5 Tips to ensure Healthy Natural hair under wigs

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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:

Prelude: Jade offers her Art to the World

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Prelude;
Art portrays me exactly the way I see myself
Something of value, full of potential, adorned in light
A primary colour, in coexistence with others
I am never just one thing
But an amalgamation of many things
The perfect portrait

J C Cowans

 

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Prelude was an opportunity to invite friends, family and the curious to see my work in one room for the first time.

 

-How long have you been creating art?

I picked up my paintbrush again last summer. Before then I had experimented at school like we all do, but never even considered how fulfilling or how important painting, portraiture in particular, would become for me in the following years.

 

-What inspired the creation of Prelude?

For me, sharing is something that sits close to my heart. As artists, I feel we are challenged with the idea that we must not show anything which is unfinished or imperfect, but it’s the process of painting which leads to the end result that inspires me.

I had been going to lots of arts and culture events and kept bumping into people who expressed how much they loved my work and would ask when I was exhibiting. For me an exhibition was something only an artist could do and because it was so early on in what I now consider to be my artist journey, I had shyed away from the idea. Prelude was an opportunity to invite friends, family and the curious to see my work in one room for the first time. I also wanted to introduce a few new works from my debut art series Common Thread.

I created the Prelude piece specifically for the event, a self portrait with a stem of Iridaceae Gladiolus and a single bloom that framed my face. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and Asia, its name derives from the Latin gladius meaning sword. The flower represents strength of character, faithfulness, sincerity, integrity and a spirit that does not give up.

New ventures shouldn’t be taken lightly and the first steps are always the hardest but I knew how passionate I was about creating a space where people could be inspired, connect with the like minded as well as have a personal experience with my pieces. It was like welcoming everyone into my art studio.

 

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image courtesy of Instagram/ @farfromjaded

 

-Why was the use of watercolours important for Prelude?

Watercolours can be manipulated in so many ways, for me they are dream to work with. I guess it’s like marmite, you either love it or hate it! The transparency and delicacy of the medium itself lends to how I view the subjects I am painting, whether muses or myself; open, honest and made up of many layers. Being able to overlay different colours is like a visual representation of the characteristics and personal traits of a human being. Sometimes these mix well, sometimes they are compatible and other times they conflict but never reject. We are who we are. Watercolour perfectly depicts that for me.

-How do you get to the stage as an artist, where you aren’t afraid of being transparent?

I have never been taught that I was perfect. But I have always been taught that this is completely and utterly okay. It’s always been easy to be transparent. But with art. I remember speaking with my friend and telling him that sharing art in a public space is like having an honest conversation with yourself in front of strangers. If poetry is feelings and thoughts spilled onto a page in the form of words, then art is the same just with colours and marks.

 

Sharing art in a public space is like having an honest conversation with yourself in front of strangers.

 

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-What do you hope people take away from your art?

I hope people, women in particular, can look at my pieces and see how beautiful we all are. That they can see their true selves, with all their layers both visible and hidden, in all their colours both dull and vibrant, that in their entirety they are invaluable.

 

Your Contribution: Adriela offers her Voice to the World

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Passion is a driving force for young dreamers, and with it they can overcome any obstacle or doubt. Adriela Inniss, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter has fought to overcome her own personal difficulties and doubt through the power of music. Her politically conscious record Inaugurated, touches on the disorienting times that we are currently facing with Trump in power. In the record Adriela channels her frustration with the election, singing “I am standing here with my hands in the air, you see yet you turn your back for my life you don’t care.” Through her empowering lyrics she proves that music can serve as an escapism from strangling affairs. Read below to find out why this 24-year-old has zero fucks left to give.

We thank you Adriela for standing in your truth and contributing your gift to the world, we hope you continue to create inspiring music.

I don’t make music to satisfy other people or with intent to touch on social issues, but because I feel strongly about these issues I will sing about it.

When did you realise music was your passion?

I’ve always had a strong love for music. I’m pretty sure I came out the womb singing. My house was always filled with music growing up, from caribbean music to pop, hip hop and jazz etc. Any genre of music you could imagine has been played in my house aside from heavy metal.

My first big recital was during first grade when I attended the Montessori school in Brooklyn New York. We had performed a selection of songs from The Sound of Music. The moment I hit the stage I knew that was where I belonged. At that moment I realized music was my passion. Although I realized music was my passion at a young age, I didn’t start taking the necessary steps to accomplish my goal until I was in college. Throughout my life I had always been diffident when it came to my voice. I was never afraid to tell anyone how much I loved singing and that I would be a star one day, but as soon as they put me on the spot I would shy away giving every excuse in the book as to why I couldn’t sing right now. A lot has has changed since then.       

Do you have a particular routine that you undergo in your writing process?

I do have a routine when it comes to my writing process.  It all starts with finding the right beat. I don’t play any instruments yet so I rely on the beats that I find on youtube. The process of finding the right instrumental can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple days. Once I’ve found a beat that makes me go “oooo”, I know I’ve found something good and I just start free styling.

I make sure to record myself every time I freestyle to the  beat and then I listen to the recordings, take notes on parts that I really like and use that as the framework for my song. Most of the time the chorus is what comes to me first. I use to think that I should only work on music when I feel inspired and something comes to me but now I designate a certain amount of hours per day that I am required to work on music.

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image from https://www.instagram.com/adriela__/

 How do you find the strength to be vulnerable and open in your lyrics?

I don’t have to find the strength because my music comes from the vulnerable side of me. If  that makes any sense. I get this weird feeling in my gut when I hear a beat that really moves me and when I start to freestyle its very raw uncut emotion. My lyrics come straight from the heart. However, I do get a little hesitant when it comes to the more personal songs that I’ve been working on lately, but I know there is someone out there who needs to hear it.

I get this weird feeling in my gut when I hear a beat that really moves me and when I start to freestyle its very raw uncut emotion.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Some of my musical inspirations include Janelle Monae, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday, Badu, and Jhene Aiko. All  of these artist have played a role in my growth as an artist. Janelle Monae was there during my big swift in focus in college. I had listened to her music before, but I became a big fan after Electric lady. I would listen to her album  every day throughout the day and I would fantasise about me being on  stage singing them.

Listening to her music, in addition to other factors, motivated me to really start focusing  on my career as a musician. I had always thought that one day I would go  to an open mic, perform one song and get discovered, but that’s not how it works. You have to really put the time in to see results. These artists, their stories and their music have all helped me to realize how possible it is to make your dreams come true.

 

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In your song ‘Inaugurated’ you touch on current political affairs. Do you think  that it is artist’s responsibility to reflect controversial/social issues in their music?

This question brings about a paradox because I do think it is the artist’s responsibility to reflect controversial/social issues in their music because when you have a platform you should  try to use it for the greater good. At the same time, I don’t think it should be forced, it needs to be genuine. I don’t make music to satisfy other people or with intent to touch on social issues, but because I feel strongly about these issues I will sing about it.

Inaugurated was written on the night of Obama’s farewell address because I was in a very emotional and fragile state. Like many, I took Obama’s presidency for granted and when it was time for the Obama’s to leave it really hurt, especially with Trump taking his place. Writing Inaugurated was my way of  coping with the travesty that the US has been burdened with.

What advice would you give to young aspiring artist?

Just follow your dreams and be true to you. Make music for you and just be glad if one person listens and genuinely likes it.  I’ve spent so much of my life being insecure and worried to much about everyone’s opinion rather than my own.  Three days away from 24 and I have zero fucks left to give. Be happy, be you!

Singer-songwriter Saie offers her Voice to the World

Asides from music sensations and viral memes, the internet is a home to many havens for marginalized groups. Through her uplifting lyrics and vibrant visuals, 21-year-old singer-songwriter Saie has managed to cultivate a haven for black girls and women. The singer-songwriter is based in London, but has cultural heritage in Sierra Leone. Following the release of her song ‘Blackness’, Saie has manifested a sisterhood which celebrates black girl magic. The record carries a timeless message to stand in your truth no matter how hard society tries to shape and tame you. Saie is unapologetic in her approach, and her confidence in the video is magnetic, as she sings about ‘feeling so strong in my blackness’, in a rich and nostalgic tone. Through her music Saie proves that she isn’t interested in following patterns that are already formed, but is instead working to carve out her own space in the industry. With her perfectly picked afro, effortless style and conscious spirit that is aware of her offering to the world, it would be foolish to doubt her.

We thank you Saie for standing in your truth and contributing your gift to the world, we hope you continue to create uplifting magic.

 It’s not that its important to me to be unapologetic I have NO choice but to be because there is NO way I am not going to enjoy my beauty and fulfil my purpose on this earth.

When did you decide to pursuit music as a career?

I decided to pursue music as a career when I was 15 years old, after I got over the embarrassment of wanting something that I felt was so cliché, I said to myself just face it Saie, being an artist is all you’ve ever wanted to do so go and get it!

How did you nurture your gift from a young age to turn it into the skill it is today?

I didn’t intentionally nurture my gift from a young age due to a lack of opportunities but I will say that my love for music and self expression nurtured itself somehow and only now am I beginning to nurture my gift with the hopes of becoming a master of my “thing.”

The video for ‘Blackness’ is packed with beautiful and striking visuals. Tell us about the creative direction behind the video.

Thank you, I really appreciate your appreciation for the video. The creative direction behind the visual was based upon my desire to be a confidence booster for all the gorgeous black girls who haven’t yet come to self realisation. So I tried to capture some attributes that we posses – SOUL, BEAUTY, GRACE & CHARM.

The brightness of the video, the use of colour and the little dance moves symbolise in some way The Soul. My choice to wear an afro was to show the natural beauty we posses just by simply being ourselves. I also tried to touch on the topic of black love by collaborating with Chris (The male model in the video) just because I personally desire to see more of it, I thought it would feed others visually. I don’t want to bore you with the details but I’m also an advocate for healthy eating which is why I wanted to include the fruits and calling my two friends to be in the video just to again, feed others with the image of sisterhood. That is the purpose of my visuals to feed melanated beings using aesthetics as well to feed myself.

 I just want to be engraved in everyone’s heart as a light and comforter in their dark times, as well as that boost people need when its time to fight for justice and get what belongs to them.

The song ‘Blackness’ is an uplifting celebration of black girl magic. How important is it for you to be unapologetic in your blackness?

Well in general being unapologetic is something I am currently striving for as its been a journey. I like the idea of peace and in society being unapologetic has a scent of rebelliousness attached to it. But when it comes to my blackness I don’t play any games, I will take the rebellious title any day because my “blackness” is deeply infused with my essence. So its not that its important to me to be unapologetic I have NO choice but to be because there is NO way I am not going to enjoy my beauty and fulfil my purpose on this earth as others are intimidated by what I possess or do not understand it and I want other girls to feel this way too.

Congratulations on your recent partnering with GUAP magazine! Talk to us about how that came about.

 Thank you! Well one of the founders of the magazine Jide Adetunji spotted me online and reached out to me, we had a meeting and the vibe was just right and now he is my manager!

Just take the time out to observe yourself and become your own mentor, basically take yourself as an A-Level.

Let’s take it 50 years into the future! What is one thing you would like to be remembered as?

In all honesty, I just want to be engraved in everyone’s heart as a light and comforter in their dark times, as well as that boost people need when its time to fight for justice and get what belongs to them. I guess overall I would love to be a spirit that people can call upon when they need it.

Saie

image from https://www.instagram.com/theafroromantic/

What advice would you give young girls who are still trying to find their confidence and their voice?

I’m not sure where to begin there’s so much that needs to be discussed, but something that would be useful is for girls and boys to just study themselves, watch their habits. How often do you go on Social media? How does it make you feel? What Triggers you? What makes you happy? What feeds your insecurity? When do I like myself the most? How does your relationship with your parent(s) influence your behaviour in romantic relationships? Just take the time out to observe yourself and become your own mentor, basically take yourself as an A-Level.

Do you have any upcoming projects we can look out for?

Well I am about to get cracking on my first EP entitled The AfroRomantic: GENESIS as well as gigging around! So look out for me on social media to stay updated, because honestly nothing goes to plan! So online is the best way to see what I’m up too!

 

Self-Love: A Healing Suggestion

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I spent the day within the walls that first nurtured me, not a room, or the womb but the sheets of a book. The only four corners I know to be straight and not crooked. I read the lines that were orchestrated with love for someone like me in mind; someone seeking healing from a haven. I located my heart between the metaphors and similes, and I cried at how beautiful it was to be home again, to be restored, and to be found. I am here with half of myself; the other half is floating away. I’ve come to remind myself to always be lovely and not to let the world and her people turn me cold.

I start my days with a smile, thanking God for the new day. Sometimes I tell Him to take me back.

I practice affirmations like these in the mornings: I am a well, filled with blessings and good things, love, light and abundance. They’re friendly reminders that keep me sane throughout the day. It does get hard because people are so difficult to deal with. I think God has the hardest job of loving us all unconditionally. I think people are terrible beings by default and whenever they realise the power they have over another they abuse that power. Sometimes we want to hurt each other, even the people we love.

I sent my love out as a healing offering, but a friend returned it back, unrequited but opened and used. I know I am not an angel, but I try in all my friendships/relationships to bring a light and energy that I can only hope will be reciprocated. The relationship becomes lopsided when one person is giving more and the other is just taking, unaware of how draining they are. Everything is energy; it’s what we trade as humans before gold and coins. I am devoted to my spirit and owing to my happiness, so I actively work to protect my energy from takers who do not give. Sometimes that means removing people from your life if they are causing an imbalance and that isn’t selfish it’s self-love.

By Naomi

A Self-love Declaration

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I am mine before I am anyone else’s. I do not belong to anyone except to myself. My worth as a woman is not contingent upon how desirable you find me. I am my own standard of beauty. I am art.

Art that doesn’t require an audience. To hell with your restrictive gender binaries.

I refuse to be your stereotypical, submissive, respectable African woman. My body is mine. My femininity is mine. Being a Black woman, I am expected to suppress my intelligence, my power, my voice, in order to be easier to swallow — in the words of Warsan Shire, “I tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake” — constantly expected to bend myself into shapes in order to fit societies one dimensional perception of us.

I refuse to bend myself backwards to appease those who exploit me.

To be Black in a white dominant society.

Double consciousness.

To be a black woman in a white dominant patriarchal society.

Triple consciousness.

The constant fear of being deemed the angry Black woman, the fear of being subjected to misogynoir, the fear of the constant denial of our complexity and nuance — in order to combat these fears I find refuge in fellow Black women. I find refuge in myself. Because we are all we have. I have so much love for Black women. I have so much love for myself, and I no longer give a damn if my comfortability with myself makes others uncomfortable.

 

By Ayomide

Discovering your Passion and Purpose

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It isn’t easy transitioning from the highs of being a youth who imagines the world as she would like it, into adulthood where a whole new reality is forced upon you. Adulthood reality praises facts and reason and allows no dreaming. You are no longer asked ‘what you want to be’ you have to just be, and nobody really helps you navigate this space. This brings me onto this month’s theme, Passion and Purpose.

I never believe people when they say they have no passions or interests, nor do I believe them when they say they don’t know what they want to be. The truth is we do know, we have all experienced those moments when we are doing something and it feels like our heart is on fire, it feels right. I find my passion in writing and creating, and whenever I haven’t expressed myself through my words or through an art form I become tangled and the only way to weave myself back into alignment is by writing. It’s a burning feeling, something intangible but present. I know that experience isn’t limited to just me, its universal, and if you are yet to discover it you’ve got some digging to do.

When we are first born, we are considered as ‘miracles’ and doctors and mothers marvel at our existence, yet somewhere down the line we are no longer considered as these miraculous beings, we become merely human beings. As we grow, we are fed doubts and insecurities that are not our own; our parents, teachers and society begin projecting images of who we should and shouldn’t be upon us. All this background noise creates a clog in our heart, burying that burning feeling, that desire, that passion. It takes an uncovering and a resurrecting of one’s true self to find your passion and align your purpose, and this isn’t a one day task. Oprah describes this process as figuring out where your ‘power base’ is and working on the ‘alignment of your personality, the gifts you have to give, with the real reason why you’re here.’

I have had countless conversations with people about this, but one conversation with my cousin struck me the most. He stated that passions are irrelevant and the only thing we should focus on is getting money. He is older than I am but that doesn’t account for him having such a dated perception on the matter. These days it is very possible to make your passion provide for you. The internet, which brings you and I together, has also birthed many viral stars, launching them into financial success. Millennials have a different approach, we are aware of the different fiscal opportunities available to us and we are much more caring about our happiness. The previous generations couldn’t focus on ‘self’ they had to focus on the people and the generations to come, and healing broken environments of which they weren’t the perpetrators of. They didn’t have the space to uncover who they were and what their passions were they just had to do what works. They had to survive, whilst we are trying to live, in every variation of the word.

They, of course have lessened our fight, although there is still police brutality and systems of oppression, we now have the space and energy to focus on our goals. This does bring into play narcissism which is commonly connoted with millennials, but I don’t think there is anything narcissistic about knowing who you are. We are fortunate to exist in a semi-liberal environment where we can exercise our freedom because a certain level of anarchy is required to locate your passion. It is a beautiful struggle but it is a journey worth embarking on because when you ‘be who God meant for you to be, you can set the world on fire.’ I don’t want to say find yourself because this suggests going on a lengthy quest all around the world perhaps. So instead I will say all your jewels are already within you, and you have to take off the layers and realise that. Do the work and dig deep to find your root, your cause, your light, your purpose. Even if you walk on infertile grounds, the belief in yourself and a higher power is enough to grow a garden from concrete.

I have no idea what is about to happen next but I am not so afraid anymore. These days it’s different. I am more awake but life feels like a dream. I look out and everything is as it should be, in the same position the winds left it yesterday. It’s all beautiful, even if the trees are without leaves and haven broken branches. We crave money, love and lust but I think the ultimate prize is peace. Peace is knowing who you are and being that same person in every room. Peace is holding onto yourself even when the world around you is falling. If you acquire peace in this world, where men rise in triumph after another man’s blood is shed, then you’ve succeeded. Nobody can tell me that art and poetry doesn’t matter, for God is the greatest artist and most eloquent poet. He fills the world with riddles and metaphors that we must decode, and each morning he repaints the sky with Heavens pallet.

 

‘Cause I’m a Woman Phenomenally.

Who Runs the World? Girls.

In celebration of International Women’s Day I thought it best to round up a few of the women who inspire me daily to slay. There are so many women that I have learnt from throughout my life, both close to me and not so close, but today I am going to focus on just two: Beyoncé and Taraji P Henson.

Beyoncé and her worth ethic truly amazes me. I remember growing up and hearing she had broken hip bones, toes, fell down flights of stairs. At that young, naïve age, I did not quite understand the reasoning behind this and used to think that she was a bit crazy! The older I got and the hungrier I became, I began to understand that the more you push – the stronger you become. The more you push, the better you become! She wants to be the best in her field and so do I. She showed me that it is possible to grow and become more beautiful, more gracious, more affirming, more loving and that is why she is an inspiration to me today.

The other woman is Taraji P Henson as she has shown me that staying true to you and never giving up reaps success. She has been in the movie industry for years, but only now is getting the mainstream respect that she deserves. She is graceful yet so unapologetically herself that it makes you feel okay to be wild and free. She has taught me a lot about self-confidence and owning your truth, which are two vital things a women should never leave her house without.

-Cauline for LAMBB

50 Shades of Melanin Exhibition

LAMBB is showcasing an exhibition with 50 Shades of Melanin in March and we need you!

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Calling all Artists & Poets

Following the recent release of our documentary 50 Shades of Melanin we are looking to exhibit artwork that reflects ideas of colourism, self-work and self-love. Alongside the artwork we are going to feature poetry of similar themes.

This is open to both males and females of any ethnic minority group that feels strongly connected to the issue of colourism within the UK.

To join us fill out the form below by the 26th of February 2017.

Or drop us a line at lambbofficial@gmail.com

You are Gold not Black: Uncovering colourism within the UK

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LAMBB Presents: 50 Shades of Melanin a riveting documentary that focuses on colourism within the UK.

The Google definition of colourism is “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.” Whilst this does quite literally define the term, it doesn’t put a face to the fact. Something as personal as colourism cannot be discussed in factual terms, instead people should be allowed a safe space to offload all emotion and experiences. LAMBB sought to create that space for the likes of 30 Black British people, all with a story and a voice.

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In the documentary the young men and women discuss their own experiences with colourism, by delving into matters such as the wedge between the Black British community and Light Skinned Privellge. The participants even go onto discuss colonialism and the impact of slavery, hinting that the millennials aren’t as hopeless as you may think. During the Q&A Session at the screening of the documentary, we were asked about the end goal. At first I was a bit stumped on the question, but when a girl hugged me and said how beautiful she now felt, I knew that the end goal of 50 Shades of Melanin is to provide healing. 

-Naomi for LAMBB