What Relaxers Really Do to Your Hair

Are you a girlie that uses relaxers?

I believe that the majority of us can live without relaxers.  Although relaxers make our hair flow straight and pretty, that is only what it gives to the outside appearance.  So lets go more in depth about what a relaxer technically does to the hair!  

What is a hair relaxer, and what does a hair relaxer specifically do to the hair strand? Continue reading What Relaxers Really Do to Your Hair

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‘Black Girls Rock!’ 2017 Recap

The always anticipated annual ‘Black Girls Rock!’ event, hosted by Taraji P. Henson, showed up and did way more than deliver!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Performances from SZA, who graced the stage with ‘Normal Girl’ from her debut album ‘CTRL,’ reminded us all that it’s more than acceptable to be just who you are. Other performances included India Arie, Tyrese and Anthony Hamilton, who took us all back with his Grammy Nominated hit ‘Best of Me.’ It was definitely a show for the books! Continue reading ‘Black Girls Rock!’ 2017 Recap

Eco Styler Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel Review

One day I went to my local beauty supply store and as I was browsing through the aisles my eyes glanced at a new product on the market that I have been itching to try.  Yes ladies, the infamous Eco Styler Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel.  Did I end up getting it, you ask?  Of course!  That is what this post is all about.  A review of the Eco Styler Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel.  

For those of you that may be unfamiliar with this product.  The Eco Styler Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel is a holding gel fortified with vitamin E, Fiber and Omega- 3.  The purpose of this gel is to nourish, repair and help the hair grow while at the same time, still being able to superiorly hold, provide shine and feel weightless to the hair. Continue reading Eco Styler Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel Review

Emory University holds course “The Power of Black Self-Love”

One of the many benefits of a college education is that it allows students the opportunity to search beyond their basic math and literature classes and explore topics they otherwise would not be exposed to.

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia is offering a course that analyzes the importance of self-love for African Americans and the influence of societal pressures on just that. The course is called “The Power of Black Self-Love”. It is taught by Dr. Dianna M. Stewart and Dr. Donna Troka.

“The Power of Black Self-Love” includes teachings from two separate courses taught by the professors, “Black Love” (taught by Stewart) and “Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter” (taught by Troka). Topics discussed in the course include the use of Black Twitter and black social movements.

As reported on blavity.com, the students had to present final projects on a topic of their choice. Some used photography to tell their stories, others used video.

 

 

One student, by the name of River Bunkey, examined self-love in terms of black men. He touched on self-expression and how hair care is an important part of how black men exhibit self-love. Another student, Aiyanna Sanders used photography to showcase Black Girl Magic.

 

Headshots by Bobbye Hampton

 

African American students make up 9.1% of Emory’s undergraduate population. It is a wonder, with a campus population made up of a majority of White and Asian students, who is going to enroll in this class?

“It’d be hard to get non-black students to enroll in a class like this. There are a lot of people who still get really uncomfortable talking about race,” explained Emory graduate student Brianna McDaniels. “Despite this though, I think it’s important to reach out to the larger student population at Emory. A lot of people don’t understand what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about, and I think this course could help to address that.”

This past semester, the class had a population consisting of an Afro-Latina, a White student, a Central American, and the majority being black students, as reported by campuslately.com.

Classes that step outside of the basic curriculum are necessary to help students look outside of themselves and look into the reality and experiences of others. Hopefully this course will continue to be offered on Emory’s campus and more and more students of diverse backgrounds will enroll.

 

You can see all of the student’s final projects here.

Announcing: Fall 2014 Internship Opportunities

Curly In College Fall 2014 Internship Opportunities

Deadline to Apply: August 24

SUBMIT RESUME AND COVER LETTER TO: ashley@curlyincollege.com

Duration of Internship: September 1st – December 31st, 2014.

Click HERE to get on our mailing list.

————————

CurlyInCollege© invites enthusiastic students to join a talented team of global ambassadors that will build the fast-growing digital publication: CurlyInCollege.com a resource that helps students navigate a life with curls on campus.

Applicants can be male or female but must be at least 16 years old. They should also be avid readers of natural hair blogs, books, video blogs, and will likely consider themselves “product junkies” and/or “trendsetters” in their high school or college. Having personal experience transitioning and maintaining natural hair is a plus.

Positions Available and Associated Responsibilities Listed Below:

Bloggers (Multiple Positions Available)

  • Submit weekly blog posts that will be featured on the blog and associated social media platforms
  • Participate in bi-weekly team update conference calls

Editors (Four Positions Available – Hair Styles/Hair Care Editor, Fashion/Beauty Editor, Health/Fitness Editor, Pop Culture/Social Issues Editor)

  • Generate blog post ideas
  • Apply editorial guidelines
  • Create and manage editorial calendar
  • Motivate and supervise team of bloggers

Social Media Interns (Two Positions Available)

  • Manage CiC’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest Pages
  • Develop strategies to meet growth metrics by given deadlines
  • Implement social media plan
  • Maintain high engagement numbers

Graphic Design Intern (One Position Available)

  • Develop graphics for marketing campaigns
  • Develop graphics for CiC products/merchandise

Web Development Intern (One Position Available)

  • Provide website maintenance and support
  • Experienced building and managing sites with wordpress backend

Campus Photography Intern (Multiple Positions Available)

  • Attend and photograph Curly In College campus events
  • Upload images for review and use on Curly in College blog
  • Complete other projects as assigned
  • Must have access to a DSLR camera and a large capacity memory card
  • Creativity and strong knowledge of photography is preferred
  • Proficient knowledge of Photoshop, Lightroom or similar photography software preferred

Other Required Skills:

  • Experience with WordPress or other blogging platforms (include links to personal blogs or guest posts)
  • Proficient with Google Apps and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Video editing experience is a plus, but not required (include links)
  • Positive online reputation as documented by applicants social media/blogging behaviors
  • Proven ability to function efficiently on a team and rally campus/school support for a specific cause (explain in cover letter)
  • Experienced bloggers with published posts on existing sites are encouraged to apply (include links)
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines
  • Ability to self edit blog posts
  • Ability to learn new technologies quickly

Fun Perks for Curly In College Interns:

  • first to demo new products
  • free CurlyInCollege© branded merchandise
  • free passes to natural hair shows
  • heightened credibility as a result of having been featured on a prominent blog

* This posting advertises unpaid, part-time, fall internship opportunities. Perks vary by position *

As a result, those currently employed or interning elsewhere are still encouraged to apply – These internships will only require an estimated 5 hours per week.

——————

SUBMIT RESUME AND COVER LETTER TO: ashley@curlyincollege.com

Deadline to Apply: August 24, 2014

Duration of Internship: September 1st – Decemeber 31st, 2014.

Questions? Contact: ashley@curlyincollege.com

*please make sure your question hasn’t been answered above*

Just want more info? Click HERE to get on our mailing list.

 

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A Love Song To Our Hair


So today I came across this dope music video while scrolling down my Facebook timeline. It’s called Natural Curly Hair by Benjy Cinco ft Rome D’Carlo. A Facebook friend from my fellowship program posted it because she is one of the natural haired beauties featured. Already winning points for the Bonita Applebum sample, Natural Curly Hair is a summery ode to natural hair and the beauty of black women. It provided good vibes and got me to thinking if there are any other cool songs that cerebrate our natural hair and beauty. After a little research I found a few songs that will give you hope when your naps just won’t do right and your jar of coconut oil isn’t enuf. Press play and enjoy : ).

I Dont Care (About My Frizzy Hair)- Shameless Maya & Friends

I Love My Hair- Sesame Street

Flawless-Beyonce

Beautiful Skin- Goodie M.O.B

Electric Lady- Janelle Monae

Natural- Arrested Development

The Makings of You- Terrace Martin ft. Overdoz & Kurrupt

Fallin’- Pac Div

As a bonus heres a link to a mixtape all about natural hair. What songs make you fall in love with your naps all over again?

Yes, You Can Touch My Hair

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/o8g7zgh

There is a movement going on across college campuses that was sparked by one exhibit done in 2013 when women freely allowed people to touch their hair. This new movement of lowering public curiosity about natural hair has mixed reviews about it.

 

– Can I Touch Your Hair? 

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/pyp5pyo

 

Although seen as a simple question asked out of curiosity, some find it very offensive. The exhibit was started as a way to get people talking about natural hair and how it’s really no different from regular hair.

The people that find the question offensive stated that they are not animals in a zoo, so no their hair cannot be petted. Now there is some truth in this statement. For example, if someone approached me in a setting that wasn’t appropriate (my job, school, etc…), I’d politely say “Not at this moment, maybe later.”

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/q6q5hec

 

Now I have been in a position where I felt “obligated or trapped” into someone touching my hair. My 11th grade year in highschool, when I big chopped my hair, it seemed as if EVERYONE wanted to touch my hair. I was shocked that the majority of people wanting to touch my hair were African – American or Hispanic – people of color. When I realized that there was a pattern among the types of people that wanted to touch my hair, I immediately knew that it was a problem that I was the first person they’d seen wearing their natural hair. Now, I, a college freshman at an HBCU, still experience people walking up to me asking to touch my hair.  I don’t mind when people ask me about my hair regimen because I have no secrets to what I use in my hair – and it feels so amazing walking on my college campus seeing so many women and men wearing their natural hair. It really feels amazing.

 

 

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/of2vmko

In the media, little girls are being sent home for “unruly hair” and people are being fired for wearing protective styles (corn rows, etc.) and that is why “YES, YOU CAN TOUCH MY HAIR” is important. To stop public criticism, denounce stereotypes about black hair, or to convince people to go natural/ help them find their ideal regimen… for some people they HAVE to touch your hair and it’s as simple as that. I personally wouldn’t get offended, but as humans we do have the right to allow people to touch our hair or to deny them that option.

 

 

 


Here’s a link to 2 videos displaying the public exhibit:

You Can Touch My Hair, A Short Film (Part 1)

You Can Touch My Hair, A Short Film (Part 2)


 

What are your thoughts about their exhibit? Has someone ever walked up to you and asked to touch your hair? Comment below and tell us your story!

 

 

 

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Natural Hair Slang & Terminology

Being a natural isn’t hard enough with having to figure out a hair routine, understanding your hair texture, doing research, and so much more. But there’s added pressure to know all the “slang” or terminology that goes along with being a naturalista. There are some words and phrases that are more obvious than others, but there are certain ones where you’re like, wtf?! No worries, we’ve got you girl! Here’s a few naturalista slang words and phrases that will have you hip in no time.

Banding: A styling technique used to prevent hair shrinkage. You gather the hair into one ponytail or several smaller ones, using elastic bands to secure the hair, one after the other, all the way down to the ends, (or near the ends) of the hair. Bands are left in for a period of time or until the hair is dry.

Bantu Knots: A hairstyle created by twisting hair sections in one direction until they wrap into neat knots. The knots are often secured near the scalp with bobby or hair pins.

BC (Big Chop): Cutting off all relaxed portions of the hair, leaving only natural growth.

CG (Curly Girl): CG is an abbreviation for “Curly Girl,” a book written by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender.

Coily: A term used to describe the texture characteristic of natural Type 4 hair. The coil is most evident when the hair is wet and/or defined with a styling product

Condish: Conditioner

Cowash: The practice of cleansing the hair using conditioner in place of shampoo.

Creamy Crack: A reference to chemical relaxers.

Curlformers: Curlformers are rod-like hair styling tools that help to create gorgeous, glossy curls, without damaging hair or using heat

EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Flat Twists: A technique where the hair is two-strand twisted flat to the scalp, similar to a cornrow.

Fluff: The use of fingers or a pick to add volume to natural hair.

‘Fro: Afro

Nappyversary: The anniversary of the day one decided to “go natural” and to stop using relaxers in their hair

Pineappleing: Pulling hair into one large puffs, using a hair tie, scrunchie, or other hair accessory. The puff is positioned at the top of the head. Thishelps preserve the coil/curl definition of the style overnight, and also provides some stretch to the hair.

Product Junky: A person who buys a lot of different products and brands in the quest of finding the “perfect” ones for her hair.

Protective Styling: A hairstyle that helps protect hair from dehydration and damage, by eliminating the need for manipulation, (combing, brushing, picking, etc.) and shielding against environmental exposure, (i.e. sun, heat, cold, wind).

Second Day Hair: The state of one’s hair on the day after it is cleansed, conditioned and styled.

Shrinkage: A term used to describe the reduction of the visual length of hair. It is a process that occurs as wet hair dries

Transitioning: This is the process, (also called “the journey” or “going natural”) whereby one’s natural-textured hair is allowed to grow in, while the previously chemically-treated hair is trimmed off in stages.

TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro

Twist Out: A hairstyle created by first two-strand twisting the hair while wet or damp. After the hair is dry, the twists are carefully released and styled.

Virgin Hair: Hair that is natural and has not been chemically processed or altered.

Wash n’ Go: A term referring to a quick and easy styling session whereby a defined finished style is achieved without twisting, braiding, knotting, rodding, etc.

 

 

Photo Source: http://heygorjess.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/curlfest19-e1403584267157.jpg

#TeamNatural Defined

What defines #TeamNatural?

Now if you haven’t heard about the CurlyNikki/Ebony diversity in the natural hair community showdown, you’re really missing out.

Pretty much CurlyNikki, a well known hair blog that a lot of naturals frequent, did a feature on a White woman who expressed how difficult it was accepting her own “natural” hair. Ebony.com, commented with their rebuttal to the fact that a White woman cannot understand the Black struggle, and should not be included in the natural hair community. Then Sarah, the White woman who the original feature was done on, gave her side of the story on why she should not be excluded from the mix. And to wrap it all up, CurlyNikki responded to all the madness to stand by her decision. When it comes to natural hair, the debates get pretty heated.

Diversity is a word that constantly gets thrown around nowadays, but there is also still a need for community in any case. Community with those of one’s own kind in order to relate to and rely on for support. Diversity fosters growth and progress, but so does community. The question is, should diversity be a part of community, more specifically, the natural hair community? Should #TeamNatural be exclusively for someone who is Black, or Biracial, or Afro-Latino, or Multiracial?

Many women who fall into the categories previously mentioned have struggled with hair issues since childhood, mainly with trying to find the right products for their hair because of an underlying factor that the natural hair movement seems to highlight: race. If the natural hair movement was to include everyone who deemed their hair as “natural” (never altering it with chemical processes), there would be no need for the natural hair community! It exists for a reason: for women of ethnic backgrounds to love and accept their hair. But by all means, if you want to call yourself natural, but do not “technically” fall into society’s definition of this community, go right ahead. Acceptance of your own hair, no matter texture, race, etc., is a beautiful thing.

But the natural hair products market was made for women of color, to cater to the needs for their hair. The market wouldn’t even exist if people did not see a need for it. It didn’t exist, or wasn’t thriving until women of color made their presence known. Others with “less difficult” hair textures, were already taken care of in the hair department. So why should the natural hair community be diverse? Yes, their hair is “natural” because that is how it grew out of their head, but it doesn’t differentiate them from one their own kind.

White hair has never been oppressed, shunned, looked down upon, or disgusted about. Black women have a history of oppressing their hair to be like the White women in order to get the same privileges and opportunities. But now, the one chance we get to be free and embrace our kinks and coils, that confidence is being taken away from us. When was the White woman’s curly hair ever the reason she got fired from a job or called nasty names? Yes, it might have taken her a long while to appreciate her hair, and in that we can relate and share experience, but the struggle, the history, the personal connection is not there.

It is not a secret that Black women take their hair seriously to the point where there is often an emotional attachment to their strands. The countless hours at the salon every weekend, the hot comb, learning the discipline of sitting on your butt while your mother combs out your hair from a young age, all these things create memories and a connection that many may never understand.

As women we should all embrace each other and whatever crown we choose to wear, but embracing one’s own crown does not exclude the fact that there are different crowns with different meanings. But we have come a long way. Far enough to promote diversity in a sacred space? The answer is still unknown.

 

 

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/WfJGNZ

And She Braids Too

High fashion powerhouse, Vogue, dropped an artful video featuring Lupita Nyong’o today, and just like every other time Queen Lupita does anything, the Internet went wild. This video didn’t feature Lupita performing a monologue or stunting on us with her fashion as usual, but it showed her engaging in one of her favorite hobbies: braiding hair. What can’t she do?!

In the short video titled “Braids,” Lupita tells us about how her aunt taught her to braid and twist, as she corn rows a friends hair on camera. All while looking fly, I might add. Her desire to learn the craft came from a disappointing visit to a braid shop in NYC while she was an undergraduate. Throughout the video she skillfully braids the hair of her six closest friends, and shares some of her views on braiding and hair with a subtle passion that is genuinely beautiful. In her eyes, braiding someone’s hair can be “intimate”. She saw it as her “side hustle” and a hobby that gave her the opportunity to connect with others. The short clip is a cute look into her life that adds to her enigmatic presence in pop culture, but also humanizes her, and makes her more relatable. As an African woman myself, it was great to see her doing something that so many women in my family do in their day to day lives. Hair braiding is a cultural symbol that is engrained in the community of black Americans and Africans throughout the Diaspora that has recently been co-opted by sources of high fashion media. As braids show up on runways and fashion spreads, they are becoming trendy, and people who are blind to elements of black culture have believed it to be a “new” hairstyle. In some ways this video helps take ownership back, all while embracing the art form of braiding and natural hair itself.

In cultures across the world, hair is a woman’s crowning glory. To me it’s a physical expression of oneself and identity. Natural hair, and the beauty of black women in general is often chastised and belittled in our society, and that’s one of the many reasons Lupita has been such a breath of fresh air. She is a different picture of “black womanhood”, and to many the physical manifestation of the black woman that is often forgotten in mainstream media. “Braids” is a simple but poignant embrace of the beauty of black hair, African culture, and Lupita herself. I loved it and I encourage you to watch it here!

photo credit: http://hiphollywood.com/2014/06/braided-up-lupita-nyongo-reveals-haircare-hobby/

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