Puff Balls

Puff Balls

Friday, June 1, 2012

New York Times Video on Natural Hair: Ms. Zina Saro-Wiwa Knocks it Out of the Park

Hello everyone,

You know that natural hair is not a fad when the NY Times dedicates an op-doc video to the topic:  NY Times video on natural hair.  Ms. Zina  Saro-Wiwa (read more about her here) does a fabulous job narrating the video (she is also director, producer and camera).  Plus, she has a big chop in the video! I also love how Ms. Saro-Wiwa deals with the media's near universal depiction of Black women wearing wigs and weaves.  I am sentimental and I find myself in tears as I watch the video.  I am so proud to be part of this return to our authentic selves.

What do you think?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cross-Cultural Hair Experience at Lush Cosmetics Part 2

Hello everyone,

As I mentioned earlier,  I had no idea that Lush takes its customer service so seriously.  A White saleswoman reached for my hair, my eyes grew large and I thought, "Wait, is she about to DO my hair?"

YES!!!!  Before I could jump up, she put her hands in my hair and began to scrunch the R&B product through my bangs.  As she scrunched, she said things like it will soften my kinky hair, make it smoother, longer, etc.  Wait, did SHE just call MY hair "kinky"?  Yes, I have kinky hair but that's for me to say not her, right?  Right?  Why in the world did I find that adjective so offensive when it came from her mouth?  My observant Mother was giving the saleswoman the side eye and looking at me as if to say, "No she didn't".  We walked out of the store with our sample in hand (still need to try it) venting about the saleswoman's gall to call my hair kinky.

Don't get me wrong, I think the saleswoman was an absolute sweetheart who was doing her best to educate me about what looks like a great product (White saleswoman, if you are reading this, please know that I am not hating; sorry, I really should have gotten your name!).  However, I do believe that such organizations should recognize potential pitfalls when working with different hair types and textures.  Specifically, I think their employees need to be sensitized to the fact that hair is intimately connected to identity and that identity is connected to ingroup (us) and outgroup (them) dynamics.  Because of this, outgroup members may accidentally set off identity landmines and be completely unaware that they have incensed a customer.

What do you think?  Have you ever experienced such an interaction?  Do you think that I should write Lush Cosmetics and have this discussion with their management team?

Curious to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Tina

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cross-Cultural Hair Experience at Lush Cosmetics

Hi everyone,

I had an interesting cross-cultural hair experience the other day.  My Momma (yes!  visiting from Florida) and I were shopping in the mall when we decided to peruse a new store, Lush Cosmetics.  The store's brand is based on homemade, natural products so I wanted to check it out.  I went in and admired the soap bomb fizzes (wonderful smells!) and then noticed that Lush carried hair products.  I asked a saleswoman if they carried products that might work on hair textures like mine.  She said they did and showed me a leave-in-conditioner called "R&B" (Click Here for a link to the product).  Here's a description of the product:

"Enjoy some of our smooth R & B hair stylings to control your frizzy, flyaway hair. An instant best-seller, our easy-to-use “hair finisher” uses softening ingredients of organic avocado butter, oatmeal, olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil and candelilla wax because they are extremely effective for conditioning the hair and scalp. Three of our UK shop managers came up with R & B to revive and balance their wayward follicles. It works well with African American or curly hair because it conditions with a lot of moisture. And once you smell the seductive orange blossom and jasmine fragrance, your hair will truly get its groove back."

Wow, I was sold!  Well, at least I wanted to try the sample.  However, I had no idea that Lush takes its customer service so seriously.  What happened next was the first such cross-cultural hair experience I've ever had.  The White saleswoman dipped her fingers in the R&B, massaged her hands together and reached for my hair.  My eyes grew large and I thought, "Wait, is she about to DO my hair?"


Monday, May 14, 2012

Do organizations have the right to regulate employee hair styles?

Hello everyone,

Today I came across an interesting article by Erik Kambel "Black French Flight Attendant Forced to Hide Dreadlocks Under Wig" Click Here for the article.  According to Dominion of New York's article, the Black French flight attendant may not wear his dreadlocks while working, he must wear a wig.

Photo of Aboubakar Traore, flight attendant required to wear wig to cover his dreadlocks.  
Image found at dominionofnewyork.com.  

But, this rule only applies to men.  Women are allowed to wear dreadlocks because the company seems to recognize that hair can be connected to a woman's identity.  Hmm, what about men?

What do you all think:  do organizations have a right to regulate hair styles?  Should there be certain boundaries to such hair-regulating rules?  Please chime in!

Thanks!

Tina

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wash and Go Hair- Eco Styler Gel and Kinky Curly Products

Hi everyone,

My Eco-styler gel, Denman Brush style lasted for four days.  Here are the results:



Pros:  This style lasted for several days and was super cute (well, it grew on me.  At first, I was not feeling it).  Also, my curls clumped together more perhaps leading to a bit more curl definition.   Cons:  it took TOO long to blow dry my hair, then apply gel, then brush it through only to end up with the same amount of shrinkage (for me, too long is an hour, plus, I'd rather find a style that doesn't require much if any heat); crunchy, crunchy, crunchy!  After a few days, gel residue started to show.

So, this morning I washed my hair and tried Kinky Curly Knot Today and Curling Custard on my wet, freshly pre-pooed hair without a brush.  Here are the results:


I LOVE it and this took about 20 minutes to do.  I could definitely do this on a daily basis BUT this style should last at least two to three days!  Whew-hew!  I did have to use my diffuser because I had an appointment and there was visible product in my hair.  Next time, I'll do my hair with more lead time so that it can fully air dry.  Plus, I'll use less product!

Thanks and this hair journey is getting REALLY fun!  I love the experimenting!  I'm starting to understand my hair and OWN it.  I am truly recognizing that it doesn't have to take a ton of time, money or product to bring out the beauty of afro-textured hair.  I'm also learning to accept and embrace my kinky texture.  Hallelujah!  Stay tuned for an upcoming video blog about this latter topic (yes, I'm venturing into vlogging, pray for me!).  :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Embrace your gray hair!

Hi everyone,

As I perused the headlines for interesting discussions about hair, I came across the headline "Gray Hair Celebrated in New Exhibit".  YAAYYYY!  I for one adore gray hair, better said, silver hair.  Men and women blessed with such manes look like silver foxes.  They typically have a certain regality, a beauty that has been EARNED.  So, I am thrilled that the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA (ww.buckinstitute.org) is exhibiting photos that depict women sporting their natural silver hair.   The Huffington Post wrote an article about the exhibit:  Huffington Post article about "SILVER: A State of Mind".

I got my first silver hair in my early teens.  I plucked it out and taped it into a keepsake book (I believe I still have it somewhere...so much for keepsakes, I need to do a better job of keeping track of them!)  I loved my silver hair because it connected me to my Father.  He too had a patch of silver hair right in the front of his head and, really, nowhere else (he now shaves his head bald so I don't get to see the patch of silver anymore).  I guess it was in my genes because I too developed a splash of silver in the same spot; you may have noticed my splash of silver in pictures.  My Mother has beautiful silver hair.  She's been stopped by strangers who compliment her on her beautiful, silver tresses.

I can thank both of my parents for my healthy attitude about graying hair.  When I used to dye my locs, I specifically requested that they section of my silver hair so that it wouldn't be scathed by the dye.  The silver patch had sort of become a unique trait and I didn't want dye to make me blend in with everyone else.  My patch has spread and I have silver hairs throughout my hair.  I still wear them with pride, in fact, I feel that my silver hair reflects wisdom that the Lord has given me (Proverbs 16:31).  It's something to be embraced in my opinion.

That's why I never quite understand it when aging people try to cover up the inevitable procession of life.  We are ALL going to get older (if we're blessed to live long enough).  Why is there such an effort to erase signs of aging, especially when it comes to graying hair?  I think one reason is that graying hair is symbolic of our mortality.  Our hair, like changing colors of foliage, represents a change of seasons.  I believe that some fear this change and so they clutch to youthful memories of times when hair was not gray.  What do you think?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Leave in Conditioner For Moisturized, Maintained Hair!

Hello everyone,

I'm heading out solo tonight to a college dance ensemble performance and I decided to do a twist out.  What can I say?  I LOVE IT!  I have a recent Twitter conversation to thank for the moisturized, highly defined do.  During the conversation, a kind woman asked me if I was using leave in conditioner (LIC).  Sometimes, right when I wash it.  But, I realized that I NEVER use LIC to maintain my styles.  Hmm.  I decided to add it to my routine.  This time around, I wanted elongated curls so once I washed my hair, I blew it dry.  Then, I used my normal Doris New York products to do my twist-out (I've blogged about this before, let me know if you want more details) PLUS I added LIC.  I left the twists in for a few days and then loosened them to reveal beautiful, bouncing curls.  Honestly, those curls usually last for a few days and then I end up with dry hair.  The solution for me!?  At night, I've been showering my hair UNCOVERED allowing the steam to mist my hair.  After getting out of the shower, I apply a mixture of DNY LIC and coconut oil.  I then retwist my hair and leave it twisted for a few days.  I may also spritz my hair with water during this time.  This evening I untwisted my hair after trying my new routine (I coated my fingers with grapeseed oil to take out the twists.  I've found that some kind of light oil on my fingers minimizes frizz and enhances curl definition).  Let me know what you think of the results.  I LOVE IT.  Plus, my hair feels like silk.  I hope this helps you.  What do you do to maintain your hair and keep it moisturized?

The picture at the top shows my new twistout.  Below, is a pic of my twistout in 9/11.  Wow, it's growing!



Thanks!
Tina

Twist out 4/12 


Twist out 9/11


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Natural hair meet-ups provide strength in numbers

Hello everyone,

I haven't yet planned a natural hair meet-up, but this article about a Detroit Meet-up brought a beaming smile to my face:  http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120422/OPINION03/204220311/Naturally-Flyy-Detroit-sisters-celebrate-rocking-hair-natural-?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE.

It is amazing to me to see the freedom, beauty and grace that can all come from wearing your natural hair.  Embrace yourself!

Tina

Monday, April 23, 2012

Talking to myself about my hair

Hello everyone,

Now that I've recovered from my hilariously bad hair day, I thought I'd reflect a bit on the internal process I went through as I "talked" to myself.

First, I realize that I don't have the type of hair that will clump into curls.  I can use a million conditioners, tons of oil, super moisturizing shampoos and it won't matter.  My hair will still amass into a clump of cotton. That's it, no more no less.

Second, I don't particularly like cotton as hair.

Third, I'm working on WHY I don't like cotton as hair.  I know that I've been conditioned to think that silky hair is prettier than cottony hair.  I study identity so I know that issues of race, power and status influence my thinking.  I'm still thinking that way though.

Fourth, I'm dealing with the fact that I sometimes find my hair downright difficult.  When I'm combing it and it's snapping, popping and flying in all directions I feel a bit...cursed.  That's terrible to say but those are the ratlike thoughts scurrying about in my mind.

Fifth, I am incredibly proud of myself for publicly stripping myself down in this way and conversing about such an important topic.  I've had so many people confide that they struggle with hair and identity.  Let's keep the conversation going and work toward full self-acceptance.

Hugs,

Tina

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bad attitude to go with my bad hair day

Hi everyone,

Today I am just going to put it out there. I had a horrible hair day and I let it put me in a bad mood. I washed and deep conditioned my hair the other day. For some crack-high reason, I thought I'd awaken with curly ringlets. Instead, I woke up with Brillo hard, prickly twine sticking out of my head. Don't believe me? This pic should back me up.


I know, I know I need to stop trippin' and embrace everything about my natural hair. Well guess what? Sometimes I just want my hair to do what the heck I tell it to: sit still, lay down, curl up, flatten out. I got so nervy, I even rolled my eyes at God , "Thanks a lot for THIS gift Jesus".

Have you ever had a bad hair day? Please share your stories.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Luxurious self-treatment


Hello everyone,

I am really working on improving my self-care. Yesterday, I had a counselling session then I had a fabulous massage. Oh my goodness! I was floating on air. Later on in the day, I hit the gym and treated myself to sushi. Then, I treated myself (yes, I treated myself more than once, that's a BIG DEAL for me!) to some new running gear (I started jogging through Black Girls Run and I love it!) In other words, I had a day long date with MYSELF! I showered myself with attention, loving, healthy attention. The love fest continued today: I cleared my schedule: no meetings, research ALL DAY! Whew-hew. Plus, I went to work in my new running gear so that I'd be prepared for my evening run.

Once I got home tonight, I washed my hair, took a bubble bath and I'm now sitting with conditioner in my hair. I plan to sleep in it overnight. Do any of you do that? I can't wait to see what my hair will feel like in the morning.


Here's to treating ourselves! :)

Image found at: beautifulbrowngirls.com

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An afro in the White House?


Hello everyone,

A week or so ago, a manipulated photo displayed First Lady Michelle Obama rocking a curly, bouncy fro. I loved the look but doubted that it was real. It turns out that the image was in fact doctored (the hair belongs to none other than the fabulous Mae of Naturalchica.com and Nikkimae2003). Many outlets discussed it, see below for a few examples:

According to The Root.com (http://www.theroot.com/views/singleminded-first-ladys-hair), there was a passionate response to the picture of the First Lady's hair. What do you think? Would you like to see the First Lady sporting an afro in the White House? Why or why not?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Goopy hair


Hello everyone,

Today, I had my first physical therapy appointment for a shoulder injury. I washed my hair just prior to the appointment and used Kinky Curly (I use this when I do a wash and go). My hair was still wet when I arrived for the appointment. No big deal, right? WRONG!!! First, I had to lay (lie?) down on a white terry cloth towel. Ugh...all I could envision was bits of white lint in my fro. AND, even more embarrassing: globs of hair product on the towel when I lifted up my head for all to see. Fortunately, neither the lint nor the globs appeared. Whew, crisis averted. Or so I thought. I had no idea what was about to unfold.

My therapist, Tom, had me sit up and then said something like, "Okay, now I'm going to do some compression. I'm going to put my hands in your hair and press down on your head and hold it"...SAY WHAT!!??? You're going to put your hands in my hair? I said out loud, "Black women and their hair!". Yes I did! I then told him that my hair was freshly washed and it had product in it. I don't think he believed me but once he finished pressing down, he immediately reached for a towel to wipe off his hands. OMG! I was mortified. All I need is for this man I just met to think that my hair is goopy, dirty, unclean. Wait, why do I care? My hair is certainly clean, he's done this before and it's no big deal. Wow, I think I assumed that he'd never touched Black hair before and I didn't want him to think that all of it was "goopy". Was I some type of standard bearer or something? That is just too much pressure. So, I told him about my blog, that I'd be blogging about the experience and kept it moving. Just another day in the life.





Monday, March 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin

Hi everyone,

As you know, this is a blog about hair and identity, but today, I am so sad that I HAVE to write about the murder of Trayvon Martin. I've had a heavy heart about Trayvon Martin's murder since I heard about it. I think a large part of my sadness is that my white friends have not seemed to be FBing, Tweeting or discussing this. That deeply saddens me because I feel so alone. Such racism will not end until ALL of us speak out against it. This can't just come from Black people...this is about JUSTICE. I'm thinking that it very well could have been my son in a few years. In fact, when I showed my son Trayvon's picture, my son said, "Mommy, he looks like me". My parents live less than 60 minutes from Sanford and we walk around their gated community at all time's of the day/night taking full advantage of the community center and pool. Michael Skolnik really hits the ball out of the park with this article. I beg you white people, be up in arms about this. If you care about me, please care about Trayvon Martin. He IS me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Naptural85's Top 10 Tips on Growing Long, Healthy, Natural Hair


Hello everyone,

I've entered my grading vortex so today's post is rather short. I'm providing a link to Naptural85's top 10 tips on growing long, healthy natural hair (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7ouKM2v6Uc&feature=colike). I absolutely love her laid back vibe and authenticity! Here is a link to her website: http://www.naptural85.com/.

Here is a list of the ten tips for those who'd prefer not to watch the entire video (though I encourage you to watch it because her commentary is insightful). Plus, as you can see from the pic, her hair is GORGEOUS!! So, evidence suggests that she knows what she's talking about, at least what works for her!

  1. Moisturize.
  2. Trim your hair when necessary.
  3. Don’t overshampoo. Co-washing is great (she buys 3 bottles of conditioner for every 1 bottle of shampoo)
  4. Low manipulation styling, be careful of your edges, loosely style your hair when possible
  5. Protective styling, especially when your hair feels particularly dry (Naptural85 has a blog post on this)
  6. Don’t do your hair when you’re stressed out, angry, etc.
  7. Be mindful of your hair accessories
  8. Avoid brushes and combs if possible; when you do use them, use wide-toothed combs and wider set brushes when possible; use finger-detangling
  9. You are what you eat, eat healthy food
  10. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon
Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Un91glNT4g0/TakFBKzCA2I/AAAAAAAABio/CXG3ay53awc/s1600/210815_103906373026300_103009129782691_36726_4405733_o.jpg&sa=X&ei=815iT8nvN6j40gHr2aCYCA&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE5tw5gNVGBxeKuELG6o4CO09z5_w

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Natural Hair in Corporate America


Hi everyone,


"Her black, female, co-workers pressured her to re-consider, but Ivy Grant, an associate partner in a marketing consulting firm decided to make the transition from her processed straight hair, to her naturally textured hair twelve years ago, and has no regrets.

"Everyone has this fear that you're not going to be accepted in the work place with this kind of hair," Grant said referring to her curly afro."

The article, "Rareview: Going Natural in America by Claudia Morales really hits home for me. When I interview women about their hair, a consistent theme they share is the fear of going natural at work. I am thrilled that more women (and maybe, hopefully, more corporations?) are realizing that natural hair is a viable option. What do you think? Would your organization accept natural hair? If not, would you still wear your natural hair?


Image of Janelle Monae found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://witchesbrewonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/monae.jpg&sa=X&ei=j0NdT7a2Muna0QHCzemaDw&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNGkY2Z7Zc_bRHraTAt9hugO8qIHng

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How I moisturized my twist out!

Hi everyone,

I am getting bolder in my older age. I decided to wet my twist out in the shower this morning because I wanted to see what would happen. Let me clarify, actually, I steamed my hair in the shower, wet my hands and then ran my wet hands through my hair. I did not drench my hair.

I then vigorously rubbed my hair in a circular fashion with the palms of my hands (I've seen people do this with boar bristle brushes and it led to perfectly shaped coils, I just wanted to see if it would make my coils pop out a bit...it did!). Once I got out of the shower, I applied a dab of Doris New York Olive Oil to my hair and followed that with coconut oil (I rubbed it between my hands to emulsify it) and grapefruit essential oil (just for smell, not as a sealant). I then fluffed it out and here is the result:


I absolutely love it! Plus, my hair feels soft. This is definitely a style I'll keep in my arsenal.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Hair History



Hello everyone, I just returned home from a mini-research trip to Washington DC where I had the pleasure of visiting the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian's African Art Museum. I did not have the chance to visit the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum to attend Head's Up, an event on hair and culture (see a Washington Post article about the event here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/smithsonians-the-will-to-adorn-black-hair-and-cultural-identity/2012/03/02/gIQAHrPUnR_blog.html). Honestly, I didn't learn about it until today (aarrghh, a day too late!).

When reviewing the article, I am struck by the sheer beauty and diversity of hair styles available to those of African descent. I am also struck by the timelessness of the styles. See the similarity between the above two pictures?

As I walked through the exhibits in the African Art Museum, browsed through articles in the Library of Congress and gazed at artistry masked as hairstyles on DC streets, I felt an immense sense of pride. I also felt a deeper connection to history and an appreciation for the way that my hair links me to a great and historical past.


  1. Top picture taken from the Washington Post article.
  2. Bottom picture taken by the author at the Smithsonian's African Art Museum (3/12)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Viola Davis Stuns on the Oscar Red Carpet


Hello everyone,

I am simply blown away by the gorgeous Viola Davis at the Oscars. Hurray to her for putting aside the wigs, weaves and sporting her natural hair. No, I'm not saying that wigs and weaves are bad. I am saying that I think Ms. Davis' natural hair is simply elegant, stunning and unique on the red carpet. I am ecstatic and hoping she wins the Oscar!

Whew-hew!!

Tina

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nicole Ari Parker Introduces Save Your Do Gym Wrap! Time to Hit the Gym with a Vengeance!


Hi everyone,

I LOVE the idea behind Nicole Ari Parker's Save your Do Gym Wrap! http://saveyourdo.com/

The product seems to directly address some women's complaints that they don't workout because it will mess up their hair. The Save your Do Gym Wrap is one of those ideas that makes me think, "MAN!! Why didn't I think of that?!" Kudos to Ms. Parker for thinking of it and bringing it to fruition! I need to buy one (or several) ASAP. Has anyone tried it yet?

Image found at http://saveyourdo.com/


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gray hair chic? Daphne Guinness' gray locks revered


Hi everyone,

Hair coloring is big business! Mintel's 2005 Hair Coloring Report estimates that the U.S. hair coloring market is $1billion - I couldn't find world figures...hmm, perhaps that's an entrepreneurial venture waiting to happen. Jump on it! :)

I've heard many people talk about how they HAVE to color their hair. They refuse to be mousy brown, dull blonde or boring black. Instead, they want vibrant, youthful color! Which brings me to the discussion of gray hair. According to some, having gray hair is even worse than having dull hair.

Thus, I was surprised to find this article: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46479961/ns/today-style/#.T0UTI4ePluo. The article, "Granny chic? Going gray is a hot new hair trend" chronicles the rising chic of gray hair. Thanks in part to movies like "Marie Antoinette" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0422720/) and social maven Daphne Guinness (http://daphneguinness.tumblr.com/)*, gray hair is being voluntarily donned! In fact, some women are COLORING their hair gray.

What do you think, is this a fad or do you think it will have staying power. Would you color your hair gray?


*The tumblr site is an homage to Daphne Guinness. To contact her, she can be reached via her twitter page referenced above.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"In our Heads About Our Hair" a new documentary is out!


Hello everyone,

Anu Prestonia (of Khamit Kinks acclaim! http://khamitkinks.com/), Maitefa Angaza and Paulette Maat Kesa Tabb have co-produced a film entitled, "In Our Heads About our Hair" from Hemamset Angaza on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/user3996039). The documentary explores the relationship between Black women and our hair, specifically examining how hair may affect self-esteem.

The producers are careful to mention that this film was not in response to Chris Rock's "Good Hair". In fact, the documentary was started before Mr. Rock's movie was released and the documentary covers different ground than Mr. Rock's film.

I am excited to see it and, if you're in the NY area, please let me know if you get a chance to view the documentary!

Thanks!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.indiewire.com/static/dims4/INDIEWIRE/f9f6e20/4102462740/thumbnail/680x478/http://d1oi7t5trwfj5d.cloudfront.net/4f/596c3042e511e197b6123138165f92/file/headofhair.jpg&sa=X&ei=IB9ET8ajKsf30gH-54naBw&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNFbVLpdiVkNHQxkWFEeLxwv4PQCdA

Monday, February 20, 2012

UPDATE: Hair growth--> Foam rollers

I LOVE the results of rolling my double-strand twists!

Hmm, what will my hair look like in the morning after using foam rollers?

My hair is growing by leaps and bounds. So much so that my double-strand twists are starting to sprout out in some...interesting ways. Soooooo, I bought some good old fashioned foam rollers and rolled my twists. I'll be sure to post a pic tomorrow! I love the opportunity to explore my hair!

Tina

P.S.: I got lazy and only used end wraps on some of the rollers. I know, I know, it's better for your hair when you use end wraps on foam rollers. Forgive me.

Hair Relaxer --> Uterine Fibroids??? (I know, I was shocked at the possibility too!)


Hi everyone,

It's one thing when you hear about somebody's cousin who got scalp burns from a "bad" relaxer. This sounds like an isolated incident where someone improperly used the relaxer. However, it's quite another situation when the American Journal of Epidemiology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Oxford Press, publishes an article describing a longitudinal study (participants were followed over time) in which evidence suggests that hair relaxer use increases the risk of uterine leiomyomata (i.e., uterine fibroids). WHATTTTTT???!!!!

Reputable medical resources (e.g., the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078/DSECTION=risk-factors and the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.cfm#f) indicate that Black women have an increased risk of uterine fibroids. WHAT IF HAIR RELAXERS HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS INCREASED RISK?

Something to REALLY make us think if that fly, convenient and straight hairstyle is worth it. On top of that, we perm young girls' hair?! Wow, I think we need to investigate and do better!

Here's a link to the abstract (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22234483) and I've also copied it below. Please let me know what you think.

Abstract

Hair relaxers are used by millions of black women, possibly exposing them to various chemicals through scalp lesions and burns. In the Black Women's Health Study, the authors assessed hair relaxer use in relation to uterine leiomyomata incidence. In 1997, participants reported on hairrelaxer use (age at first use, frequency, duration, number of burns, and type of formulation). From 1997 to 2009, 23,580 premenopausal women were followed for incident uterine leiomyomata. Multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals. During 199,991 person-years, 7,146 cases of uterine leiomyomata were reported as confirmed by ultrasound (n = 4,630) or surgery (n = 2,516). The incidence rate ratio comparing ever with never use of relaxers was 1.17 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 1.30). Positive trends were observed for frequency of use (P(trend) < 0.001), duration of use (P(trend) = 0.015), and number of burns (P(trend) < 0.001). Among long-term users (≥10 years), the incidence rate ratios for frequency of use categories 3-4, 5-6, and ≥7 versus 1-2 times/year were 1.04 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.19), 1.12 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.27), and 1.15 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.31), respectively (P(trend) = 0.002). Risk was unrelated to age at first use or type of formulation. These findings raise the hypothesis that hair relaxer use increases uterine leiomyomata risk.


Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://cynthiaswilliams.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/relaxer.jpg&sa=X&ei=kuBCT6a8MMr20gG0nKzGBw&ved=0CAoQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNHEgnlrqOEKjbYi8dFYDipzh652PA

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Farewell Ms. Houston



Dear Whitney:

It deeply saddens me to know that despite being one of the most beautiful, down-to-earth, and talented women of our times, you felt inadequate. I think all of us feel that way at one time or another.

That tells me that we all have a God-sized void that nothing else can fill. I believe that your home going service will bless many people, as many of them will seek Jesus as a result of seeing faith in action. It was amazing to see just how much you loved The Lord. I'm so glad that you're safely in His arms now. Rest sweetly Ms. Houston. You will not be forgotten.

Hugs and prayers.

Top image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.chicagonow.com/becoming-nikki-lynette/files/2012/02/566886_356x237.jpg&sa=X&ei=nz5AT7rwMOrv0gGaiozkBw&ved=0CAoQ8wc4IA&usg=AFQjCNEktjIHEPJLQrEL481cDNAV9KzDgQ

Friday, February 17, 2012

Natural Hair Strongly Embraced

Filmmaker Cindy Hurst

Hi everyone,

You may recall that I wrote a post pondering whether regional differences might create cultures that are more or less accepting of natural hair (see the post here: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/11/north-more-hospitable-to-natural-hair.html).

I came across an article from a student at Northern Kentucky University that suggests that women ALL OVER are indeed embracing their natural hair! Here's a link to the article: http://www.thenortherner.com/arts-and-life/2012/02/15/natural-beauties/comment-page-1/.

The article mentions a film called "Natural Woman", a Sankofa Project Production by filmaker Cindy Hurst (pop quiz: how many of you remember the post I wrote about "Sankofa"?). Here's a link to a a trailer for the movie: http://www.naturalwomanfilm.com/.

While it might sound like these issues are specific to African-American women, I argue that the underlying principles of embracing one's natural self apply to women AND men from all walks of life. It's about learning to accept one's natural self. What do you think? I look forward to your comments. Thanks for reading!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/0b/f5/0bf52dddccb9086b8793287061a82d5c.jpg&sa=X&ei=joM-T6vUOIb20gGzypi_Bw&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNFzfRfFxqo3UKU97dGhVcmrAZ_OXg

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart & Soul Magazine: New Leadership


Hi everyone! If you haven't already, I suggest you RUN not walk to get the 2012 special issue of Heart & Soul Magazine (http://www.heartandsoul.com/). I have to admit that in the past I wasn't the biggest fan of the magazine: it was a great idea but lacked the best execution. Well, now that the magazine is under the leadership of George E. Curry (http://www.georgecurry.com/, remember Emerge Magazine?!) , that has all changed. The magazine has new content, new contributors and a new fan! Further, the magazine's scope has been expanded to include all women of color. By the way, I don't have a personal connection with the magazine and no one paid me to say this. I just LOVE to support excellent work!

Of particular interest for those interested in hair is the new column entitled "Tresses" by Jacqueline Tarrant (founder of the Hair Trauma Center in Chicago- http://www.hairtraumacenter.com/). I smiled when I saw that the focus of this issue's column was on exercise and hair. Whew-hew! As someone who is in an on-going BATTLE to maintain a healthy body weight, I appreciated the articles insightful candor. For example, did you know that consistent cardio exercise leads to wider blood vessels and that wider blood vessels facilitate more rapid hair growth?! HELLO! While you're working out and shrinking your butt you're simultaneously growing your hair. Ha! That works for me.

There is also a call for several 30-day challenges (think hot yoga, meditation and nutrition), a column on skin care, plus articles on health (even a dedicated column to HIV / AIDS given how it disproportionately ravages communities of color). I hope that you enjoy the magazine as much as I do!

Happy Valentine's Day: Love Yourself!


Hi there!

Happy Valentine's Day! This afternoon my husband treated us to a lovely lunch rendezvous at a local French bistro. Oh my goodness! I love LOVE.

Speaking of love: what do you think about the notion that how you wear your hair says something about how you love yourself?

Here's an interesting article from my alma mater, New York University: http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2012/02/14/weaves-perms-and-going-natural-rejecting-narrow-narratives-of-black-women-in-the-media/

The article explores how and why more and more women are embracing their natural hair. I look forward to your thoughts!

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://whwweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/self-love31.jpg&sa=X&ei=beQ6T7DXO8Hk0QHIubXUCw&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE5BFLlnMZT75OvfUjsdY4RCtYfJA

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm back: Viola Davis Pics!


Hi everyone,

Well, I'm writing this post a bit with my tail between my legs. I truly thought that I'd be able to have a FABULOUS new website for you all by this time. Unfortunately, the request for proposal process is taking MUCH longer than I anticipated.

Not to worry! I plan to post here while the website is under construction. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Anyway, there has been LOTS going on as it relates to hair. One thing that made me shriek with joy was the Los Angeles Times spread featuring Ms. Viola Davis (http://www.latimesmagazine.com/2012/02/viola.html).

In the spread, the thespian is interviewed about her career, prestigious award nominations and life in general. However, her mane was almost the main attraction! Ms. Davis you are simply STUNNING! I can only imagine the pressure in Hollywood to have a weave down your back so I APPLAUD you for sporting your natural do.

What do you all think of Ms. Davis' do?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Still working on the website...

...it should be up and fully functioning in the next week or so. Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Onward and upward: New website! Hairasidentity.com

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog! Given the rousing support I've received, I'm upgrading to my own website: hairasidentity.com. Therefore, this week my blog will be under construction and you may experience technical difficulties. Thanks for your support and talk to you soon!

Tina

Please spread the word about the new website! I appreciate it!

Onward and upward: New website! Hairasidentity.com

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog! Given the rousing support I've received, I'm upgrading to my own website: hairasidentity.com. Therefore, this week my blog will be under construction and you may experience technical difficulties. Thanks for your support and talk to you soon!

Tina

Please spread the word about the new website! I appreciate it!

Mixed Chicks Lawsuit against Sally Beauty Supply


Have you heard of Mixed Chicks? It's a hair products firm that caters to multicultural women. The firm appears to be doing phenomenally well, so well in fact, that it was recently covered in Inc. Magazine (see 2/12 edition). The founders, Kim Etherede and Wendi Levy, were caught off guard in 2/11 when they learned that Sally Beauty Supply was selling an alarmingly similar product on its shelves. Sally's version, Mixed Silk, also catered to multiethnic women. According to Inc. Magazine, the bottle shape, package design, colors and fonts were also the same as those used by Mixed Chicks. Hmmm? What to do? Can a $5MM company face a multi-billion dollar juggernaut? You BET! I'm so proud that these ladies went with their gut and sued in 3/11. This is no cakewalk and who knows how the suit will turn out. However, I applaud the ladies for standing up for their convictions.

Here's an email that I sent to them via their website on 1/23/12:

Hi there, I'm not mixed but I heard about your products because I'm a professor who blogs on hair and identity. I just learned about your suit against Sally Beauty Supply in Inc. Magazine (2/12). I am so proud of you all for not succumbing to such bullying. Congratulations no matter what the outcome (but I'm praying that you all win!!!).

Thanks,

Tina Opie

If you're a blogger, vlogger, manufacturer, CEO in the natural hair care industry (or any industry for that matter), it's important to protect your brand. Tips on how to do that? I'm on a hunt and will share when I find some good ideas!


Image found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&safe=active&biw=1440&bih=809&tbm=isch&tbnid=PpIDkfrJZXGjuM:&imgrefurl=http://fashiondailymag.com/tame-the-curly-mane/&docid=nigVX7U-XzdgfM&imgurl=http://fashiondailymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/MIXED-CHICKS-curly-hair-products-on-FashionDailyMag.jpg&w=594&h=400&ei=RQMeT5bnF8nngge35YyRDw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=959&vpy=426&dur=95&hovh=184&hovw=274&tx=144&ty=123&sig=111245176624317175719&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=198&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:0
Mixed Chicks Founders, Wendi Levy (left) and Kim Etheredge

Mixed Chicks Lawsuit against Sally Beauty Supply


Have you heard of Mixed Chicks? It's a hair products firm that caters to multicultural women. The firm appears to be doing phenomenally well, so well in fact, that it was recently covered in Inc. Magazine (see 2/12 edition). The founders, Kim Etherede and Wendi Levy, were caught off guard in 2/11 when they learned that Sally Beauty Supply was selling an alarmingly similar product on its shelves. Sally's version, Mixed Silk, also catered to multiethnic women. According to Inc. Magazine, the bottle shape, package design, colors and fonts were also the same as those used by Mixed Chicks. Hmmm? What to do? Can a $5MM company face a multi-billion dollar juggernaut? You BET! I'm so proud that these ladies went with their gut and sued in 3/11. This is no cakewalk and who knows how the suit will turn out. However, I applaud the ladies for standing up for their convictions.

Here's an email that I sent to them via their website on 1/23/12:

Hi there, I'm not mixed but I heard about your products because I'm a professor who blogs on hair and identity. I just learned about your suit against Sally Beauty Supply in Inc. Magazine (2/12). I am so proud of you all for not succumbing to such bullying. Congratulations no matter what the outcome (but I'm praying that you all win!!!).

Thanks,

Tina Opie

If you're a blogger, vlogger, manufacturer, CEO in the natural hair care industry (or any industry for that matter), it's important to protect your brand. Tips on how to do that? I'm on a hunt and will share when I find some good ideas!


Image found at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&safe=active&biw=1440&bih=809&tbm=isch&tbnid=PpIDkfrJZXGjuM:&imgrefurl=http://fashiondailymag.com/tame-the-curly-mane/&docid=nigVX7U-XzdgfM&imgurl=http://fashiondailymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/MIXED-CHICKS-curly-hair-products-on-FashionDailyMag.jpg&w=594&h=400&ei=RQMeT5bnF8nngge35YyRDw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=959&vpy=426&dur=95&hovh=184&hovw=274&tx=144&ty=123&sig=111245176624317175719&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=198&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:0
Mixed Chicks Founders, Wendi Levy (left) and Kim Etheredge

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wigs


Sign welcoming visitors to the Fayetteville, NC wig outlet

I am embarrassed to say that we spent ~50-hours driving during our roundtrip RV trip and I drove a grand total of TWO HOURS! Even during the two hours I was nervous wreck because you don't really drive an RV, you guide it. It's HUGE and it blows in the wind. I didn't last long. BUT, during my driving stint, I saw a sign for a wig outlet in Fayetteville, NC. Of course, I couldn't wait to see it!

The wig outlet was large and wigs adorned shelves, counter tops and displays. I was amazed by the sheer number of wig options. Blonde, red, black, curly, straight, wigs for females...even wigs for men!

Here are a few pictures of the wigs I saw.





I'm going to research the varying reasons people might wear wigs. We often think of it as a voluntary fashion statement. However, some people wear wigs for medical reasons (e.g., lost hair due to chemotherapy, alopecia, etc.). Do you have a wig experience you'd like to share? Please do!

Wigs


Sign welcoming visitors to the Fayetteville, NC wig outlet

I am embarrassed to say that we spent ~50-hours driving during our roundtrip RV trip and I drove a grand total of TWO HOURS! Even during the two hours I was nervous wreck because you don't really drive an RV, you guide it. It's HUGE and it blows in the wind. I didn't last long. BUT, during my driving stint, I saw a sign for a wig outlet in Fayetteville, NC. Of course, I couldn't wait to see it!

The wig outlet was large and wigs adorned shelves, counter tops and displays. I was amazed by the sheer number of wig options. Blonde, red, black, curly, straight, wigs for females...even wigs for men!

Here are a few pictures of the wigs I saw.





I'm going to research the varying reasons people might wear wigs. We often think of it as a voluntary fashion statement. However, some people wear wigs for medical reasons (e.g., lost hair due to chemotherapy, alopecia, etc.). Do you have a wig experience you'd like to share? Please do!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sullivan's Island: My Sankofa Moment Part 2


Carding combs, a device that slaves may have used to comb their hair

As I mentioned in yesterday's post (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2012/01/sullivans-island-my-sankofa-moment.html), today's post explores how slaves groomed themselves once they arrived on U.S. soil.

It should be mentioned that when in Africa, Africans took pride in maintaining beautiful hairstyles. Slaves might use a wooden comb and palm oil to create elaborate styles. Those with matted, disheveled, unkempt hair were shunned and often viewed as insane. Thus, imagine the shame slaves must have felt when they were stripped of their grooming aids and their hair grew matted and unkempt?

Again, hair is nothing in comparison to the atrocities of slavery; however, slaves cared and were resilient. Slaves may have used a sheep carding comb (Byrd & Tharps, 2001). A carding comb is a device used to comb through matted or tangled fibers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carding).

It's easy to think that slaves wouldn't have cared about their personal appearance given the atrocities of slavery. However, even under such circumstances, these men and women found ways to groom their hair. You see, hair is much more than a head covering. It symbolizes what we think of ourselves. This small glimpse into slaves' grooming processes tells us that slaves indeed valued themselves even though their masters considered them less than human.

Sullivan's Island: My Sankofa Moment Part 2


Carding combs, a device that slaves may have used to comb their hair

As I mentioned in yesterday's post (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2012/01/sullivans-island-my-sankofa-moment.html), today's post explores how slaves groomed themselves once they arrived on U.S. soil.

It should be mentioned that when in Africa, Africans took pride in maintaining beautiful hairstyles. Slaves might use a wooden comb and palm oil to create elaborate styles. Those with matted, disheveled, unkempt hair were shunned and often viewed as insane. Thus, imagine the shame slaves must have felt when they were stripped of their grooming aids and their hair grew matted and unkempt?

Again, hair is nothing in comparison to the atrocities of slavery; however, slaves cared and were resilient. Slaves may have used a sheep carding comb (Byrd & Tharps, 2001). A carding comb is a device used to comb through matted or tangled fibers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carding).

It's easy to think that slaves wouldn't have cared about their personal appearance given the atrocities of slavery. However, even under such circumstances, these men and women found ways to groom their hair. You see, hair is much more than a head covering. It symbolizes what we think of ourselves. This small glimpse into slaves' grooming processes tells us that slaves indeed valued themselves even though their masters considered them less than human.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Solange Knowles: Hair Pics!



When I first started this blog, I did a post on Solange Knowles' bold decision to wear her natural hair (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/solange-knowles-natural-hair-and-beauty.html). Recently, Ms. Knowles did a photo spread for Oyster Magazine (http://oystermag.com/) and she is rocking her natural hair! There is nothing like someone who seems to embrace their authenticity. What do you think of the pictures?

Images found at: http://freshlikedougie.com/fashion/solange-in-natural-light-for-oyster-magazine-photos/

Solange Knowles: Hair Pics!



When I first started this blog, I did a post on Solange Knowles' bold decision to wear her natural hair (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/solange-knowles-natural-hair-and-beauty.html). Recently, Ms. Knowles did a photo spread for Oyster Magazine (http://oystermag.com/) and she is rocking her natural hair! There is nothing like someone who seems to embrace their authenticity. What do you think of the pictures?

Images found at: http://freshlikedougie.com/fashion/solange-in-natural-light-for-oyster-magazine-photos/

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Lye


Hi everyone,

I am working on a blog post that describes a deep, emotional experience I had on my family RV trip. It's about our visit to Sullivan's Island in South Carolina. However, in order to do the experience justice, I need to do some historical research and it's taking me awhile to get the facts straight. Stay tuned for what I hope will be an interesting and informative post.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some artwork with you. It's "Lye" by Jean-Michel Basquiat. I'm watching a documentary about him on NetFlix (Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child) and this artwork popped up on the screen. All I saw was the word "lye" but that was enough to pique my interest. Sure enough, he is talking about processed hair. What does the image stir up in you? For more information about Mr. Basquait, please see: http://basquiat.com/.

Image found at: http://www.josephklevenefineartltd.com/Basquiat-Lye.jpg

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Lye


Hi everyone,

I am working on a blog post that describes a deep, emotional experience I had on my family RV trip. It's about our visit to Sullivan's Island in South Carolina. However, in order to do the experience justice, I need to do some historical research and it's taking me awhile to get the facts straight. Stay tuned for what I hope will be an interesting and informative post.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some artwork with you. It's "Lye" by Jean-Michel Basquiat. I'm watching a documentary about him on NetFlix (Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child) and this artwork popped up on the screen. All I saw was the word "lye" but that was enough to pique my interest. Sure enough, he is talking about processed hair. What does the image stir up in you? For more information about Mr. Basquait, please see: http://basquiat.com/.

Image found at: http://www.josephklevenefineartltd.com/Basquiat-Lye.jpg

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tomiko graces Gain Commercial



Hello everyone, I know that I'm in the middle of sharing my RV trip with you all BUT I was blown away by something that I just saw. I rarely watch daytime TV which may explain why I had never seen the Gain commercial featuring the gorgeous Tomiko Fraser Hines (https://www.facebook.com/tomikofraser/). Haven't seen the commercial? Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=250176131698006.

I love the way the commercial embraces natural hair. Some might feel that it dogs straight hair but I don't think that's the point. Apparently, naturalistas are in the numerical minority compared to women who chemically alter their hair. However, more and more women are going natural and it's refreshing to see this depicted in a corporate commercial. What do you think? I may have to buy some Gain! :)

P.S.: I do believe the voice over was done by Ms. Wanda Sykes! UPDATE: Ms. Tomiko Fraser Hines herself confirmed that this was the voice of Ms. Wanda Sykes. Thanks Tomiko!

P.S.S.: Tomiko and her husband, Chris, have a YouTube channel and I think they're just the cutest: http://www.youtube.com/user/chrisandtomikotalk2u?feature=watch

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://cheneselewisblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Tomiko-Gain-Slide.jpg&sa=X&ei=GkAPT5kYoeLRAbn4rYED&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNF7r1lZYpD1DQcn7qQY90RJdZFNnw

Tomiko graces Gain Commercial



Hello everyone, I know that I'm in the middle of sharing my RV trip with you all BUT I was blown away by something that I just saw. I rarely watch daytime TV which may explain why I had never seen the Gain commercial featuring the gorgeous Tomiko Fraser Hines (https://www.facebook.com/tomikofraser/). Haven't seen the commercial? Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=250176131698006.

I love the way the commercial embraces natural hair. Some might feel that it dogs straight hair but I don't think that's the point. Apparently, naturalistas are in the numerical minority compared to women who chemically alter their hair. However, more and more women are going natural and it's refreshing to see this depicted in a corporate commercial. What do you think? I may have to buy some Gain! :)

P.S.: I do believe the voice over was done by Ms. Wanda Sykes! UPDATE: Ms. Tomiko Fraser Hines herself confirmed that this was the voice of Ms. Wanda Sykes. Thanks Tomiko!

P.S.S.: Tomiko and her husband, Chris, have a YouTube channel and I think they're just the cutest: http://www.youtube.com/user/chrisandtomikotalk2u?feature=watch

Image found at: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://cheneselewisblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Tomiko-Gain-Slide.jpg&sa=X&ei=GkAPT5kYoeLRAbn4rYED&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNF7r1lZYpD1DQcn7qQY90RJdZFNnw