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Friday, September 30, 2011

Hair Politics in South Africa?


While perusing the Internet, I stumbled across "Going natural is a hairy issue" an article by Milisuthando Bongela about natural hair (http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-30-going-natural-is-a-hairy-issue/). I don't want to assume, but given the author's name, some of the comments in the article, and the fact that "za" is a South African Internet code, I believe that Ms. Bongela is South African.

Ms. Bongela details her hair journey: she wore a bald head for years, then tried weaves, and now, seemingly begrudingly, wears her natural hair. In South Africa, some refer to natural hair as "kaffirhare". In case you don't know what "kaffir" means, I understand that it means "nigger" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_(racial_term) and that there are laws in South Africa that prohibit its use. I once read Mark Mathabane's book Kaffir Boy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_Boy) and learned a lot more about the term and the historical context that explains it.

Perhaps it is the use of the term "kaffir" that strikes such a discordant note with me, particularly because Ms. Bongela states that it is WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITIES that "chemical-free kinky hair" is referred to as kaffirhare. Plus, Ms. Bongela claims that it is not common for women to wear their natural hair, especially in urban cities like Jo'Burg because hair is used to convey status (translation: kinky hair = lower status).

Now, I don't know what your stance is on the use of the word nigger. I personally tend not to use it, though I have family members who use it like a badge of honor. However, I find it sad that people are referring to their own hair in such a derogatory way. It pains me. I find it ironic that a country on the continent that is the cradle of civilization would have such negative attitude toward Black hair in its natural state.

I am now beginning to wonder if this negative context has anything to do with the fact that many of my African sisters that I've seen, at least in D.C., NY and Boston, seem to wear wigs, extensions, or relaxed hair almost exclusively. When I've inquired about this, my African sisters have responded that they are resistant to wearing their natural hair; it is simply not acceptable or attractive in their communities. I know that some African women wear their natural hair; however, they seem to be a minority. Perhaps I am overgeneralizing? Please, help me understand. What, if anything, do you think is going on? Is this more true for younger or older women?

Image found at: http://hairextensionwholesale.com/img/p/204-397-large.jpg

Hair Politics in South Africa?


While perusing the Internet, I stumbled across "Going natural is a hairy issue" an article by Milisuthando Bongela about natural hair (http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-30-going-natural-is-a-hairy-issue/). I don't want to assume, but given the author's name, some of the comments in the article, and the fact that "za" is a South African Internet code, I believe that Ms. Bongela is South African.

Ms. Bongela details her hair journey: she wore a bald head for years, then tried weaves, and now, seemingly begrudingly, wears her natural hair. In South Africa, some refer to natural hair as "kaffirhare". In case you don't know what "kaffir" means, I understand that it means "nigger" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_(racial_term) and that there are laws in South Africa that prohibit its use. I once read Mark Mathabane's book Kaffir Boy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_Boy) and learned a lot more about the term and the historical context that explains it.

Perhaps it is the use of the term "kaffir" that strikes such a discordant note with me, particularly because Ms. Bongela states that it is WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITIES that "chemical-free kinky hair" is referred to as kaffirhare. Plus, Ms. Bongela claims that it is not common for women to wear their natural hair, especially in urban cities like Jo'Burg because hair is used to convey status (translation: kinky hair = lower status).

Now, I don't know what your stance is on the use of the word nigger. I personally tend not to use it, though I have family members who use it like a badge of honor. However, I find it sad that people are referring to their own hair in such a derogatory way. It pains me. I find it ironic that a country on the continent that is the cradle of civilization would have such negative attitude toward Black hair in its natural state.

I am now beginning to wonder if this negative context has anything to do with the fact that many of my African sisters that I've seen, at least in D.C., NY and Boston, seem to wear wigs, extensions, or relaxed hair almost exclusively. When I've inquired about this, my African sisters have responded that they are resistant to wearing their natural hair; it is simply not acceptable or attractive in their communities. I know that some African women wear their natural hair; however, they seem to be a minority. Perhaps I am overgeneralizing? Please, help me understand. What, if anything, do you think is going on? Is this more true for younger or older women?

Image found at: http://hairextensionwholesale.com/img/p/204-397-large.jpg

Real Black Women have Kinky Hair?!


Do you remember Will Smith’s Aunt on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990 – 1993)? She was played by Janet Hubert-Whitten (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Hubert-Whitten). Ms. Hubert-Whitten recently wrote an article (http://www.eurweb.com/2011/09/janet-hubert-the-angry-black-woman-myth-or-truth/) entitled, “The Angry Black Woman – Myth or Truth?”. I wanted to blog about the article because it starts with these words:

*There is no doubt that I am a black woman, I am probably what is considered to be a real black woman, kinky haired, so called now described type 4 with no real curl pattern with which to classify it as good hair.

I am hearing this term again and again, not just from whites but from predominantly black men and I wonder what in the hell is happening. I myself have been in the past deemed a bitter, dark, angry, jealous, ugly, sister who has tried to bring a black man down. (My war with the Great Will Smith has been well documented).”

Please, read the article and post your comments. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about it.


Image found at: http://cdn.buzznet.com/media-cdn/jj1/headlines/2009/06/janet-hubert-slams-will-smith.jpg

Real Black Women have Kinky Hair?!


Do you remember Will Smith’s Aunt on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990 – 1993)? She was played by Janet Hubert-Whitten (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Hubert-Whitten). Ms. Hubert-Whitten recently wrote an article (http://www.eurweb.com/2011/09/janet-hubert-the-angry-black-woman-myth-or-truth/) entitled, “The Angry Black Woman – Myth or Truth?”. I wanted to blog about the article because it starts with these words:

*There is no doubt that I am a black woman, I am probably what is considered to be a real black woman, kinky haired, so called now described type 4 with no real curl pattern with which to classify it as good hair.

I am hearing this term again and again, not just from whites but from predominantly black men and I wonder what in the hell is happening. I myself have been in the past deemed a bitter, dark, angry, jealous, ugly, sister who has tried to bring a black man down. (My war with the Great Will Smith has been well documented).”

Please, read the article and post your comments. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about it.


Image found at: http://cdn.buzznet.com/media-cdn/jj1/headlines/2009/06/janet-hubert-slams-will-smith.jpg

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I’m kinky, you’re wavy, we’re all sisters, AND?


The hair typing schema has become quite popular amongst naturalistas. For those who don’t know, Andre Walker (Oprah Winfrey’s famed stylist) developed a hair typing schema to categorize hair texture. The types are:
Type 1: Straight hair, Type 2: Wavy hair, Type 3: Curly / Spirally hair, Type 4: Kinky/ Coily hair. Mr. Walker states that he developed the hair typing schema so that women could determine their hair type and thus decide the best way to care for their specific hair type (http://andresays.andrewalkerhair.com/). Note that Mr. Walker developed four broad hair types. Subsequently, there has been a proliferation of sub-hair types, specifically in the curlier categories. For example, according to this visual depiction, there are EIGHT sub-categories of type 4 hair. Woowwww. How did we go from one broad category to eight sub-types?

First, let me say that I think it’s important that women learn how to care for their particular hair type. As you know, I am on that journey myself. Second, I think that communities of understanding can develop around hair type (I know that I’ve scoured the internet for teeny, weeny afro and type 4 hair to get ideas about products, styles, etc.). Having said that, I wonder if this hair typing is beginning to resemble color typing?

We’ve talked about how straight or wavy hair is widely viewed as a beauty ideal and that kinky hair has been deemed less beautiful (or downright ugly according to some). Whenever a particular identity trait is considered less than ideal, it seems that we develop gradations of that trait, or that we make miniscule distinctions as a way to distance ourselves from the offensive trait. For example, I once blogged about colorism and how in Brazil there are 134 skin color gradations. Think I’m joking? See this: http://www.zonalatina.com/Zldata55.htm. Is it just me or is there something to this?

Skin color and hair are two key identity markers. In fact, during slavery some have argued that hair was a more significant marker of status than skin. In other words, you might have had white skin but if your hair was kinky, the gig was up.

I found this visual depiction of hair types and wonder what you all think about hair typing in general? What are the pros and cons?

Tomorrow: stay tuned for more about my visit to NY and immersion in the natural hair care industry!

Image found at: http://www.vissastudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/hairtypechart-1.jpg

I’m kinky, you’re wavy, we’re all sisters, AND?


The hair typing schema has become quite popular amongst naturalistas. For those who don’t know, Andre Walker (Oprah Winfrey’s famed stylist) developed a hair typing schema to categorize hair texture. The types are:
Type 1: Straight hair, Type 2: Wavy hair, Type 3: Curly / Spirally hair, Type 4: Kinky/ Coily hair. Mr. Walker states that he developed the hair typing schema so that women could determine their hair type and thus decide the best way to care for their specific hair type (http://andresays.andrewalkerhair.com/). Note that Mr. Walker developed four broad hair types. Subsequently, there has been a proliferation of sub-hair types, specifically in the curlier categories. For example, according to this visual depiction, there are EIGHT sub-categories of type 4 hair. Woowwww. How did we go from one broad category to eight sub-types?

First, let me say that I think it’s important that women learn how to care for their particular hair type. As you know, I am on that journey myself. Second, I think that communities of understanding can develop around hair type (I know that I’ve scoured the internet for teeny, weeny afro and type 4 hair to get ideas about products, styles, etc.). Having said that, I wonder if this hair typing is beginning to resemble color typing?

We’ve talked about how straight or wavy hair is widely viewed as a beauty ideal and that kinky hair has been deemed less beautiful (or downright ugly according to some). Whenever a particular identity trait is considered less than ideal, it seems that we develop gradations of that trait, or that we make miniscule distinctions as a way to distance ourselves from the offensive trait. For example, I once blogged about colorism and how in Brazil there are 134 skin color gradations. Think I’m joking? See this: http://www.zonalatina.com/Zldata55.htm. Is it just me or is there something to this?

Skin color and hair are two key identity markers. In fact, during slavery some have argued that hair was a more significant marker of status than skin. In other words, you might have had white skin but if your hair was kinky, the gig was up.

I found this visual depiction of hair types and wonder what you all think about hair typing in general? What are the pros and cons?

Tomorrow: stay tuned for more about my visit to NY and immersion in the natural hair care industry!

Image found at: http://www.vissastudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/hairtypechart-1.jpg

Computer is still busted

Hi everyone. My apologies! My computer is being fixed and I'll post once I get it back.

Computer is still busted

Hi everyone. My apologies! My computer is being fixed and I'll post once I get it back.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Diane Bailey of Tendrils Hair Spa

Image found at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qonK1wMwzu8/SZ712pRw2eI/AAAAAAAAAAY/UEpPuvJ04O4/S220/Diane+Bailey.jpg

Diane Bailey of Tendrils Hair Spa (http://www.tendrilshairspa.com/index2.html ) is a FORCE OF NATURE! Plain and simple. When Diane enters a room she brings both sparkle and depth. She is in the “45 to 65 range” though she looks much younger and recognizes that her good genes and healthy living have blessed her with a beautiful visage. Plus, she is indefatigable; during my two plus hour stay I don’t think I saw Diane sit down once (Diane, thanks for opening your shop to me!).

Needless to say, I had a fabulous visit. But the thing that I enjoyed most about visiting Tendrils was speaking with Diane, Carla and other stylists (and some clients!) about their passion for a natural hair lifestyle. That’s right, at Tendrils you quickly learn that these women believe that natural hair reflects a deeper commitment to a healthy lifestyle. I used the word “naturalista” and Diane replied that such lingo is in fact what leads some to believe that natural hair is a trend rather than a healthy choice. Hmm, something to think about? Do you think that words like naturalista or phrases like “the Big Chop” contribute to the perception that natural hair is a fad? Why or why not?

Diane Bailey of Tendrils Hair Spa

Image found at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qonK1wMwzu8/SZ712pRw2eI/AAAAAAAAAAY/UEpPuvJ04O4/S220/Diane+Bailey.jpg

Diane Bailey of Tendrils Hair Spa (http://www.tendrilshairspa.com/index2.html ) is a FORCE OF NATURE! Plain and simple. When Diane enters a room she brings both sparkle and depth. She is in the “45 to 65 range” though she looks much younger and recognizes that her good genes and healthy living have blessed her with a beautiful visage. Plus, she is indefatigable; during my two plus hour stay I don’t think I saw Diane sit down once (Diane, thanks for opening your shop to me!).

Needless to say, I had a fabulous visit. But the thing that I enjoyed most about visiting Tendrils was speaking with Diane, Carla and other stylists (and some clients!) about their passion for a natural hair lifestyle. That’s right, at Tendrils you quickly learn that these women believe that natural hair reflects a deeper commitment to a healthy lifestyle. I used the word “naturalista” and Diane replied that such lingo is in fact what leads some to believe that natural hair is a trend rather than a healthy choice. Hmm, something to think about? Do you think that words like naturalista or phrases like “the Big Chop” contribute to the perception that natural hair is a fad? Why or why not?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Natural Hair Weekend: Interviews, Meet-up and Awards Show!


Image found at: http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQX6jQyYvLporjZHJfOpdddxOh59j1z6zERqB1jjsRCWwg55wLlX0Jc07vi

Hello everyone!

My last post was a week ago today and SO MUCH has happened since then. Last Friday, I went to New York to immerse myself in the natural hair care industry. I interviewed such notable Brooklyn salon owners as Diane Bailey of Tendrils (http://www.tendrilshairspa.com/Mission.html) , Marlene Duperley of Doris New York, Inc. (http://www.dorisnewyork.com/) and Victoria J. of Victoria J. Natural Hair Salon (http://www.victoriajnaturalhairsalon.com/). Each of these women opened their salons or homes to me and graciously gave of their time to share their thoughts on the natural hair care industry.

I also attended a natural hair meet-up hosted by Darker than Brown (http://www.meetup.com/Darker-Than-Brown/) at a restaurant I'd never frequented (Vapiano's! http://www.vapianointernational.com/vapiano/ the meet-up was at the University Blvd location, try the Cobb Salad YUMMY!).

Plus, I attended the Natural Hair Awards at the Brooklyn Museum. I am not one to be starstruck but I was in awe of seeing Amazon Smiley (Amazon Natural Essentials Salon & Spa), Anu Prestonia (Khamit Kinks), Diane Bailey (Tendrils Salon), Marsulette Walker (Madame Walker's Braidery), Marion Council-George (Designer Braids & Trade), Nekhena Evans (New Bein' Enterprises), Orin Saunders (Locks N' Chops), Sheila Everette-Hale (Everette's Cornrows), and Tulani Kinard (Tulani's Regal Movement; yes, THAT Tulani Kinard of Sweet Honey in the Rock fame!). I'll discuss each of them in turn in the coming days.

Talk about a wonderful time! When I got back home on Monday, my mind was whirling with possibilities and blog topics. I welcome your comments as I post about each of these phenomenal experiences!

Natural Hair Weekend: Interviews, Meet-up and Awards Show!


Image found at: http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQX6jQyYvLporjZHJfOpdddxOh59j1z6zERqB1jjsRCWwg55wLlX0Jc07vi

Hello everyone!

My last post was a week ago today and SO MUCH has happened since then. Last Friday, I went to New York to immerse myself in the natural hair care industry. I interviewed such notable Brooklyn salon owners as Diane Bailey of Tendrils (http://www.tendrilshairspa.com/Mission.html) , Marlene Duperley of Doris New York, Inc. (http://www.dorisnewyork.com/) and Victoria J. of Victoria J. Natural Hair Salon (http://www.victoriajnaturalhairsalon.com/). Each of these women opened their salons or homes to me and graciously gave of their time to share their thoughts on the natural hair care industry.

I also attended a natural hair meet-up hosted by Darker than Brown (http://www.meetup.com/Darker-Than-Brown/) at a restaurant I'd never frequented (Vapiano's! http://www.vapianointernational.com/vapiano/ the meet-up was at the University Blvd location, try the Cobb Salad YUMMY!).

Plus, I attended the Natural Hair Awards at the Brooklyn Museum. I am not one to be starstruck but I was in awe of seeing Amazon Smiley (Amazon Natural Essentials Salon & Spa), Anu Prestonia (Khamit Kinks), Diane Bailey (Tendrils Salon), Marsulette Walker (Madame Walker's Braidery), Marion Council-George (Designer Braids & Trade), Nekhena Evans (New Bein' Enterprises), Orin Saunders (Locks N' Chops), Sheila Everette-Hale (Everette's Cornrows), and Tulani Kinard (Tulani's Regal Movement; yes, THAT Tulani Kinard of Sweet Honey in the Rock fame!). I'll discuss each of them in turn in the coming days.

Talk about a wonderful time! When I got back home on Monday, my mind was whirling with possibilities and blog topics. I welcome your comments as I post about each of these phenomenal experiences!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Keep it moving: wash and go for cute TWA

I am so excited to be in NY. The thing is I caught myself in the "hair worry" tent this morning. Why? I beautifully twisted and then twisted out my hair for my trip. Well, it got wet and I feel myself getting that familiar feeling of agita in my stomach because my hair is looking frizzy and unmaintenanced. Ugh.

To further complicate matters, I am booked to interview several natural hair stylists; scheduled to attend my first natural hair meet-up this evening; and, I plan to attend a Natural Hair Awards ceremony tomorrow (not to mention go to a friend's wedding!). How in the world am I going to mingle with naturalistas with a jacked up head? The good thing is that I now quickly recognize when I'm being ridiculous.

My solution: wash and go this morning. When I start to stress over my hair I remind myself that I am empowered to take care of it and that is beautiful in its kinky, thick glory. Keep it moving Tina, keep it moving.

Keep it moving: wash and go for cute TWA

I am so excited to be in NY. The thing is I caught myself in the "hair worry" tent this morning. Why? I beautifully twisted and then twisted out my hair for my trip. Well, it got wet and I feel myself getting that familiar feeling of agita in my stomach because my hair is looking frizzy and unmaintenanced. Ugh.

To further complicate matters, I am booked to interview several natural hair stylists; scheduled to attend my first natural hair meet-up this evening; and, I plan to attend a Natural Hair Awards ceremony tomorrow (not to mention go to a friend's wedding!). How in the world am I going to mingle with naturalistas with a jacked up head? The good thing is that I now quickly recognize when I'm being ridiculous.

My solution: wash and go this morning. When I start to stress over my hair I remind myself that I am empowered to take care of it and that is beautiful in its kinky, thick glory. Keep it moving Tina, keep it moving.

Friday, September 16, 2011

RECANT: Black Women Less Attractive than Other Women

Image found at: http://amarudontv.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/black_woman_face2.jpg

Four months after Satoshi Kanazawa made inflammatory and poorly supported statements that black women are less physically attractive than other women, he has issued a mea culpa. According to the Times Higher Education, Kanazawa admits that he made serious mistakes in his data analysis and regrets publishing his infamous blog (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=417449&c=1).

When Kanazawa's blog was first published on Psychology Today's website back in May of this year, I blogged about it for several days (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/psychology-today-apologizes.html). It was and still is amazing to me how "academic" research can be used to support harmful, oppressive personal beliefs that some individuals may hold.

This morning, I'm feeling quite ambivalent about the recent recant. On one hand I'm thrilled that the flawed research has been brought to light. On the other hand, I'm saddened that freedom of expression is the argument used to veil flawed research that denigrates an entire demographic category, especially since that demographic category has been historically (and is currently) devalued in society.

Kudos to the group of scholars who took issue with the shoddy research and did not stand down until the London School of Economics sanctioned Kanazawa. He still has a job but I bet he'll think twice before he uses data to support his faulty logic.

Thanks to JS for sending me the article early this morning! :)



RECANT: Black Women Less Attractive than Other Women

Image found at: http://amarudontv.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/black_woman_face2.jpg

Four months after Satoshi Kanazawa made inflammatory and poorly supported statements that black women are less physically attractive than other women, he has issued a mea culpa. According to the Times Higher Education, Kanazawa admits that he made serious mistakes in his data analysis and regrets publishing his infamous blog (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=417449&c=1).

When Kanazawa's blog was first published on Psychology Today's website back in May of this year, I blogged about it for several days (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/psychology-today-apologizes.html). It was and still is amazing to me how "academic" research can be used to support harmful, oppressive personal beliefs that some individuals may hold.

This morning, I'm feeling quite ambivalent about the recent recant. On one hand I'm thrilled that the flawed research has been brought to light. On the other hand, I'm saddened that freedom of expression is the argument used to veil flawed research that denigrates an entire demographic category, especially since that demographic category has been historically (and is currently) devalued in society.

Kudos to the group of scholars who took issue with the shoddy research and did not stand down until the London School of Economics sanctioned Kanazawa. He still has a job but I bet he'll think twice before he uses data to support his faulty logic.

Thanks to JS for sending me the article early this morning! :)



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pantene: Insensitive Ad? RESPONSE FROM PANTENE

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I sent a letter to Pantene inquiring about the firm’s negative description of African-American hair (see earlier post http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/09/pantene-insensitive-ad.html). Here is Pantene’s response sent on 9/12/11 (kudos for a quick response!):

Thanks for contacting Pantene, Tina.

We rely heavily on consumer comments regarding our advertisements, and feedback like yours will help us decide how to approach future advertising efforts. Please be assured I'm letting our marketing team know how you feel.

Thanks again for writing.

Amanda

Pantene Team

I appreciate the fact that someone responded; however, I am not satisfied with the response. Maturity tells me to wait a few days before responding and then email back requesting more specific follow-up about what happened and steps they will take to prevent such ads going forward. What would you do? Leave it alone or write back? What would YOU say?

Pantene: Insensitive Ad? RESPONSE FROM PANTENE

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I sent a letter to Pantene inquiring about the firm’s negative description of African-American hair (see earlier post http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/09/pantene-insensitive-ad.html). Here is Pantene’s response sent on 9/12/11 (kudos for a quick response!):

Thanks for contacting Pantene, Tina.

We rely heavily on consumer comments regarding our advertisements, and feedback like yours will help us decide how to approach future advertising efforts. Please be assured I'm letting our marketing team know how you feel.

Thanks again for writing.

Amanda

Pantene Team

I appreciate the fact that someone responded; however, I am not satisfied with the response. Maturity tells me to wait a few days before responding and then email back requesting more specific follow-up about what happened and steps they will take to prevent such ads going forward. What would you do? Leave it alone or write back? What would YOU say?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Men prefer straight hair? Men,


Image found at: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yZQkP6deQVw/TX2G8JmkdZI/AAAAAAAAAc4/L_P6g8oSG5Y/s1600/Relaxed-Natural%2Bhair.jpg

Good morning everyone! I LOVE to pass along other blogs that I think convey an interesting perspective. Check out Janelle Harris’ post about natural hair and men (http://thestir.cafemom.com/beauty_style/125765/natural_hair_is_not_a). Quite an interesting read! What do you think, do men have a preference for a certain type of hair? Men, please chime in! :)

I may be crazy to ask for honest opinions because the men may think, "Tina, you are clearly biased AND you have a big mouth so why would I wade out into this territory?" Please know that I truly do WELCOME all thoughtful commentary, especially when it diverges from my viewpoint. I write this blog to learn NOT to preach, please teach me!

On another note, I sent a letter to Pantene inquiring about the firm’s negative description of African-American hair (see earlier posthttp://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/09/pantene-insensitive-ad.html). We’ll see if and how a Pantene representative responds.

Men prefer straight hair? Men,

Good morning everyone! I LOVE to pass along other blogs that I think convey an interesting perspective. Check out Janelle Harris’ post about natural hair and men (http://thestir.cafemom.com/beauty_style/125765/natural_hair_is_not_a). Quite an interesting read! What do you think, do men have a preference for a certain type of hair? Men, please chime in! :)

I may be crazy to ask for honest opinions because the men may think, "Tina, you are clearly biased AND you have a big mouth so why would I wade out into this territory?" Please know that I truly do WELCOME all thoughtful commentary, especially when it diverges from my viewpoint. I write this blog to learn NOT to preach, please teach me!

On another note, I sent a letter to Pantene inquiring about the firm’s negative description of African-American hair (see earlier posthttp://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/09/pantene-insensitive-ad.html). We’ll see if and how a Pantene representative responds.




Image found at: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yZQkP6deQVw/TX2G8JmkdZI/AAAAAAAAAc4/L_P6g8oSG5Y/s1600/Relaxed-Natural%2Bhair.jpg

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pantene: Insensitive Ad?

I was doing some research on where I can donate my almost 24 inches of dreadlocks. Locks of Love will not accept dreadlocks but I came across Beautiful Lengths (http://pantene.com/en-US/beautiful-lengths-refresh/Pages/default.aspx), a non-profit partnership between the American Cancer Society and Pantene that provides hair to those in need. Anyway, when I clicked on a Pantene link, I was displeased to see the below description of a Pantene product for African-American hair (http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/african-american-hair-products.aspx):

“African-American hair tends to be dry and susceptible to damage, resulting in an out-of-control look. Pantene’s Relaxed & Natural collection for Women of Color is enriched with moisturizing oils that nourish and help protect African-American hair and achieve a sleek style”. http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/african-american-hair-products.aspx

Say what? Who determines whose hair has “an out-of-control look”? What does that mean? Unhealthy, tangled, snarled, knotty, nappy? What? I searched the other product lines to see if similar language was used for other products. No. For example, contrast the above description with the description for “Classic Care” (http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/classic-care.aspx):

“Pantene knows that healthy hair needs daily maintenance to keep it beautifully shiny from root to tip. Pantene’s Classic Care collection is basic daily care that nourishes and protectes hair to keep it looking healthy. It’s complete hair care for a classic look.”

Will someone please clarify what “classic” means? Also, notice that there are no derogatory subjective descriptions, only aspirational statements about healthy hair. Here’s another example from the “Fine Hair Solutions” http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/fine-hair-products.aspx:

“Want volume that lasts all day? Breeze past your volume test with Pantene Pro-V Fine Hair Solutions. Fine hair has up to 50% less protein than thick hair, which can leave it limp and weak. Pantene Pro-V Fine Solutions is designed to reinforce the structure of fine hair for a full, healthy look. This fine hair collection offers effective cleansers, lightweight conditioners, and styling products designed to work together for lasting results.”

Again, no derogatory subjective descriptions. Perhaps some will think that I’m being overly sensitive. However, I think that organizations need to be highly sensitive to advertisements that could be viewed as offensive to entire demographic groups. What do you think?

Pantene: Insensitive Ad?

I was doing some research on where I can donate my almost 24 inches of dreadlocks. Locks of Love will not accept dreadlocks but I came across Beautiful Lengths (http://pantene.com/en-US/beautiful-lengths-refresh/Pages/default.aspx), a non-profit partnership between the American Cancer Society and Pantene that provides hair to those in need. Anyway, when I clicked on a Pantene link, I was displeased to see the below description of a Pantene product for African-American hair (http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/african-american-hair-products.aspx):

“African-American hair tends to be dry and susceptible to damage, resulting in an out-of-control look. Pantene’s Relaxed & Natural collection for Women of Color is enriched with moisturizing oils that nourish and help protect African-American hair and achieve a sleek style”. http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/african-american-hair-products.aspx

Say what? Who determines whose hair has “an out-of-control look”? What does that mean? Unhealthy, tangled, snarled, knotty, nappy? What? I searched the other product lines to see if similar language was used for other products. No. For example, contrast the above description with the description for “Classic Care” (http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/classic-care.aspx):

“Pantene knows that healthy hair needs daily maintenance to keep it beautifully shiny from root to tip. Pantene’s Classic Care collection is basic daily care that nourishes and protectes hair to keep it looking healthy. It’s complete hair care for a classic look.”

Will someone please clarify what “classic” means? Also, notice that there are no derogatory subjective descriptions, only aspirational statements about healthy hair. Here’s another example from the “Fine Hair Solutions” http://pantene.com/en-US/hair-care-collections/fine-hair-products.aspx:

“Want volume that lasts all day? Breeze past your volume test with Pantene Pro-V Fine Hair Solutions. Fine hair has up to 50% less protein than thick hair, which can leave it limp and weak. Pantene Pro-V Fine Solutions is designed to reinforce the structure of fine hair for a full, healthy look. This fine hair collection offers effective cleansers, lightweight conditioners, and styling products designed to work together for lasting results.”

Again, no derogatory subjective descriptions. Perhaps some will think that I’m being overly sensitive. However, I think that organizations need to be highly sensitive to advertisements that could be viewed as offensive to entire demographic groups. What do you think?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Twist-outs after one week















Hi everyone,

Well, after wearing my twist-outs for the entire week here is how they look. I admit I went a bit overboard with the number of pics. I got a little hypnotized by the clicking shutter sound on my IPad camera.

I used castor oil and Eco-styler Gel (Olive Oil), what do you use to do your twist outs?

Twist-outs after one week















Hi everyone,

Well, after wearing my twist-outs for the entire week here is how they look. I admit I went a bit overboard with the number of pics. I got a little hypnotized by the clicking shutter sound on my IPad camera.

I used castor oil and Eco-styler Gel (Olive Oil), what do you use to do your twist outs?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Washington Post/ The Root DC Video and Article

Hello everyone,

Check it out! The video and the piece I wrote about my hair and identity journey are up on the Washington Post's site (BTW, the Post titled the article, not me) :) Please post, circulate, comment, send up a smoke screen...spread it around! :)

Hugs!

Tina

Here's the link to the piece I wrote: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/at-war-with-unmanageable-hair/2011/09/05/gIQAp2wP9J_blog.html

Here's the link to the video: http://www.washingtonpost.com/therootdc/from-dreadlocks-to-mini-afro/2011/09/06/gIQAUoiD7J_video.html

Washington Post/ The Root DC Video and Article

Hello everyone,

Check it out! The video and the piece I wrote about my hair and identity journey are up on the Washington Post's site (BTW, the Post titled the article, not me) :) Please post, circulate, comment, send up a smoke screen...spread it around! :)

Hugs!

Tina

Here's the link to the piece I wrote: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/at-war-with-unmanageable-hair/2011/09/05/gIQAp2wP9J_blog.html

Here's the link to the video: http://www.washingtonpost.com/therootdc/from-dreadlocks-to-mini-afro/2011/09/06/gIQAUoiD7J_video.html

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Twist it on out!



Hello everyone,

After wearing my hair in double-strand twists from Friday to Monday, I did a twist out. Before I untwisted, I rubbed a small amount of castor oil on the twists. I then made sure that my fingertips were coated in the oil as I untwisted each twist.

Here are the results (the top pic is after sleeping on it for one night with a scarf; the bottom pic is how they looked right after I did the twist out). Next time, I will be sure to do smaller twists on the sides and in the back of my head to accommodate for the coilier hair on those sections of my head. All in all, I am thrilled and excited to be exploring my hair.

P.S.: Please check out my blog TOMORROW tropie7189.blogspot.com for links to a Washington Post video highlighting my journey from dreadlocks to TWA (teeny weeny afro). I also wrote an accompanying piece. Please repost, tweet, email, etc. and get the word out!

Twist it on out!



Hello everyone,

After wearing my hair in double-strand twists from Friday to Monday, I did a twist out. Before I untwisted, I rubbed a small amount of castor oil on the twists. I then made sure that my fingertips were coated in the oil as I untwisted each twist.

Here are the results (the top pic is after sleeping on it for one night with a scarf; the bottom pic is how they looked right after I did the twist out). Next time, I will be sure to do smaller twists on the sides and in the back of my head to accommodate for the coilier hair on those sections of my head. All in all, I am thrilled and excited to be exploring my hair.

P.S.: Please check out my blog TOMORROW tropie7189.blogspot.com for links to a Washington Post video highlighting my journey from dreadlocks to TWA (teeny weeny afro). I also wrote an accompanying piece. Please repost, tweet, email, etc. and get the word out!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

TWA: Double-strand twists

First time with double-strand twists
Last night, I double-strand twisted my TWA for the first time. I already had product in my hair (Kinky Curly and castor oil). I misted my hair with water, applied a bit more castor oil and twisted my hair using Eco-Styler gel. Initially I only planned to twist my bangs but since I was catching up on DVRed episodes of America's Next Top Model, I decided to twist all of my hair. When I finished I slicked a bit of gel around my edges and tied on a satin scarf.


When I removed the scarf this morning, I loved the neat, textured look as all of my twists lay on my head (well, all but one stubborn twist that stuck up in the back of my head). I plan to wear the twists for the next few days and then wear a twist-out. I'll be sure to post pics of the twist-out! By the way, I took the picture with my IPad and I'm still getting used to it. Hopefully, my photography skills will quickly improve! :)

TWA: Double-strand twists

First time with double-strand twists
Last night, I double-strand twisted my TWA for the first time. I already had product in my hair (Kinky Curly and castor oil). I misted my hair with water, applied a bit more castor oil and twisted my hair using Eco-Styler gel. Initially I only planned to twist my bangs but since I was catching up on DVRed episodes of America's Next Top Model, I decided to twist all of my hair. When I finished I slicked a bit of gel around my edges and tied on a satin scarf.

When I removed the scarf this morning, I loved the neat, textured look as all of my twists lay on my head (well, all but one stubborn twist that stuck up in the back of my head). I plan to wear the twists for the next few days and then wear a twist-out. I'll be sure to post pics of the twist-out! By the way, I took the picture with my IPad and I'm still getting used to it. Hopefully, my photography skills will quickly improve! :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pi Nappa Kappa: Good idea or a joke?



One of the newest sororities on the block appears to be Pi Nappa Kappa created by Leola Anifowoshe. Given the mission of the sorority, it can be assumed that “Nappa” is a play on “nappy”. According to the “Natural Hair Sorority & Fraternity – 10K Naturals” Facebook page, Pi Nappa Kappa’s mission is to “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word "nappy" into a "happy" and celebrated term” (https://www.facebook.com/NaturalHairSorority).

I am ambivalent about the sorority. On one hand, it feels like an unnecessary organization. Can’t the natural hair movement just develop on its own? Why do we need a sorority? Furthermore, why not just have a natural hair care organization with the same mission? Finally, the name makes it seem like a farcical caricature of Greek life.

On the other hand, I laud Ms. Anifowoshe’s brilliance in creating Pi Nappa Kappa as a sorority. First, it is a great marketing ploy. By calling it a sorority, Ms. Anifowoshe has tapped into the deep roots of the historically Black sororities (and their brethren fraternities). Sorority members are highly identified with their organizations and calling Pi Nappa Kappa a sorority is likely to start a feisty conversation. Hey, conflict sells and I’m certain that Ms. Anifowoshe will get more media coverage by calling it a sorority than if she had called it an organization, club or group. Second, I do believe that a Natural Hair movement is taking place. Look around, and you will surely note a proliferation of websites, news stories, magazine articles, etc. on natural hair. Something is afoot. I’ve thought that it would be great to have a clearinghouse for this information. As a hair and identity blogger (tropie7189.blogspot.com), I’ve sometimes been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of natural hair information available. If Ms. Anifowoshe’s organization will serve as a conduit to the wealth of available information, I’m in, no matter what she calls it. I will say that I won’t take a line number, pledge, do a special handshake (will that be necessary given it’s an Internet sorority?), learn a special call, or anything like that. I pledged a traditionally Black sorority in college and that experience stands on its own; I have no desire to replicate it.

I’m curious to see if the idea takes off and how people respond to the idea. What are your thoughts?

Pi Nappa Kappa: Good idea or a joke?


One of the newest sororities on the block appears to be Pi Nappa Kappa created by Leola Anifowoshe. Given the mission of the sorority, it can be assumed that “Nappa” is a play on “nappy”. According to the “Natural Hair Sorority & Fraternity – 10K Naturals” Facebook page, Pi Nappa Kappa’s mission is to “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word "nappy" into a "happy" and celebrated term” (https://www.facebook.com/NaturalHairSorority).

I am ambivalent about the sorority. On one hand, it feels like an unnecessary organization. Can’t the natural hair movement just develop on its own? Why do we need a sorority? Furthermore, why not just have a natural hair care organization with the same mission? Finally, the name makes it seem like a farcical caricature of Greek life.

On the other hand, I laud Ms. Anifowoshe’s brilliance in creating Pi Nappa Kappa as a sorority. First, it is a great marketing ploy. By calling it a sorority, Ms. Anifowoshe has tapped into the deep roots of the historically Black sororities (and their brethren fraternities). Sorority members are highly identified with their organizations and calling Pi Nappa Kappa a sorority is likely to start a feisty conversation. Hey, conflict sells and I’m certain that Ms. Anifowoshe will get more media coverage by calling it a sorority than if she had called it an organization, club or group. Second, I do believe that a Natural Hair movement is taking place. Look around, and you will surely note a proliferation of websites, news stories, magazine articles, etc. on natural hair. Something is afoot. I’ve thought that it would be great to have a clearinghouse for this information. As a hair and identity blogger (tropie7189.blogspot.com), I’ve sometimes been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of natural hair information available. If Ms. Anifowoshe’s organization will serve as a conduit to the wealth of available information, I’m in, no matter what she calls it. I will say that I won’t take a line number, pledge, do a special handshake (will that be necessary given it’s an Internet sorority?), learn a special call, or anything like that. I pledged a traditionally Black sorority in college and that experience stands on its own; I have no desire to replicate it.

I’m curious to see if the idea takes off and how people respond to the idea. What are your thoughts?

One of the newest sororities on the block appears to be Pi Nappa Kappa created by Leola Anifowoshe. Given the mission of the sorority, it can be assumed that “Nappa” is a play on “nappy”. According to the “Natural Hair Sorority & Fraternity – 10K Naturals” Facebook page, Pi Nappa Kappa’s mission is to “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word "nappy" into a "happy" and celebrated term”.

I am ambivalent about the sorority. On one hand, it feels like an unnecessary organization. Can’t the natural hair movement just develop on its own? Why do we need a sorority? Furthermore, why not just have a natural hair care organization with the same mission? Finally, the name makes it seem like a farcical caricature of Greek life.

On the other hand, I laud Ms. Anifowoshe’s brilliance in creating Pi Nappa Kappa as a sorority. First, it is a great marketing ploy. By calling it a sorority, Ms. Anifowoshe has tapped into the deep roots of the historically Black sororities (and their brethren fraternities). Sorority members are highly identified with their organizations and calling Pi Nappa Kappa a sorority is likely to start a feisty conversation. Hey, conflict sells and I’m certain that Ms. Anifowoshe will get more media coverage by calling it a sorority than if she had called it an organization, club or group. Second, I do believe that a Natural Hair movement is taking place. Look around, and you will surely note a proliferation of websites, news stories, magazine articles, etc. on natural hair. Something is afoot. I’ve thought that it would be great to have a clearinghouse for this information. As a hair and identity blogger (tropie7189.blogspot.com), I’ve sometimes been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of natural hair information available. If Ms. Anifowoshe’s organization will serve as a conduit to the wealth of available information, I’m in, no matter what she calls it. I will say that I won’t take a line number, pledge, do a special handshake (will that be necessary given it’s an Internet sorority?), learn a special call, or anything like that. I pledged a traditionally Black sorority in college and that experience stands on its own; I have no desire to replicate it.

I’m curious to see if the idea takes off and how people respond to the idea. What are your thoughts?

One of the newest sororities on the block appears to be Pi Nappa Kappa created by Leola Anifowoshe. Given the mission of the sorority, it can be assumed that “Nappa” is a play on “nappy”. According to the “Natural Hair Sorority & Fraternity – 10K Naturals” Facebook page, Pi Nappa Kappa’s mission is to “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word "nappy" into a "happy" and celebrated term”.

I am ambivalent about the sorority. On one hand, it feels like an unnecessary organization. Can’t the natural hair movement just develop on its own? Why do we need a sorority? Furthermore, why not just have a natural hair care organization with the same mission? Finally, the name makes it seem like a farcical caricature of Greek life.

On the other hand, I laud Ms. Anifowoshe’s brilliance in creating Pi Nappa Kappa as a sorority. First, it is a great marketing ploy. By calling it a sorority, Ms. Anifowoshe has tapped into the deep roots of the historically Black sororities (and their brethren fraternities). Sorority members are highly identified with their organizations and calling Pi Nappa Kappa a sorority is likely to start a feisty conversation. Hey, conflict sells and I’m certain that Ms. Anifowoshe will get more media coverage by calling it a sorority than if she had called it an organization, club or group. Second, I do believe that a Natural Hair movement is taking place. Look around, and you will surely note a proliferation of websites, news stories, magazine articles, etc. on natural hair. Something is afoot. I’ve thought that it would be great to have a clearinghouse for this information. As a hair and identity blogger (tropie7189.blogspot.com), I’ve sometimes been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of natural hair information available. If Ms. Anifowoshe’s organization will serve as a conduit to the wealth of available information, I’m in, no matter what she calls it. I will say that I won’t take a line number, pledge, do a special handshake (will that be necessary given it’s an Internet sorority?), learn a special call, or anything like that. I pledged a traditionally Black sorority in college and that experience stands on its own; I have no desire to replicate it.

I’m curious to see if the idea takes off and how people respond to the idea. What are your thoughts?



One of the newest sororities on the block appears to be Pi Nappa Kappa created by Leola Anifowoshe. Given the mission of the sorority, it can be assumed that “Nappa” is a play on “nappy”. According to the “Natural Hair Sorority & Fraternity – 10K Naturals” Facebook page, Pi Nappa Kappa’s mission is to “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word "nappy" into a "happy" and celebrated term”.

I am ambivalent about the sorority. On one hand, it feels like an unnecessary organization. Can’t the natural hair movement just develop on its own? Why do we need a sorority? Furthermore, why not just have a natural hair care organization with the same mission? Finally, the name makes it seem like a farcical caricature of Greek life.

On the other hand, I laud Ms. Anifowoshe’s brilliance in creating Pi Nappa Kappa as a sorority. First, it is a great marketing ploy. By calling it a sorority, Ms. Anifowoshe has tapped into the deep roots of the historically Black sororities (and their brethren fraternities). Sorority members are highly identified with their organizations and calling Pi Nappa Kappa a sorority is likely to start a feisty conversation. Hey, conflict sells and I’m certain that Ms. Anifowoshe will get more media coverage by calling it a sorority than if she had called it an organization, club or group. Second, I do believe that a Natural Hair movement is taking place. Look around, and you will surely note a proliferation of websites, news stories, magazine articles, etc. on natural hair. Something is afoot. I’ve thought that it would be great to have a clearinghouse for this information. As a hair and identity blogger (tropie7189.blogspot.com), I’ve sometimes been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of natural hair information available. If Ms. Anifowoshe’s organization will serve as a conduit to the wealth of available information, I’m in, no matter what she calls it. I will say that I won’t take a line number, pledge, do a special handshake (will that be necessary given it’s an Internet sorority?), learn a special call, or anything like that. I pledged a traditionally Black sorority in college and that experience stands on its own; I have no desire to replicate it.

I’m curious to see if the idea takes off and how people respond to the idea. What are your thoughts?


One of the newest sororities on the block appears to be Pi Nappa Kappa created by Leola Anifowoshe. Given the mission of the sorority, it can be assumed that “Nappa” is a play on “nappy”. According to the “Natural Hair Sorority & Fraternity – 10K Naturals” Facebook page, Pi Nappa Kappa’s mission is to “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word "nappy" into a "happy" and celebrated term”.

I am ambivalent about the sorority. On one hand, it feels like an unnecessary organization. Can’t the natural hair movement just develop on its own? Why do we need a sorority? Furthermore, why not just have a natural hair care organization with the same mission? Finally, the name makes it seem like a farcical caricature of Greek life.

On the other hand, I laud Ms. Anifowoshe’s brilliance in creating Pi Nappa Kappa as a sorority. First, it is a great marketing ploy. By calling it a sorority, Ms. Anifowoshe has tapped into the deep roots of the historically Black sororities (and their brethren fraternities). Sorority members are highly identified with their organizations and calling Pi Nappa Kappa a sorority is likely to start a feisty conversation. Hey, conflict sells and I’m certain that Ms. Anifowoshe will get more media coverage by calling it a sorority than if she had called it an organization, club or group. Second, I do believe that a Natural Hair movement is taking place. Look around, and you will surely note a proliferation of websites, news stories, magazine articles, etc. on natural hair. Something is afoot. I’ve thought that it would be great to have a clearinghouse for this information. As a hair and identity blogger (tropie7189.blogspot.com), I’ve sometimes been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of natural hair information available. If Ms. Anifowoshe’s organization will serve as a conduit to the wealth of available information, I’m in, no matter what she calls it. I will say that I won’t take a line number, pledge, do a special handshake (will that be necessary given it’s an Internet sorority?), learn a special call, or anything like that. I pledged a traditionally Black sorority in college and that experience stands on its own; I have no desire to replicate it.

I’m curious to see if the idea takes off and how people respond to the idea. What are your thoughts?