Over It: Natural vs. Perm Over It: Natural vs. Perm

Team Natural vs. Team Weave: Do We Really Have To Pick A Side?

You’ve embraced your natural curls and worn your own hair out for some time now, but now you’re ready for a change. Maybe that change is a sew-in weave to give yourself a break on maintenance while you’re on vacation or out of town for a work conference. But with this new change are you switching teams? Can you just switch up your mane like that? It seems that when it comes to black women and hair, there’s a great divide: natural vs. weave.

Since when did you become married to your hair? There’s no cardinal sin for changing your ‘do even if it is frequently. The most important thing about any type of hair is care. So whether you have in a luxurious 18 inch weave or a gorgeous twist out, the goal is hair health, not wearing your hair the way the public expects you too. Because anyway you decide to wear your hair – as long as you’re happy with it – is acceptable isn’t it?

Thanks to the media and other jaded opinions from places like glossy women’s magazines, if your hair is full of long straight weave you’re sometimes perceived as shallow, materialistic and superficial. And while the natural girl is known to be celebrated on YouTube and blogs, in mainstream instances she can sometimes be identified as homely, ethnic and plain. Both stereotypes are delusional, as is the thought that you can only be on one “team”.

The power is not in your hair, the power is in the attitude you have towards your hair.

It’s also interesting that society has a way of dividing women based on their hair. Blondes vs. brunettes.  Natural vs. relaxed. Curly vs. straight. And the list goes on.  Yet, men never are really subjected to that type of scrutiny.

Maybe it’s because we’ve let terms like “good hair” go to our heads – pun intended – and determine our ‘do. But let’s be clear, all hair is good hair when it’s taken care of. From products to stylists, your hair has the right to be whatever you want it to be.

Over It: Natural vs. Perm

Wearing a weave doesn’t make you less of a person because it’s not your real hair. It’s a preference just like everything else in life – clothes, makeup, etc. It’s your hair – even if you bought it. To judge someone solely based on the fact that they switched from a natural style to extensions is a bit skeptical and unfair.

While being natural is the new movement in Black hair, it doesn’t mean you’re plain, bare and unpolished. Straight or relaxed hair doesn’t equal better, just like being natural doesn’t equal bad. Maybe you’re ready to style the natural texture of your hair versus your usual routine with relaxers and weaves and that’s okay.

To feel guilty or worry about what your friends & family are going to say about your hair is silly. Just because people don’t understand your hair doesn’t mean you shouldn’t embrace it. Do not let your choice of hairstyle be dependent on social acceptance. If you’re the girl with relaxed hair who usually wears extensions and you want to switch it up by growing out your relaxer, by all means, do you.

In sports, people get traded and switch teams all the time. Not everyone likes it, but it is what it is. When it comes to Team Natural and Team Weave, switch it up as much as you’d like. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is making the player happy - and that’s you.

-Mattie James

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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