Tag Archives: natural hair

straight natural

I just realized that I never did a natural hair post on here. Could be because everyone and their momma has a natural hair post or a whole blog dedicated to natural hair transitions, hairstyles, products, personal stories, how-to vids, etc. It’s really too much yet, here I am, adding my 10cents.

I went natural in 2001 over Thanksgiving break during my junior year of college. After thinking about it for about a year and one prior attempt to abandon my relaxed strands (I grew my hair out then succumbed to a perm last minute) I found myself alone in my apartment with nothing to do… nothing to do except cut off my hair. I hopped in the car and headed to the salon. Closed. I had the option of waiting a couple of days for them to open but I knew that I had to get my hair cut right then or I wouldn’t do it at all. I drove around and found a new salon, walked in and asked to get my hair cut. The stylist asked if I was sure. At the time, my hair was pretty good looking and just grazed my shoulders. Black women don’t go around cutting off hair like that,  so this stylist just wanted to make sure I didn’t wild out on her later. “Yes, cut it off,” I told her. She did. She cut my hair down to about two inches. When it was all said and done, I liked it. It was new and my head felt so light. I was a little bit nervous about how people would take it but there was no turning back.

Good or bad, everyone had an opinion about my hair. One guy friend stopped me on campus and asked me why I didn’t tell him first so that he could have stopped me. He said guys didn’t like women with hair that short and he could’ve saved me from that mistake. Ugh. He was halfway right. Some people were obviously turned off by my short, kinky ‘do but others who wouldn’t have looked twice were now attracted to me. One guy I met at a party told me he came to talk to me because of my haircut. He figured that I had to be quite a confident person to do it, plus it showed off my features. Sweet. While I haven’t relaxed my hair since ’01, I have gone through quite a few styling changes and constantly fight the urge to just slop some of that creamy white goo on my head. Continue reading


Filed under Routine Ramblings

Dominican Salons

I’m updating this post (originally published on 8/8/08) because I’ve noticed that it gets a lot of hits. Folks are searching for Dominican salons in Philadelphia and if I can use my experiences at a few shops to help, that’s pretty cool right?
For more info, check out RoundBrushHair for info on salons, products and techniques.

Some background info: Dominican Salons are a good, cheap option if you’re looking to get your hair done. Whether you’re Black, Latina, Bi-Racial, whatever, relaxed or natural, long or short, you can probably get your wig twisted at a Dominican joint.

They employ a method that’s practically the same no matter which one you go to. For example, I go for a basic wash and blowout: Wash & condition, set on large barrel rollers and place you under a dryer. This is one level of straightening your hair. Then you get the hair blown out with a super efficient hand-held blow dryer w/concentrator attachment. The hair is round-brushed to another level of straightness. Finally, the hair is straightened and styled with a flat iron. Voila! Or whatever the Spanish equivalent is of “voila”. In addition to the blowout, they usually do color and relaxers as well as trims and cuts.

Three things to be cautious of: 1). High levels of heat are used. Although they use products that are designed to protect the hair, high heat is not good no matter what. If your hair is natural and you like to wear it curly, please note that you could begin to lose your curl pattern after only a few consecutive straightenings. I suggest opting for the deep conditioning that most salons offer for a small additional fee. 2). Most stylists at the Dominican salons know only two general styles: curly or straight. Know that you may have to restyle when you get home to suit your particular taste. 3). There may only be one or two stylists in the salon who speak English. If this intimidates you, you might feel out of place in the beginning. Hold tight, though, after a while, you get used to it and learn the routine well enough that you’ll be fine.

I’ve visited three salons so far in Philly. See info/reviews after the jump. Check out the comments for other suggestions.  Continue reading


Filed under I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Routine Ramblings

Blue Magic

No, not this:


Yep, good old Blue Magic Conditioner … Hair Dress (wtf is the “…” for?). I visited home this past weekend and saw a big jar of Blue Magic chilling on the sink at my aunt’s crib. Man, I can’t tell you the last time I felt the need to grease my scalp, particularly with something so thick and heavy! Growing up, however, this stuff was a staple in our house. Pretty much in every home I visited in my neighborhood, someone had a jar of Blue Magic in its blue or oddly-named green version. The ingredients in Blue Magic are: Petrolatum , Lanolin , Lecithin , Mineral Oil , Fragrance , and some blue stuff (Green 6 , Violet 2).


Nowadays, I don’t put much of anything in my hair after I leave the salon. When I wear a natural style, I use Aveda products or some local stuff like Buttershine from Salon E’tae.


By the way, if you’re in Philly I suggest you stop by for some of the products. They used to have a salon, but if you call, they can tell you the other salons in the area who are E’tae Concept Salons, meaning they use the E’tae method and products. If you’re outside of Philly, just order the stuff. I promise it’s GREAT!



Still, I couldn’t help but open the jar and take a whiff of that good old, familiar Blue Magic smell. Ahhhhh. Memories.


Filed under Music & More, Routine Ramblings

Spotlight: Goddess Zuri

Au Naturel

PREFACE: You may not know it, but Bourgie is a natural gal. I mean, besides a little hair color, my hair is noy chemically processed. I went natural in college, junior year. Cut off my shoulder-length, permed hair and traded it in for a few inches of curly, kinky coils. That was just when folks in NC started catching on. See, many of us Black women have no real memory of our hair in its unprocessed state. I know I had a perm in 2nd grade then, (don’t laugh) a curl. Yeah, you laughed anyway. I was nervous at first, to rock the new style. Then I found joy in running my hands over and through my hair and feeling the wavy kinks. It had life. Character. Style!

However, I like to switch the style up (like Banks told me). Now I primarily wear my hair blown and pressed a la the Dominicans. Still, whenever I’m nostalgic for that yummy feeling of touching my OWN natural texture I wash and wear.

Goddess Zuri

Spotlight: Celebrating that life, character, style and pizazz that natural hair projects is a line of apparel and accessories called Goddess Zuri. As GZ’s creator, Candace says, “Goddess Zuri products are designed to celebrate natural beauty with edge, attitude and confidence.” Honestly, who doesn’t like a cool, funky tee?

I’m getting one. This stuff is Bourgie Approved™! Please check out the site and the merchandise. The site features “Beau-Tees”, “Royal-Tees” and “Naugh-Tees”. You can guess which are my favorites. One hot “Naugh-Tee” is simply known as “Big”, allowing the wearer to proclaim her um, preference. LOL.

Here’s a peek:

As a future lawyer, I feel like it is my duty to admit any possible bias before putting you on to Goddess Zuri. If you ever check out my “about me” section, you’ll know that I went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad. What you don’t know is that I met the creator of Goddess Zuri there, we lived in the same suite freshman year! I just found out about her business endeavors a little while ago and bookmarked the page. Now I’m sharing it with you, not because I used to share a bathroom with the creator (who is a great person and never left her shower caddy in the way), but because she has some cool products to offer with a great message: natural beauty is where it’s at. That being said, Go HEELS!

Leave a comment

Filed under Spotlights

Oh you modelin’ ma? – Canvas Soup

Canvas Soup

I spent my Sunday afternoon getting made up, coiffed and photographed. A friend of mine is getting her side hustle on, selling lace wigs. You know, the kind Beyonce and ‘nem wear. Apparently, they’re all the rage and are the wig of choice for women who like that kind of thing and have a little money to spare for quality. My girl asked me to model some wigs for her and told me she had set up the shoot with Canvas Soup.

I now Canvas Soup! Canvas Soup is a collaborative effort between photographer Joshua Black (Black Eyed Soup) and makeup artist Bridget Cunningham (Canvas Cosmetics). The space is comfortable and inviting. I met esthetician/makeup artist Kim there and she did me UP! Then, after getting my wig applied I headed upstairs to the photo studio which is located in a bright, spacious loft space. Joshua was great at directing me and, as you can tell from my numerous self-portraits, I’m a ham for the camera.

It was SO much fun. I put to use all of my America’s Next Top Model lessons. Thanks Tyra!!

The really cool thing about Canvas Soup is that since they’re a one stop shop of sorts, they offer “parties” where you and a group can get hair and makeup done, then head upstairs to get professional photos taken. They’ll even have a caterer come in and provide lunch. How about some champagne while you get that foot soak and facial? I had an opportunity to check out some of Josh’s work and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to see how the pictures from today came out. When I get a peek, I’ll post them up here.

Until then, please take a look at Canvas Soup. You can also check out the write-up on CS in the Philadelphia Daily News. If you’re in Philly and want to pamper yourself (or your girl) give them a call. Located in Germantown and Black-owned, it’s a great new place run by a fabulous team.


Filed under I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Routine Ramblings

“… you need more people.”* © Jay-Z

I’m going to say it straight up: I don’t believe white people** when they tell me they like my hair when I wear it natural. Let me explain.

By natural I mean in it’s normal, non-straightened, sans chemical state. Usually, I wear my hair pressed straight courtesy of the Dominicanas at Nuevo Estilo on 6th & Hunting Park. Every now and then, I get tired of that and want to go back to basics. 

Strangely enough, white people as a whole have not yet gained an understanding of the complexities of Black hair. Ask any Black woman and she’s bound to have a “hair story” about how some co-worker or classmate asked her some moronic question about their extensions or braids or afros or waves or … you get the point. 

Back to me, though. Thursday I changed my hair and wore a curly ‘fro. About 6 people came up to me and remarked “I like your hair like that.” Now, you might say “Bourgie, you’re bugging! They just like your hair!” To that, I’ll say ok, maybe 2 of them really did. The other 4 just wanted to REMARK and NOTICE my hair verbally and the only way to do so without sounding stupid in your own mind is to compliment. Sometimes they’re just so clueless of how to sit comfortably in a room with a person who is no afraid to let their hair be natural, they just HAVE to speak. How do I know these aren’t real compliments? Because it’s not simply “I like your hair,” but add a silly smile, awkward approach and additional comment like “lookin’ real ‘soul sistah’ today.” 


Then you get the uber white liberals who want so desperately to let you know that they love your big ol’ afro to add to their I-am-so-progressive-and-open-to-other-ethnicities-and-not-bound-by-Western-standards-of-beauty identity. 

You can’t deny that folks of any race often equate a natural hairstyle with certain politics, temperaments and ideas. They think you’re militant or angry or boho. Dare I harken to OutKast/Andre 3000, “…is every nigga with dreads for the cause? …Naw.”***  I’m not wearing a freakin’ costume here, people. 

Look, I’m not extra sensitive, but I know bullshit when I smell it.


*See Jay-Z - The Takeover
**Clearly I am generalizing here.
***See OutKast - Aquemini


Filed under Routine Ramblings