Showing posts with label Amber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amber. Show all posts

Nov 21, 2014

ROOTS & RHYTHM: India Arie f. Akon - "I Am Not My Hair"

This time of year is always seems to be a unique mixture of our past, present and future.  Families are planning to gather and celebrate each other and their traditions.  Individually we're planning for the year ahead while showing gratitude for the blessings of the year that has passed.

Candice, Toya, Ashiya, and Melissa at the 30th Annual African Street Festival 2012
It is a time of change and it has certainly landed at Natural in Nashville.  We will already miss Amber, just as we miss Toya.  That gives us another reason to be thankful for our online community. We can see them flourish and grow where they have been planted now.  And we miss them a little bit less.

NIN Spring 2014 Photo Shoot: Candice, Ashiya, Amber and Melissa.

The team is changing and growing for 2015 and we are excited for the next leg of our collective natural hair journey.  One thing writing for Natural In Nashville has confirmed for me is something we all know:  it is more than hair.  Healthy hair is the result of a healthy mind, body and Spirit.  It truly does depend on our lifestyle.

NIN Spring Meet Up: Melissa, Candice, Ashiya and Amber

Nothing made this more evident than looking over the blog and seeing our health concerns, personal beliefs and special moments in life all connected to stories about our hair.

As we welcome two new writers and prepare for 2015, I found no better song than this classic from Ms. India Irie.  We come here to share about our hair, but it is so much more!

Stay tuned to Natural in Nashville on Facebook for more on our new writers!

We can't wait to see you at the Natural in Nashville Holiday #PopUpMeetUp!  Get tickets here.

Nov 5, 2014

Amber's Hair Diary: Curry & The Doux

It's not really much of a secret but this is my official announcement.  I have accepted a position with The Doux Salon Macon and will be relocating to Macon, Georgia to continue my growth as a stylist.

The decision wasn't hard but it wasnt easy either. My heart will always be with Nashville, but I also don't want to look back 10 years from now and think "what if?"

My love affair with The Doux begin almost 5 years ago now when I read an article about the owner of the salon in Essence or  Ebony Magazine (I don't remember which). At that point in time being a hairstylist was the furthest thing from my mind.

This is the initial image that I remember seeing.  This is The Honeycomb which is located in Germay. I remember reading the article and just thinking I want to get my hair done in a salon like that, and why does it have to be in Germany.  Her salon also turned me on the Tabitha Bianca Brown of The Pairabirds which is one of my favorite artists/ graphic designers.  I have the same three afro queen photos pictured above.

From that moment on I began silently stalking all things Doux.  From the haircare line to the salon, I loved everything that this brand represents.  It is fresh, youthful, vibrant, outspoken, ahead of the trend and then some.  A year ago or so I sent her my resume not realizing that she was planning on opening her flagship U.S. location.  About a month ago I interviewed over the phone with her and so it all began. I had begun sowing these seeds along time ago without even realzing, and now they are preparing to grow and bloom and I am preparing along with.

Maya has found the perfect balance of mixing culture, with style, and music, and she demanded the attention of those around her.  She never minced words and made it so very clear that The Doux is about recapturing uniqueness and cherishing individuality. She is also clear about providing stellar customer service.  She makes no fuss about hair because it is just hair.  There are no "holier than thou" natural hair speeches, no hate for those who choose to rock it straight. Just mad skills and the result is healthy beautiful hair no matter the texture.

I don't have the time for small minds or those who can't see or understand my vision. I am tired of being the token. Take it for what it is, but its the truth. Being older than most girls who go through cosmetology school and because this is a second career for me I am very clear on what I am willing to accept from others in this industry.  I have also learned from past expereiences to trust my gut.

Maya is visionary and I know she will help to push me outside of my comfort zone to cultivate my craft and art. I am so humbled and honored to be working as a part of her team. She was also an Aveda educator so I know she knows what I know, and how important the service and skill piece is for me. So while I am sad to leave Nashville I am eager to begin the next step of my adventures in hair. However my plan is to still contribute to the blog as a stylist.

The Salon's Grand Opening is Friday, November 7th at 6pm.  If you have friends and family in the Atlanta and Macon area please let them know about me and the salon.  The event is free and they can RSVP here to attend.

More than anything I want to thank the Nashville community for your overwhelming support since I have begun this journey.  I  have met so many amazing women and men who have believed in me and my vision and supported me wholeheartedly. So for those who have sat in my chair, referred me clients and beyond THANK YOU is just not enough.  But just know that it was not taken for granted and I will continute to grow as a stylist and to be bold in this wonderful world of hair.

To keep up with myself  & Team Doux 

The Doux Salon and Product Pages 



**the views expressed on natural in nashville do not reflect the views of my employer**

© 2014 The Doux Untld. LLCc

Oct 16, 2014

Product Review: Proclaim Professional Care Olive Edge Gel

This edge gel  is pretty amazing as far as slick edges and smooth styles go. It smooths without multiple application. It is also stick application so no sticky fingers and wasted product. I'm not super fond of the scent but this is a minor con in comparison to the pros. I give it four and a half out of five fros. I purchased this at Sally's. Have you tried Olive Edge Gel? Do you love it? Hate it? We want to hear from you! 

Aug 15, 2014

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Georgia Anne Muldrow - "Dimension"

This week we have another opportunity to pay homage to the 'Fro with a peek at Amber's playlist:  Georgia Anne Muldrow's "Dimension".

Lovely artwork of Georgia Anne Muldrow.
Instantly, Ms. Muldrow's energy reminds me of what we love about hair.  While technically, her her is "like" many people we know, it is Georgia Anne herself that is the beauty in her hair.  The way she carries herself and her expression through her style all make her hair that much more beautiful.

Georgia Anne Muldrow.
In "Dimension" she shares lyrics that are a powerful reflection of the images we see.  Though some of the images look softer than others, each one shares the same strong, dynamic energy.  Georgia Anne Muldrow's afro and vibe remind me of the afros of 60s and 70s.  Perhaps because this was the time it was most radical to wear the afro.

Georgia Anne Muldrow.
In that light, we can definitely see why "Dimension" and Ms. Muldrow made our girl Amber's list. Both revolutionary in thought, style and talent. these ladies would most certainly vibe.

Share a song that reflects your Roots & Rhythm so we can jam with you one Friday soon!  Thank you for your share, Amber!  Enjoy your Friday!

Aug 7, 2014

Product Review: Oyin Handmade Go Tea

My current Go too is Oyin Handmade's Go Tea

It's listed as an All-In-One Grooming Spray that hydrates and softens hair and that is also great for close cuts, facial hair care for men, or to encourage scalp health.

Ingredients: water, vegetable glycerin, aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, and olive squalane. 

Fragrance: the fragrance is light and refreshing you get the tea tree and some hints of citrus. 

How I use it: I've been using it as a hair refresher dousing my hair with it as soon as I get out of the shower bit also is a great skin toner/moisturizer. When I'm putting it on my hair I also hit my face and neck. Thru out the day as I feel my hair getting dry I spray it on again an it is also awesome for resetting makeup as well. It's also great after a fresh haircut so if you're sporting a short edgy cut this great to have in your arsenal. it leaves hair soft an touchable with no oily residue.  I really have no complaints about this product except that I wish it came in a bigger container. 

I also always aim to support Oyin and any other black owned hair care companies. Not only is it a great product you can feel good about what your pennies are supporting as well. Currently I buy mine online Oyin has been launched in Target it just hasn't made it to Tennessee yet. They are a Baltimore based company so if you are going to be in the DMV area stop by and support their cause. They also have a great shop called Exit The Apple that has rad tshirts, books and other rad items. You can find them on FB and IG! 

If you're interested in checkin out this line this is one of the lines I use on naturals in the salon. Prebook with me and give it a test drive. 

True Blue Salon 
West End 615.329.4454

Jul 3, 2014


OMG! I know you are wondering, "Where has the team been?" What have we been doing, and GOSHDARNIT where are the posts? Lol! Sorry! We apologize. You know what happened? Life happened! Below I'll share a couple of updates and let you know when we'll get this train rolling again. 

MELISSA, The Editor-in-Chief: guess I'll start with myself. I've been traveling all summer long, with more travel ahead of me. Most importantly, I'll be speaking in MEMPHIS at the NATURALS IN THE CITY Natural Hair Event. Then I have to have surgery which will take me out the game for about FOUR WEEKS! Ugh! I know!

When September comes you're gonna see a bunch of changes with the site and with the team. I'm working hard (behind the scenes) to set up a strong foundation to handle such changes. Of course you know I run TWO WEBSITES (check out and making sure both sets of readers are entertained and informed can be alot to juggle. No complaints, because I love what I do - but I need longevity to stay in this game. So sometimes I need to lay low in order to go big.

T-SHIRTS: real talk, manufacturing t-shirts takes money on the front end that you may not receive in the back end. I know I promised NEW t-shirts for the summer, but I think we are gonna produce more shirts in the fall (September). They will be nice!

ANOTHER EVENT: yup! I want to do another event. Like I said about the t-shirts, events cost money. BIG MONEY! But we LOVE to see you all in person so we are DEFINITELY going to do another event. I wanted to do something in August, but that's not gonna happen, so we are leaning more towards OCTOBER. In everything, I want excellence! Never wanting to do anything half-way, sometimes telling myself NO is the hardest part. You know we'll keep you posted about the next #NINMEETUP.

BUT CAN Y'ALL POST MORE ARTICLES? Umm - yeah we can. Posting articles takes research and time. It's summer! We want to play outside! Lol! But for real, I'll take the lead and start posting more articles. Especially during my recovery in August; I'll have some time to write a bunch of stuff that's been sitting in my queue for months. No, I'm not lying, the team has at least 25 UNFINISHED articles just waiting for us to buckle down and finish. We LOVE our readers and we APOLOGIZE for not posting daily like usual.

Make sure you follow us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, and TUMBLR! Those are spots where I post little gems, pics, and sometimes contests. Stay connected!  

First up, our girl Amber graduated from AVEDA!! Not only did she graduated, she won like a kabillion awards and scored a new job. She'll be a stylist at the TRUE BLUE salon on West End in Nashville.

And, Ashiya is working hard and making changes too. Not only did she chop her locs (aren't you loving this cut) but she's started a business with her family and she's steady advancing in her yoga teaching skills. SWAN HOLISTIC will be up and running soon; bringing quality yoga classes and teaching to you!

 And last, but not least, Candice has been working hard too. She got a fancy-nancy switch/promotion at her job, some very fly Havana Twists (seen above), and SHE GOT ENGAGED! Yup! We had to give the new fiancé some time to be happy abt all these new changes.

So you see we haven't forgot about you. We are just living life for a moment. But I promise, you aren't ready for FALL 2014 - it's gonna be bananas! I encourage you to take advantage of the summer, live life, take a ton if pics, and stop worrying about your hair! We love you!

Apr 2, 2014

NIN Meet Up Spring 2014: Ashiya's Favorite Things

Its Wednesday and I'm still feeling the energy and love from the first Natural in Nashville Meet Up.  When we started planning the event, there was really no way to gauge our ideas and goals for the day other than what we hoped to gain from the experience ourselves.  We knew we wanted our readers to be educated and informed, but we also wanted to enjoy our time with you.  I think we achieved both.

Our obligatory group shot. Photo bomb by John.  He was always there when you needed him.  Perfection.
One of the things I loved most about the NIN Meet Up was the opportunity to see Amber do her thing.  Aside from the Meet Up, Amber was preparing for a competition at Avevda as she moves toward completing her training this May.  Candice and I were able to take a quick break from setting up to watch Amber in action.  If you were there and met her model, you know Amber displayed her skills in a way that shows both her potential and her vision as a hair stylist.  We are so  proud!

Amber shares a few styling techniques on models from the NIN Community.
I also loved the knowledge that our panelists were able to bring to the discussion.  We are so thankful for the beautiful ladies that shared their questions and concerns because it allowed us to see first hand the talent and wisdom available to the Natural in Nashville community.  Kristi of Kinky Rootz and Ms. Gale of Aveda Institute were absolutely wonderful.  I loved the fact that they did not answer one question until there was a clear understanding of what was being asked.  At times, they even heard what was not being said.  Their experience was perfectly balanced by Kenya (@halfietruths) and her hair reminding us that hair care is as much about our lifestyle as it is about products and procedures.  As a life coach, wholistic self-care is one of the things I work through the most with my clients.  It was wonderful to see that aspect come through during the panel discussion.

Loc Love!  Over 30 years of combined growth!
More than anything, my favorite part of the day is definitely the warm smiles, hugs and hellos.  It is one thing to sit at my computer and publish words to connect with you.  It is quite another to spend the day enjoying each other's company.  As soon as we can catch our breath, we are ready to do it all over again, Nashville.

Thank you to all who attended!  You made our first Natural in Nashville Meet Up one to remember.

Mar 7, 2014

Roots & Rhythm: Kelis - Jerk Ribs

Kelis is back on the scene with a new album called food and a new cooking show called Saucy & Sweet.
I have always been a Kelis fan as she was rockin funky colored curls before it was cool. Her first single from this new album titled "Jerk Ribs" further solidifies just how cool, eclectic, and soulful Miss Kelis is.

I dig the new retro look on her curls. Her hair is big and beautiful and I love it! If for no other reason,  I will be keeping up with the cooking show to get inspired by her style, but I must admit her food and recipes look mighty tasty.

Kelis is the child of mother who owned a catering business and a father who was a musician. I have to say this makes the perfect combination platter for her new project! Kelis has me looking forward to the summer months, with good food, good company, good music and fabulous hair.

You can find the Jerk Ribs video below. Enjoy!

Mar 5, 2014

From the Stylist's Chair: The Sometimes UGLY Politics of Natural Hair

I am two months away from being done at Aveda! I am so very excited and also slightly leary. When I first began at Aveda the majority of my clients had natural hair.  It was strange because while I was initially the student I had also placed myself to be in a position to educate as well, as Aveda doesn't currently have a natural hair curriculum.

As school progressed my educators spoke to me about taking less natural hair clients to make sure that I was developing a well rounded talent.  At first I didn't want to hear anything about it, and then after some further thought I realized they were correct.  While I love natural hair I didn't want to confine myself to just one aspect of hair, because honestly I love it all. Having the ability to work with different textures of hair has truly help me to develop. I now ask questions from all sides of the equation.

I am very adamant about natural hair and the ability of all hairstylists, yes all hairstylists being able to handle all hair types, no exclusions or excuses.  While I realize that this will never be the case, a lot of the women in my class have reached out to me with open arms wanting to know more. I have been more than happy to share my knowledge.

But I also have concerns with attitudes of some of the natural hair and relaxed clients that come into the salon.  There are two specific instances that have happened numerous times that make me cringe:
  • The COST of Natural Hair styling: If you had to pay yourself for the time spent on hair and products I guarantee you it would not be cheap. We all know how much time a effort natural hair takes. Every head of hair is different and has different needs. At Aveda we charge $30 for natural hair styling, and the students don't get any of that money.  We are allowed to accept tips and that's it.  I have watched numerous women with natural hair act so ugly over this price! I've heard rude comments from clients and even had women refuse to pay the price while torturing their stylist through the entire service. Why is this necessary and why is this the reaction from some naturals? If you are going to a salon you aren't (and shouldn't be) just paying for hair.  Its about the service, the added benefits and little treats, and the relaxation that you get as a part of that service. It also about the true talent of a stylist! He/she may be able to learn your hair and perhaps tell you things about your hair that you didn't know. Eventually giving you an action plan to provide you with the best hair possible.
    • Your hair should be an investment, and if you are willing to take the time to supplement some of your hair maintenance to a salon throughout the year then you should budget accordingly. We as stylists invest in continuing education, keeping up with current styles and trends, and also study to learn how to keep your hair healthy and to look out for unhealthy warning signs. Doing hair may seem like an easy job to some but myself along with the stylists I work with - we provide a luxury service, one that isnt just about hair but your entire experience from when you walk in the door to when you leave. We not only educate you on your hair but we pamper mind, body, soul.  
  • The RACE card: The best hairstylist you might ever have may not look like you or have hair like you.  Some of you may never know that stylist because you are too consumed with what you want to see behind the chair. I can understand wanting to see and to have someone like you working on your hair, but this doesnt mean that there aren't others who are equally as qualified and  have a talent and knack for your hair even if it is different from their own.  I have watched some of my fellow stylists literally be intimidated and ripped to shreds by women who felt that because of the color of their skin they were inadequate to deal with their hair. I don't know how being rude is doing anything to futher the cause for acceptance of natural hair. 

As a stylist and a natural hair wearer, I want to put natural hair on the worldwide map. Every school should have a curriculum for it, every salon should be able offer services that are of a high quality with an immaculate end result. I don't by any means seek to remove the history or the culture that has come along with our hair. There is a freedom that comes with natural hair, a chance to remove the chains that have held us back in the past, embracing that freedom should mean less fear and more love. After all you have learned to love yourself in its truest and most natural form.

Natural hair is political, there is no doubt about it but, how you share and grow those politics is up to you. No one is saying that you can't be protective of your hair and who you allow to work with it, but everyone deserves to be treated from a place of love and respect whether you think they hold the same knowledge you do or not, and what purpose does that knowledge hold if you only keep it to yourself?      


Feb 24, 2014

Amber's Hair Diary: Growing Up Natural

There are more women than we may think that have grown up and spent most of their lives with natural hair. For me when I look back at my childhood I like to think about how my family and parents really encouraged my sister and I to embrace and love who we were no matter what society might have been saying.  

Today when I came across the BGLH post about 10 Naturals We Loved in the 90's  I started thinking about what pop culture elements or people were there in my life that really helped me to grow into the person you see today.  I realized that books played a big part in our household and honestly most of the books I had growing up were stories of little black girls, girls who looked like me. 

These are my Top 5 Books for Kids Growing Up with Natural Hair:


These were the best books ever. My sister and I both still have the copies we read growing up along with new ones that we have purchased as we got older.  Fred Crump took old fairytales and used an all Black cast.  The characters always had thick curyly hair, or braids, or cornrows. Reading his book I always felt like a queen or a princess and I never had to wonder why none of the characters lookede like me.  

2. Liza Lou and The Yeller Belly Swamp by Mercer Mayer

This book is by the same author who did the Berenstein Bears Series.  Liza Lou is sassy and stays in plenty of trouble with her tightly coiffed fro.

Tar Beach taught me I could fly. 

4. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor 

 This book let me know that we can't write our future without knowing our past. 

1. Jambo Means Hello Swahili Alaphabet Book By Muriel Feeling Pictures by Tom Feelings

This book opened my young eyes to worlds beyond America that shared a common history. 

What books did you read growing up or would you reccommend for young minds that are growing up natural?

Feb 19, 2014

Discussion:What You Should Expect from Your Hairstylist

I am probably going to get a lot of flack for this post, but only way we are going to change salon culture and not just Black salon culture is by changing our expectations.

It's a common story and we all know it.  I grew up going to black salons, sitting for hours unacknowledged to only be seated in a chair, turned away from the mirror and finally when they finished, after numerous baby daddy phone calls, inappropriate conversations, and numerous snack breaks,  to find that they had done nothing I had asked.

You get in the car.  Pull down your visor to see if there is anything that can be done to salvage this mess. Reposition your rear view mirror so you don't have to keep catching this disaster in your line of sight.

I've honestly been trying to figure out when did this become the standard from which a lot of salons work from. But I would rather not waste time trying to discover how the problem began but instead I am aiming to be a part of the solution. Here are a few tips for what you should expect from your hairstylist, and if they aren't meeting up with these standards, it might be time to make a move.

  1. Being a Hairstylist is a Customer Service Job. You should always be your hairstylists top priority when you are in their chair.  
  2. Its not about them it's about you. If it seems that you end up listening more than they do. Cut em loose. 
  3. On the flip side you do need to have trust in your stylist.  This comes with time, but here are a few key indicators that will help to build that trust, 
    1. Timliness- your appointments should always start on time or as close to it as possible. meaning withing 15 minutes of your arrival.  If this is not possible your stylist should be smart enough to ask you to reschedule if time is an issue.  Just letting you sit is a no, no.  
    2. Thorough consultation.  Your stylist should be asking you questions about your hair at every appointment and taking the time to educate you on your needs and wants.  Don't let your stylist get too comfortable. Afterall your hair in an investment.  
    3. Honesty. What your hairstylist has to tell you may not always be what you want to hear. They should be taking into consideration your lifestyle, habits, hair texture etc which means sometimes having to say no if it means protecting the integrity of your hair. 
  4. Keep it professional.  Getting to personal with your hairstylists and allowing them to get to personal with you can create problems in the long run. 
  5. Don't be afraid to speak up and say no.  Sometimes its just not a good fit, just because its your best friends favorite stylist doesn't mean she is the stylist for you.  Its like finding that perfect little black dress.  It may take you a while but you will be happier in the long run if you wait it out. 
  6. If they state to you that they only deal with certain types of hair, run.  As a hairstylist in an industry that is ever changing they should be contstantly educating themselves and moving as the industry moves. If they have placed themselves in a box as a hairstylist then you will most likely want to hide your hair in a box as well. 
  7. If the salon isnt clean and their habits in dealing with your hair aren't clean, its time to go. I have no negotiations on this one. Clean is clean.  I don't care if they can give you the makeover of a lifetime if their habits aren't clean you're playing with fire. 
Ladies what expectations do you have of your hairstylist and what expectations do you think they should have of you?

Jan 27, 2014

Amber's Hair Diary: Getting Back to My Roots

More often than not I am concerned about the diaries of other folks hair and not my own personal journey. Black History Month is not far away and as I become more involved in the industry I find myself wanting to know more about the history of Black hair and wanting to share that knowledge as well. I want to know more than the Madame CJ Walker aka Sarah Breedlove stories.

As I have been researching info to use and share with my peers and fellow hairstylists I am finding that so much info about Black hair is sparse and scattered or simply all based on conjecture and assumption. I tend to find lots of info about the politics of Black Hair but not on hair itself. But as the debate continues surrounding "I am not my hair" and "I am my hair" I think having some historical context might help, and not just in the context of slavery but before slave trade and in other parts of history throughout the world not just focusing through western eyes. 

Having a background in theatre and knowing the important of research within the field I am realizing that History of Black hair is a void that needs to be filled, and a history that covers not just the politics, but the styles and trends, how hair changed as the world has changed etc. I thought it would be cool to introduce you to some of my fav trends and facts surrounding Black Hair History. 

 The Ducktail aka The Black Man's Mullet.
Started in the 80's in the Fillmore area of San Francisco.

(excuse the "kind of" but picutres of a true ducktail are far and few between)

Cicely Tyson not Bo Derek was the first woman to rock cornrows, making them a lasting trend on the hair scene. 

In Yoruban culture, braids were used as a form of communication, mark of initiation; they convedyed state of mind, religious beliefs, marital and social status of women in society. Here we see women stating in different ways that they are their hair. Below are some of the braiding styles. 

Ṣuku- a braiding hair style either short or long knots, it runs from forehead to the back or crown of the head.

Kolẹsẹ- as the name suggests (without legs), it is a braiding style, each knot runs from the front and terminates at the back of the head, close to the neck.

Ipakọ-Ẹlẹdẹ- this braiding style starts from the back of the head, but ends at the front.

Panumọ-(keep quite) – hair style, with two different starting points, the back and the front. The knots meet at the center with a little opening.

Ojompeti (rain soaked ear) – braiding starts from one side of the head, ends close to the ear.

a Suku hair style

If you have any info on the History of Black Hair please share it here. What are some Black Hair traditions that you love?

Dec 27, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Goapele - "Closer"

2013 was a year of growth and change for Natural in Nashville.  We sent Toya love to begin a new chapter in hair and life and welcomed Amber as she experienced the same.

Melissa, Ashiya, Amber and Candice.
While Candice discovered some beautiful new ways to style her hair, I embraced new color and Amber experimented with both, I think Melissa's cut and color won.  Her cut allows you to see her personality a bit more: stylish and diverse. Curled or straight, we love Melissa's new do.

FabGlance Nashville
We fully believe Coco Chanel when she said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life". Today we honor our changes and our growth with "Closer" by Goapele, who recreated her look this year.

Goapele: Short and stunning.

Releasing her locs for a short, lighter look, allows her eyes and smile to shine through even more.  As we prepare for 2014, we hope that you had the opportunity to grow and change in ways that made you better physically, mentally and spiritually.  Sometimes, something as simple as changing your hair can do all three.

Goapele before her Big Chop.

If you're making changes to your hair for 2014, let us know!  Happy New Year from all of us at Natural in Nashville! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...