After taking my braids to the beach, graduation, the country side, and now a college campus for my summer enrichment program… I decided that having braids was too much for my busy life – and there’s only so many cute/practical hairstyles you can do – so I decided to take them out. Here are a few tips that you will find helpful when taking out your braids.
It’s good that friends and family want to help you take out your braids, but don’t let your neck get strained in the process.
Pulling Out Hair
Hair can get tugged out or pulled out when you or the people taking out your braids are frustrated and stop carefully taking out your hair because they’re ready to get the process over with.
Detangling/Separating Shedded Pieces of Hair Before Washing Hair
Your hair sheds up to 100 strands a day.Most people leave their braids in anywhere from a time period of 2 – 3 months (90 days = Potentially 9000 strands of hair.) If you don’t detangle your hair you’ll experience massive amounts of hairballs in your hands and on your shower floor.
I skipped this step and days later I was still picking shedded pieces of hair out of my head, it was horrible honestly.
Shampooing, Conditioning, & Detangling Hair in The Shower
When you get in the shower make sure you scrub gently (not scratch) you hair effectively, removing dirt and grime embedded on the scalp. Condition hair to rebuild/balance te moisture and protein levels in your hair.
Detangle your hair in the shower as well. This step is optional depending on whether you like to dry detangle your hair or not. Personally I’d detangle before and during my shower (maybe even after) just to make sure I didn’t miss any shedded hair becuase shedded hair that is not found eventually tangles up with other hair and causes knots and tangles in the hair (which inevitably leads to more problems)
Have Product On Hand
Don’t be a product junkie but have at least one natural ‘on the go’ type product that you can whip out when needed. My natural hair ‘on the go’ product is 100% African Shea Butter.
Hopefully this article helps you as you protective style. Do you have a tip for other naturals taking down braids or twists as a protective style? If so, share them with us in the comments below!
At only 22, I have had a myriad of jobs that have left me with a lot of stories to tell. I have been a Nurse’s Aide, a cashier, a community organizer, an Arts and Crafts teacher, a camp counselor, and many more. The world of work all started for me when I was 13 and I got a job working on an inner city farm. Yes, I said a farm. My mom signed me up for a program called DIG, Durham Inner City Gardeners, which turned into my first part time job. We planted everything from squash to basil and snapdragons, which we would harvest and sell at our local farmers market. DIG gave me more than my first paycheck, but also a vast amount of knowledge about caring for fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and where our food comes from. Nine years later, I’m probably still the best at cutting basil, but I’m also a food justice advocate. I now know the importance of food justice and knowing where your food comes from. Since than I try to make an effort to eat “clean” and buy local. The process of transitioning form relaxed to natural also made me more aware of things I was putting on and in my hair and body. I figured if processed things weren’t good enough to put in my body, they weren’t good enough to put on my hair and skin either.
This focus on living a clean lifestyle has led me to seek out many resources to help guide me along the way. Technology has played a big part in keeping me educated on healthy food and natural body products. In the age of Google, you can find a webpage offering just about anything you want to know, but there are also cell phone and web apps that have been incredibly helpful for me. Its important to know the ingredients in our food and body products, so here are a few websites and apps that have been helping me out.
Fooducate is a website and cell phone app that provides you with information about the ingredients and macronutrients in just about any food you can think of. You can type in anything from Nutella to fresh vegetables. It even provides information for most store brands. You can also scan product barcodes. It rates products on an A-F scale and than provides a justification for each score, including reasons why you should incorporate it into your diet or not.
Skin Deep Cosmetic Database is an awesome app and website developed by Environmental Working Group (EWG). Similar to Fooducate, you can scan or type in most cosmetic products and it provides information about its ingredients. Skin Deep rates products on a scale of 1-10 and lets you know if any of the ingredients have been linked to cancer, allergies, or developmental problems. It’s very useful when I’m in a store trying to decide between shampoos or body washes and I’m unsure of any of the ingredients listed on the back.
Dirty Dozen is EWG’s app that helps guide shoppers through pesticides. It provides a handy list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, as well as a general guide to buying produce. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that generally have the highest pesticide content, that professionals recommend buying organic. The Clean Fifteen is a list of the most pesticide sparse fruits and veggies that are safe to purchase because they are minimally processed. EWG consistently updates and adds to the list as they continue to do research about pesticides and where our food comes from.
Are there any websites, apps, or other forms of technology that help you live a healthy lifestyle?
Being natural does not always mean wearing your hair in its natural state, whether that’s curly, kinky or wavy. Protective styles work wonders for naturals who choose not expose their hair frequently or at all. Protective styles can include, braids, weaves or twists. In other words, styles that cover and protect your hair from the elements and damage. These styles are also known for assisting with hair growth, if done and taken care of in the right way. Now, I know there is a debate as to whether or not if one wears weaves and such, if they are considered natural. But I bet if you take a look at these celebrities that you may or may not have known are natural, they might change your mind.
Reality TV star and fashion designer, Angela Simmons has never been shy about switching up her hairstyles, or even colors. But most might not know that Angela is natural.She hasn’t been shy about showing her long, natural hair on Instagram. Angela also just recently started her Hairfinity journey as well, a hair vitamin, that is all the rage in the natural hair community nowadays.
Beneath all the wigs, weaves, and gimmicks, Nicki Minaj has beautiful hair! She revealed her real, natural hair to the world last year via Instagram. This rapper is full of surprises. who would have thought that all this luscious hair was under the pink wig.
Tia & Tamera Mowry
The world was first introduced to these biracial beauties when their hit show, Sister Sister aired. And back then, bigger meant better, well in regards to hair. We saw their big, long natural curls, and vivacious personalities. But as with anyone in the entertainment industry, it takes a toll on your hair. Tia & Tamera Mowry are getting back to their roots with their natural hair. Tia [R] big chopped first, then Tamera [L] following suit shortly after. Tia’s son, Cree is even a naturalisto. His hair is amazing.
Keke Palmer is not just the youngest talk show host ever, but she’s also a naturalista! Keke debuted her natural hair a few years ago on Instagram, and of late, she’s been embracing and showing her followers some of her hair secrets. She’s showed them how she wraps her hair, and some of the products she uses for hair care. Let’s just say, this girl is not afraid to show off her hair in whatever state it’s in.
She’s an A-list actress who’s starred in movies such as, Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar, and The Best Man Holiday. Sanaa Lathan has rocked short weave, long weave, curly and straight weave, but it is only to protect her natural hair underneath. Check out her healthy, blown out head of hair.
(P.S. She’s also has famous natural friends like, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union.)
The queen of media has millions of dollars to spend on getting her hair done, but she chooses to be natural? That’s right Oprah loves her natural hair.
Brandy stepped on the scene as a singer and actress who rocked braids for many years. Well wearing those braids did her some good, as she rocks her natural hair nowadays, well in between her various weave selections. Brandy had also been known for rocking havana twists, and kinda starting that trend in the hair community.
Recently, I had this random idea to spend all of my money on clothes that I found online and just KNEW I had to have! When I say “spend all of my money” I didn’t literally, I only spent about $200 that I had been saving up for months specifically just to shop at my favorite store. I went on a haul! A haul is basically a shopping trip where you stock up on anything ranging from clothes to jewelry.
My favorite stores are:
Dazzle Up (located at Northlake Mall in Charlotte,NC
Other Shops I shop at include Jones New York, Off Broadway Shoes, Ross, and Old Navy. In this article I’ll discuss where to buy the outfits that I’ll show in this article and how much they cost.
Outfit Number 1
I actually bought this baby doll styled dress from Ross for $12. The thing I love about Ross is their vast collection of clothes for cheap! I admit, some of their clothes aren’t made out of quality material and will rip or tear, but the clothes I buy from there are durable and last for college and nights out with friends. Other items I paired with this outfit are a purse from Pacsun for $24 and Jack Rogers Sandals for $110. I bought the purse and sandals from a prior purchase.
Outfit Number 2
The cover up I am wearing in this picture is actually a swim cover up that I wore both to the beach and out for a night in the town. The color of this cover up is off white and is crocheted into flowers – it’s perfect for a beach vacation! I bought this coverup from Forever 21 for $25. With this outfit, I paired a blue bandeau top from Wal-Mart for $5 and Old Navy shorts for $25.
Outfit Number 3
I bought this heart blouse from H&M – my new favorite store! I bought it for $29. I paired it with a pair of green capri pants I bought from Jones New York for $40. I bought my shoes from Off Broadway Shoes for $15 – the brand of the shoes are Steve Madden.
Outfit Number 4
I bought this black chiffon shirt from H&M for $27. I paired it with jeans I bought from a prior purchase at Forever 21 for $9. Yes, $9 jeans! Although the shoes I paired with this outfit are sparkle leopard print Toms (which cost $45 at the store Nordstrom Rack), you can pair them with black Jack Rogers sandals.
Outfit Number 5
This top is the same black chiffon top from the post above (H&M, $27). The only thing different is that I paired it with a maxi skirt from J.C. Penney for $5 and my black Jack Rogers sandals.
Outfit Number 6
These shirts that I bought from Dazzle Up, a store at Northlake Mall in Charlotte, NC cost $16.99 a piece. The thing I love about shirts like these are that they’re trendy yet they’re not sold on every corner shop! They also express my cultural beliefs and background.
Have you shopped anywhere interesting lately?! If so, comment below and tell us where!
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.
It always helps us naturals to see someone with similar hair to ours to encourage us to continue our natural hair journey or just for entertainment! Here are a few naturals on social media that you might enjoy taking a look at!
This long-haired beauty has amazed us all throughout her natural hair journey. On her YouTube channel, she allows us to follow her journey from a fresh TWA to waist length hair. She is definitely inspiration to a lot of naturals whose main goal is to have have healthy long natural hair. She also gives us a peak into her personal life through her Instagram by showing us adorable pictures of her family. Both her username for Instagram and YouTube are MahoganyCurls.
I first saw jouelzy while watching her video on YouTube – Realistic Expectations For 4C Hair. Ever since subscribing to her channel, she hasn’t left me disappointed. Her vibrant personality and uplifting voice is what I love about her videos. She’s never scared to try new hair styles. Both her username for Instagram and YouTube are jouelzy.
Solange. Solange Knowles. Sol Angel. Just the unique name is enticing! Now this lovely natural made it clear in a few statements that she is not a natural hair spokeswoman, but who could resist her authentic style? No matter if you’re following her for fashion, music, or like the rest of us, in awe of her natural hair, follow this Saint Heron artist on Instagram under the username saintrecords.
This woman is all around phenomenal. Not only does she have a Ph.D, lost over 100 lbs, have an amazing fashion sense… but she’s natural! She inspires us to be fit physically, mentally, and emotionally. She practices what she preaches and shows us that healthy hair starts from within. Both her username s for Instagram and YouTube are beautifulbrwnbabydol.
She’s a singer, wife, mom, vlogger, and naturalista. Not only are her vocal skills amazing, her natural hair style tips are enlightening. Ever feel like you have no more options when it comes to your natural hair? She will help you get on track with your regimen and tell you tips on what made her hair grow healthy, strong, and long. Both her Instagram and YouTube usernames are msaliciajames.
After listening to, and downloading, her song Cascade and I Do, I had to see what more this artist had to offer. I pulled up her Instagram expecting to see “common things musicians post,” and was pleasantly shocked to see that she flaunts her natural hair with ease! Her carefree afro is breath taking and looks amazing at the beach and in the streets! Both her Instagram and YouTube username are arilennox.
Hair Color Alert! Right now I have a screenshot in my phone of a picture I found of her on Pinterest because I loved her hair color that much. The day I saw her natural hair is the day before I dyed my hair. Her Instagram consist of selfies, professional photographs she’s taken, and different styles of braids. What can I say? – She’s got a lot going on in her life but it’s all under control. Her Instagram and YouTube usernames are donedo.
London’s very own taught me one thing: All naturals have single strand knots. I encountered her YouTube channel during the time period of my life where I didn’t know if single strand knots were normal or if my hair was being attacked by them. Not only did her video reassure me that it was completely normal, but she introduced me to the Shea Butter train and I haven’t looked back since. Both her YouTube and Instagram are under the usernames neffyfrofro.
I don’t even have an entrance for this unique spirit. I automatically knew when I was making this list, that I COULDN’T make a list without including pashtash. Her hair length is close to mine so I felt that I could relate to her hair journey. I love how in one selfie she’ll post a 4×6 photo full of a picked out afro, and in one picture she had a defined twist out. Her fashion is unpredictable, yet incredible, just like her hair. To see more of her, check out her Instagram at pashtash.
Yes, we ALL know her as the girl from Degrassi, but that girl is no longer here. This woman is gorgeous and talented in everything that she does. She flaunts her natural hair and makes the funniest YouTube videos with her best friend. She always posts pictures of her natural hair, her love for natural hair, and products she uses on her hair. She shows us that even while being young with a busy life and very promising future, you can still take care of your natural hair. To see more of her, her username on Instagram is andrealewis
Long hair don’t care… No, Seriously.. Long hair don’t care. Maya proved to us that going natural should not be about length when she randomly cut off all of her hair! When she cut off all of her hair, her short hair styles were simple yet eccentric and bold. She showed us colors we never imagined dying our hair and hasn’t slowed down! Besides her natural hair, she does PLENTY of makeup tutorials. Her recent tutorial was to the video Flawless by Beyonce. Looking at her pictures, we can definitely tell that she “Woke Up Like Dis.” See her flawless pictures on Instagram under the username mayasworld and on YouTube under the username shamelessmaya.
I spend way too much time in Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and online searching for and purchasing all-natural hair and body products. The price tags aren’t the best, but I genuinely appreciate organic and mostly natural products because of their benefits. This is mostly because with a degree in Public Health, I know way too much about carcinogens to knowingly continue to put them in my body. So thus, I have dedicated myself to clean eating and using predominately all natural products. Not doing so hot on the clean eating front (because I live in North Carolina where Bojanles and Cook Out are easy and abundant), but killing it on the natural product front. A few years ago I discovered LUSH, a company that produces cruelty free vegan beauty and bath products. Although LUSH is very pricey, I love supporting their business not only because they are all natural, but also because they are dedicated to providing a productive work environment for their employees and creating economic growth in the US.
For some odd reason I didn’t know that LUSH had a location in North Carolina, and I had only been hitting up their stores when I was in DC or New York. When my best friend told me there was one in Raleigh, I ran over, almost literally, and treated myself to a few things.
Rub Rub Rub ($21.95)
Rub Rub Rub (Buy Now) is an in shower sea salt body scrub that can be used to exfoliate and prep the skin for shaving. It’s an electric blue color, which I love, and has an invigorating patchouli and lemon scent. Although it contains sea salt, the granules are small and softened so the scrub isn’t too abrasive on the skin. I like the fact that it goes on smoothly and produces slight suds. After using Rub Rub Rub, my skin is very soft and smooth post shower. Because I have dry skin, I would prefer a bit of a harsher exfoliator, but overall I have been enjoying using it. I’ve read a few reviews on Rub Rub Rub that state that it works really well for lightening darkened skin, most notably the underarm area because of the amount lemon and citrus juices it contains. I’ve been using it under my arms for the last few days and will give an update if it does help lighten over time.
This Vanilla Puff Dusting Powder (Purchase) almost didn’t make it into my bag, but I’m glad I purchased it. It’s an absorbent fragrant powder that has a myriad of uses. So far I have used it in many ways, including as an eye-lid primer and to reduce shine on the T-Zone of my face. The sales associate recommended that I use it to reduce sweating in my bra and to prevent “chub rub.” Anyone who has experienced chub rub knows that it is of the devil and can be terribly uncomfortable. The powder works OK on these fronts, but you have to use quite a bit to make sure the inner thighs are coated adequately. I like the fact that it reduces friction and provides fragrance, but I’d still prefer Shield Guard for anti-chub rub. A little goes a long way with this little bottle of powder, and I would definitely purchase it again.
The Tea Tree Toner Water (Buy) is the one item I knew I’d be walking out of LUSH with. My best friend recommended it to me a while ago, but I had never had the chance to buy it. Just like many combination skinned girls across the world, my mother has told me to use Sea Breeze astringent on my face for a little over a decade. Recently I had been trying to find a natural alternative to this and the toner water came right on time. It comes in a spray bottle, so I can spray it directly on to your face or onto a cotton ball, which I really enjoy. Most non-alcoholic astringents haven’t worked well for me (i.e Witch Hazel), but so far the toner water does a great job at reducing oiliness, removing build-up, and minimizing any bumps I may have. I’m currently monitoring it to be sure it doesn’t dry out my skin in anyway, but overall I would recommend it.
The old myth of working out ruining your hair is just that, a myth, an idea of the past. Now that hair, especially natural hair is becoming a recurring theme in the realm of fitness. I love to workout. It takes the stress of the day away and it keeps me healthy, and my body looking and feeling right. Many naturals also attribute part of their hair growth to fitness and eating right. Now, why should your hair prevent you from getting in shape, and having that great body to match that amazing head of hair? Here are a few tips that might help with your hair and working out.
1. Pull your hair out of your face
Whether your hair is long or short, having your hair flying all over the place while you’re working out is no fun, and distracting. Use a headband (thick or thin) or a “hair tube,” as I like to call them. An example of a hair tube would be a Loc Soc or Sue Maesta hood. I personally use and prefer a “hair tube.” Mine is a Garnier “hair tube” that I received for free at an event I attended.
Another option, whether your hair is straight or in its natural state is Nicole Ari Parker’s Save Your Do GymWrap. It’s especially designed for the gym. And as the name suggests, it saves your hair from looking a mess after a good workout. It’s features “Edge Control Technology,” which minimizes sweat absorption and allows heat to escape while letting cool air in.
If headbands aren’t your thing, you could also do a cute and effortless hairstyle to hit the gym. A bun keeps your hair out of your face while protecting your ends. Also, a high ponytail is another option. It might be boring, but it gets the job done. Or you could go for milkmaid/goddess braids which are flirty and stylish.
2. Use the right products
Products are essential when it comes to preserving your hair while working out. Using the right products can maintain and eliminate frizz, and have your hair looking sleek.
A product I like to use not only for the gym, but on a daily, is EcoStyler Gel. I’m telling you, this stuff is a holy grail product; I use Krystal or Olive Oil. EcoStyler Gel will always have your edges laid (what more could a girl want). This gel comes in eight different varieties. There’s even EcoStyler Sport! The Sport gel retains moisture, imparts shine and gloss, and maximum hold for active lifestyles.
Also, any anti-frizz products should work well to help maintain your hair, and reduce the chances of it becoming frizzy and puffy while working out.
3. Be Free
And so what if all this fails. You got a good workout, and health is more important that poppin’ hair, right? Maybe your hair didn’t hold up like you wanted it to, but it wouldn’t be natural if it didn’t do its own thing. So just let it rock. Curly girls can be fit too!
I keep hearing misconceptions about natural hair and false beliefs about all of the new things one can do with natural hair – well I’m here to set the record straight! Here are 5 things that most naturals hear about natural hair:
– Natural Hair Is Stronger Than Processed Hair
– Good Hair vs. Bad Hair
– To Have Hair Types 3c & Above, One Can’t Solely Be African – American
– Natural Hair Can Handle More Chemicals Since It’s Not Relaxed
– Natural Hair Isn’t Seen As Acceptable In The Workplace
Natural Hair Is Stronger Than Processed Hair
There is a technicality when it comes to this subject. Natural hair is stronger than processed hair simply because the protein in processed hair strands is broken down – therefore making the hair straighter. Natural hair, however, is not strong itself. It takes great attention and proper hair care for natural hair to nourish and grow. Natural hair in its dry state can be very fragile if not properly moisturized and sealed with some sort of oil or cream. On a hair strand, there are places where each curl begins and ends. Each place on the strand where the curl begins and ends, is a point of potential breakage. That’s why different hair types have to be treated differently.
Good Hair vs. Bad Hair
Since slavery, there was always a dispute about which hair had less kinks and which hair “resembled” the heads of those in Africa more. I’ve heard of some hair shows that wouldn’t allow naturals with certain patterns to model hair products because it’s not “natural enough” or it was “too nappy.” Whether your hair texture can’t hold a curl, or can mold to a 2-strand twist in an hour… CurlyInCollege believes that your hair is beautiful and don’t you ever forget that!
To Have Hair Types 3c & Above, One Can’t Solely Be Of African Descent
A lot of people – even some naturals – believe that to have a more defined curl pattern where the curls are elongated and more visible, one MUST be mixed with other races besides African- American. Although your ethnicity can affect your hair’s texture and curl pattern, it doesn’t always. Sometimes DNA just predetermines things for us. Whether it’s your skin color, curl pattern, eye color, etc., some things you just have no control over. It’s our differences that make each and everyone of us special. Be proud of your hair pattern and texture, and never let dissatisfaction ruin your happiness on your natural hair journey.
Natural Hair Can Handle More Chemicals Since It’s Not Relaxed
Just like we discussed earlier, natural hair is only stronger because unlike relaxed hair, it’s not processed- however, that doesn’t mean that you can flat iron your hair everyday and color it 20 times in a year. A little hair dye or heat here and there won’t harm at your hair, but try to limit things things that chemically alter or dry out your hair.
Natural Hair Isn’t Seen As Acceptable In The Workplace
A lot of college freshmen are in school getting an education so that they can one day work in corporate America, and a lot of naturals already work in corporate America. Somehow they all seem to have one common question – “Will my hair be accepted in corporate America?” I can’t 100% guarantee that your hair will be accepted by EVERYONE at your job, but I can guarantee that most of the time, the only person that’ll initially look down on your hair is YOU. Most of us are so paranoid of people’s initial opinions about our hair, when in reality they might not even notice our sudden change of style. If you are proud of your hair, others feed off of your positive views on your hair and will begin to love it as well- but the love of your hair starts with YOU.
Black folks and our representation in media has taken an interesting turn throughout the 2000’s. In the 80’s and 90’s black and brown folks were speckled across big and little screens like a neutral toned rainbow. With shows and movies like A Different World, Martin, Living Single, The Best Man, and Crooklyn the everyday experiences of being a black person in America were pretty well illustrated, not to mention we were killing it in other media arenas including music and print magazines (because be honest Vibe hasn’t been the same since 03’ and the 90’s-early 2000’s provided us with the quintessential rap and R & B collabo’s).
But than came the mid 2000s when black and brown folks became scarce in TV line-ups, and our favorite minority actors and actresses were deduced to being the token friend in the means of “diversity”. Needless to say, the lack of black stories has not gone unnoticed. Many years and think pieces later, there has been a rise in black directors and actresses taking things into their own hands by creating venues for media content featuring black voices, one of those being the crew behind YouTube TV channel, Black & Sexy TV. Dennis Dortche, Jeanine Daniels, Numa Perrier, and Brian Ali-Harding have come together over the past 3 years to tell the comedic, romantic, intelligent, inspiring, and sometimes unfortunate everyday stories of black twenty-something’s, and it makes for brilliant television. I live for Black & Sexy TV because it peels back the stereotypes of blackness and in turn provides real life stories that I can directly see my friends and myself in. Black & Sexy TV provides me with great narratives, awesome music, eclectic aesthetic, and surprisingly a host of amazing hair crushes. In celebration of the July 4th season premiers of two of my favorite shows on the channel, “Hello Cupid” and “RoomieLoverFriend,” I wanted to share some of my favorite naturalistas of Black & Sexy TV.
Hello Cupid is probably one of the best shows on Black & Sexy TV. The cinematography, editing, and styling are amazing for such a noble production company. While falling in love with the show, I also fell in love with leading lady Ashley Blaine Featherson, also known as Whitney. On “Hello Cupid”, Whitney is the queen of effortless chic. She can usually be seen rocking a sleek puff or twist out. She makes a little go along way with her hair and it constantly makes me jealous. One of my favorite styles from her is featured in the double date episode (which was sponsored by Kinky Curly products) where she has a high bun accentuated with added in Marley hair.
You ain’t never seen a Caesar cut rocked by a lady so fly until you have seen Deon of “That Guy”(except maybe Erykah Badu, but she’s THE Erykah Badu…she’s in a league of her own). Jeanine Daniels plays Deon, a fun loving, attitude having, big earring wearing girly tom-boy who is the third musketeer to leading men Mike and Judah. Mike and Judah are the guys your mother warned you about, but Deon attempts to keep them humble. She keeps her hair closely cut and neatly edged up, and occasionally accentuates her features with flashy earrings or simple make-up. I love the fact that she can make a low cut so versatile and feminine.
“The Couple” features the cutely dysfunctional nameless couple, Chick and Dude. Of the 8 Black & Sexy TV shows, “The Couple” has been the most tangibly successful as it is currently being developed into a series for HBO. Chick, played by actress/director/co-creator of Black & Sexy TV, Numa Perrier, is another Black & Sexy girl who does a lot with a little. Her hair is often worn in a twist out, parted on one side, or pinned back. It’s very grown up, but also very care free and fun. Chick is most notable for her ability to make a simple hairstyle look formal as seen in the premier episode of “The Couple” and the Valentine’s Day episode.
Shawanna Davis is Nia in “That Guy,” Deon’s best friend and the mother of Judah’s child. Up until recently she was referenced more than we actually saw her in the show, but now she is getting her own spin off this Fall. Nia is a fashionable, conscientious, and sassy single mother who goes between protective styles and allowing her natural hair to fly free. My favorite style from her so far has been her long brown highlighted Marley Braids, which she usually wears down or in a bun. Check out BeBeautifulLA.Tumblr.com, Shawanna’s beautifully curated blog.
Robin is the other leading lady in “Hello Cupid” and a total opposite of Ashley Blaine Featherson’s character, Whitney. Robin is a vegetarian, yoga aficionado, who probably serves on Solange’s e-board for the Coalition of Carefree Black Girls. Her tresses are usually worn in a simple curly fro, and occasionally pushed back with a headband. Her golden blond hair color makes her stick out in a crowd and compliments her skin tone beautifully. Her most memorable look is her picked out fro at a 70’s party in the most recent episode of “Hello Cupid.”
You can watch all the Black & Sexy TV series on YouTube here. Don’t forget to check out the recently premiered episodes of “Hello Cupid” and “RoomieLoverFriend” that premiered on July 4th.