Your Best Natural Hair Year Yet 2013

Alright naturalistas, 2013 is here! Whether you’re trying to break out of your styling rut or grow healthier hair, here’s a list of five easy resolutions to help you kick off the year on a good foot…er, curl!

Street Style Hair: Inauguration Style

Inauguration weekend brought an air of excitement to Chocolate City as folks filled the streets to kick off President Barack Obama’s second term with a bang. At “The Congressional District Red Room Brunch,” these D.C. divas flaunted hot hair trends and celebrated in style.

Street Style Hair: Beauties and Brains

NYC is known for its networking soirees, and at “The Beauties and Brains Behind the Brands” event, style mavens got a chance to connect with the best in beauty. Check out a few of the curly girls we spotted exchanging business cards at this exclusive beauty biz mixer hosted by In Her Shoes.

Tressed to Impress
 Tressed to Impress

Simone Mair, Charisse Higgins and Gia Lowe attend “The Beauties and Brains Behind the Brands” event in NYC.
View more pictures at ESSENCE.COM

GET THE LOOK: Teyonah Parris’ Fierce Pompadour At The SAG Awards

Teyonah Parris Natural Up-Do
“Mad Men” actress Teyonah Parris sported a marvelous pompadour natural up-do for the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. If you’re not watching this sitcom, you totally should! Teyonah plays Dawn Chambers, who was the first black person to be hired at the firm. For the role she normally wears a wig, which unfortunately covers all of this gorgeous hair that we didn’t even know existed.
MUST READ: 2013 SAG Awards: The Absolute Best (& Worst) Dressed
Teyonah Parris 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - ArrivalsAfter a bit of stalking (and thanks to Afrobella), I found out what stylist was responsible for this creation, how this up-do was done and what products where used on Teyona’s mane.
We can thank Felicia Leatherwood from Loving Your Hair for this fabulously sculpted look. Felicia is known around the natural hair community as the “natural hair whisperer” — for obvious reasons. She gave Afrobella the exclusive on creating her look:

“That’s a variation of a fold and tuck that I like to do – it’s a variation that worked for her and was red carpet ready. This is all her hair. I shampooed her hair with Dr. Miracle’s new cleanse and condition shampoo. After that I used LRC’s leave in and serum, then I blew her hair out – she was so amazed at how fast I blew her hair out! And then basically I used Hicks Edge Control, and then I used Entwine’smoisturizing, hydrating styling product, and then I sprayed it with LRC natural holding spray and cinched it with Fantasia IC mist – it finishes everything perfectly!” says Felicia.

It absolutely warms my soul when I see a brown girl on any red carpet sporting her natural hair. To me it’s a far bigger movement. We have to urge networks, producers, and the talent for these shows that the characters we see on the big screen can have natural hair too. No matter the storyline. Natural hair shouldn’t take away from the role, but rather add a dose fabulousness.
Soon there will be a day where Olivia Pope will ditch the weave and grab her afro pick–I pray!

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All Natural Jamaican Black Castor Oil & 100% Pure African Shea Butter Mix

You will need: 

  • 100% African Shea butter ( moisturizer)
  • 100% Glycerin oil (moisturizer)
  • Extra virgin coconut oil (moisturizer/ protein)
  • Pure Jamaican black castor oil (moisturizer/removes toxins)
  • 100% Tea tree oil (anti-fungus)
  • 100%  Jojoba oil (moisturizer)
  •  Extra virgin olive oil (moisturizer/vitamin E)


Add equal amount of each ingredient in a blenter or a mixer, except for a few drops of tea tree oil.
Mix well and apply to your hair from roots to ends for softer, longer, and stronger hair. 

Does Black Hair Need a Clarifying Shampoo?

Question: Does Black Hair Need a Clarifying Shampoo?
You’ve probably heard of clarifying shampoos, but maybe you thought these cleansers were only for certain hair types, primarily those that suffer from oily buildup. Black hair is usually dry by its very nature, so perhaps you steered clear of clarifying cleanser, but is that wise?

Answer: If you use hair products, an occasional shampoo with a clarifying agent will help a great deal in freshening up your tresses and readying them for styling. Clarifying shampoos remove product buildup and present you with a “clean slate” for future styling. If your hair:

  • Is limp and lifeless
  • Looks dull
  • Doesn’t want to hold a style

Then it may be weighed down with old product residue, and clarifying should help.

Who needs a clarifier?
Some people need clarifying cleansers more than others. You’re more likely to need one if you use a lot of product each day and/or heavy products. Oil-based products, especially those containing an ingredient like petroleum (a real no-no when it comes to good hair ingredients) will quickly adhere themselves to the hair and they can be difficult get rid of completely, even with the most diligent shampoo. Clarifiers are designed to remove this buildup that regular cleansers often don’t. Since black hair requires moisturizing shampoo, chances are your usual cleanser is leaving some residue behind.
You’ll also need clarifiers if you swim often, whether or not you use a lot of products. Pool chlorine and other chemicals need to be thoroughly removed in order for your tresses to remain healthy. However, even the most frequent swimmers shouldn’t overdo it when it comes to these cleansers.

How often should you use one?
Because clarifying shampoos are so good at removing buildup, they also tend to be drying, which is why anyone with black hair should use these products very sparingly. If you’re a heavy product user, once or twice a month (maximum) is acceptable. If you rarely use heavy products, you can use one even less, perhaps every other month or so. No matter how much you put in your hair, don’t risk excessive dryness or breakage by overusing a clarifying cleanser.
After clarifying, your hair should feel light, clean and refreshed. It will probably not feel as smooth as it does after using a quality moisturizing shampoo, so follow up with conditioner. Although not a product for every day, having a quality clarifying cleanser in your hair care collection is a good idea for anyone.