Puff Balls

Puff Balls

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)