Friday, November 30, 2012

HairCrush Friday

By Tenisha Mercer

Some of the flyest natural hair pics online from





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jada Pinkett-Smith Responds to HairTroversy About Willow

By Tenisha Mercer

Willow Smith's newest hairstyle -- pink, shaved hair.

Willow Smith  is quite the hair chameleon:  she's rocked a TWA, pink hair, braids,  shaved off styles with hair on top,  wigs, and quite a few other hair styles, and she's only 12!

Now, her famous Mom has come to her daughter's defense, after criticism about her lack of parenting skills. She posted this on Facebook:

"This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.

I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair.

It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be."

The many hairstyles of Willow Smith

My take?

Interesting. Mrs. Pinkett-Smith's comments comments echo her husband's comments a few months ago: They are consistent in that they want Willow to decide how SHE wants to wear HER Hair.

I very much agree with her mother's statements about her beauty is not measured by the length of her hair. Yes, Miss Smith is an actress/singer in  Hollywood, and she's doing what society, particularly African American society, views as a damn near cardinal sin -- purposely shaving off a child's hair.

What's All The Fuss?

Lots of us have a our panties in a knot about this one. And many of us can't separate all of that Illuminati theories or the Smith's reported Church of Scientology affiliations with her hair.

It's Willow. Let her be Willow. Most little girls are probably not going to following in her footsteps.

But what if they do?

This gives me food for thought as a parent: Am I pushing my hair standards on my children, particularly the natural hair standards of not getting a perm? Am I letting my children express themselves? Would I allow my daughters to cut their hair like Willow?

What do you think?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Beyonce Shows Off Blue Ivy

By Tenisha Mercer

Beyonce holding Blue Ivy Carter
There's been another sighting of the most famous baby in the world -- none other than the offspring of Jay and Bey -- Blue Ivy Carter.

This time, Beyonce showed off a headful of Blue's curls, but not her face (I don't blame you, Bey; show your baby when YOU want to show her) on her Tumblr site, Beyonce's Tumblr is quickly becoming the go-to place for cute, candid photos and even prose that she pens; there are photos of Beyonce and her sister, Solange, as well as shots of her nephew and Bey and Jay on vacay. All very non-studio shots. Very relaxed.

Bey also showed a pic of Jay holding Blue.

What do you think of Blue Ivy's new pics?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Cape Returns: What to Wear for Fall

By Tenisha Mercer

Capes are big this fall -- Source: H&M
Capes made a big splash last year -- and they're back again this fall, stronger than ever.

I didn't snag a cape last year (almost got one at TJ Maxx in the spring) but they're a must have on my shopping list this season. They're sexy, elegant and are the perfect cover up. They're also a great alternative to the trench coat.

They're great when it's chilly outside, yet it's not quite cold enough for a full-blown coat. Dress it up or down: Pair it with a pair of skinnies, leggings and riding boots for a chic, casual look, or glam it up with a pencil skirt. Just remember to pair a cape with a tighter-fitting bottom to balance the proportion of the looser coat on top.

Are capes on your shopping list this year?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Sales on Natural Hair Products

By Tenisha Mercer

Natural hair care product lines are getting in on the Black Friday shopping bandwagon.

They're launching significant sales and discounts on the busiest shopping day of the year.

So, as you load your shopping carts up with flat screens, tablets, laptops and clothing specials, don't forget about natural hair care sales. Here is a comprehensive list of natural hair care product sales, thanks to Derby City Naturals. Make sure you go to the sites, read the fine print, and use the appropriate code to save. Also, make sure you note the dates and times the deals are available; not all deals expire on Friday.

Many popular homegrown brands are having sales, including Hydratherma Naturals, Afroveda, Anita Grant, JessiCurl, Darcy's Botanicals, Bee Mine, Oyin Handmade, Hairveda, and Sage Naturalceuticals.

Here are a few more that we found:

Miss Jessie's
BOGO, which began Nov. 18-Dec.15.

Urbanbella (Runs through New Year's)
Free steaming on Tuesdays and Thursdays (save $35)
20% off color services

Happy shopping!

Are you buying natural hair products on Black Friday?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What to Wear for Fall: Kirna Zabete for Target

By Tenisha Mercer

I've seen the Kirna Zabete for Target Look 6 collection for a bit now and I've got to say that it's one of the hottest collections at Target this fall.

The  Kirna Zabete line was started by best friends Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini, who have a shop in SoHo, NYC. Target got ahold of the line as part of The Shops at Target -- the retailer's mini boutique venture pairing high fashion designers and limited, hand-picked speciality items at its stores. It definitely ups Target's fashion game --- as if they needed help!

Back to Kirna Zabete. The line features nearly 100 items of bold patterns, prints and designs, as well as accessories.

 Many of its designs are graphic prints or are of the uber hot floral variety at a price point of $50 or less.

The line is on sale, presumably for the holidays, so stock up!

What do you think of the Kirna Zabete collection?

$31.48 at Target


$31.48 at Target

Kirna Zabete trench and accessories- Various pricing

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3 Winter Hair Care Tips

By Tenisha Mercer

natural hair care tips in the winter
Winter natural hair care tips
Winter is finally here  -- the heat is cranked up, temperatures are much colder, and it's time to change up your natural hair care regimen.

Here are three tips to get you through the colder nights and days:

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The cold air and temperatures can take a beating on your curls. Make sure that you up your moisturising game, and pull out the big guns -- thicker, heavier moisturizers that work better during colder temperatures. Now is also a great time for humectants like glycerine.

2. Don't wear wet hair. Wet hair and freezing temperatures can equal broken hair. Your hair can literally freeze off. Try to avoid going out with wet hair. If you wear a wash and go, try just misting your hair lightly and giving your hair some time to dry before heading out. Or, use the pineapple method (securing your hair atop your head with a ponytail holder) the  night before and fluff before you go. Try to experiment with other styles such as twist outs and braid outs.

3. Don't wear your hair down when wearing winter coats and hats. I know it's a pain, but the ends of your hair rubbing up against wool coats and wool hats is a no-no. The rubbing and pulling of your hair against wool  can damage it. Make sure you wear your hair up when wearing your coat or wear a scarf to protect your ends. Ditch the wool hat.

How are you protecting your hair this winter?

Friday, November 16, 2012

TSA Searches Solange Knowles Afro Wig At Miami Airport

By Tenisha Mercer

In case you thought TSA searching fros and natural hair was an afterthought, leave it to the TSA to bring it up again -- this time with fashion icon, model and DJ Solange Knowles. Fearing her afro wig was a security risk, a TSA agent at a Miami airport searched it, reportedly looking for banned items.

Knowles blasted the incident on Twitter, posting this on her Twitter page:

"Discrim-FRO-nation. My hair is not a storage drawer. Although, guess I couuld hide a joint up in here. *Blames "Romnesia" (my wigs name)."

TSA Plays Hide and Seek With Solange's Fro

Knowles made light of the incident while waiting for her flight, tweeting:

"Lets play a little game called: "What did TSA find in Solange's Fro"?

Her followers were creative, tweeting things such as "Romney's actual 5 point plan," "the good lord, Jesus of nazareth," and "the $50 that was missing from Juelz piggy bank." Knowles retweeted a lot of the tweets.

Although Knowles lampooned the matter online, TSA patdowns are no laughing matter: The U.S. House of Representatives criticized the TSA for its practices, citing Beyonce Knowles as someone that the TSA is wasting their time searching.

"There are certain people that are just so well-known that you've just got to use your common sense," Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Transportation Subcommittee said. "Because if you start patting them down, people are going to say, 'They're patting down Beyonce.' I mean, she's not going to blow a plane up."

What do you think of TSA hair pat downs?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

HairTroversy: It's Time to Bury "Good" Hair

By Tenisha Mercer

T-shirt spoofs on the term "good" hair
Although more women of color are embracing their natural hair, I think it's time to hold a funeral procession for the term "good hair" as it relates to hair texture.  It's a term that just won't go away, and I wish it would. We just need to bury "good hair" and pray that it won't resurrect itself.

Not to get all political, but "good" hair has had a long shelf life in the Black community and usually is related to how straight a person's hair texture is. The wording and meaning is clear: "Good" hair is straight hair; "bad" hair is kinky, "coarse" or highly textured hair.  The straighter (i.e. closer to Caucasian hair, the better. The thicker (i.e. closer to African hair, the worse).

And for generations, folks have used the term like a weapon. Having so-called "bad" hair wasn't ideal; "good" or straight hair was the ultimate standard for many.  If we couldn't press our hair to get it, we got perms to try our best to achieve it.

We carried that "good" hair mess like it was a badge of honor: Playground and schoolyard fights happene because of it; family members wielded it to crush self esteems of those who didn't have good hair, and put family members who had "good" hair on a hair pedestal.

We All Have "Good" Hair

Maybe I thought that with the growing amount of women going natural, that we'd stop using the term. But I've heard the words used a few times in conversation over the past few months, usually  usually when someone is referring to their own hair as in, "I got that good hair." Or something like that. I'm not the one to chastise folks on how they choose to categorize their hair. It's their hair, who cares?

But I swear, the next time I hear "good" and "hair" mentioned in a sentence, I'm going to go off! Every time it catches me by surprise, as in "I know she didn't just say "good hair." I liken it to hearing a racial slur or something that's racially offensive: You hear it and you may or may not know how to react.

For naturals, I'd say that "good" hair is a slur: It totally wipes out all of our efforts to appreciate our natural kinks and curls, no matter their texture. I'm done ignoring the word.  Let's define our  hair by our own terms -- we ALL have "good" hair.

Obviously, if it's 2012 and we're still having this discussion, the old "good" hair is something that continues, and we haven't gotten over it.

My Response

Next time, these two words come up, my response will be this:

"What did you say? Good hair. My great grandmother used to say that. Good hair is healthy hair. It doesn't mean texture. ALL healthy hair is good hair."

What do you think when you hear the term "good hair"?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When Your Natural Hair is the Topic of Discussion at Thanksgiving

By Tenisha Mercer

It's almost Thanksgiving ... time to spend family time at the dinner table with family and friends who may or may not love our natural hair. 

As a natural, it really can be a challenging time, especially if your hair is the subject of conversation at the dinner table. Thanksgiving can really leave us feeling some sort of way. That time when all of your family is gathered around, just waiting to give you their opinion about your hair. As if you asked!

And don't let you have done something major to your hair, such as a big chop, TWA or wearing your hair natural for the first time.

Handling Natural Hair Commentary

How family acts depends on a lot of things (if they are receptive to natural hair, if they are anti-natural or a combination, and whether your family feels compelled to tell YOU how they think YOU should should wear YOUR hair).


I always find that if you turn the question back on folks, most back down. And I'm all about the snarky  -- not being rude, but getting your point across. They might be your elders, but they need to stay the hell out of your head!

And of course, turning the questions around to them and their (probably jacked up) hair practices always helps. That, and being positive about your curls always seems to deflate negative natural hair comments.

Don't let Grandma make you feel like your natural hair doesn't belong at the dinner table. But, recognize she may be from a different era  ... and now it's time to school her! But you know there are always some special cases that require special attention.

No matter what Big Momma and Aunt Edna have to say about yo' natural hair, here are a few good comebacks.

Aunt Edna: What did you do to all of that long, pretty hair?
You: It's still pretty, Aunt Edna. It's just shorter. Don't you just love it?

Aunt Edna: When are you going to perm your  hair? You really need it!
You: When you stop wearing your wig. I LOVE my Natural hair, that God gave me. I don't "need" a perm. I need my natural hair. Are you saying that God made a mistake with my hair?

Aunt Edna: I wish you would do something to your hair. It's so nappy! You used to have good hair!
You: I do something to my hair every day and my hair is nappy and happy. I love my naps. No one has hair just like me. Every coil and kink is different. There is no such thing as "good" hair. Good hair is healthy hair, and my hair is  healthy. But I see you have some thinning from relaxers. What are you going to do about it?

How do you think your natural hair will be perceived at Thanksgiving? What are your comeback?

Friday, November 9, 2012

HairCrush Friday

By Tenisha Mercer

The best natural hair pics online, from various sources on Pinterest. If you're not already following HairNista on Pinterest, make sure you follow us here.

Short hairstyles
Love this cut. Source


Me in a top knot. Source
Beautiful makeup and skin Source

Curls for DAYS Source


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hair And Election Day

By Tenisha Mercer

As we hash over politics, polls, pundits and predictions, I thought I'd showcase some hair pics on election day on Instagram.

Beyonce is making waves online with her blunt cut bangs. Meh. Everything Bey does is covered non-stop. Expect plenty of folks to rock this look. When Mrs. Bey wears her own hair (this looks like a weave, call me).

Beyonce and her blunt cut bangs at the ballot - Source


Tracee Ellis Ross - Source

Oh, yeah, my president is BLACK!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Are Naturals Who Use Heat Any Less 'Natural'?

By Tenisha Mercer

Fresh from a week-old Dominican blowout, reading the comments about an article on about the benefits of heat training natural hair has got me fired up!

Especially this comment from a few posters on BGLH.

Maybe I'm taking it too personally. But what really irritates me is all the people who say that "heat trained" naturals aren't naturals. Huh? Come again? And that we should just go get a relaxer since we choose to straighten our natural hair.

What is Heat Training, Anyway?

First, I think we should ban the terms "heat trained" and "heat damaged." It's a misnomer. Just because you use heat doesn't mean that your hair is damaged. Trained means that your hair needs to be "obedient." Sure, some may see straightening as a form of obedience. It's not for me; it's another option for verstaile hair.

Using heat and "heat training" are two very different things.

Secondly, I don't see why we get our panties in a knot when it comes to who is more natural than the other. Let me be clear: I wore flat ironed hair/pressed hair exclusively from 1996 to 2006. Rarely wore it curly, with the exception of a curly ponytail. Since 2008, I've worn my hair exclusively curly -- with the occasional blowout, of course.

The Natural Po Pos Are At It Again

That doesn't make me any more natural than anyone else. I was no more "natural" then than I am now. There's this jockeying about who is more natural in the natural community that absolutely disgusts me.

Colored hair? You are not natural! You wear blow dried hair? You're not natura!  I'm so tired of the natural police with their rules and sweeping generalizations. Please, please, please! Can we all just do what works for OUR hair without making others feel like their hair is less natural because of it?

This is what relaxed women dislike about naturals,  and I can see why... it's that looking down on a fellow natural because of how they choose to wear THEIR hair.

If you want to perm your hair, go right ahead. If you want to flat iron your  hair every week, that's your perogative. Do YOU! Damn what anyone else says or thinks. Know your hair and do what works for you.

Can We All Take Several Seats?

My hair is blowdryed/flat ironed occassionally. Do I feel any less natural? No!

My curls have ALWAYS come back without any  problem. It works for MY hair, though I realize that not all  naturals can do this. I am seriously thinking about ramping up my Dominican blow outs from every three months up to once a month.

For MY hair (and yes, I realize all naturals are different) heat just isn't the devil that many naturals make it out to be. I'd venture that this many naturals have a similar experience. After all, pressed and flat ironed hair were the "natural" style of choice (though we didn't call it that back then) before twist outs, braid outs and wash and go natural hair styles became all the rage. 10 years ago, if you were natural, you more than likely wore your hair in braids or flat ironed.

Heat is Not the Devil

Why is that so bad now?

I think that most of us got along just fine with our flat ironed and pressed hair. Now, it seems as if there's this this huge backlash against naturals who choose to wear their hair straight -- and that we should just get a perm if we are going to wear our hair straight.

So not true. Naturals who use heat in moderation often have healthier hair than relaxed hair. Period. For me, straight hair is just a style. That and nothing more. Must we ALL wear our hair the same way? Just because it's working for me, why would I down someone else about THEIR style?

Naturals can be so damn hypocritical, and it's almost as if you have to "justify" wearing straight hair. Isn't this just as bad as when relaxed ladies try to have natural ladies "justify" their natural hair? Hmm ...

Why I'm Going To Blow Out My Hair More

I'm reevaluating my options. One too many SSK (single strand knot) and matting.  The longer my hair gets, the more this is an issue. I've tried not using gels (used aloe vera gel), less wetting my hair, stretched styles, the Curly Girl method (conditioner as as styler), even tried twist outs.

Same results -- tangle and matting city. Used to never have this problem, and I've lost some length as a result.

For me and MY hair, blowdrying stretches it -- enough so that my curly hair doesn't curl around itself. I'm more scared of that than I am sparingly using heat every 3-4 weeks. For me, the curly styles just ain't working.

My New Regimen

Going to do a few things:

1. Add more protein. Used to henna. Seriously considering going back to it -- or add a stronger protein condish. This will probably  help  my hair no matter what state it's in.

2. In between Dominican blowouts, I will probably blowdry or at least African thread my hair to stretch it more. For me, stretched styles are key. I won't always wear my hair bone straight, just stretched.

3. Adding heat back to my regimen. At most, a Dominican blowout every 3-4 weeks.

I will let you know the results.

Do you think that naturals who straighten their hair are any less natural than those who don't?

Friday, November 2, 2012

HairCrush Fridays

By Tenisha Mercer

A few of my fave hair pics from my fave natural hair site -- Enjoy!

natural hair in a wash and go
Her curls are the bizness. Seriously. Source
natural hair in an afro
Lush hair, I swear! Source
natural hair in a twist out
Love her hair. Source

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Talking Natural Hair With My New Boss

By Tenisha Mercer

Wearing natural hair at work
Natural hair at work

New job. Fortune 500 global corporation. So, you know I do me -- walked up in there with my curls on display. The first day, I wore a pinned up style (wore same style on the interview), but then I gradually began wearing curly fros and pony tails.

I do this on purpose, for a few reasons. I'd already known that I'd straighten my hair soon, as the weather cooled off. But I purposely didn't do it my first day on the job for a few reasons:

My natural curly hair is the "real" me. I'd already gotten the job, but I purposely wear my hair in its natural state the first few weeks Not that I have anything against straight hair, but I just believe that, once you land the job, this is who I am. And I don't make any apologies for it.

So, week 3, I debuted my Dominican blowout. My boss, who is a Black woman with relaxed hair, immediately said:

Her: You straightened your hair!

Me: Yup, I let the Dominicans blow it out. They beat my curls into submission with the blow dryer.

Natural Hair ... With Your Boss

Later that day, she came over and we had a 15 minute discussion about, of all things, hair.

Funny enough, I knew that we'd one day chat about hair.

Her: So, tell me more about the Dominican blowout? Is it good for the hair?

Me: It depends.

And that led into a long discussion about natural hair, about how she goes to a largely natural salon, \(she has shoulder length relaxed hair), and whether the Dominican blowout is healthy. The convo ended up going all over the place, about  how she moved from the Midwest to ATL a few years ago and how there are so many naturals here.

I didn't want to overwhelm her, but I told her a little bit about my hair journey (I was a press and curl/flat iron girl who wore straight hair exclusively with the exception of a curly ponytail betweetn pressing from 1995-2006), and how my daughters wear their hair blowed out, but are still natural (at least for now), and how I love the Dominican blowouts.

We took it WAAAY back. We talked about how relaxers were a rite of passage for most Black women when we grew up. She said she understands how natural hair is good for health reasons and healthier hair, and how she didn't know if relaxers were an option for her growing up because of sports.

And then she even mentioned a few colleagues who have also gone natural, either through transitioning or a big chop. She knew quite a bit about natural hair, but I sensed that she's not ready to make the natural leap yet.

Why My Boss is Not Quite Ready To Make the Natural Leap

She works out (I told her I do, too) and didn't feel that her hair could take it without a relaxer. She also said that relaxed hair only means straight hair; there aren't as many options if you have natural hair, which can be worn straight or curly (I wholeheartedly agreed!)

I told her that you have to do what's right for your hair, but that many naturals are able to work out with their natural hair. She said the dreaded "But she has a nice grade of hair," when referring to someone who  went natural. I didn't correct her. And she ended the convo with how hair is a "chore," whether straight or natural. I'd told her earlier that you have to maintain whether it's straight or natural.

Thinking "natural" is a process. And it doesn't come overnight. I appreciated her being candid. At least she was receptive. That was all I hoped for. I'll work on the natural hair maintenance thing (I wanted to tell her that our hair is easier to maintain with the right products and techniques), and ways that she can still be natural and work out.

We'll get there, one day. Little bits of info at a time.

Now, umm, is this gonna be on my review? LOL!