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Comfort Weave

I went “natural” the summer before my senior year of high school. I remember falling deeply in love with the foreign mix of textures that inhabited my head. Ever since, I've rocked everything from a twa (teeny weeny afro) to twists to locs. I eventually grew bored and chopped off my brastrap-grazing strands. Three months later, I grew restless again and installed kinky twists. A month after that I sported a kinky weave. Four months later, a straight one. The summer after, a looser curl was intricately sewn to my strands and I've stuck with that look ever since. I loved the versatility of weaves. Plus, my real mane was growing like wildfire. The protective style, in addition to my hairstylist’s gentle touch, optimized its growth. But I loved natural hair just as much. My adoration of others’ kinks and curls, and years of rocking my own were proof, right?

Wrong. After two years of chronic weaving, I realized that denial is a bitch. I used every excuse in the book. I was giving my naps a “break.” I was letting them “grow out.” I was just enjoying “changing it up.” I was secure enough with my “Blackness” to rock a weave. I didn’t need an afro to be a testament to my Black pride. But when I faced the fact that just the thought of going weave-less damn near gave me a panic attack, it became apparent that I’d become just as addicted to weaves as I was to the “creamy crack.”

A weave is safe. You look at the picture on the package, or the pattern of the curl, and you know more or less what to expect when you attach it to your head. There are seldom any surprises. And if there are, you can remove it and try another brand or texture. But the defiant strands on your head? They’re here to stay. Sure, you can manipulate them with products and heat, but you got to learn the way of the fro. With the number of blogs and online resources for natural hair care, it should be a breeze. But what might work for one natural might not work for you. However, what works for one wearer of the same weave will work for yours. Getting reacquainted with my natural hair again is daunting. It’s scary because it’s unfamiliar. It’s scary because I've become a newbie all over again.

I’m just one of many naturals who perpetually weave their hair as a way to “deal” with it. We’ve just managed to wrap all our fears and insecurities into the tightly cornrowed kinky strands under our weaves. We’re right beside the naturals who continually flat-iron their manes because [insert excuse here].

"Naturaldom" is not a destination, but a never-ending journey. It's not somewhere you simply arrive when you do the "Big Chop" and then call it quits. While you love and nurture your kinks and curls, you have to love and nurture that mentality that got you there. We're bombarded subconsciously and consciously everyday with so many messages that tell us not to embrace who we are. We have to actively counter them. I’ve momentarily veered off the path, now I’m ready to get back on it.

Who’s coming with me?

-Audra E. Lord

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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