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With the best articles on caring for natural hair, Curly Nikki is your source for inspiration and advice. Find out about the latest styles and trends today!

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    by Tiffani Greenaway of mymommyvents.com

    In the series of unfortunate events that is Katt Williams’ life, this one takes the cake. The silky haired comedian allegedly got into it with a 7th grader in Melrose, FL. The video, which shows 42 year-old Williams sucker punching a child and then getting tackled and put in a chokehold by that child has gone viral after it was posted to the website Fameolous.

    Continue!>>>


    What caused the incident is still unknown, but with Katt Williams, you really just never know. He’s been accused of attacking a group of women after being told that Kevin Hart was funnier than he was. “I said Kevin Hart is funnier anyway and that like lit a fire under him,” one of the women said. “The next thing I know he’s charging at me. He actually hit me right here in my left temple [and] tackled me to the ground.” The women say Williams also robbed them of their cell phones at gunpoint.

    Just two weeks ago, Williams allegedly started a fight at a Beenie Seigel concert in Philly—he got beat up then, too—and he’s also been in legal trouble recently over allegations that he assaulted another woman for using his private bathroom. After aspiring actress Jamila Majesty used the restroom at Williams’ Malibu residence, she says that she suffered “broken ribs, split tendons and facial scarring after being “imprisoned” and “tortured” in Williams’ bathroom,” where “five women beat her senseless for three hours,” and Williams “burned her face with a cigarette.”

    The allegations don’t end there, though. Williams has been accused of ordering an attack on his own bodyguard, faces battery charges for assaulting a Gainesville, GA pool store employee, “Williams threw a pair of goggles at him then went behind the counter and punched him at least once,”( http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/katt-williams-arrested-punching-ga-store-employee-article-1.2548207) and is still facing felony robbery charges stemming from a 2014 case, where a female photographer alleged that Williams and former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight stole her camera after ordering two women to assault her.

    Looks like it’s all jokes until you get beat by someone your own size.

    *********************

    Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

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    Hola Chica,

    Listen...

    You hear that, or nah?

    If not, cut the volume on your phone (or computer) up a little bit.

    Now can you hear it? Listen carefully.  What do you hear?

    Continue!>>>
    Nothing?  I know. #SorryNotSorry

    I bet some of y'all were worried I had either added an autostart meditation track to the blog, or I'd completely lost my shit and went all Coming to America on you--


    But really tho, when you were genuinely trying to listen for the sound I was referring to, didn't your inner noise go ghost?  Your inner world was still, as awareness searched for the sound you couldn't hear.  

    In a previous post, I asked you to'listen for a sound you can't hear', or to ask yourself, 'I wonder what my next thought will be?' and then wait in a quiet, alert manner.  These tools, along with 'facelessness' and 'looking #LikeACamera' are different ways to deliver you to the kingdom within-- to help you realize your silent center (the one that we all share).  So pick the tool that works for you and ride that joint 'til the wheels fall off.

    This silence is within you and all around you.  You can call it stillness or space or presence, or God or Self, but it's ever present, boundless and entirely effortless.  And the more you place your attention on this loud silence, the more obvious it is. It becomes your primary experience. That's all you have to do to realize inner peace, and that's what Eckhart was going on about for the majority of yesterday's post.

    A couple of points from yesterday (read it if you haven't!)--


    1. Just listen. 
    In yesterday's post Eckhart mentions Joel Goldsmith's book, 'The Art of Spiritual Healing'. Cop that. He's on some real levels. #NonDuality #ForChristiansTho

    In 'The Art of Spiritual Healing' he shares a quick anecdote about Thomas A. Edison and the proper way to use the mind--  'Almost always Edison is pictured with his hand up to his ear in an attitude of intense listening.  Those who worked with him in the lab have recounted story after story of how he would give them an experiment to work on, which they would carry out as far as they could, and then they would call upon him for assistance.  Immediately, Edison's hand would go up to his ear, he would listen, and then give directions as to the next step.' 

    Dope, right?! Edison wasn't using his mind as a creative faculty he was using it as an instrument of awareness.  The mind is an instrument for something higher than itself. That 'something' is your True Self.  The God within.  - Joel GoldSmith 

    You should have a 'listening attitude' most of the day. And unless you're doing something super intensive like your taxes, or carefully taking down twists, you can make this practice the most important thing in your life.  This listening attitude comes with lots of nice side effects too, like inner peace, natural good feels and... the manifestation of outer abundance!  So stop talking to yourself, stop talking to God or the Universe and start listening.



    2. You are God appearing as 'magical-black-girl-with-awesome-hair':
    Eckhart says, 'Duality is implied in the usual prayer. It implies that there is God, and here is me, asking God. That duality is ultimately an illusion, because you are an expression of God. You and God merge. The deepest prayers, then, are no longer prayers as such. They are when you adopt a listening attitude rather than a saying of words.' 

    You don't have to believe Eckhart. You don't have to believe me.  Because the more you practice making the experience of silence, of presence, of your 'I am-ness', the primary perception in your life, the more you'll come to realize that you and God/Consciousness are one.  "I and my father are one".  Not two.

    You (and every object, person and animal that shows up in 'your' awareness) are God appearing as _______.  You and me and every thing else, share the same basic essence. - The Infinite Way, Joel Goldsmith 

    If you practice this recognition, moment to moment, then the next time your husband is getting on your nerves, you'll be able to look past his appearance and recognize that he's God appearing as 'loud-chewing-husband', and THAT ladies, is unconditional love!  That is compassion. So for the rest of today, try to see your boss, your co-workers, the homeless man on the corner, the driver in the car next to you in traffic, your daughter and your spouse, as nothing but God appearing as _______, and watch how peaceful life becomes.  Who is there to hate, to be jealous of, to feel superior to? It's all you, boo.

    And if it's all You, do you even need to ask for anything? Petitionary prayers are replaced with a recognition of a fullness, a peace within.

    Bottom line: Non-duality is your ticket to inner peace.  And that inner peaceappears as the necessary 'outer' things in the mirror of your life.  It becomes ridiculously and awesomely clear that inner peace is the source of your outer abundance.


    3. You are not creating anything.  I'm not a fan of the typical Law of Attraction teachings.  From my own personal experience, you aren't attracting anything to yourself.  Creation is complete.  Everything that ever could be, already is and always will be.  You're simply allowing more and more of 'reality' to be revealed to you, to be experienced by your senses. Manifestation is simply making the invisible, visible.

    In that vein, affirmations aren't recited today to make them true tomorrow, they're recited today as an acknowledgment of the truth today, here and now.  Affirmations (and visualizations) aren't practices you do to pull diamond rings and new Mercedes' out of thin air-- they're tools to help you practice the feeling place (right here and right now) of whatever it is you're seeking.  As Betinho Massaro says,'It is extracting that excitement from the symbol (the future projection) into the now.' Otherwise you'd be affirming and visualizing from a place of lack.

    Here's one of my favorite quotes about this topic (I changed 'Forest of Dean' to 'Washington D.C.'to make it relatable)-

    'The art of consciously creating your life is as easy as going from A to B. In fact, it's even easier; it's precisely the same as going from A to A.' If you're in Washington D.C. and you want to go to Washington D.C., what do you have to do? How can you get there? When you're in Washington D.C., what do you need to do in order to be in Washington D.C.? All is one, and your intentions, whatever you want to create are all here and now, right where you are; so how are you going to bring them into your life? Yes it's really as easy as going from A to A.' - The Best Book on Creating Your Life Ever, Graham Ellis

    Replace 'Washington D.C.' with any of your intentions, desires or goals.  All you have to do is realize that it's here, now. There's no where to go and nothing to do but realize it and be thankful.  That's why gratitude is so important!  It's all there is.

    All you have to do is realize that you are that, already. The end.  Or as Eckhart would say, 'It works most powerfully when you realize that it is already a reality on the unseen level. It’s already there. And when you fully realize it’s already a reality, you feel the power of it. Then the feeling you have when you look at a treasure map or a vision board is no different from the feeling you have when it actually comes into manifestation.'

    Remember that 'feeling' he's referring to, those natural good feels, there's only one kind and you can feel it right now (it's totally separate from your current circumstances/situation/moment appearing).  It's all the evidence you need to know your 'outer abundance' is becoming visible. Once you start going inward just because it feels right and good, the 'stuff' you've been asking for will show up in the mirror of your life. Once you stop looking to the mirror to fulfill you, the mirror fills up with all the stuff you want and need.

    Later Gators,
    Nik

    p.s. remember. you don' want stuff you want feels.

    p.p.s. Stay woke.  'Many times Jesus talked about staying awake, that’s a very important part of his teaching – stay awake, don’t go to sleep, stay present'.- Eckhart Tolle

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  • 03/24/16--06:22: This is Important.

  • Hola Chica!

    A quick reminder for this Thursday morn--

    If you can see the 'shenanigans' in your life as an opportunity to practice your resolution of 'choosing real happiness, no matter the circumstances', then you'll respond with a 'thank you' and a Mona Lisa smile! 

    Remember, the 'shenanigans' (the 'negative' people and the 'negative' situations) have no power without your reaction! Choose real happiness and watch your life unfold in unimaginably awesome ways! #YourBreakthroughIsHereNow#SoActLikeIt #GoodMorning

    Later Gator,
    Nik

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    by Kanisha Parks author of Love Letters from the Master

    Most naturals have heard about henna, which is known as an alternative and natural way to dye natural hair. Chemese Armstrong, a lifestyle blogger based Texas, chose to try henna because she is allergic to paraphenylenediamine (or PPD), an commercial dye that is found in more than two-thirds of hair dyes on the market.

    Continue!>>>


    After having an allergic reaction to PPD when attempting to get her hair dyed, Chemese didn’t think she would ever try dyeing her hair again until her dermatologist informed her that she should try henna since it is natural and plant-based. Chemese is vegan and thought trying henna would be a safe option, and found a salon in Austin that uses henna, calling it “all-natural, chemical free, and harmless.”

    Chemese said she thought her stylist understood she couldn’t use chemicals in her hair, and that the stylist did a 30-minute strand test that produced no reactions. However, the stylist used a different henna to complete Chemese’s entire head. Chemese went home and washed the henna out herself. Later on that day, she realized her scalp was very itchy, and washed her hair with a clarifying shampoo. She knew then that she was having an allergic reaction.

    The next morning, her condition worsened. Her right eye became swollen shut and reluctantly, she went to her doctor’s office, who gave her a shot to reverse the swelling. Chemese drove herself home, and by the time she was in the parking lot of her apartment complex, her left eye had swollen shut, too. As the swelling progressively got even worse, Chemese had to be rushed to the emergency room.
    Thankfully, the reaction did not affect Chemese’s breathing and the swelling started to go down. In this YouTube video, Chemese says she is 75% recovered from her very traumatic experience and will be more mindful about what she’s consuming and putting into her body.

    I personally have never considered getting henna done in a salon and have always done it at home, but I never considered the idea that a salon would use so-called “henna” that clearly wasn’t henna at all since it had been altered. Chemese became a victim to a salon and stylist that she trusted who not only gave her false information, but put her life in jeopardy, and she deserves justice.

    In all of your hair ventures, try your best to be safe and do your research. But in cases like these when you’ve done both: #putitinGodshands.



    ***********************

    Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at goodreporteditorial@gmail.com.

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    Watch as Jamia demonstrates how to achieve a stretched curly fro sans heat!

    You Will Need: 
    • Cleanser of your choice
    • Conditioner of your choice
    • Moisturizer/detangler of your choice 
    • Spray bottle
    • Flexi rods
    • Hooded dryer or similar alternative 
    • Oil or sealant of your choice 
    • Comb for fluffing
    Voluminous Fro Step by Step 

    1. Cleanse, Clarify, and Rinse 
    Be sure to start the process with a clean slate. Follow your normal clarifying routine, focusing on the scalp. A good style needs a clean base to start with. 

    2. Condition, Moisturize, and Detangle 
    Follow up your cleansing with a rich, moisturizing conditioner. Do you normal conditioning routine, but focus on detangling the hair with a comb and conditioner with lots of slip. 

    3. Section, Saturate, and Set 
    Section your hair off into manageable pieces. Then, divide each section into smaller pieces that you can wrap around the flexi rod. Remember, the smaller the piece, the more volume you will have in the end. Twist each section, making sure the hair is still wet. Spray if necessary. Wrap each piece of hair onto the flexi rod and bend at the top to hold hair in place. 

    4. Dry Hair, Air Dry, or Under Dryer 
    You can choose the drying method of your preference, but sitting under a hooded dryer will decrease dry time. Air drying can be a healthier alternative, but will take more time and can be uncomfortable if trying to sleep on them.

    5. Separate, Seal, and Style
    Release the hair from the rods, being very careful not to disturb the curl. Separate the hair with your fingers to fluff out, but be very gentle. Apply your favorite oil or sealant to hands, and gently spread over your entire hair. Scrunch oil into hair. Fluff again with a comb to get more volume. 

    6. Comb Out for a Voluminous Fro
    For more volume and less curl definition, take a comb and separate the curl. Or use your fingers. Fluff and pick the hair until you have reached your desired volume. You're done!

    WATCH:


    This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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  • 03/24/16--19:37: Lit.
  • #Savage #IWasGlampingTho 

    This is the story of Savage Curly. 

    Savage Curly is in the for real woods with nothing but a teeny tiny flame.  

    Savage Curly is unbothered by bills. She isn't thinking about who came for who and how so and so clapped back.  Her whole, entire attention is on keeping that flame lit.  Everything else is secondary.  So secondary, that it might as well be non-existent entirely! Savage Curly is about her light.  #RatchetStoryTimeWithNik

    That's how you have to be.  You have to remember to remember that real happiness, your light, is all that matters. It must be your primary concern, because when it isn't, thoughts multiply, circumstances look 'real' and 'scary' and you react instead of responding.

    In every moment, you have the choice of where to place your attention.  So be about your light like Idris needs a cigarette and you've got the only light for 500 miles. Keep that bish lit like Rick James at a Wiz Khalifa concert.   Keep it lit like your life depends on it and then your life will unfold beautifully, effortlessly. I promise.  

    Later Gators, 
    Nik 

    p.s. Be about your light and eventually you'll see that you've been running on the sun all along.  You are the source of everything.  You are THE light, my dear.  #StayWoke  

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    Watch as Natural Metra achieves a fluffy, defined, bossy flat twist-out with only 9 twists!  It doesn't get easier than that!

    Continue!>>>




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    Liv writes:

    The closer it gets to wash day the more tangled my hair gets! I wanted to share the 3 easy ways to finger detangle natural 4B/4C hair! These methods help me remove knots and tangles all by using my fingers! In turn,  helping me retain length!



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    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    In 2014, Nicole Amarteifio, would birth an online web series by the name of An African City. With the help of co-executive producer Millie Monyo, Amarteifio would develop an African version of Sex in The City. The show takes place in Ghana and follows five beautiful, millennial African women who have roots in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Kenya. Ngozi a Nigerian and the youngest of the five ladies was offered a job at a development agency in Accra after completing graduate school. Zainab, a Ghanian born in Sierra Leone, with roots in Atlanta moved back to Accra with a constant eye for opportunities to fuel her entrepreneurial spirit. Nana Yaa, a Ghanian who spent most of her life in New York would move back to Ghana to pursue a career in journalism. Although she would find her adjustment from the states a little difficult, with the support of her friends she would eventually grow to feel at home. Sade, a Ghanian-Nigerian raised in Texas currently works as a marketing manager for a prominent Nigerian Bank based in Accra. She would become known in the group of friends as one with a high sex drive and a manipulative mind strong enough to get anything she wants from a guy. And lastly, there’s Makena, a Kenyan born to a bi-racial family who spent most of her life in London. After a recent divorce, she would decide to move to Ghana jobless, but with a degree from Oxford Law.

    Continue!>>>


    In just a few weeks, An African City would hit one million views on YouTube, making it one of Ghana’s most successful web series of all time. In 2015, it was listed on The Financial Times’ 2015 list of “Top 25 Africans To Watch.” After binge watching the whole first season in one day, I can see why. The show is truly a younger version of Sex & The City as it follows the daily life of five African women somewhere between mid-20’s and early 30’s. There’s a lot of love involved, passion, career and an unlimited amount of Blackness. After amassing over 40,000 subscribers on YouTube, the show returned earlier this January for a second season. While the second season is currently only available for a purchase of $19.99, after watching the first season you’ll realize it’s well worth the investment. Watch it below.



    ***********************

    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    source:Victor Garcia

    by Tiffani Greenaway of mymommyvents.com

    Looks like someone’s In Love With A Church Girl. Gospel recording artist Israel Houghton, who divorced his wife of 20 years last month, is now dating Robert Kardashian’s ex and the Real host Adrienne Bailon. The former Cheetah girl and the “Your Latter Will be Greater” singer were spotted enjoying a vacation in Tulum, Mexico recently.

    The saints aren’t pleased. Although Houghton, 44, took to Facebook to defend his relationship with 32- year-old Bailon Radar Online reports that he has taken a “personal sabbatical” as worship leader at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.

    In an earlier statement on Instagram, the 2016 Best Gospel Album Grammy winner explained that previous infidelity, not his current relationship, ultimately led to the demise of his marriage. “Several years ago I failed and sinned in my marriage. Though this is new to many, it is not new to us as we have been working through this for over 5 years. Although we tried, the challenges in our relationship have proven too much to overcome.”

    Houhgton asked the public not to blame Bailon on Facebook. “I understand that gossip and salacious untrue speculative stories are far more interesting and entertaining than the truth & facts. But, it's incredibly unfair to allow someone to carry the burden, blame & shame of something they had nothing to do with," he wrote. “It deeply saddens me that an innocent party would be dragged into this situation that I have taken personal responsibility for. Adrienne is a woman of integrity & character... Most of all she is a true friend, and she should not be blamed for my past indiscretions.”

    *********************

    Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

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  • 03/28/16--11:46: Jetblue Attendant Jets Off


  • by Tiffani Greenaway of mymommyvents.com

    A former beauty queen’s track skills came in handy at LAX last week.

    Continue!>>>
    Jetblue flight attendant Marsha Gay Reynolds arrived at Los Angeles International airport last Friday carrying two large suitcases and a duffel bag. As a member of the crew, Reynolds is normally allowed to bypass security checkpoints without inspection, but was stopped for a random search. After TSA agents asked her to go to a secondary screening area, Reynolds dropped her bags, kicked off her Gucci heels, and put the sprinting abilities she had worked on as a member of NYU’s 2004 track team to work as she took off, running down an up escalator.


    Police found 11 individually wrapped bags of cocaine—about 60 lbs—worth approximately 3 million in the 3rd place Miss Jamaica World 2008 winner’s bags, but her father says she had no idea what was in them.  “Somebody gave her the bag,” he told The New York Post. “She said she didn’t know what was in” the luggage.” Marshall McClain, President of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, thinks differently. “I don’t believe anybody would trust a mule with that amount of dope the first time out,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “You’re talking about $2 million worth of cocaine…. That’s pretty troubling. This is more than likely not her first time doing this.”

    Still unidentified by investigators, Reynolds was still able to board a flight heading to New York the following day. She surrendered to DEA agents at New York’s JFK airport that Wednesday, and appeared in Federal Court in Brooklyn on Thursday, where federal prosecutors appealed a magistrate judge’s decision to release her on $500,000 bail. California federal Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ordered that she remain detained until she faces an arraignment on April 7.

    Charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute, Reynolds faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted.


    *********************

    Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

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    For many struggling with hair loss, finding the root of the problem can be an ongoing struggle.

    There can be so many factors as to why hair loss happens including diet, medications, hormonal changes, rapid weight loss and stress to name a few. Although there are many supplements and topical solutions that will help with hair loss, studies have shown that the addition of an important amino acid, L-Lysine can be effective.

    Continue!>>>


    What Is L-Lysine, and how does it benefit your hair?
    L-Lysine is an essential amino acid that the body needs for important functions such as growth and the maintenance of health. It is not produced naturally in the body so it must be consumed within your diet. Diets that consume higher sources of protein like meat, eggs, beans and fish generally have more adequate levels of L-Lysine. For those with inadequate levels (vegans/athletes that require a higher protein intake), Lysine supplements are available to balance nutrition.

    L-Lysine helps in the production of collagen which is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
    According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The role of the essential amino acid, L-Lysine in hair loss also appears to be important. Double-blind data confirmed the findings of an open study in women with increased hair shedding, where a significant proportion responded to l-lysine and iron therapy.”

    Certain studies have shown that women with iron deficiencies have links to hair loss. The addition of L-Lysine to a diet has proven to help with the absorption of iron and zinc for many that are deficient. Although L-Lysine is not a DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) blocker, it has shown to make DHT blockers more effective.

    Dosage & Warnings
    You can get L-Lysine in protein rich foods such as meats, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. However for those deficient in it, it is available in the supplement form. Before beginning any herbal supplements, you should always consult a physician to ensure the proper dosage. It’s important that you know these two things: if it is safe for you and that it doesn’t interfere with any other medications. It is not advised to take the supplement if you are pregnant or nursing, or suffer from kidney or liver disease.

    Where To Get L-Lysine
    L-Lysine supplements can be found in many grocery and natural food stores. Additionally, you can purchase it online with several brand options. Some brands also include L-Lysine into their topical solutions to help with hair loss.

    Now Foods L-Lysine 500mg
    Source Naturals L-Lysine 500mg
    Spare My Scalp Solution: Intense Concentrated Hair Growth Solution

    Has L-Lysine ever helped you with hair loss? Tell us about your experiences down below in the comments.

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    by EricaThurman of EricaThurman.com

    I was watching the Love and Hip Hop reunion last week and something occurred to me. Somewhere between Olivia Pope and Amina Pankey by way of Mary Jane Paul and K Michelle, Black women are having, and talking about, abortions on TV.

    Round about last fall, near the intersection of reality tv and Shondaland, we saw a Black woman get on a table, have an abortion and then go back to her job and life without seeming to miss a beat (Olivia Pope). We saw a Black woman reveal the abortion she had kept secret from her family for years (Mary Jane Paul). We watched a Black woman express regret about having an abortion (K Michelle). And we followed along as a Black woman made the decision to terminate a pregnancy while simultaneously declaring that she did have a desire to have more children (Amina Pankey).

    What we didn’t get is a “face” of a woman who has an abortion—rightfully so. The women on TV, like women who make such decisions every day, were of varying socioeconomic classes, relationship statuses, education levels, geographic regions and ages. The only thing they shared for sure was race and the fact that each one was faced with a decision to make as to whether she wanted to become a mother (again). And each one had her own reasons for coming to the decision that she did.

    We also didn’t get to see the challenges women face when they decide to terminate a pregnancy. States have enacted a myriad of barriers to women’s access to abortion. 28 states require that women undergo counseling followed by a mandatory waiting period (18-72 hours) before she can have an abortion. 38 have some version of parental consent or notice for minors with some requiring the consent of both parents. Only 17 states allow for public funding of medically necessary abortion with 32 states +DC having public funding in case of life endangerment, rape or incest. Even with private insurance, 11 states restrict coverage of abortion through private plans. 45 states allow health care providers to refuse to perform or participate in an abortion and 42 allow institutions to refuse to perform them.

    That’s a lot of numbers (my source and more details here). And women who are making difficult decisions about their health must consider all of them. Add those to the TRAP laws that regularly shut down abortion clinics and what you have is a situation where a woman would have to take unpaid time off from work, find transportation to the nearest clinic (hours away in many instances), have a counseling session and then be forced to come back 1-3 days later to actually have the procedure. That means either a hotel stay or traveling back home and then making the trip again. Women in abusive relationships might have a hard time getting away twice. This all assumes that she can come up with the money to have the procedure (about $450).

    Here is what we know. Women will always have access to abortion. The question is whether they will have access to safe abortions. Several recent cases before the Supreme Court will determine whether already restricted access comes even more restricted (Texas v. Whole Woman’s Health and Zubik v. Burwell). In places where abortion restrictions increase, there is an increase in the number of Google queries for “how to self-abort” and “how to have miscarriage.” Since the beginning of time women have turned to their environment, their medicine cabinets and their non-formally trained friends for solutions to terminate a pregnancy.

    More of what we what we know. When access to safe abortion is denied, women of means can afford to travel to places where it is available. Salaried employees can take time off to make multiple visits as required in many states. Women of lower socioeconomic status are the ones who will find themselves with less safe options. And those women are disproportionately women of color.

    Black women need to be talking about reproductive health. And that means we need to be talking about abortion. Because no matter what your stance on abortion, when women don’t have access to safe procedures, Black women are more likely to suffer. In our day, it’s hard to remember terms like “back alley abortion” or understand the significance of coat hangers. Both of those resulted in the deaths, or sterilization of women who didn’t have real choices about their reproductive health.

    Deciding when, if or how to parent is a personal decision. It is an economic decision. It is a political decision. It is a spiritual decision. Above all– it is her decision. And she should be able to do all of those in a safe and healthy environment. That Olivia, Mary Jane, Amina and K Michelle are allowing us a point of departure to discuss a very real part of Black women’s health is a good thing. It is critical that we continue to have these conversations as easily as the conversations we have about which television characters we like.

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    by Aziza Glass of BlackNaps.org

    Black women’s transition to rock their natural curl is not a trend. It’s a movement. Now that Black women have reclaimed the pride of wearing their natural hair, the world has begun to take notice. How much so? Major hair product companies are launching more “curly,” “textured,” or “natural” lines with pictures of Black women smiling and dancing with their natural hair. A sector in the weave/hair extension market has emerged selling textured hair that will closely match your own curl pattern. Black women with haircare products are some of the fastest growing and successful entrepreneurs in the business sector. Conventional hair and cosmetic industry companies have had a double digit dip in profit, the first time in decades.

    Continue!>>>


    Natural hair is here and it’s here to stay. Yet, with the embrace of natural hair, there has been a new and controversial trend emerging within the natural hair community. I’m referring to the sometimes not-so-subtle preference for certain curl types.

    As a natural hair newbie, I began delving into the world of natural hair blogs and YouTube to find out as much as I could. The majority of popular vloggers had a curl pattern comfortably in the 3 curl pattern range. There was only one YouTube vlogger with a comparable following who had hair with a kinky curl. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, and I decided to hang on to their every word. Then I would become frustrated when I would purchase the products promoted on a hair tutorial, and the results would not be remotely similar to the video. It eventually turned me off, now believing nothing worked, and I began to watch the videos to get ideas for hair styles only. I originated most of the techniques I developed to manage and style my hair, with a hint of inspiration here and there.

    I noticed most of the authors for very popular blogs were lauded as having beautiful hair, and although true, similar adjectives were not used for women with kinky curl patterns UNLESS their hair was uber long…like down to their behind long. These authors tended to be featured more, thereby increasing their exposure and chance at popularity. On Instagram accounts, for every picture of a woman with an afro, there were ten celebrating a woman with a loose curl that was in the wet and wavy category. I heard men describe my type of curl as nappy and a curly woman’s as a “pretty natural.” This would lead to questions like “Are you mixed?” as if that was the sole cause of her pretty hair. And then, some of these men would find it astonishing if the woman’s answer was “No, I’m not mixed.”

    With all of these (sometimes not-so-subtle) signs, I posed the question to myself, “Has the natural hair community created a new good hair?”

    Has the natural hair community subconsciously created a hierarchy for curl types? And as a consequence, is there a natural hair standard of beauty that unknowingly demotes some women and celebrates others? The evidence is there. There are fewer successful bloggers with 4c type hair. There are few products marketed toward black women with natural hair that has a kinkily coiled hair texture. Instagram accounts that celebrate 4c type hair have significantly fewer followers compared to the accounts that highlight “all” curl patterns and sparsely feature women with kinky hair, unless it is a celebrity or a high fashion photo.

    Going natural for most women begins a journey of self-discovery. You start to pay attention to what goes on your head and in your body. You make changes to improve your health through diet and fitness, and you start to focus on what makes you beautiful instead of your flaws. That’s what is supposed to happen, and most of the time it does. But when it doesn’t, the result is still as scathing as someone referring to another person’s hair as good, and by default, yours as bad. In our attempt to literally embrace our roots, we could be creating the same beast with a different hairstyle.

    Weigh in!

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  • 03/28/16--12:53: Let it Burn.


  • Hola Chica!

    This is not about stopping thought.

    This is not about swapping positive thoughts for negative ones.

    That shit's hard.  Impossible, really.  What I'm suggesting is the easy route. The short-cut (remember our destination is always from A to A) to inner peace for outer abundance.

    Continue!>>>
    Just like hater's gon' hate, thinking's gon' think.  It's what it does (it's just an automatic, conditioned mechanism) and it has absolutely nothing to do with You.  Your job is to notice that you aren't the thinker. You are not the thinker of thoughts.  'Cause if you were, your thoughts would be positive all damn day AND you'd know what your next thought is gonna be.  But they aren't and you don't.  So with that knowledge, you can stop beating yourself up for not being 'strong-willed' enough to silence or resist thoughts.   'Cause after all, we don't suffer from what we think, we suffer from what we believe.  And in this particular case, you suffer from belief in the thought that you should be able to control thinking.  But you can't, tho.  Do you see the lunacy?! #ThinkingIsSlickAF


    So the next time the thought arises that your dream is too big, or there's no way you're good enough to land that promotion, smile, and say,'thinking's gon' think'.  You don't have to believe or buy into anything thought says!  Isn't that liberating?!  Becoming indifferent toward thought will result in fewer thoughts that gradually become less 'negative'.  You can't actively 'do' anything to lessen or sweeten up thinking, but by simply becoming indifferent towards them, noticing the silence that's already there between, throughout, underneath, before and after every thought and choosing to place your attention on your natural good feels (instead of watching thoughts), your inner world will become peaceful.  And of course, the side effect of peaceful innards is a peaceful, outer world to match. #Mirror

    Later Gator,
    Nik 

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    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    Over the past several years, Chicago has consistently been in conversation as a city producing some of the most talented hip hop artists. But while we've seen the rise of the likes of Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper and Mick Jenkins, there's another group who isn't getting the shine they deserve. Black female singers. Below we highlight some of the prominent and upcoming Black female singers on the rise in the Chicago music scene.

    Continue >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Akenya

    In 2010, Akenya released her debut EP 'Overcome.' At only 23 years old, she has opened up for Esperanza Spaulding and collaborated with the likes of Chance The Rapper, Mick Jenkins and NoName Gypsy. The Chicago native caught my attention recently when Soundcloud's shuffle algorithm introduced me to her track 'Absent Mindedness.' Her style eloquently combines jazz, poetry and neo-soul. Although only two songs on her current Soundcloud, they're enough to keep you wanting more until she drops her follow-up EP sometime this year. Give her music a listen below.


    **********************

    Jean Deaux​

    Hailing from Chicago's west-side, Jean Deaux has used her roots in house, r&b and hip hop to define her district electronic sound. Her 13.5 thousand followers on Soundcloud has led her to a recent performance at the House of Vans showcase at SXSW and a takeover of Nylon's snapchat. She's collaborated with the likes of Mick Jenkins and production/creative collective THEMPeople. While she's caught my attention with her tracks XYZ and Don't Kall My Name, Alone is by far my favorite. The 8-min track produced by Nico Segal and ThemPeople touches on not wanting to be alone after the ending of a bad relationship. "Have you ever been so in love with somebody that you never wanna be alone?" Give it a listen below.


    *********************

    ​Daryn Alexus

    Daryn Alexus is originally a DC-native who migrated to Chicago like many artists to attend Columbia College Chicago. But music wasn't a new idea to her as she attended the world renowned Duke Ellington High School for the Arts. The school boasts such notable alumni as Dave Chapelle and Angela Davis. The 25-year old singer touches on real issues many millennials/creatives can relate to. Student loans, past due bills and following dreams. "Bow your head and say a prayer.// For the little girl who lives inside of me." She's garnered a increasing following in Chicago, catching the attention of the Chicago Tribune. In an interview with the Tribune, she speaks on how the passing of her aunt (also a singer) in 2012 is what led her back in pursuit of music. To date, Alexus has dropped two projects, Green and The Wildflower Series. Some of my personal favorites are '1990' and 'Then Again.' Out of the 5, she's probably the one I have the closest connection with. I witnessed first hand her very first performance while a student at Columbia. She's come quite a ways over the past several years, and it's only a matter of time before I believe her music will meet the speakers of the masses. On April 10th, she'll be performing at the world renowned Double Door in Chicago. Check out her music below.


    **************************

    ​Eryn Allen Kane

    You can't mention the Chicago music scene these days without brining up the name Eryn Allen Kane. Like Daryn Alexus, Kane also transplanted to Chicago from Detroit to attend Columbia College Chicago. But it wasn't until after graduation that she started to gain the attention of music lovers all around the globe. She's been co-signed by Prince, which would later lead to a collaboration between the two and a special performance at his benefit concert for Baltimore, live-streamed by Tidal. Around the same time, she would catch the attention of Spike Lee, who hand selected her to play a small supporting role in Chiraq. Last year she dropped Aviary Act I and less than a year later followed up with Aviary Act II. One of my personal favorites, Piano Song was featured on an episode of Being Mary Jane. Kane has collaborated with the likes of Chance The Rapper and Donnie Trumpet, who helped boost her name before releasing her solo material. She's easily the most popular of the five, but has somehow maintained her graceful, charismatic personality in spite of everything that's happened over the past year. If for some reason you haven't heard of Kane before now, or simply forgot, you'll quickly fall in love with Kane's powerful, soulful voice. No doubt, Have Mercy is a personal favorite of the fans, amassing over 660,000 spins on Soundcloud and over 100K views on YouTube. Listen to her music below.


    ************************


    ​Jamila Woods

    You might recognize Jamila Woods from Chance The Rapper's Sunday Candy or Macklemore's "White Privilege II." Woods earned a BA in African American Studies and Theater & Performance Studies from Brown University. Although she's made a name for herself as a singer, Woods is just as respected as both a poet and activist in Chicago. She currently serves as Associate Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors where she helps organize the largest poetry festival in the world. In 2012, Woods released her debut Chapbook, 'The Truth About Dolls' inspired from a Toni Morrison quote. Earlier this year, she would pen a record deal with Chicago label, Closed Sessions. Her controversial collaboration with Macklemore is what caught many media outlets attention as they wrote about their new discovery of the Black female singer on the track. Her song Blk Girl Soldier speaks on the Black Girl Magic movement, paying tribute to freedom fighters like Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth and Assata Shakur. "But what they don't understand. //She don't give up." Give it a listen below.




    ***********************

    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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  • 03/29/16--10:00: Little Boys and Natural Hair


  • by Monica Lake

    There are a ton of blogs and Youtube channels devoted to girls and their curls- -how to style them, dress them up, keep them healthy etc. There is almost no information online devoted to young boys with highly textured hair. What about those of us with little princes who don’t want to chuck up the deuces to that beautiful hair and “just get a fade”? Every blue moon I may see a little boy with locs or cornrows, but almost never free flowing a la Jaden Smith. It's frowned upon to have your son rock his curls after learning how to talk, as the old wives tale goes.

    Read More!!>>>
    My son, Kai, is 2 ½, and I decided that I am not going to cut his hair (again…this will be explained later) to conform to the norms of African American society. My son has a beautiful head of hair. His curls have tightened up a bit since he was born, and they are gorgeous. Even while wearing a blue outfit, with airplanes, and tiny chuck taylors, he is mistaken for a girl. I began to think that maybe it was his hair, which I used to keep in box braids. Apparently, many people think that having long hair is more of a feminine aesthetic. My thoughts were confirmed by my BF’s mother when she stressed that he really should get his hair cut. Her reasons were that “he needs to feel like a boy” *side eye on deck*. After much thought, I lopped off a few of his braids. I gave in ya’ll, I cut my baby’s hair . We took him to the barber to complete the job I started, and he cut Kai’s hair to this <> long. It was literally 1 ½” long and lop sided. The “barber” cut his hair with industrial scissors so I had to go back and cut even more to get rid of any split ends that may have emerged from the butchering of his tiny head.

    I cried….and cried….and cried. For a week straight. I don’t know if it was because his hair was gone or the fact that I gave into pressure and did something I didn’t want to do in the first place. After that, I vowed to never cut his hair again. That was about 8 months ago. His hair is almost as long as it was pre-cut. I started my own blog that focuses on natural hair kids, especially boys, to help other mothers in this predicament. I provide tips and styling options, and ask and search for answers to the questions: Does long hair really equal feminine? Doesn’t boy hair require just as much care and attention as a girl’s does? This journey is just beginning and I hope there are other mother's interested in taking it with me.

    UPDATE:
    Since this guest post was written there have been more resources available to mothers who want to grow their boy's hair. There are still strides to be made, but here are a couple of resources to start with if you have a little boy and need more information on how to care for his hair.

    Youtube - there are many videos now on how to care for boys' hair, no matter what length. Here's just one example that you can watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG2Q6RwG2Gw

    Blogs - While there's still work to be done, here are some blogs that mention taking care of boys' hair. Let me know in the comments what other blogs you suggest! 



    Weigh in!
    How do you feel about boys getting their hair lopped off on their 1 year birthday?

    This guest post was originally written in 2011 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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  • 03/29/16--11:35: Ultralight Beamin'


  • Hola Chica,

    Last night you had a dream.

    Continue!>>>
    You found yourself at a window table in a cafe with your bestie.  You sipped tea, nibbled pastries and gossiped about your old college roommate who had recently posted pics from her entirely ratchet wedding ceremony for all of social media to consume.  As you scrolled through your feed, bestie shared a laugh with the cute waiter, y'all paid, hopped in an Uber and went to your apartment.  

    When you woke up this morning, you realized that it was 'just a dream'and that you hadn't gone anywhere or done anything.  But don't forget, while you were dreaming, before you WOKE up, it all seemed very, very convincing--

    In the dream, you had a dream body that could feel your dream phone as you scrolled through the dream pictures.  Your dream tongue tasted the dream tea and dream pastry.  There were dream tables, chairs, cups, silverware, walls... all of which appeared very solid and real.  For instance if you'd stubbed your dream toe on the leg of the dream table, you'd dream cuss.

    Your dream eyes admired the view from the window-- the blue sky, the fluffy white clouds, the tall, old oak trees, the bright sun, the cars and pedestrians, all going about their business.  There were other dream folk in the restaurant too-- like the cute waiter and your bestie, who seemed to have their own thoughts and opinions... their own consciousness.  For example, you didn't know what your bestie would say next or what the waiter would say to her, or even what he would do when he got off work.  Then you guys hopped in a dream Uber and traveled through space and time to end up at your apartment.

    But the thing is, you created that entire experience, right there, in your bed, in your room, in 'your mind'.  You created a cafe, old ass trees (that looked like they'd been there for centuries, long before you arrived on the scene), and cute, free-willed waiters.  You created time and space for your dream body to travel through.  But all of that took place right there, 'in your mind', in your room, and was made up of one thing, consciousness.  Every object in the dream had the same essence-- the trees, the bestie, your dream body, the tea... only consciousness appearing AS different objects.  And while you were dreaming, it felt real.  It felt like there were lots of things going on, most of which you had no control over.  Most of which must have existed before you and your friend arrived at the cafe.  And if a dream CurlyNikki would've strutted into that cafe and walked right up to you and said, 'bish, wake up, this a dream!' You would've thought she had lost her whole entire mind.

    So ask yourself, is it possible that Consciousness is dreaming this moment right here, right now?  There's only one thing going on and You are it. You just forgot.

    Stay Woke,
    Nik 

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    image source IG @mindofkye_


    Question

    No matter how many times I cut my hair I always have split ends. How can I stop this?

    Answer

    Change your hair habits. If you are removing them from the equation and making sure you are cutting them completely off, then you are either prone to them or not changing your hair habits to rid future split ends from occurring. Here are some easy tips on keeping split ends at bay.

    Lay off the heat
    Direct heat appliances like flat irons or blow-dryers are really bad for hair especially for curly hair. You should be using them sparingly like a few times a year, as constant use can cause make your ends even worse. There are several techniques for straightening and drying hair without heat, so opt for those and limit heat styling to special occasions.

    Hydrate and seal
    These are crucial to length retention as moisture keeps dryness at bay and sealing keeps that moisture in and protects the hair. When you follow these two steps your ends will have no choice but to get in line and stay moisturized and together.

    Make your hair stronger
    This is the best way to reduce their occurrence. You can make sure to use products with better ingredients and use protein treatments regularly like monthly. Also just consulting with a salon you trust on products that might work better for your tresses will also be a great asset to ensuring you are getting what you need from them. Another way to get stronger hair is to eat well, stay hydrated (that goes for your hair too) and reduce stress.

    Wash hair only when necessary
    You do not have to wash weekly or several times during the week, because excessive shampooing can lead to dryness and you guessed it…more split ends. Use a clarifying shampoo only when needed and opt for a sulfate-free one when you do not have excessive buildup.

    Pre-poos
    Since shampooing can be pretty rough on the hair, try to pre-poos as they will help to protect the hair from the friction and the surfactants that strip the hair of dirt, sweat, and natural oils your hair actually needs.

    Find a great leave-in conditioner
    Leave-in conditioners help to protect the hair from regular wear and tear and well as reviving the hair on that second, third, or longer days. They keep the hair hydrated and elastic so it is less prone to breakage and less likely to begin splitting. They also help with environmental factors like dry weather or the scorching sun.

    Don’t put off trims
    I know sometimes we do not want trims, but getting trims when necessary combats daily wear and tear on our hair. Trims when needed keep the split ends at bay and will keep them from getting worse as they will if you ignore them. I usually know it is time for my bi-annual trimming when the fairy knots start creeping up. Either put it on your calendar or look for the signs.




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    wand curls now vs then (only 3 months after baby)

    by Michelle Thames of HappilyEverNatural.com

    Almost 2 years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl, ever!  The pregnancy and the idea of being someone's mom was new to me, so I really didn't know what to expect!  I did, however, know all about postpartum shedding and what could possibly happen to my hair after I had my baby. I spoke about how I dealt with postpartum hair loss here. I then began to notice texture changes with my hair.

    Continue>>>


    I like to be transparent with my readers, to let you know what I'm going through in hopes that it may help someone else.  As we all know, change can be difficult, no matter how minor or major they're perceived to be. I’m not going to lie, as I noticed changes in my hair I got a little sad.

    Pre- pregnancy my hair was long thick and I had a looser curl pattern. If I had to type it id say 3c maybe.

    During my pregnancy, my hair thrived! This is because during pregnancy, the higher levels of estrogen prolong the growth phase, which results in less shedding and thicker hair. Some women also notice that their hair becomes shinier and more moisturized during pregnancy, or that it changes in texture. Many women notice these changes.  For me, my hair was fuller, thicker and doing well. I took my prenatal vitamin everyday and drank lots of water.

    I breastfed my baby for 9 months when she suddenly stopped on her own. I began to take post-natal vitamins and stopped taking my prenatal vitamins since I no longer needed the level of nutrition I required while breastfeeding.  A few months after that, I replaced the postnatal vitamins with a regular women's multi.

    This is when I really began to notice another drastic change with my hair. My thick hair began to break off, it was less dense and lacked volume. It was growing, but it was now thinner. I thought to myself that it was all in my head. But as I began to look back at pictures it was evident.

    I had to totally switch up my routine. Things I used to do no longer worked. I noticed that my hair was always super dry. I went from deep conditioning every 2 weeks to once a week, with heat. I always do the L.O.C. method.  My hair was so different that the styles I used to do no longer looked the same. I just couldn’t get that same look! So I just started to wear my hair in a bun every. single. day (my way of protective styling). This turned out not to be a very good idea because I neglected my ends, and didn’t moisturize my hair properly (bad idea). I recently visited the Chicago Curl Collective to get my hair straightened. Moral of the story I had to get 2 inches cut off!

    I decided to embrace my new texture and learn to care for my hair all over again. I’ve had to put in place new techniques and take a different approach and it's okay. This natural hair journey is really a “journey”. I’ve been rocking with it since 2009 and everyday is a new adventure and a new learning experience. I knew that I would experience changes, but I had no idea that I would have to learn care for my hair all over again, with a new texture. Im still learning. My hair may never return to how it was pre-baby and I’m perfectly okay with that.

    Have you experienced changes in your hair postpartum? How did you overcome the changes?

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