Saturday, March 26, 2011

Does Excercising Take a Back Seat To the Unnatural Do?

     It ia hard to believe, but the issue of hair for Black women often leads to exercise taking a back seat to unnatural  hair styles, namely perms, pressing, weaves and beyond.  Maxine Leeds Craig in her book entitled Ain't I a Beauty Queen (pg. 27), discusses one of the steps taken to maintain the eurocentric ideal of straight hair:

"No contact with moisture or straightening would be gone (used plastic rain scarves, no swimming, washed hair every two weeks), “You know the bane of all little black girls is the water”

 In describing black women's dilemma about hair vs. exercise, the following was stated in a recent article in the Miami Herald:

"She found herself facing a dilemma common to African-American women: Her expensive, time-consuming hairstyle was at odds with her fitness routine. It’s a juncture where First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” mantra collides with the cultural ideal documented in Chris Rock’s 2009 film Good Hair."

For a video which provides more detail on this issue and to read more, visit:

     My solution to this situation is simple as I have found that exercise is another reason that Natural is Cool Enough.  I have no concerns with moisture, rain, sweat from exercising, etc., as it relates to my hair, as  I embrace my natural hair texture.  I have no qualms with kink because I believe that as my hair emerges from the follicles in its natural, curly, kinky tecture, it is beautiful!  I love the fact that when I go to the gym after a vigorous swim or work out on the treadmill, or whatever exercise I choose, after washing my hair following my workout (when I want to wash my hair after working out as it is not always imperative), I don't need to plug anything into the wall to deal with my  hair. I don't need a blow dryer or curling iron, chemicals in spray bottles, etc.  If the electricity goes off, there is no panic for me because I can't  blow dry, use a flat iron or  curling iron.  I can still walk out of the locker room rocking my natural hair with pride.  I exercise, shower, wash my hair if I plan to do so that day, pull my shea butter out of my cosmetic bag, twist my locks that are in need of twisting, brush my hair a bit with a soft bristled brush and organize my locks in the style of the day and move on.  My only concern, since I love to swim, is the impact of chlorine on my hair in the swimming pool.  I try to minimize the effect by conditioning, wearing a swimming cap and varying my workout so that swimming in a chlorinated pool is not my only option, although swimming laps is my favorite exercise. 
     So, another thing that is absolutely wonderful about  natural hair...Exercise never has to take a back seat to your Natural do.  That's N.I.C.E !

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Raven Symone Showing the World that N.I.C.E.!

After speaking very strongly about the joy of weave in Chris Rock's film Good Hair, Raven Symone goes natural! http://www.theybf.com/2011/03/07/pics-raven-symone-flaunts-her-natural-hair

This is a big step for the now grown up little girl that many of us loved during her stint on the Cosby show. So Raven, we salute you for staying true to your natural and letting the world know that...N.I.C.E.!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Tribute to a N.I.C.E. Naturalista: RIP Wanda

    On March 14, 2011, I announced the first winner of the N.I.C.E. T-shirt Contest and her name was Wanda.  I reconnected with Wanda about a year ago on Facebook. We both attended the same high school and began chatting and talking about Natural Hair, both knowing that Natural Is Cool Enough.  Wanda entered the N.I.C.E.  T-shirt contest with the story below which was inspiring to many.  Today, I learned that this wonderful Naturalista passed away and I was shocked and devastated. Her energetic spirit and dynamic personality will never be forgotten.  I am still numb after learning that someone so full of life is gone. As a tribute to her, it is my honor to express that she was a true Naturalista, glorious in her natural beauty. Thank you Wanda for being a member and embracing these pages and you will always be number one at N.I.C.E. May her spirit always soar knowing that while she was here with us she embraced her true natural beauty and knew that Natural Was Cool Enough and that is N.I.C.E.!  With loving memories, please review Wanda's comment below:

March 14, 2010

Winner # 1 of "What to Do With My Natural Hair" N.I.C.E. T-shirt Contest. Congratulations Wanda!

Written by N.I.C.E. member Wanda:
When I first went natural, I wore wigs most times because I didn't know how to style my hair along with the fact that it took me three hours to comb out the naps. Once my hair became too long for the wigs, I started wearing, what I call fake twists using Bob Marley hair braided in. Then when my hair was shoulder length, I went for the Dreadlocks that I always wanted, I especially love when my dreadlocks are cornrowed. I only use three products on my hair. I started out using any type hair (grease) product that had tar in it. It was the only thing that healed my scalp from the damage that was caused by perms and manifested itself in the form of psoriosis. I also used SoftSheen-Carson Wave Nouveau, Moisturizing Finishing Lotion. My main product that I use and has helped my hair look like the indian that I thought I had in me is a product called Taliah Waajid from Black Earth Products, Protective Mist Bodifier.