they project onto us about our natural hair, we now project on others with straight hair. Natural hair is a journey, but that doesn't mean that relaxed or straightened hair is no less of a journey than ours.

Hair is not just hair. If it were, naturals who wear flat ironed hair or relaxed hair girls wouldn't feel the need to apologize or justify their straight hair choices. Put downs ain't never cute. Really, it's a sign of insecurity. You don't have to make a woman with straight hair -- whether she's natural or relaxed -- feel like she's less than because she chooses to wear straight hair.

I love short, fly cuts and I love a long, layered cut on straight hair. Always have, and that won't change just because my hair is natural. Healthy relaxed hair looks good. And so does healthy natural hair.

There's enough room in the hair world to appreciate straight hair and natural hair.

Do you think there's a natural hair divide? Have you felt you had to apologize for relaxed or straightened natural hair?

Monday, March 12, 2012

On Trend for Spring: Bright Makeup Colors

One of the hottest new makeup trends this spring is bright lips.

From fashion models and celebrities to average, everyday women, we're seeing a lot of bright lipsticks in cool fuschias, shocking greens and blues, fire engine reds and every color in between.

After years and years of nude lips and earth tones, I'm glad that color is black. It's not just limited to lips; bright eyeliners and eye shadows are also big, too. Y'all know that I love color -- from my clothes to makeup. It makes girls of color skin pop like nothing else.

If you got it, flaunt it! Photos courtesy of

What do you think about bright makeup colors for spring? Will you wear them?

Actress Jurnee Smollet in a bright purple lip:


Regina Ardoin wearing blue-green lipstick at the Naturally Happy Hair Mixer in Houston in Feb.

Simone Nair in a bright blue eyeliner at Textures on the Runway natural hair and fashion show in NYC in Feb.

Tiffany Brailey wears a bright fuschia lip at the Natural Happy Hair Mixer in Houston.

Spring Fashions: Coral and Green

It's not yet spring, but I can't wait. Would spring just hurry up and come -- already!

I've been wearing bright colors for months -- and I can't wait until my skin gets kissed by the hot Georgia sun. I love sun dresses, high-heeled sandals, wedges, peep toe shoes, wide brim hats -- all things girlie, all things summer, all that!

This spring, coral and mint green are super hot. Here are a few hot color ensembles. Time to get cute!

What are you wearing this spring?

I'd wear this combo in a second!


Cool, casual summer outfit. Love it!


Picnic stylin!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Embarrassing Natural Hair Moments

We've all been there: An embarrassing natural hair moment.

I don't know what it is about natural hair, but there seem to be more occurrences of embarrassing moments. At least, for me there have been. I usually think I'm cute, but my hair sometimes thinks otherwise, LOL.

Don't trip... Natural hair is FIERCE. But let's keep it real:  As fierce as it is, it has its moments!

Sure, permed hair was boring *yawn.* But natural hair is so unpredictable -- which makes for those embarrassing moments. Not enough to make me go crawling back in shame to a box of relaxer, but usually enough to make me laugh, shake my head, and not take my hair so seriously.

All of these have happened to me in the past few months:
  • A long SSK dangling for dear life, in my wash and go or twist out
  • Forgetting to take a twist out in the back of my head
  • Product disaster, with a new product flaking or beading up into tiny beady beads in my hair
  • Lint in my hair
  • Walking out the house with collarbone length hair that shrinks to ear length in the rain
Dooh! (in my Homer Simpson voice)

What have been your most embarrassing natural hair moments?

Alicia Keys At Paris Fashion Week

Singer and natural curlie Alicia Keys wowed Paris Fashion Week at the Stella McCartney fashion show with a black and white gorgeous ensemble.

I love it - very Parisian chic. The contoured dress is very femine and I'd rock it in a Paris minute! Keys wasn't on the runway, but she might as well been with her stunning outfit.

I wore black and white to my Catholic high school for four years and advoided the color scheme for a long time. It took me a while, but I've found that a black and white ensemble is classic, simple and oh, so fashionable if done right.

If I were Alicia's stylist, I probably would have added red heels for a pop, but I love the outfit overall.

What do you think? Do you wear black and white?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Julia Sarr-Jamois for Tibi


London-based fashion Editor Julia Sarr-Jamois not only writes about fashion, she also models it -- appearing on runways for Alberta Ferretti and others, including this spread for the Spring 2012 campaign for Tibi.

Did I mention her hair is gorgeous! I love her hair -- so thick, so much volume, so lovely! I love it when naturals represent on the runway.


What do you think? Do you think more fashion designers are using models with natural hair?

Natural Actresses Who Rock Their Curls in Hollywood

Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis isn't the only Black thespian in Hollywood sporting her natural hair these days.

Though Davis' cropped, auburn coif is probably the most well known now -- and perhaps the first time in recent memory that a Black Academy-Award nominated actress sported her natural hair on the red carpet -- she  joins a cast of natural haired actresses.


These natural actresses are definitely are not the first; they're just continuing a tradition. Cicely Tyson rocked cornrows in the 70s, and Pam Greer's fro is legendary.


It might not seem like much, but natural hair means E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, especially in La-La Land, where weaves, wigs and natural body parts are an oxymoron. I thought I'd list a few natural actresses.

This is by no means the total list, so feel free to add your comments below about any actresses I've missed. Don't forget about naturals who wear wigs and weaves -- they count, too!

Yvette Nicole Brown
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah
Tisha Campbell
Tamar Braxton
Vanessa Williams
Karyn Parsons
Thandie Newton
Janet Hubert
Alicia Keys
Vanessa Williams
Keisha Knight Pulliam
Joyful Drake
Kim Cole
Kim Wayans
Whoppi Goldberg
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Thoms
Aisha Hinds
S. Epatha Merkeson
Lisa Bonet
Queen Latifah
YaYa DaCosta
Solange Knowles
Vanessa A. Williams
Sophie Okonedo
Angela Simmons
Sheree Whitfield
Skai Jackson
Jill Scott
Kim Fields
Tempestt Bledsoe
Melinda Williams
Sanaa Lathan
Jada Pinkett Smith

Who else did I miss?

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Kind of Natural World Are Our Kids Growing Up In?


"She get it from her Mamma." --Juvenile

One of the things I admire most about being natural is the very real possibility that young children today will grow up with a very different perception of their natural hair. For many of us, our natural kinks, coils, waves and curls were straightened into submission. They were situations that had to be "dealt" with, using either a blowdryer and a pressing comb/flat iron or a box of relaxer -- and we got that message early and often.

For so long, "Just For Me" kiddie perms ruled many black girls' lives -- and their perception of their hair.
If it didn't bounce or look like that little girls' hair on the box, it wasn't "good" enough. For the record, let me say that if you choose to put a perm in your child's hair, that's your business as a parent. I have a personal opinion about relaxers in young girls' hair (from a medical perspective, I believe that little girls shouldn't have perms before they reach puberty), but NO JUDGING HERE.

What Does Your Little Girl See?


However, I do think that your child, especially a young, impressionable one (say nine years old or less) sees Momma wearing natural hair, her perception of HER natural hair may be very different. Is this always the case?

Of course not. Ask any parent and they'll tell you that kids sometimes have different perceptions -- no matter how hard you try or what you've taught them. Natural hair is no different. You may have the fiercest, bangingest twist out every day. You may be a card carrying member of the natural hair club. And your child may not want a natural hair on her little head. It works that way sometimes.


Different Rules?
Yet, I think the natural hair winds are blowing on our youngest ones. I've seen lots of huge fros, twistouts, braidouts, puffs and lovely loose styles on little girls. And I think it's absolutely wonderful. Usually, little girls' hairstyle were relegated to ponytails.

I know that's what I did to my girls' hair when they were younger. What Black girls didn't have a bunch of ponytails and barrettes as a young child? You didn't dare wear your hair loose, --except maybe on picture day or Easter Sunday -- because playing and loose hair did NOT mix.



How Our Hair Was Managed

And I totally get it: Loose hair, even for adults, means tangles. And for the most part as kids, our hair was contained in braids and ponytails. Managing our hair was a task, mainly because we didn't know much about good hair practices -- low manipulation, conditioner combing, combing from the ends up, sealing our hair, etc.

Back then, hairstyles like ponytails and braids and hot oil treatments were common; our moms just didn't call them that. Though, I've seen and heard reports of young elementary school girls in weaves and wigs (that's another blog post, lol). Today's moms are more equipped to handle natural hair than perhaps at any other time in recent history.

Why Things Are Different Now
There will always be mothers who will get relaxers for their young daughters -- and I'm not knocking that.  But today there are also an awful lot of moms -- like me -- who say "no" to the creamy crack for their daughters, or choose to wait until they are old enough to maintain their own hair to make chemical decisions.

Many times, hair practices start before kids are born. I can't count the number of posts from soon-to-be moms who finally went natural because they worry about the messages that their young, impressionable or yet-to-be born daughters will get when Momma has relaxed hair. Maybe the younger generation won't have as many hangups about their natural hair as we do? That's the hope, at least.

I'm glad that little girls are embracing their natural hair at a young age. I don't usually go around quoting Juvenile. But, in this instance, yes, our children are getting it from their Mammas! And that's a good thing.

Do you think little girls are wearing their hair differently now than when we were children? Do you think more children are embracing their natural hair because of their parents?


Note about images: I do not own any of these images. They were collected from a variety of sources online. I added a source link to where I found them.

Karyn White: 80s Natural Hair Blast From The Past


80s R&B star Karyn White -- who crooned top hits such as "I'm not Your Superwoman" and "The Way You Love Me" -- is back.

After leaving the music industry for nearly 20 years, she's got a new album, according to Essence Magazine.

I still can sing White's lyrics from her old songs from heart, but that's not why I'm excited.

I just realized that White is natural. I'm an 80s baby, and I saw plenty of pics of White back in the day with her signature headful of curls. White and the late Whitney Houston were competitors -- though White never had the crossover appeal that Houston had. Her voice was always amazing, but she was always someone that you wondered: "Whatever happened to her?"

Source: YouTube

Now we know. She divorced her music producer superstar husband Terry Lewis in 1999, started a successful real estate career in Sacramento, and left the music game. Now at 47, White is gorgeous -- and back with a new CD, "Carpe Diem."

Back to her hair, though.


For some reason, I never thought her hair was her hair. Weird, right? I guess there were so many weaves -- even back then -- that I didn't fathom that she was wearing her naturally curly hair. Well, when I saw a pic of her for her new album, it does appear that White's hair is natural. That would make her one of the few natural R&B stars in the 80s.

What other natural music stars in the 80s/90s do you remember?

Sunday, March 4, 2012



HairNistas, I think I've stumbled upon my hair twin!

Her hair's density, thickness, texture and hang are similar to mine, at least IMO. I've only found a handful of folks with hair like mine. This, I think, might be the closest, so I've posted a bunch of her pics.


 I pinned one of her pics on and checked out LOVE!

Her Hair

Love  her jacket!

My Hair

Twist on on slightly damp hair with water, Dax, castor oil

Twist out on streched hair with Dax

Have you found your hair twin? My hair twin or no?