Wearing my Natural Hair to a job interview

I remember the first time I went for an interview feeling relaxed about my natural hair. I remember being nervous and wondering how I would be received. Would the interviewer spend more time looking at my hair than listening to my answers? I had my hair tied in two afro buns. As I sat waiting for my interviewer to join me I felt both of the bands snap! Now I think of this as divine intention because suddenly and unprepared I had a full Afro out, unconfined and unapologetic. Even after all the worrying, there she was and there was nothing I could do about it!
I remember panicking for a few seconds and then thinking this is completely out of my control! There’s no point panicking and throwing myself off track to worry about my hair which I adore so much or I wouldn’t be growing it. Anyway… did I really want to work for someone who was willing to see my hair over my qualifications, skill and intelligence? Nope.
The door opened and another sign from the universe… my interviewer was a black man with short natural hair! At this point I was genuinely relaxed about my hair and concentrating on making the best impression I could. I had decided that whoever walked through that door, I was ready to impress!
Have you ever been getting ready for a job interview (or any important event) and thought so hard about what you were going to do with your hair? How you can make it PRESENTABLE? How you can make others feel RELAXED about your hair? How you were going to make the conversation about you and not your hair?

I certainly have and I felt that way because of the texture discrimination that goes on within our natural hair community.
The intense and heavy message I carried around for YEARS in my mind and on my scalp was rooted in texture discrimination. The idea that the texture of my hair was not beautiful or good enough to be on the cover of magazines, in an advert, on a model or anywhere that other people would have to see it was so deeply buried into my mind-set that I became immune to the idea of texture discrimination. I didn’t even realise I was being discriminated against. My first reaction as a child was to try to make it more like the hair that people wanted to see rather than using my beautiful hair to represent what I wanted the world to see and who I am regardless of their unachievable beauty standards set out for everyone but me.
I have to cut myself some slack though, after all I was a child. Children are easily influenced. This is why having these conversations now is so important. I hope that one day a little black girl buying a magazine would look up and see herself. I hope that she’ll feel that she is represented, important and beautiful… but it’s going to take more than a magazine to achieve this!

Watch New Documentary: Kinks And Curls uncover truths about Texture Discrimination within the natural hair community.

By AfroGlory

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What is Good Hair?

The topic of ‘good hair’ is often debated within the brown community. Those who typically qualify for this category tend to have 3C to 4C hair. New documentary Kinks and Curls looks at texture discrimination within the natural hair community.

In my opinion, good hair is healthy hair. But in the eyes of society, good hair is straight, sleek, and easy to tame – apparently everything that afro hair is not.

Growing up, I was always made to feel as though straight hair was better than afro hair. Afro hair was out of control and hard to tame. Back then, your hair defined you and your hair meant that you would be perceived in a certain way. To put it simply, straight hair meant good hair and natural hair meant bad hair. Because of this I grew up seeing my hair as difficult and problematic.

I had a lot of experiences with many people trying to police my hair and the styles I done with it. But I reached a point where I thought “Why can’t I do what I want with my hair?” I don’t like being told what to do.

I’ve also had challenges where people touched my hair without your consent, and when employers deem it as ‘unprofessional’ and ‘unsuitable for work’.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve accepted my hair for what it is and I embrace it. My afro hair is beautiful. My afro hair is soft, shiny and sleek. My afro hair is healthy. My afro hair is my crown and I wear it with pride, esteem and happiness, and nothing and no-one will ever change that.

So what is good hair?

Good hair is beautiful hair, regardless of type, texture and style.

 

By Chichi Ogwe

Find ChiChi on her blog here.

There is More Than One Way to Embrace Your Natural Hair

Light skinned women with loose curls are hijacking the natural hair movement. Huge hair care brands seem to endorse this biased image, that excludes the dark skinned woman with 4C hair. So just how revolutionary is the natural hair movement, if it only celebrates one type of natural? New documentary, Kinks and Curls delves into the politics of black hair as girls and women celebrate the different type of natural that isn’t always at the forefront of the movement.

The natural hair movement started when black women began to put down the relaxers. The iconic Black Panther afro circulated the black community, and black women refused to live their lives according to the European beauty standards. The same European beauty standards that the Europeans themselves couldn’t even live up to.

The natural hair movement was for the black women who grew up hearing “nappy”, “picky”, “unprofessional” and “untidy” on a daily basis. The movement was for the black women who were told that their natural hair, the hair that grows tall and strong is inappropriate. The need to survive, work or go to school in peace required a lot of black women to relax and straighten their hair. Women began to use wigs and weaves to blend into society, the same society that wouldn’t even class them as human.

Obviously not all light skinned, mixed race women with loose curls lived a life free from discrimination, abuse and ignorant comments. However it isn’t a bad thing to admit that, me a lighter skinned woman has some sort of privilege. I can admit that with ease because it doesn’t take anything away from my blackness, I am not less black, I am not immune to discrimination, however I am aware that my skin tone and hair type is the archetype for the black woman in the eyes of the media.

My hair takes to products well and I can achieve curly hair styles without much effort. This is something I have only recently started to pay attention to.

 I didn’t pay attention to the “your hair is so nice like that”, “how did you get your hair curly like that” comments.

I make a conscious effort to encourage women and men to explore their hair and to respect and love their hair as it is. Once you begin to focus on your hair, you begin to appreciate it; when it’s in “doodoo” plaits, when your satin scarf comes off whilst you’re sleeping, when your braid out comes out wrong and when you haven’t detangled your mane. Those moments that were once disasters or bad hair days become moments of laughter and creativity.

There is too much history within natural hair movement, for it to be ignored. Yes the natural hair movement is inclusive, but people and brands seem to be very specific about what naturals to show to the public.

Do you still love and appreciate your hair without the curl enhancing creams?

The natural hair scene has such variety; there are so many colours, lengths, textures and densities. There shouldn’t be a bias to a specific texture, length or skin tone. Your hair doesn’t need to curl a certain way in order for it to be classed as good hair day. Change the way to think and talk about your hair. If a larger variety of naturals are shown more, the natural hair scene will reflect what is being celebrated.

By Saabirah Lawerence

Find Saabirah on: Blogspot, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

5 Tips to ensure Healthy Natural hair under wigs

wigs-healthynaturalhair

Wigs to a black girl is like a basketball to Jordan. It is the enabler that allows us to be Solange on one day and Beyoncé the next. Whether your hair is relaxed or natural, one thing we all own as black girls (other than a comb) is a wig. Wigs do more than keep your co-workers guessing which of your hairstyles are real, it is also a great protective style for when you want to reduce manipulation to your hair. However, it is important to not become complacent with wigs, and throw your hair routine out the window. Below I share with you my top tips to maintaining the health of your hair, whilst wearing a wig.

1. Moisturize – this is particularly important when wearing a protective style because your stands are hidden in conrows or braids. Using water-based sprays that can penetrate the braids would add the daily moisture your hair needs. Depending on your hair type, you might need to moisturize your hair more frequently, but typically once a day or every other day is a good amount.

2. Massage the scalp – massaging your scalp frequently stimulates growth as it encourages blood flow. It is best to do this with an oil that also stimulates growth and soothes the scalp.

3. Co-wash weekly- co-washing is a great and easy way to add moisture to your hair. It cuts a wash-day in half, yet still produces the same results. This is also a great time to add direct moisture to your ends outside of the cornrows.

4. Let your hair breathe- If your anything like me, you take off your wig as soon as you enter the front door! Throughout the day wearing a wig can become irritable, especially in this weather, so it is nice to give your hair some air until the morning.

5. Don’t over lay your edges- laying your edges has become a phenomenon, and leaving your house without an S-Shaped swirl in your sideburns is a big problem. But overusing gels can affect your edges and cause tension to your baby hairs. It is best to use an edge control instead, or dare and go outside without laying your edges!
If you want more tips on how to take care of your hair after you take out your cornrows, check out my video below:

Have you made your New Hair Resolutions?

The other day my friend told me that every New Year her resolution is to go to the gym every day. She starts off well, reposting motivational pictures from Diddy and constantly telling herself -in DJ Khaled’s voice- “they don’t want me to be slim”. Yet she never actually ends up in the gym and by February she forgets the promise she made to herself. It’s easy to fall victim to abandoning resolutions, so this year try setting specific Hair Resolutions!

The first thing to do to achieving your #hairgoals is to write them down and put them in a place you could see daily. It is best to constantly remind yourself of your resolutions, and if in your own hand writing, you’ll be less inclined to break the promise you made to yourself. Also by writing goals down it would give you the ability to cross things off once completed, and if like me, you get a kick from crossing off lists this would help.

You may be wondering what exactly should you write down, well this is completely up to you! You must assess your hair and see what you need more of and what you need less of. A good indicator of the hairs need in most cases, are the ends and sometimes the scalp. The list can include anything from “Moisturise Hair Daily” to “Use Less Edge Control on Edges”.

Lastly it is worth noting that you would not see instant gratification, but don’t let that be a reason to quit! Perseverance is key and if you hold it out till next year you are bound to see a significance improvement in your hair.

Share some of your hair resolutions below!
-Naomi xo

5 Holiday Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Christmas is fast approaching yet like me, you may be sitting with hair that looks like Sideshow Bob, praying for a fairy-godmother to turn you into a black Cinderella. That would take a Christmas Miracle right? Well actually it is very possible to turn that Sideshow Bob look into something beautiful in just a few simple steps! The opportunity to slay without pity is one of the most exciting things about the holidays. The season gives everyone the excuse to do something grandeur than your go-to look. Check out some of our favourite looks for the Holidays below!

  1. The Regal Puffholiday hair4.jpg
(Picture from essence.com)

2. The French Roll

holiday hair5.jpg(Picture from Newdmagazine.com)

3.Mini Pompadour and Loose Puff Bun

holiday-hair1(Picture from jadabeauty.com)

4. High Puff and Curly Bangs

holiday-hair3(Picture from curlynikki.com)

5. Twist Out

holiday-hair2(Picture from curlynikki.com)

Merry Christmas beauties!

-Naomi xo