at 93, iris apfel is styled for the gawds

“you will never be pretty, but you have something much more important. style.”

revolutionary style icon and interior designer iris apfel remembers these words from a friend in the documentary iris, coming to dc this friday. at 93, she’s remarkable and irreverent, a true artist who uses accessories as her medium.  just catching a sneak peek of her style in the trailer below made me sick with anticipation!

5 tips for blowing out natural hair

Protectini woke up one fateful sunday in 2014 and decided i wanted straight hair. while the creamy crack wasn’t calling my name, i had a serious urge to measure the length of my newly grown high top and just the tools to get the job done — so i thought. after blow drying and flat ironing my hair, without a heat protectant of any sort, it was certainly straight.  and it stayed that way.  i tried every trick of the trade and my natural locks just wouldn’t revert back.  i’d ruined my hair’s texture and felt the natural hair gatekeepers mocking my straggly strands. crushed, i cut my hair low a few weeks later.

soooooo, what in the hell would possess me to try another blow out? it’s spring, duh.  the change of season, urges a new ‘do, and i felt compelled again to rock straight hair. however, this time, i consulted a professional and my curls bounced back with these tips in mind:

1.  HEAT PROTECTANT. why didn’t i know this?!? using silicone-infused shampoos, conditioners and pomades made to protect hair from heat will bring back your curls after a quick wash.  check out this list of products from k is for kinky.

2.  don’t overdo it. this might sound obvious, but only use the amount of heat necessary to straighten your hair — using too much heat will destroy your curl pattern by melting your hair’s keratin.  assuming that kinky curls required the maximum amount of heat, i cranked the flat iron’s dial up when straightening my hair last year. big mistake. although my curls are tightly coiled, my hair is healthy and straightens really easily.  remember thick/coarse hair usually straightens between 302-338F.

3.  apply a deep conditioner. obviously, heat protectants are a must, but truly protecting your hair from heat starts long before actually applying heat.   make sure to thoroughly deep condition your hair to ensure your hair retains moisture and protein through the straightening process.

4.  minimize the heat from blow drying. keep in mind that blow drying and using a flat iron means double heat. either blow dry your hair on a low-heat setting or until it’s damp and let it air dry. i’ve only straightened my hair twice in the 15 years that i’ve been natural (once successfully), and this step was crucial to my hair reverting back.

5.  a protein treatment and apple cider vinegar is your friend. if by chance your hair’s curl memory is weakened, try a protein treatment and apple cider vinegar rinse to restore your curls. visit natural hair rules for great tips on this process.

what helps to maintain your natural texture after a blow out? comment and share below!

crush of the week: justina blakeney

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justina blakeney is a bohemian, pattern-loving interior designer and blogger who stole our hearts.  she’s sweet as pie, always taking the time to interact with her fans, and has an eye for making seemingly mundane antiques come alive. for those of us craving a bit more than her blog can offer, she just released her first book, the new bohemians: cool and collected homes.  it recently hit the new york times bestseller list — i can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!justinasjungalow justina-unit World-Market-58

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#never21 protest pays tribute to black lives matter

last week, a group of activists brought black spring to the windows of forever 21.

the demonstration was sponsored by never 21, an organization created to raise awareness around the young black lives ended by those charged to protect and serve. in the video, the protesters surprisingly, drape “black lives matter” tshirts on mannequins and hang a banner without security and employees noticing. kudos to the young activists committed to bringing the conversations around black spring to the masses.

weekend music: infatuation, brothah malik & jonathan lykes

onrae lateal just released the video for “infatuation,” the lead track off her first ep, Iibra season.  i had the pleasure of styling everyone in the video, and i’m grateful to videographers, creative junkfood, for their amazing work!  check out onrae lateal’s website to learn more about the dope artist and download her ep for FREE. trust me, it’s great music.