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Mixed Chicks Lawsuit Against Sally Beauty Supply

Have you heard of Mixed Chicks? It’s a hair products firm that caters to multicultural women. The firm appears to be doing phenomenally well, so well in fact, that it was recently covered in Inc. Magazine (see 2/12 edition). The founders, Kim Etherede and Wendi Levy, were caught off guard in 2/11 when they learned that Sally Beauty Supply was selling an alarmingly similar product on its shelves.

Have you heard of Mixed Chicks? It’s a hair products firm that caters to multicultural women. The firm appears to be doing phenomenally well, so well in fact, that it was recently covered in Inc. Magazine (see 2/12 edition). The founders, Kim Etherede and Wendi Levy, were caught off guard in 2/11 when they learned that Sally Beauty Supply was selling an alarmingly similar product on its shelves. Sally’s version, Mixed Silk, also catered to multiethnic women. According to Inc. Magazine, the bottle shape, package design, colors and fonts were also the same as those used by Mixed Chicks. Hmmm? What to do? Can a $5MM company face a multi-billion dollar juggernaut? You BET! I’m so proud that these ladies went with their gut and sued in 3/11. This is no cakewalk and who knows how the suit will turn out. However, I applaud the ladies for standing up for their convictions.

Here’s an email that I sent to them via their website on 1/23/12:

Hi there, I’m not mixed but I heard about your products because I’m a professor who blogs on hair and identity. I just learned about your suit against Sally Beauty Supply in Inc. Magazine (2/12). I am so proud of you all for not succumbing to such bullying. Congratulations no matter what the outcome (but I’m praying that you all win!!!).

Thanks,

Tina Opie

If you’re a blogger, vlogger, manufacturer, CEO in the natural hair care industry (or any industry for that matter), it’s important to protect your brand. Tips on how to do that? I’m on a hunt and will share when I find some good ideas!

IMAGES:  http://fashiondailymag.com/tame-the-curly-mane/    |       Mixed Chicks Founders, Wendi Levy (left) and Kim Etheredge

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What Drives Us to Wear Wigs?

I am embarrassed to say that we spent ~50-hours driving during our roundtrip RV trip and I drove a grand total of TWO HOURS! Even during the two hours I was nervous wreck because you don’t really drive an RV, you guide it. It’s HUGE and it blows in the wind. I didn’t last long. BUT, during my driving stint, I saw a sign for a wig outlet in Fayetteville, NC. Of course, I couldn’t wait to see it!


Sign welcoming visitors to the Fayetteville, NC wig outlet

I am embarrassed to say that we spent ~50-hours driving during our roundtrip RV trip and I drove a grand total of TWO HOURS! Even during the two hours I was nervous wreck because you don’t really drive an RV, you guide it. It’s HUGE and it blows in the wind. I didn’t last long. BUT, during my driving stint, I saw a sign for a wig outlet in Fayetteville, NC. Of course, I couldn’t wait to see it!

The wig outlet was large and wigs adorned shelves, counter tops and displays. I was amazed by the sheer number of wig options. Blonde, red, black, curly, straight, wigs for females…even wigs for men!

I’m going to research the varying reasons people might wear wigs. We often think of it as a voluntary fashion statement. However, some people wear wigs for medical reasons (e.g., lost hair due to chemotherapy, alopecia, etc.). Do you have a wig experience you’d like to share? Please do!

Here are a few pictures of the wigs I saw.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    Thx for the info, and your web page certainly looks wonderful. Just what word press design are you employing?

    • Drtinaopie1

      Thanks! Let me know if you want to talk “Word Press”.

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Sullivan’s Island: My Sankofa Moment Part 2

It should be mentioned that when in Africa, Africans took pride in maintaining beautiful hairstyles. Slaves might use a wooden comb and palm oil to create elaborate styles. Those with matted, disheveled, unkempt hair were shunned and often viewed as insane. Thus, imagine the shame slaves must have felt when they were stripped of their grooming aids and their hair grew matted and unkempt?


Carding combs, a device that slaves may have used to comb their hair

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2012/01/sullivans-island-my-sankofa-moment.html), today’s post explores how slaves groomed themselves once they arrived on U.S. soil.

It should be mentioned that when in Africa, Africans took pride in maintaining beautiful hairstyles. Slaves might use a wooden comb and palm oil to create elaborate styles. Those with matted, disheveled, unkempt hair were shunned and often viewed as insane. Thus, imagine the shame slaves must have felt when they were stripped of their grooming aids and their hair grew matted and unkempt?

Again, hair is nothing in comparison to the atrocities of slavery; however, slaves cared and were resilient. Slaves may have used a sheep carding comb (Byrd & Tharps, 2001). A carding comb is a device used to comb through matted or tangled fibers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carding).

It’s easy to think that slaves wouldn’t have cared about their personal appearance given the atrocities of slavery. However, even under such circumstances, these men and women found ways to groom their hair. You see, hair is much more than a head covering. It symbolizes what we think of ourselves. This small glimpse into slaves’ grooming processes tells us that slaves indeed valued themselves even though their masters considered them less than human.

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Solange Knowles Hair Pics!

When I first started this blog, I did a post on Solange Knowles’ bold decision to wear her natural hair. Recently, Ms. Knowles did a photo spread for Oyster Magazine and she is rocking her natural hair! There is nothing like someone who seems to embrace their authenticity. What do you think of the pictures?

 When I first started this blog, I did a post on Solange Knowles’ bold decision to wear her natural hair. Recently, Ms. Knowles did a photo spread for Oyster Magazine and she is rocking her natural hair!

There is nothing like someone who seems to embrace their authenticity. What do you think of the pictures?

IMAGES: http://freshlikedougie.com/fashion/solange-in-natural-light-for-oyster-magazine-photos/

  • H&B

    That she is gorgeous!!!

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Lye

I wanted to share some artwork with you. It’s “Lye” by Jean-Michel Basquiat. I’m watching a documentary about him on NetFlix (Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child) and this artwork popped up on the screen. All I saw was the word “lye” but that was enough to pique my interest. Sure enough, he is talking about processed hair. What does the image stir up in you?

Hi everyone,
I am working on a blog post that describes a deep, emotional experience I had on my family RV trip. It’s about our visit to Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina. However, in order to do the experience justice, I need to do some historical research and it’s taking me awhile to get the facts straight. Stay tuned for what I hope will be an interesting and informative post.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some artwork with you. It’s “Lye” by Jean-Michel Basquiat. I’m watching a documentary about him on NetFlix (Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child) and this artwork popped up on the screen. All I saw was the word “lye” but that was enough to pique my interest. Sure enough, he is talking about processed hair. What does the image stir up in you?

For more information about Mr. Basquait, please see: http://basquiat.com/

IMAGE: http://www.josephklevenefineartltd.com/Basquiat-Lye.jpg

  • nick

    Love the blog

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Tomiko Graces Gain Commercial

I was blown away by something that I just saw. I rarely watch daytime TV which may explain why I had never seen the Gain commercial featuring the gorgeous Tomiko Fraser Hines. I love the way the commercial embraces natural hair. Some might feel that it dogs straight hair but I don’t think that’s the point. Apparently, naturalistas are in the numerical minority compared to women who chemically alter their hair. However, more and more women are going natural and it’s refreshing to see this depicted in a corporate commercial. What do you think?

Hello everyone, I know that I’m in the middle of sharing my RV trip with you all BUT I was blown away by something that I just saw. I rarely watch daytime TV which may explain why I had never seen the Gain commercial featuring the gorgeous Tomiko Fraser Hines . Haven’t seen the commercial? Watch it HERE.

I love the way the commercial embraces natural hair. Some might feel that it dogs straight hair but I don’t think that’s the point. Apparently, naturalistas are in the numerical minority compared to women who chemically alter their hair. However, more and more women are going natural and it’s refreshing to see this depicted in a corporate commercial. What do you think? I may have to buy some Gain! 🙂

P.S.: I do believe the voice over was done by Ms. Wanda Sykes! UPDATE: Ms. Tomiko Fraser Hines herself confirmed that this was the voice of Ms. Wanda Sykes. Thanks Tomiko!

P.S.S.: Tomiko and her husband, Chris, have a YouTube channel and I think they’re just the cutest.

IMAGE: http://cheneselewisblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Tomiko-Gain-Slide.jpg

  • Tomiko Fraser Hines

    Thanks again for this wonderful blog! I really appreciate it! ; )

  • topie

    You are most welcome. It's my pleasure and you should know that the commercial made me shout! So proud of you for forging ahead! Yaaayyyyyy!

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Hair Tips!

Since the twist-out is now my go-to style, I thought I’d share a few tips on how I keep my style fresh: 1) Properly detangle your hair. I start with a wide toothed comb. I then detangle. Once I’m ready to begin twisting, I section with the end of a rat tail comb and then comb out each of the smaller sections. I find that this smooths my hair (especially the ends) and leads to a smoother style. Continue reading for more tips!

Since the twist-out is now my go-to style, I thought I’d share a few tips on how I keep my style fresh:

1) Properly detangle your hair. I start with a wide toothed comb. I then detangle. Once I’m ready to begin twisting, I section with the end of a rat tail comb and then comb out each of the smaller sections. I find that this smooths my hair (especially the ends) and leads to a smoother style.

2) If your hair texture is like mine, an oil-based rather than a water or gel-based product may work best to twist your hair. I’ve tried gels and custards…nothing works as well as a creamy oil (as I’ve said before I use Doris New York products almost exclusively on my hair). For me, I have found that gels may do a better job of “freezing” the curl in place. Big ups for curl definition. HOWEVER, my hair feels like hay and I can’t stand that. When I use the oil-based product my hair feels like satin and moisture is sealed in plus my scalp is conditioned. Of course, everyone has to go through trial and error but this is my experience.

3) Tie your hair up at night. I use a satin sleep bonnet.

4) Oil your scalp…I know some people disagree with this. For me, I find a light oil on my scalp keeps my hair and scalp happy.

5) You DON’T have to redo your entire head when your hair starts to lose curl definition. Instead, retwist the frizzy parts. This has saved me MUCH time.

6) Tie up your hair when you work out (I refuse to wear the satin bonnet in public but I have a scarf that I wear).

That’s all I can think of for now. Please share your tips as well!

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First Chunky Twist-Out and Headband!

I wanted to share a recent hair experience. I just washed my hair and, because I want to start a new exercise regimen, I decided to see what my hair would look like if I just did a wash and go. Well, sort of a wash and go. I washed, deep conditioned (sat under a hooded dryer), and then applied Kinky Curly. I really want to like KC but it just doesn’t yield the greatest results for my short, kinky hair. I don’t know, maybe I’m using too much of the product or maybe it will work better once my hair grows out a bit more.


Hi there! Tomorrow I’ll get back to my RV hair adventures. But today, I wanted to share a recent hair experience. I just washed my hair and, because I want to start a new exercise regimen (Black Girls Run! (http://www.blackgirlsrun.com/), I decided to see what my hair would look like if I just did a wash and go. Well, sort of a wash and go. I washed, deep conditioned (sat under a hooded dryer), and then applied Kinky Curly (KC) (Knot Today and Curling Custard). I really want to like KC but it just doesn’t yield the greatest results for my short, kinky hair. I don’t know, maybe I’m using too much of the product or maybe it will work better once my hair grows out a bit more.

Anyway, I wanted to “freeze” my hair in place because it was cute when dripping wet. Thus, I used a diffuser (I need to research this gadget!). So, several hours after washing my hair, I’m left with what looks like a 5 minute wash-and go. I was not happy. I know that I may get some flack for this but I am not enamored with my wash and go TWA. I like curl definition, more styling, something. Otherwise, I feel a bit like a female George Jefferson.

So, I decided to do a chunky twist-out (again, I used Doris New York Olive Oil hair cream…this has become my go-to product). Here are the results. I love it! It is soft, moist and beautiful. However, I need to figure out how to get the same results in the back of my head which resembles a wefted, kinky carpet. Plus, I need to rewash my hair because of the KC product residue. Ugh. Any suggestions?

P.S.: Oh my goodness, the chunky twist-out lasted for ONE DAY. I tied it up with a satin bonnet and this morning I was sporting a George Jefferson. This made my morning a bit hectic because I had no idea how I’d wear my hair to my 9:30 coffee. Should I wear a scarf (oh my goodness, NO! I looked a mess)? Quickly wash it? Please, I’ve learned that a wash tends not to be “quick” for me. So, I misted it to tighten up the fro. When I got back home I washed it, blew it out and twisted it with my usual products. Here’s to learning about my hair! 🙂

  • Samara

    I've seen a few reviews of the KC that says if you don't use the right amount residue will appear. It's so true nothing about washing natural hair is "quick".

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Sullivan’s Island: My Sankofa Moment

Hair seems like such a trivial topic when contrasted with the overwhelming pain that slave men, women and children endured. However, it’s important to remember that these strong men, women and children came from a culture where hair rituals were deep, rich and involved. It would have just been one more injustice to have your hair shorn or to be unable to groom yourself. The wonderful book Hair Story by Ms. Ayana Byrd and Ms. Lori Tharps, discusses how slaves were not inclined to think about their hair given the inhumane and unclean conditions in which they lived. Plus, the grooming aids slaves had used in Africa were nowhere to be found in their new environment. Thus, slaves’ hair often became tangled, matted.

During my family’s recent RV trip from Boston to Florida, we made many stops. We designed our trip so that we would have time to visit Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Island is known as the African-American Ellis Island because it was where slaves were quarantined before they were transported to Charleston, SC (North America’s main entry port for African slaves).

When I arrived on Sullivan’s Island (specifically, Fort Moultrie, a National Parks Service museum that traces the African Passage), I began to place myself in the shoes of those slaves who would have walked on its soil just over two centuries ago. Those who know me well already know that I’m a highly sensitive person when it comes to other people’s pain. When people share their travails with me, I’ll be in tears in a matter of minutes because their pain hurts my heart. So it’s no surprise that I got weepy as soon as I began to walk through the halls of Fort Moultrie at Sullivan’s Island. If I’m honest, I wasn’t just weepy, I was crying and I was hit with a deep sadness that my ancestors experienced this AND that this history is largely overlooked, ignored or downplayed. After all, this was centuries ago right? Oh, that reflection caused me such sadness because as I look around today, it is evident that slavery still impacts our society.

As my children walked ahead of me in the arched, cavernous hallway, I imagined what it must have been like to reach American soil and then realize that you were about to be subjected to further pain, anguish, torture. That I might be looking at my children for the last time. I also realized that had I been born then, I may have been one of the shackled.

Hair seems like such a trivial topic when contrasted with the overwhelming pain that slave men, women and children endured. However, it’s important to remember that these strong men, women and children came from a culture where hair rituals were deep, rich and involved. It would have just been one more injustice to have your hair shorn or to be unable to groom yourself. The wonderful book Hair Story by Ms. Ayana Byrd and Ms. Lori Tharps, discusses how slaves were not inclined to think about their hair given the inhumane and unclean conditions in which they lived. Plus, the grooming aids slaves had used in Africa were nowhere to be found in their new environment. Thus, slaves’ hair often became tangled, matted.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how slaves, as resilient as they were, found ways to groom themselves.

Find out more about the movie Sankofa.

IMAGE:  http://images.moviepostershop.com/sankofa-movie-poster-1993-1020235232.jpg

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First Family Encounter with Longer Afro

As our RV rumbled to a stop in front of my parent’s beautifully landscaped yard, I wondered how my Mom would react to my several inch long twist-out (Dad cares but he’s not likely to verbalize his thoughts). I double-checked my hair and makeup and then bounded out of the vehicle. Some of you may not know that my Mom and I are very close. I call her at least once a day and we have grown to be friends. You know, girlfriends who can tell each other the truth in love. So, I knew that if she thought my hair looked jacked up she was going to let me know it.

As our RV rumbled to a stop in front of my parent’s beautifully landscaped yard, I wondered how my Mom would react to my several inch long twist-out (Dad cares but he’s not likely to verbalize his thoughts). I double-checked my hair and makeup and then bounded out of the vehicle. Some of you may not know that my Mom and I are very close. I call her at least once a day and we have grown to be friends. You know, girlfriends who can tell each other the truth in love. So, I knew that if she thought my hair looked jacked up she was going to let me know it.

My beautiful Mother stepped outside and, with open arms, gave me a long overdue hug. “T, you look beauuuuutttiiiiifullllll!”. What?! Is that it? It’s that easy? My Mom looked at my neat twist out and fawned over me. It was blissful. (I just realized that I didn’t take a single pic of my hair at my Mom’s house…I am the family photographer. However, today’s pic was from the RV trip and shows the twist-out). Even better? My Mom told me that my hair motivated her to think about going natural again. She’s not there yet, but I’m so grateful that my natural journey is having a positive influence on the woman I love the most in the whole world. Yeahhhh Team Natural! 🙂


Mommy was a fan of the twist out

P.S.: In contrast, my Mom was NOT a fan of my chunky twist-out. I emailed her the below pic. Her response, “T, I prefer the other style. That style better framed your face.” Spoken like a true friend. The thing is, I loved the style so I’m sure that I’ll wear it again BUT I will always value the input of my loved ones. It’s funny, I didn’t realize that one benefit of my natural journey would be enhanced courage to firmly stand on my own two independent feet and not buckle when others don’t like something I’m trying.


Mommy was not a fan of the CHUNKY twist out BUT I love it! 🙂

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