No Such Thing As Natural Hair?

I recently heard a professional in the hair industry talking about hair and he wanted to clarify that “naturals” were using the term incorrectly and went on to inform us on what natural hair actually was. I’m just sharing my opinion on it in this short video! What’s your opinion on the topic? Please subscribe to my YouTube page as well! Thanks for stopping by!!

By the way, this is my first YouTube video where I am actually talking directly into the camera so I was so nervous! However, it was fun so I will be doing a lot more and they will get better!

When You Get Frustrated With Your Natural Hair

From pinterest

Wise words from pinterest

So many are used to having total control over how they want their hair to look. With the simple bend of a curling iron or application of a chemical to the hair, one could re-create their idea of the perfect masterpiece on their heads.

With many that have decided to go natural, they discover that their hair often has a mind of its own and does what it wants to do. Many naturals are then faced with the decision: Do I go back to the ease and comfort of my straightened/relaxed hair that I’m used to or do I battle with this hair that is more work than I anticipated and am beginning to dislike?

When the natural hair wave first took off, there were so many people sharing their beautiful hair and hairstyles. One thing that many tend to forget is that everyone’s natural hair is unique to them. We would see the hair of others and imagine that we could emulate with our natural hair something that grows differently but naturally on someone else.

Of all the years I have been natural, I have gotten the best results when I stopped trying to “control” my hair and simply started taking care of it. I have been natural for so long that it is simply are part of my normal life, such as getting dressed or brushing my teeth. Some days my puff would just not work due to shrinkage and I would just embrace the compacted afro and adorn it with a lovely flower or headband. No need to get frustrated! Once I fell asleep on my afro and smashed the side. I inserted a nice comb in there and rocked a fierce side-fro. I got so many compliments on an accidental hairstyle. I get creative instead of frustrated with my hair!

The minute I stopped comparing my hair and started embracing it for its own unique beauty and qualities, I never had another bad hair day. I learned to “listen” to my hair. I pay attention to when it needs moisture as opposed to lubrication or protein as opposed to conditioning. I understand that I have 3 different textures and that all of them require different amount of product. I stopped looking at what products did to others hair and started understanding what types of products I needed to get the best out of my hair.

I experiment with different hairstyles and like certain fashion trends, no matter how cute it looks on someone else, it may just not be for me! However, I have recognized which styles and looks do work best with my hair and I work those the best that I can.

For those of you that are still getting used to your natural hair, find one thing you really do like about your hair and enhance that as much as you can! Your confidence alone is enough to make any hairstyle extra beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Where Them Dollar$ At, Black Hair Industry?!

money

When I was in cosmetology school, I took a class and the presenter told us that Cosmetologists have the 3rd highest earning potential following 1)Doctors and 2)Lawyers.

I believe him, I mean why not? Just like the later two professions named, if you save enough lives, you could earn lots of money! Ha Ha!

Cosmetology school, if you even have to attend, is way cheaper than law or medical school, however, it takes more time to build to that earning bracket. The one thing that hurts Cosmetology when it comes to its potential to earn compared to the two professions is that strictness on board rules and regulations and public access. Perhaps, that is what balances everything out and it is the price we have to pay?

Okay, so we have all heard the statistics of how much black women spend on hair care products and extensions blah, blah, blah. I’ve seen spending numbers in the billions and more recently dabbling in the trillions.

I’m no economist and I’m not going to sit here and dazzle you with fancy vocabulary, statistics and equations on black spending and economics to tell you that we need to wise up. The dollars being spent definitely are not returning to those who work in and support the industry.

Example, the consumer will spend maybe $200-$500 on hair extensions from the distributor. Stylists, however, may only see 15-35% depending on pricing for installing and styling the hair. Direct effect of demand, they are selling us something we are unable to produce so they can charge what they want while stylist receive pennies on the dollar to install it.

The black beauty industry could be doing much better than it is today. When it comes to the hair grown on someone else’s hair, it is unrealistic for us to believe that we will have control over that. They will always have the upper hand in that area as long as people are purchasing but what about everything else? I have no reason to believe we are not capable of producing all of things monopolized overseas.

Here are just a few ways that I feel professionals and consumers alike can do to make a difference:

1. Support small black businesses (and spread the word)

If customer service is good, product/service is of good quality and you can afford it, why not? There are so many quality small companies that are struggling to due to no other reason than lack of support. Many of the larger companies have made it difficult for smaller companies to survive competition-wise. Where we spend our dollars counts.

The fact that I have to mention this bothers me, but it is a reality I must discuss. Poor customer service is a complaint I often hear people complain about when it comes to patronizing small black business but let’s not be so quick generalize. We have experienced poor customer service from many different backgrounds of people in businesses owned by many different races of people. I don’t blame you, if service is bad, don’t go back, but please do not lump a everyone into one category based on some bad experiences.

There, I said it! Supporting small businesses in general is good for the community. Black business deserve the same fighting chance to make an impact.

 2. Go into business!

Got a great idea? Is there something you use that is essential to your profession? Try coming up with your own line! You’ll be surprised what you can develop with a little research and determination! There are endless possibilities in the beauty industry: products, barbering tools, computer software, salon furniture and equipment, education, etc.

Ever been to a black hair show, many of the vendors aren’t even black. No, I am not saying that non-black people should not sell at black hair shows. I am saying that you go to a hair show targeted towards black but almost none of the vendors are…black. If you went to a Irish hair festival and 90% of the vendors were Black or Asian, wouldn’t you initially do a double-take? Maybe have a few questions? Not racist, just curious! That’s all I’m saying! This has always baffled and bothered me.

As a woman active in the beauty industry, I see a lot of our talented young women not reaching their full potential because of the lack of confidence and lack of proper guidance. Many view owning a business as something unattainable that requires unreasonable about of startup capital. Through time and influence, I hope to change that mindset!

How about we band together and begin opening some of these beauty supply stores. How can you have zero control over something many depend on so desperately? I have been in beauty supply stores as big as department stores. None of these dollars are going back into our pockets. From the lease being paid down to the hair pins being sold.

3. Reduce diversion

There is a neighborhood beauty supply store on every corner and they are selling professional products that should only be available to and retailed by licensed stylists. While this temporarily helps product sales, it can also hurt the brand reputation for the company. Sometimes the product is old and ineffective, if that is even the same product you are getting in the bottle!

Yes, you can occasionally find a bottle of CHI or Paul Mitchell at your neighborhood grocery store but it is almost impossible to find other products such as color and chemical treatments from those major brands. However, you can find professional brands targeted at black Americans on almost any shelf in almost any drug, grocery, department store. I should not be able to buy Mizani or CHI at T.J. Maxx or Kroger! You don’t see Rusk haircolor being sold there! See how small the “ethnic” hair care isle is vs. we can find there and how much we spend.

 

I know these 3 things will not change the state of the black hair business overnight but we have to start somewhere. Yes, there are several successes in the black hair industry however it is only a small percentage compared the number of people in the industry producing numbers for larger corporations and never seeing the profits. Just imagine if a fraction of those billions of dollars being spent were being invested back into the salons and beauty business in our communities. It will spread out farther that the hair business, such as educating the youth and starting other businesses in the community, and that is a good thing.

 

Your Standard, Not Everyone Elses

Society’s beauty standards don’t apply to me! My beauty is not “standard”, my beauty is unique!

How is it that we can celebrate the beauty of diversity in everything else in the world except for ourselves?

I was already on my journey to enlightenment when I started cosmetology school. I was in my mid twenties, wanted to continue my education and my decision was between grad school or investing in my hobby and going to cosmetology school. With the encouragement and support of family and friends I pursued cosmetology.

I started school and was instantly in love. It was so much more than expected. I honestly thought I would be standing around doing roller sets on mannequins all day but I was in the classroom learning chemistry, biology, anatomy, electricity and nutrition in relation to cosmetology! I was so interested in everything! I would go home and study material beyond the information I was given in class just to get a deeper understanding!

As great as I thought cosmetology was, I was disappointed in it as well. I love the field of cosmetology so I believe in one wearing and styling their hair any way they please and that expresses their personality and makes them feel best. However, when I was learning about textures I was not thrilled about the choice of adjectives they used to describe certain types of hair and features. This is cosmetology we are talking about so, of course, we are there to learn all of the wonderful ways we can correct these awful, terrible abnormalities that make us unique. The whole thing from the coarse and overly curled hair to ethnic features being corrected/altered to appear more “desirable” or “attractive”.

At certain points in the lesson I would raise so many questions that the instructor conceded that she was simply teaching the material that had been printed. I felt bad for the constant opposition to the wording and views expressed in the text. My issue was not with her but with the idea that this whole ideology was okay. I couldn’t sit there and accept what I was being taught. It just was not my standard and it was insult, in my opinion to expect any besides a small amount of people to aspire to that so-called epitome of beauty.

I felt like the messages I was receiving were subliminally negative and advance a so-called standard of beauty that is completely biased. Certain things that are viewed as the standard in the field of beauty are completely in disregard to the natural features of many others whose genetic make-up do not include those types of features.

Everyone has their insecurities and I am the last to judge anyone for insecure about anything, but I don’t believe in creating an insecurity in someone that was not there before in order to create a profit. The same way this field encourages people to enhance their physical qualities it also feeds on ones insecurities and the desire to change them by any means necessary. At the end of the day, we are being taught to earn a living in a sales driven field. This is why I’m torn, the thing about sales is that there is a product that your may actually need that is being marketed to you and they may or may not even be capable of delivering on its promises.

But I don’t place blame on the industry. Not at all. Why not take advantage of such a lucrative field? This society has been programmed to accept a standard when it comes to beauty but no one is able to answer this question for me: This beauty is the standard in comparison to what?

Growing up, I was introduced to ways to “fix” so many things that I didn’t know were supposed to be wrong with me. From the texture of my hair, the shade of my skin, even to the way I walked! While it did have some effect, I was lucky not to be  Luckily, had family that was supportive and instilled some type strength and confidence in me. I point out these examples only to say that some insecurities only exist because they are introduced and it can end up affecting people’s lives in more ways than imagined. Do what you want to yourself, my only concern is its affect on your personal wellness and your perception of and interaction with those your interact with that are different. While some are spreading positivity and embracing different forms of beauty, there are those out there spewing pure venom to impressionable minds.

With the wonderful variety of people in the world, why is there only one way to look that everyone is supposed to work to attain? Who exactly sat down and drew out this standard of beauty? In such a diverse society, why is this standard even okay and accepted? I want us ladies to continue celebrate each other’s individuality and uniqueness. Those with the dollars and control over media and advertising but we control what we absorb and apply to our lives.

I Was a Natural Hair Nazi

heymonieHi. My name is Aphropuphs and I was a Natural Hair Nazi.

Natural Hair Nazi – One who is fabulously natural but at times their opinions can come across prejudice and discriminatory against those at a different point in their natural hair journey or those who are on a different hair journey altogether. Sometimes referred to as “natural hair bullying”.

I can admit it. I’m not ashamed, though, I sometimes sit back, laugh and cringe a little at some of the debates I engaged in on twitter and facebook. It still pains me to this day to think that my sometimes poorly executed good intent may have had an adverse effect on those that needed the most embracing. Everyone’s journey with their hair is a different one. Who was I to criticize someone on their own journey?

I personally love everything about hair, but to be more specific, natural hair. I knew being natural was what was best for me. I learned everything I could about it. I purchased literature, took classes, attended meetings, shows and everything. I wanted to learn everything I could about hair and the human body. I was already experimenting with several natural hair textures s I knew what to expect. I knew it was for me and went into it with no regrets.

I have many other interests and passions, however, once I began my journey with natural hair it strengthened my spirituality and confidence. The shift in my life was undeniable. I saw everything differently and much more clearly. A lot of people in my life did not see it that way. They saw it as a phase or rebellion type of thing. It was viewed as anything but a positive transformation. I found myself defending my journey more than enjoying and understanding it. I went natural before it became commercial , so while some were informed there were many that were ignorant about it. This was back when you got a lot of stares and even comments (mostly rude) about your hair. I liked the controversy, it empowered me. It made me feel even more fierce. If they were going to stare, I was going to make it worth the look!

Anyway, along comes the natural hair explosion. Natural hair everywhere! All the natural hair, all the info, all the questions, all the journeys, all the affirmations, all the opinions, all of the similarities and differences, all the awakenings, bonds and sisterhood! It was such a beautiful thing and I was so happy. Everything was out there. It took over my life. It was causing unity, celebration of self, but sadly it also caused some separation and superiority/inferiority complexes. All of a sudden some people were not natural enough, while others were too natural. Some were defining strict guidelines of what being natural meant while others were seeking guidance and acceptance and even confirmation and reassurance of their naturalness. Then came the judgment, the criticism, the cliquing, the typing, the name-calling, the negativity. There were so many debates and discussions to be a part of and it was becoming overwhelming. It is easy to fall into the Hair Nazi category and you probably have at some point without even realizing it.

I was in denial for the longest. When I would hear the term “Natural Hair Nazi” it was such an abrasive label that I did not want associated with me. You start off simply sharing your natural hair journey with others, then that funky little opinion gets wedged in there and then you get on your soapbox and then POOF! Before you know it, you’re a Natural Hair Nazi or your are being judged by other nazis!!!

I had to take a step back and re-evaluate my personal journey and purpose with natural hair. Instead of growing and developing my journey, I found myself involuntarily withdrawing from what I loved to avoid the negativity. I was still involved with natural hair on a daily basis, but my online presence was almost completely nonexistent. Shame on me. I could dish it out but I could not take it. I never directly attacked anyone with my opinions but there are many things I put out there that one could take the wrong way. You live, you learn, and enjoy all of the experienced in between!! The good thing about this journey is that you are constantly improving yourself! I am here to share what I know and in turn hopefully it will improve a person’s relationship with their natural hair!! Thanks for reading!!