Welcome Baby Naps!

One of my favorite natural hair gurus, Whitney (aka Naptural85), and her husband Felipe welcomed a beautiful baby girl on November 15, 2012. Say hello to Olivia…

@Nap85 & Baby Naps
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This is the couple’s first child, so it’s incredible to me that Mama Naps is finding the time to take care of Baby Naps and still squeeze in some video editing and uploading! She’s redefining Supermom. Also amazing to me is how candid she has been throughout her pregnancy, right up to the day she gave birth. The videos posted give a pretty intimate glimpse. Watching made me feel like I was a part of the whole experience. The way you would be if you were family.  I admire that kind of openness.

Whitney has some great video tutorials on how to care for natural hair, as well as videos that give you a window into her life. I’m sure she’ll be adding some tutorials about newborns and being a new mommy.

She is smart and funny and goofy. Be sure to stop by either of her channels. She also has a blog, which you can check out here.

Congratulations to the happy family! Olivia is soooooo cute!

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I Love My Hair – Now

Crooklyn’s Troy
– the look on her face here says it all –
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When my mom had me, it was the seventies and she was all about the Afrocentrism thing. Black Power, Nubian Pride, Mama Africa, yadda yadda yadda… She cut off her perm and grew an afro. She cut her best friend’s shoulder length hair into an afro too, much to the chagrin of her friend’s ultra conservative, ultra traditional West Indian mother. But not before she gave my six-year-old head a matching afro.

After that, I spent most of my time either telling people I wasn’t a boy , feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t have shiny, straight hair like my friends at school (all races, including black), or avoiding cameras at all costs. Pretty traumatic, actually… by kid standards.

Eventually, I did get a perm (against my mother’s will – a story for another day), but by that time, the damage had already been done. To this day I bob-and-weave when anybody pulls out a camera.

Fast forward to last week, when I came across this video –

All I can say is where was this when I was growing up? At the time, I was so desperate to conform to the beauty standards du jour that I didn’t realize my hair was, in fact, beautiful and versatile and a part of me that I should embrace and be proud of. I was just too young to see.

Hindsight is 20/20. Thanks Ma!

And thanks to vinegarandwater for sharing.

What were your childhood hair experiences? How did you feel about your hair growing up?

Protect and Serve Your Own Purpose

Protect by any means necessary!
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I just read a guest post by Moderne Meid called How Natural Should Protective Styles Be? The post got my blood boiling a little… but in a good way.

I wanted to weigh in and my comment kinda turned into my own personal soap-box-of-a-blog-post.

A Bit of a Rant, Really

Here’s what I had to say:

hi moderne meid. great post!

i’ve always found it funny how concerned people are with other people’s hair situations. to the point where they are telling each other off via forums and blog comments about how this one is selling out and that one shouldn’t use heat and this is or isn’t a big chop… yadda yadda yadda. why can’t people just respect each other’s right to do what ever they want with their own hair?

recently, a group of popular bloggers/vloggers has gotten flack for posting a humorous video about a magic product that makes hair grow. people got offended because all of the girls who appear in the video have very long and beautiful hair (that’s kinda why they are all so popular in the blog/vlog-asphere). the point of the video was totally lost on those with self-esteem and/or jealousy issues. c’mon people, though there really was a serious message behind it, it was all in good fun. we must learn to take ourselves a little less seriously.

but i digress…

i think protective styling has everything to do with protecting your ends, and very little to do with whether the method you use involves natural or unnatural materials or products. some people consider hats a protective style. is a hat acceptable, but not a wig?

honestly, i think there’s nothing wrong with using extensions to keep your hair from the harsh elements. as long as you are smart about it and don’t cause more damage, it’s all good. as you rightly said, we don’t know what the individual circumstances are for the person wearing that wig or weave so we can’t presume to judge.

I think that sometimes, the natural hair community can get a bit carried away with the hair policing. Why can’t we just leave others alone to make their own decisions about their own hair?

What do you think? Should protective styling exclude the use of hair extension and wigs? If so, what do you consider to be an appropriate protective style?

Oversensitive to Making Light

chescaleigh & her youtuber friends share a laugh
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Just over a month ago, I shared a YouTube video that revealed the so-called Secret to Long Hair (read the original post here). It was a good-natured, fun-loving infomercial spoof that went viral in the natural hair world. The concept was put together by Franchesca Ramsey (aka YouTuber chescaleigh, of Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls fame). She invited some of her YouTube/blogger friends to participate and have a little fun. That was the plan, anyway.

Well, true to chescaleigh form, the video has been receiving some negative criticism.

The following is a sampling of some of the complaints made about the video:

  • insensitivity to the struggle of of others to grow their hair
  • lack of diversity in terms of skin tone/hair texture
  • too many “mixed” chicks and not enough “blackness”
  • locs are not considered “natural”
  • arrogance and condescending

SMH. Really? I mean, REALLY? Locs are not natural? And when will the shade of black stop mattering?

I think the message intended was totally lost on some viewers.

For those of you hiding under a rock who haven’t see the video, here it is again:

The ladies featured in the video recently sat down with Celebrity SoundOff’s Maureen Aladin to discuss natural hair, their personal journies, and the contraversy surrounding the spoof. The interview is in four parts, with parts two and three being the most focused on the video. I think they did a great job addressing the issues. Check that out here:

CSO Secret to Long Natural Hair – Part 1

CSO Secret to Long Natural Hair – Part 2

CSO Secret to Long Natural Hair – Part 3

CSO Secret to Long Natural Hair – Part 4

You can read more on the topic from Cipriana of Urban Bush Babes here, or from chescaleigh in an interview with Afrobella here.

Were you offended by the parady? What did you like or not like about it? Did watching the interview change your opinion?