Lupita Nyong’o: “My One Prayer…Was That I would Wake Up Light Skinned”

Lupita-Nyong-o-EssenceLupita Nyong’o is certainly shining. The Oscar nominated actress and red carpet stunner has grabbed attention far and wide since her breakout role in 12 Years a Slave. But, at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, she admitted that she used to struggle with her physical appearance. So much so, she routinely prayed for her skin to become lighter overnight. This just goes to show that the evil seeds of colorism abound even for young women whom we would all deem extraordinarily gorgeous. [Read more…]

Queen Latifah Looks and Acts Like a Million Bucks

Queen-Latifah-Shining-GrammysWas I the only one who noticed how fabulous Queen Latifah looked at this year’s Grammy Awards which aired this past Sunday? Not only are her efforts to get in great shape apparent, she looked happy, radiant, and positively stunning in her floor length black glittery gown. And, as her appearance displays, she has been winning in the industry for quite some time now.

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Black Hair Battles: Little Girl Defends Her Hair Against Christian School

hair-expulsion-worth-campaignBlack women’s hair just keeps making news recently. Vanessa VanDyke, a young black girl in Orlando, Florida, was told by her school that she would be expelled if she didn’t change her “distracting” hairstyle. The only problem here is she wears her hair the way it grows from her scalp. She doesn’t try to make it distracting at all.

So, in essence, the school is requesting that she cut, chemically treat, or otherwise manipulate her hair with harmful products to make other students more comfortable. This seems both damaging to her self-worth and marginalizing at the same time. [Read more…]

“Black” Hairstyles on White Women Evoke Questions of Professionalism

white-women-black-hairstyles1Black women’s hair seems to be in the news every other day or so. How it is styled, how long it is, what its texture feels like, and so on comes up in the media so regularly that it seems like a major facet of public dialogue. Sometimes women have been fired after their traditionally “black” hairstyles caused issues for them. And, black hair continues to be a major factor in the “othering” of black women.

So, what does it mean when non-black women sport traditionally “black” hairstyles? More specifically, when professional looking middle-aged white women wear cornrows, flat twists, finger waves, and twist outs, does it have the same effect? Does it raise the same questions? [Read more…]

Hair Tutorial: Hair Oil Dos and Don’ts (VIDEO)

jojoba oilIt took me quite some time to add natural hair oils to my haircare regimen. And, I must say, adding them has made a major difference in the look, feel, and overall health of my hair. I tend t0 rely on a few staple hair oils like olive, castor, jojoba, and coconut oils. While trying new oils and recipes, I have had some key learnings that I think are worth passing along. In this tutorial, I am sharing a few key things about using hair oil on hair skin. [Read more…]

Hair Tutorial: Senegalese Twists (Video)

Jenn TwistsThere are a lot of popular protective styles right now. My favorite (at the moment) is Senegalese Twists or simply twists with synthetic hair. I previously put my twists in and I like to refresh them once or twice a month. In this tutorial, I show you what kind of hair I use, how I condition my natural hair prior to installing the twists, what method I use, and how I keep the ends from fraying.

This is my personal way of twisting my hair with Marley braid hair. There are many options out there. But, one thing is common between all of them, installing twists as a protective, long-term style can be a great way to give your hair a break from constant styling. Be sure to check out my video on a great homeade braid spray to keep your hair moisturized while the twists are in. [Read more…]