Source: Essence Magazine Online: http://photos.essence.com/galleries/hair_gallery__updos
Black & White skirt- H&M
Black vest top- Zara
Black circle earrings- New Look
I published a post yesterday about how Chrisette Michele’s Tiny Weeny Afro was a part inspiration to my own decision to cut off my hair, only to discover she cut that off as well! lol I am happy for her and completely understand her sentiment for doing so, she has a lot of style and influence power and she is a certainly a trend setter in more ways than one.
As many of you know by now, Beyonce’s sister Solange knows also shaved off her hair last year to send a positive message to African American women. But as sang by India Arie and reiterated in my post, I am not my hair, so whether we wear relaxer, weave, dreads, or natural hair. We do not have to live under the expectations of others, and you should stick to what feels good for YOU.
This was my second time to cut my hair, and is Chrisette’s third time, she stated that she made decision in order to free herself and encourage other women who may feel confined by their hair. She revealed in an interview published my examiner.com that she was tired of black sisters feeling subject to having their hair pressed, straightened and damaged with relaxers and heat.
She further added “So I wanted to make short and nappy hair fashionable, and let the industry know that there is nothing wrong with the texture that we have been born with. So I plan to grow it out to the big beautiful nappy hair that I have.”
So inspired by her new look, she wrote a poem capturing the process. She revealed to Essence.com, “It’s just what I was thinking when about when I cut my hair. I’m an artist, so I have a craving to express myself all the time. Poetry is like walking to me.”
For Freedom Not For Beauty
There’s a beauty that lives so deep inside each of us.
There’s a fickle eye that doesn’t believe anything it sees.
There’s a benefit in love that erases all doubt and believes good intentions.
There’s an ear that isn’t free enough to give the honest man the
benefit of the doubt cluttered by lies not-mentioned.
Since when is creativity subject to criticism?
When is honesty subject to a jury of fears who wouldn’t believe rain
if it fell, or sun if it shined?
Sometimes a flower grows when no ones watching.
Sometimes a bird sings and no one hears.
There’s a meadow no one runs on and a cloud no one names.
And what would the sky be with out the sun?
What would the earth be with out its rose?
They’d still be the sky and the Earth.
So perhaps there is a peace in becoming.
Perhaps the meaning is in the experience and not the sight.
Maybe a flower grows because it suffocates under ground.
Whether or not she is always noticed, beauty must become.
She doesn’t look for an eye.
She doesn’t listen for a voice.
She just becomes.
I really like Katy B’s album ‘On a Mission‘, and I always get quite excited to see UK artists doing well. Her first single ‘Katy on a mission’ reached No.5 in the UK charts and No.1 in the UK indie chart. I thought her album was a cool, calm and a funk filled collection of dubstep, R&B, funky house, UK garage and electro.
Although I could quite comfortably listen to Katy B’s music, I haven’t really had the opportunity to see her on any interviews on the radio or TV (should probably try and follow her on Twitter). However, last week I came across this article on the Guardian, where she shared 5 things she knows about style.
On first glance, Katy B doesn’t strike me as someone who tries to make an obvious fashion statement, and from what I can remember she is wearing a plain white vest on her album cover. However, I really enjoyed reading her 5 things she knows about style and Iagree with every single on of them!
I went through lots of embarrassing phases when I was younger. I once worked at the Nike shop in Brixton and I’d team up trainers with puffa jackets – I had a gold one I’d wear all the time.”
I love wearing skinny jeans, a fitted white vest top and a pair of white Vans trainers. I’ll wear a box-fresh pair when I want to look slick. For a cooler look, I’ll wear a battered pair.”
There are certain things I can’t carry off, so I avoid them. Big earrings aren’t really for me, although I like them on other people. I’m quite shy so I don’t wear clothes or accessories that are too loud.”
I’ll wear a dress and heels for special occasions and I love it – but it’s all about the fit. It makes your figure look better, and that’s something I’ve only learned in recent years.”
Nicholas Kirkwood Spring/Summer collection 2011:
My favorite from the collection: Product No: 11S0201A0
In Vogue Italia:
“‘Why do you always wear black?”
“Because it is the only color that protects me: if I wore a different one, someone might see me’”
Wearing existentialist black, Juliette Greco hung around Saint-Germain-des-Prés, she waited for dawn along the Seine sporting black, in black she would talk with Prévert and Sartre, Queneau and Cocteau. The intimate mood has made a comeback, a kind of Gothic attitude, featuring ghosts of raven-black elegance: seducing in their simplicity and sexiness, or icily over-textured.
I couldn’t help but be amused when my mum said “I think you going through a mid-life crisis”, as tempted as I was to ask the rhetorical “mum, are you being serious?” I had to shift the paradigm and see things in her perspective…I had just called to tell her to tell her that I had gone to the salon and cut of all my hair and died it red…only a few months after I got a tattoo. Lol Nevertheless, I was amused when I think how some people can mourn the loss of hair that isn’t even theirs! Actually, upon reflection it’s quite a sweet sentiment.
I had already cut my hair off two years ago; if you had seen the state of it, you would have concurred that my poor strands were literally comatose. The lack of life in my hair at the time was down to so many things from late nights, stress, bad diet, alcohol (don’t raise your eyebrow, I was a student!), lack of hair care education, and a grim past of excessive heat and dying, which was clearly evident. It was around April, when I got the Nicky Clarke clipper set and did a one over…all over, and although not professionally cut I recall a sense of relief. My hair was about shoulder length, so when I looked down and saw all the hair clumps on the floor, I felt that not only had I got rid of my dead ends, but I had got rid of dead ends in my life generally. I was ready for a fresh start, and I am sure that many can identify that there is a lot of symbolism tied up in this hair of ours.
Fast forward up to six months ago (January 2011)…
Although the year started off quite turbulent, respectively, I was in a good place; good job, good health, good relationship, good friends…all around good. My natural hair if pressed was almost back down to my shoulders again, and as much as I loved it…damn it was hard to maintain! Especially, when you are working in a somewhat corporate environment, at times I just want to go to work without black power stamped all over my head. So I relaxed it…
It reminds me of a part in Chris Rocks “Good Hair” when Raven says, when you relax your hair, your ‘relaxing the people around you, so that they do not feel intimidated…everyone is RELAXED’.
At the time when I was contemplating relaxing my hair thought…
1) It seemed like a good idea lol
2) I felt restricted in terms of hair styles especially ones suitable for the workplace
3) I was seriously lacking in natural hair care education
4) I thought that since my hair had re-grown it would be stronger than before
Anyway, it is now June and my hair was breaking again, it was turning a dusty brown colour, which even though I was complimented on a few times, was due to the hair relaxer stripping my natural 1B to a number 4 shade of brown. Furthermore, the softness of my hair meant that without my ceramic straighter and tongs my hair had no volume, and from about mid-April I could see where this was going.
Having started my blog in February this year, blogging opened my eyes to several other blogs and afro care sites and experts, which really made me think on several occasions “damn, I wish I had done that…I wish I had tried that when I had natural hair”. I know I should not have given up so easy, but that’s life, you live, you learn, you live again.
I knew the big hair chop was bound to make a comeback, and it was only a matter of time…
So Friday 25th of June, I went to YANA Hair Sanctuary in Ruislip, and told Faye, my stylist that I am going back to basics and as she was taking off the inches, I felt that sense of release as I did two years, ago, eagerly anticipating the feeling of throwing all the hair hassle out of the window.
However, this time won’t be like the last, as the first time, I did not get it cut professionally, I did it myself, so as you can imagine, I felt self-conscious to wear it out, and I wore a variety of wigs until it had grown out about 10 inches. I had little or no hair care education which would fully prepare me for natural hair care maintenance and most of all styling. But this time, I have learnt a lot and I am ready to be bold about being bald LOL. I have been so envious of Chrisette Michelle’s recent TWA (teeny weeny afro), it’s time to get my own!
Feeling feminine and looking sexy is something many women who go natural feel they will have to give up. I strongly believe that this is nonsense; I would certainly say to do you research and go to a good stylist. Otherwise, you may end up being disappointed. And contrary to popular belief I feel more feminine, authentic and more of a vixen than I did with long hair. I tinted my hair red to give it some funk, but there are one million and one ways to jazz up natural hair in a way that is consistent and sustainable for a busy lifestyle.
When I wore hair extensions, weaves and wigs, I loved it at the time, and I make no apologies for it, I believe everyone should do what makes them feel fabulous! And since cutting my hair, that’s definitely how I feel.
Below is a picture of me and my new cut :-)
Links to my other related posts :- )
“ME: “Hi! You look amazing, could I take a picture of you for my blog?”
FASHION GIRL: “No.”
ME: “Oh, ok but its just for my blog, I won’t put it anywhere else.”
FASHION GIRL: (Shakes head.)
ME: “Ok…well how about I take a picture of your shoes! (If nothing else, you can’t say I’m not persistant.)They’re pretty cool, would that be ok?”
FASHION GIRL: “No.”
ME: (I know when I’m beaten.) “Ok well you look amazing anyway!”
FASHION GIRL: (Mouth smile – i.e. not with her eyes)”
Thus was the beginning of my experience at the Afropolitan evening at the Victoria and Albert museum and it set a tone of awkardness for the rest of the night! But before I get into all that, here are some memorable pics from the event.”
“The ubiquitous African print is this summer’s fashion fix, so why not pair it with beautiful crafted, traditional hairstyles. This tribal collection from Abena Richardson, British Hairdressing Afro Hairdresser of the Year finalist 2009, ”
Black Beauty & Hair, 2011
Naturally curly hair that is coloured wooden brown and sun kissed gold is blow dried straight and pressed. The back is pinned up and the crown is back combed to form the base on the top. The remaining hair is wrapped around the back combed hair and pinned into place to make the distinctive heart shape.
Blonde and burgundy pieces of hair are added in to contrast against the relaxed hair that is coloured semi-permanent black. The hair is scissor cut sharply on one side, while the other is razor-cut into a graduated bob.
Blonde and black hairpieces are bonded in for length and colour. To begin the hair is parted in two. Each side is canerowed and braided to the end. One side is rolled around the eye and pinned while the other side is wrapped around the neck.
Individual tracks of black and honey blonde hair are added to achieve maximum length. The hair is tonged straight and loosely braided into a French plait. The bulk of hair that is not braided is razored into triangular shapes.
Tracks of curly hair are bonded in with a parting on the left side. The hair is vigorously back combed to form to asymmetrical shapes on either side. Two pieces of extra long curly strands are left out to show the contrasting length.
Natural hair that is coloured semi-permanent black is parted in two, pressed and pinned down to define the prominence of the afro. The front is braided into a fishtail plait that is then wrapped around the afro on either side and slightly teased out.
I am very excited to see deep plum lips make a come back for this season!
I have always been a fan of dark lipstick, and it has been so long since black women really wore it, that it seems to have been purposefully left in the 90′s, along with the jheri curl…never to return again. In this month’s issue of Stylist Magazine (issue 81), Daphne Guinness is shown wearing punk-like blond and black striped hair with dark plum lipstick, her look was described as
I thought that this was a perfect description of the iconic significance of dark lipstick in black mainstream culture since the late 80′s to late 90′s, so when I saw the article “Be bold this summer with a dramatic deep plum”, I was immediately taken back to my teenage years, with Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot’s ‘supa dupa fly’ album, Aaliyah ‘Age ain’t nothing but a number’, TLC and En vogue alongside many others. The dark lipstick, tough attitude and leather pants really created an identity for young African american girls at that time, which also had a strong presence in the UK as well, consequently creating a market for groups such as All Saints and Cleopatra.
It really did seem that dark brown or plum lipstick was the signature fashion trade mark for that era, so not only am I going to thoroughly enjoy wearing plum because its a delicious shade that goes well with my skin tone but it brings back some great memories.
Cool Desert by ‘Keyda’
ASOS HONOUR Two Part High Sandals, £35.00 £24.00, asos
French Connection, Zig zag clutch bag by French Connection, £137
Featuring jute and cotton blend, beaded wave embellishment to the front, logo tab and zip closure pocket to the inside, and wooded frame handle detail to the top.
£50.00 ASOS Marketplace
Marsha Ambrosius has done it again — with yet another socially conscious video. This time, the R&B songstress is tackling HIV/AIDS. See why “Late Nights & Early Mornings”
“We think in generalities, but we live in detail” Alfred North Whitebread.
“Is that the one thing I still need to know?”
“No”, the alchemist answered.
“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’
“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor being severely tested.”
Taken from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho