Our very own president of UC’s chapter of Curly in College has her own youtube channel. Keianna, who goes under the name “Queens & Curls,” is an expert in all things natural hair related. In her latest video, which is seen above, she shows us how she uses Curls products to achieve a three strand twist out. Her other videos include tutorials, her favorite products to use, and a wash routine.
Curly in College will be sharing her videos here on the blog, but in the meantime, check out Queens & Curls for yourself, and be sure to like, subscribe, and leave a comment if you like what you see.
Curly Q of the week presents Kalea Lucas, a business major at the University of Cincinnati. Lucas has been a naturally curly girl all of her life. Growing up with a mother who rocked her natural hair on a daily basis, she never saw fit to chemically relax or alter her daughter’s curl pattern. That is not to say it was easy growing up curly. Lucas remembers countless times of struggle when she would have to deal with the thicker and curlier pattern her mom was not used to handling. When asked what her favorite products to use were, Lucas says, “I really like Shea Moisture to maintain my curls. Their Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my favorite. I also like to use Jamaican castor oil on my scalp. When I do a wash-n-go, I use Shea Moisture’s Strengthen, Grow, and Restore Leave-In Conditioner.” Lucas mostly likes to style her hair in a twist out. In the colder, winter months though she says,”I try not to do a lot of wash-n-gos. I mostly leave my hair up in a bun.” Lucas’ piece of advice for all curly haired girls is, “I love my hair now but when I was younger I was so obsessed with perfecting it. I also wanted my curls to look a specific way, and when they didn’t I would get really upset. So, I would just say that no matter what your curl pattern is, or how you rock your hair, just love what you’ve got!”
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you have last minute plans and are not sure what to wear I have some cute looks to help inspire your Valentine’s Day outfit.
1. If you want a cute but comfortable look, try a sweater dress paired with some colorful tights! This look can be completed with a heel boot.
2. If you desire a more elegant look, try a long panted jumpsuit with a pair of chunky heels. To take this look a step further, play around with bold patterns for a pop.
3. Speaking of patterns, try a flirty mini skirt with patterns like floral or plaid. If you add a turtle neck and some thigh high boots this look will be sealed!
4. If you really want to make a statement, try a tulle skirt! They come in a wide range of colors. If you want to “pump” it up, add a fur coat and a pair of pumps!
Remember that you do not have to wear red or pink. Personally, I’m not a fan of wearing those colors. Instead, I settle for blush or burgundy. Either way, confidence is what will seal your outfit. Make sure that you feel good, if you aren’t confident in your outfit it probably will show. However, don’t be scared to be bold!
There comes a time in your life when you have to decide to be honest with yourself. Not sugarcoating anything but being truthful with how you feel on the inside; that way you can learn to embrace the things you wish you could change. I recently had to have this deep and intense conversation with myself. For as long as I can remember I have always hated my hair. I wished I had longer, thinner, looser curls… I wanted to have “good hair”. Instead I was given extremely thick, medium length hair that I constantly wished would somehow magically change if I tried hard enough. My childhood was spent sitting in the beauty salon getting relaxers and spending an hour or two under the dryer to my stylist’s dismay. I constantly used heat to give me the silky smooth hair that I desired.
Having hair stylists make remarks about how my hair was too thick to even wash and how it would never get dry, had a damaging effect on my self-esteem. Instead of them giving me tips on my hair type, the negative criticism made me hate my hair even more. At this point I felt as if I could never go to a stylist again because I didn’t want to burden them with my “difficult” hair. My mom tried her hardest to get me to see that the hair I was given was good enough, but I could never see it. Until one day I stumbled upon a Youtube video by Naptural85. Seeing her opened my eyes to a world that I had never even thought I could be apart of. She had the same hair type as me and her hair looked healthy and long just like I had always wanted for myself. On that day I stopped getting relaxers and started my transition.
I knew that I couldn’t keep straightening my hair because it would start to become heat damaged and doing the big chop was something that I was too scared to do so the next best thing for me was to get sew-ins. Sew-in extensions became my best friend, having my hair in braids underneath assured me that my hair would grow and stay healthy while allowing me to have versatile hair styles. This was my comfort zone for many years and instead of it helping, it hindered me. I was no longer waiting for all of my relaxed hair to grow out but rather deepening my hatred for my own hair. As I got into college I would strategically schedule hair appointments so that none of my classmates would ever see me with my actual hair. I would even go so far as to skip class and call off work so I wouldn’t have to be seen without my “hair security blanket”. It got so bad that my hair stylist was pleading with me to stop with the extensions and to let my hair breath. I knew that in order for me to stop running away from my hair I had to run toward it.
On December 20th I took down my last sew-in and for the first time in three and a half years I wore my hair out. The first full day was the hardest, I constantly looked in the mirror at myself as I tried to adjust to this new person in front of me. I felt self conscious as if wearing my hair in a twistout would make me the target of piercing eyes. I was worried that wearing my natural hair would make me stand out more thanks to the ridiculous standards of beauty that we are taught. Instead of all of my greatest fears coming true the complete opposite happened, I was comfortable.
The stigma that I associated with my hair was gone and I felt like this afro style suited me better than any of the styles I had previously. As each day goes on I’m learning more and more about my hair and how to take care of it. I know that not everyday will be a good hair day but the more I accept what I can’t change the better my attitude about myself will be. The India Arie song I Am Not My Hair contained lyrics that made me ponder even more about my decision to accept my kinks and coils. “Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oh Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity? I am expressing my creativity” These lines resonated with me and helped me in the decision to reclaim my hair and to no longer be ashamed of it.
American history is rooted in a culture that dehumanizes people of color. Throughout history, African-Americans have had to fight for their rights. From slavery to MLK, and now black lives matter; movements have been essential in the progress of equality for African-American lives. Today, in 2016, we are still fighting for human rights and so the question arises: why are we still fighting?
If you look at ladies such as Dorothy Height, Mary McLeod Bethune, Nina Simone, Rosa Parks or Ella Baker and compare them to others such as Laverne Cox, Amandla Stenberg, Bree Newsome, Michelle Alexander, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors you will notice that although times have changed, our desire for freedom has not. As Ella Baker once said, “Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killings of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”
Black woman have played a prominent role in the advancement of black lives and culture. For instance Nina Simone, a civil rights singer, created music that addressed the Birmingham bombing, the assassination of Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. Dorothy Height, the former president of the National Council of Negro Women, was an activist for black women, demanding that there be an increase in opportunities. We can not forget Rosa Parks, who refused to offer her seat to a white passenger on the bus thus leading a reform in segregation through the organization of boycotts. There was also Mary McLeod Bethune who was the president of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Colored Women. She served as the advisor of minority affairs for President Roosevelt, started the National Council of Negro Women and was the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration to help the youth find job opportunities, especially black young adults. Lastly, Ella Baker who organized the Young Negroes Cooperative League in NYC, was the national director of the NAACP, and was a part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Currently, black woman are still pushing for black lives. Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors have started a movement in the black community called Black Lives Matter. Laverne Cox has become an advocate for black transgender lives; her document Free Cece, has addressed issues within the black and Trans community. Amandla Stenberg has become a very important voice for the black youth. She is a black feminist, who also happens to be an actor from Hunger Games, calls out culture appropriation and discontinues Eurocentric beauty standards. Stenberg has even asked, “As culture shifts and racial tensions are tested through the vehicle of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is important to question: Do female black lives matter too?” Bree Newsome is another courageous lady; she climbed up a pole to remove the confederate flag before being arrested. Newsome has shed light on the racist culture associated with the confederate flag and why we should not stop until it is removed permanently. Michelle Alexander shed light on the cruelties and harsh realities of the justice system and how it has impacted the African-American community. Her book, the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, explores how the government disproportionately and wrongfully treats black men.
A huge difference between the civil rights movement and black lives matter movement is social media. We live in an era where our phones are constantly in our hands; thus we hold the power of media at our fingertips. Black lives matter was started by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. This movement is meant to fight against violence towards the African-American community. Likewise, the civil rights movement was meant to end segregation and discrimination towards black individuals.
Thankfully the help of social media, has allowed us to expand the ways in which we fight for our rights. Recordings of violent acts spread like wild fire; just like black encouragement and self-love takes over social media. Hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackGirlMagic, #blackout, #MelaninGirls, and #MelaninMonday flood the internet. If you were to type any of these hashtags and search them on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or any other social media platform then you will find images, words of encouragement or injustice within the black community. “Black Twitter” has become a way for the black community to band together online and form unity to speak out against any injustices that we face. This current movement is fighting for freedom and to end mental segregation. As Nina Simone once said, “’Free’ is just a feeling. It’s just a feeling. It’s like how do you tell somebody how it feels to be in love.” Therefore, we will not stop fighting until we feel free.
Every year universal trends and styles are either discarded, recycled or evolved. These fashion trends are incorporated into our personal style, meaning the way we express our individuality changes in time as well. I have found that one thing that truly gets me excited for the new year is shopping! Splurging on new items to add to your wardrobe at the beginning of the year kick-starts your “New Year, New Me” look. I’m sure that I share that same excitement of coming back from break owning a new hand bag or pair of shoes with a lot of women. Here is what I suggest:
Do research! This is made fun by hundreds of different fashion bloggers or “vloggers” on the internet who have created very specific “lookbooks” to showcase outfit ideas. Just find a favorite youtuber who shares your taste in clothing. Also look for trends that are on the rise. I have noticed that metallic materials are starting to be used a lot more in unconventional ways. Take the iconic rose gold for example as it has been seen in phones, shoes and even sticker tattoos.
Step out of your comfort zone! Getting away from what you are used to is always a great way to grow and that can be applied to many area in life. What is the one thing you were too shy to wear in public? For me that was heels so I opted for Chelsea Boots. These boots are perfectly cute to style with a winter wardrobe and usually have a subtle 1 or 2 inch heel.
Step it up! Maybe you have a clothing item that is forever ingrained in your personal style like oversized sweaters or jeans. Make some tweaks in your style by changing details in these items. Blue jeans can turn to distressed jeans and oversized sweaters can turn to low-rise sweaters. Also, now is a good time to consider buying that watch you have been eyeing for months to a year.
Restock! Make sure that you have all of your clothing essentials to start the year off right. You would be surprised how much matching underwear and pajama sets can boost your confidence. Do you have enough basic long-sleeve shirts? Or maybe you wore out your sweat suits? This is why I accept socks as Christmas presents.
Make-up! Make-up trends are just as prevalent as fashion trends and the same steps apply if you are wanting to step up your make-up routine. Subscribe to youtubers that post bomb make-up tutorials. Don’t be afraid to ask employees at Sephora or Ulta for pointers. Amp up your look by trying different techniques than you are used to and decide if you are ready to splurge on high-end products.
I hope that I have encouraged you to “glo up” for 2016! Here are a list of my favorite fashion and shopping websites for great looks and deals.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer experiences over the traditional giving of gifts. Experiences create lifelong memories that can’t be replaced; while gifts can be lost, thrown away, or even taken back. Here are a few Valentine’s Day ideas for those who just want each other’s time and presence.
Netflix & Chill– Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be an expensive night out on the town. There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody. This Valentine’s Day order lots of pizza and binge watch Netflix with your special someone. I mean really, what better way to spend the day than with bae chowing down pizza? And if you want to be a little more romantic, get a bottle of wine and light some candles to set the mood.
Weekend BAEcation– Hey! Let’s get away! Let’s get a room on the other side of town! Choose a place of your choice and hit the road with that special someone. Escape the hectic life at home and explore a different place together. Take it from me ladies, a weekend alone with your man will be unforgettable.
Romantic Wine & Dine– Got a little money to spend this year? Treat your loved one to a romantic evening they’ll never forget. Usually nicer hotels have a special couples package that includes an upscale room with a complimentary bottle of champagne. Order room service then hang that “do not disturb” sign on the door. After dinner invite your loved one to a midnight bubble bath soak. Turn down the lights and light soft-scented candles to set the perfect mood.
“Whether you transition or do the big chop it’s not going to come quick.” says Faith Lumbus first year student at the University of Cincinnati. Although she is currently undecided, she hopes to major in social work with a minor in criminal justice.
After her mother refused to pay for another perm, Lumbus was forced to go natural. She spent about a year transitioning, and has been natural for a little under a year. When asked how she felt about her mother’s decision to stop paying for perms she said, “I’m really glad she made me do that, because it made me be able to take care of my hair and learn about my hair and myself.”
Lumbus’ favorite hair product is Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream. She also uses Cantu Shea Butter Conditioner Repair Cream, Camille Rose Natural Curl Love Moisture Milk, Ecostyler gel, and when asked about shampoo she laughed before saying, “I am currently seeking some sulfate free shampoo products.”
Lumbus’ go to hair style is a flat twist with a side part. Her hair inspo is Aaliyah Greer (pictured above), @Hazel_Goddesss on Instagram. Faith has been following her journey and loves the advice that she gives. She claims that it has helped her with her own journey.
When asked what advice she’d give to a new naturalista she replied, “Don’t try to compare your hair to other people’s, you have to learn how to understand your hair type and don’t assume that just because a product works for somebody else it’ll work for you. It takes a lot of patience, whether you transition or do the big chop it’s not going to come quick.”
Hey ladies! It’s that time of the year, and you still don’t know what to put on your wish list that your grandma is begging you for- literally. So, I thought I would share my wish list with you all, hopefully to get you thinking and inspired!
1. Nike Juvenate, $85.00
The perfect gift for an on-the-go, yet stylish college student! This olive color is really “in” right now, so you’ll definitely be trendy with this purchase.
2. Michael Kors Quilted-Sleeve Asymmetrical Zip Coat, $94.99
With winter weather comes the need for more layers and thicker coats- this does that job perfectly! Not only is it designer, but it also comes with quilted sleeves for extra warmth! How great would it be to be warm while managing not to look like a big ball of layers? Get this look at www.macys.com
3. Kate Spade Rose Gold Metro Watch, $175.00
We all know that the “rose gold” color is totally in right now! Gift this watch as a simple yet beautiful piece of wrist wear. Every girl needs at least one fashionable watch- it shows she’s about her business, punctual, and stylish all at the same time.
This is probably one of the easiest gifts to give, and I can guarantee that your giftee will love it! With three different scents, this set comes out as a number 1 seller from the VS fantasies line. We all like to smell good, and whether it’s working or traveling, we all need to freshen up sometimes. The travel size bottles make storing these items easy, making for an overall easy and fantastic gift!
Tis the holiday season! You might have last minute shopping to do and have absolutely no idea what to get your naturalista. Here’s my gift to you, a gift guide to minimize the holiday stress when it comes to gifting your curly haired friend or family member.
1. Decorative bobby pins or clips
You cannot go wrong with a beautiful hair accessory like these from Elle’s line at Ulta. These make for the perfect touch to almost any hairstyle whether it’s a wash and go or a twist-out.
2. Kinky Curly Gift Set
This Kinky Curly gift set from Curlmart is perfect for winter. This time of the year, hair can become dry and brittle without proper care. Curlmart’s gift set is the perfect winter concoction; it was designed to lock in moisture while the tempetures are cold.
Headwraps are the perfect protective style for the winter. The Wrap Life provides a wide range of wraps coming in many different patterns and colors. There’s also an array of video tutorials on the website, as t the many different ways you can tie up your scarf. Wraps not only will protect a naturalista’s hair, but it’ll also keep her head warm during the winter!
4. Satin Pillowcase
A natural hair must! A satin pillowcase will protect any naturalista’s hair throughout the night. Natural Hair Shop has a nice selection of colors to choose from that any naturalista will appreciate.
5. Naturalista T-shirt Dearnaturalista has the perfect t-shirts for naturalista’s. The t-shirts boast phrases such as “DON’T TOUCH THE HAIR” or “BIG HAIR BIG DREAMS.”. This gift will be great for any naturalista; you simply cannot go wrong with a t-shirt.
Once again, winter is approaching and that means that hair is at risk for becoming dry. Why not buy conditioner? Whether you know your naturalista’s favorite conditioner or not Target has an abundant supply or hair products made specifically for African American hair. Find the African American hair aisle and have a ball!
7. Oils, Oils and more oils!
Coconut, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, tea tree, and many more oil options! I’m sure any naturalista would appreciate some oil for their hair. Just be sure to look into the benefits of the oils before you gift this gift. You would not want to buy your naturalista myrrh oil if he has extremely oily hair.
8. Curlformers Hair Flair’s Curlformers are a good way to achieve curls without heat. The Curlformers come in an array of sizes and types of curls.
9. Bobby pins
Naturalistas go through a lot of bobby pins, so why not buy them more? You can never have too many bobby pins! Sally’s beauty supply is a good place to go for some quality level bobby pins.
Another “can’t go wrong,” gel would be well appreciated. More specifically Eco Styler gel. It is affordable, plus there are multiple kinds to meet different styling needs!