Tag: black female hair care

Archive of African American Women Soldiers’ Letters Donated to Harvard University

Myraline Morris Whitaker (Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer)
Maryline Morris Whitaker (Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer)

Maryline Morris Whitaker is the founder of the Sister Soldier Project, a grassroots organization that provides hair care products to African American women soldiers to help them comply with the militaries requirements for hair. “If hair is longer than your ears, it has to be pulled back and tucked under, and as a Black woman I just don’t understand how that happens without the right product,” Whitaker says.

In 2008, Whitaker raised enough money and donations to send 1,000 packages of hair care products to African American women serving in combat areas overseas. She received a large number of thank you letters from the women soldiers. “These women never complained,” said Whitaker, commenting on the letters she received. “They just talked about their lives in the service. They were happy to be there. They talked about the families they left behind, and they’d send pictures of their children.”

Whitaker realized that she had a treasure trove of letters documenting the experiences of African American women serving overseas in the armed forces. She volunteered to donate the archive to the Smithsonian museum but the museum was not interested.

But Whitaker found a home for her archive at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. The Schlesinger Library holdings date from the founding of the United States to the present and include more than 3,200 manuscript collections, 100,000 volumes of books and periodicals, and films, photos, and audiovisual material. The library holds many collections from African American women including Mildred Jefferson, the first Black woman graduate of Harvard Medical School, author June Jordan, civil rights activist Pauli Murray, and author Dorothy West.

article via jbhe.com

Singer Amel Larrieux Launches Natural Hair Product Line “Beautiful Us”

Red Star Sounds Volume 1/Soul Searching
Amel Larrieux (Source: Scott Gries / Getty)

Songstress Amel Larrieux is probably as well-known for her gorgeous flowing natural hair as she is for her signature voice.  She’s been performing for nearly 20 years and asked the same question since she hit the scene in 1995, “What do you use in your hair?”

Larrieux finally decided to develop an elixir for all hair types, the Night Before Conditioner manufactured by her natural hair brand, Beautiful Us. Larrieux spoke to HelloBeautiful exclusively about her road to creating her natural product line.

“For a while, I was confused by people’s interest in my hair,” she explained. “Like it was always a conversation. I was always like ‘Well I’m here to sing and to write” and I was realizing that just the same way that I was inspired by people like Lisa Bonet and Cree Summer who would wear their hair natural in the 80s when it wasn’t as popular.”

“I had been wearing it natural for so long, I had been doing the whole braid out, oil your scalp, do a certain kind of spray, make your own little cocktail to put on your hair for so,so many years that I could just spout it off and kind of have this recipe for my natural hair routine and we just talked about it so often in so many interviews that my husband and I started realizing that it would make sense to actually offer it to our public because people are always asking me. ”

The process of developing the product took over three years. Larrieux created the product and immediately began testing on her family and friends with very positive feedback.

Despite the fact that the natural hair industry is packed with competitors like Miss Jessie’s, Shea Moisture and the list goes on, Larriuex is confident that all brands can co-exist.

“Honestly, I feel that we can all kind of co-exist together. I mean, I think that we’re all special in our own right. I respect what Shea Moisture does, I respect what all of these other companies do. It’s really about what each individual is finding that works for their hair and hair type.”

“Sometimes, with a lot of hair you have to be able to go back and forth with a lot of different products and have more than one because sometimes one stops working if you overuse it so I think it’s about all of us kind of being in cahoots together and being this arsenal of natural products that women who want to wear their hair natural can always go to and can all exist in your bathroom cabinet.”

Night Before Moisurizer

Larriuex is most proud of the product’s versatility; the Night Before Conditioner isn’t just for hair, it can also be used all over the body.

” ‘Night Before’ is a base with delicious oils with Monoi being a really important one. It’s one of those things where honestly, what freaked me out is that you can use this product all over your body. There’s the coconut oil, there’s the shea, the olive, it’s the carrot extract. It’s so interesting because I can honestly use it the night before and literally the next morning use it again. It’s truly so versatile, it’s kind of shocking. It’s got one of those amazing smells that you just kind of want to bite the person who’s wearing it because it smells so delicious.”

“The Night Before Conditioner” by Beautiful Us is available now and can be purchased here.

article by Veronica Hilbring via hellobeautiful.com