Thursday, March 27, 2014

What age is too young for fake hair?

By Tenisha Mercer

Hair conditioning begins real early. It's not uncommon to hear babies of 2, 3 years old, given perms. And we're seeing children as young as elementary school rocking weaves. Whatever happened to ponytails and barrettes using a child's OWN natural hair?

Young child wearing braids with artificial hair  

I think it's a dangerous thing when a child associates swingin' hair with hair that isn't theirs; it's someone else's. And then we wonder why folks are addicted to weaves. It's because they've been wearing them since they were knee high, whether it's braids or fake ponytails.

So, what's the age limit on fake hair? I've seen a 4-5 year old child wearing fake braids, and I'm sure there is some little kid walking around with some weave. These kids not going to have hairlines by the time they are 13!

How young is too young for fake hair?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy 70th Birthday to Mrs. Ross

By Tenisha Mercer

Happy Birthday to the baddest natural -- who rocked a bad fro back in the day.

Shea Moisture debuts cosmetics line at Target

By Tenisha Mercer

Love Shea Moisture hair and skin products? The hair and skincare company has just unveiled a cosmetics line, available at select Target stores. No word when or where, but pics are showing up on Shea Moisture's Facebook and Pinterest pages.

New Shea Moisture cosmetic products, as advertised on their Facebok page

Here's a closer look:

Will you try Shea Moisture's cosmetic line?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DIY Wire Headbands + Bun Wire Ties [No Sew] 3 WAYS

For those of you who are sewing challenged, here's an easy, step-by-step tutorial to make a DIY headband and bun wire ties from Naptural85.

Looks easy enough, right? And so creative!

Make sure you let me know if you make one!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o in People Magazine

Actress Lupita Nyong'o in the Feb. issue of People Magazine

What to Wear for Spring 2014: 3 trends

By Tenisha Mercer

After a rough winter that I'd like to forget, it's finally SPRING! WOOT!

Which means that spring fashions are just around the corner. Here's what I'll be rocking this spring.

Moto jacket: This is a carryover from fall trends, but it's uber hot for spring, too. Pick a moto jacket that's in a fun spring color, like white, to pair with bright colored crop jeans.

Pleats: Pleats are huge. Not those old fashioned pleats, but modernized, softer pleats that don't add so much to the hips.  Think lightly pleated skirts and dresses, like the one below.

Crop top: Not since the 80s have crop tops been so fashionable. It's a trend that most women can wear and that can be age appropriate in many cases IF you pare a crop top (no, not the teeny eeny ones) with a high-waisted skirt or pants so that only a sliver of skin is showing. Trendy, sexy AND age appropriate but ONLY if your stomach doesn't hang inches over your pants. You've been warned! 

Protect Yo' Edges: Hair Damage from Weaves

By Tenisha Mercer

I'll say it: weaves are the devil, especially if said weave -- or poor installation or maintenance -- is causing alopecia, permanent hair loss or missing edges.

Now, plenty of naturals swear by weaves to grow their hair long, but what good is a weave if you end up losing your hair -- permanently. Sometimes, you never know how your body will react to a product.

Something is very, very wrong when a product you install to grow your hair instead kills it and forces your edges to go RIP.

What to do when your edges are all wrong

This is in no way meant to embarrass folks; but as someone who deals with thinning hair (not due to weaves and only an annoyance because I remember how thick my hair USED to be) I can't imagine risking my already thin hairline on this. It's just not worth the risk to me.

It's simple: Know better, do better. And that often means STOP wearing the weave that left your hairline jacked up in the first place. It's a problem that hits anyone -- whether you're wearing a $2,000 weave like Naomi Cambpell or a $50 weave like the everyday woman. The potential damage is the same.

In any case, hair growth treatments like Rogaine and even castor oils and finger massages are highly advisable (need to take my own advice, too, LOL).

Check out these photos from

Has a weave killed your hair? What did you do about it? 

Supermodel Naomi Campbell's disappearing edges

TV star Countess Vaughn's receding hairline 

Kim K. has a thinning hairline from weaves

This woman's headline may never recover

TV actress JazMone from Bad Girls Club. Why, why, why is she pressing her damaged edges?

Men aren't immune from messed up edges

It's a problem when your hairline STARTS at your ear


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Perfect Bubble Ponytail on Natural Hair | How To - Naptural85

By Tenisha Mercer

The bubble ponytail is one of the trendiest hairstyles of 2014.

Expect it to make major waves this summer. For me, this is a retro style that I wore as a kid. Remember how we used to have them with different color ponytail holder and rubber bands? Funny how time makes old things new again.

Check out this vid by Naptural85, who shows how to do a bubble braid on natural hair.

Child TV star Countess Vaughn says lacefront wigs caused severe health problems

By Tenisha Mercer

Child star Countess Vaughn says she has found the source of her major health crises -- her lacefront wig.

The former "Moesha", "The Parkers" and "227" show told The Doctors TV show yesterday that her 5-year affair with lacefront wigs (the star was introduced to them by her stylist in 2004) have cost her her health. Vaughn said the wigs, which she wore 24/7, caused her to have severe scalp infections and hair loss.

It got so bad that Vaughn's scalp was oozing, but she didn't pinpoint that wigs and, more specifically, an allergic reaction to the glue that is used to secure lacefronts, was the source of the problem, despite seeing a dermatologist.

The dangers
Now the 35-year-old star is forced to fill in her sparse hairline with eyeliner, and her skin is discolored to the point that it looks as if she has vitiligo -- a skin condition that causes severe discoloration.

Vaughn fought back tears on the show as she urged lacefront wearers to be cautious.

“I had to go through this to teach my little one that you have to love yourself before anyone else will," she said.

Avoiding scalp infections

I noticed that Vaughn is wearing what appears to be a weave or a wig. I can't help but wonder if she truly "loves" herself, especially with her health challenges. What better reason to wear her natural hair?
This isn't the first time there have been issues with lacefronts. Supermodel Naomi Campbell's edges are nearly non-existent, after years of wearing weaves/wigs. And there have been reports of fatal reactions to hair glue, with a 34-year-old woman dying from a severe allergic reaction after her weave install.

So many naturals wear lacefront wigs that these tips bear repeating:
  • Let your scalp breathe. Lacefronts, or any wig, should not be worn 24/7. 
  • Oozing puss is a sign of infection. See a dermatologist or get medical attention IMMEDIATELY!
  • If your scalp/hairline is irritated,  red, itchy or breaks out, the glue could be the problem. Stop wearing lacefronts IMMEDIATELY until you know the source of irritation and seek medical help.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vogue's blackface problems

By Tenisha Mercer

Maybe Vogue didn't get the memo: Black face in 2014 -- no, eff that, at any time -- isn't cool.

But Vogue's European editions just keep doing it, over and over again, failing miserably at cultural appropriation and humanity -- period. It's to the point that, even on this blog, I don't highlight everything fashion mags, with their limited and biopic representation of Black folks, do on the regular.

Now, Vogue Italia has its turn with the March 2014 issue showing a European model with darkened skin and posing in headdresses, wrappings and animals. So you throw some brown paint on a white model and act as if African safaris are the newest, coolest, chic thing to do. Really?

Monday, March 10, 2014

90s flashbacks

By Tenisha Mercer

There they were, hanging on the display aisle in the mall -- several pairs of blue jean overalls (pants/shorts). And then there were other signs -- floral flowy skirts and shorts, crop tops, wide leg pants with exotic prints, high-waisted and even stone,washed (now called "acid" wash) jeans.

Wait. I rubbed my eyes. Have I been magically transported back to the 90s? You might think so, if you take a look at what's for sale in most trendy stores these days. From Target and Forever 21 to small boutiques, retailers are rediscovering retro 90s fashions -- complete with grunge.

Express boyfriend overalls $98

Express high waist acid wash skinnies $88

90s fashions have come back in a big way, though modified (block heels are very popular now, we haven't seen the last of color blocking and sheer shirts are still very much on trend).

Longing for nostalgia?

As someone who got my fashion life in the 90s -- and wore most if not all of these trends --- I'm not so sure I like all these nostalgic fashions making a fashion comeback. And as much as these items are all up in Goodwill (the original versions), I, for one, won't be buying some of them.

Wore these fashions once and I'm not so sure if I ever want to some of them again. What's next? It's already been a minute since the ripped and damaged jeans (although modified from back in the day) and boyfriend jeans made a strong and heavy reappearance on the fashion scene. Other than skinnies, they are just about the only trendy jeans you'll find for sale these days.

It's someone else's turn
Some of these fashions I think I'm just going to leave to the young folks. At a certain point, considering that I've worn some of these once -- they look stupid on a grown woman. I'm almost 40 and I can't think of one good reason to wear a pair of denim overalls. Not one.

Now, I'll do the crop top with a pair of high-waisted pants and I do regularly rock the damaged jeans. As far as shoes, I love a chunky heel (always have) and I absolutely love the ankle strap shoes that have made a strong comeback.

New look: ankle strap heels and damaged jeans

And I absolutely love color blocking.

But some of the other stuff? No thanks! You can have all that. I never want to see another floral anything ever again.

Is this what fashion is going back to?

Do you wear 90s fashions?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Who knew Angela Simons had all that hair under that weave?

By Tenisha Mercer

She's known for weaving it up, but Angela Simmons recently revealed waist length flat ironed natural hair on her Instagram.

She's the latest celebrity to reveal her natural hair.
Source: Instagram

Her photos are a good reminder that:
  • Weaves are protective styles.
  • Only wear weaves 2 months at most to avoid matted and tangled hair.
  • Take care of your weaves -- deep conditioners and protein treatments (depending upon hair sensitivity) are recommended.

Memphis TV anchor reveals natural hair on air

By Tenisha Mercer

Natural hair reveals are nice (Nicki Minaj, Toya, Oprah, Angela Simmons and others) but what about "real" people -- with no stylists on call 24/7 and who actually do their own hair every day?

Well, Memphis-area WMCTV anchor Pam McKelvy recently revealed her natural hair on the air, after wearing wigs every day after she lost her hair to chemo treatments following her 2-year battle with breast cancer. McKelvy made the reveal during a segment about women's hair options.

“I made my choice also because I think about the message I send to young women about confidence and self-acceptance,” she said. “The times are changing, and God’s delivered me with a brand-new spirit and a head full of hair, and here it is.”

Memphis TV anchor Pam McKelvy before her wig

Pam McKelvy with short natural hair

McKelvy removed her wig — saying she’s “taking it off for good” – and debuted her curly, natural hair.
“A woman’s relationship with her hair is sacred,” she said. “Her hair is her crown of glory. And for women in TV, it’s intensified. I lost my hair after chemo and I’ve been wearing a wig since this past march.”

For sure, it was a "milestone" moment in McKelvy's career and sent a powerful message of self acceptance. McKelvy's natural hair looks great -- so much better than the wig she wore.

“Today I’m taking it off for good," she said. "This is a milestone, blessed experience for me….I want everybody to know that no matter what you go through, it’s not about what’s on the outside, it’s about what’s on the inside. And I feel that on the inside I am more radiant and beautiful than I’ve ever been.”


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Actress Lupita Nyong'o attacked by skin cream bleaching maker

By Tenisha Mercer

It's really not a light skin vs. dark skin argument: Saying that actress Lupita Nyong'o is beautiful doesn't take away from anyone else's beauty --- no matter what end of the color spectrum you fall under.

But all the talk about Lupita's beautiful complexion and rich, dark skin tone has apparently drawn the ire of Cameroonian-Nigerian pop star Dencia, maker of the skin whitening cream Whitenicious.

Dencia attacked the Academy Award winner on Twitter recently after the 12 Years a Slave told the audience at the Essence Women of Hollywood luncheon that she persuaded a fan not to purchase a Dencia's skin whitening products, and urged her to embrace her Black beauty.

Don't Touch Prince's Hair

By Tenisha Mercer

The purple one doesn't want strangers touching his fro without his permission. That's what Prince -- who rarely makes TV appearances -- said when asked about his pet peeves during a Wednesday night interview on the Arsenio Hall Show.

The Purple Rain star said that he gets angry when folks he doesn't know try to feel his fro.

I don't blame him; I'd be upset, too! Hair is an extension of who you are, so hands off unless you ask first.  Prince has rocked a fro for a minute now -- at least since late 2012, and it's a departure from his usually short, coiffed hairstyles.

Prince performing on the Arsenio Hall show
Prince performing on the Arsenio Hall Show
Prince debuted the song FUNKNROLL and others while performing on the show with his all-female band, 3RDEYEGIRL,and discussed his 2014 plans.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Atlanta wig maker sues rapper Nicki Minaj for $30 million

By Tenisha Mercer

She's known as much by her raw lyrics as she is by her colorful wigs and eccentric hairstyles. And now an Atlanta 'wig guru' and hair stylist is suing top-selling rapper Nicki Minaj for $30 million, claming she stole the colorful wig designs he created.

The wig that Nicki Minaj is wearing is at the heart of a lawsuit
Terrence Davidson filed suit in district court in Atlanta on Friday.  In his complaint, he alleges that Minaj stole his designs AND cost him a reality show deal. Davidson began working as Minaj's hair stylist in January 2011, and later began making wigs that she wore for appearances.

Those wigs are at the heart of Davidson's lawsuit, because he claims the wigs are now for sale under Minaj's name -- without his permission -- on her site and in other retail outlets.

"I see these wigs online," Davidson, who has also worked with Patty Labelle and rapper Remy Ma, told CNN. He has also worked with others in the industry, including singer Patti LaBelle and rapper Remy Ma. "People are basically duplicating what I created for Nicki Minaj."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fashions at the Oscars

By Tenisha Mercer

We couldn't help but gush over what Lupita wore at the Oscars -- really, it was the only fashion we personally cared about. But now that we've come back to earth, why not look at what everyone else wore?
Kate Hudson in Versace

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen

Charlie Theron in Dior  
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior

And for another up-close of Lupita:

Lupita Nyong'o wins Academy Award for 12 Years A Slave

By Tenisha Mercer

She was the unknown actor, who delivered a memorable, blockbuster performance as Patsey the slave in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. And now actress Lupita Nyong'o, who has wowed everyone on the red carpet with her bold, daring and colorful style, can now add yet another impressive award to her collection -- Academy Award Winner.

Actress Lupita Nyong'o wins Academy Award for 12 Years a Slave
Lupita Nyong'o wins Oscar for Best Performance in a Supporting Role
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Just like that, Nyong'o made history Sunday night when she won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role -- rare for a first-time actor. And for a role that was tough, emotional and heart wrenching -- an ugly part of history that all of us would like to forget, but can't. Our story, told by us.

Lupita's reaction to winning the Oscar, pictured with her brother

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What will Lupita Wear at the Academy Awards?

By Tenisha Mercer

Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong'o has killed it on the red carpet -- and now everyone is wondering what the Hollywood startlet will wear to the Oscars on Sunday. The 12 Years a Slave Actress has tried on about 100 dresses.

    A photo collage of the colors that Lupita Nyong'o has worn 

Of course, we hope she'll win. Whatever she wears, I'm sure it will be colorful and stunning. Her pre-Oscar regime? Avocado oil on her skin and hair. And she'll reportedly have two stylists who may try something a little different with her hair? I wonder what?

Nyong'o struggles with skin acceptance

Nyong'o recently revealed that she has struggled with her skin complexion. Amazing now considering that her rich skin tone is the main thing that most people talk about when it comes to her beauty. That, and her amazing acting skills, of course.

She told a crowd at Essence Magazine's 7th Annual Women in Hollywood luncheon that when she was younger, she wished her skin was lighter. 

"I got teased and taunted about my skin," Nyong'o said. "My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before."

Beauty in another face

Until she saw Sudanese super model Alek Wek, Nyong'o finaly began to accept her skin color. 

"She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways," Nyong'o said. "My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome. I couldn't believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn't help but bloom inside of me."