Black dolls with curly to kinky natural hair were virtually non-existent when I was growing up.
These days, they are still a challenge to find, but I’ve done some of the homework for you with this post. Here are four places you can purchase a natural hair doll for your niece, daughter, yourself, or another special girl in your life.
Lee's Article Highlights: It's extremely important for young black girls to see reflective images of themselves when they are happy and enjoying themselves in free-time activities.
It should be normal to see beautiful representations of black faces and black hair in order to know that it's not only normal, but good, just like everything else that is promoted.
As imperfect humans, we place more value on what have been pushed upon us. I'd rather black parents place beautiful reflections of little black girls in front of their daughters than to promote the status quo standards that have beaten down the very psyche of so many women walking the streets today. Here are your 4 companies to buy black dolls from.
CEO Jane Carter says she has seen “definite” changes in the hair industry as black women chose to spend money on nurturing their hair rather than disguising it.
Women no longer must bow down to straight hair and the perfection demanded of them in glossy magazines and celebrity culture and are making a statement, she says.
Women that really take a stance like this—whether it is political, or to say “‘I love myself,’—are making the same statement as those who moved forward in the civil rights movement.”
She says that only in the last six years has she seen young women decline to relax their hair, making it smoother and silkier.
Lee's Article Highlights:
It really is impressive to see the amount of support naturals have given each other through social media channels. Naturals have truly created a self-supporting and empowering beauty movement that is now starting to effect the big hair care companies in the pocket because of the years of neglect.
This one isn't exactly an article highlight, just my thoughts, I'm so proud to be a #teamnatural and #naturalhairmovement supporter. It really is one of the most exciting shifts in the psyche of black women that I've seen in my lifetime, the effects are nothing but positive. As your biggest male cheerleader, I must say, I'm proud of you!
The best selling hair products for naturals are not being bought from the giants who ignored black women for decades.Now that they are losing money because of the movement, I can only think that we'll soon see these same companies who've never put natural hair on display or even tried to make products for kinky textured hair jump on the band wagon in the next couple years. My question is, should you support them when this happens? (Leave a comment below...)
These days there's a revolution going on. A natural hair revolution...
Relaxers are out. Weaves are so yesterday.
Tired of damage from expensive chemical treatments and artificial enhancers, women of color are going natural thanks to many natural hair enthusiasts and supporters, one of these people is Nikki Walton of CurlyNikki.com, the natural hair blogger and online hair therapy expert.
In Better Than Good Hair, this gifted "curl whisperer" educates women on how to transition from relaxed to completely natural hair, with advice and styles for every length—from Fierce Braid-and-Curls to Fancy Faux Buns.
She also counsels those considering the "big chop"—cutting it all off at once to sport a bold and beautiful "teeny weeny afro." Here, too, is essential guidance for parents of mixed-race children dealing with new and unfamiliar hair textures and styles.
Lee's Review Highlights: First off, I love everything about Curly Nikki. She's a beautiful and brilliant businesswoman who cares about her readers. To see her success makes me proud. So when I saw HUNDREDS of amazing reviews for her "Better Than Good Hair" book I was pretty geeked for her. Out of 260+ real person reviews, she only has 4 "haters"(people that gave her book 1 star), most of her readers are loving the book. In my opinion, you get more scientific and in-depth info from "The Science of Black Hair" book from Audrey Davis-Sivasothy but Curly Nikki delivers more entertainment value. I'll share some of the customer reviews below...
5-Star Reviews from real customers... (5 out of 169 comments)
Positive customer review from Places2Love -
The Quintessential Kinky/Curly Encyclopedia: Whether you are an inquisitive newly natural beauty or a natural hair expert/goddess looking to give your friends some sound advice, Better Than Good Hair is it! There are great features from Nikki AND many of the hair bloggers and youtubers that the natural experts will be familiar with and the newcomers will glean from. She teaches you which is the best curl activator for 4c natural hair. I was discouraged when I first saw the reviews that said this book was just like the website (and I almost did not buy it). But in actuality the layout, conciseness, and illustrations make this a very user-friendly, quickly accessible MANUAL for readers of all ages, transcending just a website that can take hours upon hours to search. Moreover, it should be comforting to the natural hair experts that the quality hair principles you have experimented with and learned by trial and error are encapsulated in one handy reference guide. I just hope updated editions will be printed every few years :-). As a bonus, Kim Wayans adds a hilarious and fitting foreword that makes me wonder when her first book will be coming out because I would buy it!
Positive customer review from Chrishonda Davis -
Loved It: I love this book It really breaks down how to care for your natural hair during all stages, not only that, it doesn't ridicule those who prefer to relax or chemically alter their hair. It simply encourages you to take the right steps in caring for your hair no matter how you choose to wear it. Nikki helps you have confidence in your hair and yourself.
Positive customer review from SDO "Swtdrk1" -
It's Better Than Just a Hair Book: I have been natural for almost 4 years and what I love about this book the most is it is a guide, a source of information. As I was reading it I was nodding in agreement, I learned that I had protein sensitive hair. I was laughing and I was intrigued. Even though I am going on 4 years I can always benefit from things I didn't know or haven't tried and that is what BTGH is for me...information that I don't have to keep in my head. I can simply go back to that section of the book. I had to get my daughter her own copy, because there will be no borrowing. 🙂
Positive customer review from Angela P. -
Very Informative & Good Read: I've been natural well over 5 years and was able to take away some very good tips from this book. Nikki never disappoints. She has been humble from the beginning and is extremely clear in the book that this is not about her, but about US. I bought 3 copies and plan to buy more just to give away. This is a Godsend for anyone considering to go natural or for anyone who has been natural for years. Not many hair books can accomplish that.
Positive customer review from Deborah Houston, TX -
Amazing Book: It took me a while to finish this book (not because it's not good) because I'm so busy. However, I finally finished the book and I just have one word AMAZING!! I was on the Curly Nikki forum for 2 years, and reading this book was just like being on the forum but better. I like the way the book was organized, the information provided, and how Nikki used ladies that contributed to the forum to share their natural experiences. I don't know maybe it was just me, but I felt connect to the book and the articles. I have been natural for 3+ years, and the content of this book is still relevant for all of my natural hair care needs!! I only wish it had been around when I BC'ed!! Love you Nikki please keep up the good work!! Deb
1- Star Reviews from real customers (2 out of 4 comments)
Negative customer review from Bobby Ray -
Don't Waste Your Money: I check this book out from my local library, save your money and do the same. All the information in the book can be found on CurlyNikki or any other natural hair blog. The photos & illustrations are in black and white and look cheap and tacky! The book covers big chopping, natural hair growth tips, transitioning, 5yrs natural and natural kids but nothing for naturals that are regular folks with medium length strands. The book seem dated to me I wanted color photos of "hair porn" you get none of that. Bottom line dont waste your money, honey check it out if need be at your local library!
Negative customer review from Steph -
Over-rated: It does not address enough about people with fine hair. Glad I was able to support a black author though. (Author note: Even the Science of Black Hair book got 2 bad reviews out of 400, someone will always complain, that's life so take it for what it is. )
Rhonda Lee had long been told that she needed to make her natural hair "more pleasing to a wider audience," she told HuffPost Live on Thursday, but she never expected her hair style to actually compromise her job.
Lee, an African American woman who currently works as a meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, recalled how comments she made in response to Internet vitriol targeting her hair ultimately led to her being fired by her former network.
Lee's Article Highlights:
Rhonda says it's a blessing and a curse that people can say exactly what they think about you at any given time on social media.
It's amazing to think people consider statements about your own hair "controversial", as Rhonda said, she didn't consider her hair to be controversial but something that grows out of her head.
Rhonda Lee was told on her job interview at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana, that it was seen as "the white station" in town, later she was told she might want to change her hair to appeal to a "wider" audience.
It's like they automatically assume all black women are jealous and bald. My hair is to the middle of my back and I'm currently rocking a press. When I straighten my hair most people assume it's a weave and these women at my college are a hot mess.
They will literally keep running their hands through their hair then look back at you, like you're suppose to be upset. This is way to common and very annoying. Just had to rant, I know others have probably noticed this as well.
Lee's Article Highlights: This was an interesting mini-rant I noticed the other day on the lipstick alley forum. I honestly have never heard of this "phenomena" (as one forum member called it), my first reaction is to think the original poster is being a bit over-reactive. Women fuss with their hair, it's what they do. Just because someone with different hair from you fusses with it around you doesn't mean they are trying to make a statement. There really is no statement to make.
I did take note that many of the other forum commenters didn't notice this or think anything sinister was going on. Sometimes people need to worry about themselves more and not look for reasons to get upset. Don't get me wrong,
I'm sure it has happened before, but to assume a woman flipping their hair is directly against you is as crazy as saying that every woman that flips her hair around me "wants me" (which some guys actually think, lol). Fussing with their hair is a what women do. No need to read more into it.
Many women in the forum thread said that they played with their hair all the time so they aren't taking offense to someone of another race doing so.
Not to be discounted, many women identified with the mini-rant and said that they noticed this going on.
One of my favorite comments in the entire thread was " LOL. To be honest I don't typically pay attention to other women's hair regardless of race. I prefer my natural hair so even if another woman was trying to flaunt her hair I wouldn't have noticed because I wouldn't have cared." That's what I'm hollerin'!
I'm loving that Porsha's natural hair is looking so beautiful, I'm hating that she only shows it as a teaser to the next weave. I agree with Porsha's stylist, the constant weave is an illusion, I'd disagree that it's flawless though. The flaw is acting like your own hair isn't acceptable and not good enough to be seen in public.
Porsha looked naturally beautiful in her shortly-lived natural hair moment. Genuinely beautiful, but.... She feels the need to... Ahhh forget it. Do what you wanna do Porsha.
Porsha Williams is definitely a weave queen, it'll be interesting to see if that changes one day. Sometimes I have to wave the white flag and hope for the best, this is one those moments.
Some women, they’ve been wearing chemical hair relaxers for so long, they don’t even know how to do their natural hair.
They don’t know how to comb it,” she said. “They think you comb it from the root all the way down, from the scalp to the ends, but you don’t.
You actually start at the ends and then you work your way back to the scalp. That’s the easiest way to comb your hair.
Editor’s Note: This is a story about a woman making a difference in the natural hair community. Luvina Sabree is a very interesting an accomplished woman. She dove into the world of all-natural products after one of her children was diagnosed with eczema.
She made her own natural, fragrance-free soaps and bath products and that helped. However, the more she researched eczema, the more she realized that in order to effectively manage the eczema they had to start treating it from the inside out.
Little by little, Sabree cut out all junk and processed foods from her family’s diet and started using only fresh, organic ingredients. The eczema improved and the family noticed an immediate improvement in the way they all felt. At that point, she knew she was on to something. That lead to other discoveries about the danger of chemicals and toxins we use on and in our bodies.
Nearly a decade ago, Sabree started a Natural Hair Group in Killeen that still meets monthly.
“There’s a movement of women who want to go back to their natural hair and stop using straighteners with toxic chemicals linked to cancer. Now I do an Armed Forces Natural Hair & Health Expo Show twice a year, once in Killeen and once in San Antonio”.
Killeen’s Happy 2 B Nappy Hair Group, teaches free classes for black women who want to learn how to take care of and manage their naturally kinky hair. The beautiful thing is that Luvina is able to enlighten so many women who did not understand the very hair growing from their heads, she's able to fill them with knowledge and confidence of who they really are. I hope more women with knowledge began taking on the role that Luvina has embraced, it is certainly needed. Here are our article highlights:
Sometimes the balding caused by perm chemical burns is permanent and irreversible.
Luvina has found natural herbs and other remedies to help black women who may have lost or all of their hair because of perming.
Black females should be proud of their natural beauty as it will keep them healthy.
By and large, people assume that a Black woman wearing her natural hair is making some sort of political statement, which is why I predict that depending on how far she advances in the competition, Abena Appiah’s coiffure will illicit no small buzz once the event is televised.
We shall see!
Editor’s Note: From www.mindofmalaka.com -When the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant comes around in a couple of weeks(Jan 25, Sunday), we will see something that has never been seen before in a beauty contest of this magnitude.
The beautiful Abena Appiah will be the first Ghanaian woman to compete while wearing her hair naturally.
In the past, it was the norm forn black beauty contestants to rock straight hair in order to fit in, well Abena will stand out from the crowd. There's no doubt that Abena Appiah’s hair will be a central focus of attention and that's a good thing.
Why? Because she's showing women with her hair that they are also "universally" beautiful as their natural selves. I'll be tuned in. Here are our article highlights:
The standard of beauty in Western culture is overwhelmingly Eurocentric, which makes her decision very notable.
We are approaching a point where natural hair is becoming more mainstream than ever.
Although it's important, Abena Appiah is more than just her hair, she's an excelling and intelligent academic student, as well as talented musician.
This was a truly profound and REAL conversation about the way Western and American culture views and treats beauty that sits outside of it's typical standards.
Actress Nicole Ari Parker of Broadway's Streetcar Named Desire, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, cultural critic Joan Morgan, and CurlyNikki.com founder Nikki Walton, sit down with Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the political messages behind black hair and hairstyles.
Editor’s Note: This set of videos is a classic throwback journalistic piece, in case you haven't seen it they talk about how more women have turned towards going natural since 2007 and are changing the economy of black hair.
The ladies really lay it out on the line in this heartfelt conversation, they speak very honestly about their feelings, how having children changed their perspective on their own hair and how America's view on black hair impacts the psyche of black women in their own self-perception.
They talk about the importance of telling little black girls how beautiful their hair is when doing their hair instead of saying derogatory remarks, like "you look a mess", "you ain't going outside looking like that" and "let's work on that kitchen". Here are our video highlights:
It's amazing that it's considered "revolutionary" to wear your hair the way it grows out of your head.
They talk about worrying about if black men will find them attractive, will employers want to hire them.
Black women have literally been dying of poor health because they don't want to workout and mess up their hair.
A little over a year ago, a group of black women caused quite a stir when they stood in New York City’s Union Square with signs that said, “You can touch my hair.”
Billed as an “interactive public art exhibit,” their event allowed anyone to “explore the tactile fascination with black hair by” touching real-life black hair on real-life black women.
Editor’s Note: Many black people were outraged at this display, but many were encouraged and uplifted.
Some thought the women subjected themselves to being treated like animals at a petting zoo. Some thought the women were opening lines of communication with people who may not understand ethic differences but aren't bad people because of that.
Look.... We're all human and want to be treated with equal respect. However, I think the main thing here is these beautiful black women are opening themselves up to the world in order to give insight to people who are curious, as well as shed some light on how women in general feel about their hair. As one woman in the video said, some women are more closed off, some are very open, and some feel their hair is an extension of their spirituality or their very being, so that is why it is so closely guarded. I think it's interesting that these women are willing to give this experience to people with absolutely none of black hair. Overall, I feel that without curiosity you can never learn or grow.
But yes, there is a definite line that shouldn't be crossed. Never force your curiosity on someone, especially if you don't know them. I think one of the women in the video was correct in saying that people should make friends first or at least be in a close enough relationship/acquaintance to warrant asking about personal hygiene. Giving compliments, admiring, asking how they get their hair so shiny, those things shouldn't be so taboo though.
At the end of the day, these videos are a nice gateway to not feel so shy or like it's taboo to talk or ask questions about things that we as humans have to deal with on a day-to-day basis like hair care, skin care, fashion, lifestyle etc. Just don't go touching people all random schmandom, you might get hurt that way. Here are our video highlights:
Black women feel persecuted for their hair and for good reason.
Some people are "honestly ignorant" and those are the people tht can be helped understand the differences in human beings.
Hair is an emotional topic of conversation for many women.