Everybody's into podcasts these days. Whether it's to learn how to start a business or cope with mental health issues, there's a show on any topic for any audience. If you like listening to podcasts and can't get enough of natural hair, check out this list of shows. They're all informative, entertaining, and hosted by super charismatic and smart women. Enjoy!
"Snatched Edges is a podcast all about hair health. Expect to hear tips on how to solve common hair and scalp issues, how to tackle hair loss and the best ways to style your hair. Whether you are loc'd or loose, natural or relaxed you are sure to hear something to keep your hair flourishing."
The Natural Hair Weekly
"Join our Global Editor and Curator Jahdusha V Shines, for a 'natural conversation' (and some laughs) exploring elements of the natural hair lifestyle with special guests from around the world in entertainment, health, wellness, business and life."
Grow it Long & Strong: Natural Hair Radio
"Learn to grow your afro, kinky or curly textured natural hair hair with ancient techniques, modern science and inner wisdom like never before. Discover why the products you have been using have or have not been working, what are the best styles to retain hair length and how to promote better hair health from the inside out for long lasting results."
The Nappturalite Radio Show
"Calling all Nappturalites! Whether your hair is naturally kinky, curly or wavy, this show has you in mind. The Napptualite Radio Show is dedicated to the love of all things related to black natural hair care. We will discuss natural hair topics, interview natural hair specialists, give you the scoop on the best hair care products and share resources that benefit Nappturalites everywhere. Airs M-W at 3pm EST and on Thursdays at 7pm EST!"
Long, Healthy Hair - Natural Kinky and Curly Hair
"This channel is designed for people that have recently gone natural and need a few quick tips on a) how to maintain the health of their hair and b) how to make sure it grows to its maximum potential."
Natural Hair 360
"A weekly podcast about everything that has to do with Natural Hair, its care, maintenance, trends, etc. Review, rate, and subscribe."
Natural Haircare News
"Just two sisters doing our thing! Join us as we have "real" conversations about everything from the perceptions and attitudes that black women and the community have about natural hair - both positive and negative, to natural haircare tips and strategies from A thru Z. Show us some love and leave a review on iTunes if you like our podcast, then check out our blog - NaturalHairCareNews.com"
What's your favorite natural hair show or podcast? Share it with us in a comment below!
What's your secret to improving your hairstyling skills? Share in a comment below!
Have you ever wondered how your hairstylist got so good at what she does? Regardless of whether she went to cosmetology school or learned to do hair by observing friends and relatives, at the end of the day she definitely put in endless hours of practice to perfect her skills. Many hairstylists practice for years before taking on their first client because it takes a long time to develop speed and muscle memory while maintaining a high standard of quality. When you think about the amount of effort required to master a relatively complex style like tree braids or crochet braids it's easy to get discouraged and resort to helplessly depending on your stylist.
Admittedly, I've been relying on stylists for most of my life. It's just always seemed more convenient to let someone else deal with my hair while I watched TV or got some studying done. However, it wasn't until last week that I discovered a foolproof way of practicing tricky hairstyles without sacrificing a tonne of time or money. Using this new method I've been able to improve my braiding skills while keeping my hair looking great. I stumbled upon this trick when one of my box braids fell out the other day. Normally I detangle the newly-exposed section of hair, coat it with a moisturizing cream, and then twist it. This time, though, I found myself with some spare time and an extra pack of synthetic braiding hair - and I was feeling adventurous.
Instead of leaving my hair out, I took a shot at redoing the extension braid myself. I only had one tiny section to braid, so I wasn't stressed out by the idea of having to finish it quickly and move on to the next one. I could just concentrate on getting the technique down, and if I messed up it was easy to undo the braid and start over. Having the professionally-done braids right there for comparison was also a huge help. I knew immediately when my braid was too loose or too fat because I could hold it up against the other braids. This meant the final product was always nearly perfect; a vast improvement from when I tried to braid my whole head from scratch!
Another benefit of this method is that it keeps your style looking fresh longer. As more braids become loose over time, I've been able to replace them with new, clean braids that suddenly make the style look like it was recently installed. This allows me to continually improve my braiding skills while boosting the lifespan of my protective style. And the longer my hairstyle lasts, the more money I save! Seriously, the benefits just keep piling up.
To summarize, if you want to become a protective styling guru the secret is to maintain your hairstyle incrementally. Replace individual braids or twists as they loosen and not only will you find yourself saving a bunch of time and money, but you'll also always look like you've just come from the salon!
It can be really tough to find a natural hair stylist. Depending on where you live, there simply aren't enough professionals who understand natural hair to go around. On top of that, getting your hair done by an expert can be hella pricey and time-consuming. If you're thinking of taking matters into your own hands, here are some pointers:
1. THE STYLE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR PARTS - It might be time for you to purchase a rat-tail comb if you don't have one already. They make it so much easier to create straight lines and precise sections, which will help your final look seem more polished and professional. You can definitely still part your hair using your hands or a pick instead, but you may not get the same results.
2. KNOW HOW MUCH HAIR YOU NEED - This goes hand-in-hand with the quality of your parting. If you use too much extension hair for each section, you'll put too much strain on your follicles, which could cause hair loss. On the other hand, using too little extension hair can make it tricky to make your natural hair blend in.
3. THERE'S ALWAYS AN ALTERNATIVE - When I first started, I tried to mimic everything I'd seen my hairstylists do, from fluffing out and sectioning strands of extension hair to applying oil on my scalp as I went along. All these tricks proved invaluable for the most part, but YouTube quickly showed me that there are several different approaches and none is necessarily right or wrong. This was welcome news, as I was growing increasingly frustrated with one method of starting a braid that seemed physically impossible for me to achieve. The technique I eventually settled on was far simpler and more intuitive than the first, yet garnered the same results.
4. DETANGLED AND MOISTURIZED HAIR BEHAVES BEST - I'm not a newb. The day before commencing this entire endeavour, I luxuriated in a hot oil treatment, cleansed thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner, t-shirt dried, detangled, and spritzed with a mix of aloe vera juice and oils. In other words, my hair was in prime condition to be styled... but this wasn't enough! As I broke each section into smaller and smaller sections, it became clear that more detangling and moisturizing needed to be done. A good chunk of my first braids were a hot mess. Giant puffs of hair poked out every which way as if the style was pushing six weeks. Unfortunately it wasn't until I reached my ears that I remembered the sight of my beloved hairstylist in Edmonton, Loius, running a fine-toothed comb over each tiny section of hair before wrapping the synthetic hair around it. Before that she would moisturize my hair with some sort of oil, which I now realize is what kept my ends from popping out like a ghost in the night.
5. TIME IS MONEY - The last thing I learned is that the longer you spend doing your hair, the more it would've made more sense to just have it professionally styled. I spent a few hours over the span of three days installing my braids, and admittedly they look terrible. If you're trying to save money by doing your own hair and you haven't got much experience, trust me, you might be better off paying someone who knows how to glam you up.
That's not to say there's no value in learning to do it yourself. While your results may not be ideal in the short run, knowing how to do simple styles like twists, cornrows, and bantu knots can be a lifesaver once you get the hang of it. As for me, I don't mind walking around for the next couple of weeks with this semi-disaster on my head because A) my hair actually is being protected, and B) I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. Even though it feels like I spent a decade on it, I'm already looking forward to my next attempt so I can apply everything I learned.
Have you ever tried putting in your own extensions? Tell us how it went in a comment below!
Remember that post I wrote about the importance of surrounding yourself with other naturalistas as you embark on your hair journey? Well, on Sunday I practiced what I preached and attended a meetup hosted by Toronto Naturals called The Politics of Black Hair. The discussion of the day centred around the question "Is protective styling political or simply a style choice?" Needless to say, the conversation got pretty colourful! Monique London of London Ivy Products led the event by posing a series of questions to a panel of five naturalistas who have each found great success in the realms of vlogging, blogging, hairstyling, jewelry design, and wig making, to name a few. Because of their varied backgrounds, every panelist was able to bring a fascinating and unique perspective to the table.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced the event at all because despite arriving twenty minutes early, I was too late to buy tickets at the door! I know, I know... I should have purchased an advanced ticket, but this event was so hot even those had sold out the week prior. It was disappointing to be turned away, but then someone piped up suggesting I stick around just in case there was a no-show at the last minute. I could hear upstairs that the venue was getting pretty full already, but I had a feeling it would be worth the wait. After all one of my favourite YouTubers, Toni Daley, was on the panel and I was pumped to see her in person. Luckily the event organizers were able to squeeze me in literally at the last second, and they even had some free lipbalm left!
When I got upstairs, I was pleasantly surprised by how funky the venue was. Harlem Restaurant (on Richmond and Church) has an eclectic and casual vibe to it. The stage area looks a bit like Graffiti Alley -vibrant hues of different paints, random cables strewn on door hooks, and exposed brick walls. Much to everyone's enjoyment the bar was fully stocked and there were original paintings of natural hair hung around the room for us to feast our eyes on.
The panel itself was lighthearted yet thought-provoking. Monique (or Mo for short) did an awesome job of gently guiding the conversation from general subjects like what constitutes a protective style to more serious issues about hair envy, hair type discrimination, and self-love. It was enlightening to hear the panelists describe their personal experiences. Some views I could identify with, others I hadn't considered before. At one point the discussion turned to whether or not women who wear weaves 24/7 are purposefully hiding their natural hair out of shame or embarrassment. This was particularly interesting to me, because lately I've been trying to avoid using extension hair and instead celebrate what my Mama gave me. To this, Toni Daley made a solid point. She paralleled the use of weaves to wearing makeup.
[Paraphrased] Some people wear makeup only to fancy occasions. Others wear it whenever they leave the house. And then there are those who wear makeup even when they're in their house all day. It's a personal choice. You can't say I don't love my skin just because I wear makeup, just as you can't say I don't love my hair if I wear weaves all the time.
Celebrity hairstylist Janet Jackson admitted she's all about the weave life because of the ease and effortlessness it affords her. She cited the difficulty of managing her own natural hair (which extends past her shoulders) when she has to be up as early as 3:00 AM for work, and that weaves are the best way for her to save time in her busy schedule and still look professional. Even though I've never had anything against weaves (I've been known to rock one on occasion), hearing what she had to say gave me a new appreciation for what other naturalistas go through.
One of the coolest things about the panel was — as far as I could tell — no two ladies had the exact same curl pattern. There was everything from famous vlogger Natural Neiicey's luscious, loose curls to the wonderfully kinkier coils of curly hair specialists Keina Morgan and Nicky Splinta. That variety gave a definite credibility and approachability to the event. It felt inclusive and honest, which I think is crucial for the natural hair community.
Then came the best part: FREE PRIZES! I was impressed by how many goodie bags Toronto Naturals had sourced for the prize draws. There were so many sponsors the giveaways just kept rolling. For once in my life I had a winning ticket in hand and landed a highly coveted gift basket from Rainbow Kisses Cosmetics! It contained two striking lipsticks (one in plum, the other a deep metallic turquoise) and a gift card. Hilariously enough, after collecting my prize two different people come up to me asking if I really wanted to keep the lipstick and if we could work out some sort of trade! Rainbow Kisses is just that good!
Despite lasting about three hours, the meetup seemed to fly by. Before I knew it the panel had concluded and everyone was encouraged to network around the room. I was glad to have the opportunity to catch up with my hairstylist Glenna Sandy who has had my back since I moved to Toronto and was helpless managing my own hair. I also got to fangirl Toni Daley and chat with her about the amazing movement she started, the #SupportASista campaign that encourages people to shop locally and support women-led, Black-owned companies. Janet Murphy of Roots to Curls was there too. She explained to me how exciting the last few months have been as she and her long-time friend and business partner have worked hard to get Roots to Curls off the ground.
Overall, it was really inspiring to be surrounded by so many independent, successful, and forward-thinking Black women! Big thanks to Toronto Naturals for continuing to host events like this. Can't wait for the next one!
Have you attended any natural hair events lately? Share your experience with me in a comment below!
The only thing worse than paying $500 for a hairstyle is paying $500 AND being confined to a salon chair for ten hours. A trip to the salon can drag on forever, especially if you've requested an elaborate style or your hairdresser is a rookie. For this reason, I personally opt to have the stylist come to my house. That way instead of wasting the day, I can get a tonne of work done at the same time. Although being stuck in a chair for over six hours forces me to be productive, I try to shave off as much time as possible so I can continue on with my day. I'm sure you feel the same way too, so here are some tricks to making your hair appointment go as quickly as possible.
WHEN SEEKING A STYLIST
BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
WHEN YOU GET THERE (or when your stylist arrives)
The best part about these strategies is that most salons and stylists charge per style or treatment, rather than by the hour. This means that by shortening your appointment, you'll be saving money without hurting their bottom line. In fact, the sooner your hairdresser finishes with you the sooner s/he can start servicing the next client!
How do you optimize your visits to the hairdresser? Share in a comment below!
Yesterday was a great day for natural hair in Toronto! It was the ninth annual Natural Hair and Beauty Show, featuring both local and international vendors and stylists. I had the fortune of modelling kinky crochet twists for natural hairdresser Hair By Glenna in her runway showcase, and it was a blast! She had seven models in total, each rocking a different protective style. Glenna excels at creating low-manipulation hairdos such as bantu knots, Senegalese twists, and crochet braids, all of which were prominently displayed for the audience's enjoyment.
Preparing backstage, I couldn't get over the variety of styles packed in one room! Giant afros, locs, updos, fades, extensions... you name it. Everyone looked absolutely stunning. Moreover, there were vendors galore offering all the essentials like shea butter and conditioning oils. Jewellers, painters, and other artisans also spread their afrocentric wares across a sea of tables.
What was most exciting, though, was the atmosphere. The whole event had such an air of community and camaraderie. There was no competition between models, no animosity between vendors. It was purely a celebratory collaboration. I experienced this firsthand when I arrived and was asked to put on some lipstick. I am a bit of a tomboy and I don't own a single palette of makeup, but fortunately a really sweet criminology major named Sara hooked me up with a deep shade of maroon before I could even ask. That moment when she introduced herself and handed me her lipstick encompassed what the natural hair movement is all about: naturalistas supporting other naturalistas.
Thinking of attending next year's event? Keep an eye on www.torontonaturals.ca for more info!
What're you doing on Saturday? If you're free, you should definitely head over to the Toronto Natural Hair and Beauty Show taking place September 20-21. It's a fabulous weekend full of fashion, glamour, and education and it all goes down at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. I had the pleasure of attending last year's event and could not believe its magnitude! There are dozens of vendors, designers, and stylists each with their own impressive skill sets and knowledge to share. The Saturday is comprised of workshops that cover all kinds of topics, from hairstyling to nutrition. Sunday wraps it all up with a grand fashion show that exhibits looks from local jewellers, clothing designers, and hairdressers. It's an awesome event you won't want to miss!
For more information and to get your tickets, visit www.torontonaturals.ca.