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Friday, December 30, 2011

Professional Hair

The other day, I blogged about model Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-we-can-learn-from-chrystele-saint.html). I talked about how proud I am of her for sporting her naturally coily hair on the runway and in fashion spreads. Of course, I do recognize that not all of us are in the fashion or entertainment industry.

Having said that, I wonder if each of you can describe what "professional hair" is in your particular industry? Please comment and let me know: 1) the industry in which you work and 2) how you would describe professional hair and unprofessional hair in your industry. It would be great if you even have a picture to illustrate your point!

For example, in academia, I've noticed that women in particular seem to be more comfortable wearing their natural hair. Natural might mean gray, curly, kinky, straight, wavy, blonde, black; however it NATURALLY grows out of the head. Also, what is it about academia that might affect how professors wear their hair?

Professional Hair

The other day, I blogged about model Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-we-can-learn-from-chrystele-saint.html). I talked about how proud I am of her for sporting her naturally coily hair on the runway and in fashion spreads. Of course, I do recognize that not all of us are in the fashion or entertainment industry.

Having said that, I wonder if each of you can describe what "professional hair" is in your particular industry? Please comment and let me know: 1) the industry in which you work and 2) how you would describe professional hair and unprofessional hair in your industry. It would be great if you even have a picture to illustrate your point!

For example, in academia, I've noticed that women in particular seem to be more comfortable wearing their natural hair. Natural might mean gray, curly, kinky, straight, wavy, blonde, black; however it NATURALLY grows out of the head. Also, what is it about academia that might affect how professors wear their hair?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Insecure, Teenaged 40 year old?


My heart is racing, I have a bit of agita and I'm getting a nervous headache. About to make an important presentation? Being chased by an assailant? No, nothing like that. I'm about to see my Southern family for the first time in a few months. I don't know what it is, but seeing my family makes me revert to my insecure teenage self when I was just as likely to think that I was going to be the next President of the United States as I was to feel like a nerdy, unattractive social outcast. What is this all about? Why do these feelings emerge? I guess it's natural...I, like most us want to please my parents. But, they haven't seen me for awhile and my waist is three inches bigger than what they're used to. Plus, I am four+ months after the Big Chop and while I LOVE my twist-out, this style is definitely an acquired taste. I'm wondering if its positive reception is affected by the fact that we live in the North. As I've blogged before, I've heard that the South may not be as hospitable to natural hair (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/11/north-more-hospitable-to-natural-hair.html).

Despite this angst, I'm going to rock my same self and see what happens. I'll be sure to share the details. :)

Insecure, Teenaged 40 year old?


My heart is racing, I have a bit of agita and I'm getting a nervous headache. About to make an important presentation? Being chased by an assailant? No, nothing like that. I'm about to see my Southern family for the first time in a few months. I don't know what it is, but seeing my family makes me revert to my insecure teenage self when I was just as likely to think that I was going to be the next President of the United States as I was to feel like a nerdy, unattractive social outcast. What is this all about? Why do these feelings emerge? I guess it's natural...I, like most us want to please my parents. But, they haven't seen me for awhile and my waist is three inches bigger than what they're used to. Plus, I am four+ months after the Big Chop and while I LOVE my twist-out, this style is definitely an acquired taste. I'm wondering if its positive reception is affected by the fact that we live in the North. As I've blogged before, I've heard that the South may not be as hospitable to natural hair (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/11/north-more-hospitable-to-natural-hair.html).

Despite this angst, I'm going to rock my same self and see what happens. I'll be sure to share the details. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What We Can Learn From Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin



I imagine that the pressures of modelling must be overwhelming at times. It must be much easier to go with the flow and blend in with all of the other models. That is why I admire Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin, a French model of Caribbean descent (both of her parents are from Martinique according to information I found about her: http://chrysteleaugustin.tripod.com/chrystele_information.html). Why do I admire Ms. Augustin? Well, among other things as the pictures illustrate, she sports a head full of coily hair. In my opinion, she ROCKS HER FRO! It could be said that Ms. Augustin's mane is remniscent of an earlier super model, Ms. Peggy Dillard. Don't know who she is? I'll be sharing more details about her in an upcoming post.

What can Ms. Augustin teach us? Well, I'd argue that if she can make her coily and/or curly hair part of her brand, we can all think about how we can do the same. Granted, we don't all have model looks, nor do we all work in the entertainment / fashion industries. However, perhaps we each can revisit an unstated (and sometimes stated!) assumption that straightening our tresses is a necessity if we desire to project a professional image.


Vogue Paris image found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=686&bih=604&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsfd&tbnid=alf-r9N7rQ7rjM:&imgrefurl=http://getatmexl.tumblr.com/post/5891308589/chrystelle-saint-louis-augustin-vogue-paris-oct&docid=boo5nT3sziOl2M&imgurl=http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkxr6iMH1J1qjr6l4o1_500.jpg&w=468&h=640&ei=Yx7yTq6gH6230gH2raC_Ag&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=94&vpy=65&dur=224&hovh=263&hovw=192&tx=114&ty=125&sig=111245176624317175719&page=1&tbnh=124&tbnw=91&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0


Bottom image found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1199&bih=674&tbm=isch&tbnid=xfqKbf3Wn9YslM:&imgrefurl=http://ieatmypancitwithrice.tumblr.com/post/3542587139/french-model-chrystelle-saint-louis-augustin&docid=6FrON8SrdPOXNM&imgurl=http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lh9u53hIcd1qeq7tpo1_500.jpg&w=500&h=578&ei=OVXxTrLQFsrr0gGO5P2sAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=126&vpy=108&dur=548&hovh=241&hovw=209&tx=101&ty=69&sig=111245176624317175719&page=1&tbnh=159&tbnw=143&start=0&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

What We Can Learn From Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin



I imagine that the pressures of modelling must be overwhelming at times. It must be much easier to go with the flow and blend in with all of the other models. That is why I admire Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin, a French model of Caribbean descent (both of her parents are from Martinique according to information I found about her: http://chrysteleaugustin.tripod.com/chrystele_information.html). Why do I admire Ms. Augustin? Well, among other things as the pictures illustrate, she sports a head full of coily hair. In my opinion, she ROCKS HER FRO! It could be said that Ms. Augustin's mane is remniscent of an earlier super model, Ms. Peggy Dillard. Don't know who she is? I'll be sharing more details about her in an upcoming post.

What can Ms. Augustin teach us? Well, I'd argue that if she can make her coily and/or curly hair part of her brand, we can all think about how we can do the same. Granted, we don't all have model looks, nor do we all work in the entertainment / fashion industries. However, perhaps we each can revisit an unstated (and sometimes stated!) assumption that straightening our tresses is a necessity if we desire to project a professional image.


Vogue Paris image found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=686&bih=604&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsfd&tbnid=alf-r9N7rQ7rjM:&imgrefurl=http://getatmexl.tumblr.com/post/5891308589/chrystelle-saint-louis-augustin-vogue-paris-oct&docid=boo5nT3sziOl2M&imgurl=http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkxr6iMH1J1qjr6l4o1_500.jpg&w=468&h=640&ei=Yx7yTq6gH6230gH2raC_Ag&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=94&vpy=65&dur=224&hovh=263&hovw=192&tx=114&ty=125&sig=111245176624317175719&page=1&tbnh=124&tbnw=91&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0


Bottom image found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1199&bih=674&tbm=isch&tbnid=xfqKbf3Wn9YslM:&imgrefurl=http://ieatmypancitwithrice.tumblr.com/post/3542587139/french-model-chrystelle-saint-louis-augustin&docid=6FrON8SrdPOXNM&imgurl=http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lh9u53hIcd1qeq7tpo1_500.jpg&w=500&h=578&ei=OVXxTrLQFsrr0gGO5P2sAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=126&vpy=108&dur=548&hovh=241&hovw=209&tx=101&ty=69&sig=111245176624317175719&page=1&tbnh=159&tbnw=143&start=0&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

MTV Does Hair


As we've discussed over the several months on this blog, hair matters. It affects how we feel, the image that we portray, how others receive us. It appears that we're not the only ones who accept that hair is important.

MTV is casting for an episode called "I hate my hair" on it's show "True Life". Here's the casting call (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1610594/all-new-true-life-episodes-coming.jhtml):


TRUE LIFE: I HATE MY HAIR
Is your hair your obsession? Do you spend hours of your day and week to style and manage your hair? Are you digging yourself into a financial hole just to deal with your hair? Do you have unwanted hair, or not the "right" hair? Are you someone with a hormone imbalance that leads to hair loss, or facial hair growth?

How does your hair affect your social life? Does your hair make you feel unattractive and affect how you interact with members of the opposite sex? Do your friends and family think you are out of control with your hair obsession? Are you undergoing a procedure to alter your hair or do you go to great lengths to manage it?

If you appear to be between the ages of 15 -28 and have hair that's making you unhappy, email us at casting@lintonmedia.com and tell us about your story. Please include your name, location, phone number and recent photos of yourself.

I can happily say that I don't hate my hair...I am learning to love it in all of it's shapes (wow, still working on loving that just woke up, mashed in shape, whew!).

So, while this casting call's not for me, I wanted to share it because: 1) some one may be interested in the casting call; 2) it strikes me as interesting that MTV is interested in this topic. A few days ago, MTV even did a casting call for women going natural (see this article on The Root: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/mtv-true-life-black-women-go-natural). I couldn't find the actual MTV casting for the natural hair show so I didn't blog about it but I thought that you all might like to hear about it. What do you think? How would you like the hair stories to be portrayed? Any True Life fans out there? What do you think?

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://wae.blogs.starnewsonline.com/files/2011/07/mtv-logo.png&sa=X&ei=E_bwTtbSOKH20gHew_WbAg&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE5XHuFV304mn_vLUNaGbvLvz7GuA

MTV Does Hair


As we've discussed over the several months on this blog, hair matters. It affects how we feel, the image that we portray, how others receive us. It appears that we're not the only ones who accept that hair is important.

MTV is casting for an episode called "I hate my hair" on it's show "True Life". Here's the casting call (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1610594/all-new-true-life-episodes-coming.jhtml):


TRUE LIFE: I HATE MY HAIR
Is your hair your obsession? Do you spend hours of your day and week to style and manage your hair? Are you digging yourself into a financial hole just to deal with your hair? Do you have unwanted hair, or not the "right" hair? Are you someone with a hormone imbalance that leads to hair loss, or facial hair growth?

How does your hair affect your social life? Does your hair make you feel unattractive and affect how you interact with members of the opposite sex? Do your friends and family think you are out of control with your hair obsession? Are you undergoing a procedure to alter your hair or do you go to great lengths to manage it?

If you appear to be between the ages of 15 -28 and have hair that's making you unhappy, email us at casting@lintonmedia.com and tell us about your story. Please include your name, location, phone number and recent photos of yourself.

I can happily say that I don't hate my hair...I am learning to love it in all of it's shapes (wow, still working on loving that just woke up, mashed in shape, whew!).

So, while this casting call's not for me, I wanted to share it because: 1) some one may be interested in the casting call; 2) it strikes me as interesting that MTV is interested in this topic. A few days ago, MTV even did a casting call for women going natural (see this article on The Root: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/mtv-true-life-black-women-go-natural). I couldn't find the actual MTV casting for the natural hair show so I didn't blog about it but I thought that you all might like to hear about it. What do you think? How would you like the hair stories to be portrayed? Any True Life fans out there? What do you think?

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://wae.blogs.starnewsonline.com/files/2011/07/mtv-logo.png&sa=X&ei=E_bwTtbSOKH20gHew_WbAg&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE5XHuFV304mn_vLUNaGbvLvz7GuA

Friday, December 16, 2011

Barbie!

It seems that a trend is afoot. Folks are taking "regular" Barbie Dolls and turning them into coily-haired goddesses. A visit to the Mattel website (www.mattel.com), revealed only one Black doll:

BARBIE® SPARKLE LIGHTS™ Mermaid Doll - Shop.Mattel.com

However, dolls like this are showing up:




Can you say GORGEOUS!!!!? Wow, if only such dolls were readily available. The thing is, it sounds like the "regular" hair can be converted to coily glory with hot water and pipe cleaners (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/natural-hair-group-in-geo_n_1149574.html?ref=hair-beauty). Would it really be that difficult for Mattel to figure out how to manufacture such dolls? I guess it's going to take significant consumer demand before such adjustments are made. What do you think? Would you buy one?

Barbie!

It seems that a trend is afoot. Folks are taking "regular" Barbie Dolls and turning them into coily-haired goddesses. A visit to the Mattel website (www.mattel.com), revealed only one Black doll:

BARBIE® SPARKLE LIGHTS™ Mermaid Doll - Shop.Mattel.com

However, dolls like this are showing up:




Can you say GORGEOUS!!!!? Wow, if only such dolls were readily available. The thing is, it sounds like the "regular" hair can be converted to coily glory with hot water and pipe cleaners (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/natural-hair-group-in-geo_n_1149574.html?ref=hair-beauty). Would it really be that difficult for Mattel to figure out how to manufacture such dolls? I guess it's going to take significant consumer demand before such adjustments are made. What do you think? Would you buy one?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Natural Hair Health & Beauty Showcase


Altamese Osborne (Houston Press blog) wrote an article on the recent Natural Hair Health & Beauty Showcase. The showcase was sponsored by Miss Jessie's (http://www.missjessies.com/).
I particularly love the fact that the article couches "natural hair" as not just about Black women but about women of all backgrounds embracing their God-given hair.

Here's the article: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2011/12/like_a_natural_woman_nzuri_nat.php

AND

Here is information about the showcase: (http://naturalhairshowcase.com/)

Enjoy!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.stylemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Hair-Show-postcard-front-pink2.jpg&sa=X&ei=kM_nTqmsO6bw0gGV6oyTCg&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNGdLteK9p7xdN0gN4lxSp2FjqW44w

Natural Hair Health & Beauty Showcase


Altamese Osborne (Houston Press blog) wrote an article on the recent Natural Hair Health & Beauty Showcase. The showcase was sponsored by Miss Jessie's (http://www.missjessies.com/).
I particularly love the fact that the article couches "natural hair" as not just about Black women but about women of all backgrounds embracing their God-given hair.

Here's the article: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2011/12/like_a_natural_woman_nzuri_nat.php

AND

Here is information about the showcase: (http://naturalhairshowcase.com/)

Enjoy!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.stylemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Hair-Show-postcard-front-pink2.jpg&sa=X&ei=kM_nTqmsO6bw0gGV6oyTCg&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNGdLteK9p7xdN0gN4lxSp2FjqW44w

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paul Orfalea and Kinko's: A Surprising Hair Inspiration

Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko's

Yesterday between analyzing data and washing my hair, I watched "The One Percent", a documentary by Jamie Johnson (heir of the Johnson & Johnson estate) on social class in the United States. One colorful personality covered in the documentary was Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko's. I've wondered about the Kinko's name because it sounds like kinky but I didn't think much of it.

Well, it turns out that the Kinko's name came about because Mr. Orfalea has very kinky hair (let's just say that an alternate name was Pubo...I'll let you figure out the origin of that) and was teased about it. Talk about making the best out of a situation. I found it interesting that Mr. Orfalea didn't shy away from this unique character trait (he was in Santa Barbara, CA when he founded Kinko's. Demographic data suggests that kinky hair would have been an anomaly), rather, he embraced it and used it to his benefit.

As I type this in my car, I look at my reflection in the rear view mirror. Just this morning, I asked my husband if my freshly-washed double-strand twists made me look like a pickaninny (I blow-dried my hair before I twisted it and the extra length gave me a different look). Yes, those were the exact words I used. I have a meeting today with several colleagues and they present themselves as having conservative, White backgrounds. In other words, thinking about this meeting made me wonder if I looked "hyper-ethnic". I coined that term (I think) to refer to the sensation I sometimes get when I feel like a neon light is shining on me and highlighting how different I look, think, act, speak, etc.. Now, I try to figure out how to turn that agita into positive energy. Yes, I have the negative thoughts but then, I say, "Girl, this is who you are and how you look, OWN IT". Who knows, my "Kinko's" may be just around the corner.

Have you ever felt hyper-ethnic in a professional or social setting? Please, share your stories!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.usc.edu/dept/pubrel/trojan_family/spring99/images/insupport2.gif&sa=X&ei=dgzmTumYM8jm0QGH0eD6BQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE_XzsxWpZEJ2bHsbp-fBgqcNEcIA


Paul Orfalea and Kinko's: A Surprising Hair Inspiration

Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko's

Yesterday between analyzing data and washing my hair, I watched "The One Percent", a documentary by Jamie Johnson (heir of the Johnson & Johnson estate) on social class in the United States. One colorful personality covered in the documentary was Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko's. I've wondered about the Kinko's name because it sounds like kinky but I didn't think much of it.

Well, it turns out that the Kinko's name came about because Mr. Orfalea has very kinky hair (let's just say that an alternate name was Pubo...I'll let you figure out the origin of that) and was teased about it. Talk about making the best out of a situation. I found it interesting that Mr. Orfalea didn't shy away from this unique character trait (he was in Santa Barbara, CA when he founded Kinko's. Demographic data suggests that kinky hair would have been an anomaly), rather, he embraced it and used it to his benefit.

As I type this in my car, I look at my reflection in the rear view mirror. Just this morning, I asked my husband if my freshly-washed double-strand twists made me look like a pickaninny (I blow-dried my hair before I twisted it and the extra length gave me a different look). Yes, those were the exact words I used. I have a meeting today with several colleagues and they present themselves as having conservative, White backgrounds. In other words, thinking about this meeting made me wonder if I looked "hyper-ethnic". I coined that term (I think) to refer to the sensation I sometimes get when I feel like a neon light is shining on me and highlighting how different I look, think, act, speak, etc.. Now, I try to figure out how to turn that agita into positive energy. Yes, I have the negative thoughts but then, I say, "Girl, this is who you are and how you look, OWN IT". Who knows, my "Kinko's" may be just around the corner.

Have you ever felt hyper-ethnic in a professional or social setting? Please, share your stories!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.usc.edu/dept/pubrel/trojan_family/spring99/images/insupport2.gif&sa=X&ei=dgzmTumYM8jm0QGH0eD6BQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE_XzsxWpZEJ2bHsbp-fBgqcNEcIA


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tracee Ellis Ross: Hair Idol!




In a recent article I wrote for the Washington Post (see it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/at-war-with-unmanageable-hair/2011/09/05/gIQAp2wP9J_blog.html), I shared that Tracee Ellis Ross was (still is!) one of my hair idols. Why? Well, one look at this slide show of her hairstyles and you'll see why. Ms. Ellis Ross manages to look uniquely quirky, elegant, stylish and gorgeous while ROCKING her natural hair. Go Ms. Ellis Ross!

Tracee Ellis Ross: Hair Idol!




In a recent article I wrote for the Washington Post (see it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/at-war-with-unmanageable-hair/2011/09/05/gIQAp2wP9J_blog.html), I shared that Tracee Ellis Ross was (still is!) one of my hair idols. Why? Well, one look at this slide show of her hairstyles and you'll see why. Ms. Ellis Ross manages to look uniquely quirky, elegant, stylish and gorgeous while ROCKING her natural hair. Go Ms. Ellis Ross!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Essence Magazine and essence.com


Given my personal hair evolution, I'm keenly attuned to depictions of natural hair in the popular press. I must say that Essence magazine has impressed me of late. I received the January 2012 edition (Queen Latifah looks radiant on the cover) and I was delighted to see an article by Tasha Turner entitled, "Growing out a relaxer: Caring for your strands". The three-page spread covers everything from transition do's to styles for the in-between stage, to hair care products. The article seems particularly helpful for people opting not to do the Big Chop.

Further, I went to essence.com and I was greeted by a beautiful photo montage on 2011: The Year in Natural Hair (http://www.essence.com/2011/12/07/2011-the-year-in-natural-hair/).

I don't work for Essence and I didn't receive anything for blogging about this. I just want to give credit, where credit is due. Happy Saturday!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/200280/slide_200280_527401_huge.jpg&sa=X&ei=z4jjTq-CFOfY0QGs_pHKBQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNG0tujGS-Q0Of-cHWlHQlciDkjoeg

Essence Magazine and essence.com


Given my personal hair evolution, I'm keenly attuned to depictions of natural hair in the popular press. I must say that Essence magazine has impressed me of late. I received the January 2012 edition (Queen Latifah looks radiant on the cover) and I was delighted to see an article by Tasha Turner entitled, "Growing out a relaxer: Caring for your strands". The three-page spread covers everything from transition do's to styles for the in-between stage, to hair care products. The article seems particularly helpful for people opting not to do the Big Chop.

Further, I went to essence.com and I was greeted by a beautiful photo montage on 2011: The Year in Natural Hair (http://www.essence.com/2011/12/07/2011-the-year-in-natural-hair/).

I don't work for Essence and I didn't receive anything for blogging about this. I just want to give credit, where credit is due. Happy Saturday!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/200280/slide_200280_527401_huge.jpg&sa=X&ei=z4jjTq-CFOfY0QGs_pHKBQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNG0tujGS-Q0Of-cHWlHQlciDkjoeg

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Should: A Dirty Word?


Should. A word with only six letters but such far-reaching implications. Lately, I've been asking myself why I do the things that I do. Far too often, my answer is "because I should". Not "because I want to", "because I like this", "because it's a good thing to do" but "because I should". Hmm. For some reason, that's just not getting it for me anymore.

How is this related to hair? Well, I think that many people sport their current hairstyles because it's what they think they should do to please their Momma, Daddy, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, bosses or some invisible "they" lurking out there in general society. I recently interviewed several college students about this very issue. The discussion revealed that they, and likely many others, spend at least an hour a day so that they (and particularly their hair) can look like they "should". Sometimes they don't want to, sometimes they don't feel like it, but yet and still, they rise earlier from their beds to ensure that they look the way that they "should".

I am not saying that "should" doesn't have a place. BUT, doesn't it feel better when you go running because you want to feel the wind in your face versus when you feel obligated to go?Think about that! Ask yourself, when was the last time that you did something because you truly enjoyed it NOT because it's what you should have done?

Isn't enough, enough? Let's say we all start spending more time doing things because we want to rather than because we should. I know I'm looking forward to release from the bondage of "should".

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://moniquemonicat.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/deliverance-release-from-bondage-demons.jpg?w=300&h=195&sa=X&ei=tmfhTpaFC6n00gG7qKn5BQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc4Og&usg=AFQjCNFVbCnfKpGHWm7CFKtAZbdI_h5YhQ

Should: A Dirty Word?


Should. A word with only six letters but such far-reaching implications. Lately, I've been asking myself why I do the things that I do. Far too often, my answer is "because I should". Not "because I want to", "because I like this", "because it's a good thing to do" but "because I should". Hmm. For some reason, that's just not getting it for me anymore.

How is this related to hair? Well, I think that many people sport their current hairstyles because it's what they think they should do to please their Momma, Daddy, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, bosses or some invisible "they" lurking out there in general society. I recently interviewed several college students about this very issue. The discussion revealed that they, and likely many others, spend at least an hour a day so that they (and particularly their hair) can look like they "should". Sometimes they don't want to, sometimes they don't feel like it, but yet and still, they rise earlier from their beds to ensure that they look the way that they "should".

I am not saying that "should" doesn't have a place. BUT, doesn't it feel better when you go running because you want to feel the wind in your face versus when you feel obligated to go?Think about that! Ask yourself, when was the last time that you did something because you truly enjoyed it NOT because it's what you should have done?

Isn't enough, enough? Let's say we all start spending more time doing things because we want to rather than because we should. I know I'm looking forward to release from the bondage of "should".

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://moniquemonicat.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/deliverance-release-from-bondage-demons.jpg?w=300&h=195&sa=X&ei=tmfhTpaFC6n00gG7qKn5BQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc4Og&usg=AFQjCNFVbCnfKpGHWm7CFKtAZbdI_h5YhQ

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Henna: It Should NEVER Be Black

In my blog post "Dying to Dye" I talked about the fact that henna and other plant-based dyes don't contain PPD. Well, did you know that there is something called "Black Henna" that does contain PPD?

Henna is not supposed to be black (here is a resource that answers quite a few questions about henna: http://www.hennapage.com/henna/ppd/index.html). I learned that henna is not supposed to be black during a recent, local international culture fair. A henna tattoo artist was there and so my children and I all got tattoos (they last about a week). During the application, the tattoo artist implored me to NEVER use Black Henna because it is poisonous and contains harmful irritants. She added that if I did use Black Henna I'd likely get terrible skin issues. This kind woman's advice coupled with website information I've found have convinced me: folks, stay away from black henna on your skin and hair.

Henna: It Should NEVER Be Black

In my blog post "Dying to Dye" I talked about the fact that henna and other plant-based dyes don't contain PPD. Well, did you know that there is something called "Black Henna" that does contain PPD?

Henna is not supposed to be black (here is a resource that answers quite a few questions about henna: http://www.hennapage.com/henna/ppd/index.html). I learned that henna is not supposed to be black during a recent, local international culture fair. A henna tattoo artist was there and so my children and I all got tattoos (they last about a week). During the application, the tattoo artist implored me to NEVER use Black Henna because it is poisonous and contains harmful irritants. She added that if I did use Black Henna I'd likely get terrible skin issues. This kind woman's advice coupled with website information I've found have convinced me: folks, stay away from black henna on your skin and hair.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dying to Dye

I used to dye my hair when I had dreadlocks. I wanted to lighten my locks so that they looked "sun-kissed". I loved the look; however, I quickly stopped dyeing my hair because it didn't make any sense to spend that amount of money on my hair when I was living on a meager graduate student stipend in New York (well, I WAS married at the time and my husband was my Sugar Daddy! But, you get my point!). I no longer dye my hair and a recent flurry of events make me even happier with my decision to stop the dyeing habit. In fact, I'm now afraid to use do-it-yourself hair dye kits.

Several weeks ago a British teen eventually died in a hospital after first collapsing minutes after a do-it-yourself hair dyeing episode (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/10/20/hair-dye-allergy-suspected-in-teen-death/; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2051098/Does-YOUR-hair-dye-contain-chemical-feared-killed-woman.html. The teen, Tabatha McCourt, was apparently an avid hair-dyer who loved to experiment with different hair colors. It appears that Ms. McCourt had a severe allergic reaction to Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) a chemical widely used in hair dyes (this article talks about the teen, another woman who had a severe allergic reaction and provides detailed information about PPD: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/nov/28/could-hair-dye-kill-you?newsfeed=true). Here is some information on PPD from the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0805.html).

I am not a chemist, but it sounds like this stuff is noxious though it's been deemed safe as long as it doesn't touch the scalp. Wait a minute? How in the world can you dye your hair without any of the hair dye touching your scalp? That seems IMPOSSIBLE! Aren't the roots the main target of hair dyeing? It seems like we need to look into the safety of hair dye. I'm not the only one who thinks this is fishy. According to the British Medical Journal (2007): "Wider debate on the safety and composition of hair dyes is overdue—among medical and scientific communities, the public, and legislators. Cultural and commercial pressures to dye hair and, perhaps, the widespread obsession with the “culture of youth” are putting people at risk and increasing the burden on health services. It may not be easy to reverse these trends, however, as some patients have continued to use such dyes even when advised that they are allergic to them and risk severe reactions" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790769/).

Severe reactions that can lead to death. Folks, if you dye your hair or know of anyone who does, please be careful. I understand that natural henna and other plant-based dyes don't contain PPD. Again, I'm not an expert so please, check with your stylist, better yet your doctor.

Dying to Dye

I used to dye my hair when I had dreadlocks. I wanted to lighten my locks so that they looked "sun-kissed". I loved the look; however, I quickly stopped dyeing my hair because it didn't make any sense to spend that amount of money on my hair when I was living on a meager graduate student stipend in New York (well, I WAS married at the time and my husband was my Sugar Daddy! But, you get my point!). I no longer dye my hair and a recent flurry of events make me even happier with my decision to stop the dyeing habit. In fact, I'm now afraid to use do-it-yourself hair dye kits.

Several weeks ago a British teen eventually died in a hospital after first collapsing minutes after a do-it-yourself hair dyeing episode (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/10/20/hair-dye-allergy-suspected-in-teen-death/; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2051098/Does-YOUR-hair-dye-contain-chemical-feared-killed-woman.html. The teen, Tabatha McCourt, was apparently an avid hair-dyer who loved to experiment with different hair colors. It appears that Ms. McCourt had a severe allergic reaction to Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) a chemical widely used in hair dyes (this article talks about the teen, another woman who had a severe allergic reaction and provides detailed information about PPD: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/nov/28/could-hair-dye-kill-you?newsfeed=true). Here is some information on PPD from the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0805.html).

I am not a chemist, but it sounds like this stuff is noxious though it's been deemed safe as long as it doesn't touch the scalp. Wait a minute? How in the world can you dye your hair without any of the hair dye touching your scalp? That seems IMPOSSIBLE! Aren't the roots the main target of hair dyeing? It seems like we need to look into the safety of hair dye. I'm not the only one who thinks this is fishy. According to the British Medical Journal (2007): "Wider debate on the safety and composition of hair dyes is overdue—among medical and scientific communities, the public, and legislators. Cultural and commercial pressures to dye hair and, perhaps, the widespread obsession with the “culture of youth” are putting people at risk and increasing the burden on health services. It may not be easy to reverse these trends, however, as some patients have continued to use such dyes even when advised that they are allergic to them and risk severe reactions" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790769/).

Severe reactions that can lead to death. Folks, if you dye your hair or know of anyone who does, please be careful. I understand that natural henna and other plant-based dyes don't contain PPD. Again, I'm not an expert so please, check with your stylist, better yet your doctor.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The North More Hospitable to Natural Hair?




Over Thanksgiving, our family had the pleasure of hosting two Southern Belles, both residing from Tennessee. They are beautiful, Black young women who've both decided to don their natural tresses. I love to spend time with young women, they are so fresh, full of life...wait, I am too! Still, they remind me of myself 20 years ago and I love the fact that my profession allows me to so readily connect with such wonderful people.



During one of our many conversations, we talked about our hair. The three of us silently acknowledged that we've all chosen a path that, though increasingly accepted nowadays, can lead to resistance. The three of us also share Southern roots. I grew up in Alexandria, VA. Technically that is the South but anyone who's been there knows that it feels different than the Deep South. My Southern roots were gained from my parents, my Father grew up in Arkansas and Tennessee, my Mom in Georgia and Florida. This explains my penchant for hot sauce (yes, I've been known to carry a bottle of hot sauce in my purse in order to doctor up meals that salt and pepper cannot salvage).


Okay, back to my conversation with the young ladies. I was curious to hear about what folks in their hometown thought about their natural hair. "They don't like it", they chorused, "especially the men". I'm not surprised, but I was intrigued by their musings that it's more acceptable to wear natural hair in the North than in the South. This thought had flitted through my mind in the past but I'd never allowed it to nest. Could this be true? What do you all think? I realize that people all over the globe encounter issues of hair acceptance when it comes to natural hair. If you are not from the United States, I'd love to hear your perspective as well about your own hair experiences.



Image found at: http://www.tableof4please.com/2010_02_01_archive.html





The North More Hospitable to Natural Hair?




Over Thanksgiving, our family had the pleasure of hosting two Southern Belles, both residing from Tennessee. They are beautiful, Black young women who've both decided to don their natural tresses. I love to spend time with young women, they are so fresh, full of life...wait, I am too! Still, they remind me of myself 20 years ago and I love the fact that my profession allows me to so readily connect with such wonderful people.



During one of our many conversations, we talked about our hair. The three of us silently acknowledged that we've all chosen a path that, though increasingly accepted nowadays, can lead to resistance. The three of us also share Southern roots. I grew up in Alexandria, VA. Technically that is the South but anyone who's been there knows that it feels different than the Deep South. My Southern roots were gained from my parents, my Father grew up in Arkansas and Tennessee, my Mom in Georgia and Florida. This explains my penchant for hot sauce (yes, I've been known to carry a bottle of hot sauce in my purse in order to doctor up meals that salt and pepper cannot salvage).


Okay, back to my conversation with the young ladies. I was curious to hear about what folks in their hometown thought about their natural hair. "They don't like it", they chorused, "especially the men". I'm not surprised, but I was intrigued by their musings that it's more acceptable to wear natural hair in the North than in the South. This thought had flitted through my mind in the past but I'd never allowed it to nest. Could this be true? What do you all think? I realize that people all over the globe encounter issues of hair acceptance when it comes to natural hair. If you are not from the United States, I'd love to hear your perspective as well about your own hair experiences.



Image found at: http://www.tableof4please.com/2010_02_01_archive.html





Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tim Okamura's "Loading" BLEW ME AWAY



If you are anything like me, you are blown away by this image. My picture doesn't do justice to Tim Okamura's painting called "Loading". For more information on Mr. Okamura, please see his website (http://timokamura.com/noflash.html) and his FaceBook page:



Yesterday, I took my daughter and her friend to the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. WOW!! If you are in the Boston area I strongly encourage you to visit. When I first saw "Loading" I gasped. First, I've never seen contemporary art depicting African-American women with natural hair in a museum before. Not in this way. I thought, "HEY!!! That is me!". What an exhilirating feeling to see world class art that depicts people who look like you. Second, the twin's hair is absolutely GORGEOUS! Can you say chunky twist-out and afro from heaven?!


Mr. Okamura, I haven't yet met you but I need to! :)













Tim Okamura's "Loading" BLEW ME AWAY



If you are anything like me, you are blown away by this image. My picture doesn't do justice to Tim Okamura's painting called "Loading". For more information on Mr. Okamura, please see his website (http://timokamura.com/noflash.html) and his FaceBook page:



Yesterday, I took my daughter and her friend to the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. WOW!! If you are in the Boston area I strongly encourage you to visit. When I first saw "Loading" I gasped. First, I've never seen contemporary art depicting African-American women with natural hair in a museum before. Not in this way. I thought, "HEY!!! That is me!". What an exhilirating feeling to see world class art that depicts people who look like you. Second, the twin's hair is absolutely GORGEOUS! Can you say chunky twist-out and afro from heaven?!


Mr. Okamura, I haven't yet met you but I need to! :)













Saturday, November 19, 2011

Skin, hair/pencil test and other crazy proof needed for acceptance


I am watching "Skin" a movie starring Sophie Okonedo (she plays the main character Sandra) that takes place in apartheid South Africa. Here's a link about the movie: http://www.skinthemovie.net/site/ and here is a brief description of the movie that I found on Amazon.com:

Despite being born to Afrikaner parents, Sandra faces prejudice from her community due to her dark skin and African features. Torn between her family and the man she loves, Sandra must overcome the racial intolerance of her society in this uplifting true story. Starring Sophie Okonedo and Sam Neill. Based on the best-selling book "When She was White" by Judith Stone.

In a poignant scene from the movie, Sandra is taken before government officials and subjected to inspection to determine her ethnicity. What is the first thing the inspector does? Takes his fingers and rubs her hair between his hands. The second thing he does? Puts a pencil into her tresses and asks her to shake her head. The object of this pencil test? To determine if the pencil would fall out; thereby identifying her as white. Wow! I couldn't help but be reminded of the paper bag test (allegedly used by historically black sororities to determine if members could join; those with skin darker than the paper bag could hang it up: NO admission for darker-skinned people).

I am literally watching the movie at the same time that I'm typing this post. My heart is breaking as another scene shows Sandra powdering her face with what might as well be baby powder. Even her mother says, "You look as white as a ghost". Oh my dear. I hope that we once come to appreciate beauty of all shades, sizes and curls. Maybe one day.



Skin, hair/pencil test and other crazy proof needed for acceptance


I am watching "Skin" a movie starring Sophie Okonedo (she plays the main character Sandra) that takes place in apartheid South Africa. Here's a link about the movie: http://www.skinthemovie.net/site/ and here is a brief description of the movie that I found on Amazon.com:

Despite being born to Afrikaner parents, Sandra faces prejudice from her community due to her dark skin and African features. Torn between her family and the man she loves, Sandra must overcome the racial intolerance of her society in this uplifting true story. Starring Sophie Okonedo and Sam Neill. Based on the best-selling book "When She was White" by Judith Stone.

In a poignant scene from the movie, Sandra is taken before government officials and subjected to inspection to determine her ethnicity. What is the first thing the inspector does? Takes his fingers and rubs her hair between his hands. The second thing he does? Puts a pencil into her tresses and asks her to shake her head. The object of this pencil test? To determine if the pencil would fall out; thereby identifying her as white. Wow! I couldn't help but be reminded of the paper bag test (allegedly used by historically black sororities to determine if members could join; those with skin darker than the paper bag could hang it up: NO admission for darker-skinned people).

I am literally watching the movie at the same time that I'm typing this post. My heart is breaking as another scene shows Sandra powdering her face with what might as well be baby powder. Even her mother says, "You look as white as a ghost". Oh my dear. I hope that we once come to appreciate beauty of all shades, sizes and curls. Maybe one day.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

DrTinaOpie.com about to launch! Stay tuned!

Hello everyone,

I wanted to share that I have been working on several things related to my research on hair and identity. I am excited to say that over the coming weeks I'll be migrating from Blogger to my own website: DrTinaOpie.com. Whew-hew!!!! The website will house my blog, research, news relevant to hair and identity and other topics of interest. Please stay tuned. Thanks to all of you for making this blog such a success. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

P.S.: A week later, I am still rocking my twist-outs that I styled with Doris New York (DNY) products. I am thrilled because my hair is soft, moisturized and pliant. Perhaps my old straw hair has gone bye-bye?! I do believe that my sisters and Mommy will be getting DNY products for Christmas! Ok, enough on my hair.

My twist-out a week later


DrTinaOpie.com about to launch! Stay tuned!

Hello everyone,

I wanted to share that I have been working on several things related to my research on hair and identity. I am excited to say that over the coming weeks I'll be migrating from Blogger to my own website: DrTinaOpie.com. Whew-hew!!!! The website will house my blog, research, news relevant to hair and identity and other topics of interest. Please stay tuned. Thanks to all of you for making this blog such a success. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

P.S.: A week later, I am still rocking my twist-outs that I styled with Doris New York (DNY) products. I am thrilled because my hair is soft, moisturized and pliant. Perhaps my old straw hair has gone bye-bye?! I do believe that my sisters and Mommy will be getting DNY products for Christmas! Ok, enough on my hair.

My twist-out a week later


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twist-outs with Doris New York Hair Care Products

Yesterday, I used Doris New York products (Shampoo, Mud Pack, Leave-in Conditioner, Olive Oil Hair Cream and Hair and Scalp Oil) to do my twist out and I LOVE the results. My hair feels like silk and that is saying something considering the fact that I have struggled with my hair feeling like straw. In the past, I have relied on gels and hair products that often leave my hair feeling crunchy and coated.

What I did
I first washed with the shampoo. I next applied the Mud Minerals Pack Treatment, massaged it into my hair and scalp, combed through with wide-toothed comb, applied a shower cap and sat under a hooded dryer for 25 minutes. I then rinsed out the treatment and applied the leave in conditioner. I used the wide-toothed again and it slid through my hair. I then used a rat-tailed comb to part my hair and comb out each section of hair. I used clamps to separate my hair. As I combed out each section, I applied the Olive Oil Hair Cream and twisted that section. I did this to my entire head (wow, this took HOURS!!!! I need to figure out a faster style). I then sat under a hooded dryer. Once the excess moisture was removed, I applied the Hair and Scalp Oil to my scalp and edges and put on the satin sleeper.

The Results
This morning, I untwisted my hair by coating my fingers with the Olive Oil Hair Cream. I ran my fingers through my hair and smiled. I will say that I overdid it with the hair cream because my hair felt a bit greasy. I am used to dousing my hair with product, I think I only need a little bit of this product for it to work. Overall, I highly recommend the line. The product has also yielded phenomenal results on my daughter's hair when I've done a chunky twist out on her hair. Her hair also felt like silk and her twisout lasted for a week then I was able to pull her hair into a ponytail for another week. I'll be buying this line!

A Disclaimer
Please note that Marlene Duperley (co-owner and Senior VP at Doris New York) gifted me the Doris New York products. I typically don't review products but I wanted to share the results that I got. I appreciate learning about good products and wanted to tell you about it!

Twist-outs with Doris New York Hair Care Products

Yesterday, I used Doris New York products (Shampoo, Mud Pack, Leave-in Conditioner, Olive Oil Hair Cream and Hair and Scalp Oil) to do my twist out and I LOVE the results. My hair feels like silk and that is saying something considering the fact that I have struggled with my hair feeling like straw. In the past, I have relied on gels and hair products that often leave my hair feeling crunchy and coated.

What I did
I first washed with the shampoo. I next applied the Mud Minerals Pack Treatment, massaged it into my hair and scalp, combed through with wide-toothed comb, applied a shower cap and sat under a hooded dryer for 25 minutes. I then rinsed out the treatment and applied the leave in conditioner. I used the wide-toothed again and it slid through my hair. I then used a rat-tailed comb to part my hair and comb out each section of hair. I used clamps to separate my hair. As I combed out each section, I applied the Olive Oil Hair Cream and twisted that section. I did this to my entire head (wow, this took HOURS!!!! I need to figure out a faster style). I then sat under a hooded dryer. Once the excess moisture was removed, I applied the Hair and Scalp Oil to my scalp and edges and put on the satin sleeper.

The Results
This morning, I untwisted my hair by coating my fingers with the Olive Oil Hair Cream. I ran my fingers through my hair and smiled. I will say that I overdid it with the hair cream because my hair felt a bit greasy. I am used to dousing my hair with product, I think I only need a little bit of this product for it to work. Overall, I highly recommend the line. The product has also yielded phenomenal results on my daughter's hair when I've done a chunky twist out on her hair. Her hair also felt like silk and her twisout lasted for a week then I was able to pull her hair into a ponytail for another week. I'll be buying this line!

A Disclaimer
Please note that Marlene Duperley (co-owner and Senior VP at Doris New York) gifted me the Doris New York products. I typically don't review products but I wanted to share the results that I got. I appreciate learning about good products and wanted to tell you about it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Feeling good when "your good" is not enough


Hello everyone,

Well, in my last post I commented that I felt like an overweight dude. WOW! That generated quite a few personal comments to me. Don't worry. I am back to my normal self but I think it's important that we share those low moments. The comments that you all sent in really underscore the fact that most women, perhaps even most men?, feel unattractive at one point or another. It sounds like it's a normal occurrence.

The challenge is not to stay in that state. A few questions: how can you consistently feel good about yourself when you are bombarded with messages that you are not beautiful. That you're not enough? That you're not "right"? That you don't fit? My answer is in my Christian faith; how do you answer?

This post made me think of Naomi Wolf's best-selling novel "The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women". Here is description of the book from Amazon.com:

In a country where the average woman is 5-foot-4 and weighs 140 pounds, movies, advertisements, and MTV saturate our lives with unrealistic images of beauty. The tall, nearly emaciated mannequins that push the latest miracle cosmetic make even the most confident woman question her appearance. Feminist Naomi Wolf argues that women's insecurities are heightened by these images, then exploited by the diet, cosmetic, and plastic surgery industries. Every day new products are introduced to "correct" inherently female "flaws," drawing women into an obsessive and hopeless cycle built around the attempt to reach an impossible standard of beauty. Wolf rejects the standard and embraces the naturally distinct beauty of all women.

Image found at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5WccPt0OboQ/TbQq9CIJPmI/AAAAAAAAAj0/ocWvAuRq9yY/s1600/the+beauty+myth.jpg


Feeling good when "your good" is not enough


Hello everyone,

Well, in my last post I commented that I felt like an overweight dude. WOW! That generated quite a few personal comments to me. Don't worry. I am back to my normal self but I think it's important that we share those low moments. The comments that you all sent in really underscore the fact that most women, perhaps even most men?, feel unattractive at one point or another. It sounds like it's a normal occurrence.

The challenge is not to stay in that state. A few questions: how can you consistently feel good about yourself when you are bombarded with messages that you are not beautiful. That you're not enough? That you're not "right"? That you don't fit? My answer is in my Christian faith; how do you answer?

This post made me think of Naomi Wolf's best-selling novel "The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women". Here is description of the book from Amazon.com:

In a country where the average woman is 5-foot-4 and weighs 140 pounds, movies, advertisements, and MTV saturate our lives with unrealistic images of beauty. The tall, nearly emaciated mannequins that push the latest miracle cosmetic make even the most confident woman question her appearance. Feminist Naomi Wolf argues that women's insecurities are heightened by these images, then exploited by the diet, cosmetic, and plastic surgery industries. Every day new products are introduced to "correct" inherently female "flaws," drawing women into an obsessive and hopeless cycle built around the attempt to reach an impossible standard of beauty. Wolf rejects the standard and embraces the naturally distinct beauty of all women.

Image found at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5WccPt0OboQ/TbQq9CIJPmI/AAAAAAAAAj0/ocWvAuRq9yY/s1600/the+beauty+myth.jpg


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ugly Reflection


Well, it finally happened. I looked in the mirror the other day and I spoke these words to my reflection, "Eww, girl, what have you done?". As I stared in my bathroom mirror, still foggy from my steamy shower, I couldn't believe how ugly I felt. Sure, since I cut off my locs on 8/22, I've had fleeting moments of doubt about my decision to wear a teeny weeny afro. However, this was different. I honestly felt that I looked like an overweight dude and THAT was my biggest beauty fear come true.

As I type this I realize that it may sound superficial. However, this is what I felt in that moment. I was ashamed to have these negative internal dialogues. After all, I am a proud Black woman who teaches classes on diversity and identity. Why in the world was I allowing myself to fall prey to the negative hype out there about my beauty? "Tina", I said to my reflection, "you are a beautiful woman. The only reason you feel ugly is because your hair has been devalued in society. Your coily hair is BEAUTIFUL. Your Afrocentric features are GORGEOUS".

Honestly, I felt so bad that I didn't even want to write this blog. How can I encourage other people to be positive about themselves when I felt so downright unattractive? The good thing is that the feeling did pass. BUT, I do wonder if it will return. What do you see when you look in the mirror?

This hair-identity-self esteem connection is real.

Image found at: http://www.thisisyourconscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/shapeimage_1.png

Ugly Reflection


Well, it finally happened. I looked in the mirror the other day and I spoke these words to my reflection, "Eww, girl, what have you done?". As I stared in my bathroom mirror, still foggy from my steamy shower, I couldn't believe how ugly I felt. Sure, since I cut off my locs on 8/22, I've had fleeting moments of doubt about my decision to wear a teeny weeny afro. However, this was different. I honestly felt that I looked like an overweight dude and THAT was my biggest beauty fear come true.

As I type this I realize that it may sound superficial. However, this is what I felt in that moment. I was ashamed to have these negative internal dialogues. After all, I am a proud Black woman who teaches classes on diversity and identity. Why in the world was I allowing myself to fall prey to the negative hype out there about my beauty? "Tina", I said to my reflection, "you are a beautiful woman. The only reason you feel ugly is because your hair has been devalued in society. Your coily hair is BEAUTIFUL. Your Afrocentric features are GORGEOUS".

Honestly, I felt so bad that I didn't even want to write this blog. How can I encourage other people to be positive about themselves when I felt so downright unattractive? The good thing is that the feeling did pass. BUT, I do wonder if it will return. What do you see when you look in the mirror?

This hair-identity-self esteem connection is real.

Image found at: http://www.thisisyourconscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/shapeimage_1.png

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vaseline and mineral oil good for your hair? Hey, if it works for Corrine Bailey Rae...



How many of you have heard that mineral oil and Vaseline are horrible for your hair? Well, this blog post on CurlyNikki.com may change your mind (http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/10/closer-look-at-mineral-oil-natural-hair.html?utm_source=cn_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20111021).

Apparently, even Corrine Bailey Rae (can you say GORGEOUS hair!?) uses Vaseline on her tresses (http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/10/corrine-bailey-rae-i-wanted-to-start.html).

I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD GO OUT AND SLATHER mineral oil and/or Vaseline on your strands. What I am saying is that a respectable site is exploring WHY these products have such a bad rap and inquiring if the rap is warranted. Hmmm, I feel a mini research project coming on.

Anyway, I welcome your thoughts. Have you ever tried mineral oil or Vaseline on your hair? What were the results?

P.S.: This makes me wonder if I mistakenly judged the last loctitian who put baby oil on my locs (before I started sporting my TWA that is).

Image of Corrine Bailey Rae: http://www.myhairdivine.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/corinne-bailey-rae.jpg

Image of Vaseline: http://www.thecheapgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/vaseline.jpg

Vaseline and mineral oil good for your hair? Hey, if it works for Corrine Bailey Rae...



How many of you have heard that mineral oil and Vaseline are horrible for your hair? Well, this blog post on CurlyNikki.com may change your mind (http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/10/closer-look-at-mineral-oil-natural-hair.html?utm_source=cn_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20111021).

Apparently, even Corrine Bailey Rae (can you say GORGEOUS hair!?) uses Vaseline on her tresses (http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/10/corrine-bailey-rae-i-wanted-to-start.html).

I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD GO OUT AND SLATHER mineral oil and/or Vaseline on your strands. What I am saying is that a respectable site is exploring WHY these products have such a bad rap and inquiring if the rap is warranted. Hmmm, I feel a mini research project coming on.

Anyway, I welcome your thoughts. Have you ever tried mineral oil or Vaseline on your hair? What were the results?

P.S.: This makes me wonder if I mistakenly judged the last loctitian who put baby oil on my locs (before I started sporting my TWA that is).

Image of Corrine Bailey Rae: http://www.myhairdivine.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/corinne-bailey-rae.jpg

Image of Vaseline: http://www.thecheapgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/vaseline.jpg

Monday, October 17, 2011

Film on Black women's natural hair!

I am so excited to learn about an upcoming film on Black women's natural hair. See the clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt34cFksDlo. Thanks to The Nappturalite Radio Show for posting about this!

Film on Black women's natural hair!

I am so excited to learn about an upcoming film on Black women's natural hair. See the clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt34cFksDlo. Thanks to The Nappturalite Radio Show for posting about this!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wearing Natural and it Feels So Good (to the tune of "Reunited" by Peaches & Herb)

The beautiful Mrs. Esther Rege Berg

The other day, I got the following note from Esther Rege Berg, a high school friend, that made tears of gratitude stream down my face.

Hi Tina,

I hope this note finds you well. I wanted to drop you line and let you know that your blog inspired me to not just go natural, but “wear” natural!

For years I’ve worn my hair in braids – mainly for the sake of convenience. I’d alternate between braids and wearing it straight. Last year, I had been in braids for a few months before I found out I was pregnant. Before the braids I had been getting it straightened with a Keratin treatment (a very toxic procedure) so it was all braids all the time until after the baby. So Avery was born in May, and I came back to work just after Labor Day. I *needed* to do something different with my hair because I started to notice that the little braids were taking a toll on my hairline.

Originally, my plan was to remove the braids and get another Keratin treatment. When I realized that the harsh chemicals would come in contact with little Avery’s face (holding her and such), I rethought the plan. With the braids out, I was doing what I had always done: blow-dry and flat iron straight until I make the next move.

Not long ago, I came across your blog on a rainy day that made me feel that it would be foolhardy to leave the house without the flattening iron. Your blog reminded me how I felt years ago when I did the Big Chop, and how empowering the TWA truly is. Why go through such gymnastics and fight nature trying to straighten hair that very obviously does not want to be straight?

I read more on your site, checked out a bunch of the blogs that you follow, and watched a bunch of videos on YouTube, and today I came to work with my hair out and as kinky/curly as it wants to be! It feels great knowing that everything on my head is organic and even better not living in constant fear of the weather!

All of that being said, I just wanted to thank you for your blog and let you know that I’d be happy to be interviewed if you’re still looking for people to talk to.

All the best,
Esther Rege Berg

Esther, I am so proud of you! Everytime I read your note, I get verklempt. Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to watch your journey! :)

Wearing Natural and it Feels So Good (to the tune of "Reunited" by Peaches & Herb)

The beautiful Mrs. Esther Rege Berg

The other day, I got the following note from Esther Rege Berg, a high school friend, that made tears of gratitude stream down my face.

Hi Tina,

I hope this note finds you well. I wanted to drop you line and let you know that your blog inspired me to not just go natural, but “wear” natural!

For years I’ve worn my hair in braids – mainly for the sake of convenience. I’d alternate between braids and wearing it straight. Last year, I had been in braids for a few months before I found out I was pregnant. Before the braids I had been getting it straightened with a Keratin treatment (a very toxic procedure) so it was all braids all the time until after the baby. So Avery was born in May, and I came back to work just after Labor Day. I *needed* to do something different with my hair because I started to notice that the little braids were taking a toll on my hairline.

Originally, my plan was to remove the braids and get another Keratin treatment. When I realized that the harsh chemicals would come in contact with little Avery’s face (holding her and such), I rethought the plan. With the braids out, I was doing what I had always done: blow-dry and flat iron straight until I make the next move.

Not long ago, I came across your blog on a rainy day that made me feel that it would be foolhardy to leave the house without the flattening iron. Your blog reminded me how I felt years ago when I did the Big Chop, and how empowering the TWA truly is. Why go through such gymnastics and fight nature trying to straighten hair that very obviously does not want to be straight?

I read more on your site, checked out a bunch of the blogs that you follow, and watched a bunch of videos on YouTube, and today I came to work with my hair out and as kinky/curly as it wants to be! It feels great knowing that everything on my head is organic and even better not living in constant fear of the weather!

All of that being said, I just wanted to thank you for your blog and let you know that I’d be happy to be interviewed if you’re still looking for people to talk to.

All the best,
Esther Rege Berg

Esther, I am so proud of you! Everytime I read your note, I get verklempt. Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to watch your journey! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Best way to refresh natural hair?

I am happy that despite an intense workout, my twist outs are still in fabulous shape. Once I’d showered, I unwrapped my hair (I use a satin head wrap / scarf when I sleep and when I shower) and applied coconut oil. I gently rubbed my hair in a circular motion thinking that any stray hairs would be swirled up into my coils. I was happy with the final look.

As I mentioned the other morning, I am now on a hunt for tips on how to refresh my hairstyles…especially twist outs (I simply love this style and I bet I’ll be wearing it a lot). On one hand, I have heard that whenever you refresh your hair, water should be involved. On the other hand, I’m hesitant to wet my hair in any way shape or fashion when I’m trying to preserve a hairstyle. What do you all do?

Best way to refresh natural hair?

I am happy that despite an intense workout, my twist outs are still in fabulous shape. Once I’d showered, I unwrapped my hair (I use a satin head wrap / scarf when I sleep and when I shower) and applied coconut oil. I gently rubbed my hair in a circular motion thinking that any stray hairs would be swirled up into my coils. I was happy with the final look.

As I mentioned the other morning, I am now on a hunt for tips on how to refresh my hairstyles…especially twist outs (I simply love this style and I bet I’ll be wearing it a lot). On one hand, I have heard that whenever you refresh your hair, water should be involved. On the other hand, I’m hesitant to wet my hair in any way shape or fashion when I’m trying to preserve a hairstyle. What do you all do?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Workout hair tips

I am having a superficial hair dilemma this morning. Why superficial? Well, I just had my hair professionally twisted last week and it came out great (thanks Niecy). This morning I have an intense boot camp class. Don't get me wrong, I AM GOING to my class but I hate the way my hair gets puffy at the roots. Aargh. Hey! I will choose health over style AND DAY!

However, I am now on a hunt to find out how folks preserve/ protect natural hair styles (especially twist outs and other loose styles). Please share your workout tips. I will be sure to post a comprehensive list. Thanks!

Workout hair tips

I am having a superficial hair dilemma this morning. Why superficial? Well, I just had my hair professionally twisted last week and it came out great (thanks Niecy). This morning I have an intense boot camp class. Don't get me wrong, I AM GOING to my class but I hate the way my hair gets puffy at the roots. Aargh. Hey! I will choose health over style AND DAY!

However, I am now on a hunt to find out how folks preserve/ protect natural hair styles (especially twist outs and other loose styles). Please share your workout tips. I will be sure to post a comprehensive list. Thanks!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Circle of Sisters


What do a judge, a law clerk, a VP of Communications and several administrators have in common? I interviewed each of them about natural hair and the workplace at the 2011 Circle of Sisters (http://www.circleofsisters.com/). Marlene Duperley of Doris New York (http://www.dorisnewyork.com/) was kind enough to allow me to use her booth (#200, straight up the escalators AMAZING spot for traffic!) as my home base as I interviewed several women about hair and the workplace. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let me tell you about the expo!

Who do you think I saw at the expo? Nicole Ari Parker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicole_Ari_Parker) and Boris Kodjoe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Kodjoe )! Yes, they are both beautiful in person…I didn’t get a chance to talk with either of them so I’m afraid I’m being highly superficial and talking about their physical beauty…gorgeous!

Anyway, it was a wonderful feeling to walk into an expo hall filled to the gills with entrepreneurs and vendors in pursuit of “New York’s women of color”. Plus, I LOVE to see women doing their thing and pursuing their passion with fervor. Marlene is a SMART business woman, she had the expo hall abuzz as she and two other models handed out marketing materials while sporting huge ball gown skirts and cute t-shirts (Marlene designed them, check out her website for further details). By the way, I am not employed by Marlene or Doris New York. But, I will holler your name from the hilltops if I think you are cool and have fabulous products. So, here I go on to holler about Zandria’s fabulous jewelry. I bought a CUTE black and white dress from Chico’s but couldn’t quite find the right jewelry. I found what I needed when I took one look at Zandria’s black and clear Czech crystal hoop earrings (I’m wearing them in today’s blog shot). It just feels good to support these businesswomen.

Also, if you are willing for me to interview you about hair and the workplace, please email me at tropie7189@gmail.com. Thanks!