Showing posts with label locs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label locs. Show all posts

Jul 1, 2015

Event Review: Noir Naturally, Loc-In Nashville 2015

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the first annual Noir Naturally Nashville Loc-In. What's a LOC IN? It's a celebration of loc'd hair with style and flair. Locticians from around the southwest came with the thunder bringing models in all phases of their loc journey to showcase their skills. In addition, independent musicians and poets performed, celebrating the beauty of natural hair.

It was a fun experience. I never thought I'd see so many ways to style locs. Click the link below to see the details:

Jun 12, 2015

ROOT & RHYTHM: Wale - 'Matrimony'

If there's a question of my heart, you've got it It don't belong to anyone but you. If there's a question of my love, you've got it Baby don't worry, I've got plans for you . . .
This week, Wale, released the visuals for his new song, Matrimony featuring Usher. The video shows Wale and his love interest preparing for a gorgeous wedding. The ending will have you debating, for real. But the gorgeous-ness of this video is Wale's locs that are styled to PERFECTION!

Wale is one of the rappers who's locs always look really good. He's gone through the awkward length and growth stage and now he's at the point where his hair can be styled. I like that Wale allows his stylist to go utside the box with his loc looks. Toward the end of the video, you'll see that Wale's hair is arranged in an intricate updo that represents a sleek pompadour. Very fly!

Jun 4, 2015

Discussion: White Women Who Wear Locs?

White Women Who Wear Locs?
I've been asked on several occasions how I feel about women who choose to wear locs, but are not of African ancestry or culture. I think my answer is as complicated as the question.  In my humble opinion, I think any questions surround intention, which is where things get tricky.

May 22, 2015

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Kiya Lacey - "I Know" featuring Petty

Summer is coming and Music City will come alive.  Concert series are on their way, the Bonnaroo line up has been announced and our favorite local artists are tuning up to bring us their best.

Kiya Lacey
Kiya Lacey is one local artist I hope to see soon. At 19, her voice has elements of jazz, R&B, and hip hop that can remind you of a time before she was even born.  As a singer/songwriter, Kiya delivers love and joy in the same way she delivers the harsh realities of society: with passion and depth.

Mar 24, 2015

PRODUCT REVIEW: Samson's Secret Hair Growth Supplements

One the biggest deterrents in cutting my locs was regrowing them.  I feel like I've paid my dues once and I wasn't really sure I could be as patient as I was the first time around.

Changes in my diet and self-care routine are sure to help my hair grow back faster than they did 12 years ago, but when Melissa shared Samson's Secret with me, I was definitely intrigued.

Knowing me, the first thing Melissa shared was, "it is an all natural supplement, there are no harmful ingredients in Samson's Secret."

Samson's Secret: Vegetable Capsules + Liquid Form

Mar 9, 2015

HAIR DIARY: Unraveling Time

Full+ Free: My Loc Inspiration For This Week.
Over the last week or so, I've done something I never thought I would do.

I've unraveled some of my locs.  It's not a major undertaking, but it has still been a tedious, slow process.  I decided to take this route to give me a bit more length to work with after cutting my locs.

Feb 27, 2015

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Lauryn Hill - "Everything is Everything"

This week's rhythm is tuned to the vibe of Ms. Zendaya Coleman.  Let's show some love for beautiful locs!

Loc Love: Adding texture for the win.
She handled a situation many deal with often in a graceful, well-thought out manner.  In front of the world. Bravo.

Feb 23, 2015

NEWS: E! Host jokes that Zendaya's locs smell like weed! Offensive?

 Zendaya Coleman, actress/singer, walked the Oscar Red Carpet rocking the trendy and stylish hair style, Faux Locs. As with most red carpet arrivals, the folks over at the E! network love to discuss the celebrity style. On today's Fashion Police, host Guiliana Rancic joked that Zendaya's locs may smell like "patchouli and … weed". Then the hosts laughed. However, it's not funny.  

Twitter caught wind of the situation and started addressing the television host citing her commentary was rude and offensive. I'd have to agree! Wearers of natural hair work hard to present the world with positive examples of black hair and culture. While some people with locs may partake in marijuana - does that mean they all do? Why jump to such a vast conclusion about a simple hairstyle?
Zendaya's response, originally posted on twitter

Zenday published a wonderful and inciteful  response to Guliana's thoughtless joke. I like the fact that she bought up how young she is, her family history with the hair style, and how it's detrimental to the outlook of black people who choose to wear their hair in its natural state. Some may think of this as a small offense but it's thoughts like these are what make it hard for people to transition to their natural hair. 

Zendaya with her father - who wears real locs

What are your thoughts on this exchange? Leave your comments below. 

Feb 20, 2015

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Lenny Kravtiz - "I Belong To You"

It is always nice when some artists make their way back into your playlist to remind you why you love them.

When Lenny Kravitz shared this video of his impromptu session with a high school band, it triggered musical memories of all the good music he's created.  When I first heard, "It Ain't Over Till Its Over", I knew I would always be a fan of his work.  He's proven me right.

Lenny with Locs.
I also remember the initial "shock" when he cut his locs.  Although I've come to appreciate this version of him, he had a pretty nice phase with his locs.  I like them more now than I did then.  I guess I can understand and respect the process more at this point.

Feb 9, 2015

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Loc Goals

When I decided to cut my locs off to restart them, I did so with a desire to "get to know" my hair texture.  I didn't need to cut anything to figure that out.  By slowing down the maintenance process, I've allowed enough new growth to become quite familiar.

Loc Goals: Lauryn's locs were always lovely.

I realized the real conversation around starting my locs should have been about texture and not about the size I wanted them to be.  I wanted to create locs that I could easily style, so their size was my biggest concern.  When I think of the maintenance they required over the years, I can see how my hair should have started out clearly now to achieve the same goal.

Jan 30, 2015

Roots & Rhythm: Beyonce - "Who Run The World (Girls)"

Alright Curlfriends!  It is that time again!

Our girl Kenya, affectionately know as HalfieTruths, is hosting Curls & Cocktails this weekend at The Flipside in Nashville.  If you're on Instagram and you're not following her, you must!  Her account is a wonderful example of using your platform to bring attention to the issues that matter to you. And there's plenty of hair love, too.

Candice, Melissa, Kenya and Ashiya at Curls & Cocktails in March 2014.
In my experience, there is one major rule to abide by for this event:  feel beautiful and come share the love!  This is your chance to get really, really cute and come hang out with other women who love their hair (and themselves) just as much as you do. 

Curls & Cocktails is Kenya's way of connecting the online community offline to build in a deeper way.  We all love to read and see what everyone is going through with hair (and life) online, but this is a great opportunity to sit and chat in person.  

Ashiya and Melissa at Curls & Cocktails in March 2014.

There are times that we can make others larger than life in our heads and seeing smiles and curls in person is another great reminder that we are more alike than we are different.  Regardless of our texture or chosen natural style, it is a beautiful time for embracing each other and ourselves.

Two of our favorite Nashville Naturals, Jessica and Sabrina with Kenya and Melissa at Curls & Cocktails in May 2014.

When we talk about Kenya and music, its not necessarily a question of which artist to choose, but which song is appropriate for the occasion.  Because Bey is definitely the choice. 

Today, I chose "Who Run The World (Girls)" because we do. And that fact is apparent when we get together on occasions like this.  There is so much power in the collective wisdom of women.  

@HalfieTruths at Curls & Cocktails in May 2014.
Even when we gather for social occasions, you cannot deny the energy that forms from a group of beautiful women who inspire each other by just showing up and being authentic.  

I also love the choreography (and attitude) in this video.  Again, it is that feminine energy that cannot be denied.

Let us know if you're coming out this weekend!  

Jan 6, 2015


Happy New Year Ya'll! I had to start the first HAIR LUST of the year with this gorgeous picture of these lovely locs. I love a healthy head of locs that are left alone to do their thing. Regular maintenance is cool, but sometimes letting your hair breath (whether loc'd or loose) can aid in growth.

Oh yeah, and this guy is pretty handsome! Happy New Year!

Dec 8, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Know Thy Hair

"Know Thyself" is a Kemetic Proverb that has been a wonderful guide and inspiration to me over the last few years.  I apply it so often that I didn't notice it was probably the last bit of inspiration in my decision to cut and restart my locs.

4B: Photo of South African Singer Lira.

I had just a few days between The Big Chop Part I and starting this set of locs, so there was no time to become familiar with the texture of my hair.  While texture played a huge part in how my locs formed, I didn't take the time to learn what was best for my hair.  That learning period is probably the most discouraging aspect of allowing hair to exist in its natural state and why I chose to loc my hair so fast. Now I understand how that personal knowledge of my hair texture set the foundation for how I cared my for locs over the last 12 years.

4B: Short + Cute

I know the labeling systems are not perfect, but for the sake of conversation, we will call my hair 4B. (Melissa and I did a quick consultation in the parking lot, so you know its official.) I've done most of my research to this point from that aspect and have seen beautiful images and reflections of what I see in the afro "underneath" my locs.

I knew I was ready for the cut when my thoughts went from "how long will it be" to "what shape do I want".  Of course those two go hand in hand, but once the locs are gone, we'll decide then what the final cut will be.  I plan to stay open to the process, but I am leaning towards one style in particular.

4B: Solange

I have a few more weeks with this set of locs.  Another reason I'm confident in the change is Amber. I was excited for her move to Macon because I can see her each time I visit my home and family in Georgia.  I cannot wait to get in her chair.  Amber is amazing when it comes to cutting hair.  I can't wait to share what we come up with.

I'm sure I'll walk out pleased.

Nov 10, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Picks + Combs

I am still thinking about cutting my locs.  Ok.  I've pretty much decided its happening.

That's not to say I'll never have locs again, but I think this set has run its course.

I got all kinds of advice, but one piece that remained was "You'll get stronger as your locs get longer. The really do represent your strength."  I feel much stronger than my locs these days.  The other thing that remains is something I read, but I can't remember where: "You grow in and out of locs sometimes".  After 12 years, I feel that, too.

The color change in my hair is a good visual of the growth. SWAN's locs create hair lust daily.
 (Photo by Toni Denisa Photography)
All in all, we're back at the same conversation that connects the health of hair and how we wear it to who we are.  Right now, I'm allowing room for growth and progress in my life.  That's probably why I refuse to loc my hair as often.  I even refused to do it when I knew I was going to see a professional photographer for work.  I've given it room to grow. I want stronger locs.

So the question is, will cutting the current set allow the most room for growth?  Even if I don't cut them now, I will have a new set of locs in a few years anyway because of the break I've given my hair.

I went straight to locs after my first Big Chop.  I've worn my hair free with no chemicals for just a few days in my life. (Amazing!)  I can't say that I'm not interested in that experience for a while, but I know the maintenance will drive me back to locs for sure.

Young Ashley giving me hair goals.
I sorted all of this out while falling in love with chichiromeo+me.  I landed on the blog because of Julie's hair, but the fashion and photography were a lovely bonus.  Julie, Ashley and Grace all create some serious hair lust, but young Ashley may have done it for me. With a similar texture, the size of her afro seems so doable from where I am now.

Ashley with her sister Grace.  When children create hair envy.
I'm not sure when the third installment of The Big Chop will happen or how long the afro stage will last this time.  I may not even reach Ashley's length.

Because at the end of at it all, I want a healthy set of locs.  But I am up for some adventure, in the mean time.

Read more about chichiromeo+me here.  You'll love this beautiful family!

Aug 28, 2014

SELF-CARE: Food For The Soul

Small changes often have the biggest impact.

As we all know, the journey to healthy hair goes straight through the kitchen.  Because we can obtain much of what we need for healthy hair and skin through our food and water intake, radiant natural hair really is the result our lifestyle.  As we move into Fall, I'll share more of what I've gained from that aspect of my hair evolution.

The first way I created balance in my eating habits was to participate in Meatless Monday.  One day a week without meat forced me to be more creative with what I usually considered "sides".  Many of the recipes also included oils that were beneficial to hair and skin which made me realize it was easier to get them into my diet than I thought.  Once I found a few favorites, it was easy to experiment and alternate meals throughout the rest of the week.

The avocado is a great healthy fat and more diverse than most realize.  Salads, smoothies, chocolate mousse... Yes.

Salads are great ways to take a quick dose of nature because everything, including any oils, are in the most vital state.  Oil-based dressings like olive oil or sunflower seed oil give us the most stable nutrients because they are not altered by heat.  Building meals based on what it gives the body is another way I like to experiment with new, healthier food options.

Early in my food quest, I met "The Opares" as my friends and I call them.  Dr. Nana Opare and his wife, Ama, own Opare Institute in Atlanta.  Ama is a wonderful gourmet raw vegan chef and now shares with vegans, vegetarians and those who want to be anywhere in between.  She's also very open to those who are curious about vegan and vegetarian food choices.

Ama and Dr. Nana Opare, Opare Institute, Atlanta
If you've been looking for a place to get some ideas on healthy meal alternatives, you'll enjoy Ama at Food For The Soul.  You can also find them on Facebook here.  Tell her I sent you!

And how much do we love her locs?!

Aug 11, 2014


During my most recent detox, I was challenged with removing the toxic products from my beauty ritual, which was relatively easy for me.  I use lot of oils and very little make up, but I did find room for improvement in my skin and hair care products.  During the purge, I was introduced to a new line of skin care that is absolute luxury.  The ingredients, the feel of the product and my face after each cleaning feels absolutely amazing.  And then I realized I wanted to same feeling for my hair.

Weird body pose, but a great capture of the new growth I'm working with. This was a few hours after washing.

Right now my current shampoo choice is still from the Shea Moisture line.  I do believe I've found the right shampoo cocktail for my hair at this stage.  After washing with a combination of their African Black Soap Deep Cleansing, Yucca & Boabab and Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention shampoos, I finally see the puffy free new growth I've wanted to see for the past few months.  I'm happy to find a combination to support my roots, but I cannot shake the feeling of luxury.  The results are all over my face.

I really do appreciate Shea Moisture products for creating a product with:
  • No Parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No Paraffin
  • No Formaldehyde
  • No Propylene Glycol
  • No Mineral Oil
  • No Synthetic Frangrance
  • No Petrolatum
  • No Synthetic Color
  • No DEA
  • No Animal Testing

The next line of shampoo I try has to be as clean as the Shea Moisture line, of course, but I wouldn't mind making more of an investment in my hair products.  I have tried my fair share of professional brands and there are a few that I like, but I'm looking for those clean, toxin-free brands that make you think twice before you put down the cash.  The ones that give you that brief, "I can't believe I spent this much on shampoo" moment.  I do know that price is not always an indicator of quality, but there are also times where you get what you pay for.  

It was my birthday week.  What can I say?  
So what are you favorite luxury hair brands?  Who's got the handmade goods that feel and work just as well as the luxury brands?  Who has quality products that you don't mind investing in?  Let me know!

Jul 29, 2014

CELEB STYLE: Lisa Bonet Loc'd Goddess

UGH! Does Denise Huxtable, I mean Lisa Bonet NOT SLAY! Geesh, she has always been the purveyor of independent style, freshness, and "eff-it, I do what I want"! I don't know the source of this photo, but it shows that Ms. Bonet has been living nice off those Cosby Show checks - I'd love to look as secure as her when I get her age.

Check out our previous post: Wasn't Denise Huxtable ALL THAT!

May 16, 2014

Roots & Rhythm: Ledisi - "I Blame You"

The recent images of Ledisi are absolutely breathtaking.  Going strong with her latest project, The Truth, she is spreading her beauty everywhere while on tour and recently with a feature in Essence.  She is doing some amazing things with her locs right now.

In an interview from few years ago Ledisi and her stylist, Michele London talked about style and inspiration for her signature updos.  In the time since we've seen her explore with color while length allows for more elegant free flowing styles as well.

Her single "I Blame You" is a wonderful example of Ledisi's personal style.  I love the way she allows her to gracefully transition from tightly pinned curls to flowing loose curls while keeping a signature updo in the mix.

Seeing her do so well with this album made me realize I have not explored her music the way I would like to.  "I Blame You" is a favorite right now, but I definitely want to go back.  Tell me, what is your favorite Ledisi song?


For more on Ledisi, visit her at

Apr 10, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: The Big Chop II

Style concept and cut by Amber Curry.

Yes.  This really happened today.  Not because I wanted it to, but because it needed to.

For some time, I've been torn about my locs.  It was obvious that the length was taking a toll on the health of my hair and I've avoided the real solution for some time.

Style concept and cut by Amber Curry.

I knew I would cut it eventually, but I did want to free form for a few months before The Big Chop II.  However, a quick chat with Kristi from Kinki Rootz at the NIN Spring Meet Up confirmed what Amber and I suspected, but had not said officially:  the cut had to happen first.

Style concept and cut by Amber Curry.

So here we are.  The loc renewal is official.  It is a new day with a new look and Amber and I are creating a new regimen.  Stay tuned!

Apr 3, 2014

Nashville Naturals: Emmanuel Ehiemua

Our Nashville meetup was awesome. So when I saw Emmanuel in one of my least favorite places, I had to keep the awesomeness rolling. I'd like to introduce you to Emmanuel Ehiemua! Say "Hi Emmanuel".

Hi Emmanuel!
Emmanuel was displaying his awesomeness in that store doing good things. So, because you can never get in and out of that store in a timely manner, we had time to chat it up. First things first: HAIR. I totally wasn't being a creeper or anything, but I first saw him from behind. I noticed his hair immediately. I know locs are more common with men nowadays, but they are often neglected. His locs were thick and lush and shiny, so I couldn't help but share. Take a gander.

This was the first view I caught of Emmanuel.
Tell me you hair fiends wouldn't have noticed!!! 
Emmanuel said that he's been growing his locs for 6 years. All of this happened in 6 years. It kind of made me want to get my hair life in order. And if you're wondering about his name, Emmanuel is a first generation American Nigerian who was born right here in Nashville. He is definitely a fan of women who embrace their natural beauty. Although he had never heard of Natural in Nashville, Emmanuel loves to see women with natural hair. He also shared that he is always encouraging Black women to be their natural selves. I know we love on ourselves, but it's so fresh to hear it from a man every now and then.

I'm 0-3 against the fluorescent lights. But you can see where I'm headed.

Now, the glare of the fluorescent lights tried to steal some of his thunder. But just imagine it without all of that. And while we waited, I learned that Emmanuel loves his job working with school-aged children. When he's not working with kids, he spends time being... an author. Yep. He has a published book of love poems. He was gracious enough to let me post his face on the internet. So I don't mind telling you that you can buy his book of poetry here on Amazon. He even gave me an autographed copy. How cool is that?

You know how sometimes you come across someone who has a genuine glow of niceness? I definitely have. Emmanuel's personality is just as nice as his hair.

So, what do you think? Nice, right?! Remember that the NIN team is out and about with our cameras[phones]. If you're not afraid to smile for the camera, you could be our next feature.
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