Friday, February 28, 2014

HairSpiration Friday!

By Tenisha Mercer

Hair Friday! Pictures sourced from 4UsNaturals on Facebook.

Her hair is giving me life!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kinky Weave Photo Rip Offs

By Tenisha Mercer

From the WTH files ... reports that kinky weave companies are ripping off naturals' hair photos on Instagram and using them on THEIR site to sell THEIR hair products. Imagine that. SMH!

Instagram naturals Leanora (SunShine_726) and Beedoelv say their hair photos were stolen and used in an ad for “virgin Mongolian” extensions. The ads from a Chinese hair company portray their hair as the weave for sale.


Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 NAACP Image Awards: The looks we loved

By Tenisha Mercer

The stars hit the red carpet for the 45th Annual 2014 NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena.

The night was a big one for comedian Kevin Hart, who won entertainer of the year, and 12 Years A Slave won for Best Picture. Fellow curly hair blogger Curly Nikki was also nominated for an award! Yaay!

Kerry Washington, who accepted an NAACP Image award on Best Actress in her role on Scandal, had another reveal of her cute baby bump. She wore a blue gown and her hair in a fishtail braid.

Pregnant Kerry Washington at NAACP Image Awards
Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Here are some of the looks we loved:

Our girl, Lupita N'yong'o killed it -- again. Really, do you expect anything different?

Photo Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images

Singer Ledisi wows the crowd in this bright blue gown

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actress Regina King and her use of strategically placed cut outs. LOVE!

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actress Tika Sumpter proves less is more

 Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Actor Idris Elba looking fine on the red carpet. Love those nerd glasses!

Photo Credit: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Natural hair blogger Curly Nikki on the red carpet


Saturday, February 22, 2014

2014 Bronner Bros Hair Show in ATL

By Tenisha Mercer

Bronner Bros. will hold its mid-winter hair show today through Tuesday, Feb 25, in Atlanta featuring their legendary hair competitions.

You never know what you'll see at these competitions. Every year, industry professionals outdo each other, styling hair using all kinds of theatrics -- in water, hanging upside down and in a variety of positions. The Bronner Bros. International hair show is legendary, going 65+years strong.

Dr. Steve Perry says CNN demanded he shave his hair

By Tenisha Mercer

I'd probably go batshit crazy if an employer asked me to drastically alter my appearance, but it's usually a different story for TV personalities (and probably explains why I never did TV). Now, educator Dr. Steve Perry says CNN pressured him to shave his hair after appearing on the news network.

"Literally asked me to shave my hair," Perry told Martin recently on NewsOne.  

Wait. Huh? What?

Dr. Steve Parry says CNN demanded he shave his natural hair
Dr. Steve Perry says CNN asked him to shave his hair
Source: NewsOne

The "look"

Sadly, we've heard this story before, usually when it comes to Black TV reporters fired for wearing natural hair, but a man? And Perry wasn't only the only one to feel the pressure to conform. Martin said he was also pressured to fit his hairstyle into a certain "look."

"We went through it at CNN,” Martin said to Perry,” when they were trying to change how a brother looked, how a brother talked. Folks were trying to get you to change your hair.”

I wonder what that "look" was.

What's this really about? 

Men have different battles with their hair. I don't see what's wrong with Perry's curly, low cut fade. It's professional and stylish. And I can't figure out why they wanted a contributor -- not an anchor or TV personality -- to change his hair to suit them. Being on CNN isn't this man's full time job, kids are.  Same with Roland. What's wrong with his hairstyle?

I'd have told them to eff off.  That may be part of the reason why Martin is no longer on the network.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What is Black?

By Tenisha Mercer

Black is ... many things. From albino to the fairest of fair and the darkest of dark. The book,  (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, published last year by Dr. Yaba Blay, looks at the complexity of racial classifications (from the one-drop rule of the early 1900s) to Blackness in its many forms, from people who are bi-racial, have vitiligo or albinism.

What's clear is that Black is more about skin color, race, a social construct or even our hair, and these striking photos by Noelle Theard show it. It features people who identify as many things, from "Black" to "Jamerican" to "Afro Latino."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Y'all got that 'good hair'

By Tenisha Mercer

Sometimes the limits that we put on Black hair are just amazing ... and not in a good way.

Went to a cosmetology school in Metro Atlanta to get my hair and my daughters' hair straightened. My hair was breaking off something bad (I've lost inches) due to stress and God knows what else (I  am on thyroid meds).

Anywho, the stylist (who was Black) who did my daughter's hair asked her, "What she was mixed with?"

My daughter told me about the exchange in the car and I told her that people think that Black folks can't grow any hair (this particular daughter is constantly weave checked by other Black folks).

'Good hair'

A few hours later, the same stylist asked me the same question, as another stylist did my hair: "What are you?"

I told her, with a confused look on my face -- Black, just plain ole Black! Nothing else, just black. Then she said, 'Well, you must have some Indian in your family.' I told her I do, but I'm overwhelmingly Black and I don't play the Indian up.

You don't see Indian when you look at me (I may have the high cheekbones and a crazy curl pattern), you see Black; that is what you see first, that's what I am. Then she proceeded to tell ne we had that  'good' hair.

This convo was about as stereotypical as it gets:

1. Black folks expect that other Black folks can't grow hair when we all know that's not true. We can grow hair, the issue is retaining it with healthy hair practices.

2. Black folks automatically think that whenever hair is wavy, curly or fine that you have to be mixed with something.

Can we just eliminate 'good' hair from our vocabulary when it refers to hair texture, thickness, etc.  once and for all? As someone whose hair seems to be breaking off at every turn, 'good' hair, to me, is healthy hair that doesn't break or shed unnecessarily.

Why I hate 'good hair' 

I abhor the term 'good hair' and the next person that tells me that is going to get a mouthful.
It's not a compliment, because it makes everyone else feel that they have 'bad' hair or something is wrong with their hair. Any hair that's on your head is 'good' as long as it's healthy -- and that's what I'm going to tell the next person who says it to me.

Usually, the convo is usually, 'Oh, your hair is good so you can go natural. I can't.'

It makes me feel really uncomfortable and I get tongue tied (which doesn't happen a lot). I think, more than anything, I don't want to express my frustration or anger because I really want folks who use the term to actually listen and think about what they say and not just get angry with me (you usually don't learn when you're angry) based on my response. 

But this is has gotta end because all we're doing is raising kids who think the same thing because that's what they're taught. I told the stylist who did my hair that my hair is fine and I wish it was as thick as it used to be. And we talked about how Black folks CAN grow hair; about how many little girls had thick, lush ponytails growing up.

Hair rules
The exchange bordered on comedic because most African Americans ARE mixed with something. If you search back far enough, you'll find it as our history in this country will attest (usually Native American ancestry by choice or Caucasian ancestry often by force).

And even if you aren't "mixed," there are lots of Africans with long hair that defy the stereotype that those with presumably just African genes can't grow their hair. It's a myth, a stereotype that needs to be buried. 

There are many different things that comprise "Blackness" -- from the kinkiest, coarsest of hair to the straightest. Let's take the limits -- hair, skin or otherwise -- off what it means to be "Black."

How do you handle the term 'good hair'?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snowpocalypse ATL Part II

By Tenisha Mercer

Chalk it up to Mother nature, but the crazy weather can do a number on a girl's curls.

In ATL, we've had not one but two "major" (by ATL standards) snowstorms so far this winter. This does not happen, and I blame this ish on global warming! It's crazy right now. Roads are slicked with snow and 1/2-1-inch of ice.

A few weeks ago, folks were stuck on the highway for 12+ hours because they were stuck on icy roads. And more snow is on the way. We've been stuck in the house since Tuesday. I need a major trim really bad, but no one is going anywhere in this weather; travel is limited to emergency travel only, and there is a state/federal emergency declared.

With some extra time on my hands, maybe I'll play in my hair and try a new style? 

Warm weather can't come fast enough, so I'm posting these pics as a reminder of what I have to look forward to.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are you too dark to wear red lipstick?

By Tenisha Mercer

Beautiful images of Oscar-nominated actress Lupita Nyong'o are everywhere -- her lovely dark skin accented by bright colors and colorful makeup on the red carpet and in fashion mags. Must be a look for Hollywood only, because when an ordinary (read: non-celeb) dark-skinned black woman wore bright red lipstick on, Black folks lost their damn minds.

They went in on Rocquelle Porch, pictured below, for her lipstick choice on a photo caption that meant to highlight natural hair. Instead, it turned into a debate about her lipstick and whether she was too dark to wear it.

One minute we love and worship dark-skinned women like Lupita; the next minute we're told our  skin is too dark to rock red lipstick.

'Too dark'
Same old ish, different day. It's fine to have a personal preference; it's makeup, we all do, just as we would when it comes to a work of art that is subjective. Which is what makeup tends to do. Some will like it, others won't. But judged by how they went in on Rocquelle, the ugly old stuff, ish that we thought was over, clearly remains.

And we aren't over it.

The unwritten "rules" remain -- that dark skin shouldn't be played up by bright-colored makeup. Most dark-skinned women of a certain age are familiar with it. Hell, I've heard it all my life. But doesn't mean I've ever paid (much) attention to it.

I'm no makeup arist, but most would tell you that lipsticks must mesh with your undertones or it can look a mess, no matter the complexion. This is the reason why a pale pink looks mess on my skin tone but perfectly fine on someone with fairer skin with the right undertones. And I'm no fan of the bright Barbie doll pink lipstick on most folks, made popular by Nicki Minaj. It always seems a little off because of the lighter undertone.

It should not be this difficult

Not liking something is one thing; it's a personal choice, the same way some folks like bright colors and some like neutrals or basics. But that's wayyyyy different than what most commenters said. It got into colorism, real quick.

“Take that red lipstick off.all black people cann’t wear this for real”
“Everybody can’t wear RED lipstick, baby u should have tried Wine,”
“Please stop wearing red lipstick when your complexion is very dark. Uh!”
“My, my that red lipstick is ugly as pure hell! It’s not for everyone.”

The comments in Essence even took me aback, because I'm dark-skinned and I regularly wear MAC's Ruby Woo.  I think the blue undertone looks great on my complexion, and I'm proud to say I'm seeing more dark-skinned women wearing bright tones I thought I'd never see.

Most commenters didn't say it was a bad look (which is a personal preference) but that her skin was dark). For real? I didn't see any comments (maybe they were taken down) on Tuesday,  but I saw these posted in a story on

I wonder what we'd say if Lupita Nyong'o rocked the look? Hmm.... I hope Rocquelle says haters, be damned. And keep wearing her red lipstick. I'm going to keep wearing mine, Rocquelle, and dare anyone to say anything to my face.

How about you?




Monday, February 10, 2014

Jennifer Hudson at the 2014 BET Awards

By Tenisha Mercer

Jennifer Hudson is killing 'em in this white peplum dress.

Now to the hair ... Is it a wig? Earlier, we reported that she'd cut her hair. But it's starting to look like a wig/weave. Either way, it's tight.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Celeb Natural Hair: Nicki Minaj Reveals her Natural Hair on Instagram

By Tenisha Mercer

In what has become a trend in recent months, yet another celebrity is revealing her natural hair -- this time, it's rapper Nicki Minaj, who revealed a headful of long, thick natural hair on her Instagram, writing, "No perm. No extensions."

Nicki's natural hair

I get that performing is hard on natural hair, but I like the look, much better than those candy-colored wigs and atrocius bleach bottle blond wigs. She's a great example of hair growing with a protective style -- weaves.

Nicki hasn't exactly endeared herself to the natural hair community, with her anti-natural hair comments. Though she has posted pictures of her natural hair on Twitter before, Nicki isn't exaactly  known for her love of natural hair with no-love natural hair rap lyrics such as "nappy-headed hos need a perminator," and "nappy headed hoes but my kitchen good."

Nicki Minaj reveals natural hair on Instagram
Nicki Minaj wears her natural hair on Instagram

Nicki Minaj reveals natural hair on Instagram
Nicki Minaj strikes another natural pose

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Can you mess with a Black woman's hair?

Tom Hanks' son, Chester, got the memo! Jokes aside, you can mess with our  hair ... as long as you ask first. And don't pull or yank.

Source: Gawker