Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hair That Binds

Diana Ross Hair!
There are a lot of times when we get the "hair" questions -- usually from someone who isn't a person of color.

Usually, I'm cool with it, as long as it's not an offhanded put down and a genuine question. How do you learn if you don't ask? I figure that if you don't have friends with someone with hair that's different than yours, how do you really know each other's hair routines?

I was the hair whisperer the other day, when the convo drifted to my hair. My friend is Jewish. I wore a bangin' twist out and she called my hair Diana Ross hair. I'll take that as a compliment!

But ... I told her that I think Diana has a wig/weave; I like her daughter, Tracy's hair, a lot more, LOL!

She dished her hair routine -- wash every other day -- and I told her mine (co-washes, Black hair is often dryer, etc.).

Have you ever shared your hair routines with someone with hair different than yours?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3 Styling Tips for Summer Natural Hair

Memorial Day was the official kick-off to summer and, for naturals, it marks the question: What will you do with your hair for the summer?

That's usually not a difficult question any other time of the year, but summer, depending upon where you live, can equal mad humidity. Which can meet flat, poofy, don't act right hair! Summer temps don't have to mean jacked up hair.

                                         Summertime by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince, courtesy of YouTube.

Here are three tips to keep your summer dos on point:

Give up the straight hair. Yup, I said it. Straight hair in the summer is asking for trouble. The heat plus humidity can do a number on freshly flat ironed hair, so why ask your hair to do what's probably going to make you feel frustrated -- and reach for the flat iron for touch ups? Go easy on the heat. Embrace light blowouts and styles with texture -- twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots etc.

Buy hair accessories. Nothing says summer more than a cute sundress, wedge heels, updo and flower in the hair. So invest in some cute accessories for those days when your hair just isn't gonna act right -- hair flowers, cute headbands, decorative ponytail holders, ornate bobby pins . Turn a bad hair day into a great one!

Go light on products. Yeah, the temps may be warm, but few things look worse than product dripping all down your neck and shoulders. If you're sealing in oil, remember, a little dab will do it! You don't want condish, oil, leave-ins and whatnot ruining your summer sundress.

How are you wearing your hair this summer?

Friday, May 25, 2012

HairCrush Fridays

Be featured on HaiCrush Fridays! Send a pic of your swag hairstyle to Enjoy the natural hair pics found online, from


One-sided fro hawk

DeAngelo looks so much like a grown ASS (emphasis added!) man with this twist out! Yaay for his comeback!

Twist out fiercness in bronze

Twist out diva

Twist out, messy fierceness

                                                                          Massive FRO

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rihanna Wears Faux Locs

Rihanna wears faux locs at American Idol finale
My girls love American Idol - - me, less so after 10+seasons  -- and besides from shock that Philip Phillips snatched the AI crown from songbird Jessica Sanchez, the other big surprise of the night was Rihanna sporting faux locs during the AI finale show.

Love them or hate them?

I like. Rihanna wore hers waist length with shaved sides and a straight (?) bang.

Locs take a lot of commitment. Though I don't typically post a lot about locs, I love them, especially Sisterlocs. There's just something that looks so regal about a loced updo. The only downside to that is the time it takes to get those long, flowing locs.

I'm too flighty for that style, though, in 10 years I may be ready. I like to change my styles often. Not saying you can't do that with locs, but the option isn't there to go from straight to locs, unless you want to remove them.

I know a few folks who have cut their locs and most of them say you just "know" when you need to start lociing and when you need to shave them off. It's a serious time commitment that I admire and don't take lightly -- which leads me to think that faux locs may be the perfect option for those looking to test the waters.

Put them in for a weekend or two as a fun style. See how you look in locs -- without making the commitment to grown them on your own head. I don't see anything wrong with them, but I don't have locs, either. Maybe if I did have locs, perhaps I would see them as more than a hairstyle, but a commitment.

Do you like faux locs?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Curl of View: Are We Obsessed with Curls and Natural Hair?

I saw this natural hair post written by Damn Salon on BGLHOnline and thought it was profound:

"Curls don't come in a jar."

Damn. They said THAT!

You wouldn't know it, though, based on the uber number of curl creams, puddings and gels that are coming on the market. Have you seen the curl aisle at Tarjay lately? It overfloweth with products promising curls. There are so many curl products that even I have a hard time keeping up. Every time I look up, there's another new  product.

Not that it's anyting wrong with that. Companies create products out of demand. We're a few years post- Miss Jessie's, and I can't knock the hustle. There's going to be a shake out of curl products and I'm sure that not everyone will come out on top  -- that's the nature of the hair beast.

But what are our expectations? No product, no matter what it promises or how much it costs, can create what's not already there. Those kinks, coils and naps? Our hair has a natural curl pattern of its own and some of us have textures that are more kinkier, coarser and fluffier than others that may or may not be more likely to curl.

My Curly Story
I've tried my fair share of hair curling products -- too many gels to count, Kinky Curly, Miss Jessie's, etc., all in the quest for the "perfect" curl that would stretch my tightly curled hair. That ain't never gonna happen, because water and my hair = shrinkage.

Haven't seen a curls product -- besides Trader Joe's Nourish & Spa conditoner, which eliminates a good bit of shrinkage in my hair with protective styling -- that could do the trick. And no, I can't use conditioner for wash and go curls. #epicfail.

A Curling Battle?
Maybe there's a product that will give my curls less shrinkage, but I haven't found it yet. And frankly, don't bother to spend the money to find out. But as more girls go natural, I worry that, like me, they'll be searching for that perfect curl product.

No product alone will do it. Puddings, creams, gels, etc. work with the curl you've already got. If your hair is curly, products will accentuate that. No product that I'm aware of can coax a curl that's not there. There was a young lady on YouTube who went through this hour-long ritual of using gel and a comb to get curls (couldn't find the vid). She smoothed, shingled and patted curls for a LOOOONg time in every freakin' section of her hair.

Chile, please! I was tired after watching that. I don't have the time or the patience to even think about doing any of that. Curly hair, for me, is slapping gel in and out the door in 5 minutes and hoping I get most of my hair with gel; no need for long, complicated routines.

Or, if like me, you've seen those "Before" and "After" pics on Miss Jessie's site and wished for the "After" hair. Maybe it happened for you and maybe it didn't, but we've got to love our hair regardless of whether we've got loose ringlets, shrunken curls or no curls at all!

Loving Our Hair
My hair curls easily. But it curls too tight, IMO, because I don't like 90% shrinkage. Now if had nary a curl? I'd probably want curls. It's always like that: One person's challenge is another person's wish. I once had a person who struggled with their wash and gos tell me that they couldn't understand why I liked twist outs so much, because my hair was "naturally curly" and I could do wash and gos with no problem.


We all want what we can't have, including when it comes to hair. Some want loose ringlets; other wan't tighter curls. They are all OK!

Does that mean I love my hair any less? Like anything, it's about self acceptance and embrancing what we have. I know what my hair will do and won't do. I know that wearing my hair out in 80 degree, humid temps in GA is asking for frizz. That's my hair, and asking it to do otherwise is like putting a round peg into a square hole; ain't gonna happen. Hell, my hair frizzes in winter here in Georgia!

Unfortunately, I had to Put. Down. The. Gel.  Now, if texture is the look you are going for, there are plenty of options like twist outs, braid outs and bantu knotswhich, quite frankly, suit kinkier, fluffier hair better than finer hair IMO. Kinky, fluffy hair can hold a twistout like nobody's business -- much longer than our finer-haired sisters. The point: Curls aren't our only options.

We can wish, fight, plead and pray. At some point, though, the hair will do what it do; it always wins!

What do you think about the explosion of curl products? Do you think that there are unrealistic expectations about what hair can and cannot achieve?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alicia Keys' Braided Updo

Alicia Keys braided updo

Side shot of Alicia Keys' braided hair

Alicia Keys wowed the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards with a beautiful and elegant braided updo. I wondered how she acheived the look, so here are step-by-step instructions from her stylist Tippi Shorter as told on

Keys has always been quite the naural hair maven, in recent years sporting a fuller, curly look.

Here are instructions on how to achieve her look:

1. Alicia Keys' hair was shampooed and conditioned with the smoothing collection from HAIR by Tippi Shorter.

2. Ojon Revitalizing Mist was used to detangle and protect the hair from the hot Vegas sun.

3. Her hair was blown smooth using the Brazilian Heat After Dark 1900 watt AC motor dryer.

4. Her hair was gathered in a high ponytail and secured with a bungee band.

5. Control pliable hairdressing wax from HAIR by Tippi Shorter was used to smooth the hair and prevent any flyaways.

6. Using a small amount of Control on her fingertips, she braided Alicia's ponytail, adding in pieces of human hair to make the braid bigger and then wrapped the braid around, crown-like, until she came up with the shape that Alicia "rocked" on the red carpet.

7. Baby bobby pins and finishing spray were used to secure the braid so it wouldn't move.

Will you try this look?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brandy Rocks a Curly Weave At Billboard Music Awards

Brandy wearing natural wig at the BBMA
Actress and R&B singer Brandy graced the Billboard Music Awards' red carpet with a headful of hair -- curly weave and all.

Hit or miss?

Personally, I like it. The hair compliments the dress perfectly -- classy and sexy at the same time. Love the cut! Wig or weave? I'm gonna say it's a wig that's been given a custom cut that falls perfectly. The hair is the perfect accessory -- big hair that doesn't clash with her outfit. As we know, natural hair is the ultimate accessory -- whether it's yours or not!

I should have known something was up when Gary with the Tea, a host on Ricky Smiley's radio program, said Brandy was wearing 20 pounds of hair at the BBMA during his gossip announcements. I love my weave girls, but I'm glad to see there are more curlier options. Weave doesn't have to only be straight and hang down to your ass!

Plus, this is the first time I think I've ever seen Brandy wearing a curly weave; it looks stunning on her. Brandy joins a host of celebs wearing kinky and curly weaves/wigs, including Serena and Beyonce. Go Brandy! And I love her makeup.

Do you love or hate Brandy's hair?

Curly Fro

After tangles and matts -- and lost hair again  in the crown *sniff sniff* -- here are my twist out results with Trader Joe Nourish Spa Conditioner.

Trying to decide if this will be my go-to summer style?

It's OK as long as it doesn't rain. When it does, I'll have to pull it up. The tangles really have me scurred; I just cut a few more out last night. I don't know HOW folks with locs detangle their hair. I just don't have the patience. My hair was so matted at the middle and in some cases at the ends and gnarled with hair that I couldn't get a metal pick, pin or anything else through it, so I just snipped.

From now on, I'm committed to weekly detangling sessions -- wide-toothed comb -- once a week and finger detangling throughout the week or as I'm twisting it. And, I still need a trim badly!

I'm trying to give up the gel -- the bane of my hair's existence and partially to blame for my matted hair -- as my go-to style when I don't know what else to do with my hair.

Is this style a keeper?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Halle's Curls

Halle Berry and her natural curls
Halle Berry is quite the hair chameleon, easily going from straight to curly natural hair. The pixie cut and Halle are like PB&J.

This pic probably isn't her proudest moment -- an angry Halle confronts papparazzi at her daughter's school -- but check the curls? Can you say gorge?  I took one look at her curls + color this morning and knew I had to post.

Do you easily switch from curly to straight?

Policing Natural Hair At Work

I'm a huge practical joker -- can't do 'em to save my life, because I end up laughing and giving it away -- but I love, love, love shows that pull practical jokes on others.

Nephew Tommy from the Steve Harvey show -- as well as Ricky Smiley -- are two of my radio faves. Yesterday, I caught the middle of Nephew Tommy's Prank Phone Call in which Tommy pretended he was in HR and called a woman who wore a weave to tell her about the company's no-weave/natural hair policy.


So funny. I couldn't find it online or you know I'd post it here. But let me paraphrase it for you.

Tommy: Monday morning, I need you to take your weave out. You are expected to arrive at work without a weave, because we are going natural.

Woman: What? *!**##!! I'm not taking my weave out. I'm gonna be at be desk with my weave on.

Tommy: This is the new policy.

Woman: I paid $300 for this weave. It's a good weave. I'm not taking it out.

Tommy: Yes, you will or you will be terminated, per our natural hair policy.

Woman: *!!!@@# I'm wearing my weave!!! I'm going to be at my job, at my desk, with my weave in. How will you know it's a weave? Are you weave checking or something? I got that good weave ....

All of which got me to thinking: What if there WERE a natural hair policy at your job? Would you stay there or protest?

I couldn't find the vid online, but here's a Nephew Tommy Prank call dealing with hair.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Butt Injections Nearly Cost A California Woman Her Life

Butt injections left April Brown almost killed April Brown
April Brown used to be hair stylist and fashion designer. Today, Brown, of California, is fighting an uphill battle without any arms or legs -- the tragic result of what she says were a series of unlicensed butt injections that almost cost her her life.

But injections and enhancements aren't new; celebs have long had access to them, and rumors of Nikki Minaj, Lil Kim and Kim Kardashian getting them are rampant.

But it's only been recently that they've come to the masses, some with near tragic effects like Brown's harrowing experiences. Her limbs were removed last year after a life-threatening infection -- an exhausting, excruciatingly painful ordeal that Brown says began five years ago after she got silicone butt implants from an unlicensed practioner.

"They call it butt injections," she told NBC News Los Angeles. "These things are done at pumping parties. They call it medical grade silicone but a lot of it is industrial grade silicone."
Brown's case recalls similar incidents in Florida.

So, I ask HairNistas, is that "donk" really worth it? Are you willing to risk your life for it? Your arms and legs?

More than Ass

Let's be clear: There is nothing wrong with celebrating butts, if you have been blessed to have one naturally. When it comes to Black culture, our butts have long been celebrated and praised; there are songs about the butt; it is feted on on music videos.

For a long time, we were the only ones telling each other that our butts looked good. Now, white celebs have joined in the game. Yet, the pendulum has swung so far to the left that now many Black women feel they must have a video girl/stripper  "donkey" booty that's big enough to put a glass on for self worth.

Is A Butt Worth Your Life?

Most of those girls on videos and on the stripper pole have had enhancements. Yes, those butts do exist in our culture, but just not as much as rap songs and videos would have you to believe.

This post isn't mean to shine on plump backsides. If you get it from your Momma, more power to you. But if you don't? We shouldn't be so eager to have a medical procedure done -- a risky one at that -- just to get a stripper booty, ostensibly to please a man. They are filling girls butts up with everything from caulk to commerical silicone used in nail polish and furniture polish to ghastly combos of tire sealant, cement and glue, to God knows what else during back alley injections that are killing us.

If you're going to get a butt enhancement, treat it like a medical procedure. Thoroughly research your provider and only go to a licensed facility. Beware of folks at pumping parties or people who promise to do a butt job that costs thousands for just a few hundred dollars.

I'm wary of tying my self esteem to a specific body part. Women have been doing that for years and where has that gotten us? To the left, from men who have left for the next and biggest ass, boobs, hips, pick your body part.

Brown admits she had low self esteem and now the mother of two is left without any hands or legs.

Men may have their preference; we all do. But aren't you more than just ass?

Would you risk our life over a body part?

Teen/Tween Hair: How to Wear Natural Hair and Swim?

It's not quite pool season yet, but it's mighty close. My girls like to swim AND have natural hair, but how to style natural hair while swimming is usually always a challenge.
In the past, we did the ponytail thing and braid thing when they swam 3-4 days a week. That usually worked out OK, but now the girls are so over the ponytails and braids... My 13-year old says they are a kiddie style and hates the curly look. My 11-year-old is OK with lots of twists.

All of which don't leave a whole lot of options when it comes to styling and swimming. The girls have worn Dominican blowouts since December. They've worked out well -- they've experienced straight hair without all of the chemicals. One bad trim later, we've had no major damage that I can tell. But swimming and Dominican blowouts don't mix and are an absolute waste of money.

This year, I have no idea what to do. I'm ready to tell them throw in the swimming towel (pun intended), but then I'd be letting their hair get in the way of an event they'd like to do. Twist outs are cute, but aren't a "pool" style because the hair is left loose.

Usually, I load their hair down with cheap condish and oil to protect it from the chlorine and they go swimming sans swimming caps (those don't work well for them). I wash it out with a shampoo for chlorine and follow up with a deep conditioner.
That has worked well for years -- but now that they are teens/tweens ... Not so much.

Trying to find a style that holds up well with swimming AND that they like is starting to be a bigger challenge than I thought.

What are your styling ideas for swimming and teens/tweens?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tribal Chic


The tribal look is hot -- if it's got a cultural or indie vibe, it's all the rage.

It's easy to incorporate tribal into your wardrobe.

Accessories are a good place to start. Throw on some stacks of wood bangles, buy earrings with wood on them. You can also incorporate tribal into your wardrobe: Spice up an otherwise ho hum workday outfit with a batik print skirt and basic blazer or cardi.

The best thing? The tribal trend is relatively cheap and you don't have to break the bank. Skip trendier stores for places like flea markets. You can often find huge wooden bracelets 3 for $10.

How do you wear tribal?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Solange and Natural Hair at the MET

Our favorite natural curlie is looking oh, so fly, yet again!

Check out Solange at the The MET Gala in NYC.

I'm LOVING this look! I love yellow on Solange. And the hair? On point, as always.

Hair Frustration: How do you Deal with Hair Setbacks?


I've been humming along on my natural hair routine.

Last week, I wore wash and gos with Eco Styler gel (I know, I said I was swearing W&Gs off, but I only wore it for a week).

And now my hair is shedding -- like crazy, ya'll.

I'm not sure what's going on. And I had a big matted lock in the back of my hair (from the gel, maybe?)  I swear, my hair does the opposite of what I want it to do. If I wanted locs, my hair wouldn't loc. But because I'm not trying to loc my hair on purpose, well, you know the deal ...


Can you tell I'm frustrated? I keep pulling out hair from the ends. Now let me say that I'm badly in need of a trim -- like three months overdue. And besides wetting my hair less, not using gel (with the exception of the gel relapse the other week) and adding Trader Joe's Spa & Nourish condish, I'm not really doing a whole lot different.

Check the Routine

Wait -- yes, I am.

Between running our family business in ATL and holding down a FT job, I've got a whole lot less time for my hair overall. Maybe that explains the matting, because I haven't been finger detangling like I should. And when I think about it, my deep conditioning treatments aren't weekly -- maybe every other week.

Or, could it be my thyroid? I take Synthroid for an underactive thyroid. Maybe my dosage is a bit off (though my blood test last month showed my levels were normal) but I just went to my general practioner, not an endocronologist.

Facing a Setback

I *thought* my hair was growing.  Now, I'm not so sure and I'm preparing for a major setback. My ends are a mess. My sides are breaking off. I'm going to have to get my hair flat ironed and trimmed and I'll let you know the damage.

Right now? It's not looking good.

I almost took a pic of the shed hair, but it hurt too bad. So frustrating! And I'm tired of guessing and trying to figure all this out.  Now if only I could develop a hair test kit that would instantly diagnose your hair ailments, I'd be a millionaire!

How do you handle hair setbacks?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Moms, Daughters and Natural Hair

Our mothers can be our biggest influence, especially when it comes to things like hair and fashion. Let's be honest:, though: Some of our moms love our natural hair; some of our moms hate it. We are like mini-mes to our Moms and sometimes they want us to look just like them -- even though we are grown adults.

From a natural hair standpoint, our mothers can be our biggest supporters -- or our biggest foes. As Mother's Day rolls around this Sunday, how does your mother feel about your natural hair?

Maternal Influence

Moms and daughters have a special, yet tested bond, LOL. We love our moms, yet we are independent and live our own lives. Everyone whose has lived to tell about your teenage years can probably agree.

But that doesn't mean our moms always liked what we did with our hair, nor have we always liked what our daughters did to their hair. (My mom has been a heat trained natural for years). As a mother of two tweens, I know that I won't like every hair style that my daughters come up with  (Easier said than done). I have to realize, though, that while my daughters have my genetic makeup, they are not me -- they are unique. And I am not them.

As mothers, we have to give our daughters room to express themselves. If that means them shaving their hair off like Willow Smith, then I guess that's what we'll have to do. Maybe? Who hasn't looked at a picture of themselves when they were teenagers and thought, "What was I thinking?"

But you probably learned from that experience, right? I've already gotten questions from my daughters about when they can perm their hair, (been asking that one for a while) color it and cut it, so I know it's a matter of time, LOL. Jesus hold the wheel!

How does your Mom feel about your natural hair? Or, how do you feel about your daughter's natural hair?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Be Featured On HairCrush Fridays

I love BOSS natural hair.

Swag for days, no apologies for the kinks, power to the fro, BAD ASS, shut yo' mouth natural hair.

I'm posting some pictures from my go-to natural hair site --

But, if your natural hair has mad swag and you're proud of it, send a pic to Your picture could be posted on HairCrush Fridays!





This picture is adorable!

HairTroversy: Are Curly Weaves Better?

Lately, I've noticed that more celebs and Black women in general are opting for curly, kinky, wavy or natural weaves.

Whether it's Serena Williams, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce or your average girl on the street, the curly look is in. Now, mainstream media has picked on, as this piece on illustrates, via

The hair is so popular, that weave shops can't keep it in stock.

Is this an improvement?

Depends. If a woman wears weaves only because she's afraid to wear her natural hair, that's an issue that she'll have to deal with when she's ready. If a woman is wearing a curly weave because she doesn't want a straight one, that's an overall improvement, perhaps.

The Curly Paradox

Now, I don't think straight weaves will ever go "out" of style -- just ask the women shelling out thousands of dollars for Remy or Malaysian hair. But, just like more women are wearing natural hair, more women are also copying that look -- except with wigs/weaves.

Maybe this will be the impetus they need to go natural; maybe it won't. Maybe they like natural hair, but are afraid to really embrace it and want to dip their toes in the "natural" waters. Meh. Yet, it's still important to point out: Unless it's your natural texture, natural weaves are not our hair.

Better question: Are you comfortable with the kinky, curly, coarse stuff that grows out of your scalp -- even if it doesn't look like the curly weave you're rocking? If you're crushing on some hair that you can't realistically achieve For some of us, I'm not so sure. It will be a good day when we can love OUR hair, no matter how curly or kinky it is.

Do you think curly weaves indicate a broader acceptance of curly hair or is it still a step back in terms of hair acceptance? Would you wear a curly weave/wig?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Florals Are Hot For Spring

Rihanna sporting floral shorts

This spring, it's all about the prints -- floral, that is.

Now, florals are a "classic" print, but they are definitely enjoying a resurgence not seen since the 90s.

What's old is new again!

Everyone is wearing florals, from First Lady Michelle Obama wearing a classic floral print sheath dress,  to singer Rihanna rocking tiny floral short shorts witha sweatshirt, torn hose and kicks in her rocker chic fashion.

If you're wearing them, make sure you wear them right -- smaller prints are probably better, floral dress prints are classic, and only mix floral prints if you are really daring!

Rock on!

Are you wearing floral this spring?

HairNista's 200th Post!

Raise your glasses ...

This marks HairNista's 200th post!

I posted the first natural hair blog on HairNista on Sept. 4, 2011.

Been a wild ride -- with more readership each day. Thank you so much to everyone who reads and comments! Tell me what else you'd like to see on, so that we can make it the to-go to place for boss natural hair and fashion.

I'd like to see my readership double over the next 200 posts. So keep reading and tell your friends to read it, too.

What else would you like to see on HairNista?