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…]

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…]

Hair Tutorial: Olive Oil Moisture Mist/Spray (Video)

Jenn M. Jackson Video PicI previously posted about the wonders of olive oil. And, I posted the recipe for my go-to summer product: olive oil moisture mist. I went ahead this week and recorded a video tutorial walking through the steps of creating my homemade moisture/braid spray.

In the video below, you will get my tips and tricks on how to make a moisturizing spray which can be used on synthetic hair braids and Senegalese Twists, cornrows, or other long-term protective styles. I used it for the entire summer last year and saw less shedding and breakage overall.

What is really great about this recipe is that you can adjust it in whatever ways work best for you. If you prefer thicker, heavier spray, you can increase the condish. But, if you are just looking for something to freshen your twist-out or daily style, you can increase the water. One important bit of advice, never use more aloe vera juice (AVJ) than water. To maintain proper pH balance, always use equal parts water and AVJ or less AVJ than water. [Read more…]

“Dark Girls” Documentary Explores Colorism, Self-Worth, and Prejudice

dark girlsThe captivating and well-received documentaryDark Girls” will be premiering on OWN this Sunday. And while the film touches on the topic of colorism, the intra-racial animus brought on by perceived worth associated with lighter variations in skin pigmentation in the black community, it also deals with social messaging, stigmas about natural hair textures, and relationships with darker women. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the film is its authenticity as it is mainly told through firsthand accounts of “dark girls.” And, I have to say, even the preview brought up emotions for me that I had long ago believed to be gone. [Read more…]

“You Can Touch My Hair” Exhibit: A Setback for Black Women?

Afro GoddessHave you ever had someone ask you, “Can I touch your hair?‘ Or better yet, have you had someone reach up to your freshly permed, pressed, braided, coiffed, twisted, weaved, or blown-out afro-puff to rub their grubby little finger tips through your carefully styled tresses? Well, I have. Anyone who knows me knows I have rocked the ‘fro to braids to weaves to twists to perms and every derivation of everything in between. And, I have had people of all races ask or un-invitedly reach into my hair. Well, needless to say, that has gotten old for me. But, for Antonia Opiah, founder of Un-ruly.com, the curiosity drove her to create the public art exhibit “You Can Touch My Hair” in New York City. The public display of real-life curly and kinky haired women, which debuted last week, has been met with mixed reviews. So, I guess it’s time to offer my own. [Read more…]