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Over Natural vs. Relaxed Hair Wars

Read any Vixen article about natural or relaxed hair and you'll find a flood of comments from readers debating about which style is better. Remarks often veer on the argumentative side with naturals and relaxed pitted against one other.

The comments can get ugly. Claims that natural hair is unattractive and that women with relaxed hair want to look white are hurtful and antagonistic. When did our hairstyle choices make us enemies?

When the natural vs. relaxed tension materializes in our personal lives, the divide is felt even deeper. Hair is a bonding experience for many women who run style ideas by each other, share product recommendations and even coordinate salon visits. So what happens when you decide to go natural and your best friend is relaxed?

Though my best friend didn't initially understand why I went natural, we haven't had one argument or even a negative comment about my transition. Instead of attacking each other because of our differences, we chose to reach a place of mutual respect and understanding.

Here are three things I learned in the process that can help us all celebrate our individual hairstyle choices while still loving and embracing those who rock their hair differently:

1. Know that it's a personal choice.

Women go natural or choose to relax their hair for various reasons which are ultimately personal. While one woman may find the natural hair journey liberating and self-affirming, another's motivation might be purely aesthetic. There are women who relax their hair to fit the mainstream standard of beauty; others simply because it's easier to manage. Sweeping generalizations, like the idea that all naturals embrace being black and women with relaxers don't, are not only disrespectful, they're inaccurate. It's important to own your choices and experiences without projecting them on others.

2. Educate yourself.

Few things insult naturals more than ignorant comments regarding the look, texture and style of their hair. Comments that equate all natural hairstyles to a "nappy 'fro" are insulting and untrue; not every natural wears their hair in the same style and some even regularly straighten their hair. Likewise, the myth that natural hair is unkempt and undone is highly offensive; it takes a lot of work, patience, time and money to achieve and maintain natural styles. Before making incendiary comments about natural haircare like Method Man for example, educate yourself about it.

3. Realize it's just hair.

As black women, we are the target of too many attacks against us by the mainstream, Psychology Today studies included, to turn on each other over a hairstyle. At the end of the day, our similarities as women of color strongly outweigh the differences surrounding how we style our tresses.

Have you ever experienced tension between women with natural and relaxed hair? How do you deal with it?

-Jessica C. Andrews

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Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.

 

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So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

Get to know the men behind Love Renaissance in our feature, LVRN's Reebok Collaboration Showcases Atlanta's Influence In Fashion.

 

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Tinashe Resurfaces With Exciting Message: "I'm Back And Better"

Tinashe fans rejoice! After a hiatus, the Joyride artist resurfaced on Instagram Saturday (Sept. 28), in a brief video expressing that she's “back and better.”

After a tumultuous relationship with her label RCA, the singer-songwriter broke ties with the company. Since then, she's been hibernating in her “cave,” as she puts it.

"Creatively, I just feel like I needed to go through what I went through in order to be the person that I am today and to get back to my roots," she explained. "You pretty much put your heart and soul and emotions into all these songs and then you put them out there for the world to judge and tear down and pick apart. It's terrifying and it can really mess with your head."

 

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💔❤️

A post shared by Nashe if you’re nasty (@tinashenow) on Sep 28, 2019 at 11:04am PDT

In an interview with VIBE, Tinashe expressed how important it is for her to stay true to herself and artistry. “It’s not even necessarily speaking up but coming to your own conclusions yourself and owning your own instincts and trusting in yourself and creative power,” she said. “I think that’s something that is always important to continue to maintain. It’s easy for that sometimes to get derailed, and it’s important to come back to that.”

During her recent statement, she broke down the importance of art and how it should be expressed through individuality and free expression, sans any boxes or limitations. Making people happy through her music is the goal.

"Music and art are supposed to be these wonderful beautiful things that bring people joy and happiness, and that's really why I started making music in the first place—to give people something that means something to them,” she said.

Although Tinashe did not say when fans can expect new music, she did share a snippet of what she’s been working on in the studio in a separate post. “I’m too emotional.”

 

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I’m too emotional

A post shared by Nashe if you’re nasty (@tinashenow) on Sep 30, 2019 at 12:57pm PDT

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Eva Marcille Gives Birth To Third Child

In late September, Eva Marcille gave birth to her third child, a boy, Essence reports. The model/actress announced she was expecting in May, over a year after she gave birth to her second baby and first child with husband Michael Sterling. Their son, Michael Todd Jr. is 17 months while Marcille's first child, Marly Rae, 5, is from a previous relationship.

In a 2016 interview with Rolling Out, Marcille discussed the importance of having a close network of supporters to help in raising a child. "You know, I have a great mother myself and if it wasn’t for my mom and my support system—my friends that helped me out—I don’t know what I would do, honestly," she said. "It’s a balancing act and you know they say 'it takes a village to raise a child,' I have definitely cultivated my village to raise my child."

A year ago, the couple tied the knot which was showcased on Bravo's hit reality television program Real Housewives of Atlanta. The series is set to return in November.

 

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Couldn’t be happier 🌻 (thanks @cynthiabailey10 and @itsmikehill for my #Chill blanket) #lifesaver

A post shared by Eva Marcille (@evamarcille) on Sep 30, 2019 at 10:11am PDT

 

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So I decided to go ahead and have a little maternity shoot. You know what they say third time is a charm🌻 so, WELCOME TO THE GARDEN OF EVA🌻 It really was a simple situation thanks to the most amazing team ever: Photographer: @stanlophotography Dress designer: @theodoreelyett Florals: @creativetouchevents Location: @parkstudios.co Makeup: @iambarbielee Produced by: @ellybevents Baby Maverick i think Mommas ready 🌻

A post shared by Eva Marcille (@evamarcille) on Sep 18, 2019 at 12:07pm PDT

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