One of the greatest things about the natural hair movement is the soar of women businesses. In an industry made by Black women yet owned by companies with no affinity for Black follicles, this is more than just promising. Read More “A tribute to all the natural hairstylists who kept Black follicles happy healthy and groundbreakingly stylish”
To mark the 15th anniversary I am publishing a special edition of Going Natural, How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair. To celebrate this milestone I offer you a special edition of the book with a free gift! Check it out. Read More “Get the special edition of Going Natural, How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair and get a Free Roller Braid”
On November 3rd, I had the honor to moderate a panel at DBUFF, the Da Bounce Urban Film Festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. DBUFF, celebrating its 5th anniversary, featured 35 movies from Black directors. One weekend long an audience could enjoy a wide variety of films from Hollywood to independent productions covering themes from racism to Black literature and of course comedy.
I couldn’t wait to watch and moderate The Big Chop and Changing Women, two films by women from the Dutch Diaspora. Both films were inspiring in their own way, yet they were also quite different.
Changing Women is a short, sharing the journey of director Rachel Tokromo coming to self acceptance by doing the big chop ceremonially. As short as it is, it is deeply touching, inspiring and uplifting celebrating the freedom of self love. A beautiful poem lovingly yet powerfully carries the message we see on the screen ending with: I am splendor and glory if I candidly accept the love that I give. Natural or not, a highly recommended must see!
The Big Chop
The Big Chop is a film by an enthusiastic young journalist named Sherina Leerdam. Inspired by her own journey she follows three women to find out the reason behind their hair choice. Not only do these women have interesting stories to tell that are undoubtedly relatable and inspiring, the movie also revealed a topic we hardly talk about: Shame.
Remarkable is this woman in the film who chooses to solely wear weaves. To her weaves are an accessory like some women who love makeup or nails. Yet when her short natural is cornrowed just before crocheting in extensions, she adamantly says that she will not be on the street like “that”.
As she explains herself, one can clearly see that she is very uncomfortable wearing her natural but at the same time you can’t escape the feeling that she is deeply ashamed of her hair.
This is the story of so many of us. With 73% of hair breakage in our community we may need to look deeper into these issues before telling women to just be happy and accept their natural strands for what they are.
Youtube, instagam and facebook are full of inspiring natural women which is great. All send the message to accept yourself for who you are but the part that is missing is how do you overcome these uneasy feelings, micro aggressions and how do you get there, to self acceptance?
My book Bad Hair Uprooted the Untold History of Black Follicles explains where our undefined feelings related to our hair stem from and may even help one overcome them but in general the steps to overcome issues like shame are often overlooked.
So it definitely deserves praise that Sherina used her coming to self acceptance to make this documentary of which she personally shares a bit of in the film. Also watching two of the featured women extensively share their journey throughout the film is interesting, joyful and relatable to watch.
The Facts and minuses
Although the stories are revealing and I did like the theme the film touched upon, the Big Chop movie can’t be called a documentary. This is because the facts are off. According to the film the relaxer lost popularity during the 60’s. The fact is that the relaxer came on the market after the 60’s and now looses ground because of this new natural hair movement that started with sites like Going-Natural.com and Nappturality.
As a natural hair advocate who knows we still have a long way to go it is painful to watch statements like these delivered as facts. There were a few more statements that should have been fact checked. Needless to say this raises serious questions. If we can’t get the story right, can we be mad when others like the white dominating media don’t?
What was also disappointing is the fact that the random people interviewed on the street all happened to be non-black people. This doesn’t only give the impression of the need for approval of “the white man”, it also implies that Black hair issues came out of nowhere and that it is just a Black people’s problem. By now anyone writing or documenting anything about natural hair should realize that Black people are the only people on planet earth who don’t have the human right to wear their god-given tresses natural.
When I asked the filmmaker about the why, she answered that she did go into a Black barbershop to interview men but felt the footage was weak, not good enough, to make the cut. Although this might be understandable from a practical point of working within a budget and time frame, my worry is that if we don’t put in the extra effort to go after our own stories, can we really blame others, like again the white dominating media, when they don’t?
There was enough that was good stuff in The Big Chop to hope Leerdam continues to make films. My only hope is that the debuting filmmaker but especially the journalist in her learned that it is important to state facts and go after a story to make sure that at least both sides are heard and represented especially when it comes to sensitive topics like Black hair.
All in all DBUFF is a great inspiring event that I highly recommend. I do hope to be back next year and I hope you all travel to Amsterdam to go see, support and enjoy what might be the only Black/Urban Film Festival overseas.
This is a perfect style for naturals, transitioners and even non-naturals. All you really need is a little patience and the right products so these tricks can help you to create these beatiful coils in your your hair.
What you need:
Make sure that your hair is at least damp. If your hair has completely dried use a spray bottle to moisturize while finger coiling your hair.
If you do this yourself, it is best to have your hair parted in sections then work each section. Just like in the video.
After: Finger Coiled with Going Natural Silky Shea Hair Butter.
Sectioning your hair before you start in 6 to 12 big parts will make this a lot easier. Work in sections by taking a part out then start taking real small pencil size sections.
For each little section, add a little Silky Shea Hair Butter to the needles of your comb or brush and brush it through the full length of your strands.
Once a section is tangle free roll it around your finger just like in the video and let it go. You will see a nice curl twirling. Repeat until all sections are done and your head is full of beautiful coils. Your hair will be very moisturized and that is good but to keep the style you have to make sure that your hair dries this way.
You don’t have to let it air dry. Wind may disturb the coils so you a hair drier bonnet. The great thing about using the Silky Shea Hair butter is not only that it smells so good. Even better is that the heat will allow all the nutritious ingredients to penetrate the strands and condition them while you get your style on.Just make sure the dryer is not too hot.
Once your hair is completely dry you can rock these as style or you can separate them to look fuller. Just make sure to take them out when the hair is completely dry and viola: you got coils! Coils work in every environment, work, a night out and even casual. Tie your hair up at night and you should be able to wear them for a week.
If you want to restore some off the coils after sleeping on them, use a little Silky shea and coil your hair arount your finger. Good luck and send us your style!
Besides family, love and health, happy hair is one more thing to be grateful for. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show your gratitude with gifts that will only reciprocate love and make your hair flourish. Best of all, all of these gifts are shipped to your for free.
Easy Foam Rollers
Whether you rock your 4C natural hair or locs the one thing you need this season are these foam rollers to get your curls on!
They are super easy to use, heat resistant, super soft, flexible, don’t pull your strands, don’t dry out your hair and best of all, you get the most amazing curls!
One pack is usually 9.99 but now you can get them for only 6.99. Click to watch the video and be convinced.
Shower head filter
Not only your hair will be thankful but so will your skin. This amazing filter prevents buildup, dry hair and itchy scalp by filtering out chlorine and other elements that are harsh to your hair and skin. What makes this shower head exceptional is the four different types of nano ceramic balls to create a healthy experience, including Germanium, Far Infrared Ray and Tourmaline;
A great gift for yourself or a loved one. It ships for free! Get the Shower Head now.
There is no better towel on this planet to dry your hair faster than this over-sized 80 x 140 cm microfiber towel. This quick drying towel is perfect to dry Locs, 4C Hair, Afro and big voluminous Curls instantly without disrupting the natural curl pattern of ones hair.
To cut your hair drying time in half just wrap your head in the towel so the hair friendly microfibers can do their job absorbing the water from your strands while you just chill.
Made from medical silicone rubber this electric waterproof scalp massager is the tool everyone who cares about their hair needs. Whether you grow your locs, 4C or 3A curls, the vibrations of this scalp massager feels healing, relaxing and soothing at the same time. Beyond that it also gets rid of an itchy scalp in the most gentle way and stimulates blood circulation to promote hair growth. Get the Microfiber Towel at WhatNaturalsLove.
Electric Scalp Massager To Relieve Stress, Itches, Promote Blood Circulation And Hair Growth
And the best thing: if you suffer from an itchy scalp this is the perfect way to tackle that! It gets rid of the itches and stimulates blood circulation.Get the Electric Scalp Massager.
Oil Mister Sprayer For Afros, Braids, Locs, 4C Hair
Mister Sprayer to easily and evenly distribute oil on your strands. Whether you have an Afro, Braids, Locs, 4C Hair or big bouncy curls, this Mister Sprayer made from stainless steel, will help get your hair moisturized from root to tip.
No more endless rubbing and still skipping parts. Just fill this beautiful sprayer with any kind of liquid oil then start misting and spraying. Your hair will thank you too! Get the oil mist sprayer at WhatNaturalsLove.com.
It is indeed time to rejoice. After the struggle to allow cornrows and twists in the army, the ban on dreadlocks is now also finally lifted. I can only imagine what it must have been like for women like Staff Sgt. Chaunsey Logan of Fort Stewart in Georgia.
Timolin Jeffers, contestant of America’s Next Natural Model wore this cornrowed updo in season 3. It ends in two-strand twists gathered and loosely twisted atop the head to show the natural texture of the waves and curls of the hair.
Dreadlocks and cornrows are banned for men at this HBU/MBA. I can imagine that since long hair isn’t appropriate for men in the workplace that long dreadlocks wouldn’t be part of the business dresscode either but how about just short locs? Remember “Kyle Barker?
Some of the things that people choose to do with their personal appearance will drive us to personal prejudice and even evoke negative emotions. For example: facial and neck tattoos, piercings of the lip, nose and brow are probably decades away from mainstream acceptance. Hairstyles such as a Mohawk cut, spiked wedges, the
Twisted Cornrows styled by:Tameeka
Although I am a DIY-er for the most part, there is no denying that a stylist can really take your look to the next level. Tameeka whom I met back in 2003 is one such a stylist. More than a stylist, she calls herself a Natural Hair Care Specialist.
Cornrow & Bantus
Picture by Mireille Liong
Short natural hair is eloquently braided in small cornrows. The cornrow patterns flowing together from front to back coming together in the middle where the ends are stylishly braided
Title: Cornrows Style at International African Arts Festival
Cornrows done in a chic and sassy style such as this complements the dark natural complexion of black natural ladies.
Before & After
Talking about versatile then check this hairdo out: Four different styles on one head. Flat-twists on the left, Cornrows on the right, Bantu knots on top, Braids in the back.
His incredible passion for hair must have rubbed on me when I saw this white hairstylist at the IBS (International Hair & Beauty Show) cutting a model’s hair. The flame in his eyes clearly showed his love for every single strand that he was cutting. The result was awesome. At that moment I realized how we limit ourselves and how much more is possible with our type of hair.
Gowns, Hairstyles and headpieces for this seasons’ Bride