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

We asked five dope ladies to share their big chop stories.

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 🧓🏾

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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 ✔️

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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...”

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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

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.

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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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Courtesy of Google

Ayesha Curry Celebrates Google Assistant Partnership With Thanksgiving Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ayesha Curry has teamed up with Google Assistant to share a hearty recipe or two for the chef in you.

To celebrate their partnership, the entrepreneur and mother of three made an appearance at Google's Friendsgiving event in New York City SoHo district on Thursday night (Nov. 14). Before starting a cooking demo, Curry talked about her love for cooking, the importance of family sitting around the table for a meal, and how Google Assistant has helped make her life easier.

"I think it's great because I can walk into my kitchen, child in hand while making a bottle, and ask what the rest of my day looks like. I can just say, 'Hey Google, what does the rest of my day look like' and it'll pull up my whole schedule and it's just one extra peace of mind because I didn't have to do anything tangible. It's effortless... It's like a digital version of a cookbook with how-tos, timers, everything in one and it can truly be integrated into your kitchen."

After using Google Assistant to playfully cue the Kids Bop version of "Truth Hurts," Ayesha whipped up her new Fall Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Apples recipe on a cast iron enamel skillet from her cookware collection. Not only did the device give step-by-step instructions, but it also provided her with alternative ingredients for one of the ingredients.

"With this recipe, you'll see it's super easy, it's fool-proof. Baking is so scientific, this [recipe] is not that. That's what I love about it."

After serving the cooked bread pudding to the audience, the Seasoned Life author talked about her upcoming cookbook in collaboration with one of her sisters and what people can expect.

"It's going to packed, full of flavor. The realistic nature of this [cooking mother] situation is that unless I'm writing a cookbook and developing recipes, I'm not cooking every night at home. That's just not realistic. We all have jobs, we all have things we're taking care of, but I'm always trying to get a meal on the table.

"So that's what this new book is really going to be about. It's going to be about quick, simple, easy ways [to cook]. I tried to keep everything 30 minutes or less, but it's packed and full of flavor."

Ayesha Curry's Fall Bread Pudding recipe can be found exclusively on any Google Nest device. If you're a Google Assistant users, simply say "Hey Google, show me Ayesha Curry's fall bread pudding recipe" and you'll have a sweet and savory dessert for your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

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VINTA

Cam Newton Launches Limited Edition Travel Bag With VINTA Supply Co.

Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has a reputation as one of the most fashion-forward athletes in the world. And now, he's placing his stamp on a new travel accessory.

In early 2019, Newton joined forces with the startup premium accessories company Vinta as a creative partner, and the two have launched Newton's first premium backpack, the TYPE-II C1N, available for pre-order at vinta.co. The bag, according to a press release, is "specifically created for style-conscious travelers and busy city living."

“I’m excited to be working with Vinta and putting my first bag out into the world. It’s called the TYPE-II C1N, and it’s designed for a person like me, with a constant schedule, who doesn’t stop and wants a fashionable, high-quality bag that’s functional for everyday life,” Newton said in a statement. “It’s customizable, stylish, and every feature has been so well thought out and designed. That’s what Vinta embodies: travel made easy. I know they’ve done it for me, and I know they’re going to do it for everyone who buys one.”

The TYPE-II C1N comes in two colors – sand and berry – and is made of a weatherproof coated twill exterior, with features such as a modular leather field pack and dopp kit, space for a 15” laptop, an elevated satin interior, internal mesh pockets, and flat lay panels.

This isn't Newton's first foray into fashion and accessories. Along with turning heads with his outrageous outfits at game days and press conferences, earlier in his career, he launched a menswear line with the Southern department store Belk.

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T.J. Maxx

Fall Shopping Is More Than Indulgence, It's A Mental Reset

Along with the motivation of Q4, October has brought with it the crisp chill in the air many have long been waiting for. Yes, the fall equinox signaled that the heat of summer is over, but what it really means is that new wardrobes can flourish. And oftentimes, a change of the outer self comes with a significant change in the inner.

To celebrate this spirit of all-around change, T.J. Maxx’s The Maxx You Project partnered with singer Lance Bass, stylist/model/author Africa Miranda and body-positive model/wellness entrepreneur Danika Brysha for The Changing Room. Miranda and Brysha will spend hour-long sessions with 98 contest winners across the U.S. and provide them with styling and life coach sessions that will help them embrace their individuality and myriad life changes. These personalized in-store experiences, which officially kicked off on Sept. 19, will travel to T.J. Maxx’s in seven cities—Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Minneapolis.

“As your life changes, there are literally new clothes that you need to wear to walk into new rooms,” Miranda says. “To be able to now partner with them for The Maxx You Project and to go on this tour to help women tell a new story in their lives through clothing, for me, is really special. Really helping women look at their lives, look at the clothing that they currently have and really ask themselves, what is this new space that I'm walking into? What's the new story that I want to tell?”

 

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It’s almost time for us to hit the road for the @tjmaxx in-store Changing Room experience. We’re going from city to city, to help you embrace big life changes. Enter for a chance to win an exclusive style session with @africamiranda and a personalized life coach session with yours truly. Applications close on Friday 9/13 so enter today at maxxyouproject.com. We’ll be stopping in Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. I would love to see you there! . . #ad #maxxyouproject

A post shared by Lifestyle Design + Self Care (@danikabrysha) on Sep 8, 2019 at 12:22pm PDT

Essentially, shopping for the new phases in our lives can not only be a fun activity but one that functions as an act of self-care if done right. Buying new things (and ridding yourself of old ones that no longer serve you) parallel the act of recalibrating our minds to be in line with new goals.

“For me and my personal journey, I struggled a lot with food and self-worth. I lived in my parents' garage for a couple of years, was six figures in debt as I tried to build a business, and I changed really small habits. Most of it is mindset. It's affirmations, it's gratitude, it's just changing how I approach the world. And I slowly but surely rebuilt this life of my dreams.”

Here, Miranda and Brysha give a five tip sample of how to do just that as you rebuild your sartorial story for fall.

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Africa Miranda: Shopping For Your Story

Tip 1: Dressing for Real Days

A lot of people have clothes for their dream day, but they don't have clothes for their actual day. That used to be my issue. I would tell people if you call me to get on a private jet, I had an outfit. [It’s getting] women to understand, what's your actual lifestyle? Then within that, getting the staples and things that they need, but in an elevated way. We talk about a trench or a little back dress, but do you just need a basic simple one or can you get something in an unexpected print or texture? Different things that elevate the experience for yourself, and getting women to look at what they need but also push the envelope within their lifestyle and still have things that when you put it on your body, you're like, okay, I'm creating a moment. Versus just putting on clothes. Women are constantly changing. We're going from daughters to mothers to getting married to getting divorced to new jobs. We're constantly having all of these experiences and you should have the clothing that helps you do that.

Tip 2: How Not to Hoard 101

This is the thing about hoarding — a lot of it is getting to the root of why you're holding onto clothing. I used to do that for a long time and what I realized was that I felt like I needed to look into an overflowing closet because that meant that I was successful. But all it meant was that I had things that didn't necessarily fit or were even great quality. Or there were things that maybe I had splurged on, but then I felt guilty about it so I didn't wear it. I want women to walk away with clothing that they love, not that they might love a year from now if they fit. No, because all you're doing then is every time you put it on, then it's almost like you're telling yourself, I'm doing something wrong. Every time you put on some clothes, you should feel that you're doing something right. I don't care if it costs $6 or would cost $600, I have to love it, so that way every time I put it on, I know it serves a purpose. I know I feel good in it. Then it has a home in my closet, and then when it no longer makes me feel that way, then it's time to put it back out into the universe.

Tip 3: Shop With A Vision

I do think you need to have some sort of plan or guide in place, whether you've worked on a vision board or a style board. I don't like to go grocery shopping without a list. I don't like to go shopping for the sake of, "let me just go buy stuff." Because I think when you do that, you're just buying things without a purpose and then there's no connection in your wardrobe, right. There's no clear story. There's a chapter here, a photo [there]. The idea is to create a full story for yourself so that you know that these pieces work together.

 

Danika Brysha: Life Change Begins In The Mind

Tip 4: Make Change Your Friend

As women, we're overwhelmed. And oftentimes, what we do is try and change things, then we fail because we over-commit, and life is really busy, and then we feel shameful, and it's this vicious cycle. We already are hard enough on ourselves as it is. So I love that the Maxx You project is all about embracing change. We're always changing. We're always innovating and giving ourselves permission for those waves of life because they're going to happen anyway.

Tip 5: Actively Work Backwards Towards Your Goals

One of the things that I've been working with the women on is to choose two words that you want to embrace, right? Oftentimes when we go towards change or we go towards our goals, it's because we think that it will make us feel a certain way when we achieve that. We think of a fancy sports car. Why do I want that? It's because I want to feel important, successful, whatever. So if you actually work that backward and you decide, I want to feel important and successful, you can work backward and find other ways to achieve those feelings that aren't necessarily getting the fancy sports car.

So what we can do is take those words and back up five years. Because what happens is if we find that in our life now, then it exponentially comes more into our life. A lot of times people are like, “we'll all be happy when…” You get happy first, and then the thing happens. We have a lot of it backward. So we're going to create a two minute morning routine because what I find is that people have dreams and goals and you have all these things you want to do, but we don't create an action plan. If there's no action plan or accountability, then nothing happens. So we take the two words and every single day, you're going to pick one-minute tasks for each that you could do every day that could bring you closer to those words that day.

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