Feb 28, 2013

Candice's Hair: The Big Little Chop

Hello Curly 'Fro.
I have been whining for months about the fact that I needed to get my haircut. I was tired of the damage, but I didn't want to feel like all of my effort to retain length was in vain. But I finally did it. I went to Tasha Shelton and she helped my hair in a major way. I should also apologize for freaking her out and being a drama queen. I have tried to flat iron my hair before, but every attempt in the last 12 months has been unsuccessful. It takes 1.5 hours and I always end up looking like I did a blowout. Since it's been over a year from the last time my hair was successfully straightened (view my last failed attempt), I didn't realize how much my hair had grown. I have had finally made it past shoulder length hair. I didn't know how long it was until I saw this picture:
Before the fantastic evil scissors came out and cut my hair.
Check out that accidental ombre.
I took a breath and waited to lose 6 inches of hair due to damage. I didn't see the hair that was cut, so I'm going to guess that a measly 3-4 inches shorter this is what my hair looks like:

I wish you all could  have been there to run your fingers through
my hair.... sorta. It was SO SOFT.

After all of my fear, I know this is ultimately the best way to help me retain length. I am happy that my hair looks better and feels better. There are more important things in the world than long hair. I'd rather have shoulder length hair that looks fantastic than the ratty, broken, bra-strap length hair I would eventually have if I had not gotten rid of the color damaged ends. Also, I love that I have found a stylist who is great at what she does. Check out my original stylist review of Tasha Shelton here.

What a difference a professional Hair Stylist makes. The lesson: A good professional hair stylist is absolutely worth it. In fact, it's so worth it that Tasha is offering $10 off the first 5 people who mention Natural in Nashville when booking. Have you ever been (or are you) reluctant to cut your hair? Why or why not? Let's talk about in the comment section.

Feb 27, 2013

Link Love: Stylist Johnny Wright talks about Michelle Obama's cute cut


We all know that Michelle Obama is 'slick' #teamnatural right? I remember a very old post on Essence of her talking about how she and the girls were chemical free but she does get her hair pressed and wears hair pieces. 

Well, Natasha, over at theybf.com got an exclusive interview with Mrs. O's personal hairstylist, Johnny Wright! Johnny get all up in them edges and gives us some dish about Mrs. O's trademark style, his contribution to Black History, and those BANGS!

And when it came to those bangs, he said,
"It was a collaborative effort. The First Lady said she wanted to do something different. But we didn't think it would make that big of an impression! Some people loved it and some people hated it and that's what's great about it." (source)

Feb 26, 2013

CELEB STYLE: Solange at the Vanity Fair Oscar After-Party

Dang! Solo did again! Solange showed up at the annual Vanity Fair Oscar after-party rocking this GORGEOUS yellow Emilio Pucci beaded halter-style gown. She protected her natural coils with the cute curly wig - I'm not mad about it.  Solange consistently sports her personal style whether she's in the DJ booth or on the Red Carpet. Loves it!

Wanna purchase a curly human hair wig like Solange? Check out www.rpgshow.com - it's a favorite of natural hair YouTubers! 

Feb 22, 2013

Roots 'n Rhythm- "Fly Away" Lenny Kravitz

*blink* *blink* *blink*  I'm sorry. Lenny Kravitz is blowing kisses at the screen and I got lost.

"Fly Away" was the first video that showed Lenny Kravitz without his once signature long locs.

According to his VH1 Behind the Music special, he showed up to ex-wife Lisa Bonet's home one day and she encouraged him to cut off his locs.  Kravitz said that hair holds a lot of energy and Bonet said that it was simply just time so she cut them off.

Great job Lisa!  Anyway, since then Lenny hasn't gone back.  He had a press and curl stint for a short period of time and now he rocks a low fade.

Long locs, short fade, Lenny can do whatever he pleases and still look good. I think there's evidence of that in the above picture where he is rocking thigh high wedge heeled boots.  I wonder if he'd be interested in getting a matching pair for me.  I digress.

Check out Lenny Kravitz's first loc-less video, "Fly Away".

Feb 21, 2013

DISCUSSION: What's our obsession with SMOOTH edges?

Photo source
As I sit at my desk I'm looking at several samples that companies have sent for the NIN team for review. There are two products that promise "smooth edges" no matter what your natural texture. I sit back and think, what's the natural hair movement's obsession with smooth edges?

I have to admit, I was addicted to the smooth edge phenomenon when I first natural.  So much so, that I would to put relaxer on my edges. I know! I know!! Only, my close friends knew about my secret relaxer addiction. After awhile, I realized that my hair was growing nicely (even my edges) and I no longer needed to relax them. I was finally ALL THE WAY natural. Oh yeah, I found one of those products (ORS Olive Oil Edge Control) that laid down my edges without the help of my chemical advocate.

But why, why was I so addicted to smooth edges?! I know I'm not the only one. Do a quick search on YouTube and there are more than 900 videos on the topic - 900!! No matter what the texture, everyone is obsessed with laying down those edges. I Have some guesses:

  • Maybe we are still addicted to how our relaxed hair used to look. 
  • Some think that smooth edges still gives us that 'good hair' notion of life. I know we like to act like to we are so far removed from the 'good hair' thoughts and theories but I think the eternal quest for smooth edges keeps us close to the thought. 
  • The notion that your hair can still be conquered is seen when other people can congratulate you on your smooth edge game. 
  • Smooth edges also let's others know that your 'natural' is kept up, not unkempt.

Now,  I know I'm not about to walk around with a less than stellar edge game, but sometimes I let my hair do it's thing to give my edges a rest. We know that pulling edges to tight can cause some traction alopecia or breakage. In addition, using various gels and edge definers can dry your hair out. So, what's the deal - if we know we can cause damage, why are we still obsessed with smooth edges?

Let's discuss in the comments section.

Feb 20, 2013

Hair Lust: Silver Curls

About once a month I have a conversation with an older lady who's contemplating leaving the relaxer life. Just like I encorage my peers, I encourage them, giving them facts about the process and the many enjoyable moment being natural will give you. As always, I try direct ladies to find images that inspire them to stay strong. That's why I was happy to find model, Teruko Burrell. This awesome model has been rocking her natural grey hair for years and loving the life. If this doesn't inspire the 40+ ladies to rck thier naturl curls, I don't know what will! She's gorgeous!

EVENT: Music City Naturals Annual Hair Event, May 11, 2013

You've been asking for it and it's finally here!! Nashville's first natural hair event!!!

Natural in Nashville  has teamed up with Nash Naturals to present the Music City Naturals Annual Hair Event! We are so happy to partner with this wonderful organization of women. Nash Naturals started as a Facebook discussion group and has grown to a wonderful community of ladies who share their natural journey. And you already know about Natural in Nashville, as we bring you daily info on the natural hair lifestyle, product reviews, and our stories.

The event will take place on Saturday, May 11, from 2p-6p at the historic Scaritt-Bennett center. Local/National Vendors, panel discussion, product demonstrations, and info sharing will happen all day with music and refreshments. This is a great time to come and learn about new products and services available in Middle Tennessee. 

Buy your tickets NOW as tickets are sure to sell out! Tickets are only $10 and VENDOR booths are still available.

For tickets, vendor booths, advertisements, or general info, please contact info@nashnaturals.com.

Feb 18, 2013

Our New LOGO!

Look at her, she's so pretty! My graphic designer, the team, and I have discussed and slaved over the new logo for about 3 months. It was important for me to have an image that represented the community, the readers, and Nashville. This image will be used to promote our events, products (shirts, pins, stickers) and soon-to-come literature.

We debuted the new look on the Facebook Fan Page <=== make sue to join us!

There's big things happening for the site and I'm happy you readers are along for the ride.

Make sure to visit Becky Russell, owner of BeXclusives graphic design - www.bexclusives.com - she will hook you up with something custom!

Melissa's Hair Diary: Keeping it straight

First up, please forgive me for not posting a hair diary in about 100 years! I've had a health issue that's taken alot of my time (click here for details). But, I had to give you an update on my current hair-care routine - I've been rocking the straight look. It's hard rocking straight hair when people know you as a natural hair girl, people tend to give me that "You got a perm?" look. then I have to tell everyone it's just flat-ironed. It's so funny how many people are invested in MY hair style - lol!

After the holidays, I removed my braided updo. Can you believe, removing that style took more than 5 hours! That intrcate design was such a hastle, even though it looked amazing. After the removal, I wanted to do something different and let my hair rest - so I decided to straighten it.

Straight out the shower curls
You know I'm a fan of protective styles - enough blogs have told you that protective styling promotes growth. Oh boy, I had so much growth after my 6 weeks in braids. I washed and deep conditioned my hair using Design Essentials 6-in-1 Reconstructive Conditioner, which I purchased from Ebay. The directions say to leave the conditioner in for 15 minutes using the hooded dryer to process, but I was sleepy so I left it in for 24 hours, LOL. 


 The next morning I rinsed and dried my hair with the hand dryer, getting it has straight as possible before using the my ceramic flat iron. That way, I wouldn't have to use such a high heat setting to get my hair straight. In addition I used two heat protection products: During blow-drying, I used NuNaat Karité Thermo Active Anti-Frizz and during flat-ironing I used Cantu Shea Butter Flat Iron Spray. If you choose to flat iron your hair, YOU must take every chance you can to make sure you protect your strands. Remember, using heat on your hair can damage your curls and/or loosen your curl pattern. So, step away from the heat tools, if you are scared of damaging your hair.

Flat Ironed
So, I finished the job and I've been rocking this sleek bob for about two weeks. I re-iron my hair about once a week. I use plastic rollers to maintain body. truthfully  I'm loving my straight look. In addition I don't have to worry about single-strand knots because my hair is so straight. But each time I sweep across my strands with the flat iron, I worry if I'll be stuck with those straight heat-damaged pieces. Sigh! The chronicles of the natural hair life.

What's you latest look? Let us know in the comments section.

Ashiya's Hair Diary : Break Up to Make Up

African Healing Oyl from Black Earth Products by Taliah Waajid
One of my absolute favorite products is the African Healing Oyl from the Black Earth Products line by Taliah Waajid.  After I finished the last bottle, I decided to explore some other oils on the market.  Every time I return to the African Healing Oyl, I ask myself why I left.  While I found some oils my hair appreciated, none of them impressed me like Taliah Waajid.  My hair LOVES this oil and I think I know why. Over the next month, I will be doing a beauty detox that will change my hair routine.  My goal is to use the most natural, holistic products available on a consistent basis.  As I rebuild my foundation for wellness and beauty, I plan to make many of my own oils and butters.  While deciding what will work best for me, I looked at what works already.

I would love to keep the African Healing Oyl in my regimen but if it has to go, I think I'll keep the Kukui Nut Oil.  It is one of the ingredients listed that I have not found in other oils I've used and may be why this oil works so well for my hair.  I also looked at the product description on the bottle and realized I had experienced each one: 

Eliminates Dryness - While everyday use is enough to elimate dryness for me, I also love to use it for hot oil treatments.  I always experience a noticeable difference in the look of my hair and tend to use less oil between shampoos.

A Kukui Nut Lei I got on vacation in Hawai'i.
Coats Hair, Adds Sheen - I think this is the biggest benefit for me.  Some products add sheen, but it feels superficial.  The African Healing Oyl is slightly thicker than most oils, which may be why it adds a lasting sheen.

Softens and Moisturizes - I usually use this oil for a hot oil treatment if I plan to loc my hair afterwards.  It does soften my hair, making it easier to handle during the process.

Total Hair + Body Oil - Although I use it for my hair most often, I have used the Healing Oyl as a total body oil in the past.  I find it more useful during the winter because I prefer a lighter oil during warmer months.

Stay connected as I explore holistic DIY tips and product for hair and body.  I would love to hear what works for you!

For more on clean eating and creating holistic self-care plan during my detox, connect with me here.

Feb 13, 2013

MODEL BEHAVIOR: Adaora Akubilo in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2013

Go #TEAMNATURAL! Let's give a good hand-clap for Nigerian born model, Adaora Akubilo, graces the pages of Sports Illustrated's 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Edition. This is the second time the 5'11" model is featured in the magazine (click here for her 2012 shoot).

Adaora has also done campaigns with Garnier, Abercrombie & Fitch, JC Penney and Macy’s. Adaora holds B.A. in English Language and is signed on New York Model Management.

The natural haired beauty was the focus of the issue's 'All Around the World' campaign. Her lay-out was shot in Namibia by photographer Kayt Jones.Adaora is making natural hair look sexy!! LOVES IT!

 Click here for the full editorial.

Feb 12, 2013

Candice's Hair: I Love Curls, Curls, Curls, Curls!

...Curls I do adore! Yes. I know I've expressed my dislike for curls in other blogs. But that's because I haven't full grown out of the tomboy that I was as an adolescent. I don't think I ever will. In case you can't tell by the last Style Post (or the title of this post), I've been all into curls lately.

I was super excited when I found curls that did not look like they came with a rainbow lollipop. So for almost 3 straight weeks I have rocked curls. Aside from the twisted curls in the style post, I also revisited bantu knots. I even rocked my knots out in public for a couple of days. I would have never known that I would be brave enough to walk around with my hair looking like this.

Just like when I did twisted curls, I modified these Bantu knots. They were tight and tiny and they resulted in a tight and tiny curly fro. I stretched it by putting it in a bun. Even though I had a few sweaty workouts they lasted a week.
Pre-stretch. Tiny-knots = tiny curls.

Post stretch, plus a few workouts.

I thoroughly enjoyed my curls because they are workout-proof. Although they take longer to create, once my hair is styled, I can workout an entire week and I can still manage my hair until the next wash day. I'm trying to be healthier these days so that I can enjoy this summer with less clothes and more hair. And speaking of more hair... I'm happy with the growth that I've seen lately. It's grown enough that I'm comfortable with taking the next step and cutting this inch or two off. After all, last month I said I would be brave and do it within the next couple of months. I'm about to schedule an appointment for next week. And no, I absolutely will not view it as a step backwards from my length goal. I'm totally excited to cut my hair! But just in case... does anyone have a box of tissue I can use?

Finally, I've been enjoying my new length and I found a better way to sleep on my hair. After 3 weeks of curls I did a blowout. It's so much easier to sleep on big hair if you don't mind a little pigtail action. It took about 10 minutes to moisturize, detangle, and braid my hair for the past couple nights.

Finally, I am going to mention that I wore a top knot (or love knot) on my huge head. I am so brave with this head of mine nowadays. These varied styles are a good thing because something will have to quell my urge to color again once my hair is cut and has no color at all. I'm everywhere with styling; this cut is going to be a piece of cake! But feel free to send me teddy bears and pistachios and honeysuckle scented things. Because they probably won't  be needed, but... just in case.

Top knot with a twist in the back. 

Remind me again why I shouldn't worry about scissors. Tell me your positive (or... less than positive) small chop stories in the comments.

Feb 11, 2013

CELEB STYLE: Natural hair celebs at the Grammy's

Usually these awards shows are a big ol snoozefest - but the 2013 Grammy's were actually kinda good this year. You can go to your favorite celeb site (ours is the theYBF.com) to look up performances. But, you know we are all about the hair. Take a look at a couple of natural(ish) celebs on the red carpet. Who's your fave?


Alicia Keys arrived in an Alaia snakeskin dress and her curly bob smoothed into a sleek pompadour. I'm not mad at this whole look! Very sophisticated!


The VERY PREGNANT Amber Rose has returned to her signature blond short cut. Oh yeah, even Wiz is starting to grow some little baby locs of his own. No matter what people say, I like this couple. 


I'm not feeling Esperanza's water color influenced outfit, but her hair always wins. Wow, it's growing so quickly!! She's my blow-out sister.


NIN's favorite natural girl and America's Covergirl rocked this couture suit which she designed with friend. She never fails with her signature style - I'm loving the little hat.


Usually I love Solange's wigs - she's great at changing up her looks for special events. But this look, hmmm, not my favorite. However, her outfit, LOVES IT - the florescent shoes are everything.


Ok ELLE, I see you! The curly girl got sleek and straight by adding clip-in extensions.The dress is nice too!

Feb 8, 2013

Roots 'n Rhythm: Anthony David's "Can't Look Down"

This week's Roots 'n Rhythm features not only a natural beauty but a great soul singer who is performing in Nashville this weekend! Soul singer Anthony David is at  Jazz & Jokes tomorrow night for two shows, 7:30 PM and 10 PM.  If you haven't seen this Grammy nominated singer live, you definitely don't want to miss him.

David's latest video for his single "Can't Look Down" features not just any natural hair beauty. The gorgeously locked lady you see in the video is Chef Ahki.  According to her Facebook page, Chef Ahki is a "An Indigenous/Native healer, Naturopathic Scientist and Holistic Theologist, Celebrity Chef, Non-Hybrid Foodist and Professional Blogger."  Not only may she have your dream hairstyle but she may have your dream job too: she's Lenny Kravitz's personal chef. 

Gorgeous!  Check out Anthony David's new video for "Can't Look Down" featuring Chef Ahki.  If you want to see him live in Nashville this weekend, click here.

Feb 1, 2013

Roots 'n Rhythm: It's Rick James' Birthday!

Rick James stayed fly. Get into those boots!
I know, I know. You are thinking what on earth does Rick James have to do with natural hair beauty?  Well I can't think of another man that put men rocking braids on the map quite like Rick James did back in the 70's and 80's. In my opinion, no man has so successfully pulled this off since.  I give you Exhibit A.

Axl Rose
Who agreed to do this for Axl Rose? I want names.

Today let's celebrate the man responsible for hits like "Mary Jane". "Cold Blooded", "Fire & Desire" and of course the song also responsible for MC Hammer's biggest hit,  "Super Freak".  We miss you Rick James.

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