Dec 27, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Goapele - "Closer"

2013 was a year of growth and change for Natural in Nashville.  We sent Toya love to begin a new chapter in hair and life and welcomed Amber as she experienced the same.

Melissa, Ashiya, Amber and Candice.
While Candice discovered some beautiful new ways to style her hair, I embraced new color and Amber experimented with both, I think Melissa's cut and color won.  Her cut allows you to see her personality a bit more: stylish and diverse. Curled or straight, we love Melissa's new do.

FabGlance Nashville
We fully believe Coco Chanel when she said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life". Today we honor our changes and our growth with "Closer" by Goapele, who recreated her look this year.

Goapele: Short and stunning.

Releasing her locs for a short, lighter look, allows her eyes and smile to shine through even more.  As we prepare for 2014, we hope that you had the opportunity to grow and change in ways that made you better physically, mentally and spiritually.  Sometimes, something as simple as changing your hair can do all three.

Goapele before her Big Chop.

If you're making changes to your hair for 2014, let us know!  Happy New Year from all of us at Natural in Nashville! 


Dec 24, 2013

HAIR LUST: Pompadour Pretty

I had to post a quick hair lust photo. I thought this would be a great look to rock during the hectic holiday season. It's a quick, a protective style, and casually elegant -  all the elements you need to get compliments for the season. Happy Holidays!


It's that time of year again! Usually, we do 12 Days of Christmas -but WHOA, this month flew by fast, I didn't get a chance to run the campaign the way I'd like. However, we couldn't end the year without doing an awesome giveaway!

The writers and I decided, we'd share some of our favorite products that we discovered this year. As your natural hair journey changes you'll realize that you start to use different products. This gift basket is filled with more than $150 worth of beauty products - all handselected by the staff of Natural in Nashville! Scroll below to read SOME of the items featured in the basket (we are adding new things everyday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Ashiya: Paddle Brush + Nature's Blessings Pomade
The best thing I did for my hair all year long was purchase a paddle brush.  Every time I use it, I ask myself how I made it this long without it.  After moisturizing my scalp, I use the paddle brush to massage product into my scalp and to encourage hair growth by stimulating my scalp.  While the goal is to strengthen my roots and ultimately my locs, I am driven by instant gratification.  I live for those massages now.  After years of trying to remedy a dry, itchy scalp in winter, Amber's advice was perfect. After hearing a few of my favorite naturals rave about Nature's Blessings Hair Pomade, I decided to give it a try.  While it has not become my go to daily, I do use it often.  While I still need other oils to maintain moisture balance,  I appreciate the softness Nature's Blessing brings to my new growth which allows my locs to free form with a bit more ease.  

For years, I've worked on finding the right combination of shampoos for my locs.  After a little more education on hair health this year, I may not have found the ultimate, but I have found a new staple.  Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo is one of the shampoos that naturals happily share with me often, so I gave in when Walgreen's had them on sale earlier in 2013.  I gave in to ALL of them, but the Moisture Retention Shampoo was consistent despite the cleansing shampoo I used.  A quick wash and my locs are back to their best.  For now, this one is official.  

Dudu Osun Black Soap
If you've ever considered trying black soap, I've had my best experiences with Dudu Osun.  Some black soaps tend to leave my skin feeling stripped as opposed to clean, but I have not had that experience with this one. Made with natural plants and herbs, I initially intended to use it as a facial cleanser but immediately began using for total body because of that quality. Another reason I love it is because its easy to find at most local stores that carry shea butters, oils and other natural products.

From Candice: I'm putting in some homemade shea butter mix. It's the bomb. Hair. Body. All of me loves all of ingredients. Great for winter, but I made it a little lighter just in case the winner doesn't like weighty products. I love it because natural works better for me. And I made sure it smells amazing because... Why not?

Also, I'm giving awesome MetaGrip Bobby pins.  Regular pins are flimsy, and leave paint flecks in your hair. And it can take so many to hold up a style. And those little balls on the end peel off.  These pins are like super woman. Everyone should have some.

From Melissa: One n' Only Restorative Mask - I LOOOOVE this conditioner. I use it all the time when I've been neglecting my hair. It's super thick and makes your curls and coils BOUNCE back. I was introduced to this product when I got my hair done at the salon. I swear when you use it, after shampoo'ing your hair will thank you. Click here to read my full review.

Aphogee Moisturizing Shampoo - I've been using this shampoo since I had a relaxer. But don't let the 'r' word scare you. This deep moisturizing shampoo is AWESOME for nourishing you hair as you wash it. And sometimes, you really need to wash your hair and get it squeaky clean while moisturizing your situation. I hope you love it. Read my full review here.

From AmberConfixor from Aveda. It's a liquid gel that mixes well with other products and essential oils and provides strong definition to medium texture hair.

Aveda's Daily Hair Repair it acts as a heat protectant and leave in and rebuilds compromised hair.

Of course you'll get an Official Natural in Nashville t-shirt! Let the people know where you get all your info from! LOVES IT! Purchase more shirts here!

Dec 20, 2013

Follow Friday: Natural Hair Divas - 12/20

Every week, on our Instagram page, we features four Instagram natural hair beauties that you should follow. Follow these ladies for style inspiration, tips, techniques, and overal Fab-ness! 

This week we feature (clockwise l-r): 

@McKenzie_renae - Beauty blogger based in Atlant Ga -

@bighair_dontcare - Michaela's gorgeous curls should inspire any curly girl!!

@efikzara - Violinist, Vlogger, and composer, not to mention her hair is AMAZE!

@kaylaleane - budding fashionista and newly natural diva - her aqua blue high top fade made me fall in love instantly. 

Make sure to follow these ladies and Natural in Nashville - on Instagram! 

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Donny Hathaway - "This Christmas"

This time of year is special to many people for just as many reasons.  Through our individual experiences and beliefs, many of us will honor the traditions of our family while others set out to create new traditions of their own.  Regardless, this time of year is rooted in togetherness with moments of individuality through personal reflection on the last year.

Whether those thoughts bring us to a sad or happy place, we can always reach for the feelings we desire at any time and what better way than through music?  In honor of the joy we all deserve to feel everyday, we offer "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway.

Donny Hathaway

Even if you don't sing carols or have a fireplace, "This Christmas" epitomizes the feeling that makes this time of year most special: being with loved ones and renewing our Spirit.  We send blessings of happiness as families gather to celebrate the holidays and expansion of our lives.  We also send blessings to those who honor the memories of those that have transitioned from our physical presence.

Donny Hathaway and Family.
As we chose gifts, clothing, and hairstyles that reflect who we've grown to be this year and connect with our roots to celebrate, may the rhythm of "This Christmas" remind you how special every day could be.


Dec 17, 2013

HAIR LUST: Ladene Clark's glorius crown

This lovely lady's locs have graced many Pintrest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter pages. Her name is Ladene Clark. She's a knitwear designer, fashionista, and loc lioness. Her free-form locs have been a source of inspiration to ladies all over the globe. And even if you don't wear locs, her fabulous style should be an inspiration to all - step out the box, you might like it.

I had to add more pics of this FLY naturalista! Enjoy!

Discussion: What oil is best for my natural hair?

At least once a week I get questions from reader asking about oils and why their hair is so dry. When you first go natural, big chop, stop using creamy crack, etc, you have to develop an entirely new routine for your hair. Many of us were raised thinking adding grease equaled adding moisture; not quite.

OIL DOES NOT ADD MOISTURE (read this 100x)
Seriously, it doesn't. 
No, for real, it doesn't. 
Stop shaking your head, I'm telling the truth. Stop it! 

Well, what adds moisture? WATER! I know, it's blowing you mind and you are thinking, "But, what about oil? Because water makes my hair shrink?"  Here's the oil/water connection:

Water adds moisture because the water is the essence of moist-ness. Sounds weird, I know. It sounded weird as I read/typed it. OIL seals in the moisture. Adding oil to your hair AFTER you've wet it with water is the best way to retain moisture. You have to find the right oil that works for you, some may be too heavy, some may be too light. I could not recommend the perfect oil for you becuase everyone's hair is different. It's trial and error - but read this article to figure out the difference between carrier and essential oils. Back in 2011, I wrote:
" . . . dry hair needs moisture. The best moisture for hair, skin, and nails is WATER! Since hair is so porous, water tends to escape quickly over time. In order to protect strands from the evaporation, you must seal the hair shaft with a natural oil based product such as Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil....These oils have been scientifically shown to penetrate the hair shaft and help hair retain water and won’t leave your hair feeling greasy. Mineral oil and petroleum are not the best, and tend to cause more dryness overtime." - How to Keep Moisture in Natural Hair
So, your job is to try to keep as much moisture (water) in your hair (and body) as possible. Same way you put lotion or oil on your skin after bathing, so you won't have dry skin, is the same way you should treat your hair. Try to Using the LOC method, it helped me in sealing more moisture in my hair.

LOC method 
1. Liquid (leave-in conditioner)
2. Oil (whatever oil works for you) read this article on How Oils Work
3. Cream (some sort of cream hairdress or styling product). 

In addition, add more water to your diet. Drinking 8 glasses a day is ideal, more is even better. You'll see a huge difference in your hair, skin, and nails. Remember, having natural hair is about trial and error. Even when you wore a relaxer, you found products that didn't work for you. Just because it's made for natural hair, and promises a miracle, doesn't mean it will work for you.

Dec 13, 2013


"Its so much that gets between the artists and the fans.  I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message of when my album is coming out.  I just want this to come out when its ready and from me to my fans." -Beyonce
And with a quick "Surprise!" on social media, much of the world up last night taking in her new visual album, BEYONCE.  After the 100th stop of her tour she simply said, here it is.

While reminiscing about the release of "Thriller", she related us to a time when "music was an event".  In a move that will definitely shift her professional career, Beyonce recorded and released 14 songs and 17 videos available exclusively on iTunes.

With videos filmed in New York, Paris, Sydney, and Rio de Janero it looks like Beyonce was doing double duty during "The Mrs. Carter World Tour".  It makes you reconsider the popular social media share, "you have as many hours in the day as Beyonce."  It is hard to deny her work ethic.  With one of the tracks and videos titled "Blue" featuring Blue Ivy, its obvious this project is very personal.

"Yonce" from BEYONCE via
Beyhive or not, do you plan to give this project some time on your playlist? With such a unique concept and release, perhaps BEYONCE will inspire artists to reconnect with their fans despite industry standards.

For more, check out this Post by Beyoncé.

Dec 9, 2013

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Happy New Locs! Happy New Year!

As I look forward to a new year with the feeling of new locs, I can't help but think of the new maintenance plan Amber and I developed after she colored my locs.  There are a few new professional and DIY products I wanted to try and this seems to be the perfect time to work them in.

A silly moment, but a great loc shot.

The most pressing goal for next year is to offer my scalp more love and attention.  At this point in my hair journey length makes strong roots a must.  While I had a regular appointment with moisturizing my scalp, adding the paddle brush has changed my life.  It is the perfect quick massage.  I also noticed my scalp felt more relaxed in between scalp treatment and received oil better.

I first read about herbal rinses last year when Esosa Edosomwan shared her hair routine with Loc'd Life Magazine.  After a little research on making them at home and application techniques, I'm looking forward to adding them to my routine.  Using the herbal rinses should help keep my locs fresh and clean while I allow them to free form.

Rosemary: One of the herbs I plan to experiment with in herbal rinses.

The last thing I plan to do is up my scarf game.  Candice's discussion about forgetting her scarf made me realize my current choice is really not my best choice.  I have a beautiful silk scarf my Aunt gave me a few years ago that I rarely use.

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my tie in this scarf will keep..."
I'm sure she didn't intend for me to use it to protect my hair, but she would be happy to know I use it everyday as opposed to every now and then.  I just have to figure out how to tie in place.  I'll keep you posted.

Dec 6, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Sevyn Streeter - "It Won't Stop"

Today we're exploring a bit of Ms. Sevyn Streeter with her single "It Won't Stop" featuring Chris Brown. Giving us just a taste of her vocal range, Sevyn's strength is also seen in pairing with Chris Brown for the track.  While having him on the song raises her visibility, she clearly moved past the opinions other have of Brown.

The energy of the song is good for both and is expressed beautifully in the relaxed vibe of the video.  We get the beauty of TWAs and curls that are bigger than life while Sevyn falls in the middle with nicely colored bob. Whether picking her bob up into a topknot or wearing it straight, Sevyn's attempt at the classic bob is well done.

Sevyn Streeter in Vibe.
If you're in or headed to Atlanta this weekend, Sevyn Streeter's EP Release Party will be at Reign Nightclub tonight.  Check out Sevyn on YouTube as well.  She has an ongoing discussion of relationships and some pretty nice a capella covers.


Dec 5, 2013

LINK LOVE: Face Oil recipes for DRY winter skin

OH-EM-GEE! This weather is making my my skin dryer than a sheet of paper! I've always had dry skin on my body; dealt with eczema as a youngster. So, I'm well versed on slathering on the oils and moisterizers on my body. And of course, if you're BLACK, you know not to leave the house ashy! LOL!

However, my face, my precious face! I've always had normal/oil skin on my face, but now as I've gotten older, my face is DRY! Like, ashy face, dry! NAW SON! So being the 'natural-ish' girl that I am, I started combing the internet for simple, homemade, face oils to help me deal with dry skin. Because, knowledge is power, I thought you'd like to know the great article I found about making you own face oil.

Of course, you can buy designer, pre-made face oils but creating you own allows you to find a combination that will work well for you. Check out this article on Crunchy Betty where she helps us using three oil-based ingredients to make the best face oil for you dry skin:
" . . . before those of you with oily skin run away, let me tell you this: Do not be afraid of oil. It is your friend. ESPECIALLY if you wash your face with something that strips your natural oils. Replacing those oils with something nourishing should make your face very, very happy (and potentially less oily and blemishy)." - Leslie aka Crunchy Betty

Dec 3, 2013

Discussion: I Forgot My Headscarf

Are you a mobile natural who commonly forgets her headscarf or bonnet? It's a common thing for some of us, myself included. I've been traveling a lot lately. And when I'm not traveling, I often spend the night at my home away from home. Being on the go so much makes it incredibly easy to forget to bring some protection for my hair. Yes, I can go everywhere and leave all 5-7 of my scarves and bonnets at home.

It's easy to remember to pack a scarf if you are planning an overnight trip. But we all know some trips aren't planned. A late night out might mean you crash at a friend's place. A steady relationship could mean you sleep over your beau's house regularly. If you haven't done the logical thing and left a silk/satin scarf at a places where you frequently sleep over, here are a few helpful tips to protect your strands while you slumber.

Yes, this is my shirt on my pillow. It's a natural hair lifesaver!

Wearing a silky shirt? Put it over the cotton pillowcase. It's simple, right? Cotton is nice, but it doesn't play well with hair that is prone to dryness. So take that cute shirt off, and put it on or around your pillow. Cotton blends and softer fabrics make it easier to get a good night's sleep without worrying about morning hair. Softer fabric not only feels great on your skin, but it works wonders for keeping moisture in your hair at night. Get your money's worth out of that blouse. It can double as a pillowcase (or covering). It's definitely worth the trouble... unless your hair is full of oil and will permanently damage that silky shirt by morning. In that case, let the cotton soak some up of that grease. (Just kidding... kinda.)

Put your hair in a bun. Not just any bun. A high bun. Give yourself the highest bun you can manage. A bun on the top of your head, means that your ends are tucked up high. When sleeping, the top of your head is much safer than the sides or back of your head. These areas are usually exposed to much more friction while tossing and turning at night. Besides, once you've been natural for a while you quickly learn to keep a few elastic bands and bobby pins within arm's reach. It's a logical alternative if you don't have a scarf handy, and your hair is unfit to sleep on your soft, silky shirt. Or if your shirt is made out of wool.

Braid or twist your hair down. Okay. What if you didn't wear a shirt, and you don't have any elastic bands or pins? You take your two hands, and you twist or braid. You braid your hair down, and tuck those ends. But I don't want him to see me in braids! Well natural lady: 1. Him seeing you in braids is better than him seeing and hearing you try to untangle that matted mess in the morning. 2. Did you bring your water bottle and hair products? If you go out to breakfast/brunch, your hair will be off-balance ALL DAY. 3. You didn't even wear a shirt! You are well past the point of worrying about him seeing your nighttime braids!

So that's it. If you have a  problem remembering your headscarves or bonnets, we've given you three very easy options to save your hair. Being natural doesn't mean that you have to carry around a briefcase full of moisturizers and products for a 40 minute routine every night at bedtime. And you don't have to rush home at night like a curly Cinderella. But it does mean that sometimes you have to be a little creative when it comes to keeping your hair looking  in amazing condition.

Have you ever tried any of these ideas? What do you do when you forget your hair scarf?

HAIR LUST: Handsome Halo

I'm a bit envious of a couple of things in this photo: His perfect curls, his great style of dress, and the fact that he's not on my couch right now his handsome features (LOL). No really, there's a hugh movement of men growing their hair and using our natural girl techniques. The result, men rocking enviable fros with style and finesse! Does your guy have awesome curls? Don't you love it!

Dec 2, 2013

Melissa Hair: Cut, Dyed, and laid to the side!


Last month, I wrote the piece on how I was tired of my hair, but I didn't want to get it cut. I'm back to say, "I don't know what I was thinking!". I go my hair cut and my life is SO MUCH BETTER. 

But hold up, let me take you on my hair cutting adventure. It took me more than a month, a gang of phone calls, a pintrest board, and countless convos with friends to get to the final project (which I love). Let's start.

I sent my inspiration photos to my homie, and barber, Tristan at Tristan's Barber & Style. He was MORE than excited about the transition, so I knew I'd be in good hands. I sent the same photos (seen here) to my homegirl, Stix, and she was FOR IT! That was it, my shoulder length hair was about to be CHOPPED. And here's the deal, my hair was kinda in a shambles. Single strand knots, thinning edges, and supreme dryness. I was neglecting my hair when wearing  protective styles, and putting too much stress on it when it was out.

Almost there . . . but not quite!
The pic above is what I came out with. My barber was on my side, but he was a bit conservative. I wanted a TRUE undercut - sides shaved and all that. In my opinion, I had way too much hair left over. One side of me wanted to keep it that way, holding on to the Natural Hair Myth that Long HAIR is BETTER hair. Two days later, I called Tristan, and set up another appointment. I had to GO BIG, or go home. I wanted my CUT!

Did someone say "UNDERCUT"?
AWW SNAP! After I set my appointment with Tristan, I made sure to wash my hair and blow it out nicely. When I got to the shop, I sectioned my hair up to the height I wanted the undercut. Tristan took out the clippers and I watched the hair fall. 

This feeling was BETTER than the first time I 'went natural'. This haircut helped me let go of misconceived notions about my natural hair journey. I was REALLY being true to myself; my hair looks better short and I'm more confident when it's that way. I may no longer have the SUPER FRO that I once longed for, but now I had a style that would turn heads. It was time to step it up to the NEXT LEVEL!

Shrinkage is a MUTHA!
I called co-writer, stylist on the team, and rad natural hair girl Amber at the Aveda Institute Nashville. I told her that I wanted my hair to be dropped from it's natural dull-ish brown to an ULTRA rich black! She told me to send her some looks on Pintrest and she get it rocking.  

I went to the Aveda Institute and had a WONDERFUL experience. I recommend you give them a try even if it's for a wash and style. The students and instructors are very knowledgeable, the atmosphere is fun, and the prices are economical. Ask for Amber Curry when you set up your appointment.

Listen, this black (with purple undertones) is EVERYTHING!
When I tell you heads were TURNING when I left the salon, I tell no lies! If you follow our instagram and Facebook account, you've seen the photos. And yes, that's all my hair. Amber blew my hair out and flat-ironed it. I can't remember every product she used, but I have a couple of product reviews to post. Aveda has some GREAT stuff. 

Three days later, the 360 view
So thanks to Tristan at Tristan's Barbershop for the cut and Amber at Aveda for the color and style - I love my new look. It's a breath of fresh air to my life. It's taken my style to the next level and I can't wait to show you the variations of how I'll rock this look.

Are you thinking about a new style for the winter? Let us know in the comments section!

Natural in Nashville LOGO SHIRTS!


After plenty of research, taking your suggestions, and attempting to keep prices low - the Natural in Nashville logo tee is now AVAIL! 

Click the link below to visit our new t-shirt store on! Shirts are $18-$25 depending on the size. PLUS they'll be more shirts added to the store with fun Natural Hair inspired slogans. Of course we'll try to keep the prices low with a variety of sizes.

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