Category Archives: Contributor

Natural Hair Salon Los Angeles: Mahogany Hair Revolution with Dr. Kari Williams

Dr. Kari Williams is a definite mover and shaker within the natural hair community – especially on the West Coast. In addition to having advanced degrees in Trichology (medical and cosmetic study of the hair and scalp), she is also the founder of two salons in the Los Angeles area.

Dr. Kari believes that it is imperative to share knowledge with others, but she also understands how our hair is an important part of our self-image and also impacts our self-esteem.

Our interview with Dr. Kari…

Dr. Kari Williams of Mahagony Revolution Salon

What do you do at Mahogany Hair Revolution?
I am the founder and owner of Mahogany Hair Revolution. I am also a natural hair care specialist and hair designer and Master Loctician

How large is your team?
There are 5 stylists on my team

How long have you been doing natural hair?
I have been styling natural hair for 12 years. I have been a licensed stylist for 6 years

What inspired you to do so?
I have been styling hair since I was a child. It is a natural gift and talent of mine. The specific interest in natural hair derived out of the example and motivation my mother provided me. She wore her hair natural my whole life and she always encouraged me to be proud of my hair and to wear it natural also.

Mahogany Revolution Inside Salon

Inside Salon Mahogany Revolution

What makes your salons stand out from others?
Mahogany Hair Revolution is distinguished from other salons for two primary reasons.

It is an all natural hair studio where there are no styles created using chemical straighteners
or extreme forms of heat (pressing combs, flat irons or curling irons).

Secondly, it is a Trichology clinic that serves the needs of women, men and children who are suffering with hair loss, hair thinning, scalp discomfort and hair shaft disorders. Our focus is not only on providing hair styling services but also ensuring that we are keeping our client’s hair healthy and promoting
healthy hair habits.

When and why did you decide to loc your hair?
I am wearing my second set of locs. My first set I started in college and wore them for a year and a half then cut them off. I consider my first set an experimental set. The decision to loc my hair was easy. My mother wore locs since I was in 2nd grade. She was a beautiful example for me so there was no hesitation or misunderstanding about the style. This second set of locs I’ve worn for 4 years.

Two Strand Twist Up Do

Two Strand Twist Up Do by Stylist at Mahogany Hair Revolution

How do you think natural hair is received in your area, verses other parts of the country or world?
In Los Angeles, there are women who wear there hair natural but its not a concentrated population like on the East Coast in cities like New York and Washington DC. I work in Hollywood and the images that are prevalent are women with weaves and straight hair. So I am competing with those images and promoting a look that is contrary to what is popular in my area.

What type of suggestions do you have for healthy natural hair?
The best suggestion I will give is that healthy hair start from the inside. I promote healthy living. Your hair is a reflection of your health. Therefore, start with the basics of eating a balanced diet, supplementing the nutrients that you need, avoid bad sugar, alcohol and junk food habits, and drink plenty of water.

Contact info
490 S. San Vicente Blvd. #10
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9909
www.drkariwilliams.com
www.mahoganyrevolution.com
Follow on Twitter: @drkariwilliams
LIKE our Facebook Fan Page: Mahogany Hair Revolution

Tomiko Fraser Hines on Natural Hair and Motherhood

I decided to create a separate post on Why I Love Tomiko Fraser Hines Hair. Tomiko, model and actress has agreed to discuss her Kinnks…

Photo by Derek Blanks

Lady Kinnks: Congratulations on being prego!! I enjoy watching your channel chrisandtomikotalk2u. Not only are you an inspiration by just wearing your natural hair, your videos also portray positive Black marriage!

What inspired you and Chris start your channel?
Tomiko: We want to have our own network talk show and we wanted to build a following where we could showcase our loving and playful marriage. The videos have received a great response. We have so much fun shooting these videos and are still working towards having our own show.

Lady Kinnks:  What part of motherhood are you most excited about?
Tomiko: I am most excited about the new way of loving another human being I’m about to experience. I have the great fortune of experiencing life-altering love in my marriage and from my friends and family. But I can’t wait to feel the love of a mother for her children. I hear it’s amazing and I’m really looking forward to it.

Lady Kinnks:  When I was in high school, I posted your picture all over my myspace page. You were the first model I felt I could physically relate to, down to the hair type! Have you always been natural?
Tomiko: Thank you for the lovely compliment. As an adult, I have been natural for over 10 years. Though I did wear wigs and weaves for a portion of that time. Ever since my second Big Chop in February 2011, I’ve been proudly rocking my TWA and I absolutely love it!!!

Lady Kinnks:  When you started your natural hair career, did you consciously decide to be natural instead of wearing more popular straight styles?
Tomiko: I was “forced” to wear my hair natural due to severe scalp damage and breakage from having worn relaxers for many years. I was not happy to have to wear my hair natural at the time. I wasn’t nearly as self-confident and self-defined as I am now and worried too much about how others would see me. Boy am I glad those days are over!

Lady Kinnks:  Did your natural hair work to your advantage becoming Maybeline’s first African-American and longest spokesperson?
Tomiko: I wasn’t wearing my hair natural when Maybelline first signed me to an exclusive-contract. At the time, I was wearing a weave. It was during my time with them that I had to refrain from relaxing my hair and start wearing it natural. I was VERY concerned about how they would take that news, especially because I was contractually obligated to keep my appearance as it was when they hired me. But after explaining my scalp situation, they embraced my natural hair. From then on, I would alternate between wearing a weave and my own natural hair for my shoots with them. I was grateful to them for allowing me to do so.

Lady Kinnks:  We love seeing you in the Cheerios and Gain commercials. Is it true that you are now focusing more on acting? Any new roles we should look for you in?
Tomiko: I recently shot a Nissan Altima commercial that is still airing and I am one of the leads in an upcoming romantic comedy called “Ex Free” that is slated to be in theaters in 2013.

Lady Kinnks:  How do you feel your natural hair reflects your inner self?
Tomiko: My entire physical being, including my natural hair, is a reflection of who I am. I’ve worked hard to achieve the level of self-comfort and acceptance that I now have and I feel like all of who I am reflects that inner peace & joy.

Lady Kinnks:  We’ve seen your BC, twist out and even teeny weeny afro (twa). What styles are you rocking now, and why?
Tomiko: I’m currently wearing my TWA. It’s my favorite hairstyle by far. One because it’s so easy to take care of and two, because I love how it looks on me. : )

Lady Kinnks:  Anything else you’d like to add???
Tomiko: I’d like to invite your readers to keep up with and read my daily inspirational messages at:

www.facebook.com/TomikoFraser
www.twitter.com/GoddessTomiko

They can also subscribe to the YouTube channel that my husband and I have…we’re fun. 🙂

www.youtube.com/ChrisAndTomikoTalk2U

Lady Kinnks:  Thank you Tomiko!!

Creator Kim Williams on Unwritten Rules Webseries

You may be familiar with Kim’s webseries The Unwritten Rules featuring actress Aasha Davis.  The webseries is based on Kim William’s first book.

Kim Williams is not new to the scene, she has been a writer and producer for over 15 years within the entertainment industry.  In 2003, Williams formed Butterfly Ink Publishing and published her first novel, “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman”.  After the success of her first novel, she decided to focus on her career on writing.

We asked Ms. Williams to share more about her career, and natural hair experience…

It seems as a community we are good at using comedy to address real shity issues!  What inspired you to write the book 40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule, then the web series Unwritten Rules?

Kim: For years I would talk to other Black women and we all had similar experiences at work being either the only Black person or one of a few. At the time, I was really trying to discover myself as a writer. One day, I sat down to just start writing something and the book came out. Growing up around Black people and not really knowing a white person until college, it was sometimes difficult for me to understand and embrace the reality of being black in a white workplace. I was constantly struggling to fit in and at the same time stay true to myself. It was definitely a journey of learning that’s it’s okay to be different and to embrace it. I wanted to share my journey with not only Black people but my white co-workers. Through work, I developed friendships with white people for the first time. I eventually realized that they had no idea what I was going through because it wasn’t their reality. So, I wrote the book to say, “This is how I feel; This is my reality”. However, I knew I had to add the comedy for people to be willing to keep reading.

Even though the book came out in 2004, the topics are still relevant today (even with a Black President-lol) so I thought a web series was the perfect medium to introduce the book.

Kim Williams on the set of Unwritten Rules

How would you describe your natural hair experience and why? How did being natural contribute to your napp-renership?

Kim: I decided to go natural in 2004 only because I was tired of giving up my Saturday to the salon. However, over the years, it has become more about me embracing my true self/identity. My natural hair has really contributed to my freedom for the goal of living a truly authentic life.

You’ve worked for corporate American, and other projects like Bitch. What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

Kim: My proudest accomplishments are really divided… Every accomplishment has a different meaning. I think releasing my first book, “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule”, was my first proudest moment because it was my first published project. I was also proud of myself that I was courageous enough to start a dialogue that needs to be heard but for many reasons have been ignored and pacified by both sides.

What’s your next project?

Kim: I’m writing my third book (the 2nd book of the “Miles and Zoey” series). We’re also working to do another run in New York for BITCH. I’m also developing a new web series. Pretty busy…

Advice for others interested in writing or starting their own web series?

Kim:

It’s important to create any form of art from passion first. When it comes from that place, everything will fall in place.

The entire process of doing a web series is hard work especially when there’s no budget and you’re wearing so many hats, so passion has to be there.

Anything else you’d like to add…

Kim: My hope for the book and now the web series is that the dialogue will begin. Yes, it’s 2012 and we’ve come a long way with race; however perceptions (on all sides) are still there. And we can’t expect them to disappear on their own if no one is willing to expose and talk about them.

Tune in every 1st Wednesday of the month for New Episodes! The next one will debut today!

Would You Rather Go Natural With A Friend Or By Yourself?

terez howardBy Terez Howard of www.naturalicioushair.com

I will never ever go natural… and I will certainly never get locs.

That’s what I told my future self.  Well, future self is eating crow.  I am happily natural and ecstatic with my locs.  But this post isn’t about me.  It’s really about what a young teenager recently told me.

She expressed dissatisfaction with her relaxed hair, broken off from too many chemicals, direct heat and drying products.  “Well, you don’t have to do that anymore,” I told her.  “I will never go natural, Terez” was her abrupt, matter-of-fact response.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why a woman hates her hair but refuses to do anything about it.  But don’t let me get started on that rant.

No more than two weeks later, she asked me to guess what she was doing.  “Going natural!” she exclaimed.  What changed her mind?  Another girl her age made the decision to go natural, and she decided to join her.

How to have a successful transition

I am all about having a buddy during your natural hair journey.  The only ladies I had that were wearing natural hair like mine were the ones I encountered online.  In my town, I had absolutely no other naturals to talk with about my fears, bad hair days, length goals and styling options.  I was a blog-stalking, forum-watching natural, kept afloat in my journey only by the photos and stories I could read on the Internet.

If you find a friend to go natural with you, please keep the following in mind:

1.      Natural hair varies.  Just because you found a natural sister does not mean you will be hair twins.  It’s extremely likely your curls and coils will not be like your friend’s.  Don’t be disheartened when your friend’s hair does things that you cannot force yours to do.  Embrace what you have.

2.      Share products.  If you and your friends are interested in similar hair care products, share one another’s products.  This way, as you discover what your natural hair likes and doesn’t like, you can sample products at a fraction of the cost.

3.      Take photos of one another’s journeys.  With your fellow transitioner, take photos of how your hair changes and grows as well as the styles you try.  As you progress in your journey, you can start a blog or a scrapbook along with your friend.

4.      You have to want it yourself.  Don’t go natural just because your friend is doing it.  You will not stay natural if that’s your real reason for doing it.

I look forward to watching my two young friends go natural.  I know that at their age, I would never have had the confidence to wear my natural hair.  Gaining that confidence is essential to becoming content with the all-natural you.

So, tell me.  Would you rather go natural with a friend or on your own?

A MATTER OF PERCEPTION by Tanene Jackson

There comes a time in our lives where we have to ask the question, “Who am I?”  On the exterior you are or appear to be one thing.  On the interior you see and feel what no one else envisions.  You start to take notice to things that weren’t there before, your body isn’t shaped like it used to when you were younger, you start changing your total look, or eating differently, exposing yourself to things you have never done before……. The list can go on and on and on.

I open this blog in this manner to make a point…..I have been natural for a loooong time (well pass 5-6 years).  Yes, I have had a relaxer.  I think I was 11 when I got my first relaxer.  I was one of those children with massive heads of hair and it took two days to handle. Mother would set my sister and I up for the shampoo and conditioning and plaiting on the first day.  The next day it was the blowing drying (our hair hardly ever dried in one day) and pressing or just styling.  As we grew up we started obtaining our own “look” and personalities.  Funny we both do hair for a living.  My sister is a cosmetologist and I, a Master Barber.  She wears relaxed hair and I wear dredlocs.  We are totally opposite sides of the spectrum.  Our thoughts on beauty are a matter of perception.  And that’s okay.

Our perspective on beauty is truly on different pendulums.  But our view overall is the same… projection of what we feel is beautiful to us (personally and professionally).

It’s unfortunate that we as women of color have to categorize ourselves, our curl pattern, our vision of beauty, or whose has better hair ….  Systematically we not only break ourselves down, we break each other down.

It’s unfortunate that some naturals take elitist positions toward others because they do not look like, act like, and talk like….WHATEVER.

We need to be true to ourselves as to what we want and who we are as an individual.  Everyone strives to belong to something, and that’s okay.  But ask yourself, “Is this “group” making me a better person, educating me, improving my self esteem and self worth?”  “What am I getting out of this thing called “Natural”?”  “Is it making me healthier?” …. I’m just saying…..

Take a look in the mirror and do inventory.

The natural community has a lot of controversy on just defining “natural”.  Doesn’t help to a lot of people it’s a fad.  A passing trend that everyone is doing…. For others, it is truly a lifestyle change.

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