Here’s the deal: Professional hairstyles for natural hair are becoming a very big topic of conversation lately.
With the up-rise of the natural hair movement and the large number of black women working in corporate America, it was bound to become a topic of conversation.
Do you work in corporate America?
Do you have plans to work a corporate job and keep your natural hair?
Well these women do and they talk about the challenges they face, silly questions they answer and the mental strength needed to be comfortable in their own hair when many people are not yet accustomed to seeing it or even understanding it.
Professional hairstyles for natural hair in the corporate world is often a matter of opinion, but when most of those that surround you have opinions based on lack of knowledge or exposure, how would you handle yourself?
That's what makes this video interview about corporate hairstyles for natural hair interesting.
The questions that these women have to face on a daily basis are quite revealing and has caused some to shy away from enjoying their natural hair to the fullest. Check out the video below and let me know in the comment section if you have any ideas of corporate hairstyles for curly hair that you will be rockin' while you're clockin' dollars.
Lee's Video Highlights:
One of the women expressed her frustration about not being able to just "go to work and do your job" as a natural in corporate America.
Although the women are proud to be natural, they do admit that it can be a challenge. Especially when having to answer questions like, "Do you wash your hair everyday?". It's not always comfortable answering a million questions.
One of the corporate women was told while going through law school that "You're never going to make it natural", but years later she still is and happy for it.
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OK, so we're definitely living in the era of satin hair wraps, coconut oil & #BlackGirlMagic
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And I ain't mad at it. Not one teeny weeny bit! 🙂
The natural hair movement is so strong that The Curl Club decided to poke a little fun (in a light-hearted way) and imagine if the natural hair movement were a cult. They used a lot of imagination and creativity to think up this off-the-wall scenario.
It is hilarious!
The video is going SUPER VIRAL and is causing a lot of interesting conversation between large groups of naturals and even non-naturals as well.
We've even seen friends jokingly tagging each other on Facebook saying stuff like "This is soooo you!!"
And of course, there are some people taking the video waaaaaay too seriously and are even offended, I don't exactly understand what there is too get upset about, but hey, some people will find a reason to complain no matter what you do.
But for all y'all that just enjoy a good laugh this will be right up your alley.
Anyway, check it out and enjoy the humor. The end of this video cracked me up, home girl had no idea what she was walking into.
Enjoy! And please leave your thoughts and comments below... Did it make you laugh too?
News anchor Angela Green recently got a lot of attention because of a video she put up on her Facebook profile.
In the vid, Green gave her personal advice to an intern with gorgeous naturally curly blond hair. Green talked about how the intern was told that her hair was “unprofessional” and too “distracting”. Obviously these were comments from people who don't understand the science of black hair. Responding to the situation, Angela Green suggested that the intern straighten her naturally curly hair just this once in order to please everyone.
Some naturals ripped into Angela and her advice. Some others said that her advice was practical. They noted that the ability to be mindful of your image is key to your ability to advance in the workforce, especially when black people deal with so much discrimination in the workplace and don't understand their rights in the workplace anyway. Why offer another reason to be judged harshly and unfairly?
Many woman strongly felt that a black woman straightening her hair only to appease others at work was considered “selling out.” Yielding to these workplace microaggressions against how black woman wear our natural hair means discarding a crucial piece of how we were created naturally. I have to agree with this last point of view.
In order to fully understand the scope of the push back against black women wearing their natural hair, we have to think about how American society defines and determines what’s considered “beautiful” and acceptable.
A culture’s standard of beauty can come in many forms, depending on the country you compare yourself to. In Saudi Arabia, newscasters may wear hijabs, etc. In India, you will find women wearing saris in TV commercials.
In Western culture, the celebrated standard of beauty is typically white women with straight hair. We see this everywhere from fashion show runways to TV commercials to highway billboards, it's always the same look. In American society, the further a woman deviates from this "ideal", the more undesirable you appear in the eyes of those that live by the set agenda.
So this set agenda makes you wonder. How does Western society deal with those that don't bow to its "standard of beauty"? The women that push away from the set status quo? What occurs when society’s perception of beauty is shaken up by a particular hairstyle they have no intentions on embracing?
Black women are, and have always been, the outliers. Traditionally, outliers (i.e people who are outside of society’s normative standard of beauty) are forced to conform to what society deems acceptable or risk being push away. This is what Green was attempting to communicate to the intern. The intern’s hair is a “distraction” simply because it’s outside of society’s traditional standard of beauty. No more, no less.
The Natural Fact Of The Matter
Her naturally kinky curly hair shouldn’t have been an issue. Professionalism in the workplace should only be referenced when it comes to a person's competence and skill. Had professional appearance been a problem, we’d have to make it fair across the board and put a mandate in place regarding ANY physical appearance be it makeup, hair, etc. How people wear their hair is an art and it’s the only wiggle room women have in the workplace besides makeup.
Of course, there had to be SOME reason the intern was singled out. Obviously most black women's hair doesn’t naturally straighten, it naturally stands up and stands out. Standing out in society, much less the workplace, isn’t always rewarded. Because the intern deviated too far from the classical conception of beauty, she kept being reprimanded, even in the subtlest of ways.
Natural Hair Often Unfairly Aligned With "Threatening" Images
Don't let this though get lost in the mix. Without a doubt there's a deeper, more nuanced reason that American society seems put off by natural black hair. Traditional styles such as afros and locs (some refer to them as "dreadlocks") are often connected to militant black movements. Many women in the Black Power Movement during the 1960s wore afros as a symbol of defiance in the eyes of some, although many would argue it was a symbol of embracing themselves. Mainstream society saw black men and women, who were conscious, armed with guns, and ready to defend themselves and their families, all while wearing these hairstyles. Back then, embracing your natural hair signified rebellion against society and centuries of self-hatred that has been ingrained in African-Americans since the days of slavery. Because of this, society still thinks of our natural hair in terms of being a disruption against the status quo and a hostile force, especially in the work environment. They need to shake that thinking and see people as proud to be themselves and not in need of changing into some watered down version of themselves.
In short, while Angela Green’s advice may have been understandable in the context of being able to advance in a predominantly white work environment, it does much more harm than good. It forces black women to choose complacency in a broken system that continually discriminates against anyone different. It's far better to embrace our our natural selves the way that God made us, our culture and face discrimination head on than continue to yield to unequal and invalidated bias societal beauty standards. Embracing our natural hair means embracing ourselves as beautiful, as worthy, and we need to fight for the right to show our natural selves in the workplace. Of course there are standards set, but my natural hair isn't an "offense". We are beautifully made.
This is a super cute video of a mom having fun with her daughter and at the same time teaching her to love her natural hair. All to the tune of Afro-Dance by Les Nubians.
I really loved the question that her daughter asked her in the middle of the song, it shows she's being raised right in more ways than one! Check it out!
Video Description from the mom:
Me and my daughter celebrating our Afros! Please Please PLEASE! help our lil girls understand the value of our beauty. Media is heavy against us. FYI you must start with yourself!
Teach Them Young
Help your daughters celebrate their beauty, have fun and help them nourish and protect their hair instead of trying to chemically change it, damage it, and insult it like so many of us had to live through. They'll thank you for it when they grow up with a full head of hair and a soul full of self esteem.
The group has been amazing and extremely positive. It's been amazing to see all of the beautiful naturals and aspiring naturals sharing tips and encouragement and I've been looking for a way to show my appreciation for them.
So let's get to it. Our 1st ever family member natural hair journey....
My Natural Hair Journey: Johanna Denny
I always went back and forth with my natural hair journeys as my mom started creaming (perming) my hair from back when I was very young. A few years back though, I had put in some braids and I had those braids in for a mighty long time. It was my friend's birthday weekend and we decided to go out of town for clubbing. I wanted to get a fresh new look so I tried what my friend would do. She would take her weave out and cream her hair in that same day and moment. I guess that method wasn't my kettle of tea as the cream irritated my scalp and burned me so badly that my heartbeat raced so hard I felt as though my chest was gonna pop. That night my friends laughed at me so hard, because of how I ran around Sydonie's Kingston apartment creaming to the top of my lungs for burning pain.
A few hours into the morning after clubbing was through I looked into the mirror and saw a badly burnt scalp. I was so ashamed to let the guys on the outside of the club see the condition my scalp was in. Later that day I washed my hair to get the scabs out and decided that I would never hurt myself in this manner again. I decided that black hair in its natural state is beautiful and placing harsh chemicals in my scalp wasn't true love for self. So I stopped.
Tried Locking and Then Big Chopping
I have tried locking my hair since then, because I wanted to escape the reality of having to comb black hair in its natural state each day and realized that wasn't for me either. There are so many videos on YouTube that gives so many tips, tricks and styles in coping with black hair and I am determined to stay away from harsh chemicals.
When I cut my locks off everyone loved the new look. They were not at all negative, although a few preferred me with long hair, but it is just hair and it grows back. Many people are really getting a hang of kinky hair and when I wear mine many people call me an African Queen or Princess.
I believe if we accept our hair as black people in its natural state, it would change the way people of other ethnic backgrounds and even we ourselves see skin colour. If black hair is bad, then our skin colour is bad, but if black hair is good then our skin colour is good also. Understanding this can clamp down on many aspects of racism drastically.
I love my black hair!
A huge thanks to Johanna for sharing your story about transitioning to natural hair and sharing your natural hair journey pictures.
If you are a member of the BlackHairOMG Facebook group and want to send in your "My natural hair journey" story, contact me there and I'll tell you where to send your info and put your story up on this blog to inspire other naturals.
Yup, I’m going there. I’m taking about some of the stupidest, silliest, and downright insulting assumptions natural hair stereotypes that are made about natural haired women.
We all get them and what makes it so shamefully sad is that many of these assumptions or stereotypes come from other women, co workers friends and even family members.
There are countless things to say about natural haired women that are positive, polite and perfectly right but if you’ve been natural for a while those comments are not as prevalent as the ones we’ll be discussing. Without further ado here are my top 10 stereotypes that naturalistas have to deal with daily:
Lee's Article Highlights:
Here are the 10 biggest stereotypes of naturals.
1. Natural are tree-hugging fanatics.
2. Naturals are political rebels.
3. All Naturals are vegan or vegetarian.
4. Naturals make all of their own products.
5. Naturals think women with relaxers are self-hating.
6. Some think natural hair is dirty (especially locs).
7. Naturals are hair obsessed.
8. All natural women love neo-soul or reggae.
9. All naturals are just fad-driven.
10. Natural hair is hard work.
♦ Some of these stereotypes are downright messed up (#6), some aren't that bad (nothing wrong with neo-soul and making your own hair products). But either way, you can't fit a whole group of people into a small box and that is often what happens. This was an interesting top 10 list of what some people think about when they see naturals. It goes without saying that people are often judged on their appearance, some more than others, so the way you choose to wear your hair will also be a factor. Some ladies won't care what people think and others will. But it never hurts to know what the leading perceptions (or misperceptions) are out there.
♦ I don't think these misperceptions should discourage, natural hair is becoming more and more mainstream and understood (and loved). Rockin' your natural hair with pride and living your truth will only do good things as far as perception is concerned, because at the end of the day, your natural hair is a VERY GOOD thing that God gave you for a reason.
Many people have mistaken beliefs about things they don't experience or don't see for themselves. Having more and more natural-haired women "stylin' on em" in the workplace, on the streets and wherever else will only prove what the natural hair movement really is. It's beautiful women reclaiming their natural beauty. No more, no less (in most circumstances).
When Angelica Sweeting heard her young daughter wishing for blonde hair and white skin similar to her doll's, she decided to create "The Angelica Doll" for little girls with curly hair, wider noses, and fuller lips.
The doll comes with hair that you can twist and knot just like real-life natural hair.
Sweeting's Naturally Perfect Dolls Kickstarter campaign has already raised $23,000 of the $25,000 needed to launch production of the doll, which promotes positive beauty ideals and self-acceptance for young girls.
Sweeting and her daughters tested The Angelica Doll's hair for eight months with common natural hair practices, such as twisting, bantu knotting, and curling, to make sure little girls could style and wash their doll's hair exactly how they would do their own.
Lee's Article Highlights:
♦ First off, I want to to stress the importance of supporting Angelica's business. If you have the means to do so you can help her get these dolls made for thousands of little girls by contributing to her kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/angelica/the-angelica-doll-a-natural-hair-doll-for-young-gi and hey, I know it's hard out here on these skreets (yeah, I said SKREETS), so if you don't have money to help her get these dolls made then just share this article. Someone else who reads this might contribute and it will be because you let them know about it through sharing this story.
♦ I always love products like these and BlackHairOMG is known for promoting these kinds of businesses and products because they make a difference, I just recently wrote about the coloring book for natural hair kids. When children grow up rarely seeing a positive reflection of themselves in the things that they are entertained by it has a negative psychological effect.
Angelica's daughter thought that the standard of being beautiful was the dolls that she played with and nothing else. Little girls adore their dolls and so she began to adore what she was not and undervalue what and who she is. It's not a conscientious choice she made, it is the mental conditioning that comes from being exposed only to what is the opposite of yourself and being told that it's the most precious thing without seeing any alternatives. Natural hair dolls gives the girls a chance to see beautiful representations of themselves.
♦ This serves as a lesson to myself and you as well as far as business goes too. When you see something missing, something that is needed... MAKE IT. It's much more effective than wishing and hoping for something and it's a great opportunity to build a business, make money while giving people something they need and want. More people need to have the entrepreneurial spirit like Angelica. I'm supporting her, I hope you will too.
This natural hair movement video carries a powerful message for women who have gone natural or those who are going natural. But Essence Farmer's video is also a bit controversial for some.
Although for the majority of women who viewed the video it's seen as highly-inspirational and it really communicated to them the fact that their natural hair, as well as themselves in totality, are naturally beautiful and MORE than acceptable. Some women had issues with the strong words in the natural hair movement speech.
Some women who are not interested in going natural have said that they were a bit turned off by the video. One woman said that she feels the naturalista in the video is preaching bias against women who choose not to go natural and in her opinion, that's equal to what "euro-centric society" is doing to black women as a whole. Making them feel not worthy of being seen as beautiful.
Well, I personally liked the message of the video and thought Essence did a great job with her anthem/poem. But I'll admit she does kind of "go in" on women who like to perm their hair and chemically straighten it. Check out the video...
I'll also say that not everybody thinks of women who don't go natural as weak or naive. Some women like what they like and that's it. Tell me what you think, does Essence's natural hair movement poem go to far? Or is she dead on?Let me know what you think below in the comment section.
Some of the most-talked-about beauty moments of the season have come via black models whose natural hair has taken center stage.
Dominican newcomer Lineisy Montero stole the show at Prada with her short Afro adorned with a bejeweled barrette, and at Balenciaga, Nykhor Paul, Ajak Deng, Grace Bol, and Mari Agory all wore close-cropped natural hair with Alexander Wang’s demure collection.
Montero brought the style to Céline’s Paris catwalk, where she was joined by fellow model Karly Loyce, who sported a beautiful, larger-than-life ’fro.
Lee's Article Highlights:
In this article, fashion model Lineisy Montero says that the head of her modeling agency actually ENCOURAGED her to go with a natural TWA (teeny weeny afro) for her fashion show, for me this really shows the change in image the natural look is getting.
Social activist Bethann Hardison says that the wearing of weaves and extensions wasn't about trying to be white, but instead it was the model's way of staying in the game and getting jobs. It was a matter of supplying what was demanded, but things are changing.
Montero says that after she went with the natural hair look she got even more jobs and achieved a higher status in the modeling industry within her country.
I couldn’t see the cold, unfamiliar hands disappear within my thick patch of curls claiming ownership over my head. But I felt them.
Seemingly everywhere I looked — long, straight, luscious hair spilled down the backs of women. Meanwhile, my hair barely kissed my shoulders, and despite my efforts, it wouldn’t grow.
I spent the next 10 years attempting to alter and hide the natural texture of my hair. And as each new weave and hairstyle gracefully obscured my natural roots, I felt beautiful.
And I was addicted to the feeling.
I wasn’t alone. Since slavery, African Americans have altered and changed their hair in attempts to mimic whites’ hair.
Today, it can be seen as a personal struggle and a struggle shared by many within the African American community.
Despite changing fads throughout the decades, the Natural Hair Movement, a movement that encourages individuals to wear their natural hair, is becoming popular once again.
I, and many others, are reclaiming the beauty of natural hair.
Lee's Article Highlights: This was a really great article, Darrah Perryman gives us her modern day hair journey and the article is loaded with history regarding black hair and society going back to slavery times.
In the 1500s, slave traders from Europe captured African slaves, then they cut they slaves hair off as a way of stripping them mentally and physically of their identity and culture.
Until this article, I had no clue that women could get a migraine from the weight and pulling on the roots that comes with wearing some types of weave. The writer's description of the pain sounds like a nightmare. The worst part is thats it's done in order to hide the natural beauty.
This write-up shows that natural beauty has to be realized before it can be embraced. This realization has been happening in a big way recently.
Black dolls with curly to kinky natural hair were virtually non-existent when I was growing up.
These days, they are still a challenge to find, but I’ve done some of the homework for you with this post. Here are four places you can purchase a natural hair doll for your niece, daughter, yourself, or another special girl in your life.
Lee's Article Highlights: It's extremely important for young black girls to see reflective images of themselves when they are happy and enjoying themselves in free-time activities.
It should be normal to see beautiful representations of black faces and black hair in order to know that it's not only normal, but good, just like everything else that is promoted.
As imperfect humans, we place more value on what have been pushed upon us. I'd rather black parents place beautiful reflections of little black girls in front of their daughters than to promote the status quo standards that have beaten down the very psyche of so many women walking the streets today. Here are your 4 companies to buy black dolls from.
CEO Jane Carter says she has seen “definite” changes in the hair industry as black women chose to spend money on nurturing their hair rather than disguising it.
Women no longer must bow down to straight hair and the perfection demanded of them in glossy magazines and celebrity culture and are making a statement, she says.
Women that really take a stance like this—whether it is political, or to say “‘I love myself,’—are making the same statement as those who moved forward in the civil rights movement.”
She says that only in the last six years has she seen young women decline to relax their hair, making it smoother and silkier.
Lee's Article Highlights:
It really is impressive to see the amount of support naturals have given each other through social media channels. Naturals have truly created a self-supporting and empowering beauty movement that is now starting to effect the big hair care companies in the pocket because of the years of neglect.
This one isn't exactly an article highlight, just my thoughts, I'm so proud to be a #teamnatural and #naturalhairmovement supporter. It really is one of the most exciting shifts in the psyche of black women that I've seen in my lifetime, the effects are nothing but positive. As your biggest male cheerleader, I must say, I'm proud of you!
The best selling hair products for naturals are not being bought from the giants who ignored black women for decades.Now that they are losing money because of the movement, I can only think that we'll soon see these same companies who've never put natural hair on display or even tried to make products for kinky textured hair jump on the band wagon in the next couple years. My question is, should you support them when this happens? (Leave a comment below...)
These days there's a revolution going on. A natural hair revolution...
Relaxers are out. Weaves are so yesterday.
Tired of damage from expensive chemical treatments and artificial enhancers, women of color are going natural thanks to many natural hair enthusiasts and supporters, one of these people is Nikki Walton of CurlyNikki.com, the natural hair blogger and online hair therapy expert.
In Better Than Good Hair, this gifted "curl whisperer" educates women on how to transition from relaxed to completely natural hair, with advice and styles for every length—from Fierce Braid-and-Curls to Fancy Faux Buns.
She also counsels those considering the "big chop"—cutting it all off at once to sport a bold and beautiful "teeny weeny afro." Here, too, is essential guidance for parents of mixed-race children dealing with new and unfamiliar hair textures and styles.
Lee's Review Highlights: First off, I love everything about Curly Nikki. She's a beautiful and brilliant businesswoman who cares about her readers. To see her success makes me proud. So when I saw HUNDREDS of amazing reviews for her "Better Than Good Hair" book I was pretty geeked for her. Out of 260+ real person reviews, she only has 4 "haters"(people that gave her book 1 star), most of her readers are loving the book. In my opinion, you get more scientific and in-depth info from "The Science of Black Hair" book from Audrey Davis-Sivasothy but Curly Nikki delivers more entertainment value. I'll share some of the customer reviews below...
5-Star Reviews from real customers... (5 out of 169 comments)
Positive customer review from Places2Love -
The Quintessential Kinky/Curly Encyclopedia: Whether you are an inquisitive newly natural beauty or a natural hair expert/goddess looking to give your friends some sound advice, Better Than Good Hair is it! There are great features from Nikki AND many of the hair bloggers and youtubers that the natural experts will be familiar with and the newcomers will glean from. She teaches you which is the best curl activator for 4c natural hair. I was discouraged when I first saw the reviews that said this book was just like the website (and I almost did not buy it). But in actuality the layout, conciseness, and illustrations make this a very user-friendly, quickly accessible MANUAL for readers of all ages, transcending just a website that can take hours upon hours to search. Moreover, it should be comforting to the natural hair experts that the quality hair principles you have experimented with and learned by trial and error are encapsulated in one handy reference guide. I just hope updated editions will be printed every few years :-). As a bonus, Kim Wayans adds a hilarious and fitting foreword that makes me wonder when her first book will be coming out because I would buy it!
Positive customer review from Chrishonda Davis -
Loved It: I love this book It really breaks down how to care for your natural hair during all stages, not only that, it doesn't ridicule those who prefer to relax or chemically alter their hair. It simply encourages you to take the right steps in caring for your hair no matter how you choose to wear it. Nikki helps you have confidence in your hair and yourself.
Positive customer review from SDO "Swtdrk1" -
It's Better Than Just a Hair Book: I have been natural for almost 4 years and what I love about this book the most is it is a guide, a source of information. As I was reading it I was nodding in agreement, I learned that I had protein sensitive hair. I was laughing and I was intrigued. Even though I am going on 4 years I can always benefit from things I didn't know or haven't tried and that is what BTGH is for me...information that I don't have to keep in my head. I can simply go back to that section of the book. I had to get my daughter her own copy, because there will be no borrowing. 🙂
Positive customer review from Angela P. -
Very Informative & Good Read: I've been natural well over 5 years and was able to take away some very good tips from this book. Nikki never disappoints. She has been humble from the beginning and is extremely clear in the book that this is not about her, but about US. I bought 3 copies and plan to buy more just to give away. This is a Godsend for anyone considering to go natural or for anyone who has been natural for years. Not many hair books can accomplish that.
Positive customer review from Deborah Houston, TX -
Amazing Book: It took me a while to finish this book (not because it's not good) because I'm so busy. However, I finally finished the book and I just have one word AMAZING!! I was on the Curly Nikki forum for 2 years, and reading this book was just like being on the forum but better. I like the way the book was organized, the information provided, and how Nikki used ladies that contributed to the forum to share their natural experiences. I don't know maybe it was just me, but I felt connect to the book and the articles. I have been natural for 3+ years, and the content of this book is still relevant for all of my natural hair care needs!! I only wish it had been around when I BC'ed!! Love you Nikki please keep up the good work!! Deb
1- Star Reviews from real customers (2 out of 4 comments)
Negative customer review from Bobby Ray -
Don't Waste Your Money: I check this book out from my local library, save your money and do the same.
All the information in the book can be found on CurlyNikki or any other natural hair blog. The photos & illustrations are in black and white and look cheap and tacky!
The book covers big chopping, natural hair growth tips, transitioning, 5yrs natural and natural kids but nothing for naturals that are regular folks with medium length strands. The book seem dated to me I wanted color photos of "hair porn" you get none of that.
Bottom line dont waste your money, honey check it out if need be at your local library!
Negative customer review from Steph -
Over-rated: It does not address enough about people with fine hair. Glad I was able to support a black author though. (Author note: Even the Science of Black Hair book got 2 bad reviews out of 400, someone will always complain, that's life so take it for what it is. )
Rhonda Lee had long been told that she needed to make her natural hair "more pleasing to a wider audience," she told HuffPost Live on Thursday, but she never expected her hair style to actually compromise her job.
Lee, an African American woman who currently works as a meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, recalled how comments she made in response to Internet vitriol targeting her hair ultimately led to her being fired by her former network.
Lee's Article Highlights:
Rhonda says it's a blessing and a curse that people can say exactly what they think about you at any given time on social media.
It's amazing to think people consider statements about your own hair "controversial", as Rhonda said, she didn't consider her hair to be controversial but something that grows out of her head.
Rhonda Lee was told on her job interview at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana, that it was seen as "the white station" in town, later she was told she might want to change her hair to appeal to a "wider" audience.
It's like they automatically assume all black women are jealous and bald. My hair is to the middle of my back and I'm currently rocking a press. When I straighten my hair most people assume it's a weave and these women at my college are a hot mess.
They will literally keep running their hands through their hair then look back at you, like you're suppose to be upset. This is way to common and very annoying. Just had to rant, I know others have probably noticed this as well.
Lee's Article Highlights: This was an interesting mini-rant I noticed the other day on the lipstick alley forum. I honestly have never heard of this "phenomena" (as one forum member called it), my first reaction is to think the original poster is being a bit over-reactive. Women fuss with their hair, it's what they do. Just because someone with different hair from you fusses with it around you doesn't mean they are trying to make a statement. There really is no statement to make.
I did take note that many of the other forum commenters didn't notice this or think anything sinister was going on. Sometimes people need to worry about themselves more and not look for reasons to get upset. Don't get me wrong,
I'm sure it has happened before, but to assume a woman flipping their hair is directly against you is as crazy as saying that every woman that flips her hair around me "wants me" (which some guys actually think, lol). Fussing with their hair is a what women do. No need to read more into it.
Many women in the forum thread said that they played with their hair all the time so they aren't taking offense to someone of another race doing so.
Not to be discounted, many women identified with the mini-rant and said that they noticed this going on.
One of my favorite comments in the entire thread was " LOL. To be honest I don't typically pay attention to other women's hair regardless of race. I prefer my natural hair so even if another woman was trying to flaunt her hair I wouldn't have noticed because I wouldn't have cared." That's what I'm hollerin'!
I'm loving that Porsha's natural hair is looking so beautiful, I'm hating that she only shows it as a teaser to the next weave. I agree with Porsha's stylist, the constant weave is an illusion, I'd disagree that it's flawless though. The flaw is acting like your own hair isn't acceptable and not good enough to be seen in public.
Porsha looked naturally beautiful in her shortly-lived natural hair moment. Genuinely beautiful, but.... She feels the need to... Ahhh forget it. Do what you wanna do Porsha.
Porsha Williams is definitely a weave queen, it'll be interesting to see if that changes one day. Sometimes I have to wave the white flag and hope for the best, this is one those moments.
Some women, they’ve been wearing chemical hair relaxers for so long, they don’t even know how to do their natural hair.
They don’t know how to comb it,” she said. “They think you comb it from the root all the way down, from the scalp to the ends, but you don’t.
You actually start at the ends and then you work your way back to the scalp. That’s the easiest way to comb your hair.
Editor’s Note: This is a story about a woman making a difference in the natural hair community. Luvina Sabree is a very interesting an accomplished woman. She dove into the world of all-natural products after one of her children was diagnosed with eczema.
She made her own natural, fragrance-free soaps and bath products and that helped. However, the more she researched eczema, the more she realized that in order to effectively manage the eczema they had to start treating it from the inside out.
Little by little, Sabree cut out all junk and processed foods from her family’s diet and started using only fresh, organic ingredients. The eczema improved and the family noticed an immediate improvement in the way they all felt. At that point, she knew she was on to something. That lead to other discoveries about the danger of chemicals and toxins we use on and in our bodies.
Nearly a decade ago, Sabree started a Natural Hair Group in Killeen that still meets monthly.
“There’s a movement of women who want to go back to their natural hair and stop using straighteners with toxic chemicals linked to cancer. Now I do an Armed Forces Natural Hair & Health Expo Show twice a year, once in Killeen and once in San Antonio”.
Killeen’s Happy 2 B Nappy Hair Group, teaches free classes for black women who want to learn how to take care of and manage their naturally kinky hair. The beautiful thing is that Luvina is able to enlighten so many women who did not understand the very hair growing from their heads, she's able to fill them with knowledge and confidence of who they really are. I hope more women with knowledge began taking on the role that Luvina has embraced, it is certainly needed. Here are our article highlights:
Sometimes the balding caused by perm chemical burns is permanent and irreversible.
Luvina has found natural herbs and other remedies to help black women who may have lost or all of their hair because of perming.
Black females should be proud of their natural beauty as it will keep them healthy.
By and large, people assume that a Black woman wearing her natural hair is making some sort of political statement, which is why I predict that depending on how far she advances in the competition, Abena Appiah’s coiffure will illicit no small buzz once the event is televised.
We shall see!
Editor’s Note: From www.mindofmalaka.com -When the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant comes around in a couple of weeks(Jan 25, Sunday), we will see something that has never been seen before in a beauty contest of this magnitude.
The beautiful Abena Appiah will be the first Ghanaian woman to compete while wearing her hair naturally.
In the past, it was the norm forn black beauty contestants to rock straight hair in order to fit in, well Abena will stand out from the crowd. There's no doubt that Abena Appiah’s hair will be a central focus of attention and that's a good thing.
Why? Because she's showing women with her hair that they are also "universally" beautiful as their natural selves. I'll be tuned in. Here are our article highlights:
The standard of beauty in Western culture is overwhelmingly Eurocentric, which makes her decision very notable.
We are approaching a point where natural hair is becoming more mainstream than ever.
Although it's important, Abena Appiah is more than just her hair, she's an excelling and intelligent academic student, as well as talented musician.
This was a truly profound and REAL conversation about the way Western and American culture views and treats beauty that sits outside of it's typical standards.
Actress Nicole Ari Parker of Broadway's Streetcar Named Desire, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, cultural critic Joan Morgan, and CurlyNikki.com founder Nikki Walton, sit down with Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the political messages behind black hair and hairstyles.
Editor’s Note: This set of videos is a classic throwback journalistic piece, in case you haven't seen it they talk about how more women have turned towards going natural since 2007 and are changing the economy of black hair.
The ladies really lay it out on the line in this heartfelt conversation, they speak very honestly about their feelings, how having children changed their perspective on their own hair and how America's view on black hair impacts the psyche of black women in their own self-perception.
They talk about the importance of telling little black girls how beautiful their hair is when doing their hair instead of saying derogatory remarks, like "you look a mess", "you ain't going outside looking like that" and "let's work on that kitchen". Here are our video highlights:
It's amazing that it's considered "revolutionary" to wear your hair the way it grows out of your head.
They talk about worrying about if black men will find them attractive, will employers want to hire them.
Black women have literally been dying of poor health because they don't want to workout and mess up their hair.
A little over a year ago, a group of black women caused quite a stir when they stood in New York City’s Union Square with signs that said, “You can touch my hair.”
Billed as an “interactive public art exhibit,” their event allowed anyone to “explore the tactile fascination with black hair by” touching real-life black hair on real-life black women.
Many black people were outraged at this display, but many were encouraged and uplifted.
Some thought the women subjected themselves to being treated like animals at a petting zoo. Some thought the women were opening lines of communication with people who may not understand ethic differences but aren't bad people because of that.
Look.... We're all human and want to be treated with equal respect. However, I think the main thing here is these beautiful black women are opening themselves up to the world in order to give insight to people who are curious, as well as shed some light on how women in general feel about their hair. As one woman in the video said, some women are more closed off, some are very open, and some feel their hair is an extension of their spirituality or their very being, so that is why it is so closely guarded. I think it's interesting that these women are willing to give this experience to people with absolutely none of black hair. Overall, I feel that without curiosity you can never learn or grow.
But yes, there is a definite line that shouldn't be crossed. Never force your curiosity on someone, especially if you don't know them. I think one of the women in the video was correct in saying that people should make friends first or at least be in a close enough relationship/acquaintance to warrant asking about personal hygiene. Giving compliments, admiring, asking how they get their hair so shiny, those things shouldn't be so taboo though.
At the end of the day, these videos are a nice gateway to not feel so shy or like it's taboo to talk or ask questions about things that we as humans have to deal with on a day-to-day basis like hair care, skin care, fashion, lifestyle etc. Just don't go touching people all random schmandom, you might get hurt that way. Here are our video highlights:
Black women feel persecuted for their hair and for good reason.
Some people are "honestly ignorant" and those are the people tht can be helped understand the differences in human beings.
Hair is an emotional topic of conversation for many women.
I think what is important about Viola Davis taking her wig off on How to Get Away With Murder is that it illustrates that there is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be.
Editor’s Note: I've always loved Tracee Ellis Ross and her hair. Being a Detroit boy myself I have a special place in my heart for Motown's own Diana Ross and her daughter. I have to agree with Tracee that it's so good to see natural black hair on TV. Little girls of all races need to see that in mainstream media and know that it's something beautiful. Here are our article highlights:
It is important that black girls and women see beautiful images of themselves in the media.
Tracee Ellis Ross says she's done playing society's game in order to be considered beautiful.
A Black woman’s beauty is far from the European standards of beauty this country follows.
I am a black woman. I have kinky hair. I have full lips. I have very dark skin. I do not have a complex about it. And yet, at every turn, I’ve been made to feel like I should.
I often feel as though people see me and then form a narrative in their heads of my self-esteem -- a girl who grew up longing to be lighter skinned, who cried every night because she didn't look like Beyonce, a girl who had to scratch and fight to get over feeling ugly because she felt her dark complexion wasn't beautiful.
Comment Section Quote Of Note From Duni1: "Oh thank goodness. I'm in the same boat. I've never thought myself as being or not looking better then someone else of lighter skin or less kinky hair, but you would think I might have a complex if you listen to media.
I like myself and my hair and for some reason it seems to undermine the belief that i must have some sort of color-self-hatred.
I mean I do, but its generally about my weight and the fact that I have no clue how to wear makeup but can do my nails like a pro.
Other people feel odd about my skin color and I'm just like... you know what... you can go ahead and carry that torch for me... I'm going to continue with my life." Here are our article highlights:
In Ghana(African continent) there are large billboards that advertise lightening products like Fair & Lovely.
There is a kind of validation that comes with seeing people that look like you in the media you consume.
The assumption that everyone wants to have straight hair and light skin is false.
Sims, in her unusual stand, contends that hair regulations are biased against the natural hairstyles of many African-American women, and her career is evidence they are ambiguous at best: She wore her hair in the same style for nine years in the Navy before being ordered to cut it.
She said: "I don't think I should be told that I have to straighten my hair in order to be within what they think the regulations are, and I don't think I should have to cover it up with a wig."
“I do think that it’s a race issue,” Sims said. “The majority of the hairstyles that have the strictest regulations are hairstyles that black women would wear.”
The Navy, however, argued that all dreadlocks are out of regs, and because she has refused to cut them or cover them up, moved to honorably discharge her for “serious misconduct.”
Editor’s Note: This story isn't a surprise to me, for the longest time natural black hair has been held in contempt. I find it weird that after years and years of wearing her hair in this manner, always neat, clean and within two inches of her head she suddenly is forced to change it or get out. The Navy has since relaxed their standards for women's hair but it's still slanted towards not fully accepting natural black hairstyles. But the story has a happy ending because Jessica aint sweatin' it, she got her discharge papers with her hair on her head and her dignity intact, now she's headed to Loyola University in Chicago where she will major in biology as a pre-med. Do your thang Jessica! Here are our article highlights:
Jessica Sims says the Navy's order amounted to shaving off her locks and wearing a wig which she wasn't going to do.
Sims says she always made sure that her hair bun didn't protrude more than 2 inches from her head, per Navy regulations.
She is happy she took a stand and says she would do it again, she doesn't feel her natural hair is "unprofessional".
I try to remember that there’s room to think about large-scale, urgent matters of social justice and microaggressions (a term that’s made a recent resurgence to refer to race-related, irksome interactions that add up and alienate people on a daily basis). Truthfully, anything to do with black women and hair runs a pretty high risk of slipping into the latter category.
Editor’s Note: Jenée Desmond-Harris delivers a useful answer to a question she received from a white gentleman. The man had given a compliment to a black woman who was rockin' an amazing afro. He wanted to know if he was out of place or not.
Personally, I find it a sad reality that society is so jacked up that we can't compliment someone without worrying if we are offending them, but when society is so laced with racism, prejudice and bias it's not a shock that people are wary of the intentions of comments from strangers who normally are not known to be complimentary towards anything out of the "mainstream" look. I hope that in the future natural women are truly accepted and get so many genuine compliments that it won't be an issue anymore. Here the 3 tips for successful complimenting:
Do not touch if you don't KNOW you have permission to touch.
Compliment, don’t interrogate.
Don't make a scene, regardless of good intentions.
10-minute mini documentary that discusses the historical context of African-American women that are on television and natural hair. The doc highlights Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Harris-Perry, Rochelle Ritchie, and Rhonda Lee.
Editor’s Note: This was a nice and quick 10-minute documentary with a panel of four professional black women talking about the pressures of needing to constantly worry about how they and their hair are seen in the eyes of Western society.
The panel discusses experiences of prominent black women in the media and Professor Yanela Gordon raises an interesting point when she says that in the United States black women and black hair has been portrayed as the opposite of beauty and that tactic was used in order to create and develop an inferiority complex which was required to enable slavery to work in the first place. Finally, there was a point that I couldn't agree with more, and that was that little black girls need to see black women BE black women in order to feel pride in themselves. Here are our article highlights:
The panel of black women talk about how they have tried to fit in with the majority "white" look when interviewing for jobs.
A lot of times women don't want to associate with their natural selves because they don't know the history behind it and that it's something to be proud of.
According to Melissa Harris-Perry, dreadlocks are "locs" not "dreads" and not something to be dreaded.
The panel of women thinks that more and more young girls will embrace their natural hair in the future.