Family Reunion- Meet Your Brazilian Sisters




When Nina (of Estimativa) invited us out to an evening 'tea party', I had no preconceived notions, as much of her description of the event and what we were to expect was probably lost in translation. I heard, 'dress pretty, wear comfortable shoes, you'll meet some of my friends'. To sum up what became an epic night, I'll leave you with these three points:

* Simplicity, 1, Doing the Most, 0- Our curly Brazilian sisters have very limited access to products. Not only are they scarce on the ground, the cost and time to order on-line is quite prohibitive. Along with exorbitant shipping costs, they have to pay taxes to the tune of 30 to 70 percent (say it with me now…DAYUM!). We shared a lot of commonalities, but product junkyism, yeah, not one of them. Every beautiful head of hair you see below, every style, was achieved with water, fingers and little coconut oil and/or shea butter. How's that for keeping it simple? Give’s a new meaning to ‘juices and berries.’ Perhaps all the twisting, braiding, banding, rolling and knotting is not always necessary. These girls are achieving disrespectfully huge, non TSA friendly fros (who gon' check me boo!) with once a week washings and minimal manipulation. Their hair made my hair want a hat!


* We're Not So Different You and I- So there was an obvious language barrier and everyone's excitement to share and learn was a bit overwhelming for Nina, the only one in the bunch who spoke both Portuguese and English fluently.  Much of everything from either side had to be filtered through her.  At one point she grabbed the bridge of her nose in frustration, and speaking above the ladies asking her to relay questions to me, she smiled and said, 'Woo! We get excited when hair is the subject, but this is ridiculous!' Somehow we talked about everything from relationships, to music, to the way Black women are portrayed in the media and were surprised that, and not to be cliche, it's the same old song. Solidarity.

* Meetup Deja vu-  It was cool how the tea party turned in to what for me was a very familiar and comfortable situation.. a natural hair gathering... complete with product talk, styling technique and folks sharing and chatting it up... hair touching and what not. I loved the diversity of styles and textures and hearing about how they too go through the same stages of insecurity and worries when transitioning-- 'professionalism' and 'attractiveness', etc. Y’all know.

The ladies wanted to stress that the room was not an accurate representation of the hair situation in Rio. Natural hair is the exception and although, like in America, it's on the rise, the beauty standard remains bone straight or maybe even looser curls and lighter skin.  They're spearheading the campaign, the revolution in Brazil, which is majority Black (like the second largest Black population in the world), to not only accept but embrace their bodies, their hair, their skin... their natural beauty.  I found it very interesting and inspiring how much these women do for their community with such limited resources. The programs they organize are bountiful, offering discussions and informing on self-esteem, health, natural hair, violence, and the history of Black women that have contributed to the construction of their society.  They work with both children and adults.


Check out the view-


Nina introducing some of the ladies to the CurlyNikki community. They were most excited about the 'on the couch' interviews!



  


Some of the executive staff.  Among them is an economist, hair stylists, two TV producers, a videographer and educators.  All affluent, all beautiful, all curly!





They gave us so many wonderful gifts!

*drool* Nina's magnificent fro...


The banner for an event ("Braiding Ideas") we will attend on Sunday. Stay tuned!

Fluff, fluff, fluff!

To contribute to the cause and support Estimativa's community efforts, we provided translated CurlyNikki articles and Mahisha of CURLS donated hundreds of amazing products (including their popular Curlicious Cleansing Cream, Coconut Sublime Conditioner, Quenched Curls Moisturizer and Curl Gel-les'c) for them to distribute to their partners along with Portuguese instructions for application.  Estimativa is also gladly accepting donations via paypalThe funds will go to support their community programs and aid in purchasing personal care products, food and the like, for the women they work with in the community.  They'd appreciate any support from you! Send charitable donations to - [email protected]

Later that night, they kept the hospitality train rolling and took us to what can only be likened to a Beale or Bourbon street in downtown Rio.  The party was all the way live... kicked it with bof' feet. I very quickly learned why Nina suggested comfortable shoes, a warning I didn't heed. These girls dance ALL night.  They stay dancing and I think I kept up!  Fun was had by all.

Today... sunglasses and advil.  #MadReal

 
 As for the attire--

Gifted from House of Dereon, here
Shades from Steve Madden
Shoes gifted from ASOS, here 


the hair-

Same product combo from the Rio Travel Kit article, minus the AG Fastfood.  I twisted on 90% dry hair and rolled the ends for a Twist-n-Curl. 

The ladies of Estimativa had a ball scrolling through pics of you via Facebook, the Forums and the 'On the Couch' tab.   They wanted me to share with you that we have one lovely community with beautiful hair.  They'll be checking this post so be sure to leave them a message below!

81 Weigh in!:
babycakesbriauna said...

Nik, you are killing it with that dress! All the ladies seem lovely and their hair is amazing! Somethings are always the same no matter what language you speak!

Vivienne's Jewelry Box said...

Beautiful! Love everything about this article!

Leisa Monique said...

Go ahead Nik!!

Ramonaluvsu said...

Its true there is great beauty in Brazil!! Lovely to see we rock in all shades in all countries. This was an awesome article, and you were doin it in that dress!!

brownsugah305 said...

I HAVE SEEN NINA BEFORE WAS SHE ON A DOCUMENTARY WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES JR.

cocobakergee said...

It makes my soul jump for joy to see my Brazilian sisters and all that gorgeous naturalness going on!! One of my dream vacations is Brasil, to see that beautiful country. It looked like a lot of fun, and that Dereon dress is to die for!!

keisha said...

WOW! Such beautiful women and OMG the hair...on just water and coconut oil...again WOW! Cute dress!! Would love to read some of your 'on the couch' stories!

Rhonda C said...

Nik,

I'm baaaackkkk! Got my technical situation all resolved!

To our lovely Brazilian curlies, we see you! *fluff-fluff Every hue, every curl, every coil is beautiful! Keep embracing and supporting one another!

NIk, House of Dereon suits you well! Very well!

Anonymous said...

Wow...brings tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing with us. The ladies are beautiful. Nikki, Rio agrees with you...you look lovely. And I must say...I LOVE the title of this post. I genuinely feel like I have millions of sisters out there!

Ellegant Elle said...

beautiful heads of hair!! nikki, you are looking amazing in that dress! i'm living through your trip to Brazil!

http://ellegantelle.blogspot.com/

Inge said...

Beautiful post, beautiful ladies. Thanks for sharing! I've always known that Brazil has an incredibly large Black population, but I've never seen them represented in the media. Thank you for giving us a peek at how some of our sisters are living across the globe.

Gizzle said...

Bom dia as irmaes brasileiras! Sou Americana mas eu estudei no Rio por 6 meses.

Eu adoro Brasil e quero voltar. Aprendi ali no Rio como fazer as coisas simples com meus cabelos tambem. Gosto muito de seus afros!!!

Anonymous said...

It was inspiring to see all of the lovely women & how they're restricted to such few products & their hair looks amazing, makes me think why am I using so many products. Everyone looks like they're having a great time, I'm glad you could be part of this movement to help educate & keep us informed, can't wait till the next article.

Brooke B.

Lisa in New York City said...

Like my sisters in Brazil, I'm learning that it doesn't have to be complicated to be natural...water, oil. Done. Love the hairstyles and the big, big hair. You ladies are beautiful inside and out! A woman's hair is her glory and you are doing a beautiful thing promoting love for the glory God placed on our heads. Keep encouraged my sisters!

Nicapinica said...

Hey, Nikki! Nice to see that you were having fun here in Brazil!
I just disagree when you say we don't have access to hair products and because of that we would have to use just water and coconut oil, like the girls from the "tea party". Well, all these famous lines among american naturals (such as Kinky Curly and others) are really difficult to buy over here for all the reasons you said. But we have national products that may work really well for our hair, although they're not made specifically for us.
Me and others brazilian natural hair bloggers try and experiment - and spread the information we get for all natural women in our country. So yes, we have product junkies in Brazil! LOL

Alicia said...

Gorgeous ladies!! They look just like us! lol

questlove said...

Its nice to see a group of naturals together and happy too even though they have limited sources they work with what they got. You go girls! @curlynikki maybe one day youll learn portuguese or the mixture of english and portuguese hope youre having a good time.
And tell the ladies of brazil GL
and who knows maybe they can start their own line of natural products

RazzyYazzy said...

I love all the beautiful hair. These are some beautiful women. I concur on the cost of products. Living in the Bahamas the duty on hair care products are high, and it's crazy to think that in a majority black country, we can't get most of natural hair care product lines.

Truthseeker411 said...

Very lovely!!! The ladies are rocking the natural hair! The best part is the water and oil. Wow!

Butterfly73 said...

Love my Brasilian sisters!!! Love your hair!!

Anonymous said...

To our Beautiful Sisters in Brazil: Stay you, stay true and continue to show the world that our Beauty and Grace is the Standard. We appreicate your Struggle

Anonymous said...

Great pics!!!! Love the dress and the hair Miss Nikki WERK IT GIRL LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is so inspiring!

Bobby said...

The Brazilian divas hair is beautiful!! I have said it a thousand times, sista's in th 70's had huge and healthy afros with just WATER & GREASE!
We are being hoodwinked with all these natural products and really dont do nothing for me but cause dryness and knots!

Anonymous said...

LOL w/Bobby!

Anonymous said...

I just posted the group picture on my fb page. So agree with Bobby.

Nicol C.

Naturally Nita said...

You ladies have really mastered the art of keeping it simple! Your hair is gorgeous! Stay encouraged and remember you are beautiful just the way the Creator made you. Hugs from the US!

NaturallyNita

www.naturallynita.blogspot.com

Paula L White said...

Nikki, you and your hubby look fabulous, and so do our lovely Brazilian sistas! To your point, as someone whose product regimen consists of shampoo, leave-in conditioner, shea butter, coconut oil and gel, I am becoming increasingly concerned about the product junkyism in the African American natural hair community. I love a great product as much as the next girl, however the truth is that as black women, we spend more money on beauty, particularly our hair, than any other demographic. I feel like this is indicative of our own insecurities and constant feeling that we need to 'fix ourselves'. Also, my fear is that the high financial outlay that all the fancy-shmancy products require will be a barrier to more women embracing their natural beauty.

Anonymous said...

To all my Brazilian sisters, "You all look fabulous! Stay natural, stay proud, and stay beautiful!"

-Foxyrou

MelMelBee said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh...my SISTAHS! It does my heart good to see US all over the world representing! We need to do an international meetup!

marianela said...

How I love their hair! Thank you for inspiring us my fabulous Afro-Caribbean curly sistas! I am thankful to see you in all of your natural glory :).

SwirlieCurlies said...

Nikki be posing !

Annie L. said...

Beijos from NYC! I got a rude wake-up call about the 'color blind utopia' of Brazil 20 years ago and it's heartwarming to see the resistance and resilience of Brazilians fighting against centuries of false narratives shaping their social and political identities.
I'm excited about this re-established connection to our New World cousins, we share a profound relationship as the undefeated survivors of the Transatlantic travesty and it's about time a large-scale reunion were in order, and through the politics of hair no less, Lol!

Your American sisters are here for you, we've come VERY far in the U.S. and sometimes fail to recognize how enormous, significant and difficult that journey was and our great responsibility to reach out which is why I want to thank Nikki and Estimativa. Everyone looks so beautiful and ready for anything, I see great things on the horizon for all of us!

Anonymous said...

To our brazilian sister, we love, respect and support you....you do not need a million and one products, keep working with what you have. If it is not broke, do not fix it.

LBell said...

I think that might be the first House of Dereon dress I've ever really liked. Doesn't hurt that you look great in it, Nikki!

Brazil has THE largest African-diaspora population as well as a fast-growing economy. Despite their lack of access to the American/British product lines we take for granted, I predict that if the natural hair revolution keeps going, they'll start exporting products over here! You read it here first! ;)

Ronnie said...

Greetings my Brazilian sisters. We are inspired by your ability to truly embrace your natural beauty. Less is often more and you prove that. We stand in solidarity with you. Awesome job here Nikki. Well done.

Sweetdrk1 said...

Work it my braillians sisters! Absolutely fabulous!

Nikki! That dress needs to thank you? Wow!

herlucidsKy said...

Wow this is amazing!!!!

Natasha said...

How wonderful to see all the Brazilian sisters and their gorgeous heads of natural hair!

talybutterfly4 said...

You all are so beautiful and the hair is amazing!

Kinkikw said...

Wow look at our Brasilian sisters!!! Big ,beautiful hair on gorgeous women!!! They have my support in the natural hair movement in Brasil! I pray they can raise enough awareness to create their own product line!! <3

moya said...

First let me give a big Shout out to the Brazil Sister!!!U guys look beautiful..Keep up the good work!!! Luvthat Dress.. u rock it well..On the food side.. it was funny hearing u say u cldnt eat all your real meal cuz u had too much of tht Porks skin/rin.. cuz I Do that a lot when I go out to eat, esp if appetizers is good.. Nikki i so happy u were able to do that Trip..ladies look like they were happy to meet up with you..keep it up girl.. also hving your hubby support..nice

Anonymous said...

This post left tears in my eyes. I love seeing our sisters of the diaspora. One day I know there will be a world wide meetup: the universal sister hair raising event. Thank you CN for being, I think, the first to go there and capture the spirit.
I'm with the other commenter that water and just a few products(natural ones) are all you need. While I do support our business here in America, I hope this article inspires those with little means to purchase products.
These are some strong sisters and they all are just rocking it.
Simplicity and Moderation is the answer for most things. And they are a perfect example.

Ayisha B said...

For some reason, I was unaware of our beautiful people, our beautiful sisters who makeup Brazil. I just didn't know that Brazil was filled with people of a burnt skin...Amazing...I'm in Awe!!! Hey Estimativa, it's so wonderful to meet you, even if it's only through the Curly Nikki blog site. Maybe one day I will get to Brazil...until then...Viva la Revelocion for Natural Hair! Peace and Love

KurlyMommy said...

This post just solidifies that fact that we are all much more alike than different. One suggestion I have is that we not corrupt them with our over consumption, rather we take their lead with a less is more approach to our hair care needs. Wonderful post Nikki!!!! Beautiful sisters

Natural Beauty said...

The solidarity is so beautiful!
celebrateyournaturalbeauty.blogspot.com

Deanna H. said...

This post was so awe-inspiring! I want to journey to Brazil and this gave me a peek into their culture! Thanks Nikki!!!!

Sophie said...

Wow! So much beauty in each one of these pictures!! I've just realized that I've never been in the presence of more than two people with their natural hair out at a time (and I'm counting the bus...). I'm looking forward to my hair getting that big!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Everyone looks lovely!

Anonymous said...

I love this!

Anonymous said...

Awesome...simply awesome!

Anonymous said...

Nikki, I could have told you that most of you ladies spend way too much time & dollars trying to find the "perfect" hair potion and I don't see anything special that's why I love Naptural85 who keeps it simple and her hair is thick, long and BEAUTIFUL and she has some fabulously creative styles!

Anonymous said...

P.S. Nikki, you are smokin' that House of Deron dress--you're the perfect size to wear it. Plus size & knock knee chicks, stay away from this dress...yeah I said it...I'm tired of seeing women wearing clothing styles that don't work with their body...ugh

Don't get me wrong...Plus size is fine as long as you invest in good fitting clothes and watch proportions, you can't wear flimsy fabrics are too short/tight stuff. It looks horrible.

Pecancurls said...

CN, great post! Welcome ladies of Estimativa!! Beautiful, fierce hair my sisters! You are all glowing with pride. I must commend you all on taking the path less traveled and being trail blazers in your home country. Kudos!! Your inner strength shines through.

Beautiful hair and with such simple routines!! Love it!! I need tips ladies. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow--this article is so beautiful and inspiring. :) It's neat to see our sisters from Brazil and their gorgeous hair and smiles!

I think they are actually on to something with the simplicity of product usage. I definitely think less is more. Give me some water and shea butter (whipped or in solid form) and I'm good!

P.S.--Werk that orange dress!!

Blessings!

~caramelcurls

Anonymous said...

Wow you all are so beautiful! Keep your head up and keep natural. The world will be forced to deal with it!!! I don't care what anyone has to say about my natural hair I'm beautiful and that's all that matters!

KJam! said...

This is honestly amazing to read...I would love to go to Brazil, my fam is actually from Guyana but the culture and food is beautifulllll!!!! I will visit there in my lifeee

Anonymous said...

They are so pretty and I love their hair! :) They're so confident. I can only imagine what a great experience this was. Stay encouraged sisters and thanks Nikki for sharing this with us. ~KF519

Anonymous said...

This is what should be captured on TV instead of the garbage that is on now. Nikki I think what you are doing is awesome and I hope you know that you are truly making a difference around the world. Great Job! Keep up the good work! And the women of Brazil are gorgeous so inspiring!

Kudos said...

I wish I could speak Portuguese!! Stay beautiful ladies and continue to promote our natural perfection - you have sooooooooo much support over here in the States!
LOVE it!! :-*

Shayjsongbird said...

Thank you Nikki for traveling and broadening our curly community. I hope to one day visit, Brazil and meet some of them in person! :)

Leah Omonya said...

This is soo cool, the curlynikki community is literally taking over the world, what an amaizing world that would be.

Anonymous said...

Keep it coming Nikki!!! I'm loving all of the hair inspiration from our Curlies in Brazil!!

TTsGurlBB said...

Everyone looks beautiful and everyone's hair is in all different forms of awesomeness!! Simply beautiful. Thanks Nikki for posting this wonderful glimpse at our Brazillian sistas.

Deidre said...

Beautiful pictures! Beautiful sisters! Beautiful smiles! Beautiful hair!!! The hairstyles are awesome and reflect the diversity of our people. Hair styles are as diverse as the various shades of brown that our beautiful heritage has blessed us with! I am so proud of the work that you all are doing in Brazil to destroy ugly self hatred and self defeating mindsets that people have. My mindset is if you have tightly curly or kinkier textured hair love it and don't be ashamed to say I love my hair out loud. I don't care if it shrinks 100%, love your hair. Straight hair is not the standard , a loose curl pattern is not the standard. There is no standard. You make the standard for your own hair! Love it, style it, and be confident with whatever style you chose for the day!!! Love you all : D

MsJisola said...

All the women are beautiful and should keep doing what they are doing! Don't let anyone tell you are not beautiful the way you are. I've been reading some of the posts on what some Brazilian women experience when it comes to their hair and how it should be worn. That is not right and unfair because we are all beautiful the way God made us. You ladies of Estimative definitely inspire and remind us women here in the U.S. that women with natural hair have it hard everywhere. God bless you beautiful ladies!

sandy said...

I had to come back and check the pictures out again. You are all looking too good. Don't forget to give us some tips on how to use simple products. How do you condition? Tell me how do you use the oils and butters in what amounts, for your conditioning and twist outs. I want to know. I'm going to give up all these products. Maybe I should send you mine, because my hair is no where as beautiful as yours. Just loving all the pictures. Today I looked at each one individually. Beautiful. Make sure to give nikki the secret combinations on how to use the products: ok?

Anonymous said...

So beautiful! I just finished buying the last products I am going to try because I have concluded simplicity is the key and after reading this blog and seeing these beautiful ladies and their hair it has confirmed my decision!!!

Anonymous said...

thank you nikki for all that you are doing. greetings to all the sisters in brazil. this is just so wonderful.

Elena Como said...

Great post! I've been fascinated by Brazil & Brazilians for my whole adult life, and one of the most interesting aspects is the way that Brazilians (& Americans) think about race. One of my professors used to say that for an American, looking at Brazil is like seeing American in a funhouse mirror--it's the same but different. I think you captured that "sameness" in your post about the ways that Brazilian women think about their hair. I hope you are having a blast in Rio de Janeiro!

Salmon Oil Supplements said...

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prettybrowngirly said...

i <3 you for sharing your brazilian experiences. i can't even remember why you're there, but it's SO awesome to see how similar we are to other sisters in the diaspora.

Le'Carla said...

These ladies have some awesome hair!!!

natural wonder said...

i loved this i have wanted to go to brazil for some time now so this was a treat and to my Brazilian sistas i love how despite the language barrier we are so much alike....we definately should have some sort of movement to have a Afrian diaspora reunion... now that i would love to see

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered why no one ever reached out to our sisters in Brazil. I am glad you did, I have always fantasized about going to there to meet our sisters and brothers ever since I saw the movie, Black Orpheous when I was a child.

tinalashond said...

I am loving this information. Now I know where I will take my next vacation!!! Gotta meet my strong black sistas!!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog; loved the black natural women of Brazil!

Jameil said...

Where where where can I buy that House of Dereon dress???? I need it in my life!

Anonymous said...

CAYUTE!

CURLYNIKKI said...

Thanks ladies!

@Jameil, they're not available for purchase yet I don't believe :(

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