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Wash and Go Routine

It’s been a long while, but I’ve finally put together this video tutorial! My wash and go routine remains the same, and the consistency has proven positive for my curly mane. You’ll notice that I still use my go-to products but feel free to swap them out as needed to work with your hair. I hope this helps your curly mane. Got questions? As always, drop your q’s down below. Want to see more videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

CurlSpotting: Walking Dead Naturals

Danai Gurira and natural hair

Actress Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead

Picture this. In a Zombie Apocalypse, most of your days would be spent practicing your killer moves, hiding, or running for your dear life. But what would your hair look like? … Yes, I’m thinking waaay out of the box here, but it’s a detail that hasn’t been lost by the creators of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Dead Heads like me have noticed that there are now two female, African-American characters with natural hair who have joined the cast of intriguing characters. There’ s Michonne, a silent but deadly warrior, who’s quick with a sword. She fights fast and fearless, all while whipping around lengthy dreads. Yes, she truly whips her hair back and forth!

As you can imagine, in this impressively detailed and believably written, end-of-the-world scenario, there would be zero room for flat irons or relaxers. Ladies, count ‘em out. It’s all about survival here! Thank goodness the writers got this right and showed all the ladies in a natural light, regardless of race. In real life Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, wears her hair in a short afro, which highlights her attractive facial features and allows her to go unrecognized by die-hard fans. In an interview with Zap2it, Gurira discusses the strong and unreadable female role she plays.

“A lot of people just love that she’s a bad-ass. A lot of female friends keep asking my brother, ‘Was she always tough like that? How did she get like that? What should we do to be like that?’ … It was very deliberate to make her unreadable and an enigma. She’s not going to be the sort of character you get to know quickly. That’s who she is. The desire people have to see her unravel in a way, it’s not going to be what they get,” says Gurira.

*Rubs chins mysteriously.* Hmmm. I definitely get it. (more after the jump)

Sonequa Martin Green and natural hair

Actress Sonequa Martin-Green from The Walking Dead

In addition to Michonne, there’s a new character named Sasha, who is among a newfound group of the living. Sasha, played by actress Sonequa Martin-Green, is sweet and courageous. She also has natural hair that is kept neatly swept from her face, you know, in case she has to attack some creature or another. In real life, Martin-Green like Gurira has beautiful, natural hair that amplifies her looks. You can catch her sporting a fluffy ‘do or straightened style on the red carpet or in her recently cast role in ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

Now that you know that two naturally fab ladies are among the cast, will you also spend your Sunday nights peering from under the sheets in fear of who would be taken out next? Are you already watching? How would you style your hair in a Zombie Apocalypse? For me, I might have to go with a low afro since I’d have bigger fish to fry. 🙂 Chime in below, but please no spoilers!

CurlSpotting: On The Tube, January 2013

Wendy Williams Show Model with Natural Hair

This curlie was spotted literally working realness on the Wendy Williams Show.

Whether you’re tuning to the tube or flipping through mags, these days it’s tough not to spot at least one curly mane shining brightly. *My curly mane drops down and throws hands in the air.* Oh, thank you! Thank you curlies for embracing your manes! It’s thanks to you that me and other former lone wolves don’t have to field endless questions about what’s going on at the top of our heads. Yes, there’ll always be some questions and general interest, but at least we’re no longer gawked at like some form of endangered species.

This is one of the reasons why I love to spotlight those of you who are out there, proudly sporting textured tresses. This includes curlies, who while shelling out products, are also inadvertently (or advertently based on who’s puppet-stringing in the marketing division ;)) showcasing natural hair. This group also includes those talented ladies, who while working their wicked manes, stand out for simply being themselves.

In case you’ve missed it, grab a snack and relax. Let me fill you in on the latest batch of curlies—spotted!

Working Realness On Wendy

On January 13, 2013, The Wendy Williams Show featured American fashion designer Norma Kamali. She is best known for her sleeping bag coat, a garment made from silk parachutes—think of your fave blanky remixed with Missy Elliot’s “I Can’t Stand The Rain” garbage bag outfit and stitched to meet the sophistication of Audrey Hepburn. Still with me? Picture it for a moment and come back.

While Kamali was at Wendy, she treated us to a mini fashion show of her latest threads worn by real women. Out of the group, my eyes could not stop staring at a curvaceous curlie killing it on the catwalk. She’s not only stunning, but her hair is to.die.for.! Lady, we applaud you.

Pretty-Poofing On The Phone

You already know that Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the hottest phones on the market. So, I almost ignored the commercial when I heard it coming on the TV. That was until I looked up and spotted—another curlie! This curly girl had me running to the TV to freeze frame and drool over her hair. Although I’ve been rocking a middle part for the last month, I’m now contemplating how to construct a wickedly deep side part ala this mop-top maven.

Natural Hair in Samsung S3 Commercial

Forget the phone, I want her hair!

Mega Musical Mane At The Beyoncé Bowl

We all know the facts. Beyoncé killed it at the Super Bowl. While I was in a daze, taking Bey in and two-stepping it to “Single Ladies,” I paused for just a second. Can you guess when? Not when Kelly and Michelle popped up onto the stage. Not when Beyoncé started super stomping and dutty whining. Yup, you guessed it. It was when famed guitarist Bibi McGill took the stage with her exploding guitar and electric mane. McGill, the event’s musical director, delivered not only in the presentation but also with her fierce ’fro.

In case you were busy sulking because the Giants weren’t in the Super Bowl (like I was at first) or passed out from a food coma (like I was late in the evening), check out Bibi’s solo and curly mane in the half-time video (Bibi literally explodes onto the stage at 3:13).

Get These Looks

All of the ladies mentioned above are showcasing the beauty of wash-and-go hair. If you’re still wondering how you can get solid wash and wear results, read and try my 10 steps.

Yvette Nicole Brown On Natural and Faux Hair

Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown discusses her use of magic hair on the Wendy Williams Show.

On the NBC sitcom, Community, actress and comedian Yvette Nicole Brown plays Shirley Bennett, a recently divorced mother of three who attends Greendale Community College. While Brown is a celeb and Bennett is a sassy student, they have a single, glaring commonality—natural hair! Thank you to the writers for allowing Brown’s character to sport a curly mane (faux or no)! Thank you Yvette for embracing your textured tresses!

When I heard that Yvette Nicole Brown was going to be featured on the Wendy Williams Show a few weeks ago, I tuned in to check out her hair … of course! To my delight, Wendy sparked a conversation about the topic. Yeesssss! Score! Cool points for Wendy. Here’s how it went:


Wendy Williams: The last time I saw you, it was all natural hair. And I told you, as soon as you start doing a whole lot of TV, and events, and stuff, wigs make it easy. So now what are we doing?

Yvette Nicole Brown: She (apparent reference to stylist) told me to keep some hair in a bag. Now this front is mine. A little bit of mine is springing out everywhere. But this [majority of hair] is somebody else’s. I don’t even know. I don’t know whose, and I don’t care. I just want to personally thank her.


Wendy went on to mention Yvette’s best friend and actress, Sherri Shepherd, who is also a devote wig wearer. In the interview, Wendy seemed clearly team magic hair. Okay. Correction. She is a wig lover with some pretty impressive styles and wigs that she even names. You may have already heard all about her wig head, Shakeetha. LOL! It all makes me thiiiissss close (brings thumb and pointer extremely close together) to wanting to test drive wigs … maybe … just once. This also brings me to the topic of women with natural hair wearing faux hair, specifically wigs.

Yvette Nicole has beautiful natural hair, and to preserve it while undergoing frequent changes for appearances, she wears wigs. Natural hair just won’t hold up to the entertainment industry’s many styling demands. For instance, going from straight to wavy and back again in a 48 hour period.

For us every day ladies, our hair may not have rigorous demands, so a wig may not be a necessity … or is it? Looking back at the times spent straightening my hair and perfecting my natural look for professional occasions, I wonder if it would have been better for my hair if I just wore wigs. I’ve never done so and enjoy styling my hair, so I’ll continue to work with what I have for now. Just remember curlies, even if you are a wiggy, you still need to give gentle care to your natural hair.

Are you a wiggy by day, natural by night? Let us know why you’ve been pulling a quick change and how you maintain your natural hair while wearing wigs.

Viola Davis Discusses Her Curly Hair Issues

The authentic self is the soul made visible.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Photo Credit: Examiner

Award-winning actress Viola Davis legendarily shocked curlies and non curly headed girls alike when she revealed her beautiful, natural hair during this year’s Oscars. It was a moment that seemly set Hollywood on fire, with several celebs whipping off their wigs, taking out weaves, and putting down flat irons to reveal their curly manes. Let’s count them up. There’s been Raven Symone, Tamera Mowry, Angela Simmons, and recently The Big O–Oprah, among the bunch.

This week, Miss Davis stunned us once more by showcasing her curly mane during the red carpet premiere of her new film, Won’t Back Down. Like her film’s title, Viola is unapologetic when it comes to her hair. On Anderson Live with Anderson Cooper, she discussed her natural hair and struggles with the Hollywood beauty beasts.

“For me, I felt like every time I put on a wig, I was apologizing for who I was, being a dark-skinned woman with very curly hair. I felt like I was hiding it,” says Davis.

Her statements are sad but not new. Historically, in the African-American community, women are taught to hate their hair due to deep-rooted issues dating back to slavery. This negativity festers in families and/or community members. As Viola stated, “there’s not enough time to explain the hair issues” … well, except here at My Curly Mane!

This history, which spans across different lands and cultures, may come as no surprise to you, but the shocker is that we’ve just gotten to the point where celebrities are also supporting the cause, allowing women to know that there is no shame in having naturally curly hair. The kinks, fluff, coils, poof, and all the other variations of our hair is amazing. It’s also appreciated when these celebrities don’t just jump on the bandwagon, but instead, they are willing to address their own issues and the pressures to maintain the images forced upon them. This is beyond just wearing magic hair and wigs for fun or a preferred style. This is about hating your natural hair and those of others and finally coming into self acceptance.

For Viola, she felt as if she wasn’t being authentic by hiding her hair. It sounds as if there was a certain amount of shame associated with it, which many women face. Making this step towards self acceptance on a global platform like the Oscars or any red carpet takes a lot of chutzpah! For myself, I rode the roller coaster ride of hair acceptance before choosing the road less traveled. That path is always the hardest, whether it’s about your hair or simply being authentic to your beliefs, just being yourself.

Do you recall a time when you weren’t being your authentic self? Have you ever hid your hair in shame?

Get This Look

Viola’s hair is tightly curly in one of my fave colors–red. If you have natural hair, you can mirror this look by doing a wash and go. Literally, wash and let your fro go … unless you need assistance through a few products and quick tricks. As always, you can apply a leave-in conditioner and styler to wet hair, twisting your curls into neat formations with your fingers. Once dry, you can leave as is, or gently separate and tug on your hair for more volume.

I Love My Hair

If you follow My Curly Mane on Twitter, you’ll know that every Friday I dish out some #FunkyFridayMusic for the week. It’s eclectic, serene, and sometimes just plain funky music to do your ‘do and celebrate the weekend. Below is a video I shared a few weeks ago. You may have already seen it a few years ago (and bopped along like a Muppet). If not, you must! It’s the perfect song to cheer yourself up on bad hair days and to help kid curlies learn self love and to embrace their naturally curly hair … (more after the video)

The song was created by Joey Mazzarino, the head writer and a puppeteer at Sesame Street. Mazzarino adopted his daughter, Segi, from Ethiopia. He noticed that she began to speak negatively about her hair after playing with her long, straight-haired, blonde Barbie dolls. Oh, Barbie why do you do this to us??! It’s not only Barbie. It’s the cartoons, toys, and commercials young girls are exposed to. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many images reenforcing the notion that their natural hair is beautiful, which is why we need more positive messages as is done through this video.

Thank you Joey Mazzarino and the team at Sesame Street! Now, I not only know how to count like “The Count,” but I also know that I “don’t need a trip to the beauty shop because I love what I’ve got on top.” Say like like in the video: I really, really, really love my haaaaiiiiirrrr!”

CurlSpotting: America’s Next Top Curly Girl

Nastasia Scott, curly girl from America’s Next Top Model’s Cycle 19

I told myself I was done with it. I wouldn’t watch it again. Super sweet Nigel Barker and The J’s (Jay Manuel and J. Alexander) are gone, and I’m a bit exhausted by its predicable format and over the top antics. I’ve got the smize down pat and know how to look fiiiiierce (waves pointer finger in the air like a diva drag queen). Yet, when my DVR dutifully taped the first episode of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 19, I tuned in. Why the 19th season? Spotted! There’s a curlie on the scene.


Above: Nastasia Scott

Her name is Nastasia Scott, and she is representing East Stroudsburg University in what is known as Top Model’s college and social media edition. The minute the camera panned in on Nastasia, I was drawn to her allure. It wasn’t her catwalk or runway physique. It was all about her curly mane. Long, luscious, caramel-coated locks cascade from her head, reminiscent of Gabrielle Kniery from Cycle 14. Oh, and she worked it. In her photo shoots, Nastasia flipped her curls from side to side as she posed … and popped and locked it. Yes, she literally did. There goes that Top Model mayhem again.

Gabrielle Kniery from Top Model Cycle 14. I’ve loved her hair for a long time now. Photo Credit: Jonathan Mannion/Pottle Productions Inc/The CW

I just wonder if during the makeover episode, Tyra will subject Nastasia to some dramatic overhaul involving a stylist’s crafty cut aka the creative destruction of her hair for dramatic effect. In recent years, the show’s makeovers have gotten better, with Tyra fessing up to her hairdressers’ tragic work and even redoing competitors’ hair. She’s pulled back from the formulaic decisions to chop long locks, weave shorter ‘dos, and straighten natural curls. Hopefully Nastasia can escape with some lowlights and her length and curls intact.

It’s too early to decipher her personality, but she has potential to win and it would be the first time we’ve had a naturally curly winner in a while. Eva Pigford (Cycle 3) won the first title, but we’ve yet to see bountiful curls. Regardless, curlies Yaya Dacosta (Cycle 3), Bre Scullark (Cycle 5), and Nik Pace (Cycle 5) are naturally curly winners in my head and everlasting hair idols.

Much like American Idol, you can vote for your favorite model during the show … maybe I’ll chime in. For now, let’s keep an eye open for this curly girl and watch how this season unfolds together. Follow me on Twitter for updates and more musings, using #topcurly (as seen in the picture below).

Oprah Let’s Her “Real Hair” Down

It’s the news that has done laps across the globe, leaving hurrr everywhere standing on end–Oprah is revealing her natural hair in the September issue of O magazine! Oprah's real hair on O cover

Love, love Oprah (and miss her talk show), so I am not jumping on the hair-hating bandwagon. How can you ridicule “The Big O” when she has come so far in her life and inspired so many? Nope, sir. Not I.

I am curious as to how she typically styles her curly mane and hope that she shares her secrets (visualizes pinning down Oprah’s stylist Andre Walker, with a blow dryer in hand). I’m referring to her actual routine … and not the ones the editors creatively drafted for her. I want to know every plait and potion that she uses. I want to know every twist and finger twirl. I want to know every … what’s that? I’m not an Oprah nut … no, really, I’m not (hums silently to self).

I’m just happy that she is supporting #teamnatural by showing comfort in her skin, as she has done in years past. Now, of course, other celebs are stepping up and revealing that they too have natural hair. Sigh. I just hope that this isn’t going to be viewed as another trend of the week and instead as a way to educate the public about natural hair.

The next issue of O hits newsstands on August 7. In the meanwhile, what are your thoughts of the cover photo, featuring Oprah’s hair?

The Return of MTV’s House of Style

Cindy Crawford interviews model Linda Evangelista backstage at the Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo show in 1990.
Photo: MTV

Turn back the clocks to circa 1990. I’m wearing “my uniform” consisting of black jeans and a navy blue top. It was my uniform because I wore it nearly every day. Blame it on wearing school uniforms as a child or just plain comfort, but that was the extent of my external fashion.

While I wasn’t outwardly styled, internally I-loved-fashion. I couldn’t get enough of Vogue, Ebony, InStyle, etc. You name it, and I had to read it. I also had to watch it all: Videofashion, Fashion Television (loved it!), Style with the highly intelligent and posh Elsa Klensch, and the biggie–MTV’s House of Style. Yes, that of which was memorably hosted by Cindy Crawford.

Well, we’re in for good news. Word on the street is that House of Style is making a comeback this fall! I am really excited about this. I know that there have been previous attempts to revive the show, but now, with a new generation of young trendsetters, perhaps this one will work.

Israeli model and curlie Esti Mamo

But who will host it? We are past the era of the supermodel (I knew them all!). Wait. Moment of silence. Resume. Given this, I anticipate that the host will be either a Victoria’s Secret model or an actress/personality known for her fashion styling. I’m placing my bet on either Adriana Lima,  Gisele Bundchen, or Kendall Kardashian. More K love? Of course, you know that I would root for any curly girl. Hey, hair and fashion go hand in hand! I suggest Israeli model Esti Mamo or U.S. model Chanel Iman.

“There’s a lot of thinking that’s going into figuring this role out, when this announcement will be, and who the type of person is who we want to be the face of [the show],” says Sophia Rai, vice president of digital production at MTV.

We’ll just have to wait and see when the host is revealed at the MTV Movie Awards on September 6. Stay tuned! To get you warmed up, MTV is airing a documentary on the show which will air on August 7. Let’s check out the trailer and look back at a classic episode of MTV’s House of Style.

Below: The trailer for the MTV documentary on House of Style. I watched every episode!
Below: From the archives–an early episode of House of Style. Look at how young Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Veronia Webb, and Linda Evangelista were! Baby models. They’re all still gorgeous. Miss the supermodel era. Sigh.


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