Articles By Kristian Richards

Anyone who has a dry scalp can agree that it is really hard to keep your hands out of your head. Scratching becomes a way of life and soon you find yourself frustrated and sometimes a little embarrassed. You know that you wash and take immaculate care of your curls, so what’s up with the itching?

 

A flaky, itchy scalp can be the result of a few different things. It may be due to products that cause buildup or it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. It could be a result of an exposed scalp from wearing braids or cornrows. It could even be a consequence of the changes in weather or excessive sweating. But, before you give up hope of an itch-free life, check out these tips to help you get this hairy situation under control.



Carolina Curlies Pageant
It's really nice to see natural hair men and women in the media who proudly showing off what makes them unique and loveably curly. For so long it was clear that having either naturally curly, coily, or big hair was not in vogue. There were ads that dissed our natural texture and even issues with travelers' afros being inspected at the airport. The good news is that those days are closer to being over as we move toward a new perspective and understanding of how multifaceted beauty really is.

In an effort to progress toward this future of curly acceptance, Columbia, South Carolina will be hosting Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina with a sponsorship from the Atlanta-based hair care company, Koils by Nature. Taking place Apr. 12, 2014, the historical hair competition is the first of its kind for this region and will open the doors for Columbia’s natural hair community to showcase the beauty of natural hair in another light -- pageant light.

Co-founders Jessica Boyd and Maureen Ochola decided that not only will this pageant assist in fundraising for their shop Quench Natural Beauty Boutique (which will be Columbia’s first specialty beauty supply store -- cool!) but it will also empower women who dare to live authentically despite the social implications. This competition follows in the steps of other trends that are widening the definition of beauty. Considering the history of natural hair as it relates to beauty, a competition that celebrates and awards the beauty of natural hair is truly significant.

Times have changed quite a bit and with the inclusion of textured hair models in fashion shows, television programs, billboard ads, and even in the canon as our new style icons, it is clear that there is nowhere to go but up for our community. Little hubs that edify and encourage our personal decision to keep it curly are popping up all around the globe. Between various artwork, community discussions, online articles, and curl-friendly products, we know that the natural hair age has dawned and will live another day because of our persistence to be ourselves and not conform to the status quo. With the support from events like Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina, we are redefining beauty for ourselves.


Previously we discussed foods that can improve your hair health like avocados, nuts, leafy greens, and other foods that are high in nutritional content. But what about foods that will harm your hair's health?

 


Did you see the Today Show's report on the "no-poo" method?

If you're a practicing no-poo washer - as many curlies are - then the segment might have gotten your blood boiling.

Eyebrows were raised and dismissive comments made at the notion of skipping shampooing your hair. Not to mention the questions on the lips of all of the reporters. Doesn’t hair start to smell? How do you get your hair clean? What do you do instead of using, you know, shampoo or some other type of soapy, cleansing agent?

Unfortunately the woman who was the focus of the debate wasn't present to defend her position, Jacquelyn Byers, a blogger who shared that she has been using the no-poo method for five years without shampoo.

Her choice to get rid of shampoo came after years of buying expensive organic and natural products. Similar to others who swear by the method, she began by using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, ingredients typically used for deep cleansing or removing excessive build-up from your hair. Unlike when you’re removing build-up and you combine the ingredients then soak your hair, the no-poo method involves rinsing your hair first with apple cider vinegar and then again with baking soda. The combination aids in maintaining the natural balance of your hair by using an acid followed by a base which doesn’t completely strip your hair of its oils like most shampoos do.

For most of us curlies, there’s no shortage of products when it comes to managing our hair.

We primp and pamper, tend and , at times, attempt to tame -- the list goes on. Getting a hair regimen together is a top priority that typically involves a series of incredibly intentional steps like washing, conditioning, detangling, steaming, twisting, braiding, styling and so on. For many of us, it’s an endeavor that requires a clear plan, an abundance of patience and probably a sizeable chunk of time. Like a whole weekend afternoon. But, imagine if you could skip a whole step...kinda. Would you do away with shampoo altogether if it meant your hair might be softer, fuller and healthier?

Recently, there was a segment on the Today Show that focused on one woman's results with the “no-poo” method.

Jacquelyn Byers was a hot topic with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and although they shared some information from her original blog post, she wasn’t there in person to shed some light on her no-poo experience as a veteran of the method for five years.

 

But, Byers was unsatisfied with the results and decided to take it one step further: water only. And she highly recommends it. Although she claims that there are no smells, no dirt or grime and overall improvements in hair health, the reactions from the co-hosts were less than savory.  In fact, before she even got a chance to talk, they were calling the story “nauseating.” And in classic snowball effect, the question of her entire sanitation in general. With tones of disgust, they wondered if she even washed her body. Overreact, much?

But, the two co-hosts were quickly joined by a host of fellow skeptics who commented on various message boards and gave their two cents on what they found to be gross and archaic behavior. The general public response was pretty one-sided. Byers, though, swears by her twice a week rinse and even admits that she gets complimented on how soft and beautiful her hair is by strangers.

What do you think? Would you give the no-poo method a try?


We do a lot to take care of our hair.

Just take a look in your bathroom at all the various products you’ve invested in to keep your curls in pristine condition. But, all those things work from the outside in -- not the other way around.

Many people forget that you can affect the health of your hair by intentionally improving your eating and intake habits. Learn the ways you can fortify your coils from the inside out to gain moisture, retain length and boost your locks' natural luster. Luckily, your taste buds will enjoy it too.


If you’re on the hunt for new ‘dos, new hair inspirations or new tunes, Algebra Blessett might be the woman you have been looking for to get your new year in gear on multiple fronts.

Plus, she has the style, talent and natural hair to prove it. You might remember her 2008 debut album, Purpose, which not only made it onto the Billboard charts but reached the Top 100 and stayed there for about 14 weeks.

In 2012, she was featured on the empowering, laid back track “Black Gold” with award-winning jazz vocalist and instrumentalist, and fellow natural girl Esperanza Spalding. These days the Neo-soul singer, songwriter and guitarist is getting ready to release her sophomore album, Recovery, at the end of January.

For people who have been following her career from background vocalist for R&B heavyweights like Monica and Bilal to frontwoman of her own solo gig, they’ve been able to witness the range of looks and the transition from her super short ‘dos to her curly, kinky twist-outs.

A quick glance at her Instagram shows an array of looks from the sleek straightened look to a cute headwrap situation, but she is a natural girl through and through. Variety is the name of the game when it comes to her style. Sometimes her natural hair is braided or cornrowed, other times it’s cutely tucked away under a hat or scarf.

In the video for “Nobody But You,” the lead single from Recovery, Algebra dons a collection of different looks - long, sleek ponytails, pomp-like top buns, a cute bob, a headwrap and a simple skullcap.

If you aren’t already familiar with this woman or don’t yet consider yourself a fan, it might be time to reconsider. Her natural talent and natural hair make her an artist that curly girls can really get behind.


We curly, natural girls really love to see one of our own excel onstage, on the big screen, strutting down the catwalk or otherwise making major waves in other industries.

Yes, it’s nice when we visit our tried-and-true beauty websites and can bask in the glory of our likenesses. Our favorite stars and celebrities inspire us and remind us of our own greatness, creativity and coily cuteness.

So imagine our glee when we saw Erykah Badu’s most recent new look - a sleek, towering flat top no doubt influenced by the classic 1990’s film House Party. She had her natural, coily hair cut into a daring new ‘do that really expresses the versatility of her personal style and her boldness as an artist. Her surprise new look was revealed last week on Twitter where she debuted the front and back of her flat top accompanied by a few simple words and a confident, ‘who gon’ check me, boo?’ expression full to the brim of pure audacity. We got a full look of the 'do on her Facebook page with the caption "Still high and faded..."

The “analog girl in a digital world” has been rocking the natural look for as long as we’ve known known her to be in the spotlight. We’ve loved her headwraps, natural top buns, bodacious ‘fros, sleek low cuts and everything in-between.

Her apparent fearlessness hasn’t just won her throngs of adoring fans and loyal followers, it also helped her to snag a spot in the latest Givenchy ad for the Spring 2014 collection.

The sophisticated, black-and-white image shows her draped in a couture piece sporting an elegant TWA (teeny weeny afro). Both images - the Twitter flat top reveal and the polished Givenchy look - display her apparent adaptability and range in appearance that encourages other curly girls to embrace their natural hair.

Which look do you prefer?
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ERYKAH BADU'S FACEBOOK & TWITTER

As natural girls, we are prone to being DIY queens with our need for products and styles that are intentionally created with our hair’s best interest in mind. 

If you’ve ever tried your own do-it-yourself dye job at home you know that you’re playing a game of risk with very sensitive chemicals that could really do a number on your hair, if you aren’t careful during the process.

Whether you are attempting to lighten your tips, boosts your highlights or darken your strands - there are times when things can go completely haywire.

Here are some tips for surviving your DIY disasters.


PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEY

Over here we like to think we’re all works of art with our unique coils and kinks bouncing off our heads and rarely need anyone else to validate our inarguable fabulousness, right? Right!

Yet as funky and fierce as us curly girls can naturally be, some of us still feel like it’s nice to receive a bit of the princess treatment every once in a while, don’t we? Long, bone-straight hair is lovely too, no doubt, but sometimes we’ve all just seen enough of the typical starlet look to really be moved by it. That's why this princess holds a special in the hearts of our curly community.

As part of Disney’s “Where Your Destiny Awaits” themed photos, loyal fans of Disney’s wildly-curly Pixar character will get a chance to see a real-life version of the boisterous girl from the acclaimed animated film Brave.

Bold and gutsy curlies of all hair types can all come together to celebrate another fearless girl with hair that really makes waves thanks to famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Leibovitz is known best for her poignant knack for capturing stunning celebrity photos and she does it once again with her ethereal portrayal of fiery-maned actress Jessica Chastain as Merida for Disney’s advertising campaign. The Oscar-nominated actress dons a majestic dress and wields a powerful bow and arrow as her luscious, red locks assist her in effortlessly channeling the Scottish Princess that won over everyone’s heart back in 2012. Jessica embodies Merida’s strength and courage with her nearly-identical unruly cascade of crimson curls as she sits mounted on a regal steed.

As the latest Hollywood it-girl to be honored by receiving the Disney princess treatment, she joins the ranks of established stars and common favorites including Queen Latifah who was photographed as Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella and Beyonce as Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

Yet as stunning as Jessica Chastain looks playing the part of Merida, we can't help but be partial to another Jessica who pulled off the part with aplomb: Jess from Jessicurl! Jess dressed up as Merida for the premiere of Brave after so many curly haired community members had told her her she looked just like Merida. Now you tell us...

Who wore it best?

PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRENCE MCNALLY

 



Total 3 results.

TWA: The 'It' Hairstyle of 2014?

Vloggers are undergoing second chops and Lupita's red carpet is pretty much sealing the deal.
April 24, 2014 Read more »

Straight Hair: Stylish or Insecure?

"I no longer wear my hair straight and no longer care if others can see my growth and length."
April 24, 2014 Read more »

10 Hair Milks and Butters for Every Curly Girl

Hair milks are like lotions for your hair; they provide the daily moisture that your curls need.
April 24, 2014 Read more »