Category Archives: Season 4

Head wraps: Past, present, and future

Head wraps: Past, present, and future

As my father once said “Black people are truly original, there is no one like us”. That’s how I feel when I think of how Black women all over the globe wear their head wraps. From the Muslim women in Somalia to the women in the Caribbean, or the urban chic in Brooklyn, New York, we know how to turn a scarf into a fashion statement.

For this photo shoot, I thought about all of these women and tried to capture their spirit and their style into my photos. A head wrap can make you look mysterious, elegant, or sassy.

Usually, when I wear my head wrap, I wear it fully covering my head with a bun or a knot on the side. I like to combine the wrap with a sleek coat and a pair of nice jeans to give it a casual but sophisticated look.

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ReShonda for Iman

ReShonda for Iman

A Walk on the Wild Side!

When we were given this challenge, I really had to do some thinking because I wanted to create a look that would make any woman feel like they could be a Super Model or Cover Girl. I wanted to approach it in a way that would not come off looking too difficult, yet still look like you took time on it.

I feel every woman deserves to feel good about herself, especially in a society that puts extra emphasis on having the perfect body, having long straight hair or the perfect skin. I wanted to create a look that a woman could do and look in the mirror and say “I am Sexy, I am Beautiful and most of all I am ME!”!

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Once Damaged: Inside Out

Once Damaged: Inside Out

The topic of damaged hair is something that many African-American women and even little girls are all to familiar with. As a little girl, I remember the Saturdays that I would get my hair pressed by my grandmother. The finalized product was one of a little knocked kneed girl running around with straightened strands of hair.

Once Damaged: Inside Out ANNM: Challenge 1 By Natasha S. Houston   The topic of damaged hair is something that many African-American women and even little girls are all to familiar with. As a little girl, I remember the Saturdays that I would get my hair pressed by my grandmother. The finalized product was one of a little knocked kneed girl running around with straightened strands of hair. This experience involved everything from cringing on account of the heat, to jumping out of seats from pressing combs that seemingly missed my hair to stroke a tender scalp.

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Carlie – Iman Cosmetics Cheetah Look

Carlie – Iman Cosmetics Cheetah Look

I approached this challenge with some trepidation since Iman is a world-renowned beauty and I’m just an average woman. So I know my photos could not compare to hers.  But I faced up to the challenge and decided to just go for it. The look I wanted to accomplish was one of easy beauty with subtle accessories to hint at the cheetah look.

The thought that came to my mind when I read that we were doing a cheetah look for this challenge was that all women are predators and we use our wiles to capture our prey.  Though we treat our captives in a much pleasanter fashion than the wild animal.  So I discarded the thought of photographing like a wild animal with fangs and talons and decided instead to emphasize the ability of Iman cosmetics to enhance our natural beauty.

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Nefertiti on Challenge 1

Nefertiti on Challenge 1

Even though my hair has always been natural, it has been a relatively short period of time since I finally began to care for my hair properly. Prior to that, my “hair care” practices would better be described as “hair don’t care” practices. Years of abusing blow dryers, coloring my hair and generally mistreating my hair led to a full decade where my hair didn’t appear to grow. When I left home for college, my education on caring for my afro-textured hair thus far had consisted of one simple equation: cornrows + grease = growth. But, I discovered that I quite liked the look of my hair in a shrunken and tangled afro, so that became my “signature” look. Best of all, it was easy.

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Kala G on Challenge 2

Kala G on Challenge 2

I love this head wrap! As the temperature outside drops there is less moisture in the air. Wraps are one of my favorite protective styles in the winter, but I also use them in the summer to spice up my styles. Versatility is a huge part of my personal style and wraps give me a plethora of options to be fierce and fashionable. For example, I love wearing a colorful wrap with a plain blazer or a solid colored wrap with a bright and colorful outfit. I explored new wrap styles after this challenge was given that have already become staples for me!

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Jalita’s St.Tropez look by Iman

Jalita’s St.Tropez look by Iman

When I saw Iman’s headshot, I noticed that it was very calm, but striking at the same time. Although her lips were slightly extended to create a smile, she smiled intensely with her eyes. This allured me to look at her elegant eye shadow and the glow of her structured face that Iman’s cosmetics created. I used this observation to approach my challenge by keeping the viewer fixed on the makeup.

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Kala G on Challenge 1

Kala G on Challenge 1

Hair damage can be traumatic for some women, especially African-American women.  My journey has been a particular one, but I know I’m not alone. My hair was relaxed off and on for 4 years before transitioning on accident. Eleven years ago, at the age of 17 I simply decided that the stuff my mother was putting on my hair was damaging. My styling skills were limited, but I noticed that my hair loved moisture. Opting out of wearing weaves or extensions I wore my hair flat-ironed, in buns or braids. Fast-forward 8 years and my hair was still damaged.

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