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Synthetic vs. Human Hair: Which Is Best?

Although I have a fabulous curly natural coif, I love to experiment with weaves, wigs and extensions. Until recently, however, my weave world was limited to human hair.

All that changed last Saturday. As I was thumbing through magazines looking for inspiration, I stumbled upon a picture of a lush curly hairstyle that was created using synthetic hair. My immediate reaction was shock because it seems like now-a-days everyone uses Remy hair and 100% human hair imported from India, Malaysia and Italy.

Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued so I sent a text to one of my weave-connoisseur friends posing the question: “How do you feel about using synthetic hair?”

“Ew! Don’t use that,” she responded. “I have used synthetic hair in the past, but I prefer human hair because it looks and feels more natural.”

While that opinion is shared by many, I believe a large part of the hair experience is how you take care of your weave and wigs, not necessarily whether they are made of synthetic or human hair.

Team Human Hair

Celebrity hairstylist Amoy Pitters shared similar sentiments with my friend on synthetic hair being an “absolute no-no,” and she says she only uses imported human hair on her clients.

Imported human hair can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and with proper care (cleansing, wearing heat protectant when using heat and nurturing the hair like it’s your own), this hair could last for up to a year. But for some of the more frugal beauties, human hair from a local beauty supply store is the next-best-thing.

There are many shoppers who stray from using synthetic hair because they want the luxury of hair that looks and feels more natural to them. However, anti-synthetic hair weave wearers should know there are loopholes in how human hair labeled.

“People get confused and think that as long as a brand of hair has some type of human hair in it, they can say on the package 100% human hair,” Amoy says. “You should do your research because they could mix that hair with a synthetic blend.” This was especially fascinating to me because some of my friends who swear off synthetic hair, wear it without even knowing it.

Team Synthetic Hair

Celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen said she uses human hair on her clients but has no problem using synthetic hair from time to time, especially curly textures.

“The best curly hair comes in synthetic form,” says Ursula. “Wearing a synthetic wig is a good investment in between weaves because it helps cut the cost of you spending so much money on your hair."

There are styling limitations to using synthetic hair so it’s important to be conscious of the amount of heat that’s applied. You also can’t brush it too much. “Heated rollers are great for styling and you should wash the hair in warm water and let it air dry,” Ursula says.

I’m open to using either hair texture depending on the style that I want and the amount of care that I’m willing to dedicate to maintenance. I know that my synthetic hair needs a little oil sheen and good paddle brush to help me tame curls and I know that for bouncy human hair I should stray from heavy oils and let it flow. In my opinion, all is fair in wigs and weave.

What’s your take on the human hair vs. synthetic hair debate? Do you prefer one over the other?

-Margaret Francois


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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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