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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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    Pictured Left To Right: Lauren Ash, Rae Chardonnay and Nickecia Alder

    by Mike Orie of

    Three Black women in Chicago are changing the way Black people celebrate day parties. Only six months ago, Lauren Ash, DJ Chardonnay and Nickecia Alder joined forces to launch Party Noire. In just a short amount of time, their success has by far exceed their expectations. We sat down with DJ Rae Chardonnay to talk about the success of the day party, challenges and how they've found their niche: celebrating Black women.

    Continue >>>>>>
    CN: Six months ago, you launched Party Noire with Lauren Ash and Nickecia Alder. What inspired you all to launch the party? How did you all meet?

    RC: I met Lauren via mutual friends who constantly mentioned that we should know each other. We were introduced via email and social media and I later attended a Black Girl in Om event. Lauren and Nickecia met at a BGIO event at the Silver Room but were previously connected via social media platforms. I’d say that Party Noire was created out of necessity. There was no space for young Black people to gather in a meaningful way and in particular young black women and creative individuals. We wanted to create a space intentional for celebrating each other.

    CN: Where did the name come from?

    RC: We did a lot of brainstorming on things related to Blackness and played around with a few different titles that included the word Black. We landed on Noire because if its appeal and how nicely it flows. We wanted to be as clear as possible in our intentions.

    CN: Party Noire really focuses on the Black woman's experience if I understand correctly. Is there anything specific that you do differently that captures the attention of the Black woman?

    RC: I think that we are already very women focused in most of our individual endeavors. Coming together as a collective gave us all a larger platform to express that focus. I think the highlighting of sisterhood and kinship amongst Black women is a large part of what captures the attention of Black women who enjoy Party Noire is the freedom that is expressed by the women who attend and how our photographer RJ Eldridge, so beautifully captures that vibrancy. In each photo that he has ever taken for us I’ve seen nothing but pure joy in the faces of our partygoers.

    ​Photo by RJ Eldrige

    CN: Has there been a difference in how Party Noire is received by the average Black male, who might be used to a male dominated party industry?

    RC: I believe this is a bit more complex. What is the average Black male in 2016? Who is that person? We definitely see fewer straight Black men at Party Noire. However the ones that do attend are very welcoming to the diversity Party Noire brings. Some of our queer Black men partygoers have expressed that they feel well received by our straight Black men partgoers. It wasn’t until this most recent party that we noticed a significantly larger amount of straight Black men. Some were obviously not the most comfortable but seemed to be intrigued enough to stick around. We think this may be because Party Noire challenges the reasons why most people party. Our community is very inclusive and diverse and our priority is to create a space for a nonconforming #BlackJoy turnup. I’d like to think that we get a significant amount of support from those who may be considered veterans in the Chicago social scene, most of whom are straight Black men.

    CN: Can you tell us about your co-founders, Lauren and Nick? What role do each of you play in the success of Party Noire?

    RC: Lauren and Nick are amazing young women who concurrently run their own businesses. Nick is is the founder of Black Girl Fly Mag and Lauren is the founder of Black Girl in Om. In the most literal sense we all do a little bit of everything to keep our ship afloat. I think that because we all independently run businesses of our own we’re are naturally adept to doing each task necessary, so we all pick up the pieces where we need to in order to make Party Noire a monthly success. More recently we’ve implemented a bit more of a process and have set some clear outlines on who is responsible for communicating with the various entities involved in Party Noire. For example I handle all communications regarding music and DJs, Lauren handles the bulk of our social media and Nick corresponds with our direct supporters. While these are three important tasks, they are only a portion of what goes into making Party Noire what it is.

    ​Photo by RJ Eldrige

    CN: Day parties have been extremely successful in cities like New York, DC, and Atlanta. Were there any challenges you first saw trying to introduce a different variation of this concept in Chicago? How has the weather factored into people's decision to attend?

    RC: Not particularly. I think we experienced more identifiable challenges after the first iteration. We took some time to reconsider our approach to how things are communicated to everyone involved and became more strategic in our social media presence. It’s an ongoing learning experience and I think each party has presented a new learning opportunity. In Chicago, weather is definitely always a factor. We battled a snowstorm for our third party but still had a beautiful and abundant turnout. The great thing about winter weather challenges is that we always have the summer too look forward too.

    CN: Hyde Park has always been this huge cultural hub in Chicago, despite the cities continuous attempt to gentrify it. How did you all select The Promotory? Were there any hesitations of people attending because of its Southside location?

    RC: We selected The Promontory because it has become a staple venue in the Hyde Park neighborhood and imagined it to be a great central location and welcoming space. Lauren and I had previously done work with the venue before and have always enjoyed working with their team. If there are hesitations on coming to the Southside they have not been expressed to us. People come from all over the city to attend Party Noire and that in itself is very humbling. Chicago is a huge city and Hyde Park is not the easiest neighborhood to travel to particularly via public transportation. We’ve gotten asked to put out requests to carpool from the Northside because it was imperative that these individuals made it to Party Noire. I feel like many people have expanded their own already established communities with connections made at Party Noire. I think people see more benefit in being there than not being there so location becomes a less important factor. Unless of course there’s a snowstorm.

    ​Photo by RJ Eldrige

    CN: If you could describe the atmosphere of this event in three-to five words, what would you say?

    RC: Here for #BlackJoy. Always.

    CN: As a DJ, what approach do you take when selecting the music for this event? Is there anything you might do differently than a different gig?

    RC: I generally do not plan my sets. I like to have fun with the music that I play at any gig, really. If we propose to do a musically themed event I will plan for that accordingly. Besides that it’s all very free flowing. I play the music that we as a community have a general interest in be it old school or new and I like to introduce music that our attendees may not be very familiar with from time to time. In terms of our guest DJ’s, I like to make sure that I am familiar with their execution and what music they are most comfortable playing.

    CN: Lauren and Nick are both founders of their own publications, Black Girl In Om and Black Girl Fly Mag. How have these online platforms helped support the growth of the brand Party Noire?

    RC: Lauren and Nick’s platforms have helped with growth exponentially. Their brands were already established to cultivate the kinship of Black women. Women who feel connected to BGIO and Black Girl Fly Mag trusted that Party Noire would be an extension of what their brands represent, which is the continued uplifting and support of women of color, Black women in particular.

    ​Photo by RJ Eldrige

    CN: Six months from now, when you reach your one-year mark what do you see Party Noire evolving into?

    RC: I see Party Noire evolving into an intersectional community staple event and not just for Chicago. We will continue to celebrate the vibrancy of our community by bringing unique ideas into our execution and maintaining the mission of cultivating space for #BlackJoy.

    CN: Can you provide is info on pricing, time and the next Party Noire party in Chicago?

    RC: The next Party Noire is April 23rd from 2:00-8:00pm at The Promontory in Chicago. Tickets are available for $10 pre-sale and $15 at the door. You can find out more information about it here.


    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 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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    by Tiffani Greenaway of

    Oh what a lovely, precious, dream.

    In a popular 1958 song, Nina Simone's powerful lyrics helped to demonstrate the pride in being a young person of color. Today, young social activists are taking a stand, using their platforms to speak up and educate their peers.


    N.A.A.C.P. Image Award winner Yara Shahidi, who stars as Zoey Johnson on the ABC show Black-ish, uses her celebrity status for social good. “I’m filming nine and a half hours a day five days a week, but whenever I have a free moment, I’m talking to the U.N. or working on how to get Yara’s Club (her mentoring program) launched,” she told the New York Times. "Giving back is not just something you do as an adult."

    The 15 year-old Teen Choice Award nominee maintains a 4.6 GPA, and is enrolled in AP Calculus and honors chemistry. She appeared in a public service announcement for earlier this year, encouraging young women to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

    Hunger Games star Amandla Sternberg is also speaking up for social change. The 17 year old's video "Don't Cash Crop On My Cornrows," a commentary on cultural misappropriation, went viral. "As Azealia Banks observed in her tweets, white musicians who partook in hip hop culture and adopted 'Blackness,' Iggy Azalea in particular, failed to speak on the racism that comes along with Black identity," Stenberg said. "What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?"

    The actress and activist, who is this year's Black Girls Rock "Young, Gifted and Black" celebrant, is set to star in The Hate U Give, the movie adaptation of the young adult novel by Angela Thomas inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed young man shot by police at Oakland, California's Fruitvale Station in 2009.

    This generation is growing up conscious and active, unafraid to organize and speak out.

    President Obama spoke of young leaders, saying, “What I am most encouraged by is the degree of focus and seriousness and constructiveness that exists not only with existing civil rights organizations, but this new generation. They are some serious young people. I told them that they are much better organizers than I was when I was their age, and I am confident that they are going to take America to new heights.”


    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

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    by Mike Orie of

    11-year old Mikaila Ulmer, founder of Be Sweet Lemonade just landed a major distribution deal with Whole Foods. Ulmer, who uses a special flaxseed-based lemonade from local bee’s honey just signed a deal with Whole Foods to distribute her lemonade to 55 different locations. 

    Continue >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Last March, Ulmer made an appearance on Shark Tank to pitch financing for the growth of Bee Sweet Lemonade. “One day I was like, I don’t just want to sell this out of my lemonade stand. I actually want to put this in stores and shelves,” she said in an interview with ABC’s News 8 in Dallas. After landing a regional deal with Whole Foods in Texas and three other states, the then 10 year old knew that she needed more money to help support her expansion. This led to an appearance on Shark Tank. It was here that she caught the attention of Shark Daymond John. He agreed to invest $60,000 for 25% of her company, if he could find someone to get her lemonade in more stores. “That’s my youngest entrepreneurial partner,” said John. Little did he know the expansion would take less than a year.

    At this year’s SXSW festival, Ulmer was selected as one of the Top 10 Innovators of The Year as part of the MVMT50 Experience. The group of 10 was pulled from a total of 29 individuals highlighted during Black History Month this past February. It was here that the major distribution deal was announced.

    On May 2nd, Bee Sweet Lemonade will re-launch as Me & The Bees Lemonade, but will still hold the same concept. Ulmer first got the idea to launch the company when she was four. Her family encouraged her to make a product for a Children’s business contest, which resulted in her getting stung by a bee twice. To overcome her fear, she started doing research on bees and realized that they were slowly becoming extinct. Simultaneously, her grandmother would send her a 1940’s recipe from South Carolina, which included her special recipe for flaxseed lemonade. From there the idea was born, and business hasn’t slowed down since. You can find out more about Mikaila Ulmer and her Austin, Texas based business here.


    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 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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    Using my favorite blow dryer in a new way!


    The next time you want big ass 'day 3' hair on 'day 1', use this dryer to fluff your roots! I usually have to over-fluff my freshly set hair by separating curls, massaging and picking my roots to hide parts and then finally blasting the roots with my blow dryer's air concentrator (on warm) to stretch the length for extra hang time and volume. Sometimes the results were dope, sometimes... just frizz.

    The other day after a rod set, I remembered my trusty Andis dryer (that I always use for blow outs) and realized it was a pick, blow dryer and air concentrator in one! I focused on the top and crown (just the first inch of the roots) and ended up with huge, awesomeness on day 1. 

    Later Gators!

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    via KalaG

    What does "Pineapple" mean?

    The pineapple is a great method for keeping your curly hair looking amazing while you sleep. The natural hair community created it in order to stretch out the amount of time between wash days. By tying your hair up on top of your head, you keep it out of the way and reduce breakage, tangling, and disrupting your curl definition. For highly textured girls, this is a great way to stretch your coils too, depending on the length of your hair.

    There are a lot of variations on the pineapple depending on your length of hair. But the basics are below.

    Step 1 - the Pineapple

    Gather your hair into a high ponytail so that it sits on the top of your head. The key is to keep the hair from the back and sides of your head while sleeping. You can also create multiple ponies if your hair is either too thick or too short to gather in one ponytail. Be sure to use a satin scrunchie so that there is no crease in the morning.

    Step 2 - the Satin Scarf

    Use a satin scarf to wrap around your pineappled hair. Tie it around the front of your head so that you don't lay your head on the knot. You can skip this is if you sleep on a satin pillowcase.

    Step 3 - the Takedown

    There are multiple ways to take down your pineapple, and they are all a matter of preference. You will need to discover what works for you, so try a couple of methods. The most common way to take down your pineapple is to release the hair and fluff it with your fingers so that it regains its shape. Some pineapplers prefer to release their hair and spritz it with hair refresher to get some more definition. However, some naturalistas prefer not to tough the hair at all in order not to disrupt the curl pattern. Watch how Amanda lets down her type 4 coily hair after the pineapple without any manipulation:


    This technique will keep your curls from being completely flattened in the morning. Many kinky , coily, curly girls pineapple to keep their hair stretched, combating shrinkage. Adding the pineapple technique to your regimen will protect your curls and give you great looking hair between wash days!

    Pineapple for All Lengths

    If you have shorter natural hair, or extra long hair, you may be thinking that the pineapple isn't for you. You may have to modify your pineapple a bit, but it's not impossible. Check out this article on how to modify the pineapple for short, natural hair.

    Troubleshooting the Pineapple Method

    It may take a couple of tries for you to get the pineapple method just right. Sometimes the pineapple doesn’t work. Don’t give up! Try out these different techniques to refresh your hair after a pineapple. It may take multiple efforts, but you can definitely make the pineapple work for you. Read more: The Pineapple Method Didn't Work, Now What? 

    Do you pineapple? What's your preferred nightly routine? 

    This article was originally written in 2013 and has been updated for grammar, clarity, and relevance.

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    Bianca Alexa writes:

    All too often I find myself stuck with an old wash and go, and not enough time to pamper my hair with the love and detangling session it needs. So to help tackle those off days, I created a quick tutorial of 8 simple hairstyles you can do with an old wash and go by just using bobby pins! Quick, easy & fabulous.  Enjoy!


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    Miss Alexandria Nicole

    by Emilia Obiekea of

    There are many different starts to the natural hair journey. Some slowly transition from relaxed, heat or color damaged hair. While others reach for the scissors and go for the big chop (BC). Rocking a new short style can be daunting and liberating for new naturals. Here are some tips to help get you over the hump. Check them out so you can enjoy your hair in all of its awesomeness!


    Simple Do’s & Don’ts for Rocking Healthy Short Hair

    • Don’t stress about figuring out your curl pattern. Enjoy the growing process. As your hair grows the pattern will show. Then you can define it.
    • Do moisturize your hair daily/ nightly. Like a plant, your scalp and hair loves water and water based products. You can use a store bought product or a DIY leave in conditioner. Give the LOC or LCO methods a try. They are great ways to lock in moisture. Over time, you will start to realize when your hair needs to be moisturized and when you can skip a day or two. I love to use Florets & Crème leave in and Daily Dew oil. You can use any leave in, oils and butters of choice. Don't weigh your hair down with heavy oils and butters.
    • Don’t forget to cover your hair at night with a scarf or bonnet. Be sure they are made of satin or silk. This will aid in moisture retention and reduce the chances for unnecessary breakage. Try to avoid using bonnets with thin elastic bands in them. They tend to rub the hair off of your hair line. This is more noticeable with those that have thin or delicate strands.
    • Do cleanse your hair and scalp regularly. Many short haired naturals swear by cowashing with a cleansing conditioner. Other alternatives are cleansing clays (like bentonite), shampoos without SLS and acv rinses are great for removing build up.
    • Don’t forget to deep condition weekly. No matter the length, it is always good to complete your wash day with a quick rinse out conditioner, deep condition or a hot oil treatment.
    • Do experiment with styling & accessories. Just because you have short hair doesn’t mean that you have to rock your tresses in one way. You can play around with the haircuts…such as getting brush cut to a tapered cut. Some great styles to try are bantu knots, roller sets, flexi rods, flat twist, twist outs, etc… Not ready to try new styles? Time to accessorize! Wearing headbands, bows, wraps and scarves with a cute set of earing and a statement necklace will make you look at beautiful as you feel.
    • Don’t get frustrated and become a product junkie. Everything doesn’t work for everyone. It is easy to fall into that trap of buying the latest, greatest and more raved about product lines that are released. It does take trial and error to find products that work best for you. To avoid the hefty price tag purchase travel or trial size sets. Buy products when they are on sale. Swap products with your friends.

    Hope these tips are helpful and enjoy your natural your way!

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    by Jascmeen Bush of

    Every stage of the natural hair journey has its challenges. When I was transitioning I was bound to braids and buns. When I had my TWA I thought I had to wear huge earrings every day to keep from looking boyish. Now I’m firmly planted in the awkward stage and I’ve got a whole new set of issues, (the greatest being that on some days my head just ends up looking like a broccoli floret, lol!)

    I’m ready for my curls to have a little hang time, ya know?! Here’s everything I’m doing to get through the awkward stage of my short natural hair journey:

    1. A Growth Regimen
    I’ve had an amazing six-month growth period (read all about it here) and I owe it all to a simple regimen that I follow religiously. I have yet to try any vitamins or fancy products, I just treat my short natural hair very gently with the following regimen:

    Once a Week: My “LOL Method”
    1. I Co-Wash with Cantu Sulfate Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner (which I prefer over their actual co-washing product)
    2. Follow with their Leave-in
    3. Apply Coconut Oil
    4. More of the Leave-In
    5. Then braid and prepare for protective styling

    Every Other Day: Moisturizing and Oiling
    A few times a week I’ll apply more leave-in conditioner on my braids and massage JBCO into my scalp. It’s pretty warm in LA but if I’m somewhere cooler, I’ll do this every day.

    I shampoo only as needed, never detangle with a comb, and honestly don’t do protein treatments at all. By focusing on hydration and a simple regimen, my hair can thrive and grow with minimal breakage or dryness.

    2. A Healthy Diet

    Since I’m not really into protein treatments or vitamins, I make sure to get my protein and Biotin the old fashioned way— from food. When I first stopped eating meat, my hair was very fragile and breaking off terribly around the perimeter. Now that I focus on getting protein into my diet through vegetables and soy, and biotin from salmon and nuts, my hair has definitely felt stronger. It’s all part of my master plan to get my hair longer and out of the in between stage, plus I’ve dropped a few pounds in the process!

    3. Protective Styles

    I haven’t quite learned to perfect my twist-out skills, so I rely on wigs as protective styles. I have one little $20 wig that I re-buy every few months and wear almost every day.

    Underneath my wig are chunky braids that are easy to moisturize and tuck into my wig. My hair is loving being babied and free from manipulation. As much as I’d love to try and be more creative, I’d rather rely on my wigs and keep my hair happy and growing. The more it grows, the sooner I’m out of this stage and on to the next.

    If you’ve got any tips for getting through the awkward phase, leave them in the comments below!

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    Hola Chicas!

    I'm giving away bundles of hair goodies all month long. Enter every day for your chance to win!

    Good luck!


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    by Jascmeen Bush of

    1. The Devacurl Devadryer and Devafuser, $159
    Sure, it’s probably a whole lot pricier than your ordinary blowdryer and the diffuser ($45 on it’s own) is incredibly more expensive than a traditional one. If you can get past the price though, this thing is a game changer! The dryer is professional grade and the Devafuser adds lift to roots without disrupting your curl pattern. I’m not a big fan of using blowdryers, but I actually trust this one and think it’s worth the splurge.

    2. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $44
    I wouldn’t dare try to sell anyone on dry shampoo in general. If you’re not into it, you’re not into it. That being said, if you do like dry shampoos, this one is THE BEST. I used this a lot when I was doing roller sets to make the curls less Shirley Temple-ish and more modern.

    3. Ouidad Curl Immersion Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, $36
    There’s nothing like using products designed specifically for curls. If you’re a new Natural, trust me, it makes all the difference. This cleansing conditioner by Ouidad is recommended for tight curls and kinks. It hydrates, defines, all without sulfates and parabens. Warning— once you try the conditioner you’ll be cashing out on the entire line in no time.

    More natural hair products:

    If you're new to the natural world, navigating the market can be super overwhelming and exhausting. There are a ton of products out there for different styles with different ingredients, price points and for different hair types. If you want some more info on natural hair products, be sure to check out these articles perfect for newbies:

    The Best Natural Hair Products for Your Staple Styles 
    The Beginner's Guide to Natural Hair Products
    My 2015 Natural Hair Regimen and Product Guide

    Let me know your favorite splurge-worthy hair products in the comments :)

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    by Mike Orie of

    Warren Buffet’s son, Peter Buffett recently announced the exciting news of donating $90 million to support young girls and women of color. The donation would come through his organization The Novo Foundation, making it the largest contribution to date towards structural discrimination and inequalities faced by young women of color.

    Read more>>
    The foundation, created in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, announced a seven-year, $90 million commitment to support and deepen the movement for girls and young women of color in the United States. According to their website, the funds will support grassroots programming and advocacy, as well as national-level policy and culture change efforts, that are girl-led, girl-driven and designed to address the systemic and institutional challenges faced by girls and young women of color across the country. This commitment builds on the leadership of women of color who have worked for years to further this movement.

    While there might be the notion that young girls of color are making progress with the help of organizations such as Black Girls Rock! there is still much work to be done. The foundation sites that “over 60% of girls of color are born to families living on low incomes or below the poverty line.” But these aren’t the only challenges young girls of color face. It also highlights that “they’re also more likely to suffer child sexual abuse, be sexually harassed on the street and at school, and experience dating violence.” Once you start digging even deeper into intersectional identities including race, class, immigration status and sexual identity, the supported information is even more disheartening. The organization touches on how young girls of color are affected individually. “Black girls, for example, are six times more likely to be suspended in school than their white peers. Native American girls experience the highest rate of physical assault by an intimate partner. Twenty-two trans women and girls were murdered in 2015, with women and girls of color making up a disproportionate number of the victims.” It is these figures that prove that not only are organizations such as Buffett’s The Novo Foundation very much appreciated, but are of extreme necessity to help lessen the achievement gap amongst girls of color.

    The Novo Foundation’s newly announced partnership is directly inline with their initiative Advancing Adolescent Girl’s Rights. The website highlights its goals as following: “We believe every girl is born empowered. Together, we can dismantle the structures that prevent a girl from exercising that power, leaving her without an education, vulnerable to violence, and lacking access to opportunity.” You can find out more information about The Novo Foundation and its new initiative here.


    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 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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    By Erickka Sy Savané of

    I just heard that my favorite library has burned. When I got the news I wanted to cry, "Why this library and not another? This library, though old and frail, had so much more to give. Just recently it was set to be given yet another award for its incredible contribution to the world. I can't help but wonder what my life might have been without this library.

    You see, I discovered it when I was just 12 years old. It's not that I had never seen a library, I remember being rolled into libraries in a red wagon alongside my brother before I even knew what to do. There was something special about this one. This library was beautiful. But not in the way of perfectly painted walls or high prestine ceilings, this library was worn and rough around the edges from a life that hadn't been too kind. This library was filled with character and boasted stories so captivating that one had to stop.

    There was tragedy, triumph and enough resilience to make anyone feel that if the worst were to happen in his own life somehow it would all be okay.

    And let's not forget the words. Words zipping around in circles intertwining reconfiguring decomposing creating new ways to say things old and new. Ultimately, landing on the page like a beautiful symphony. This library was cool in the way that Miles Davis was. I would come to this place every day after school because there really was nothing greater to do.

    Then one day I moved to the City and discovered bigger libraries in beautiful places with new books filled with slicker vocabulary, hip hop themes and caviar dreams. Before you know it, I forgot all about that library.

    Then babies are born, rent is due, and there's no time for libraries. Books even seem a luxury from a life lived long ago. I'm in the middle of washing dishes when I get the news that my favorite library has burned. I'm stunned into silence because though I knew it would have to happen one day, because let us not forget this library was old enough to be deemed a historical landmark, I can't help but feel the loss. I would have visited more had I known that it might not be here forever. RIP MAYA ANGELOU

    A Library That Burns is taken from the African saying: Every elderly that dies is like a library that burns.

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    by Sabrina Perkins of

    The TWA or Teeny Weenie Afro is more than just the beginning of one’s natural hair journey. It is a style all on its own. It can be dressed up or down-- fro'ed out, sponge curled, finger coiled, twisted or you can just rock your natural curls!  The style choices for TWAs are only limited by your own preferences but what should not be a preference is caring for and protecting your short hair. Make no mistake…short hair needs TLC too! While buns, updos, and braids are traditional ways to protect your ends, with a TWA you do not have that luxury so here are some easy yet effective tips on protecting your TWA or short hair.

    Protect your short hair at night
    Your hair should not be coming into contact with anything other than satin or silk at night whether that means you wear a satin bonnet or sleep on a silk pillowcase. They are everywhere from your local BSS to so no excuses for not doing it and sleeping on regular cotton sheet and pillowcases. The cotton whisks away the much-needed moisture from your tresses and can cause friction which can cause breakage. I even bring a Loc Soc (my choice for protecting my hair at night) or a scarf on planes and long car rides because I take my naps and curls seriously! The silk and satin are nicer on your strands and usually help with combating frizz.

    Keep your TWA moisturized
    I carried around a spray bottle of water when I first went natural as my hair was bone dry and thirsty all the time. Little did I know that I was using all the wrong products but even now when I wake up in the morning I spritz my hair with a lavender water mix just to revive my tresses. Our hair thrives off of moisture and the number one moisturizer is water. Keeping our hair moisturized is the ideal way to protect it as it staves off breakage, dryness and split ends. Water-based leave-ins or refreshers are excellent for reviving dry hair and moisturized hair always looks and feels great.

    Deep conditioning & protein treatments
    You should be deep conditioning after every wash as the stresses and surfactants in shampoos can be harsh on our strands. Shampoos are designed to strip the hair of dirt, oil and sweat but it can be too effective sometimes. Using sulfate-free shampoos are great most of the time but if you have a ton of product and/or build-up you need those sulfates or a clarifying shampoo to cleanse your hair properly. Conditioners are created to combat the effects of shampoos and deep conditioners are thicker and full of nutrients and oils to help bring your hair back from the styling damages it occurred in-between washes and on wash day. Try not to skip it.

    Protein treatments go further than the deep conditioners and they actually help to temporarily build the hair’s cuticle that gets damaged from everyday styling, heat styling, or chemicals like color or straighteners. I usually do one monthly or every few months but if your hair feels limp and lifeless it is probably time for a protein treatment and if hair feels super dry and brittle it is time to up your moisture. Both deep conditioners and protein treatments are for protecting your hair and the TWA needs them just as much as longer tresses.

    Seal your ends
    Sealing your hair not only keeps the moisture in but it also helps your ends from splitting, becoming dry and brittle or breaking off. Ends are the oldest part of the hair and they need to be cared for and sealed to retain length. Shorter styles do not have to deal with friction from clothing but just the sun, pollutants and the elements are doing harm too so the sealant (usually a natural oil or a cocktail) lends a barrier to assist in keeping them away from those fragile ends so your retain length and have healthier hair.

    Protecting a TWA can be super easy as washing, conditioning and styling are quicker to do but that does not mean you cannot instill proper hair care regimens as a result. If you want your hair to retain length, you have to care for it while it is short, medium, long and every length in-between. You may not be able to tuck those ends away but with proper care you can keep them just as safe and healthy.

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    by Sabrina Perkins of

    Not everyone is a DIY mistress and guess what? You don’t have to be. I love a great product that I can pick up at Target or get on that has natural ingredients from all around the world and right at my fingertips. Many of these products are not even expensive as brands are being competitive and that just makes for more inexpensive choices for us. It’s a win-win.

    One popular and useful product that can be created as well as bought is a natural hair or curl refresher. It refreshes and revitalizes 2nd, 3rd or even 4th day hair without have to jump in the shower and cowash and start over. Sure, I have my spray bottle filled with distilled water and lavender oil as my usual refresher but there are days when my hair needs MORE. More, being a product that is water-based but has natural nourishing herbs and moisturizers that aid in detangling and reviving my deprived curls. Nothing against products that are not all natural but I will take a product that utilizes the natural essence of our world to breathe life back into my hair over one that doesn’t any day. Here are five refreshers that you need to check out.

    Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Refresher Spray 
    Carol’s Daughter has been a favorite for years because it takes our tresses seriously. Their milk refresher spray uses agave nectar to lock in moisture and control frizz while the wheat protein strengthens the strands. Add some sweet almond oil and you not only soften but gain some serious manageability. The refresher is paraben and sulfate free.

    Curls Quenched Curls Daily Leave In Moisturizer
    I love this line because it makes sure to give you the good stuff! Water, Bean Tree, Certified Organic White Tea Extract, and Certified Organic Chamomille Extract help in adding life back into your curls in a daily moisturizer that hydrates and conditions. Great for getting hair back on track before styling.

    Deva Curl, Mist-er Right Lavender Revitalizer 
    This refresher is a huge favorite because it not only refreshes but revitalizes and helps to deodorize the hair and scalp with the powerful lavender (my favorite essential oil!). It will bring your curls back to life while combatting frizz while it mildly cleanses the scalp and hair. Some use instead of a dry shampoo and is a great choice for in-between washes.

    Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries Herbal Leave-In Hair Tonic
    Oyin is famous for their Juices and Berries leave-in that harnesses the powers of Shavegrass, lavender bus, nettle leaf and chamomile flower. Hair gets softened for easier detangling and the humectants help to draw in the moisture and keep on your strands.

    SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist
    SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist is excellent for thick, curly hair to hydrate, give a soft hold, and de-frizz. Can be used on wash day or for 2nd day hair and harnesses the natural powers of coconut and neem oil to protect and impart shine.

    If 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th day hair is your object, then one of these 5 are the ones to try. Make sure to read all the ingredients to ensure you like what they have but I am more than sure you will find you will not only like but actually end up loving.

     CN Says:
    I'm still a HUGE fan of Deva Curl's Set it Free.  I spray it into my hands and smooth onto frizzy or flat curls.  I love the soft, shiny hold, the ingredient list and how quickly it dries. 

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    ​Pictured left to right, 19-year old Kayla and Keonna Davis 

    by Mike Orie of

    19-year old Kayla and 21-year old Keonna Davis have just become the youngest women to open a beauty supply in the state of California. Located in Moreno Valley, California, KD Haircare Supply officially opened its doors last month and they have received an overwhelmingly positive response thus far.

    Read More>>>While there is little information available outside of location and hours, it is very rare that Black women are able to step foot in a beauty supply managed by owners who not only look like them, but also understand their hair and products. KD Haircare Supply is currently open Mon -Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday from 9am-7:00pm & Sat from 9am-6pm. The two sisters have defined the store as a beauty supply that celebrates natural and weave hair care clients. Regardless of how you choose to wear you hair, you are welcomed with open arms.

    KD Haircare Supply currently takes online orders for those who don’t live in Moreno Vally and would like to support. However, due to the overwhelming response these two sisters have experienced over the last few days, we are asking that you bear with them on their pursuit in entrepreneurship at such a young age. Congrats Kayla and Keonna Davis! You can find out more information about KD Haircare Supply here.


    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 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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    by Tiffani Greenaway of

    Think back to your years in school. Besides the Trapper Keepers, Jansports, and Columbia jackets, what do you remember? Can you think of any teachers who looked like you?


    A 2015 study showed that Black teachers are more likely to believe that Black children are capable of academic success. Unfortunately, many children may not be able to benefit from teachers who believe in them.

    The Atlantic reports that across the nation, 16% of public-school students are black, but black teachers make up only 7% of the nation’s teaching force. Of that 7%, Statistics show that only 2% of America's educators are black men.source

    Two celebs are lending their star power in an attempt to bridge the gap.

    Sean "P.Diddy"Combs is set to open a New York city school this fall. Harlem's Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School is currently accepting applications for students in the sixth and seventh grades and will expand a grade each year until 700 students are fully enrolled in the school through grade 12. In a statement to Huffington Post, Combs said,"Every young person should have the tools they need to succeed. All our children should be able to pursue their dreams." As a Harlem native, he's aware of the community's needs. "I want to impact the lives of young people in my community, and build future leaders. The first step is offering access to a quality education."

    Actor, director, and producer Nate Parker, best known for his roles in The Great Debaters and Red Tails, is also opening a school on the campus of a historically black college in East Texas. Wiley College, the setting for much of The Great Debaters, is also the setting for the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama. “The hope is that we cover all aspects of film making, from sound, lighting and cinematography to just studying film specifically with the cultural component and the history of film,” Parker said. Classes start this fall, but 30 high school and college students will be participating in a nine day intensive this summer. “You control the moving picture, you control the masses. So really getting them rallied around the idea of reclaiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color.”

    Here's to reclaiming the classroom.


    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

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    Nadine of GirlsLoveYourCurls writes:

    'This braid tutorial is for those who would love to broaden their repertoire of protective styles, using more complicated braiding techniques, but don't know how to braid. The cost of getting braids done professionally can be very expensive, so doing it yourself might be the way to go. If you've watched a handful of tutorials, but are still at a loss, this technique of using colored yarn as a visual, might just help it click.'

    Watch Now!>>>

    Summary of Video:

    A french braid essentially wraps each of the outer portions over the middle and into the center, alternating outer portions. It can also be thought of as an inverted cornrow. I will show you the different steps first with colored yarn so you can see the paths and placement of each section. Then I will show you how to do it with real hair.

    Tips for French Braids: 
    • Start with the basic braid as you normally would do
    • Take a small section of the main section of hair add it to the strand which will be added to the center.
    • The forefinger and thumb are guiding the portions to position 
    • Use your other fingers to keep the rest neat and uniform.
    • You can work quicker when the hair is dry and detangled.
    How to: 
    1. Section the hair and create 3 equal portions
    2. Bring the outer portion over the middle and into the center
    3. Before every pass, add a small piece of the main hair section to the portion before it is taken over to the middle 
    4. Take your time. This is tedious but worth it!
    5. Use your free fingers to ensure that the sections remain separate
    6. Once the braid is complete and lifts off the head, you can continue with the basic braid until you reach the end of the hair. 
    You're finished!

    CN says:
    So I'm pretty sure Nadine recorded this for me and Boog, on account of the struggle braids.  It's the clearest tutorial I've seen to date and for that, I'm thankful!

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    Danai Gurira gives acceptance speech at the 2016 Black Girls Rock! Awards

    by Mike Orie of

    Last night, BET aired the celebration of the 10th annual Black Girls Rock! Awards. Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, the award celebrated black women who are making strides all over the world. Black Girls Rock! celebrated and honored the likes of Shonda Rhimes, Amandla Steinberg, Rihanna, Danai Gurira and the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. Below are some of the most powerful moments!


    1) Shonda Rhimes wants to change the way we see television.
    “I want to portray women the same way men are.” –Shonda Rhimes

    2) Black Girls Rock! founder, Beverly Bond speaks on why she founded the organization and shares a powerful speech.
    “Black girls still have to grow up with pervasive and paradoxical messages that say that our Black is not beautiful, but our features can be bought and sold to enhance the beauty of other women.” –Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock! founder

    3) Rihanna celebrates her Blackness and speaks on being a role model in her acceptance speech.
    "I believe God put us all here for a reason and we all have our purpose and we are here to fulfill our purpose individually," Rihanna said. "I think the thing that's kept me sane, the thing that's kept me humble, the thing that's kept me successful is being myself. I only know how to do that. This world is so big and it can be so confusing at times that you tend to forget and you tend to be so indented or tainted by society and the only thing that's kept me going is being myself. And the minute you learn to love yourself you would not want to be anybody else."–Rihanna

    4) Amandla Steinberg is awarded the Black Girls Rock! “Young Gifted And Black” award.
    “My blackness does not inhibit me from being beautiful and intelligent. In fact, it is the reason why I am beautiful and intelligent.” –Amandla Steinberg

    5) Danai Gurira educates us on how to use our Black girl magic.
    “You will struggle, beautiful black girl. You will struggle..because this world was not built with me, or you in mind. But here we are…this amazing community here to hold you up. To celebrate you and to be there for you, but you must step out. Black girl you rock because you have so much potential. Because your power and your resilience will help to heal this world. ” –Danai Gurira

    6) Gladys Knight is awarded the Black Girls Rock! Living Legend award.
    “My first trophy was given to me when I was 7 years old. I had just won the Ted Mac original amateur hour. It was right here in New York. But there were none of my sisters there. There were none of my sisters to help me hold the trophy as they had asked the kids on the show to do, and none of their parents would allow them to do it. I was the only African American sister on the show...It was amazing, because I had a black girl that rocked in my family. I called her mom. She nurtured me. She made me practice when she knew I hated it.”- Gladys Knight


    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 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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    "All girls rock. Black girls, we're just on another level."- Rihanna

    by Tiffani Greenaway of

    From the time that we're little girls, black women are taught to show out! Our fashions, hair, and shoes are always on point--and they were all on display at last night's Black Girls Rock! at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

    Bold Afros, funky twist outs, and beautiful braids graced the red carpet as women came out to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Black Girls Rock!, the organization created by model and DJ Beverly Bond.

    Since 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls. Through mentorship, arts education, cultural exploration and public service, "young women are offered access to enrichment programs and opportunities that place special emphasis on personal development through the arts and cooperative learning."(

    Last night's Black Girls Rock! helped reaffirm our pride, beauty, and greatness. We were inspired, empowered, and embraced as woman after beautiful woman gracefully stepped onstage to celebrate one another. From the youngest little girls in the room to the women at home in their living room, we all walked away knowing that we rock.

    Honoring women like Rihanna, who received the Rock Star Award, "Shot Caller "Shonda Rhimes, Living Legend Gladys Knight, Black Lives Matter Founders Opal Tometi, Patrice Cullors, and Alicia Garza, who received the Change Agent award, and actresses Danai Gurira, who received the Star Power Award and Amandla Stenberg, who received the Young, Gifted, and Black Award, Black Girls Rock! was an celebratory explosion of #BlackGirlMagic and sisterhood.

    Danai taught us to live fearlessly. " I know it can get tough out there, but know that you are designed for greatness," and Beverly Bond told us to "own your magic, walk in your purpose, and rock your truth." Affirmations of our power and beauty were in every speech.

    Good God Almighty, Brandy slayed! Jazmine Sullivan reminded us that we're all a masterpiece, and Andra Day rose up and brought an all-female choir with her. Gladys Knight rocked with some of her greatest hits, and in a rare appearance, Ms. Lauryn Hill closed out the night with a dynamic Fela Kuti inspired rendition of "Lost Ones."

    Each year, Black Girls Rock! continues to slay--from the outfits to the hair to the inspirational messages. This is why we rock!


    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

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    by Fiona of LoveYourTresses

    Fun fact-- our hair is likely to grow at a slower rate during the colder months due to several factors.  Check out this post for the full scoop. One of the main factors I mentioned was the slower rate of blood circulation especially to our extremities, e.g. the scalp, fingertips and toes. Of course once I had learned this I had to figure out a way to combat it, and so I did some research and put together this video, on 4 growth boosting techniques to tackle the winter growth slump. One of the techniques shown in the video was the addition of an essential oil to each and every hair product that comes into contact with my scalp. The essential oil in question? Peppermint oil.

    My discovery of Peppermint oil and its ability to speed up hair growth, came from a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a resource I often go to in search of hair care related studies. The study titled ‘Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs‘, was conducted on a group of mice who had their back hairs shaved with animal clippers. After the shaving the mice were split into four groups and either given a topical application of Saline, Jojoba oil, 3% Minoxidil, or 3% Peppermint oil diluted in Jojoba oil. These were applied once a day, 6 days a week, for 4 weeks and progress photos were taken every week.

    Now here is where things get interesting. From week 2 the mice given the Peppermint oil mix showed a much faster rate of hair growth than the other mice in the other groups. Furthermore at the end of the experiment at 4 weeks, the mice given the Peppermint oil mix experienced 92% hair growth, compared to the group with the second highest rate of growth with 55%, who were given Minoxidil [a medication used to prevent hair loss and promote regrowth]. To take things a step further it was also observed that at 4 weeks, the mice given the Peppermint oil mix had a dermal thickness of 120%, which was 81% thicker than the dermal thickness of those given Saline and Jojoba oil respectively.

    Now if that isn’t a page turner on the hair growth front I don’t know what is!

    As I mentioned above this finding led me to add a few drops of Peppermint essential oil, into just about any and every product that comes into contact with my scalp, and you can too! As per the study it only took a 3% Peppermint oil solution to impact the rate of growth, which means just a few drops in your chosen scalp carrier oil [e.g. Coconut oil, Jojoba oil etc] or scalp product, coupled with a soothing scalp massage and you’ll be boosting your scalp stimulation and hair growth in no time.

    Did I mention you can get this oil for as little as £2?

    Case closed!

    What do you think, will Peppermint oil be making the cut on your product staples list?

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