Oct 31, 2013

5 Natural Hair styles for Halloween!

I've never been one to go ALL OUT for Halloween, but I have to admit, I've seen some pretty cool and intricate costumes in my days. Each year, people get more creative with how they dress-up to celebrate. I got to thinking, some people might think it's difficult to get your Halloween on when you have natural hair. But, I've found several ladies who've rocked their natural curls, coils, and locs while celebrating this ghoulish season. Take a look and be inspired:

Chescalocs Halloween Medusa-locs
Rihanna just rocked British GQ's cover as Medusa and it immediately made me think of Vlogger, Chescalocs when she created this Medusa-locs look last year. She teamed up with six other natural hair youtubers to create cool natural hair looks for Halloween. Her Medusa-locs style was a hit and a GREAT way rock locs for Halloween.

CLICK HERE for her Medusa-locs tutorial and links to the other bloggers tutorials

Toya as Janelle Monae
Of course, one of the easier natural hair looks to rock for Halloween this year is the Janelle Monae. In 2011, Toya rocked her hair in Janelle's classic Pompadour. There's 100's of tutorials on YouTube on how to get the Janelle Monae pump in the front, so click here to be inspired.

Mel B, aka Scary Spice, rocking curls in the 90's
Since the 90's are back in full effect - why don't you get four of your best friends together and be the Spice Girls! Mel B, aka Scary Spice, had the best natural hair of the 90's! Her cute, two buns in the front, fro in the back look would be super easy to recreate. Then get a animal print dress or jumpsuit, combat boots, and get your Halloween on! Check out this Scary Spice Hair Tutorial on YouTube.

Be the SUPA-FREAK!!!
For laughs and giggles, you could always go as Rick James. If your hair is long enough you can braid it up for the night or you could buy a braided wig. Hey, it's a cool protective style and you can rock it for the rest of the weekend. Through on some leather leggings, over the knee boots, and a biker jacket, and you WIN! Don't forget the fake mustache!

OMG! Please someone, anyone, be DA BRAT for Halloween! You'll be comfy and warm in those oversized boy clothes, plus you can band your hair and it will be stretched for the weekend. This has got to be the EASIEST Halloween costume for season - and it's cool!

Happy Halloween! Celebrate safely and tag #naturalinNash on Instagram so we can see you Halloween Natural Hair!

Oct 30, 2013

LINK LOVE: Worked for you, didn't work for me! via Eden Hansom

Worked for you, didn't work for me!
I was reading one of my favorite blogs, "Leave Your Feelings At the Door", by Eden Hansom and she wrote a post that I knew I had to link. She listed some natural hair techniques/products that never worked for her. I know we've all bamboozled by the thought of AWESOME hair via some product or service. For me it was:
Click below to read what Eden said didn't work for her then let us know what products other naturals swear by but NEVER worked for you.

Oct 29, 2013

HAIR LUST: A Gentleman's Locs

Happy Birthday to my Morehouse Brother, Brock Mayers, who always has the freshest locs!

Brock with his escorting his Little Lady at Homecoming. Future Spelman Woman!

Brock's style is impeccable and it definitely extends to his locs.

Brock on his wedding day.
He's a true gentleman inside and out and it shows!

A Gentleman's Locs.

HAIR LUST: Munaluchi Bride Braided Updo

Anytime is a great time for a wedding. And even though I'm nowhere near the alter, I do have an affinity for a gorgeous bride. This photo was found on the Munaluchi Bridal Magazine on Instagram page. I'm so IN LOVE with her hair and I'd rock this look outside of a wedding. Hmm . . . I might need to do some creating.

Anyway, Munaluchi Bride is not just an Instagram page, it's a digital bridal publication, website, print magazine that focuses on brides of color

Munaluchi Bride Magazine is a bi-annual print publication showcasing stylish wedding inspiration for women of color.  Issues are on-sale in February and July of each year and can be purchased on major newsstands across the US, including Target, Barnes and Nobles, select grocery and chain stores, and International airports including Laguardia, JFK, and Midway.

If you are on the way to the alter, make sure you pic up a copy of their latest edition.

Photo by @bypetronella , makeup by @juicylooks_mua , hair by @khamitkinks , styled by @savvybrydeguru , florals by @makiniregaldsgn All members of The Coterie by Munaluchi.

Oct 28, 2013

Amber's Hair Diary: Color Me Rad

Last hair diary we talked about why I dig short cuts on natural hair. This week we talk about my second reason for loving short hair, color.  A little quick history I started dying my hair in 2009 while I was in grad school in California. I wanted something to accent the graduated bob I was rocking back then so I went with a chocolate brown. 

grad school 2009

After that I knew that color would forever be a permanent part of my life. I have done it all with color and I have also seen the effects on my hair. While I love coloring my hair when its longer the maintenance and ability to keep my hair from becoming compromised is much hairder than with short hair and here's why.  

lifting to blonde 2011

With color especially if you are coloring everything 6-8 weeks as you should , the hairshaft is constantly swelling (the cuticle of the hair has to be opened to allow permanent color in and then closed or neutralized after you are done coloring). So with longer hair where your midlengths and ends are the oldest part of your hair you really have to be dedicated to keeping them strong and healthy. 

I love lightening my hair.  It gives me brighter color options and I usually perfer to lift my hair and then deposit color. My hair while thick and full is very sensitive.  It's kind of a one trick pony. I never color, and straighten its either one or the other.  The combination of the two for me is deadly and especially when my hair is longer.  

With short hair I have found that I can do more extreme color techniques lifting to the lightesteest levels of blonde and depositing color while keeping my hair in  healthy state and condition. Here's Why. 
  • I get my hair cut every 2-3 weeks, so dead or porous ends are always being taken care of.
  • For right now I only want 6 inches of hair or less. Which means I will never have older ends that require extra care. 
  • Color can be an awesome enhancement for sturctured cuts and fades. 
  • I don't straighten my hair. 
  • My color preserving shampoos conditioners and style aids go much farther because I have less hair and am less tempted to run the cheap route. 
I am by no means discouraging those with longer hair not to color either its just a trickier game and here are few more tips for those with long and short strands if you are thinking about coloring.

Feb 2013
  • A healthy head of hair is the best set of hair to color.  If you have compromised hair for any reason (heat styling, at home color etc) you need to have removed that damaged hair before coloring. 
  • Regular trims are a must
  • If you are going for more advanced colors and techniques I recommend you minimize heat styling. 
  • If you like to heat style consider going darker or simply doing a tonal change.  
  • You always have the options of demi permanents, temporary color, and henna. Beware with henna if you henna often and then go to a salon to have our hair colored it is not likely that it will be able to be done. Henna coats the hair shaft and can creat some pretty ugly results when permanent color is applied over it.     
  • When coloring and especially if you are lightening or bleaching the first time is the ONLY time you should be doing all over application. After that you should only be hitting your new growth and then toning to match colors in your midlengths and ends. 
  • Your hair is an investment. If you use box color and invest a mere $10 a box know that is how your hair will look. Not to mention metallic salts and the myriad of other things that come in box color that are horrible for the hair.  After your box color should you decided you want to go to a hairstylist you will end up paying way more to correct color than to have it done right the first time. 
  • Perserve your color with a proper home care regimen. Pantene, Herbal Essences etc are not good options. These lines are full of fillers and they rarely do what the bottle says they are meant to do. 
  • Color is also another way to accent or take focus away from face shape. 

What has your expereince been with color? Do you have any questions about color, because I am here to help! Happy Coloring!

summer 2013

Oct 25, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Outkast - "Morris Brown"

HBCU Homecoming season is in full swing! In addition to Tennessee State University celebrating this week, I am in Atlanta celebrating with my Spelman and Morehouse family while our friends at Clark Atlanta University get it in across the way.

The Legacy of Tennessee State University. 

Today we honor the history, culture and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and celebrate the impact they have on our lives and our culture.  What better way to celebrate Homecoming than with the band?  


Happy Homecoming to the students and alumni of TSU, Spelman, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta University!

Oct 22, 2013

HAIR LUST: Wild and Out

YES HUNNY!!! This stretched and curled blow-out is giving me all the LIFE! Life abundantly.

Just in time for Tennessee State University homecoming, make sure to take a look at our Hair Lust category for some style inspiration. This one will surely be a knock out!

NATURAL HAIR STRUGGLE #1: You got an elastic?


I thought it'd be cool to start posting some of the common 'Natural Hair Struggles' on the site as a source of discussion and humor. If you've been natural forany amount of time, you will be able to IDENTIFY! So, first up - the ELASTIC ponytail holder or headband, you got one? GIRL YES! 

It never fails that I have an elastic on my arm or in my purse at ANY given time! I'm sure the Goody company has made a small fortune off my purchases of headbands and ponytail holders since I've been natural. At once it will seem as though I have a plethora of elastics, then ALL OF A SUDDEN I have none! I swear little natural hair fairies come in my room and steal them.

And let's not even talk about what happens when one stretches out! LAWD! I'm constantly in-between the elastic being brain-crushingly tight or as loose as a wet noodle. Lol!

Clearly, the struggle is REAL! What some natural hair struggles you'd deal with? And hey girl, you got an elastic? 

Oct 18, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Snarky Puppy featuring Lalah Hathaway - "Something"

This week I saw a marketing campaign I could definitely get behind.  In the past, Gap has featured the children of famous musicians covering their parent's songs in commercials.  This week some genius suggested that Lalah Hathaway cover "This Christmas", originally recorded by her father Donnie Hathaway, for Gap's Christmas campaign. The only way Gap could get closer to perfection would be a recorded performance from Mr. Hathaway himself.

The Incomparable Lalah Hathaway

Why?  Because Lalah not only opened herself to her gift and talents, but she has honed them in a way that has made her voice into her instrument.  As a classically trained artist having worked with some of the most talented musicians of our time, Lalah continues to prove that quality will not settle.  She surely knows what she has and I love her for always presenting herself and her work in an authentic way.

And of course we would love to see her in an ad for Gap because her locs are fabulous!  I love her choice to play with color and styles because she is always full of classic, elegant energy.


I've heard of "The Chord", but I had my opportunity to experience it on Snarky Puppy's "Something (Family Dinner - Volume One)" featuring Lalah on vocals.  Her voice danced gracefully over the music and then it happened: Lalah Hathaway sang two notes at once.  Yes, she did.  I promise you'll get goose bumps when you hear it.

Lalah channeling her father's cool.

Make sure you let Gap know if you would love to see Lalah honor her father and his legacy.  In the meantime, enjoy some beautiful music and connect with Lalah on Twitter. She is hilarious!


Oct 17, 2013

QUESTION: Natural Hair products that smell AMAZINGLY GOOD!?

Question of the Day: Some Natural hair products work great on your hair but they smell like . . . BLAH! Some products smell great . . . but don't work really well. Sigh! So tell us, what products do you use that SMELL GREAT and work even better?

Tell us in the comment section or on our FACEBOOK page. We can't wait to use your recommendations!

Oct 15, 2013

HAIR LUST: Loc'd to perfection

OOH - LOOK! These amazing FAUX locs are a great choice for you fall protective style. You tresses can be protected for up to four months AND it's a great way to see if you like locs on yourself. So why not? Try a set of faux locs on for fall 2013!

Oct 14, 2013

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Hair Legacy

Today we are celebrating my niece's 14th birthday! During a random conversation with her Mother some time ago, I learned she has not grown to love caring for her hair. While it is something I'm sure will change soon, we realized her biggest challenge was she had arrived: it was time for her to start her own hair journey.

Miss T wearing her signature bun a few years ago.
I really wish I could remember my hair at exactly 14. I'm sure I was somewhere between a Halle Berry inspired cut and micro braids. I do remember my level of frustration growing at that point. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was beginning to feel the effects of choosing to process my hair with chemicals.  It fueled my decision to cut my hair and let it rest with braids from time to time. 

When short hair was my thing.  Before I cared about brows. And don't worry; they'll still love me.

My Sister and I (mostly my Sister) decided it was Miss T's moment to learn the basics. While I am excited that she'll get to know herself a bit more as she explores her hair, I'm also happy to share with her one of the most basic self-care rituals we can create. She's growing up!  And the best part is, Sister and I can save her from concrete styling gels and microwaved ponytails. I'll keep you posted on her progress. 

Flashback to Sister and her infamous microwaved ponytail.  She put in work for real.

Oct 11, 2013

ROOTS AND RHYTHM: Janelle Monae featuring Miguel - "PrimeTime"

When we first shared "PrimeTime" by Janelle Monae, there was no video, but of course her hair for the art work associated with the single caught our attention.  The video was released and we can really see one of the most interesting takes on the ponytail I've seen in a while.  It works well with her look which is a relaxed nod to her love of black and white.

One of my favorite things about those who share their hair journey online is the inspiration artists like Janelle Monae provide.  I've seen some beautiful takes on her signature pompadour style with no limitation by texture, length or color.

Chescalocs has already shared that she's trying to figure out how to try the style with her locs.  I'm sure women all over are in their beauty labs giving this one a try.

Ledisi's pompadour.
If you try it or see someone else who does, please share with us!  We love to see the creativity that happens when we make a style our own.  Use the #naturalinnash to share with us.

As always, we get an interesting message with a dose of style from Ms. Monae.  Let us know what you think of both!


Oct 9, 2013

We're on INSTAGRAM! Follow us!

You asked for it an it's here - the Natural in Nashville team is now on Instagram! 

Now, you can see updates from (Melissa, Ashiya, Amber, and Candice) the team daily. There will be reminders of blogposts, hair lust posts, motivational posts, and contests! So make sure to follow us on Instagram -> @NaturalinNash

Oh yeah, make sure to follow us on other social media sites:

Oct 8, 2013

HAIR LUST: Professional Yet Personal

Navigating the professional world while maintaining personal style can be tricky, but this natural lady makes it look effortless.  Love the polished look of her attire against the freedom of her hair!

HAIR LUST: Fluffy Fabulous Curls

Love this photo, love these curls, really nothing else left to say. I'm always happy to see my fellow naturalista's let their curls fly free. A little bit of product and a nice simple style - sometimes equals a good hair day. Love it!

Oct 4, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Eric Benet - "News For You"

With everyone looking forward to the the Nashville Natural Hair and Wellness Expo this weekend, one of the brightest spots is the concert featuring Elle Varner, Kindred The Family Soul and Eric Benet.

We're looking forward to each act, but as you know all know, we LOVE a man with style here at Natural in Nashville.  Eric Benet's look has evolved over the years and he's definitely getting better with time.  We see women mature with grace quite often, but when a man manages to do it on his terms, it adds that confidence that can't be reached through style alone.

Eric with one of his shorter cuts and signature curls.

I've heard that people can grow out of their locs just as they grow into them.  Anytime a person does the loc chop, it always seems to be for the better, as if it is necessary for the stage of life that they are in.  From the locs of a few years ago to the close cut he is wearing now, it seems Eric Benet emerged from each stage of his style progression more sure of himself.

Eric with locs. 

With the release of his album, The One, Eric Benet also shared a bit on his style in Music Meets Style.  As he explains why he is drawn to certain pieces, we can easily see the evolution of his style is much like our own: it is truly a reflection of our current mindset and stage of personal growth.
"After a few years, I felt more structure in my life and I think that's when I wanted to wear more tailored, structured things." - Eric Benet

Eric and his daughter India.  She's definitely got her father's lovely curls.

Check out more of Eric's thoughts in Music Meets Style and enjoy his single "News for You".

See you at the Expo!


Oct 3, 2013

HAIR LUST: Salt and Pepper Locs

I often wonder what my locs will look like when I enter the "salt and pepper" stage of life.  If they look anything like this, I'm good!  Beautiful!

Oct 2, 2013

TICKETS: Nashville Natural Health & Wellness CONCERT and EXPO

Some of you have contacted the site trying to understand the ticket situations for the Nashville Natural Health & Wellness Expo on October 5-6, 2013. Let me break it down for ya! Check it below:

Saturday's concert: Elle Varner, Eric Benet, and Kindred the Family Soul
On Saturday, October 5 - The Nashville Natural Hair & Wellness Expo begins with a soulful concert! At Tennessee State Univeristy's Gentry center, doors will open at 6pm with the concert starting at 7pm. Elle Varner, Eric Benet, and Kindred the Family Soul will rock the house as we celebrate the beginning of expo weekend!

CONCERT TICKETS can be purchase on NNHWE's eventbrite page - CLICK HERE
Tickets are $25 -$180 Prices include: VIP, Special Seating, and weekend combo packages

ON SUNDAY, October 6, it's EXPO DAY! More than 3000 guests are expected to pack the Gentry Center complex. Doors open at noon and expo activities will go until 8pm. 

What to expect:
  • Live Entertainment w/ Elle Varner, Kenny Lattimore, and Kindred the Family Soul
  • Celeb Appearances w/ Curly Nikki, Felicia Leatherwood, and more
  • A pampering section w/ fitness classes and giveaways
  • Knowledge building classes with local natural hair stylists
  • Lots of VENDORS and shopping

Oct 1, 2013

DISCUSSION: Is it Seasonal Dryness or Dandruff in your hair?

As I continue my journey through hair school I am learning about all of the misconceptions that exist within the hair world in general.  One conversation that I find myself having with many of my guests here lately is about the difference between seasonal dryness and true dandruff.  It is not hard to mistake one for the other because the symptoms are identical. 

Seasonal dryness or dry scalp can come from contact dermatitis which is when the scalp becomes sore after coming in contact with an irritant.  This irritant could be a shampoo or conditioner, any number of hair products could also come from product build up on the scalp.  Seasonal dryness can also be caused by sunburn, extreme age and can be made worse by cold or dry climates or changes in climate. Seasonal dryness is characterized by the teeny tiny small flakes that you can see more often than not. Most individuals have dry scalp and not dandruff. 

Dandruff (or Seborrhea - technical term) is actually caused by a fungus called Malassezia.  Malassezia is a naturally occurring fungus that is found in all human skin but it creates the symptoms of dandruff when it grows out of control.  There are two types of dandruff:
1.  Pityriasis capititis simplex which is classic dandruff defined by large flakes that attach to scalp and scatter loosely in hair.  You may need to see a doctor for this depending on the severity but it is usually controlled by the regular use of dandruff shampoos, conditioners, ad topical lotions.  Shea Moisture’s Black Soap Line would be an example of this.  

2.  Pityriasis steatoides is a more severe case of dandruff characterized by many greasy and waxy scales mixed with sebum ( a natural oil your scalp creates). That sebum causes the scales to adhere to the scalp like a crust.  If it is accompanied y redness and inflammation it then become seborrheic dermatitis (can also be found in the eyebrows and beard).  Persons with this version of dandruff should consult with a physician.      
With seasonal dryness you should to re-evaluate what products you are using. If you are using anti-humectants (products that keep moisture from hair and scalp) this could be part of your problem.  In addition, using heavy products filled with lots of alcohols, drying agents, and man-made chemicals could be a problem as well.  A good clarifying/ balancing shampoo is great option when dealing with seasonal dryness. Just as the season’s change you may need to change the products you use with each season.  

Aveda offers a great scalp balancing shampoo line called Scalp Benefits (this product cleans from hair follicle to scalp and removes excess sebum and is all natural) which also has an accompanying Scalp Remedy Botanical treatment which can be administered to you as a salon service. The Scalp Benefits line could be used for both seasonal dryness and Pityriasis Simplex. You many find that you only need to use this product as the seasons change or once every few months. I would recommend using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner as your staple product inserting your Scalp Benefits or balancing/clarifying shampoo as needed.  If you’ve got any questions or concerns about your scalp let’s start the conversation here! 

HAIR LUST: Uniquely Braided Updo

With the Nashville Natural Hair and Wellness Expo on Saturday and Sunday (October 5-6) I'm expecting to see Nashville SHOW OUT with unique and awesome hair styles. So if you need a bit of hair inspiration take a look at out Hair Lust page. If this picture isn't an inspiration, I don't know what is!

See you at the Nashville Natural Hair and Wellness Expo!
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