Photo Source: @humansofcolor
By creating so many illusory images of physical perfection, whether on store aisles or store front ads, magazine covers or TV shows, we speak more to the profit margins of companies than the self-esteem of today’s girl.
By Adora Svitak
Photo(s) Source(s): Kaye Wiggs
I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen.
by Sheila Jackson Lee
Society put a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way, act a certain way and even think a certain way.
For a long time, women with curly/kinky hair have been told that having natural hair isn’t beautiful. The issue here is that young girls are growing up believing that they MUST be someone else to be accepted. How can WE change that? How can we teach them to love themselves for who they are?
Well, I think that one of the goal of the natural hair movement is to empower women and girls. The “natural hair movement” as some like to call it started with few women (Afrobella is one of them) who decided to return to their natural hair texture showing that you do not have to stick to what’s society wants you to be. I see them as role models for younger generations and other women as well telling us to believe that we are enough. Ghandi was right when he said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Just look at the way big brands have started to cater to our needs, including L’Oréal and Pantene. Who would have thought this few years ago.
I can’t wait to see what’s next…
What are your views on the natural hair movement? Has it changed anything for you?
Photo source(s): @kelbpics
Oh, you don’t like my hair? So what?
My hair, my rules!
Allow me to Introduce myself, my name is:
Nicole. I’m 20 years old from Dallas, TX. I’m about to be a junior in college.
Have you always been natural? If not when and why did you decide to transition?
Sadly, I have not always been natural. 😦 I got my first relaxer when I was six years old. From that point on, relaxers became a part of my normal life. I made trips to the salon just about every six weeks to get more of that creamy crack saturated on my suffering hair follicles.
You’ve got to check this out, a well put together video summing up popular views on the natural hair journey.
Less than 5 minutes long, watch it and let us know if you can relate.
This is a must see!
“Clap along if you feel like boosting your energy!”
This made me smile lol, share this with someone that you know will love it too
May Bank Holiday weekend see the return of Europe’s biggest showcase for afro hair and beauty. Taking place on May 25th and 26th 2014 at the Business Design Centre, Islington, Afro Hair & Beauty LIVE! is set is set to mark yet another successful year in its’ 33-year history.
At The Afro Hair & Beauty LIVE you’ll find award-winning hairdressers, specialist beauticians and cutting-edge fashion all under one roof. Take the time to indulge with a customised manicure at one of the many pop-up beauty booths or take the stress off you mind with an Indian head massage. The show has everything you could wish for from henna tattoos to professional eyebrow threading and eyelash extensions – all at cut prices. Not only that but the runway will be in full swing with fashion shows, dynamic hair competitions and show special presentations from the leading names in the ethnic hair and beauty industry. If any of the clothes you see catch your eye visit the Afro Hair & Beauty Fashion Boutique to bag a one-off piece at a special show price.
Other features include the Sensational Icon competition where top hairstylists display imaginative avant-garde styles that can only be described as visual masterpieces. Along with the fiercely charged WAHL Battle of the Barbers competition which sees barbers from all corners of the UK work their skills.
Take advantage of this spectacular weekend and see the latest product innovations on the market and interact with the best of the best in the industry, including the fabulous natural hair celebrity stylist, Felicia Leatherwood known as the ‘Hair Whisperer’ who will be at the Beautiful Textures stand.
After the success of last year the interactive debate will be returning, a chance for you to put your burning questions to our top industry panel. Plus this year for the first time ever Afro Hair and Beauty LIVE are bringing you a beauty interactive debate with our panel to consist of well-known names in the beauty industry.
Take advantage of our FREE seminar programme which covers a wide range of hair and lifestyle related topics, and the many giveaways up for grabs.
With SO much going on, this is a show not to be missed!
Afro Hair & Beauty LIVE
25th and 26th May 2014
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1
Nearest Tube: Angel
For interviews and press enquires please contact:
Jessica Fuller, Public Relations
020 7498 1795
For more information visit www.afrohairshow.com
I said her hair looked nice and she threw me shade!
I just saw a woman at the station with really thick beautiful natural hair in ringlets, spiralling down her back. I walked up to her and said “Your hair is gorgeous, do you know if it is 4a, b, c etc?”. This is the first time I’ve ever reached out to a Naturalista and been given the cold shoulder, her face was made up and her body language said “why are you bothering me, go away!”
Which makes me question, I know we are very keen and enthusiastic about our natural hair journeys, which is great but are we wrong to want to share that enthusiasm with people we meet?
Is it OTT or should people lighten up when they are paid complements. Are we too forward or are some women just being plain stush?
Get at me with your thoughts and experiences ladies, tell it like it is.
Photo Source: thyranq.deviantart.com
So, you’ve been dating a guy for a few months now and you use false hair as a means of protecting your natural locks. It is now time for you to do the big reveal and show this guy what you are really working with but, how is he going to take it?
The reality is, many females hide behind the cover of a weave, as they feel it shows their beauty in its’ truest form but many men would love to see your confident curls and you sashay through the week with an abundance of hairstyles #HairVersatility.
Moving from relaxed hair to natural, I notice the increase in guys who approach me. Even if it is just to comment on my hair and I must say, it feels absolutely amazing! Confidence should come from within, not from the human hair that you’ve spent an arm and a leg on and trust me, I’ve seen the prices that some of these suppliers are retailing it for…crazy!
Ladies, unleash those fros, bounce those curls and va va voom those styles, as these guys have no idea how sexy natural hair is.
One of the first times I laid my eyes upon Tracee Ellis Ross was during my teen years, when she starred as the quirky singleton Joan in the hit US show Girlfriends. In all honesty, like the hit show Sex In the City, I found myself glued to the box for the sole purpose of the costume, hair and make-up that the ladies mirrored. Because let’s face it, the story lines in shows these days only make up a small percentage of the rationale behind viewers tuning in. In the show Tracee’s hair was often the star, proving to all women with kinks that natural hair is just as versatile as chemically treated hair. Although Tracee’s journey didn’t start out that way..
Like most women Tracee went through an “awkward phase”. Feeding into the idea that chemically treated hair is of better-quality, surrendering to this concept by having a texturizer.
“I haven’t always been natural. I had a relaxer during my teen years…well it was more of a texturizer than a relaxer. But I started as a natural girl”.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt,
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells,
Pumping in my living room.
It’s not rocket science ladies. The occasion will always determine what outfit is required of you *tuts her teeth at the girl wearing clubwear to attend a Christening – like really?!*. Even work can be classed as an occasion because if you are not required to wear a uniform, it is yet another opportunity to look fabulous.
2. Is it appropriate?
Use some initiative when it comes to creating an outfit, as you should know what is acceptable in specific situations and what is not. You should never have to change your dressing personality but, you should always be able to adapt your style if need be.
If you are going to show cleavage cover your thighs and vice versa, as there is a thin line between classy and inappropriate 😉
3. Is it comfortable?
How many times have you worn an item of clothing that left you pulling or tugging all day?! (Darn corset – looked cute but has as much comfort as sitting in a bath of cold water). Be sensible, opt for items that you know you can withstand if you had to wear it for long periods of time and you will never go wrong.
We are now in a generation that have come accustomed to a ‘Throwaway Culture’. The amount of wardrobes that are probably cluttered with clothes that have not been seen since yesteryear, even though they were only worn once is absolutely epic! Turn that boob tube dress into an A-line skirt in an instant and act like it’s brand new.
The hairstyles that can be created to compliment your outfit are endless. The afro has evolved and with a little attention to detail, that afro of yours will highlight the beauty of natural hair.
A tapered afro can bring a unique edge to the round shape we have grown to know and it is a very accommodating option for those who currently have a TWA (teenie weenie afro) or short length.
6. The perfect footwear
The perfect shoe can make or break an outfit. Have you ever had your attention caught by an attractive guy to have your eyes stop dead when you see his dirty trainers?! Well, it goes the same for us ladies, we can’t be looking sexy and be wearing shoes that are past their sell by date.
Everyone has an ‘old faithful’ (those shoes that you could wear on repeat until the end of time) but, try and be accommodating to what you are wearing to keep things interesting.
If accessories are not for you that is fine but, they make a remarkable difference to any outfit. No matter what budget you have to work with, you will be able to find something to make your outfit pop!
8. Get creative
Sometimes, creativity can go a long way. Fashion is endless and by adding your own personal touches, you can create a look that no-one else can achieve. If you are feeling a look that one of our peers has created, why not adapt it? I’m personally dying to try a Turban Bun (Note to self: Must stop using headscarfs for sleeping purposes only), so I will be seeking designs that will fit into my dress code.
9. Try, try, try…
Never be too scared to ransack the wardrobe now and again until you find the right outfit. 9 times out of 10, you will probably wear the first outfit you tried on but you never heard that from me lol! The joys of looking good ay?
10. What is missing?
So when you have checked yourself from head-to-toe, the only thing left to do is strut down that imaginary runway and let the compliments roll in while your beauty radiates.
Photo Source: rawwblog.com
What top tips can you add?
Isn’t it crazy since how many years, black women have been told they should relax or wear extensions to be seen as beautiful? It is! Even in 2013, some judgements are still being made regarding unprocessed hair. Here is a list of some of the most common ideas & stereotypes towards kinky hair:
Belief #1: Natural hair is not beautiful
Belief #2: You can’t comb natural hair; it’s too coarse and dry
Belief #3: Kinky hair doesn’t grow (Lies!!!)
Love is in the air and whether you’re with Mr (or Mrs), Valentine’s Day is the one day where you want to make sure that you are looking on point! I’m talking about that, ‘Dress-to-impress’, ‘Kill-them-with-fashion’ outfit that makes your other half feel like the luckiest person in the world (which they are of course!).
So where do we start?! Sexy, sophisticated or pure swagger? The choices are endless ladies and anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m not impartial to concocting an outfit out of all three. Yes, I know I know, we should not fall into the commercial trap for this one day but even if we are staying indoors with someone special, a little effort will not hurt, right? January has just ended, there are still many bargains that can be picked up for next to nothing and with the right shoes and accessories, you can turn a plain piece into a knockout outfit.
Here’s a few ideas for having a kinkilicious Valentines:-
Midi Bodycon Dress With Drape V Back
Teasehim with a glimse of your back
Shop it now £35.00 ASOS
Maxi Dress with High Low Side
Flash those sexy pins!
Sexy Midi Pencil with Lace Insert
Lace oozes sex appeal, drive him crazy with this figure hugging beauty
£45.00 from ASOS
Mini Dress with Diamond Back
Can’t go wrong with a mini dress 😉
Now only £10.00 at ASOS
So, when our outfit is chosen, what happens with our natural kinks? Well ladies, this is the time when you will put all you’ve learnt (whether by watching videos, hearsay or self-education) into practice. Natural hair can be a very sexy feature and the options are endless. There’s nothing that having access to water, oil, pomade, gel and hairclips can’t fix, even those bad hair days can be used to your advantage with a twist and a poke here or there.
Check out this vid for inspiration:
In the words of my beautiful friend,
Love, Peace and Hair Grease.
- Cosmopolitan: Really Sexy Stuff:Under $100: 5 Smoking Hot Dresses for V-Day (cosmopolitan.com)
The last two weeks have been dedicated to type 2 and 3 hair. This week, it’s all about the “kinky Coily” hair type. “Kinky Coily”? What does it look like? Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your hair have volume?
- Are your curls tight, defined and have an “S shape”?
- Is it sometimes dry?
- Does it break easily?
If you have answered yes to most of these questions, you’re probably reading the right post. Keep reading! 🙂
Lacking self-confidence to rock this mane? Check out these inspiring women and… well, be inspired.
1) Elle Varner
“I don’t wanna be loved I just wanna be invisible, like a ghost in the living room…” Ghosts – Elle Varner
What a cute outfit, perfect for the summer days. This style is clearly not the one if you want to be invisible Elle.. LOL. Such a unique voice and a head full of gorgeous curls! She is a natural lady and has been wearing her curls since, forever. She loves her hair and is not afraid to wear it big. If you got it, flaunt it!
2) Lisa Price
Yep, that’s her, the founder and CEO of Carol’s Daughter. Lisa Price is a true inspiration. She found the confidence in her to start her entrepreneurial journey, in her own home, and is now the owner of a very successful business.
3) Tracee Ellis Ross
And the winner is Tracee Ellis Ross…This natural diva recently won the Shine Award for “Positive Presence” (Remember Joan from Girlfriends? Miss this show, me too). We love seeing black and confident women succeed, especially when they are naturals. Keep up the good work!
4) Amel Larrieux
For the soul and jazz fans, this woman should not be a stranger to you. This singer/songwriter has been sporting her natural tresses for a while now. Her love for natural hair started at the age of 17, and since then she has not turned back. Result: Her long mane is to die for. Don’t you think?
Don’t be scared to shine, these women aren’t and look what they have accomplished 😉
Hi naturals, transitioners and future naturals,
Do you ever feel down when it comes to your tresses or choosing hairstyles…? Do you ask yourself “Do I look good with curly hair“? Or are your unsure about how to start your journey?
Check out these few tips to enhance your confidence:
- Start with the basics: Know your hair T.E.X.T.U.R.E! Is it fine, medium or thick? Is it porous? Is it dense? “Type 3 hair” or curly hair can be fine, medium or thick. In general, this type of hair is porous, which means that it absorbs and retains moisture easily. Density refers to the amount of hair that you have on your head. If you want to know more about your hair and find what works best for you, ask your hairdresser for a hair consultation. If you don’t have one, check out the Salon’s page.
- Wear styles that suits you and you feel comfortable with. After understanding your hair, I think it is one of the most important parts to feel self-assured about. The style you have seen on someone else will not automatically work for your hair texture or face shape. In this case find something in between, you can ask for advice from a good hairdresser OR check out vloggers with a similar hair type as yours, like MahoganyCurls who gives great tips by the way.
- Work on your look & style: Experiment, just have fun! Try updos, braids, afros, accessories your tresses…In this way, you will find out what you like. You will also avoid getting bored. If you know you want or like natural hair but you can’t find time or feel lazy (laziness is a disease you know lol), to style it every day, try twists or braids for example. These styles will require less maintenance than styles like bantu knot outs, updos…
- See where you want to be and what matters: Set goals that are achievable in a reasonable period of time. Take small steps at a time, growing hair takes time. Plan how you are going to achieve them, i.e. the regimen you will follow, products you will use, how many time per year you will trim your hair…
- Stay focused: after planning, this step should come straight after. Remember perseverance is key! You will need patience, especially for the bad hair days.
- Learn: keep learning, reading, join forums, keep asking vloggers questions to, bloggers, hairdressers… You can never learn too much, it will increase your confidence.
- Think about positive things when you look at your mane: find 3 things you find beautiful about your curls and you will feel better about it.
Do you have any tips for sisters wishing to find the confidence to go natural? How did you feel about going natural when you first started your journey? Share your experience and tips with us.
Calling all the ladies who have fully transitioned, I dare you to step out of your ‘comfort zone’…
Was that liberating or what, tell me your going to try it?
How is this New Year treating you, so far? Fine, I hope 🙂 . Have you taken any new resolutions that
you WILL follow, this time. Yes, you know what I’m talking about… If yes, good! Any “hair resolutions”? Excellent! This year, it’s all about treating our beautiful hair the way it should be. What it means is that we should now understand how our hair reacts to products, styling techniques, hairstyles, in order to proudly and fiercely wear it out. The more you know about your hair, the more confident you will be with it.
This week will be dedicated to the wavy hair type. Other hair types will be discussed later on, so keep following 😉
Wavy hair also known as “type 2 hair” is characterised by an “S” shape, it is usually shiny, lacks volume and can be a bit frizzy, but then again this group demonstrates a wide variety of “waves”. Porosity is also an essential aspect to take into consideration, it is the hair’s aptitude to absorb and retain water. By understanding this concept, you can get your hair to be healthier and more manageable. How? By choosing products adapted to your hair pattern.
Wavy hair tends to be porous, therefore to keep it healthy, here are few tips:
- Reduce the heat, your mane will thank you for it. If you still want to use the heat, use a diffuser, it will also help to enhance the waves
- Use a conditioner after shampooing your hair, with a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid drying it out
- Use a gel without alcohol to define your waves
Here are some Vloggers with wavy hair you can look at to get some tips on maintenance, styling, and products to use:
Now, you can incorporate all this knowledge into your regimen and embrace your natural beauty. Knowing more about your hair and feeling good about it should improve your confidence. Wavy hair can sometimes get frizzy in contact with humidity, so knowing which products works for you will help you “control” your mane. Another important aspect is
not to try and create the PERFECT hairstyle. It can damage your hair due to over manipulation and product build-up. And you know what… Who cares? Just let it be, wild, messy and free.
Photo Source: pinterest.com/azzi
Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t – Eleanor Roosevelt
This quote says it all. In life, no matter what you do or will do, you will be prone to judgement from people you know or even from people you have never seen in your whole life. It also applies to the process of going natural. Some people will not understand, tell you that you will not be able to comb your hair, nappy hair is ugly…and so on. Of course some will say “Go for it!”, but choosing to be natural is a PERSONAL CHOICE. I know doing something new is sometimes scary, but isn’t taking risk exciting? I believe that being natural gives you a little something more which makes you stand out.
Many of us “naturals” had the same questions when we started our journey.
Will it fit me? Hmmm, I do believe that if you were born with it, it will.
Which styles can I wear? That’s the thing with natural hair; there are so many hairstyles that you can wear: big curly afro, dreadlocks, flat twists, bantu-knot twist out (my favourite, I admit it :-D) … Don’t worry if you can’t make some of the styles you have seen, it takes a while to manage the different techniques. Do not give up!!
How do I take care of it and which products should I use? Well, it all depends on your hair texture and until you stop using relaxers you won’t know.
It’s crazy how women are becoming more and more confident about wearing their natural mane, even in the public scene. Celebrities like Yaya Dacosta Alafia (from ANTM) and Tracee Ellis Ross are strutting their natural tresses, and aren’t they beautiful? Yes, they are.
Will you take the steps?
By Angele Amponsah