Willow Smith

#TBT Willow Smith's Hair Through the Years

Willow Smith fashion

Willow Smith isn't afraid of change—especially when it comes to her hair. For a pre teen, she's has had more hair styles than most of us put together. She has dyed it, cut it, braided it, and shaved it all off; her ever changing up dos are a symbolization of her freedom. The young singer is celebrating her Halloween birthday and also throwback Thursday. While we contemplate what party ideas she might have flip the page to see her hair through the years.

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Lalah Hathaway attends The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation Inaugural "Can We Talk?" Benefit Dinner at The Newseum on June 07, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

Lalah Hathaway To Perform At Future x Sounds LA

Five-time Grammy award-winning artist and activist, Lalah Hathaway will curate and perform at the Los Angeles edition of Future x Sounds LA at Ford Theaters (Aug. 31). The multi-city and art series will also present the sounds of Anna Wise, Justus West, Gwen Bunn, DJ Battlecat, and an appearance by Hathway's art collective, #realmusicrebels.

Future x Sounds invites artists, attendees, and society to question the world around them, with Hathaway leading the art journey. "L.A. welcomed me home at an early age and continued my music education. It kept me honest and kept me true to the eternal student within me," Hathaway said.

Celebrating the creative community and spotlighting the way music and education impact social change during an evening of live performances, collaborations, conversations, art installations and more, the event will host some of the most active and respected musicians in each city of the artistic community.

 

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LA! #futurexsounds #futurexsoundsLA #shiftingthespotlight #realmusicrebels @annathewise @djbattlecat @justus.west @gwenbunn AUG 31!

A post shared by Lalah Hathaway (@lalahhathaway) on Jul 16, 2019 at 12:29pm PDT

"Their curation [Future x Sounds] is based on mutual inspiration, respect and the will to support each other's individual projects. It's pretty beautiful and powerful. As one of the most respected and authentic voices music today, Lalah Hathaway was an ideal choice to showcase Los Angeles with our inaugural series in this city," said Future x Sounds founder and executive producer, Angela Gill.

Hathaway was most recently nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2019 including, Best R&B album. The artist is one of the most elite of her time with 30 years of music under her belt. As a singer-songwriter and producer, she has collaborated with an extensive list of hitmakers including Dr.Dre, Anderson .Paak, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Pharrell Williams. Also gracing the stage with legends Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Herbie Hancock.

With LA x Sounds being one of her final destinations of the summer, Lalah, will first open the 2019 Lincoln Center Out of Doors summer concert series (July 24).

Future x Sounds will kick-off its multi-city tour in New York where they will partner with Summerstage to celebrate Black Woodstock and the 50th anniversary of Harlem Culture Festival (Aug. 17).

You can purchase tickets here.

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Bald & Boujee: A Guide To Cutting It All Off This Summer, As Told by Black Women

Summer is upon us, which means the temperatures are turnt up. And while the sunny season typically calls for cornrows and goddess braids, once the block gets hot, sometimes less is more. Considering becoming a bald baddie but not sure if you're ready for the clippers? Vixen asked four bald beauties to share their experiences to help you take the plunge.

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Dee Williams, Photographer

 

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Time for a haircut 🧓🏾

A post shared by Dee Williams (@hideexdee) on Jun 14, 2019 at 11:26am PDT

When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I cut my hair in November 2016. I don't have a cool awakening story, I honestly cut my hair because I was tired of doing it. I had dry, long, thick, 4b curly hair and the daily maintenance was driving me nuts. I'd spend my whole wash day doing my hair for it to look a mess in the morning. I swear every two seconds I saw photos of beautiful women that had shaved heads on Instagram (someone spying on me lol). I think it was meant to be.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

I felt amazing! I called my parents and my mother was pissed (laughs out loud). There is a lot of conditioning in the Black community that ties beauty with the length of your hair, especially within her generation. But, I felt like a million bucks and the most beautiful I have ever felt. My hair was always the main focus, but now it's my face and I love it.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

I honestly don't think people have treated me different. I do get praised a lot and told I'm "bold and super confident" to rock a baldie, though.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

Dying my hair a rainbow of colors and not having to worry about it breaking off or damaging my hair. If I don't like a color, I just shave it off and try again. I didn't really get to do that too much with my hair before, because my hair was already super dry and I didn't want to make it worse. So I would only use henna or vegan hair dyes and not bleach it.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

I think all women should shave their heads at least once in their lives. It will grow back! That's about all the advice I give because it is a huge lifestyle change, one that you should 100% make on your own.

Nadirah Simmons, Editor and Producer

 

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high tea ✔️

A post shared by nadirah (@hinadirah) on May 24, 2019 at 6:20am PDT

When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I first cut my hair in February of 2017. I always wanted to have a buzz cut, and after having weaves, braids, and extensions and then cutting off all of my hair and returning it to its natural state in the form of a big afro, I knew it was time. I was also going through a bit of a transformation. I felt like I had relied so much on my hair and sometimes hid behind it.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

I felt nervous. The crazy thing is when I first cut my afro off I actually didn’t buzz it. My hair was long enough for finger waves. I still had some red dye in my hair from when I had my afro, and my hairdresser who’s also my aunt couldn’t get it all out with bleach. She kept trying to cut it short and I wouldn’t let her. I was holding onto it and preferred to burn my scalp with bleach than go any shorter. Then a week or two later I got the courage, went back to the shop, and got it buzzed all the way down. My confidence skyrocketed and hasn’t gone down since.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

Men call me Amber Rose all the time! Or they tell me to get waves. I don’t like waves in my hair. Just a lot of requests for what to do with my hair or which famous short-haired woman I look like.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

All of the fun colors I can do without worrying about damaging my hair since I shave it all off every week!

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

Just do it! The more you think about the more you’ll push it off!

Gynai Kristol, Filmmaker

 

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“And when you see a nigga, please act like you know. Won’t sit around here stressing on no old hoes...”

A post shared by Gynai Kristol (@_kristolklear) on Jun 13, 2019 at 6:00pm PDT

When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I first cut my hair in 2008 because of Rihanna (LOL I am not ashamed of this at all). And then I ended up having to chop it all off in 2017 because of breakage from going blonde.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

The initial cut in ‘08 made me feel like I was grown because I did it at the start of my senior year. But when I had to cut all the way off I cried because I'd never had my hair this short and automatically felt like I was going to look like a boy. But now, I'm more confident than ever and I don't regret cutting it off and I don't plan on growing it back anytime soon.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

I'd say yes, mostly women though. I feel like I bond with more women over hair now whether it be about the color my hair is or them trying to convince themselves to cut it off.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

The fact that my morning/night routine is much shorter. Like all I have to do is brush it and move on with my day. My ultimate favorite thing though is taking showers. I completely submerge myself under the water every time. I love it so much.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

It's just hair! It will grow back and if it doesn't grow back quick enough for you, get you some cute head wraps, hats, or even a wig.

Sofiya Ballin, Journalist

 

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“...and yet she willed herself into a goddess.” ~ Ta-Nehisi Coates - - - - 📸: @mama.photog MUA: @mua_taneishanichole Styled by @fasondeviv

A post shared by Sofiya Abena Ballin (@sofiyaballin) on Feb 27, 2019 at 2:38pm PST

When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I cut my hair last year, July 2018. I’ve been natural my entire life and always had a thick, healthy head of hair, but I noticed it began thinning. My styles weren’t coming out how they used to so I decided I should start over.

Also, I was always very curious about what I would look like with short hair.  And I wanted to challenge myself to expand what I felt made me beautiful. My hair (short or long) was part of my beauty, but it isn’t and will never be all of my beauty.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

Cutting my hair was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. After the first big snip, I thought “there she is.” I felt like I really saw ME. At the time, I was so nervous, I convinced myself I wanted a tapered cut but I knew I was going to go lower because I saw her (me) under there.

A few days later I went to the barber and had them cut all of it off. I was shaking. I felt nauseous. But I had never felt more beautiful. It took about a month and a half for me to not have phantom fro, haha. I would wake up and forget I cut my hair and I’d get a pang of nausea or start questioning why I did it. But when I looked in the mirror and I saw that beautiful face and spirit that I hadn’t seen so clearly before, I knew I made the right decision.

My confidence has increased because I feel like I’ve made my self-love more unconditional. Cutting my hair removed the condition or feeling that I needed to have hair to feel and be beautiful. Now, I feel beautiful no matter what. I care less about what other people think when it comes to beauty because when having a baldie/short cut, you’ll learn real quick not everyone will be a fan.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

Yes. Especially when it comes to men and dating. There are those who LOVE it and those who don’t like it all. The first week I cut my hair, a guy felt the need to tell me he doesn’t usually go for women with short hair but he’d “make me an exception.”

Yeah, that was a dub.

For the most part, people have loved it.  I think a lot of that has to do with the confidence I’ve gained since cutting. This confidence is a different breed. It doesn’t need to be validated by anyone but me.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

I love how it shows off my face and neck, I love how easy it is to maintain and love what it’s taught me about patience. I’ve been growing my hair a bit, and since I’ve always been natural, this is my first big chop experience. I’m learning to fall in love with my hair at all of its stages. Like life, it’s really about falling in love with the journey and my hair has helped me see that more clearly.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

Definitely, be sure this a decision that YOU want for YOU.  And also be prepared to feel free and liberated in a way you may not have felt ever or in a long time. It’s an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with yourself.

And even if you’re not feeling it, your hair will grow faster than you think.

Orixa Jones, Artist

 

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catalogue modelé.

A post shared by —————— (@huesofstyle) on May 12, 2018 at 4:26pm PDT

When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I cut my hair in January 2017. To be honest, I was scrolling through Pinterest one night looking at women with buzz cuts and decided to shave my head. No trauma. No man troubles. Just a late night decision.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all? Has your confidence changed in any way?

I had a few moments of uncertainty in the first couple of days of cutting my hair, but it never takes me long to find my groove. So the bounce-back was amazing. For the first time, I could see myself completely, my power started showing itself. And since then I have no desire to grow it out.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

Oddly enough I started receiving more attention once I stripped myself down. Both men and women approach me about how well I wear my shaved head. Those encounters are always humbling because it feels like they're complimenting my being moreso than what I look like if that makes sense.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

My top two favorite things about having short hair are the freedom and low maintenance. I don't spend a dime because I cut it myself. The wind doesn't bother me anymore and neither does water. I'm good on any block, ha! Except for when its cold out.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

With anything in life, I would encourage someone to decide and commit. Make your decision, and commit to your decision over and over again. It might feel weird in the beginning, but once you find your pocket - get well acquainted with her.

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Fenty And Pyer Moss Model JoAni Johnson Knows The Art Of Being Present

When a 2016 Allure video segment on beauty and aging with grace hit the internet, one of the three subjects immediately held the attention of the masses hostage. It was hard not to quickly fawn over the 60-something woman’s sleek, mature looks, palpable wisdom, gripping gaze, and grounded sense of self. Three years later, that same model, JoAni Johnson, continues to display her elegance for video campaigns, strut down the runways of the designer elite, and stare down cameras for high-stakes fashion photoshoots.

But JoAni Johnson the person barely even likes photos. The 5’4” model with more-salt-than-pepper hip-length tresses waves off compliments about her edgy portfolio. So far, she has photographed for Vogue, ELLE and Essence magazine shoots and campaigns like Pyer Moss, Ozwald Boateng, and most recently, the debut of Rihanna’s Fenty luxury line. However, for the Caribbean American woman—while born in Harlem, her family hails from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica—gratitude and humility run richly through her veins.

In fact, she considers herself to be a tea blender and specialist before the shinier profession that kicked off in her 60s. That, and a mother, which makes her role as a spokesperson for Vaseline’s #ListenToYourMoms campaign all the more fitting. “#ListenToYourMoms speaks to me because as a proud mom, continuing to keep traditions alive and passing it onto the next generation of beautiful and strong women in my family, is important," Johnson said. "Throughout my life, my beauty regime has remained simple and the knowledge of the versatility coupled with the healing powers of Vaseline Jelly, has always been a trusted 'go-to' for generations of women in my own life.”

Her successful modeling career has admittedly been a whirlwind of excitement, nerves, glamour, risks, and stepping way outside of her comfort zone. However, above all her main goal is to stay present and take in each and every moment as it comes. While taking a break from overseeing a New York photoshoot, Johnson opened up about the art of living in the now, how beauty and self-care are intertwined, and all the lessons she’s learned from motherhood.

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VIBE: You’ve been the face of so many notable campaigns this year, like Fenty and Pyer Moss. Would you describe your modeling journey as something that you've planned or more serendipitous? JoAni Johnson: Totally serendipitous, I did not plan this. If you would've asked me two and a half years ago or told me that this would be my life, I would have told you are insane. It happened by chance. The universe has been very, very good to me and I'm just very grateful.

 

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Enormous thanks and love to @Badgalriri (a true visionary!) and @LVMH for choosing me to be on the right side of history with you, as unapologetic fashion game-changers. Representation matters. It always has and this @Fenty campaign is so excellent and so important for multiple reasons in 2019. The marathon certainly continues. #DisruptAllFashionRules #greyhairdontcare #Fenty Shot by @_glen_luchford

A post shared by JoAni Johnson (@joanijohnson6000) on May 28, 2019 at 8:40pm PDT

In terms of the serendipitous journey to modeling, what was that opportunity that you seized and said, "This could be right, this could not be but let me take it?" I didn't even really think about it. I did not get involved in this of my own. My husband encouraged because I just didn't think it was for me. I come from old-school [train of thought] that said you had to be a certain something in order to be successful. When he encouraged me to—it's so funny, I'm not very fond of photographs of myself. It's gotten a lot better in this new world but in the past with the limitations even in cameras, that industry has expanded. We're getting much more quality photographers. Everything has changed and it's all happening at once, so in the past I've never been very happy with photographs of myself.

How did you, looks of photos aside, to be in front of the camera takes a certain confidence just the presence of being there, how did you I guess? Who's confident? (Laughs) Whenever I do something, it's about being in the moment. This is what the universe has presented me with, I am blessed. I am doing the best that I can in that moment. What is the artist, photographer, make-up artist, hair [stylist], what are they looking for? I am just the muse or the conduit. What is the designer looking for? I shared with someone earlier, I don't look at the photographs, I'm not that person. It's your vision, I am just here to carry out your vision.

What things have you learned about yourself in terms of personal style? My idea of me is different than I am. I grew up in a world where I read Ebony fashion for the glamour in them, but on the real side I fight with myself because I will get things that are really glamorous but it's hard for me to wear them because it attracts people’s attention. It's not that I don't care for it, but it's hard. I'm me. I want people to know the human not the outside, the human. It's more important because we're all beautiful. We all have certain gifts that the universe has bestowed on us, it's for us to find it and to share it.

Let’s talk lineage and the things that we pass on to each other, whether it's our friends, our families. What things have you taken from your mother figures that molded who you are, and that you would in turn pass to those who see you as a mother figure? The biggest influences on me as a child were my grand aunts. They were hardworking beautiful women who had such a sense of style and I'm from Jamaican background, so there's a certain expectation that you were taught. You would call it refinement or whatever but it was the English way, that's where it came from. Good, bad or ugly, that's where it emanated from and they were always very stylish. I watched them as my image of beauty and how they cared for themselves, whether it was using Vaseline on their skin or their nightly rituals of taking it off and washing and I was fascinated. It also showed me their doing it was an expression of their love for themselves and also a relaxation, like they were treating themselves. They worked so hard but it was their time with themselves that they chose to carve out because they didn't have to do it. They carved out in their day to really reward themselves with the hard work that they had endured.

So then how do you carve time out for yourself? What is your relaxation look like? I have passed that on to my daughters as well and my mother was also part of that because she learned from them. She taught me and then I passed it on. How do I do it now? I am a tea specialist, tea consultant, tea blender. Taking that time to sit down and make yourself a cup of tea takes time. Just taking that time, that special time for you to stop and just relax.

Whether I am doing a face mask—and I do a lot of them with tea as a base. I do that once a month with tea as a base and then use the Vaseline to moisturize. I love face massages and I can't afford to pay for them. I have to do it myself and I think Tracee Ellis Ross was showing the [jade] roller that she used, I got one. The simplistic things in life, moisturizing my skin with Vaseline and then using the roller, that's relaxing.

For me it's what I owe myself because nobody is going to do it for me. We would like to think that we got it that way and you know people look at me in this role and think it's so glamorous, and it is. There's parts of it that are absolutely glamorous—when I get to wear a Prada suit, just to see the workmanship and admire the thought that they put into creating something like that and I get to put it on. There's the other times when I'm not in that world, what am I doing to take care of me?

What do you learn from now your children? With Vaseline’s campaign, the idea is to listen to your mothers and your mother figures and take what they've put into your life, but what have you taken from them? It's a two-way street, learning is both ways. What have you learned from your children? My daughters teach me that no matter what we have a responsibility in this world that we're in. I came up in the age of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, there was a struggle there was I was in, there's stories about that but you'll read it in my memos. My girls have another journey and they teach me it's got to be done daily.

My oldest and I were walking down the street and she's got like this vision, peripheral vision and she sees this elderly woman—and I say elderly only because it's a way to describe [her physically]—and she was waiting for the bus. She had packages and was trying to hail a cab and they wouldn't stop. My daughter out of the corner of her eye saw it and she walks over to her and she says, do you need a cab? The woman said yes. I did not see that. Because I am in my life, I don't have that. I wasn't gifted with that kind of vision so she teaches me to be more observant with what is going on around.

When I was growing up, we closed off. I lived in a really tough neighborhood at the time and you just closed off. You just kept it moving from one space to another. My daughter is not like that and she has taught me to be more observant and to be more generous with showing the humane qualities.

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