It was such a wonderful experience to visit the Sistah Talk TV studios and sit down and chat with Sister Dietra about my experience in the field of natural hair care. Thank you to producer Zakkee of Sistah Talk TV for making this possible.
Cassandra has documented each of the Natural Brides of our 2011 Color & Culture photo session. I will add them to this post as she releases them. Today meet Lamika and Kai as they prepare to be a Natural Bride.
Awesome work Cassandra! Not only are you a fabulous wedding gown designer, it seems you also on the road to being a documentary film maker. Beautiful work as always!
Color & Culture 2011
The Locked Bride -Has Locs that are groomed and styled into a Corkscrewed pin-up style. This is a style for the bride who is cultural and unique. Proud of her heritage, she is exudes confidence and elegance in her gown of traditional African print panels. She’s is quite demur in her cocoa colored, sheer face veil.
The Wrapped Bride – This is a style of Silky Dreads sculpted into a light and airy design. Wearing a silk patch-work, beaded gown, this bride shares her brilliance of color. Her head piece is a beaded memory wire with iridescent stones.
Soft Mohawk Bridal Style is for the bride who breaks with tradition as wears her hair cut short in a Soft Mohawk on her special day. Soft and beautiful, she enchants all her guests. Her head piece is white tulle accented with pearls. And for the reception she’s sassy with a 20’s styled feathered comb.
Bride of Natural Waves is a bohemian bride of beauty, class, and freedom of expression. In this patch work silk gown she is like a dream. This is the perfect look for a beach or destination wedding. This bride’s head piece is red tulle adorned accented with a red & brown feathers.
Behind the scenes of The Natural Bride 2011
Our 2011 Photo shoot included the artistic talent of:
Photographer Keston Duke, Make up Artist Jewel Whinfield a.ka. JiggaJewel, and the gorgeous back drop of Malene Barnett’s beautiful Bedford Stuyvesant Brownstone house. And we are so grateful to our Project Manager Jason ‘Cisco’ Isaacs. Wedding bouquets designed by yours truly, Anu Prestonia.
At the Khamit Kinks website, double click on the images for a ‘pop up page’ of details on each style.
On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to take time to recognize our Manager Taeisha Black. Taeisha has been a member of the Khamit Kinks team since the late 90’s and from the beginning she brought with her that special gift of nurturing others.
Taeisha started out as the assistant to the manager and honed her skills, becoming a serious and active listener. A naturally caring and nurturing person, Taeisha quickly made her mark on the company when she stepped into the role of Manager. She had a genuine way of connecting with clients that left them feeling seen and heard.
As a licensed cosmetologist and aesthetician, Taeisha brings to her work an informed and knowledgeable skill set. Our clients love interacting with Taeisha because of her cool and easy way. With a soft-spoken voice, she puts clients at ease, but don’t take her softness for weakness, this is one strong sister. She knows her stuff and she doesn’t suffer fools as readily these days.
Taeisha is also an avid student of living who diligently takes courses in life studies, self-improvement and entrepreneurship. Recently Taeisha has taken on the job of writing a monthly article for The Coil Review in their “Newbie” section, which is aimed at those new to natural hair. You can see her written advice starting with the May issue of The Coil Review.
It is Taeisha who often comes up with creative ideas for honoring and celebrating our clients. She loves feeding people, so she often recommends some type of party, like the year she recommended a surprise birthday party for me. Or the time she said we had to have a Client Appreciation party. Taeisha is committed to our company and every day makes sure what needs to be done gets taken care of, which includes insuring the accuracy of our scheduling, communicating with Stylists, clients, and our Admin team, placing orders for the endless supplies we require, shipping out online orders, and the list goes on and on.
Taeisha is naturally creative and is often seen with a cutting-edge and unique hairstyle, inspiring clients to ask for the style she is sporting.
We have all benefited from Taeisha’s informed and caring ways and Khamit Kinks has definitely been enhanced by her steady presence. As a team we all salute her and the Mother energy that permeates her every intention. She has all the markings of that Mother principle, being loving, nurturing, receptive, devoted, caring and kind. And though she’s mom like, I still consider her my daughter. Thank you Taeisha for all the years of love and care!
There seems to be a number of sisters and maybe some brothers out there who are interested in having their Locs combed out. I posted on my facebook page a request for anyone who does this service or knows of others who do, to let me know. So far, only one salon owner has responded, Nyota Starr of ‘Hair Today Hair Tomorrow’. The only salon that has responded is located in Oakland, CA. I will grow this list as I hear of others who offer this service. Here is the info.
In the meantime, if you decide to comb out your own Locs keep these tips in mind:
- Take your time this is not a process can be rushed
- Use a fine tooth comb or needle for the combing out process
- Use plenty of conditioner to keep the hair moist through out the process
- Realize that it can take day or weeks to complete the process
Ifetayo Cultural Arts Center shared some of their dynamic young sisters with us in March. Not familiar with Ifetayo? I’ll let them introduce themselves: “For nineteen years we have taken a leadership role in developing the community we serve by improving the quality of life for its members. We are a supportive community and extended family able to provide our students with skills development and new perceptions leading to responsible decision-making. Our name comes from the West African Yoruba word meaning, “love brings happiness.” This is a guiding principle and the foundation of our approach to the development and growth of our student”s.
I was delighted to see these bright students, beautiful young sisters, walk through the doors of Khamit Kinks! And I am happy to report that most of them had natural hair. The students that participated in the workshop are Ifetayo’s Sisters In Sisterhood (SIS) Rites of Passage program. At Ifetayo, they refer to their young ladies as “sisters” or “Sisters In Sisterhood”.
Our workshop focused on ‘Personal Care and Styling’ and discussed natural vs synthetic products for the hair, scalp and body, the impact of synthetic materials on the body and the environment and natural hygiene. I also shared some insights on being an entrepreneur and what it means to love and appreciate our own culture and aesthetics.
I had planned a special treat for the students. We brought back the Henna artist to do tattoos on the girls. They loved it! The henna was done by Zobia of Henna Phool and Dluhan and she is a true artist. The SiS left with their smiles, gift bags and a little more knowledge than they had prior to our workshop. And they left me with a smile on my lips and in my heart.
I realized how special it is to be in the presence of young minds and the responsibility and rewards that come from shaping them to realize their true value and infinite possibilities.
Last week I was amazed not only by the number of clients who came in for consultations that needed a trim/cut, but also by how many of them mentioned to me that they cut their own hair. Come again??? You do what? Cut your own hair, come on now!
The DIY movement in natural hair has just gone too far. For those of you who may not know, DIY means ‘Do It Yourself’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see so many sisters taking the plunge, going natural and making the necessary investment in time and ahh products, as they journey down the road of getting to know their natural hair.
But some of you are really buying into every YouTube video-nistas story out there. While many on YouTube may have something of value to share, I suggest you check in with a professional at least once a season, 4 times a year. We had a ‘Curls’ event here at the salon last week and when I asked a group of sisters how they manage to cut the back of their hair with this DIY technique, one of them gleefully told me of how she holds a hand mirror in one hand while looking in another mirror and cutting with the other hand. Cirque du’ Soleil anyone?
Natural hair can have split ends too and if you trim them on a regular basis, this will prevent you from having to have inches or your hair cut off. Why inches? because you’ve waited so long that your split ends have traveled up the hair shaft. And or you’ve unevenly cut your own hair in that trick mirror move mentioned above.
Pardon me, but I see a trend of extremism here, which can be typical of ‘newbies’ in any endeavor. I mean I see sisters going from having their hair chemically relaxed with regular conditioning treatments and trims at least once a month with a professional to ‘my hair is now natural I don’t need a professional, I can do it all by myself’. Not!!! Well that is not if you want to have your hair thrive and look like you still care about the overall health of your hair. All these split ends and product drenched hair does not qualify for ‘beautifully coiffed natural hair’.
For those of you who are tripping, may I offer you a reality check. Natural hair is not a toy. Kudos to you for wanting to get to know your natural texture and work with it. I applaud you for that and I say keep doing that, but you still need treatments and regular (at least 4 times a year) hair cuts.
It’s almost as if natural hair isn’t receiving the same kind of respect and care as chemically processed hair. Yes, processed hair does requires in a sense, more care because of the harshness of the chemicals, but that doesn’t mean that natural hair deserves no professional maintenance at all.
So sisters and brothers for that matter, please consider that natural hair is just as precious as chemically processes, actually more precious and should be treated by a professional at least a few times a year for best results and a bit of a treat to you, Ms. DIM – Do It Myself. You deserve some pampering too, even though your hair is natural. Fill out our Consultation Questionnaire and let us help you keep your hair healthy and thriving.