Thursday, September 27, 2012

Natural Hair Pic of the Day

Beautiful picture! Source

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Fashions Part II: What I'm Wearing This Fall

The temps are finally cooling off in most parts of the country and it's starting to finally feel like fall.

Been wearing boots for about a week, and I've checked my fall wardrobe for the essentials I'll need.

Here are 3 items for fall that are on my shopping list:

Trench coat: I've got a blank once and a vintage Burberry coat that I bought from Goodwill (need to get it cleaned) but a girl can never have too many trenches. I love this one from Tarjay.

Love anything animal print -- Target, $49.99

 Boots: Yup, I'm a boot girl. Want a pair of black booties and maybe some camel ones, too.

Every girl needs a good black boot in her life! Marco Santi Kerries, Sole Society, $49.95

Scarves: Nothing says fall more than scarves  -- and they're a great wardrobe building block. They dress a white T up, or are great to add an extra oomph over your trench. You can transition your lighter scarves to heavier scarves for fall. I'm searching for a cute mustard colored scarf.

Heavier weight scarves for fall

What's on your fall shopping list?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tia Mowry Big Chops And Debuts Natural Hair

Source: Tia Mowry big chop
Actress Tia Mowry is the latest star to big chop and wear her natural hair.

Mowry, who has worn weaves for years, is the latest Hollywood actress to sport her natural curls. Former stars who have gone natural or had big chops include Raven Symone, actresses Viola Davis, and Nicole Ari Parker, and singers Alicia Keys and Jill Scott (a serial big chopper, LOL).

I think Tia looks great -- better than any weave (although some of her short wigs on The Game were TIGHT)! Many Hollywood celebs, such as reality star Angela Simmons, Traci Braxton and others, commonly wear their natural hair under their weaves. But rarely do they wear it out. This is the first time I've ever seen Mowry wearing a short cut. Note: It doesn't appear she made a big announcement about her big chop, but celeb photos of Mowry with her son, Cree, were on

Do you think that more Black Hollywood actress will embrace their natural hair?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Natural Hair Pic of the Day

Fave color -- Source

HairTroversy: Is There A Right Way to Wear Natural Hair?

Solange wearing a fro at NYC Fashion Week  -- Source
Natural hair go-to girl Solange Knowles has ended her relationship with Carol's Daughter.

Knowles told Lurve Magazine that the relationship ended after they couldn't agree about messaging; Solange appeared alongside R&B singer and model Cassidy and supermodel Selita Eubanks. Carole's Daughter was criticized for featuring only light-skinned models in its advertising -- and Solange was the only model with kinky hair.

"I was constantly fighting for the right message to be heard. The message that the way we wear our hair is a personal choice, there’s no right or wrong way.”

Very interesting, especially considering all the criticism that she  has faced in recent months from a vocal minority in the natural community. Knowles, who is quite the fashionista, is frequently criticized for her natural hairstyles.

What Folks Really Want To Say About Solange's Hair

In short, Solange can't win -- not even on her own Instagram account, where folks criticized her hair, said it was "dry and unkempt," unlike other type 4 hair, said she needed a twist out, needed a comb, and even accused her of not getting a big chop a while back. Solange fired back to her critics on Twitter, saying she wasn't the "natural hair representative."

Even last week, at NY Fashion Week, folks talked about Solanged hair for being "dry." In other pictures, her hair appeared not to be dry, but who cares?

Which is all really interesting. Who is ANYONE to tell someone how to wear THEIR hair? And why are we all up in Solange's head, anyway? I'm going to say this: We are SOOOO critical of each other's hair. In one mouth, we'll suggest products, then give you the side eye when you wear non-curly styles like fros, as if the only "acceptable" way to wear our hair is with curls or curl manipulation.

It's real; I've experienced it myself when I wear styles such as shrunken fros or twist outs, as compared to wearing curls -- as if curls are somehow always better in naturals' eyes. This is why so many of us are obsessed with curls, and have a get a curl at any price mentality, even if our hair won't curl.

The Right and Wrong Natural Hair

Clearly, in many naturals' minds, there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way to wear our hair. Nice,  neat contained styles -- like the short, cropped TWA Solange once had? That's OK. But a fro with nary a curl, with a tighter curl patten, without much sheen (not to mention that certain hair types lack natural sheen")?

Nah, boo boo! Totally unacceptable, according to the natural hair police. But don't we want our relaxed sisters to not criticize our hair choices, but we are perfectly OK with doing the very same thing to other naturals?  I'm so not into hair typing, but we'll "ooh" and "aah" over pics of  type 3 curls all day long, but a Type 4?

Chile, BYE! Barely a comment.

Sounds a bit hypocritical, much?

All of this doesn't faze Knowles.

She told Lurve: “I really, truly was not even aware that there was a natural hair system in place to measure the texture of your hair. At that point I thought to myself, ‘This is really crazy. That these people know more about my hair than the human that even carries it!’ I went to my Twitter and sort of impulsively expressed that. I don’t regret it one bit, but sometimes trying to put how you feel in an one-hundred forty character structure is not really successful. [...] I’m actually really trying to navigate my feelings on the entire hair issue and it’s tough doing that publicly.”

Can we please call a hair moratorium? Stop telling folks how to wear THEIR hair, that it's dry or that you don't like THEIR hair style. Mind your own hair business! Pay attention to your own hair.

What do you think about how naturals criticize other naturals? Is it too much?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kelly Rowland Wears Corn Rows in Atlanta

Kelly Rowland wears corn rows -- Source
R&B singer Kelly Rowland was in Atlanta for For Sisters Only, sporting long cornrows. Haven't seen this look in awhile. On a fashion note, I love Kelly's sheer top, torn jean shorts and overall casual look.

What do you think?

Prince Rocks A Fro

Prince wears his natural hair in a fro on The View -- Source
You know natural hair is bangin' when men not only pay attention to it but also wear natural hairstyles themselves, as is the case with the Purple One -- Mr. Rockstar himself, Prince, on the View yesterday. I saw the post on first and had to do a doubletake on his natural hairstyle for men.

 In recent years, Prince became known for his layered, short coif (the only man I know who could wear such a hairstyle like that and I'd be OK with it, LOL).I mean, Prince rocked it out at the Superbowl wearing a bandanna and a dope short cut. So I was a bit surprised to see him wearing a short, fully fro.

Though, this isn't the first time Prince has been natural. He sported a huge from in the late 70s and early 80s. Anyone remember that? Rock on, Prince, rock on.

What do you think about men wearing their natural hair in natural hairstyles?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Natural Hair Regimen

How are you wearing your natural hair this fall? Source
Temps are cooling down, and fall is in the air! What are you going to do with your natural hair?

For me, I'm going to up my protein game (hair needs strengthening) with some henna. Other than it being so messy, I'm not sure why I stopped using it a few years ago. Although my hair was shorter, I didn't have nearly as many tangles and breakage.

So back to the henna I go. I usually get Jamila henna from an Indian grocer for about $3.

And I'm probably going to rock flat ironed hair -- at least for the next month or so -- followed by an experiment with some Curl Formers. I last tried them last summer and it was a #fail, because of the humidity (I know, what was I thinking).

Fall is the perfect hair time -- it's cool enough to wear flat ironed hair and down styles like twist outs and braid outs without major shrinkage, but not cold enough to severely affect the health of natural hair.

What are you doing with your hair this fall? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fashion Week 2012 in NYC

Fashion Week 2012 is in full swing, and folks like Solange Knowles and Alicia Keys are representing on the front row.

Fashion Week isn't only a chance to see new fashions for upcoming seasons, it's also a time to see what your favorite celeb is wearing in the front row.

Check out these fashion-inspired looks!

Solange at Fashion Week -- Credit: WireImage

We love to see what stylist June Ambrose is wearing! Source

Angela Simmons -- that lip color is poppin! Credit: Getty Images
Model Jessica White -- Credit: WireImage

Natural Hair Pic of the Day

Love this! Source

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What To Wear For Fall: 3 Fall Fashion Trends

I'm running kicking and screaming away from fall, unable to stop wearing my bright, summer fashions, but I can't ignore that fall is right around the corner. Here are 3 fall fashion looks to keep you trendy and in style.

Plum - Fall 2012 is the year of plum. You'll find it in fashions and in lipstick, nail polish and makeup. Plum is the perfect fall color. It's rich and deep enough to pull off in the fall, yet can be easily used as a basic.

Plum for fall -- Source
Vintage - Vintage looks are still in; say hello to vintage-inspired 80s blouses with bow tues and high ruffled collars and sleeves. Especially popular are throwback colors like burnt orange and mustard yellow. Sheer blouses return from the spring, only in darker colors.

Sheer blouses -- Source

Peplums - One of the biggest looks for fall is peplums -- a classic, quintessential style that is the ultimate in femininity. Peplums are great because they emphasize the most flattering, small part of your waist and hide lower stomach problem areas. Look for peplums in jackets, tops and skirts.

What do you plan to buy or wear this fall?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Solange Knowles For Elle

Solange Knowles on a photo shoot for Elle

Black-Owned Natural Hair Companies Carve A Large Slice of the Market, But Can They Sustain It?

Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter, is among a wave of new Black hair entrepreneurs with products for natural hair

 In case you didn't get the memo, natural hair products are running things, launching homegrown products that cater to customers with natural hair. Many of those entrepreneurs are also Black.

Check out thisClutch Magazine article about black-owned natural hair companies eclipsing large, mainstream brands.

The article was so brilliant that I thought it should be reprinted in its entirety.

Black Hair and Black Business

Nothing much to add, only that, this is exactly what should be happening. While mainstream (white) hair manufactuers can and do make ethnic products, they shouldn't be the only choice. If this was the Hispanic hair care market (or name your ethnic group), this wouldn't even be a convo. How crazy does it sound for an ethnic community NOT to control the hair care products used on THEIR hair?

Crazy, right? But, it's what we've endured for years, after many Black hair care manufacturers were bought out by international companies decades ago.

Fast forward a few decades later. Shunning relaxers, more black women are wearing their natural hair. But they had few on-the-shelf products for their natural kinks, curls and coils. Black entrepreneurs, many of whom started their companies mixing up p ingredients in their kitchens, saw an opportunity in the natural hair care market and seized it.

Mainstream companies were still sipping the Kool Aid, thinking natural hair was a trend that would quickly pass. Nah, boo, boo. They ignored it -- to their  peril, as relaxer sales have declined double digits since 2007. They've since seen the light and, while late to the party, they're now gunning toward natural hair companies' profits and customers with new natural hair lines of their own.

Modern Day Madame C.J. Walkers?

A lot is fair in capitalism, but let's be careful not to let history repeat itself. Once large Black-owned hair cair companies like iconic Johnson Products were bought out by large, multi-national conglomerates in the 70s and 80s, we saw what happened after that: few, if any, quality Black hair care products emerged from those lines. We used to control our own hair products, but no more. Hair styles shifted, and the larger companies that swallowed the Black-owned companies whole predicted the death of Black-owned hair care companies.

That didn't quite happen.

Though their ranks were decimated, Black brands like Dudley and Luster upheld the Black hair care tradition. Now, they're joined by hordes of smaller, though effective, natural hair care companies like Miss Jessie's, Kinky Curly, Shea Moisture, Karen's Body Beautiful, Oyin Handmade, Jane Carter Solution and Carol's Daughter --- and hundreds if not thousands of tiny upstarts.

I'm not anyone to tell another entrepreneur how to run their business, but let's make sure we learn from our history.

The reprint from Clutch Magazine is below.

What do you think about Black-owned companies' survival in the natural hair market?

This year popular cosmetics and hair care line Carol’s Daughter launched the site Transitioning Movement. Meant to help guide women giving up chemical relaxers into the oft-confusing and conflicting world that is “going natural,” the multi-million dollar corporation seeks to both inform — and expand their base.

Can you blame them? There’s money in those curls. But for once, it seems women and minority-owned product lines got to the market first.Carol’s Daughter. Miss Jessie’s. Karen’s Body Beautiful. Qhemet Biologics. Oyin Handmade.Kinky-Curly. All leaders in providing products to those moving from chemical processes to natural. All still independently-owned. All started by women of color – like African American Karen Tappin of her namesake company and biracial black and Japanese sisters Miko and Titi Branch of Miss Jessie’s.

But that’s not how it typically goes down. While several natural hair care alternatives run by women of color dominated the conversation, L’Oreal and other major retailers saw their overall sales in the black hair care market fall in 2009.

Long gone are the days when you had civil rights activists pushing for stores to carry black hair care products on their shelves. Rainbow Coalition/PUSH, activist Rev. Jesse Jackson once spearheaded a campaign to get major retailers to carry black hair car and skin products in their stores in the 1970s and 80s.

Jackson’s effort was a sort of capitalist attack on racism. He famously held a funeral for cosmetic company Revlon when a representative declared black businesses would become extinct from larger white companies snatching them up. But the reverend had a point – black people shopped at Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, and a multitude of places. Why not carry goods for them and integrate the cosmetics aisle? Segregation divides us. Capitalism teaches us the one with the most money wins.

Racism can really impact your financial bottom line.

Yet, since racism is nonsensical, with every new black innovation, there’s typically a lag time between what black people want and when corporations start providing. This is why a company founded by black Americans, Johnson Products — creator of your grandmother’s hair oil of choice “Ultra Sheen” — found itself bought up by Proctor & Gamble. (And after floundering there for years, having its thunder stolen by the likes of multinational cosmetic corporations, it was sold to a black management firm in 2009.)

How does this happen when, since 1954, Johnson was one of the only people making black hair care products? It happens when Johnson becomes complacent and doesn’t adapt to the needs of its customers for so long that multinational firms finally are able to catch up, realize there’s money to be made, copy and improve on the product, then woo away their consumer base.

My father, a loving creature of habit, used Afro Sheen for decades. Myself, my mother, and sisters did not. We moved on to products less heavy and greasy, giving us better results. And for a while, those came from the likes of the slowest adopters to black hair care, but once they smelled the money, were the most aggressive, dogged, and prolific.

But not anymore.

While companies like L’Oreal, Pantene, Revlon, and Proctor & Gamble rush to adapt themselves to this rapidly shifting market, they aren’t the ones able to dictate what’s hot and what’s not. They can’t afford to have the attitude former Revlon President Irving J. Bottner had back in 1986 when spoke on what it meant for companies like his to compete with black-owned firms: ”In the next couple of years, the black-owned businesses will disappear. They’ll all be sold to white companies.”

These companies are now followers – shifting formulas and marketing strategies to keep up with their African-American lead upstarts, who came out to dominate the market right from underneath them.
Going natural is now a big and growing part of the more than $165 million black hair care mass market. Companies that focused primarily on creating hair relaxers are scrambling to capitalize on what they initially thought would be just a “fad.”

But the fad talk has faded away to the realization that this might not simply be a trend, but a larger movement in hair maintenance for black women.

“Views of beauty have shifted,” said Winston Benons, brand manager for Miss Jessie’s, a hair care line catering to women with naturally curly hair. Benons emphasized that, with this new idea of beauty, black women have more choices in products and styling techniques than ever.“We have products that perform well. We have products that enhance their natural hair. It looks beautiful. It looks presentable. These products are here,” Benons said. “Generally salon brands tend to keep their secrets. They keep on how the product is used and all that stuff. We’re putting up before after pictures, how-to videos and materials, talking about the best ways to use them.”

Benons said Miss Jessies is “at the forefront” in this “natural hair movement.”

Right now there are a multitude of popular natural hair blogs and online news sites – from popular destinations with large followings like Black Girl with Long HairCurly NikkiAfrobellaK is For Kinky and Hair Milk – to the multitudes of personal blogs, hair video bloggers, and niche writers who detail their personal journey from perms and hair weaves to every type and variety of curl.

The attitude is even revolutionizing black salons. For years I stopped going after tiring of stylists who had no interest in helping me with my natural hair or overloaded their appointments, leading to me spending an endless Saturday at the shop.

But after a brief stint with salons run by recent immigrants, such as Dominicans and Ethiopians, I finally found a salon and an African American stylist in Washington, D.C. who had that perfect combination of hair education and business sense that made me want to show up on time for my appointment and leave a tip. She was largely horrified at my stories of stylists who openly told me they hated doing my hair and over-charged me out of annoyance or excessive wait times – but she wasn’t surprised.

Again, complacency had hit the salon community for some African American hairdressers. But as hair needs and desires change, many stylists realized it was matter of business. Either adapt or lose your customers

You can be another natural hair success story like Karen Tappin. Or you can get left behind as Ultra Sheen had for decades until finally scrambling back to its roots. Just like deciding whether to go curly or straight – the choice is yours.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama Wows in Tracy Reese, J. Crew

FLOTUS wearing Tracy Reese
First Lady Michelle Obama wowed the Democratic National Convention, wearing a Tracy Reese sleeveless dress (go hometown Detroit designer!) and bright pink pumps from J. Crew, during her speech. With her hair in a sleek bob, Flotus' outfit was elegant, sophisticated, and her wardrobe was only upstaged by her amazing "American Dream" speech, galvanizing and electrifying the DNC in Charlotte. 

Poignant, personable and totally on point. So good, in fact, that news pundits today pondered if FLOTUS is contemplating a run for office.

                                             Source: YouTube

This is the image of Black women that America needs to see -- not another tired reality show featuring Black women fighting and cussing each other out, stealing each other's men and acting like asses, or stereotypical and racist images and interpretations of FLOTUS on a magazine cover bearing her breasts. Will it change racists' opinions? No, because they're going to think what they're going to think, regardless.

No matter, it will change our opinions of ourselves, hopefully beyond the cast of "characters" on Black reality TV. Which, by no means represent Black women as a whole, but do a damn good job of overwhelmingly  showing the strippers, gold diggers, get it at any cost, "Angry Black women" and other stereotypes prominent today.

What did you think of FLOTUS' outfit?


Natural Hair Pic of the Day

Black skin is the absolute best canvas! Source