Huh? Essence Mag Posts Then Removes Article on Why We Need More Relaxed Hair on the Red Carpet

No, this isn’t a headline from The Onion, it’s an actual piece Essence Magazine chose to post!

The article has since been taken down, the only vestige of it is the screenshot below (originally spotted at 4C Natural Hair Chicks).


And this URL showing that yes, the piece did exist (see gallery for larger image):


The opening paragraph (which is all we can see) states that because 60% of African American women are relaxed, there should be more representation on the red carpet to provide styling inspiration for relaxed women.

The article is surprising because, although relaxers are on the decline (because of natural hair *and* weaves), relaxed hair is still very much the standard for black hair, and has been for a long time now. I suppose the argument could be made that weaves have taken/are taking over as the standard for black women who want a straight look. And obviously weave care is different, leaving relaxed women without resources or information. But even that explanation feels far fetched. If you step into the average black hair salon, they could do a relaxer with their eyes closed. But ask for a set of twists or a flexi rod set on kinky hair and you’re most likely to be met with a blank stare.

Could it be a bit of saltyness that natural hair got a fair amount of attention at the Oscars? Particularly Viola Davis’ gorgeous shrunken fro…


And Lupita Nyong’o in that stunning Calvin Klein pearl dress #slay…

87th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage And Audience

Essence magazine caters to black women as a community — whether they are relaxed, weaved or natural. Their beauty and hair section is evidence of that. But it can’t be ignored that, up until a few years ago many naturals felt that Essence was not providing adequate representation of kinks and curls. That seemed to change when they brought on popular natural hair bloggers CurlyNikki and Afrobella to do regular segments. They also included a popular street style series themed on natural hair. In light of this, the piece feels… odd. At best someone was ‘in their feelings’ about the rise of natural hair on the red carpet — although we naturals know very well that our kinks and curls are faaaar from mainstream. Fashion Police and Zendaya Coleman anyone?? At worst someone has taken issue with the increasing number of women embracing their beautiful, natural kinks and curls, and wants things to go back to the way they were.

I appreciate Essence for taking the piece down. And hopefully the conversation about the shifting beauty standard among black women can be had in a more meaningful way.

Ladies, what do you think?

87th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage And Audience

Seeing Things: What People Are Saying About #TheDress [PHOTOS]

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past day, the hashtag #TheDress has come across your time line or wall. But while #TheDress and its color-shifting ways has folks questioning their peepers, there is an end to the mystery – sort of.

The Huffington Post did everyone a favor and dug deep into the #TheDress and collected as much information as it could about this dress from a variety of outlets. Even the BBC World News team had their own in-studio debate about the dress this morning in its London studios. That’s right, folks. This thing has gone quite viral.

We take a look at what has been discovered about #TheDress, how it came to the world’s attention and share some commentary on the following pages.

Photo: Tumblr/Facebook

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15 Famous Women Who Shocked Us With Thickness

Instagram has created an entire subculture of “thirst traps” and “thirst buckets.” Anonymous vixens rise to fame pretty much off the strength of being voluptuous and watch their followers rise.

Khloe Kardashian Hosts at 1 Oak Nightclub

photo: WENN

For the most part, actual A-list celebrities don’t stoop to such measures. But when they do, it’s glorious and pleasantly rewarding. Here are 15 famous women that shocked us with thickness. Bask in the thirst-trapping glory.

Photo: WENN

The post 15 Famous Women Who Shocked Us With Thickness appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

6 Moisturizers to Keep Your Natural Hair Hydrated this Winter

The temperatures seem to be getting worse, not better, as we get closer to spring. Last week clocked in dew points below zero on the East Coast, and we aren’t even done with snow for the year. Of course, with temperatures so low, we don’t want to walk around everyday with soaking wet hair. At the same time, it’s important to thoroughly moisturize your hair when it’s this cold – especially with the harsh winds whipping into your tendrils.

I look for two main things when choosing a moisturizer to use on dry (as in, not wet) hair. First, the product must settle or absorb into dry hair fairly quickly – some moisturizers with a more conditioner-like consistency take a while to absorb and can leave white flakes throughout your hair. Second, the product should be heavy enough to provide adequate moisture, but not be so heavy that it causes build-up that will make your wash day much more difficult. If you have too many oils and/or butters built up on your hair, it will be increasingly difficult to wash out and cleanse your scalp thoroughly. These are the things I keep in mind when I’m choosing my moisturizers for consistent results.

I apply my moisturizer either by “fluffing” my hair (lightly fluffing my curls from all angles after applying moisturizer, pic below) or separating the hair into four sections for a more thorough moisturizing process. Whether you’re rocking a five-day wash and go or bunning it, these moisturizers will keep your hair soft and supple in the winter temperatures.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.56.24 PM

Oyin Whipped Pudding
As a very versatile product, Oyin Whipped Pudding is ideal for not only hair, but also your body to keep dry skin at bay during the harsh winter months. In addition to my hair, I use it on my face and body most days. The formula feels heavy but isn’t overly waxy, so it’s easy to rub in.

Coco Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream
Ingredients: Aloe Vera Juice, Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate, Shea Butter,Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil,Coconut Oil,Glycine Betaine (Beta vulgaris (Beet)) Sugar Extract, DL-Panthenol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Sclerotium Gum, Carbomer, Fragrance Oil.

Packed with a nice combinations of sealants and moisturizers, this styling cream absorbs into hair quickly, making it ideal for fluffing wash and gos or using for dry twist/braid out styles. Bonus: It smells like butterscotch.

KBo Escentuals Hair and Body Oil

Ingredients: Shea butter, water, peppermint oil, coconut oil, fragrance, extra virgin olive oil.

This nifty little oil blend gives a bit of moisture while keeping your hair dry enough to use on set styles as long as you don’t overdo it. It softens the hair and provides some frizz control without leaving any build up.

SDOTBEAUTY CurlFriend Smoothie
Ingredients: Distilled Aqua, Organic Aloe Barbadenis Leaf Juice, Organic Althaea Officinalis/Marshmallow Root, Organic Ulmas Rubra/Slippery Elm Bark, Behentrimonium Methosulfate/Cetearyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annuus/Sunflower Seed Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Cetyl Alcohol, Pro Vitamin B5, Aleurites Moluccana/Kukui Nut Oil, Magnifera Indica/Mango Seed Butter, Silk Amino Acids, Fragrance, Psidium Guajava/Guava Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

One of my favorite things about the CurlFriend Smoothie is that aloe vera is the second ingredient. I absolutely adore aloe vera in my hair – it not only hydrates your hair, but also helps balance its pH and can prevent clogged scalp pores. Combined with a healthy dose of conditioners and sealants, this product has grown on me a lot this winter. It’s also dependable for various uses such as a leave-in conditioner.

Beija Flor Naturals Creme Brulee
Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Distilled Water, Murumuru Butter, Nettle, Burdock, Rosemary, Marshmallow Root, Grapeseed Oil, Vegetable Based Emulsifier, Stearic Acid, Xanthum, Paraben Free Preservative, Fragrance

I’m still a little bit salty that I didn’t have this product growing up, mainly because it smells like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The consistency is slightly deceiving in that it seems like it would be tough to emulsify, when it’s actually very creamy, kind of like a heavier body butter. I also use this to seal my ends because the base ingredient is shea butter. And remember, sealing ends not only, prevents breakage, but also helps minimize single strand knots!

Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Butter
Ingredients: Deionized water, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, prunus dulcis/almond milk, prunusdulcis/almond oil, cucurbita pepo/pumpkin seed oil, sesamum indicum/sesame seed oil, simmondsia chinensis/jojoba seed oil, oryza sativa/rice bran oil, macadamia ternifolia/macadamia nut seed oil,olea europaea/olive fruit oil, cannabis sativa/hemp seed oil, ulmus fulva bark extract/slippery elm, ricinus communis/castor seed oil, aloe barbadensis/aloe leaf juice, honey, camellia sinensis/green tea leaf extract, phenoxyethanol/caprylyl glycol/optiphen. sorbic acid, scent and LOVE!

Natural hair products that you can purchase on the ground? Sign me up! Camille Rose Naturals is becoming a fast favorite for many naturalistas due to the high quality of their ingredients and availability. The products are available at Target and some Whole Foods – so yay, need some moisture in a pinch? Make your way to Target. Moisture levels are off the charts with these products, making them ideal for harsh temps and to give more weight to your hair.


I will likely do a full review on the Camille Rose and Beija Flor at a later date on my personal channel – both of these are either going to be on my HG or HG honorable mentions list, which is located at

Bonus Tip: Another thing I like to do during winter is keep a dry oil spray in my purse for quick refreshers or a splash of protection. The wind is NO joke and oil sprays can soften hair while placing a barrier between your hair and the elements.

What moisturizers do you love during winter?



Lupita Nyongo’s $150,000 Oscar Dress Stolen From Her Hotel Room

A major heist went off after the Academy Awards, apparently. Lupita Nyongo’s $150,000 pearl Oscar dress was stolen from the London Hotel in West Hollywood, Calif., police announced Thursday (Feb. 26).

Nyong’o was not in room when the dress was swiped, reportedly on Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The Oscar winner left her room for most of the day, at which point the thief jacked the one-of-a-kind Calvin Klein Collection creation by Franco Costa.

Authorities were called to the hotel Wednesday night, after a publicist for the actress reported the crime. The thief is believed to be on hotel surveillance, but police have not yet apprehended a suspect. They are said to be reviewing the hotel’s footage.

Nyongo’s publicist declined to comment on the heist, as did the hotel.

The show-stopping dress was adorned with 6,000 pearls. Nyongo coupled the look with Chopard diamonds for a “diamonds and pearls” theme, which she called an “homage to Prince.”

Photo: WENN

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Could Alleged Dez Bryant Video Ruin His Career?

There is currently a storm looming over AT&T Stadium. One that could greatly affect current Dallas Cowboys free agent Dez Bryant’s future in the NFL.

Within the past week, there has been heavy speculation–and-details regarding a 2011 Dez Bryant video allegedly taken at Walmart that has all indications pointing towards a scandal.

Via Yardbarker:

On Wednesday evening, Pro Football Talk reported that the alleged footage may have been recorded on a Walmart surveillance camera. On Thursday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network uncovered an incident report that involves an officer responding to an “unknown disturbance” at a Lancaster, Texas Walmart in July 2011. You can see the actual report here.

According to police, an unknown person alerted officers that a black female was “being dragged from one vehicle to another vehicle” by a black male. The vehicle, a 2011 Mercedes Benz, was registered to Bryant.

A Walmart security guard told police that when he arrived at the scene the Mercedes door was still open and a child’s toy was on the ground. Two men then pulled up in a Cadillac Escalade — also registered to Bryant — and said they received a call from the alleged victim asking them to pick up “her” Mercedes. A Bentley then showed up in the parking lot with Bryant and the alleged victim inside.

The alleged victim told police she had an argument with a man named Alex Penson and that she was not assaulted or harmed in any way. She claimed she was dropped off at a friend’s house after the argument in the parking lot and that Bryant came to the friend’s house to pick her up. Police then let everyone go without making any arrests or filing any charges.

While it doesn’t sound like Bryant was directly involved, Rapoport notes that the Cowboys have taken “particular interest” in the incident and have known about it for a while.

As contract negotiations with the Cowboys are currently underway, Bryant has been rather antsy on social media, sending cryptic tweets out, leading everyone to guess what he’s really saying. According to TMZ, a quickly deleted tweet read, “I need to get me a real raw uncut tv show or something … I can’t continue to get betrayed like this.”

And he posted this gem nearly a week ago.

The most concrete finding of the entire ordeal is that it appears his former agent has been trying to blackmail him over the video footage.

The full evidence report can be found about the so-called Dez Bryant video can be found here.

Photo: Mike Fuentes/

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Microscope Photos Reveal Which Natural Cleansers Work Better Than Shampoo

I have finally got around to testing some more natural cleansers. In the firing line today are castile soap (diluted), natural soap or shampoo bar, oat water and shikakai.

The Experiment
I used my own shed hair and imaged it:

– on its own without any washing (oily from sheabutter/coconut oil use)

– washed with shampoo only (2 minute water rinse, 2 minute shampoo wash, 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)
– washed with cleanser ( 2 minute water rinse, 2 minute (shampoo bar/natural soap and castile soap) or 5 minute cleanser wash (oat water, shikakai), 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)


Controls – Oily hair and Shampoo cleaned hair


As a standard reference for hair that has oil deposits, here is an image of the oily hair with clear clumps of oil on the strand (circled in red)


For the clean hair reference, here is a sample of hair that has been washed with shampoo (known to remove oil deposits). The shampoo was Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo.

1. Castile Soap


Castile soap produced fairly clean hair with just some minor deposits left on the strands. The soap was diluted in a 1:5 ratio with water. Using the concentrated soap may produce a more oil free result, although I would regard this as a fairly good result

2. Natural Soap /Shampoo Bar


I used a natural shampoo bar made traditionally from olive oil and sodium hydroxide. The soap produced very clean hair very similar to shampoo cleaned hair

3. Oat Water


Last year I suggested that oat water (boil oats in water, sift off the oats, cool down the water and use that to cleanse hair) as a possible mild cleanser due to the saponins in oats. It turns out that my theory was actually a good one because the hair did come out pretty clean! The oat water had an extended 5 minute cleansing time. If you are doing this method, do sift off the oats rather than using them as a mask, they can really stick in hair!

4. Shikakai



Shikakai (powdered acacia pods)  is an Ayurvedic cleanser. Having had difficulty with this product previously, I extended the wash time to 5 minutes and used hand hot water. The final result produced hair that was somewhat clean but still somewhat oily. In places, large deposits of the oil could still be seen. It may be possible to obtain a better result with extending the wash time even further.

Additional notes:
Running warm water was used for all washes. In each wash or rinse, hair was rubbed gently to simulate normal hair washing.

Please do note that under the microscope we can see oil layers but we do not see small deposits on hair e.g hair conditioner deposits (well you actually could see them with specialised instruments but not with my microscope!). Strictly speaking this experiment will answer the question, how well will washing method X remove oil from hair.

Do you prefer natural cleansers? Which ones work best for your hair type?