Kim Wayans is Back On the Couch , Talking #Reckless


The homie, Kim Wayans, is back on the couch, y'all! This amazing talented writer, actress, comedian and producer also penned the foreword to my book, 'Better Than Good Hair', and I'm proud to call her a friend.  Check out the updates to her hair story and learn about her latest TV show, Reckless, which airs on Sunday nights at 9pm.  #TuneInTho

Tell us about your current relationship with your hair? 
I'm just loving it. With each passing year, I become more and more appreciative of the uniqueness and versatility of my bush. A few months ago, I started finger combing my hair... I notice it sheds a lot less than when I use a comb.  Although, I remain open to trying new products, I pretty much have it down to a science- what works and what doesn't work for my hair. I like to keep my routine fairly simple because there's nothing more frustrating than taking six hours to do your hair and ending up too exhausted to do anything else but nap! Every ten days, I put my hair in four large plaits then one plait at a time, I no poo with Aubrey's Honeysuckle conditioner, spray on some Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner by Jane Carter Solutions, then I drench my hair in a mixture of coconut & avocado oil, and seal it with Shea Butter. Every month to six weeks, I do an Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo by Morrocco Method Int'l to clarify my hair and rid it of product build up.

Tamron Hall Rocks Her Natural Hair on the Today Show! (Update-Get the Look!)

**Scroll down for an update to this post-- Tamron shares what she did to achieve the look! **

 she literally #WokeUpLikeDis 

Hola chicas,

So, the homie Tamron Hall (better known as a third hour anchor of NBC's Today Show and the host of MSNBC's News Nation), called me at a disrespectful 5 am this morning to report some breaking news-- that she'd be rocking her natural hair on air, for the first time, ever.  #TodayShowHistory

Read On!>>>

On the Couch with Karyn Parsons- Updates and a Rally Cry

For my first interview with Karyn, click here

For pics of Karyn and I at a CN event in NYC, click here!

Tell us about the hair situation. Updates!
I'm definitely far more educated, though that doesn't always translate into practice.  I'm on the run so much it seems, that I don't have the time that I dream about to take my time deep-conditioning every other day for an hour at a time, or twisting every night. When I do these things, I'm instantly gratified. I always see a difference. Still, I've learned about sealing in moisture and have been doing that more, as well as using coconut oil on my hair, which it loves.  I still hit the blowdryer (diffuser) too much, and too HOT :(.  Rushing too much. Once I leave the city for a few weeks (soon!) with my family and don't have to worry so much about meetings, I'll be pampering my hair and hopefully, making some good habits.

Read On!>>>

Girl Code's Nicole Byer- Exclusive Natural Hair Interview

After last weeks' post, I caught up with MTV's Nicole Byer to chat about her hair story and advice for women thinking of making the transition.  She is just as sweet and HILARIOUS as she is on TV.  Enjoy!

CN: How long have you been natural?
NB: I've been natural on and off since 2008 and have Big Chopped 4 times. Well, wait, what is the definition of a Big Chop?

For some reason there's a lot of debate in the space about that.  But in my opinion, it's when you chop off a significant amount of hair, relaxed or not. 
So yeah, I Big Chopped 4 times.  I had a natural mohawk with shaved sides for a while and then wore the Rihanna style by adding weave to the middle.  After I got tired of that, I shaved off the middle.  When that grew out a little, I bleached my natural hair 4 times in one night because I wanted it white.  Ruin. My hair fell out and I big chopped again.  Now it's natural but I only wear it out in the summer when it's hot. During the year I keep it in a protective style- wigs or weaves.  I wear lace front closures (sewn in) with my hair braided down underneath.

Read On!>>>

Tamera Mowry-Housley Big Chopped! Her Stylist Gives Big Chop Advice!

Tamera Mowry-Housley has a lot of change happening in her life right now. The end of her reality show with her sister Tia, her new talkshow The Real, and now, a new 'do! Just last week she was pledging her love to her long, wavy locks, but the other night we knew something was afoot when she tweeted a picture of her hair on the floor, "This is happening right now. Thanks @ShaiAmiel for my beautiful cut. Can't wait to show y'all"

Read On!>>>

Viola Davis: 'I Took My Wig Off Because I No Longer Wanted to Apologize for Who I Am'

Viola Davis is known for embracing the skin she was born in, and she’s bringing that natural beauty to the cover of this month’s Essence Magazine.

On the cover of the October issue, the 48-year-old Oscar-nominated actress rocked her natural hair pinned up in a pompadour and caught up with the magazine about the joys of marriage, love and motherhood as she tries to keep things positive for her husband, Julius, and their adopted daughter, Genesis.

Read On>>>

On the Couch with Sheryl Underwood- She Explains Natural Hair Remarks

Yesterday I received a massive amount of messages regarding statements made by comedian and Talk Show Host, Sheryl Underwood. Several of you, up in arms, forwarded me the synopsis from TheRoot, requesting that I start a petition, write into CBS or just publicly share an outrage over the comments she made on her show, ‘The Talk.” After reading through the transcript and watching the video myself, my initial thoughts were that A.) Yes, she’s a comedian and afforded some manner of freedom to entertain and provoke people but more importantly B.) What was said marginalized a large group of women (on a national stage) and in my opinion, spoke to what I feel is a deeper issue, one that the ladies of are not at all unfamiliar with.

Read On>>>

On the Couch w/ Raven-Symoné: Natural Hair Celeb

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with actress and singer extraordinaire, Raven-Symoné. Best known for her roles as Olivia Kendall on 'The Cosby Show', and Raven Baxter on the hit Disney sitcom, 'That's So Raven', she is all grown up and doing the dang thing. Talented, smart, and beautiful, Raven is a role model for young and old alike. Over the years, she has rocked braids, ponytails, lace fronts, and weaves. She's worn her hair curly, short, long, red, blond, and black. But did you know that underneath her Hollywood hair, she is a fellow natural? She shares her hair story, and her reasons for keeping her natural hair hidden away.

Read On>>>

On the Couch With Keshia Knight Pulliam

*Re-Post from 2/7/2011*

Keshia Knight Pulliam, aka Rudy Huxtable of the groundbreaking sitcom 'The Cosby Show', is On The Couch! Save for the poofy twists and braids she rocked in the ‘80s, I’ve only seen her in straight styles, and naturally assumed she was relaxed. She dished on her favorite products, her straightening routine, and how she came to embrace her curls.

CN: Word on the street is that you're natural. Is this true?

KNP: I am natural and have been my entire life, except for a short time in college, when I experimented with a perm. I have always had lots of long, thick hair. Everyone remembers me from 'The Cosby Show', with my big, puffy braids. Sometimes I look back and think, "y’all did me so dirty…you didn’t even blow dry my hair right… just slapped it back!" [Laughter] It was funny because I had never embraced the fact that my hair was very, very curly. Whenever they’d style it on set, they’d brush through it and pull it back. And every one knows if your goal is to keep your curls, you never ever brush or comb through them! Frizz city. That’s why my hair was always so big.

It was like a whole new world for me the first time I got my hair really straight. I think I was 13 years old and had never been introduced to the pressing comb. I loved it. At that time, I didn’t like wearing my hair curly. I grew up in the ‘80s when the Jheri Curl was king. So I would get teased a lot because my hair was ringlety curly and really dark, jet black. Even now, on 'The House of Payne', Lance will tease me when I’m washing my hair, saying, ‘uh oh, Jheri Curl in full effect!’ So I had this whole complex around that, and never wanted to wear my naturally curly texture.

But as I got older and went to college, things changed. There is nothing like that Atlanta heat! My freshmen year at Spelman, I lived in Apex and we didn’t have any AC. I would straighten my hair and wake up the next morning to a sweated out mess.


On the Couch with Marsha Ambrosius

Marsha Ambrosius On Her Natural Hair Journey

prepared by Sharifa Grant for

Her name is Marsha Ambrosius and she does what she WANTS to do. Or at least that’s what she says on Twitter. The R&B songbird stormed the music scene in 2000 as one half of the soul duo Floetry and made us love her even more across many “Late Nights & Early Mornings” with her 2011 solo debut. Bottom line. Marsha does things her way, and we can’t help but dig it. From braids to curls and freeform fros, she makes it clear, natural hair is no exception.

SG: What was your natural hair experience like growing up? Were you always natural?

MA: I embraced my fro from the day I can remember, really. That stems from a long line of women who did exactly the same. My mother had the mean even fro. I don’t even know how they did that back then! It was perfect. I don’t think they make afro picks like they used to. It was special. It was something that made an afro absolutely perfect in circumference.

I used to think my mother was a superhero, and I figured it was her hair. [laughs] I know it's weird. But now that you ask me, I guess, that’s why I’ve always embraced it... it was whether I wanted to wear it in two afro puffs or an afro puff to the left or to the right. I’ve just always been that kid.


Yeah. But, I’ve clearly been through the motions. As adolescents everyone is getting straight hair so I wanted a relaxer. Soon as I didn’t want one anymore, I cut all of my relaxer off and coiled it up with only about half an inch of hair. But I was unafraid to do so because I’ve never been emotionally attached to hair.

Only my fro made me feel like that. Any other hairstyle was just a fade or a phase I was going through. But I’ve always been okay to embrace my own hair.

Many women can’t say that. That’s kind of rare because a lot of girls grow up with the idea that a relaxer is the way to go--the only option. So, that’s cool.

Right, and [my experience] was the complete opposite. I’m not saying a fro was the only option, but the fro was the cool thing. When I grew up, I grew up looking up to my parents. My dad had a mean fro. My mother had the mean fro. So, I was like, I wanna be like them.


On the Couch with Jada Pinkett Smith

The CN reader that's heading to the red carpet tomorrow is... Kieran Windley @CitifiedKay 
Congrats!!! Say hi to Jada and Angela for me!

Hola chicas! Yesterday I had the rare opportunity and honor to speak with the talented and brilliant actor/director, Jada Pinkett Smith.  This entertainment legend, who I assume rocks an 'S' on her chest beneath her ultra chic attire, is using her influence to manifest projects that "bring balance" to our community.  Please read on to learn more about her latest endeavor and then go forth and support the hell out of it! 

On the documentary-

‘Free Angela and All Political Prisoners’ is specifically about Angela Davis, who I think is one of the most fascinating women of our era. I think the aspect of this documentary that really fascinates me, is that I thought I knew the Angela Davis story and I did not. There were a lot of shocking pieces about who she is as a woman and pieces about her trial and the movement itself that I was unaware of. The documentary actually came to me completed- it needed more money, a place to live… it needed distribution, which is why I came on board. When we finally got it done, I was thinking to myself that this is a story that needs to be told. A story that is a really fascinating piece of American History and oftentimes, unfortunately, these stories are only put in the niche of African American History, or Black History, but this is actually American History. It just happens to be centered around the civil rights movement. For me, I just felt like this was a really compelling part of our American History that needed to be told, that an African American woman is the center of, who happens to be the amazing Angela Davis!

After the theatrical release, which is rather extensive for a documentary, we’re hoping to make the documentary available to schools so that it may be shared in classrooms.


Tracee Ellis Ross Has 'Better Than Good Hair'!

So Tracee, aka 'The Homie', bka Miss 'It On a Stick' is #TeamEdges!

Read More and Watch Vid>>>

The Queen of the Afro: Pam Grier Talks Hair

Anya Grant writes:

The lovely ladies of iHEARTmyhair6 caught up with the iconic Pam Grier!  Check it out!

Chrisette Michele on Her New Body and Hair!


Last night I was watching movies with Hubby when he hit pause. We do this often... like 'put a pin in that' so we don't forget to do stuff or revisit things later.  Anyway, this particular interruption was to remind me that I needed to call Chrisette because he had just seen her on somebody's red carpet looking 'good as hell'. So yeah, I caught up with her today!  Homegirls' 'feeling so good' and has taken this whole year to be very introspective- mind, body and soul.


The Body.
I became very interested in the raw food movement so I went out and purchased an Angel Juicer. I fell in love with juicing and feeling really clean and started off by juicing the first 60 days of the year. Not only did I lose 17 pounds in those 60 days, but I lost a lot of emotional weight too. It was a great mix for me.

After that, I went vegetarian and started writing a bunch of recipes to keep myself interested because I have ADD and get bored, fast. There are a ton of farmers markets where I live so it’s perfect… I’m always so excited to try new things- I even had purple basil one weekend!

So about three months into vegetarianism, I was feeling so long, not necessarily lean, but just taller. I remember I was looking through my closet and I saw my tap shoes and my brother was like, ‘yo Chris, why don’t you dance anymore?’ and I was like, ‘you know man, you’re right I gotta get back to that’. So I went to my favorite dance school in New York, Peri Dance, and also went to Broadway Dance Center and started taking tap and ballet again and modern dance... everything! I began to really just sweat like mad. I’d take two or three classes a day if I could. And that really helped me detox for real. For some reason, working out sucks for me [Laughter]. I think that I get angry! I get upset and I think that stress contributes to weight gain, because my body would just be like, ‘I am not going to lose weight. I don’t care what you do! I hate this place!’ I mean, I had a beautiful trainer and she was working so hard with me… we were running back and forth for two hours, 5 days a week, and I just couldn’t understand… I was like, ‘why is my body not budging?’ But the combination of dancing and vegetarianism really got things moving for me.

On the Couch with Michelle Williams (Updates!)

Re-posted from 2012!

Hola Chicas!

Michelle popped in and saw your comments and took to twitter to set the record straight. Her interview with Angela was more about empowerment and catching us up on her successful career... but of course y'all wanted the hair deets, so here ya go!

She told me--

"Some of the readers were disappointed that I didn't discuss my hair routine! On my episode of Styled By June...all of that was my real hair....we shampooed, blow-dried and added clip in pieces for the makeover look.

When I'm not working I like to shampoo and air dry my hair and go. OR I diffuse my hair and take a small barrel iron to define unruly curls.

I like Mixed Chicks products and I also love Moroccan Oil line of products. They have amazing curl creams.

I've been relaxer free for about 11 years now. First it was a transition....then in 2008 I cut my hair short when I released my new album!

My hair was always long. Without weave it was down to the middle of my back. Where the bra band sits!"

Michelle in December 2011 with her own hair.....growing it out! Her hair was shampooed, diffused and curls defined w/ a small barrel iron.
"Nikki Mangrum of Freedom Salon in Chicago does my hair. She's great!"

"My natural hair out with pieces added for a more full dramatic effect! I love Diana Ross so this is my Diana Ross look..."

On the Couch w/ Beverly of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!

In light of last night's show, I thought I'd re-run this interview for those that may have missed it!  Bev is really a positive force and her brand is more than the award show... 

Originally Posted 11/2011

Yesterday I had the pleasure of catching up with BLACK GIRLS ROCK! founder, CEO and executive producer, Beverly Bond. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! (BGR!) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women of color across the globe. Rather than using negative life experiences to motivate and inspire, the uplifting movement focuses on elevating positive images and role models to inspire greatness within young girls between the ages of 12-17. Although many of us know of BGR! from their annual award show aired on BET, I was surprised to learn of the intricacies of the brand and of all the other irons Beverly has in the fire. This model, turned DJ, turned mogul is a powerhouse and natural to boot! Enjoy!

CN: How did you first conceive of the organization, or the movement that is Black Girls Rock!?

BB: It started all at once... in one sitting. It was a T-Shirt slogan idea that in that moment morphed into the bigger idea of a non-profit organization and award show to empower young women of color. I felt that all of those things were needed and the slogan itself lends itself to thinking that big. I was sitting down designing the T-Shirt ideas and I was like, this is bigger than a T-shirt… it’s an affirmation that all of our women, our girls, from grandmothers to newborns, need to hear, because it’s not a message that we’re getting. It’s not a message that has been heard in our community… that we rock. The message that we had been hearing was it’s acceptable to be unacceptable.

CN: You’re a DJ too, right? How did you make the leap over into this ‘empowerment’ space? Was there any one moment that led you down this road?

BB: As a DJ, of course I’m paying attention to a lot of the music and messaging more so than a lot of other people. And there were some very harmful things being said to women and women of color… there were some very harmful images, some very imbalanced messages that were being sent to our community. In particular, telling our girls that their worth was in their physical self and not in their whole self.

CN: From what I've read, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Tell us about your other endeavors.

BB: Since 2006 I've headed the New York City-based arts and mentoring program, designed to develop girls into future leaders. That continues and is the crux of what we do.

I'm excited to share that this year we kicked off the Black Girls Rock! & Soul Tour, presented by Chey in Los Angeles - headlined by Erykah Badu. The concert celebrates women of color in the alternative rock and soul music genres for both emerging and established artists. The second tour stop took place in Washington DC during the Congressional Black Caucus headlined by Melanie Fiona, followed by NYC with Estelle. Trust that next year we're taking them to another level.

BGR! presented our first Queen's Camp: For Leadership & Excellence Summer Camp – a two-week intensive leadership program, designated for exemplary teenage girls (aged 12-17) of color from various social, economic and geographic backgrounds. Thirty applicants this year were awarded full scholarships through the generous support of private donors and corporate sponsors.

CN: What impact do you want BGR! to make on the world?Where do you see yourself and the movement 5 years from now?

BB: I would like to expand BGR! with BGR! Cultural Centers all over the world. There is a definite need. We’ve been mentoring girls since 2006 however with the award show, it’s actually expanded our reach and because of that, it’s also expanded the demand for our services. People feel like BGR is a way to penetrate our youth and encourage them to tap into being their greatest selves. So we get hit from all over the world, like ‘when can we start here’, ‘when can we start there’.

My larger goal is to start an academy, or a school to really help to bring the best of the best and have these girls be the leaders that we know they can be, if they have the encouragement and proper backing. I think that’s one of the most important goals of what Black Girls Rock! is doing. In everything we do, whether it be the award show or the merchandising, it’s all leading back to this message of empowerment, and it’s all leading back to support this expansion.

CN: Any advice for CurlyNikki readers with the entrepreneurial spirit?

BB: You’ve gotta believe in what it is that you’re doing. From the outside looking in, you’d think that BGR! has all of these people behind it that are making this thing move, and we’re really still a very grass roots organization. I put everything... I mean, just not my own financial support toward the organization, but also all of my time, I do everything. I’ve done every single job from folding the T-shirts to answering the phone. You must be hands on for every single aspect of the job, you can’t just say, ‘I want to be a boss’. I wake up now and I’m like, the world is viewing me differently [laughter], but it’s not like I took the moment to think about that, I just was doing what I do, and I’m passionate about what I do and I knew that it needed to be done. I think that if you believe in whatever your dream is, you need to tap into what you need to do to make it happen. And on those days that you're kinda feeling down, you have to find a way to believe even more. There have been days…lots of days and times where I feel like I may have taken on too much, but then what motivates me is that this has to happen. Like I can’t stop… I can’t not do this. I gotta do what I gotta do. I’ve taken DJ gigs that I would never take just to keep the programs running on Saturday. Like stuff I would never do [laughter]. Looking back at it, I think that everybody that really believes in what they do… everybody that has fire in their spirit and a passion, they make it happen.

A lot of people who want to be an entrepreneur, want to be their own boss, assume they can skip steps and you can’t do that. They think that because, 'I don’t want to work for cooperate America, I want to do my own thing'… it's that simple. It's not. The value is not in skipping the steps. Your journey is just as important. Everything that you do along the way is what’s helping you to become more empowered, helping you to get stronger and helping you get better at what it is that you’re doing. It's like the book, The Value in the Valley.

CN: Can't let you go without asking, word on the street is that you’re natural?!

BB: I am natural! I don’t perm… relax, whatever [laughter]. I’ve always rocked my hair natural and curly and I also get Blowouts. I do weaves only because I’m on stage quite frequently. I have a girl that's so good at it that you don’t even know when I’m in it or when I’m out. I have such a head full of hair that she has to put this protective cap thing on my hair just to keep it down in order to get the weave on my head. What’s funny is that I had been weaving and got a little bit addicted to the stuff. I had been weaving and weaving and I would only come out to go back in. One time she couldn’t do my hair and I took my hair out and went to the Dominican Salon for a blow out. I go there a lot and they know me… they blow my weaves out. So I go there and she blows my real hair out and it’s down way past my shoulders. The woman looks at me like, ‘mami are you crazy?! Why do you wear weaves?’ It’s so funny, because I had became so addicted to the weaves that I had forgotten that I had all this hair! It was to the point where my hair was longer than the weave that I had in my head. But I say that to say, I love my curls and I think that we need to spend more time with our natural hair to learn what it does. I’m not saying you can’ t change it up, I’m just saying that when you chemically change it you can’t do all the fun and wonderful things you can do when your hair is natural.

I think that the more we know about our hair the more we can take better care of it and keep it healthier. I don't judge women that have relaxers... just like I weave because I don’t have time to do my hair, they have reasons for their choices.

We’ve been sold so many versions of who we are and we’ve never been told about our natural beauty, especially here. So it’s unfortunate but a lot of us don’t neceassarly embrace all of that about ourselves. Natural hair rocks!

CN: Any fave products?
BB: I love Aveda products especially their Humectant. It absorbs well and it’s really good for curly hair. With natural hair, it seems like it absorbs everything you put on it... I love conditioning my hair and having the feeling that my hair is really healthy. I did notice too, one of the reasons I put my hair under [Laughter], that’s what I call the weaving process, is because I do find that sometimes, especially in the winter, because my hair is so curly, it lends itself to breaking. I have to be careful and condition, and condition some more.

For more information about BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Inc check out

Janet Hubert- Mission 'Loc Down'

My Bush is Back!!!!!!

by Janet Hubert

Okay, so I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it again!  I locked my hair for the second time in my life. The first was for 2 years and this time, only one. My hair has this thing that it does, and I am sure others with the same hair type as me will testify.  It coils around itself something terrible, so I allowed it to do what it wanted to do.  

a closer look

People always asked what they were... if they were twists or locs.  I called them my lumpy locs!  I left the front loose so that if I ever needed to blend a wig for a part I could.  But even the front would try to loc if I left the twists in for too long.  

Fastforward a bit.

I started seeing folks taking their locs down on Youtube and I got the bug!  Plus, Nikki turned me on to some incredible products that my hair seems to LOVE with a capital L. Even when I was locked, I could apply some Qhemet Root Butter Cream to my son’s locs and mine and get instant, soft, dreamy locs. I didn’t feel the Twist Butter because of the wax in it. I learned that last time when someone put wax in my first set of locs... I remember trying to wash that gunk out and it was so awful. Plus, the wax left my locs white until they dried. So nix to that... sorry, I do digress.

Weapons of mass delumping, detangling and softening!

I found this product called SLIP from Curly Hair Solutions quite by accident one day and ordered it.  When it arrived, I sprayed some on one loc, started to comb and was shocked at how easily it started to release.  I decided to do 5 locs a day and I was loving feeling each new section. I did it this way so that there was no real pressure. I admit that for each one I removed there was this feeling of, 'Lord I got to deal with the big bush again'. There was a wonderful freedom with locs that I'd come to know. Similar to the freedom I experienced the first time I had my head shaved down to the nub. That is the beauty of our hair, it does so many things.

 My secret weapon!

 Here's a horrible one! My hair curls inside itself no matter what!.

Add Root Butter Cream or Ghee to roots with wet hands...

After Slip, and a little Qhemet Root Butter Cream it's so soft! See the ends already unlocking...

Just a little hair lost after the take down of one entire section 

By day 25 or so, they were all out. Some of the really tiny ones were a challenge but armed with SLIP, a rattail comb and a thumb that was getting a little raw from the constant combing out, I survived the loc down. I am loving my big, beautiful bush and am so very happy to see that so many others are joining the Natural Revolution. I feel like we all have this wonderful connection that no one can really copy. Though I don’t like this system of curl pattern typing, I think it makes us again slaves to needing and wanting texture and curls. I was in the braid salon the other day getting some twists which by the way, all twists are not created equal, and this African sister was admiring my hair saying that she wished she could wear her hair that way. I commented, why don’t you? Her response was that I had good hair and she had African hair. I was stupefied, I’m looking at her and in my mind, we were exactly the same. Now I don’t know the gentleman who invented it but I think since it is supposed to be about being all the way natural, us kinky coiled queens should be 1, not 4 and go the other way for once. Let’s finally really celebrate our kinky style!

CN Says:
Peep my first interview with the fabulous Janet, HERE!

Kimberly Elise talks Healthy Natural Hair Care

Reposting 'cause she's so damn cute and down to earth!  Her hair is EVERYTHING!  Enjoy! 


Kimberly Elise, acclaimed actress best known for her roles in 'Set It Off', 'John Q', 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman', and 'For Colored Girls', is On the Couch! She's one year into her healthy hair journey... she prepoos and utilizes protective styles! I'm sure by now, you can tell she's a member of the natural hair community, even calling sites like CurlyNikki, the Natural Hair University!

To achieve this look, Kimberly set her hair in small bantu knots while damp.
She released when dry then lightly spritzed with rosewater.

CN: Your hair is stunning, so thick and healthy. Have you always been natural?
KE: I had my last relaxer in the early 2000s. I grew up with the pressing comb, had a Jheri Curl and then I started relaxers. I have a very sensitive scalp and no matter what I did, they always burned. My hair wasn’t happy and didn’t do well. And so I just stopped at a certain point and my last one was probably in 2000 or 2001. I reverted to using the pressing comb, then I tried braids, sort of leaving it alone, and I found that that made it really grow.

Just last summer, 2010, I thought I’d try something a little different. I had heard about the keratin thing and I understood it to be a temporary process… something you could put in and wash out in like 2 months. I thought it would be a nice change. Well, it didn’t wash out and my curls were gone. It was really upsetting. I pulled back again, put it in and braids to let it grow
and recently cut off about 6 inches, all the keratin, and now I finally have my curls back.

It’s been almost a year of letting it regrow itself. That’s where I am now. My curls are back and honestly, I didn’t know a whole lot about how to take care of my natural hair until this last year. I learned so much on your site. I don’t even know how I stumbled across it… it’s like so educational, a university for natural hair. I’ve also learned so much from Youtube, everyone from CurlyChronicles, Naptural85 to NaturalChica and Kimmaytube. I so love and appreciate the community and I’ve learned what my hair does, what it is, and how it thrives in a way that I really never understood before. I felt like I’d been given a key to a secret room and all the answers were in that room. It’s very empowering because you really are in your own little world trying to figure it out (hair), and to see this whole community of support and education and sharing information, it was refreshing.

CN: I see that you’ve been wearing your natural hair on the red carpet quite a bit. How has it been received?
KE: I’m extremely protective of my hair and so I don’t let them use it. Like in my last movie… they wanted to style my hair and I said no. I’ll do wigs, but I don’t want the stress on my strands. There are too many people that don’t know how to take care of it and I’d be bald by the end of the production. It’s too sensitive for the rigors of production.

As for your question, people love it. Certainly on the red carpet people love it and they’re excited to see natural hair out and wearing it and feeling free about it and I’ve received nothing but compliments and good feedback from just being myself.

CN: What’s your current routine and staple products?
KE: I went through the whole junkie phase and tried all types of things. And now I have a very simple routine. I spritz day and night with rosemary water I make myself. I get rosemary herbs from Whole Foods and boil them and let them sit overnight in purified water. Then, I’ll either use shea butter or coconut oil to seal in the moisture. And that’s it! Very simple. I’m still trying to find the right shampoo because I’m very particular about products. I’m a vegan, I was a vegetarian for 13 years and just became a vegan. And I’m very particular about natural products, organic products and that’s been like my biggest challenge. And that’s why my routine is so simple because I am so selective.

Mostly I prepoo with Aubrey Honey Suckle Rose or coconut oil and then I was using the Giovanni to shampoo, but it wasn’t quite right for me. So I’m still searching there. And I find that that’s a part of it too. The journey to find what works. My mom is on the journey with me. She’s been natural forever but again didn’t really know how to care for her hair. She grew up believing ‘black girls don’t like water’. We need water, we need to drink it and put it on our hair. So she’s really on this journey with me too. Things that don’t work for her, might work for me, and vice versa. I don’t have a good answer for that. I’m still figuring out what’s best for me, which is why i don’t want to put a brand name out there.

On Sunday, I’ll shampoo and condition. It’s an all day thing. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m in a protective style. I have learned that with my hair less is more with as little manipulation as possible. I will wear cute braid/twist/bantu knot style, a pretty scarf, a cute hat and always some sort of hair accessory that brings it all together. My hair grows very fast, over a 1/2 inch a month. Protective styles allow my hair to grow at it's full potential so when I do want to wear it out, it's healthy and vibrant.

And if I have something that I’m going to go to and I want to wear my hair out, that’s a special thing. I don’t just wear twist-out and curl outs everyday.

So Sunday, I’ll do that and braid it, spritz it and put my silk scarf over it or find a cute braid style that I can wear out. Come Wednesday, I’ll cowash with Aubrey, and then do it again on Sunday. And in between, every morning and every night, I spritz with the rosemary water and seal with coconut oil.

For events, I’ll stretch it with… I learned from GirlsLoveYourCurls about threading. So I stretch my hair and then very lightly spriz and either twist it or roll it and then finger it out and apply a little more coconut oil. And that’s how I got that look.

CN: I've seen pics of you with your daughter. She's adorable! Does she love her natural hair too?
KE: My mom and my youngest daughter. My daughter is feeling more and more comfortable about her natural hair as she watches me embrace mine. What’s really amazing to me is that growing up, the pressure was, ‘when are you going to get your relaxer?’ or ‘when are you going to change what your natural hair is?’ And you didn’t feel good unless it was pressed or somehow chemically processed. My daughter is 12, she goes to school and the girls are all natural. And they’re teaching each other how to take care of their natural hair… really supporting each other in their natural hair. And these are 12 year old black girls, all kinds of textures of hair and they’re all natural! No one has any chemicals and it’s a whole different world. And so my daughter comes home from school with a new technique that she learned from another girl about how to flat twist or another moisturizer, and it’s beautiful. They’re learning from us as mothers but they’re being very strongly influenced by their peers.

CN: Any words of encouragement for a newbie or a woman thinking of making the transition?
KE: It’s so incredibly personal. I definitely wouldn’t try to persuade someone because there is a lot of commitment that goes with it. But if a person is at a point that there sure that this is what they want to do… I’d say get as much education as you can even before you big chop! I recommend reading 'The Science of Black Hair'. Be patient with it, listen to it. What works for your sister may not work for you. It’s an exciting, magical process to watch your hair come to life and thrive. My mom is 73 and she said her hair is saying ‘finally!’ It’s true because your hair really will talk to you. Surround yourself with a community of support. Not everyone will be supportive. There is still a lot of stigma against us with our natural hair. Pressures to have it straight. It’s important to have a support group, even if it’s just strangers on the Internet. Have fun with it. Create some new styles and share them. It’s a magical journey and it’s liberating. You can walk out in the rain and not worry about it… it’ll create a new fantastic hairdo!

CN: What's the best thing about being curly?
KE: I love how my curly hair is such a personal expression of the woman I am. The woman God created. I get excited as I see it grow and grow and I see it as a direct reflection of my own growth into myself and accepting me as me. I find that though not everyone embraces my hair most people do and they love to ask me about it, learn how I care for it especially if they are struggling to understand their own hair. I am always open to answer their questions and advise them as much as I can. They will start asking me about my movies and we always end up talking about hair care! Also I find that people of other ethnicity's really really love our kinky curly hair and are always full of compliments and praise and simply cannot stop the flow of positive words about my big kinky curly hair. It's a wonderful way to celebrate self and be celebrated by others who may be different from me. I love it!
CN: What projects are you working on?
KE: I just finished a really fun film… ‘Hannah’s Law’, a western. Me and Danny Glover and Billy Zane. I had a blast creatively, it was a really fun experience. I played a cowgirl.
For that project, all my projects, I cornrow my hair and wear character appropriate wigs and that’s what I did for ‘Hannah’s Law’.

**Kimberly is on twitter and she wanted me to tell you that she responds!**

Tracee Ellis Ross on Her Natural Hair Journey!

Many of you may be just too darn excited to read the intro - and that's fine skip on down to the good stuff! Cause lemme tell you child, when I found out I was gonna be interviewing my (imaginary in my mind) best curlfriend I was more excited than Lil' Wayne at a skinny jeans and skateboards convention! I'm talking Sophia Grace at a Nicki Minaj concert kind of excited! I'm telling y'all, today -Tracee, tomorrow, Michelle? *dives behind rose garden bushes*

On her hair as a child…
My hair has always been a huge part of me. I swear you can chronicle the evolution of my spirit and my embracing and celebrating all of who I am through my hair journey.  

In all honestly, I’ve completely resorted back to all of my childhood hairstyles! The way I wear my hair at home, the way I braid my hair, and the way I comb out my natural curls to get that huge wind swept, salt water look… it’s all very reminiscent of my childhood photos and the history of my mother’s hairstyles. 
that's a young Tracee on the left!

I have not always been natural. I had a relaxer in my hair during my teen years…well it was more of a texturizer than a relaxer.  But I started as a natural girl. I used to go to Joseph’s every Saturday to get a roller set, a wet set.  I’d sit under the dryer for an hour while I waited for ‘lil Joe-Joe to do my blow-out. He was like, ‘THE guy’, so everybody waited for hours and hours to see him and that was the majority of your Saturday.

So I did that for many years and if I couldn’t go for my hair appointment, my mom would blow my hair out or put the hot comb on the stove, which was a part of her childhood.  My hair never required a ton of heat and my texture was actually really consistent but the pivotal point came when I moved to Europe to go to school.  Enter the Relaxer.

The teenage years…
I remember calling my mom from there and saying ‘Mom, I know that hair, in it’s essence is already dead, but my hair is dead in a way that I don’t know how to explain.’  I was all the way in Europe and I was in school and it was just me doing my hair.  I would kind of blow out the front of my hair, my sort of ‘quote, unquote’ bangs and kind of poof them forward with a headband and take the rest of my hair and put it in a little bun really low down at my neck.  And so I had this poof in the front and whatever in the back and whenever I’d come home from Switzerland I’d get my hair relaxed.  So when I left Switzerland and started going to school in the States, which was 10th grade, the evolution of my Natural Hair began.

So I didn’t cut my hair off, I basically grew my relaxer out and then the journey began.  It was sort of like this crazy experimental process of trying a million different products and actually, I’m still the kind of girl that will try any and everything!  The hard part was when I started working, I mean modeling was one thing, but then when I started acting…that’s when it got difficult. 

... the beginning of Tracee's natural hair exploration!
The ‘Girlfriend’ years…
For the first three seasons of Girlfriends, if I had an early call-time, I would wake up 3 hours before so my hair could dry naturally.  Three hours before!  I didn’t use any form of heat on my hair at the time… no blowdryer, no diffuser, I wouldn’t let anybody do anything to it. I had finally gotten my hair back to its virgin condition… my huge natural curls were back and I wasn’t letting any heat or chemicals near my head!  So yes, there would be these conversations with the assistant directors where I’d plead for a 9 am call time, but if I got a 6am call time - and I’m not joking - there were times when I’d wake up at 3 am.  And it’s not like you can wake up, wash your hair and go back to sleep. 

Then something else occurred, an exploration of sorts.  Around year three, Tracee’s hair became Joan’s hair… it was interchangeable. So when I was off camera, when we weren’t shooting, I started to get bored with my look. The things that were so me, weren’t anymore- - the ‘Tracee bun’, my natural hair, became the ‘Joan bun’ and Joan’s natural hair. I was like, okay, I need something different, I need to be able to break away and turn back into Tracee when the season finishes.
So, I went to get my hair blown out and the person that usually did my hair wasn’t in town and the woman that she referred me to used a stove and an iron… it was still a flat iron, but it was too much heat for my hair and although I spent the entire summer with gorgeous, shiny, blunt, crazy great hair, three months later, my hair would not curl. So I ruined my curl pattern and I freaked out! But that created a whole new exploration.   

There was a man by the name of Scott Williams that came in to work on the set of Girlfriends, I think it was Season 4.  After that season, I took great pictures of the straight hair that will never happen again (because the curls would never come back), and we started to discover the Chi curling iron, not the Chi-3 but the Chi. I don't think they make it anymore, they keep trying to reconfigure it and it’s not the same, but it’s okay because I’ve discovered other things now. But anyway, the Chi iron saved my life! It was ceramic and it would get hot enough that it would leave me with straight, silky hair, but it wasn’t so hot that it would change my curl pattern.  So we nursed my hair back to health using a silicone-y something on my hair and the Chi and that’s when I discovered all these other hairstyles that I could achieve. And we found that balance between my natural hair volume and more ‘movie stary’ looks- that’s what we used to call it when I started naming all of the hairstyles! 

Dominique Dawes' Hair Story- 'I am Finally Natural!'

History lesson.

Before there was Gabby, there was Dominique. One of the great icons of my generation, the talented and beautiful Dominique Dawes was the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics and the first Black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.  I'm honored to bring you her natural hair story.

CurlyNikki: Dish on the hair! I'm loving the curls!

Dominique: I am finally natural! Finally natural. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would go natural, mainly because when I was younger, I was always told that my hair was unmanageable... that it was dry, that it was brittle. You know, all the things that those with certain textures of hair are told.

I never seemed to be able to get past shoulder length with my relaxed hair, it would always get to my shoulders and start breaking off and I’d have to chop it off and start over. So approximately 2 and half years ago I got a weave to attempt to grow it out.

Within that time I started working with a number of different hair stylists that would install partial weaves that left the top of my hair exposed. Never a fan of weaves, I’d always notice people wearing them, and I didn’t want to be that person. Luckily, I found an amazing hair stylist to put in a full weave and during that time, my hair was able to rest.  I of course never got my hair relaxed during this time and it grew and grew.  Last year my stylist asked, 'have you ever just thought of wearing your natural hair?' And I laughed because I thought she was joking! And she was like, ‘What? Why wouldn’t you wear your natural hair?’ and I said, ‘because it’s dry, it’s brittle, it’s not manageable. I’ve been hearing that since I was a kid so I never imagined going natural.'  As she did every two months, she took the weave out and conditioned my hair. But this time, she took me to the mirror and showed me my natural curls and coils. I fell in love with my hair right away.  But I hadn't embraced it. I was in the midst of headshots and interviews at the time and it wasn't... 'comfortable' for me.  But at some point, I remember I was out of my weave for like 5 days and just before I was due back in to have the weave installed, I called my stylist up and I said, 'you can burn that hair because I’m done with it, I love my hair!'  She knew she was losing a boat load of money because I always bought the top quliaty of hair as well as made appointments every 2-2.5 months... but she was so happy for me. I felt liberated and empowered beause I was embracing a part of myself that I never thought I would embrace.

I really love my coils and curls... so much that I’m walking around and telling people to go natural! And when they laugh at me and say stuff like, ‘oh my hair is too brittle’, I say, 'that’s what I thought too'. And of course my hair still gets dry, but I really love the texture of it. I will talk to you more after I get back in the States, because you’re the expert, but I’m on a crusade to find the right products and the right styling techniques.

CurlyNikki:  I was contacted by CNN to share my opinions about the controversy over Gabby Douglas' hair and I know it's pretty much old and tired news, but I have to ask... would you like to weigh in for the CurlyNikki community?

Dominique: My thing is that it’s really disheartening. This young girl makes history, and us in the African American community should be embracing and celebrating what she has done... not just for herself, but for the impact that it’s going to make on our kids, as I did 16 years ago. She told me that I was one of the individuals that helped her recognize and believe that she could not only go to the Olympics, but do what she has done there.  She found inspiration from my performances. So I know that thousands of young kids will get inspiration from her performances. It is a little disheartening that some, not all, in the African American community, instead of celebrating her achievements are criticizing something so superficial.

As gymnasts, we are not concerned about our hair. If you look back at videos of myself at the Olympics, you'll see I wasn't so concerned with how I looked and if I was, I may have never made it to the Olympic games.  My focus wasn't on appearance, it was on achievement. 

CurlyNikki: As a pioneer in your field, what advice do you have for women that are paving their own way?

Dominique:  Make sure you’re doing things for the right reason, also, you have to have a passion for what you’re doing. I always tell people to follow your heart, but also to be very selective in the people you choose to get advice from and to surround yourself with, because you really don’t want to have a lot of noise and clutter distracting you from reaching your full potential and making an impact.

It’s all about passion, all about people and and it’s all about having a vision of where you want to take your life, both professionally and personally. I think people have to recognize that there’s many facets to your life and I never, as I did as a child, never sacrifice everything for one goal. Make sure you’re happy in all facets of your life, such as your personal endeavors, your goals, your hobbies, your physical and emotional health, the relationships with friends and fam, your spouse, your kids as well as your professional life and spiritual growth.  Like I tell people, I never strive to be Super Woman.  I don’t try to do everything exceptionally well, I just try to do them to the best of my ability that day. And that’s key for a lot of people that want to be pioneers. Don’t negelect those other facets because at the end of the day, you’re not going to wish you spent more time in the office, you’re not going to wish you made more money, you’re not going to wish you got that contract, you’re really going to wish that you had more of a balanced life with strong meaningful relationships.

CN Says:

'...but also to be very selective in the people you choose to get advice from and to surround yourself with, because you really don’t want to have a lot of noise and clutter distracting you from reaching your full potential and making an impact '  <<<<<<< THIS. 

Reminds me of one of my fav Kanye lyrics- '...any pessimists, I ain't talk to them, plus I didn't have a phone in my apartment'. Lol, y'all know I never miss an opportunity to quote Kanye.  But yeah, I couldn't agree with that sentiment more.

At any rate, Dominique is amazing and we'll be checking in with her when she's back Stateside.  In the meantime, show her some support below, she's looking forward to reading your comments. 

Also, keep up with Dominique on her website,, and on Twitter! 

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