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for Tips age Break

.. .page 3

e n i l e m i T ’ s l r i G n o i t i s n a r The T ...page 4


Barbie Gets a Natural Hair Makeover By: Claudia Morales

C N N: What is natural hair?

Mims: Natural hair is no relaxer, no chemical to straighten your hair out. The way it grows out your root, that’s the way you rock it.

C N N What made you decide to start the Fro-lific meet-up group?

Mims: We thought to start the group after attending the ‘Fro Fashion Week in Atlanta. We had such a great experience, so we were thinking of what can we do to bring back it back to Columbus. So, we thought to start a meet-up group to provide encouragement and support for other natural hair women or men. All the support seems to be online or on blogs, we thought, ‘If you could really see someone going through it, and wearing their hair natural or transitioning, like being able to touch it, you can really see what they’re doing in person and it can encourage them to follow through with the natural process instead of going back to the relaxer.’

Use Gentle Cleansers

Clooking N N: hair? Why was it important to give the girls Barbie dolls with natural

Mims: We have encountered some African-American or biracial children who have natural hair, getting picked on about the texture of their hair, how it wouldn’t lay or didn’t look or feel like the other children’s hair, so they didn’t love their hair and our job is to let them know that their hair is beautiful the way it is.

Mims: Ms. McBride got the idea off blackgirllonghair.com and what they say to do is take the hair and twist it around pipe cleaner, then you dip it in boiling water and you just let it sit out and dry for a couple days and you untwist it off the pipe cleaner and it gives the hair a very curly, kinky look.

C N N: What do you think about the Barbie dolls that are sold in stores? Poll: Would you pay more for a doll of a specific race?

C N N: Why is it important for the girls to have dolls that look like them? Mims: So they can have something to relate to, so they won’t idolize the dolls with straight hair that don’t look like them. They see the dolls with the curly hair they will accept their curly hair. They don’t want to wear their hair curly, the way God made it, they want it straight because that’s what they are seeing.

C N N: What was the response from the girls after you gave them the Barbie?

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C N N How did you know how to change the Barbie dolls hair?

Mims: The Barbies in the stores have very long, straight hair, most are Caucasian, it’s hard to find black dolls with the dark eyes, and when we did get the dolls with the brown eyes, we thought it was important to take those dolls and change their hair so they do resemble more of a natural AfricanAmerican hair.

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Tips for Fighting Breakage

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Stop Coloring Your Hair

Wrap Your Hair at Night Cut Out Knots and Split Ends

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Mims: They loved it. You had the little girls holding up the dolls to their face and saying ‘Oh, she looks like me.’

C N N: Did you wish someone did this for you when you were growing up? Mims: Growing up , I probably had two Barbies, ever. My mom couldn’t afford it. She bought me two, they were white. I would have liked the doll to look like me so I could relate. I grew up wanting long hair because of what I was playing with, and what I was seeing and everyone around me had the same conception. If I had a doll that was black and curly hair, and not just a doll, but someone saying ‘It’s OK for you to wear your hair natural,’ I probably would have been more accepting of it before now.

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tips from

The Transition Girls 3. Be gentle

1. Protect your edges

5. Get used to deep conditioning

The point where your natural texture meets your straight hair (it’s called the line of demarcation) is THE weakest part of you hair. Take your time when you detangle and style your hair.

Avoid transitioning styles that put too much tension on your temples and the nape of your neck. The hair there is usually finer, thinner and more delicate!

Hair masks are no longer a special treat! Naturally curly hair usually doesn’t lack protein, so stick with deep moisturizing treatments.

6. Detangle when hair is wet

4. Wind down your heat usage

2. Find your go-to transitioning style

$12.50

The goal is to blend two VERY different textures of hair into one. Try a bantu knot out or a natural girl’s favorite: the twist out.

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$12.50

No need for a blow dryer or flat iron any more. Try air drying all of your styles instead.

$9. 99

Always detangle when your hair is wet and slippery with conditioner with a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends and work your way up.

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(CONTINUED FROM p.1, MAELING) There are hundreds of women like Ms. Tapp on YouTube, selling lotions, potions and notions for natural hair, or posting video tutorials about how to achieve the look. Many of them link to CurlyNikki.com, a three-year-old site founded by Alicia Nicole Walton, a psychotherapist who wanted to create a place for women to gather online and chat about their hair issues. Ms. Walton, 28, said she wanted to be an advocate for women who feel social pressure to have their hair straightened. “My career as a therapist is very important to who I am, and what I do even with my persona as CurlyNikki,” she said. “It’s called hair therapy.” Ms. Walton added that she grossed as much in 2010 from advertising on her site as she did from her therapy work. She said that her goal is to open a practice “where I’d focus on self-esteem and body image, and I know that in my clientele, hair will come up often.” In the meantime, Ms. Walton created a free mobile-phone app, after members of her forums requested one so that when they were in the beauty aisle looking at products, they would have their most trusted resource literally in hand. Another grande dame of the YouTube natural-hair scene is Kim Love, who lives near Washington, D.C., and goes by Kimmaytube. Ms. Love, 34, left a six-figure management consulting career to devote herself full time to making how-to videos on natural hair (she posts a weekly show that includes fashion tips) and selling tools and accessories through an online store, LuvNaturals.com. One video, about how to make hair conditioner with castor oil and aloe vera juice, got around a million hits. Ms. Love’s viewers deeply respect her advice, and a mention by her can be considered marching orders by her viewers. Some stores in the Washington area quickly sold out of a product called Kinky-Curly Knot Today after she endorsed it. Her favored aloe vera juice, shea butter, castor oil and pH-testing strips routinely rank in the top beauty products on Amazon, and following her recommendation, a self-published book called “Grow It,” by an author using the nom de plume Chicoro, entered the top 10 best-selling beauty books on Amazon.com. Ms. Love said that entrepreneurship flowed naturally for her after spending hours making videos, often promoting brands like Kinky-Curly and Eco Styler. “I got sick of answering questions about other people’s products,” she said. Then she found out that videos she had been making free were being displayed on the Web site of a company without her permission. “I decided that if I’m becoming a brand, I’m going to control my image,” Ms. Love said. “And I’m going to earn money doing it.” THERE are signs that the industry is trending sharply away from the hot combs and Jheri Curls of yore. The World Natural Hair Health and Beauty Show, which takes place annually in Atlanta, drew 8,000 visitors in 2006; this April, it drew nearly 50,000, according to organizers. And CurlyNikki.com meet-ups are thriving; a recent one near Washington drew nearly 200 women and a few curly cuties under 10 for hair discussion, product swap and brunch. Ms. Love said that such gatherings meet an essential need. “How much of that multibillion-dollar industry for African-American hair care is education?” she wondered. “Very few people are talking about the science of our hair and how to handle this fiber that can grow long with the right treatment. People are debating about products, but I’m trying to show the tools and techniques that will work for our hair. Stylists, products, educators — this is a big industry and there’s room for everyone.” Ms. Walton agreed. “More and more black women are wearing their hair natural,” she said. “I hope that soon, kinky hair will be the standard.”

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F c a i ifrod s ti ps from

The Transition Girls

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(page 2)

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