On June 24th, 2013, an Ohio School, Horizon Science Academy, released its updated dress code to parents which stated, Afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with our without rubberbands, are NOT permitted.
Any child of African descent, who does not have a relaxer or straightened hair will have an Afro-puff if their hair is placed in ponytail holder. Many African American parents opt for braided hairstyles or small twisted hairstyles to secure their child's hair. Banning hairstyles which are specific to a particular race is discriminatory. The fact that the school used the language "Afro-puffs" in its dress code singles out individuals of African descent because Afro-puffs technically can only be achieved by this group of people. If the school had stated that unsecured ponytails were not permitted this would have include any person regardless of race.
Whether natural hair is appropriate in the work environment has been a hot topic in the natural hair community for quite some time. Many women prefer wearing their hair straightened on interviews as not to make their possible former employer uncomfortable or ruin their chances of landing the job. Now schools are questioning whether natural hair is appropriate in order for children our to learn? I am a firm believer that it is more important what is in our heads than on it.
Read the letter below. The school issued a statement that the dress code will be amended because many parents were outraged.
Do you need natural hair inspiration? Tired of rocking the same hair style? Want to try color? We post daily natural hair styles on our Instagram page. Be featured on our page by tagging us in your pics #kurleebelle.
I am a complete technology/social media junkie. When I heard about Vine and it's 6.5 second videos, I could not resist. The only app that I love more than Vine is Instagram. Today, Instagram released an updated version of it's mobile application to include 15 second videos. Since the update, twitter has been flooded with tweets, bidding farewell to Vine. So it was only natural to join in on the fun.
Tell us...Will you be leaving Vine now that Instagram has video?
I think I will stay with Vine for a little while longer but I am STOKED about Instagram video. Visit our Instagram page to see our very first Instavideo! Click Here.
"I'm just curious if you are going all the way natural chemical free why would you put color on your hair? Isn't that a chemical as well?" Kurlee Belle Answers: To back up the title of this blog post, I realized that I needed facts, because at first glance it may seem a little outrageous. The dictionary defines the adjective "Natural" as 'existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind' or to be more specific when referring to a fabric, 'having a color characteristic of the unbleached and undyed state.' Hair is defined as 'any of the fine threadlike strands growing from the skin of humans, mammals, and some other animals.'
Pairing the two definitions, Natural Hair, would be defined as 'fine threadlike strands that grow from the skin of humans, having a color characteristic of the unbleached and undyed state.' Therefore, one's hair which has been subjected to chemically processing through manmade bleaching or dying is technically not considered natural.
The main ingredient in Lye and No-Lye Relaxers, respectively, are sodium hydroxide and guanidine hydroxide. These chemicals work by raising the pH of the hair so that the structure can be altered. Relaxers destroy the peptide bonds in the hair so that the hair becomes straight. Peptide bonds create strength in hair, so essentially adding a relaxer to your hair destroys it's strength. Once the peptide bonds are destroyed, they can never be repaired or restored no matter how many conditioners or deep treatments are used. Relaxers also deplete the fatty acids found in the natural sebum produced by the scalp which attributes to hair thinning, dryness, and breakage. The pH levels (pH of 7 is neutral, pH of 0 is very acidic, pH of 14 is extremely alkaline) of lye relaxers range from 12 to 14 (Draino which is used to unclog drains has a pH of 13. Scary right?)
The main ingredients in bleaches and permanent coloring are hydrogen peroxide or ammonium hydroxide. These ingredients work at a pH of 8 or more to the lift the cuticle so that the melanin can be altered. Bleaching affects the hair's strength because it disrupts the cuticle. Semi permanent color however does not include bleach but includes ammonium to lift the cuticle. Bleaching/coloring the hair involves high pH levels that lift the cuticle and destroy melanin to add pigment.
The effects of using a relaxer or coloring the hair are irreversible, therefore the hair is no longer in it's natural state. Depending on what your reasons are for going natural, you may want to avoid coloring. If you went natural because you wanted to grow healthier hair then beware of using color because it weakens the hair. If you went natural because it is in 'trend' then coloring is not a problem.
The age old fascination with African hair continues. Today (and tomorrow) in New York City's Union Square, an art exhibition, will take place featuring live models with natural hair. To many races this may sound a little weird, for instance, "Touch White People's Hair....See How Straight It Feels?" Crazy right? Well for those who have African in their family, many people would love to reach out and touch our mane without being offensive or flashed the evil eye.
The germaphobe in me is screaming, "No don't let them do it. People put their hands in the weirdest places."
The topic of whether or not to let others touch your hair is not new to the natural hair community. There are several memes floating around cyber space, that proclaim our hair is not a pet. Many believe that there is a racial undertone when it comes to other ethnicities wanting to touch our hair but I think it is just curiosity. Let's face it, we have the capability to wear many different hats because of the versatility of our hair. To name a few, natural hair can shrink into a retro afro, stretch into long spiral curls and be blown out into flowing locs. What other hair texture can do this? That's what I thought, unless you have African in your family there is a limit to what can naturally be done to your hair.
In the minds of those who don't have African in their blood, there is something mysterious about natural hair. It bends, curls, holds water and looks like a sponge. Hopefully the curiosity surrounding our sometimes springy manes will be put to bed. I wish I were in NYC to document this momentous occasion. For those of you that are in the area, you can check it out from 2pm to 4pm (June 7th and June 8th).
The exhibit is hosted by un-ruly.com, "a place for black hair."
A Cheerios commercial depicting a mixed-race family is stirring up much controversy in the United States of America. It is ironic that, Barack Obama who is a mixed-race male, was recently elected to a second term as President. Meanwhile, in small minded America, many are outraged that Cheerios would feature an interracial family (Black Male, White Female and Mixed Child) in their commercial (We know who did not vote for President Obama).
The ad, which can be found on Cheerio's YouTube page, has received over 1.8 million views and several racial comments such as "More like single parent in the making. Black dad will dip out soon." Not long after the racial remarks were published, defenders of interracial marriage chimed in. To avoid further dialogue, General Mills disabled the comment section of the video ad.
In a country where15% of married couples are mixed-raced and the leader of the free world is also mixed-race, one would we think we would be pass this by now. It is sad that people have so much hate built up inside of them to discriminate against the love of others.
Cheerios issued a statement saying, "We know there's many kinds of families and we celebrate them all."
Good for you Cheerios. I know there was a reason why I love Honey Nut Cheerios so much.
Let's stop the hate and spread Love. Besides...mixed babies are so cute.
It is my job to inspire women and help them look and feel beautiful. I search daily for inspiring images that make women feel good about their hair and look. For me, the natural hair movement is a BIG deal, because I get to help women which impacts my life. My mission and passion is to uplift and empower women, especially women of color.
Society has their views of how beauty should look like: tall, skinny, lightly tanned and bone straight hair. The natural hair movement has challenged that status quo of beauty. Many naturals are gracing the silver screen, along with pages of major publications. Even though our untamed hair has enlightened society, the uncanny realization of a looser texture keeps rearing its ugly head.
On Kurlee Belle's Instagram page, we post different shades of brown and a variety of textures. On a daily basis, we receive many messages from how to achieve certain styles to what products to use. The most asked question is "How Can My Hair Look Like Hers?". The most disturbing question was "Do You Have Anything For Real Monkey Hair?". This was unsettling to me because of the connotation it inferred. This woman who was probably a follower of one of the many natural hair celebratory pages, was comparing her hair to many beautiful pictures that were being posted daily on pages like my own. I believed that posting pictures inspired women, when in actuality, many are comparing themselves to the beautiful images that they "liked" by the hundreds.
I can clearly see why luscious long curls would stir up envy in the minds of many. As human beings, it is in our nature to want the best out of all aspects of life. The 'survival of the fittest' which has sustained mankind is partially to blame for us being unsatisfied . We want to mate with a partner that will give our offspring an advantage to survive. In the natural hair world, this is translated to a looser, longer, fuller curl pattern. The reality is that God did not intend for us to look the same. However you can get a texturizer to loosen your curls or work with what you got. With that being said, it is always so much more fun to stand out and embrace your natural beauty. Many women have effortless curls and it may take ten products to get your hair to look right (or the way you want it). Remember, her best look is not yours because who she is or how she looks is already taken. Experiment and find styles and products that are flattering to your hair texture. Be the best You. That is the only way to be truly free.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. ~Proverbs 14:30