Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Natural Beauty According to Nappturality.com



Many women of African descent all over the world have stopped relaxing, straightening, and playing with their hair, and have started embracing the natural look. There are many different reasons why people decided to go natural, whether it is because of hair damage from chemicals, scalp problems, illnesses, finances, hair loss, being tired of spending hours at the beauty salon/weaving lady's house....or simply curiosity. Or, if they're anything like me, others are just looking for something new and interesting to try when it comes to black hair.

No matter why we choose to go natural, it is a very convenient choice when it comes to maintenance, and it is definitely something that our wallets will thank us for.

The site Nappturality.com is a website dedicated solely and specifically to the woman who chooses to go "au natural". The site was created to help those who were simply looking for healthy, beautiful and painless hair solutions, and those who needed to see things that actually worked for others.

Nappturality.com provides photographs, Black natural hair articles and journals, links to websites, forums, other information and links about the care, maintenance and politics of natural hair.

The site is also a community where people discuss and upload their own photos, so if you're already wearing it natural, check the site out...and then come back and tell us about your experience!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Black Hair Documentary: Black Women Can Learn from This

I found that this black hairstyle documentary by Aron Ranen was something that alot of black women should see. It describes some of the history and perspectives of black women's hair, as well as who controls the black hair market. It gives black people something to think about.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beautiful Black Locks: The Keys to Great Black Hair

Bobs and crops are bold and beautiful but if you want longer, healthier hair we’ve got some tips for you.

Cut the damage. If your ends are fried and tried, scraggly and haggard, disappearing and raggedy let them go. They may add to the length but long doesn’t always mean pretty. Visit your stylist and tell her to cut until it’s even and healthy.

Increase circulation. You can do this in two ways.

1) Get up off of the couch and get your heart pumping. Exercise, it just keeps coming back doesn’t it.

2) Give yourself a daily scalp massage using your fingertips.

You are what you eat. What goes in helps what comes out. Foods rich in vitamins A, B, C and E are essential for growing healthy hair and iron and zinc are proven to help your hair grow its fastest.

Keep it clean, especially if you use a lot of products. Remember, the days of petroleum and mineral oil based hair grease and conditioners have retired. Product build-up can clog follicles and prevent your hair from growing. Be sure to shampoo often (talk to your stylist about how often is often enough for you) and give your hairbrushes and combs a weekly cleansing too so that you’re not re-brushing in old dirt and oil.

Be kind. Long hair is old hair. Swap abrasive products for gentler ones formulated for your hair type. Add a deep treatment or hair mask to your regimen and try to stay away from heat-styling appliances.

Get regular trims. You want your hair to stay undamaged and split-end free. Otherwise you’ll end up back where you started.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The 411 on Remy Lace Wigs


So, we've heard that Lace Wigs are widely popular with celebrities, and quickly became the next big thing for black hair. What exactly are these wigs? And just how available or pricey are they?

Here is a quick guide to Lace Wigs. (answers found on lacewigsmade4u.com)

Q: What is Remy/Remi Indian hair?

A:Remy hair, also called virgin, cuticle or cut hair; is the highest quality human hair you can find on the market. It is in its natural state, free from chemical processing of any kind. It only comes in natural colors such as black, off black, dark brown, and medium brown. Remy hair is special because each bundle comes directly from a single donors head. This allows each bundle to keep the consistency of texture, color and length. It is then cleaned and sorted to be packaged. The cuticles of the hair are all intact and facing in the same direction. This eliminates the worrisome pain of tangles and matting. Remy hair can be dyed, permed, styled, set and blown dry to suit the individual. It is the softest and most natural hair available to buy. It looks and feels like actual hair, because it is! This hair is not something you see in at the beauty supply store because of the price.

Q. Can I straighten or curl this hair with curling irons etc?

A. Yes. This hair is 100% human hair and reacts to styling just like your own natural hair. Curly/wavy textures curl up when wet, but they can easily be flat ironed for a straight look.

Q. How long will the wig last?

A. You unit can last for years depending on your usage and upkeep.

Beyonce, Tyra, Kelly, and J. Hud are only a few of the many celebrities that have worn lace wigs. I've heard nothing but good reviews, and these wigs look real.

Are they really worth the $300 price? If you've ever worn one please leave a testimony!

Black Women & Hair Growth


A lot of us struggle with hair growth, breakage, and all around treatment. Hair is sometimes a burden, and almost always a job to maintain. This problem in the African American hair community may finally have some answers...or at least suggestions we can try.

From researching black hair growth all around the web, I have found some tips to help, and they also adjust your diet a bit.

Ways To Grow Black Hair

1. Eat Leafy Greens.

These veggies have some vitamins that can help: vitamin A, C, Calcium and Fiber. Our usual Sunday dinner greens can help with hair growth if you eat them more than once a week. Try adding collard greens, spinach, lettuce and kale to your weekly diet.

2. Eat More Protein.

Eating such foods as fish, nuts, beans and meat provide you with the necessary protein that can help hair growth. If you're not much of a cooker, try protein shakes.

3. Take Vitamins.

Amino Acids, Vitamin B, and Omega 3 and 6 are some necessary vitamins you can add to your diet that help hair growth. If you're not one for taking pills, try adding foods that contain these vitamins.

4. Watch What You Drink.

Water, water and more water. You can't go wrong with lots of water! Not only does water help your body, it helps your hair growth by transporting necessary nutrients to your scalp. Cut back or cut out the alcohol, sugary drinks and acids.

5. Use Natural Hair Care Products.

If the box or bottle boasts something you know is edible, it's probably good for your hair! Try things with olive oil or carrot oil. Try products such as those from the Beauty 4 Ashes hair care line. (discoverb4a.com)



Braids and the Angry Black Woman: Acceptable in the Workplace?

There has been a long-time notion that braids are not acceptable for black women in the workplace. I've seen black women passed over during interviews from my company in part due to stereotypes created from the first impression. Much of this first impression of the black woman relates to the style of hair she wears. A woman with braids with a cold disposition may even get the label of being an "angry black woman".

So, my question is whether or not black women wearing braids in the workplace is acceptable. If it is not acceptable, then why not? I have known many brilliant black women in college who wore braids, but some of them cut their hair when they go after their first corporate interview. Are braids a big enough piece of African American culture for us to fight over it, or should be just assimilate to fit in?

If we do fit in, then what style of hair works best? I would like to know if anyone else has guidance on this issue.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Getting to the Root of it all: Black Women's Hair

by Camille Darby, FIERCE411.com

It's never been denied that women are granted one of the many gifts that augment physical beauty - our hair. Twist it, lock it, braid it, curl it, straighten it or simply let it free, the options are endless. Yet, no matter how we decide to define our own beauty, time and time again, our hair seems to be the medium by which others judge how we feel about ourselves and often times what we even believe.

My grandmother always reminds me that a woman's beauty lies within her hair. Now that I've experimented with various hairstyles throughout my twenty-odd years on earth, how exactly is that beauty defined? There are countless attributes, both inside and out that make us all beautiful - our hair may or may not be one of them. So perhaps her traditional ways play a role in her ideology about beauty. But beauty is multidimensional and as the overused but accurate quote states: "it's in the eye of the beholder."

As I try to get to the root of this I am immediately reminded of an encounter I had with a widely known female poet from Jamaica (I'll leave you to fill in all the blanks). Boasting a wild Afro, she sparked up a few conversations with each of my housemates when out of the blue, she boldly asked me if I am not uncomfortable with the rollers that sat on my head. "By uncomfortable, what do you mean?", I asked. And to no surprise she attempted to provide me with a history lesson about black hair and in her opinion, the automatic self-deprecation that is coupled with straightening one's hair. I was disappointed but not taken aback as I thought "Oh boy, here we go again…another blacker than thou discussion!"

Living amongst other black females, who all sported various "natural" hairstyles, my relaxed hair (and the rollers that curled it) stood as a beacon that shone a light on my ocean of supposed self-hate. "Why would you do that to yourself?" she inquired relentlessly. "Do what to myself," I immediately fired back, "do my hair?" It wasn't my posture or body language, which are normally good indicators of how one may feel about his or herself-it was my hair. What about my relaxed hair is powerful enough for anyone to make a judgment about what I believe or even assume that I automatically hate myself?

Needless to say our conversation did not end well. But later that night, I asked myself once more, "Why is it that our hair-one of our many physical characteristics-speak such high volumes about who we are and what we believe?" Now don't get me wrong, looks are often enough to trigger a red or green flag; but in this day and age when hairstyles do not necessarily signify a particular political or social view as they did from the 1920s to the 1970s, but instead exhibit versatility, personal taste and freedom, why must we continue this exhaustive conversation?

It is conversations like the one I experienced that reassure us that as humans we are constantly evolving. The changes that we commit to, whether spiritual, mental or physical exhibit our many dimensions that allow us to further define our inner and outer beauty.

Flowing dreadlocks, extraordinarily sculpted braids, loose twists, a shimmering baldhead, or even a weave longer than Naomi Campbell's illustrates that we, as women, have a plethora of choices. And though our hair (or lack thereof) helps in creating our physical beauty, one can only truly judge beauty by the knowledge way beneath the scalp and the love deep within our hearts.

Happy hairstyling!

About The Author: Camille Darby received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College with concentrations in Urban Studies and Creative Writing. She is the editor for two online newsletters, and is also a writer for both the stage and screen. Camille attends the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University where she is working
towards an MFA in Dramatic Writing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Top 5 Black Hair Care Myths


Over the years I have done a lot of hair and met a lot of people. With that has come some incredibly false information about how to take care of our black hair. I know the feeling, after a while we just don't know what to believe or what works. Well, here are at least 5 things you can be sure about:

Top 5 Black Hair Care Myths: True or False?

1. Relaxed hair will NOT grow.

- This is FALSE. Relaxing the hair does present a lot of chemicals that your hair may not be used to, but that doesn't necessarily hinder growth. Proper upkeep after a relaxer can maintain hair growth. By not applying too much heat (blow dryers, straighterners, etc.) and other chemicals closely after relaxing, you can prevent a lot of damage. Further help with relaxing hair will be featured in this blog soon.

2. Black Women should NOT wash their hair.

- This is definitely FALSE. Black women should NOT wash their hair EVERYDAY. Unlike our white friends, Black hair is much more dry and excessive washing can lead to excessive breakage. We should not wash it every day, but instead once every 3-7 days depending on your level of dryness. A mistake often made is not washing it for extended amounts of time, such as every 2 weeks, or even months while hair is braided or weaved. Instead, very dirty hair can slow down hair growth.

3. Herbs help hair growth.

- This is TRUE. Some herbs such as rosemary, chamomile and ginkgo are as good for the hair as they are for the body. Our friends at Kristen Lock detail the herbs myth on their site. (Check it out here: http://www.kristenlock.com/Herbal-Remedies-For-Black-Hair-Growth)

4. Leave-In-Conditioners DO NOT work.

- This is FALSE. Leave-In-Conditioners provide hydration and nutrients necessary for hair health. In fact, you can use leave-in-conditioners often without shampoo, especially after washing or quick rinses to maintain curls (for those of us with natural waves).

5. Massaging the scalp regularly stimulates hair growth.

- This is TRUE. Massaging the scalp regularly can stimulate hair folicles to grow. A daily 5 minute massage can help your hair grow (in addition to proper hair care), and make you feel better and calm while you're at it!

FEATURED PRODUCT: Motions Nourish Leave-In Conditioner.


This spray is easy to use, and leaves hair managable, fresh and detangled. It is about $5 at hair supply stores.

There are many myths, do's, and don'ts to black hair care, and I will make sure to tell you what I know, what works, and what just doesn't! Some of it will come from my own personal experiences with doing hair, and others will come from questions and comments, so feel free to leave some!