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: Aloe Vera Braid Spray (VIDEO)

Aloe-Vera-Juice_A few weeks ago, I was very much into my heavier olive oil braid spray since I was traveling to Washington DC for a family trip. But, since returning to Orange County, I have found that that particular mixture has not been keeping my hair and scalp moisturized for 2 or more days (which is important to me while wearing Senegalese Twists). Since I was having issues with the both the weather change and my hormonal changes at the end of my pregnancy, I mixed up a lighter braid spray with a base of aloe vera juice and natural oils.

I have found that this mixture has more longevity in the dry aridity of southern California. Feel free to add and takeaway from this recipe as you see fit. Some products may work better for you than they did for me. And, different hair types may benefit from different ratios of moisturizers and emollients. Most importantly, just make sure that your hair responds well. If it doesn’t, it’s time to try a different recipe.

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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…]

Sheryl Underwood’s ‘Nappy Hair’ Comments Question Self-Worth

sherylunderwood7126Sheryl Underwood, well-known comedienne, actress, and co-host of The Talk, has had some interesting things to say over the years. And, as a prominent woman of color, her audience consists of many people of color. Recently, she mentioned that it made no sense to save “nappy, afro hair” when discussing Victoria Secret model Heidi Klum’s desire to save her bi-racial children’s naturally curly, kinky hair after haircuts.Underwood went on to describe the hair as “beady” and “nasty.” Many have come out against the words she supposedly used in jest. Truthfully, this seems less a question of comedy or preference and more a question of self-worth.

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