Saturday, June 30, 2012

Natural Hair Entrepreneurs in Houston

Check out these natural hair [VIDEO] entrepreneurs in Houston who are doing their thing, including Uncle Funky's Daughter and My Natural Sistas. Congrats!

Have natural hair products gone mainstream?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Nothing else needs to be said.


Straightening Natural Hair

So hot, had to put that hurr up in a top knot!
After months of wearing my natural hair curly, I got my curls straightened at Juanita's Hair Salon in Alpharetta.

This is the same salon where I take my girls , but it was WAY past time to get my hair straightened. My ends were a mess and needed trimming badly --- plus my hair was tangling and matting up, even from twistouts and braid outs.

My Experience
I'm always a bit apprehensive about letting someone touch my head.

I'd been to this salon about four years ago for a blow out, but the person who I had then was booked the day I went.

I sat down in the chair, hoping -- no praying -- for the best.

The Results
It turned out well. My stylist asked me a few questions, do I normally wear my hair curly (yes) and how long a blowout will last (a good four weeks with no water-based products)?  I warned her I had some damage, and my tender-headed self winced a few times, even though I detangled.

The result? Lost length in the crown and sides -- and a good trim. Next time, I won't wait as long to get my hair professionally straightened and trimmed.

I love how my hair feels, and will be incorporating a blowout every 3-4 months as a treat. I'm missing my curls already.

Do you get Dominican blowouts? What are your results?

Vacay Pics in Savannah

Humidity + beach = Wash and go hair.

Posing in the hotel mirror!

How do you plan to wear your hair on vacay?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tybee Island Chilling

Spent a weekend chilling on Tybee Island near Savannah. Loved it!

We had such a good time ... carefree hair. Didn't care if it got wet.
I love being natural!

Why do you love being natural?
Beach pics!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Fashions

Summer is officially here, and so are summertime fashions.

I love casual summer fashions -- T-shirts, sundresses, wedges, maxi dresses, floppy hats, strappy heels, shorts, linens, beach hats, sarongs, sunglasses, sandals, sunkissed skin -- all things summer. Perfect for a pool party, dinner on a hot summer night or just lounging around.  

Here are a few summer fashions from Pinterest that I adore:

Love this easy, breezy summer outfit!   

The best of summer

Summer sexy!

LOVE this floral maxi!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Do You Handle Bad Natural Hair Days?

Bad Natural Hair Days?
There are days. And then there are bad natural hair days; we all have them.

Usually, though, they are more "worse" than we think they are: That twistout is a FAIL, you wake up with a damp braidout that is frizzy, or your curls just don't hang right for nothing. You know, those days that leave you thinking, WTF?!

You can usually chalk it up to a lot of things -- product failure, application failure, weather or sometimes a combination of all three.

I deal with my bad hair days by dressing fly, wearing my mandatory earrings and jewelry, make up and perhaps a fly hair accessory (bobby pins for a quick updo, a cute headband or a flower can work wonders).

A bad hair day doesn't have to stop you from feeling your best. Sure, you might be seething about your hair inside, but the whole world doesn't have to know! (Definitely sometimes easier said than done!) Rock your fly self on -- bad hair day and all.

How do you handle bad hair days?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Natural Celebrities: Jennifer Lewis

Actress Jennifer Lewis rocks her natural curls! Good to see yet another Hollywood celeb who is comfortable wearing their own hair.

Jennifer Lewis' natural hair

What do you think of Lewis' natural do?

New Hair Products

My regimen is usually that simple is better.

But I've been fighting the urge to try several "new" natural hair products.

I tried Kinky Curly in 2008, but I'm itching to try Knot Today (perhaps a modified Kimmay Tube recipe with some aloe gel) and the custard again. I also want to try Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter after watching this video from African Exports. Crazy definition on her twist outs. So much definition -- and lasting a week -- that I might go to Sephora tonight to pick up a free sample to test it out.

I tried Carol's Daughter Hair Milk back in 2008. Might be time to revisit some products.

I'll let you know the results!

What hair products do you want to try or revisit?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers and Natural Hair: Part I

Dad braiding daughter's natural hair
Provide and protect; that's what Dads do.

Among their many roles, they also provide their daughters with self esteem that is vital to productive, healthy relationships.

They are the first men in our lives, and they mold our expectations of the men we befriend, date, love and  marry. They also shape our expecations about our hair -- hopefully, for the positive.

Maybe your Dad was responsible for hair duties (depending upon his skills, you may or may not have positive memories, LOL) in your home. Or, maybe your Dad encouraged you to go natural. Maybe Dad was against you going natural, but eventually warmed to it because he wanted his daughter happy.

Dads play integral roles in our lives. This Father's Day, tell your father or fathers in your lives, how much they mean to you.

What did your father do to your hair growing up?

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Open Letter to White Folks

Just had to post this ...

Listen to the part where they talk about touching natural hair. #DIED

What did you think of Dear White People?

Is Natural Hair the "End" of the Beauty Salon?

Is natural hair the end of black hair salons?

A recent Huffington article that called natural hair the end of "black beauty culture" has made the rounds on the Internet.

Written by fellow curly Cassandra Jackson, I read it and promptly thought: Bullshit.

But after taking a second look, I can see the author's viewpoint on some things. Many naturals, though not all, go the hair salon a lot less because we're doing hair ourselves. Instead of a like clockwork weekly or bi-weekly appointments, you're lucky if you see us once a month -- and that's for things we have a hard time doing, like trims. Our "stylist" is YouTube, hair bloggers and good old fashioned trial and error.

The author spoke of the bonding experiences at hair salons, and what they have historically meant to Black women. Below is an excerpt.


I don't want to wax all poetic about getting forehead burns from relaxers and singed earlobes from pressing combs. That part of the experience? No, thank you. Not all of us had good hair salon experiences. Black women and hair salons are a murky issue, complicated issue.

I don't regularly get my hair done in a salon, although I have now began taking my girls to a Dominican salon (good experience, though not exactly the same) after they had some plenty bad experiences with rough-handed stylists when they were younger.

Here's what I don't miss:

  • Hours spent in a chair in a salon on a weekday (I stopped going regularly to the salon when I had two toddlers, 18 months apart. My stylist was good and didn't overbook, but I just didn't have the time to drive 30 minutes to her salon AND then get my hair done. Stopped getting hair done regularly in a salon then.
  • Cattiness. For all the Kumbuya moments of bonding over hair in a hair salon, I've seen an awful lot of hair salons where I wouldn't step foot in without my brass knuckles. Salons are fight havens, with annoying customers and stylists, too. Any place with women and gossip and you know it's gonna be a fight.
  • Stylists' envy. Yup, you got to be careful who you let in your head. You might walk in with a handful and leave out with a few wisps. Since this activity would probably cause me to catch a case, I'm glad that I don't have this to worry about. I grew up with a great stylist who didn't allow foolishness in her shop. But I've heard plenty of stories ...
Now, I do miss a few things:

  • Getting the low-down in a salon visit. You talk about everything, from politics, pop culture and current events, to juicy neighborhood gossip of who is sleeping with so-and-so. Don't judge me; I like gossip, LOL.
  • Relaxing while someone ELSE does my hair. If I could find my stylist back home in Detroit (where are you, Dorothy?) , I'd feel totally comfortable with her doing my hair.  Anyone else, my guard is up.
I guess it all depends on your salon experiences as a child. There are some experiences that I don't miss at all about the salon and were quite painful to many of us. Is the beauty shop an all or nothing proposition?

Maybe. There are natural salons, the author writes, in major cities. But if you might be pressed to find one in some cities. Smart salons are those who embrace, not fight, natural hair. It's business: If my customer base is heading towards natural hair -- sales of relaxers have declined double digits in recent years -- then guess what my stylists will be focusing on? Natural hair!

 The author writes:
As more and more women make the choice to go natural, I wonder what it will mean for the beauty shop. Right now, the beauty shop is still there, but I am not. I will not take my daughter there because I want her to love her perfect springy curls. She will hear me laugh with my sister about the time that she 'kissed' my ear with a hot straightening comb, but my daughter will never know how such a tool of pain could evoke such warm intimacy. I want her to love her hair as it grew out of her head, but I also want her to know a place where tired black women can shame a man with a word and look. But I cannot have it both ways.

What was your salon experiences like as a child?
While many, including me, celebrate the natural hair movement's emphasis on self-discovery, I cannot help but wonder if something has also been lost with this cultural shift. For all the horrible things about hair straightening, the experiences associated with it have created a powerful thread that connects the vast majority of black women.

Even if you have kinky hair now, you probably have memories of time spent with family and friends in kitchens getting your hair done by someone who loved you and who you trusted enough to wield a sizzling hot straightening comb next to your ear. You probably remember that first trip to the beauty shop where black women talked about grown folks' business, and nearly every sentence began with the endearment, "girl." It does not matter if your mother was a teacher or housekeeper, or if you were in New York or Alabama because these experiences crossed class and region. Hair straightening was a rite of passage, an entry into the world of black women.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vashtie Kola Styles for Target

Chic retailer Target has chosen stylist Vashtie Kola to design clothing and accessories as part of its On the Dot series.

Kola, who is East Indian and Afro-Trinidadian, is a creative consulatant for brands such as Universal Def Jam and Atlantic Record and was named Vibe's "31 Most Stylish People Under 31."

I can't wait to see what Vashtie has in store.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Wear Natural Hair For Weddings

LOVE this natural hairstyle!

Whether you're the bride, a bridesmaid, or are just attending a wedding, there are lot of ways to wear your natural hair for summer weddings.

One of the easiest ways is a chic, textured updo. Nothing screams formal like an updo, whether it's locs, twists or a braid out. Other options are the faded hairstyle, above, from I'm not usually a big fan of faded styles on women, but this style is so chic that I just love it with the birdcage veil.

Other options, depending upon if the wedding is inside or outside, include flexi rod and curlformer sets.

How are you wearing your hair for wedding this summer?

Solange In Glamour France

In other Solange news, the celeb is featured in a new photo spread in Glamour France.

Hmm... Wonder are they talking about her "dry" hair, which needs to be combed, as commenters did recently on the article and Solange and her natural hair?

Check it out below. What do you think about the photo spread?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Solange, Natural Hair and the "Natural Hair Police"

One of our fave curlies, Solange, railed against what she called the "natural hair police" on Twitter.
This all comes after Solanage has gotten quite the criticism about her natural hair from commenters going in on a Solange hair article posted on They questioned if Solange got a big chop, said she had dry hair, criticized her undefined hair and told her that she should get a comb, among other things.

The natural hair blog, Modern Meid, posted an online summary of the criticisms and posted its take on the whole mess. Excellent analysis, by the way. Someone sent Solange the article and she took to Twitter.
My first thought: Why do folks care so much about what others do to THEIR hair?
My second thought: Stop hiding behind the keyboard and say that mess to her face!

Unless you are 5, most women don't want other women telling them what to do with their hair; Solange is no different, celebrity or not. This, especially after one person, "TEAMNATURAL" reportedly criticized Solange's hair on Solange's Twitter account AND her Instagram account.

Among the the comments:

"Natural hair can be VERY beautiful. Solange's hair is not. Even if she wore an afro, pick it out even or something. It always looks unkempt."

Someone else wrote: "This is why people think natural hair looks bad."

This is how Solange responded on Twitter:
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The Curl Debate
HairNistas know that I like Solange -- she's one of my favorite curlies.

But I think it's very sad that she's getting flack for, get this, wearing her damn hair! Who cares if her hair is defined, a curly for or whatever. If we aren't the ones combing it, why do we care? I like Solange's moxie, and I'm glad that she addressed the criticism online. Hair is Solange's "brand," and I'm just glad that she didn't let the natural crazies bully her for her hair. l

Half the time, I don't know if Solange is wearing her hair or a wig, but I don't care. Whether it's weaved up or she's wearing braids to her ass, I still like her hair.  I hate to tell folks to "sit down" but they really do need to in this case.

Online Natural Hair Commenters Go Too Far
It's one thing to say that you like someone's hair or clothes. We all do that, especially online.  It's OK to give an opinion. But to disrespect someone because THEIR hair isn't defined enough for you? Seems a lot like the "good hair" "bad hair" mess, but this is the "good curl"  and "bad curl" debate, but for naturals.

Further, how dare you go one someone else's Twitter account and their Instragam page and criticize THEIR hair? Yup, I'm talking to you, TEAMNATURAL.

How sad  -- and disrespectful -- is that?

All of this really reveals an issue that many of us don't want to deal with. Let's just go ahead and talk about that 500-pound pink elephant in the room -- folks are talking about Solange's hair because it's tightly coiled and not fine ringlets.

I said it. Yup, it's not the kind of hair that gets the "oohs and "ahhs" on blogs. For you hair typing folks, it's not that 2 or 3 hair. Trust and believe that if her hair were a finer texture, it would NOT be called "unkempt."

We'd like to think that we've come far, but we really haven't. Sure, folks feel a bit more at liberty to give their opinion on YouTube, blogs, etc. -- things they'd never say in person. Just goes to show that, more than any of us would like to admit, we are obsessed about curls.

Let Solange Do Her
And there needs to be new "rules" of engagement. Actually, this debate makes me like Solange even more. She takes the term "do you" to a new meaning. She's defined what natural hair means to her. She doesn't take her hair too seriously. She doesn't obsess over YouTube vids, getting the right curl, finding the "right products." (That's OK, Solange, leave all that hair stuff up to us!). 

Yes, folks love Solange's hair. But she never appointed herself the natural hair "role model." So why should we?

Solange's hair may or may not be carefree, but her attitude about it is. And that's what I like. And she doesn't give a damn what I, you or anyone else thinks. She doesn't overthink it, and that's alright with me.
Natural hair icon or not, how about those folks worry about the curls on their head and leave Solange's hair alone!

What do you think about folks trying to tell people what to do with their hair?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ledisi Lets Her Locks Down

Ledisi, the R&B songstress who normally wears her trademark burgundy locs in elaborate updos, let her hair out.

Look at the results, posted on her FB page. I think the loose style really shows off her beautiful bone structure and her long locs, of course! Both are beautiful.

What do you think? Loose or updo?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Conquering Hair Demons

Natural hair is a journey that hopefully leads to a destination. I'm just glad that more of us are going along for the ride.

Sometimes, as we take that journey, it means unlearning the things that were ingrained in us about our natural hair -- and learning new hair habits. I'm not just talking products, but hair talk. You know, those nasty hair demons, those ugly, self defeating things you think to yourself when you look at your hair in the mirror.

"My hair is not good enough."

"I look better with permed hair."

"My hair is too thick, coarse, poofy, etc., to be natural."

"I only look pretty with straight hair."

"I'll never get or keep a man with this hair."

"Only girls with curly hair look good natural."

Most of us have them, some worse than others. They may not be bad enough to make you crawling back to the "creamy crack," but they are just enough to make you feel self conscious or doubt your  hair journey.

Hair Habits

Most life coaches will tell you that it takes about a month to start a  new habit. In honor of that, let's change what we tell ourselves about our hair -- not that it's too dry, thick, kinky, fine, won't hold a curl, won't let go of a curl, too quick to curl, curls too much. 

Not concentrate on our hair "challenges," exist as they might.

Let's reprogram the messages that we tell ourselves when we look at our hair in the mirror. So that, 30 days later, hair affirmations will become a well-ingrained, positive habit.

Do you pratice hair affirmations? How do you conquer your hair demons?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Natural Celebrity: Nicole Ari Parker

Nicole Ari Parker often wears her natural hair
Actress Nicole Ari Parker has worn a variety of hairstyles over the years -- a chic, pixie cut in the TV series Soul Food, chin-length hair in the 90s, and a multitude of weaves -- but now she's mainly wearing natural hairstyles.

Recently, she's been spotted wearing a TWA and braids in what may be a signal that more and more celebrities are wearing their natural hair. Now if I could just get Beyonce to put the weave  DOWN, LOL!

Nicole Ari Parker and her TWA

Do you think more celebrities are going natural?

Natural Hair Blog Spotlight: BeautiffuCurls.Tumblr

I stumbled upon this natural hair blog and, hours later, I'm still looking at goregous hair pics.

Check out It's quickly turning into a fave blog.

What are your favorite natural hair blogs?

Natural hair
Dope photo!
Badd ass, shut yo' mouth TWA

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Will Smith Talks About Willow Smith and Big Chop

Willow Smith big chop with Mom Jada

Willow Smith's hair -- color, wigs, shaved sides, big chop, etc. -- is often the subject of debate on blogs.

Willow Smith's big chop sparked debate on blogs earlier this year. Her superstar Dad, Will Smith, talks about the family's decision to let Willow, 11, manage her hair in an interview with Parade.

In an interview with Parade, Will Smith talked about Willow's hair and giving her free reign.

“We let Willow cut her hair," Smith said. "When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives.”

Would You Let Your Child Get A Big Chop? 

I say, it works for them and Willow. I'm not gonna judge. My 11-year old rocked pink hair dye (the spray kind) for a few days after an event in school. Did I care? Not much. Will she do it again? I don't know. I didn't make a big deal about, so who knows.

Now, a big chop? I can definitely see where lots of folks might wonder about such a drastic step. Black folks and drastic hair cuts are a BIG step, especially when it comes to a child. And don't let that child have long hair! The only way that many of us can accept that is if it's a fiasco at the stylist or the child is sick. It would definitely NOT be on purpose!

It's easy to see why we feel that way. We think our kids are extensions of ourselves; they are mini-mes. And so if it's a style that "we" don't necessarily approve of, then we don't approve of it for our children. I get it. A big chop is a drastic step -- for an adult or child.

Testing Hair Boundaries 

And you know back in the day, we tested our hair limits, too. Remember asymmetric cuts, anyone? We just knew we were cute (I never got one, but admired them). And of course you had the punk rocker look, with the mohawk cuts and spiked hair, mainly worn by Caucasians. 

There are a lot of  "what ifs" -- would you let your daughter relax her hair, wear locs, etc. Sometimes, there are no easy answers, because all children are different.

But if my child insisted on a big chop -- and I'd talked to her about it being a temporary change that you can't revert -- I'd let her do it. Though, I probably would advise her to start with a haircut first to see how she likes it, maybe shaved sides first and then the big chop.

I get where Will is coming from, though. It's her hair and she'll have to live with it even if she doesn't like it. It's hair, it grows back. I would NOT, however, let my daughter wear a wig/weave permanently once she's done a big chop. That's like telling her it's OK to make a big step and then if you don't like it, that you don't have to live with the weight of your decisions.

I can understand Will and Jada's reasoning to a certain extent -- giving Willow the freedom to style her hair and set her own hair boundaries. It's clear that Willow isn't your typical 11-year old.

What do you think? Would you let your daughter do a big chop?

Friday, June 1, 2012

HairTroversy: Is Straight Hair a No-No When You Work With Naturals?

Is there a such thing as straight hair discrimination?
I love to talk about natural hair.
So it's no surprise that hair is often the topic of discussion with a friend (she's Jewish and loves natural hair).

Her question: Can having straight hair block your advancement at work if you work around nothing but naturals? She told the story about someone who thought that maybe her advancement was hindered because many of her co-workers/superiors had locks, natural hair.

Now, this question is definitely a bit of  a twist. Usually, the question is always the reverse -- will having NATURAL hair affect your progress at work? I told her that it's just as bad as someone discriminating against a person with natural hair.

The Politics of Black Hair
My friend didn't quite understand. So of course I tried to explain  -- in a 5-10 minute work convo, of course -- about Black hair, how going natural can be a very defining moment, how we are our worst critics when it comes to our hair because we collectively worry it will hamper our ability to get a man, a job or both, how we have texture and length are equated to "good" hair, blah, blah, blah.

Detailed convo, which I couldn't even fully explain in a condensed version. Why we feel about our hair can't be condensed in a short convo. That ish takes YEARS to explain! Let's not even get into all that drama over heat training, whether flat ironed naturals are really "naturals," and having bosses who are hell bent on defining what natural means to "them."  I would have REALLY confused her.

She couldn't understand why, in  her mind, natural hair was so beautiful, that folks would put other folks' hair (weave) onto their heads. She called it "creepy." She's seen the Good Hair documentary, by the way. My friend said she gets it, but still doesn't quite "get" it. And that's OK with me. Hell, we don't even "get" all of our hair issues, although we can definitely understand and probably relate.

Have you ever been discriminated against because you have wore straight hair?