Friday, February 25, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Nope. The Grammy's got it wrong. There's nothing "new" about Esperanza Spalding cuz this chick has been around for a minute. Just cuz they're now acknowledging her talent doesn't mean she's "new."
Anyhoo, here's a re-post of the post I wrote on Esperanza back in 2009. She inspired me then and still inspires me today. Still rocking her fierce natural hair in 2011 this time with Grammy award in hand! Nothing short of Natural. Hair. Fierceness.
She drew me in with her divalicious afro and captured me with her voice. So I was just walking down the ailes of my local library a couple days ago, waiting to use a computer, when the cover CD of an afrolicious beauty caught my eye, the name - Esperanza.
Of course I immediately picked it up if only to look through the CD booklet to see more pictures of almighty afro, very impressive, but what was even more impressive was her music. It's basically a fusion of latin and jazz which I have never listened to before, at least not on purpose.
Esperanza is definitely an inspiration to me now and should be for the whole natural hair community and I'm pretty much in love with her music. It took me a second to fall for the music, but I did, hard.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Simply Gorgeous ---Enjoy:
While browsing on Essence.com guess what I ran across right after I wrote the post on braids.
I gave myself a 3 weeks with my hands-off hair and clip-on ponytail challenge. And I am actually amazing myself!!!
I've actually been able to keep my hands of my hair except for 1 day a week when I re-braid it and slap on some more conditioner + glycerin + H2O!!!!
I didn't know that I would be this excited about letting my hair be @ peace and rest but I am....And I'm actually learning more from my hair being at rest than I thought I would.
For example I took a closer look and noticed:
My hair grows, backward to forward
So, I wash my hair from the back to the front (I've actually been doing this for the longest but now I'll really keep doing it)
Also, if my hair grows back to front, I'll style it in a way that accommodates its growth pattern. Basically, what I want to do eventually is braid my whole head, not just the ends, in a kind of a basket shaped pattern. The way my grandmama used to do it when I was a young'n.
My hair was thick (still is) and luscious when I was a child mostly due to heredity and partly due to the fact that my grandmama always had it braided up in this basket shaped pattern.
She'd cornrow the back of the hair up to the crown, or center of my head then she's cornrow the front of my hair to meet the center or the crown of my head.
Of course, I didn't appreciate the style at the time but I do remember that my hair grew like a weed.
What I'm coming to the conclusion of is that I'm slowly getting into my second transition. The first time, 3 years ago, I transitioned from relaxed to natural in about 3 months, now I feel like I'm ready to transition for length. I'm transitioning for a true re-birth of my hair's potential.
Now that I've gone past the 3-year experimental phase of trying all kinds of potions and lotions, mixtures and concoctions, and killing my hair several times over with flat irons; I am ready to tap into the full potential of all that my hair can become. I am ready to transition for real growth. Something tells me wigs and clip-ons will be my new best friends for a couple of years.
But I do have a question, if I no longer reveal my natural hair everyday for the world to see and keep it under wraps for a couple of years, does that mean I'm no longer a natural hair purist?
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Well.....except for the one day when I wore the turban on my head but, my hair was still safely braided and tucked underneath.
I'm definitely patting myself on the back that I was able to keep my hair underwraps for a whole week. I wasn't tempted in the least to play with it until today.
My simple routine has just been unraveling it, rubbing in some conditioner and Castor oil, and re-braiding it again. I've done it twice this week.
Its pretty simple and easy and I'm sure my hair's enjoying a well-deserved break from all the twisting and tugging.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I got me a ponytail for $7.99 at my local wig shop! (I bought a very similar piece to the picture that you're looking at). I've been feeling sorry for my hair lately. Why? because, if you got twirled and twisted -- poked and prodded everyday, you would be tired. So, I'm on a quest to give my hair a break for a while (even though I'll miss my beloved bantu-knot outs).
A few posts back I wrote something along the lines of, "if you want straight...go buy some," well I should've added curly hair to the list...to be specific, a medium length curly ponytail. I just brush my hair back and braid the ends and tuck it underneath the ponytail.
But I rock my own curls in the front of my hair. I put the front hair in curlformers like I do...pretty much everyday this gives it a nice touch of 'realness.' It gives an extra dimension because its not just your average hair slicked back and ponytail clipped at the end. My curls in the front give it some 'umph.'
Don't know how long I'll be rockin' the ponytail, knowing me and the fact that I get bored so quickly when it comes to my hair. But I want to rock it for at least 3 weeks. If not 3 weeks in a row, then alternating weeks.
I'm sure my hair appreciates a break from being touched everyday and protection from the elements.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Turning Heads (but Don’t Call It a Perm)
By HILARY HOWARD
Published: February 2, 2011
TO get waves in her naturally straight hair, Kristi Koren, 36, used to dampen it, twist it in dozens of curlicues and then sleep on it. But after seeing Anne Hathaway’s effortlessly voluptuous locks in “Love and Other Drugs,” Ms. Koren, a mother of one 13-month-old and an entrepreneur in Raleigh, N.C., began wondering if there were a less time-consuming and a less uncomfortable way of creating long, flowing curls. As a child of the 1980s, it didn’t take her long to come up with the obvious (and yet terrifying) answer: a perm.
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
“I was worried when I first had the idea,” she said, “but I saw so many magazines with celebrities and these ‘natural’ waves,” she said.
The Olsen twins, Gisele Bündchen, Drew Barrymore and Kate Hudson are among those who have been photographed in recent years with a coif variously described as bohemian beach waves, bed head, second-day hair, “hangover” hair or simply “undone.”
Since Ms. Koren visits New York regularly on business, she thought she’d try a perm at the esteemed Oscar Blandi salon on Madison Avenue. Ms. Koren spoke with Mairead Gallagher, the salon’s resident expert in the process (Ms. Gallagher reports that her business has quintupled over the past year thanks to clients seeking the undone look). “I had several phone conversations with her beforehand because I was so nervous,” Ms. Koren said. Ms. Gallagher assured her prospective client that she would not exit the chair looking like Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. After days of deliberation, Ms. Koren told Ms. Gallagher, “Let’s do it!”
After a two-hour, $400 appointment, Ms. Koren emerged from the salon with natural-looking waves bouncing down her back. And yet she couldn’t bring herself to admit to friends and family in North Carolina that she’d had a perm. “I didn’t even tell my sister,” she said. “I just told her it’s the modern way of doing waves.”
Elaine Lamarre, 27, an executive assistant and fashion designer in New York, sees no stigma in the terminology. As Memorial Day approached last year, Ms. Lamarre decided to perm her hair with the stylist Suren Terzian at Rodney Cutler. “I wanted to have nice beachy, wavy summer hair,” she said. “I have always had extremely straight hair — even with a curling iron it’s difficult to curl it.”
The perm worked as planned. “I had mermaid hair the rest of the summer,” Ms. Lamarre said. “Strangers would compliment me on it when I was out and about. I’d say: ‘Isn’t it great? I permed it!’ And they’d be like, ‘No way!’ ”
When Ms. Lamarre cut her hair short in the fall, she once again experimented with perming the top of her hair for texture and body, and has been happy with the results. “I say bring the perm back,” she said enthusiastically. “It is good!”
Ms. Lamarre might be so bullish on perms because, when she came of age circa 1999, super-straight hair, as worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, was in vogue, the flatiron having at least temporarily superseded the crimper. “One of the biggest reasons this trend has not become infectious on Main Street is the word ‘perm’ brings back hideous memories from the ’80s,” Mr. Terzian said. “A new coined phrase wouldn’t hurt.” (Rodney Cutler salons refer to the service, which starts at $150, as a “body wave.”) Mr. Terzian added that those who want the “undone” look regularly would be better off giving their hair such a “wave,” as opposed to using curling irons every day. “Curling irons apply more direct heat, and using them on a daily basis would produce more damage,” he said.
Ms. Gallagher concurs. “Now perms are so much gentler,” she said. The perming process has not changed demonstrably from 25 years ago (rods, chemicals running coolly and perhaps with a slight sting around one’s cotton-wrapped head, a little sitting in a shower cap and a lot of rinsing over a sink). But now stylists are paying more attention to timing (generally less), rod size (larger) and customized chemical combinations. For example, someone with highlighted hair might receive a treatment with very little ammonium thioglycolate, the active ingredient that renders hair mutable, which would be left in the hair for no more than 10 minutes. This is arguably peanuts compared with some formaldehyde-tinged straightening processes (cough, cough), like the much-maligned Brazilian or Keratin treatments, which can take hours and have raised health concerns.
“A perm can control curly hair, too,” Ms. Gallagher pointed out.
And yet not all salons and stylists are enamored of the perm. “We try to minimize products with too many chemicals whenever possible,” said Roy Teeluck, who owns a salon on East 57th Street. “As for getting that loose, beachy bohemian look, there are options,” he said, invoking the curling iron and styling products like L’Oréal Professional Texture Expert Liss Ardent thermal reconstructing crème for fine hair (about $24 for 4.2 ounces). “If the cosmetics companies would create a less toxic perm, I would like to re-educate my stylists to use them, as I think this look is here to stay.”
Joey Argeras, an editorial stylist for Bumble and bumble, where more than 50 percent of blowout requests at its Bloomingdale’s StylingBar and Shop are for hair with some texture, is also somewhat perm-averse. “Good product and styling technique can totally deliver perfectly undone hair,” Ms. Argeras said. For example, Bumble’s new Bb.texture hair (un)dressing crème, developed specifically to achieve the rippled, rumpled look, will be available online next month ($26 for 5 ounces).
But Ms. Gallagher believes firmly that the perm is back. “The idea of standing and taking 20 minutes to blow-dry and style your hair in the morning can definitely be eliminated with this,” she said, adding that the effects can last up to five months. “I believe that a lot of women want and need this. They’re just afraid of the ’80s thing. They’re afraid of the word ‘perm.’ ”
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Before this movie came out in '09 I wrote a post on it talking about how much I wanted to see it, life happened and I didn't even think about it again let alone check for the premiere date. Well, better late than never, a week ago I picked up a copy from my local library and it was such an eye-opener. It's been a long time since I've been so fascinated by....anything. Guess you can call me a jaded twenty-something year old.
I was just like 'WoW.' Its one of those experiences where its like you have an idea but you have no idea to what extent. After this film I am convinced that Black Women Keep The American Economy Running. And no, I am not exaggerating. If we collectively stopped spending today, there will be no American economy to speak of. You think its bad now, the whole thing would just crumble like a deck of cards.
From this movie, came gems such as: "you're supposed to relax your hair" from a 3-5 yr. old girl.
"If you hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed; if your hair is nappy, white people ain't happy" from comedian, Paul Mooney.
"I feel like my face just got stung by a thousand killer bees" from male white hairdresser, Jason.
"The last time I was allowed to touch a broad's hair was in in 1986 before the market crash" from dorky black guy with glasses in the barbershop.
These are the ones that stand out in my mind right now but there were many, many, many more gems in this film. I watched the movie twice -- a rare thing for me to do.