Flashback Fast Forward A New Journey: The Many Hairstyles of Nikki (Hair Talk…May Be Offensive to Some)

I must admit. I like to change my hairstyle every chance I get. I don’t mind trying new things from wigs to weaves and to rocking my natural hair. It’s fun to do but, it has also been expensive at times and very taxing on my ability to do these styles on my own or just the maintenance. I will tell you, if it were in my budget to have my hair done professionally every two weeks or to let someone else do the crochets and weaves, I would!

Making a decision on what to do with “my” hair has never been easy. However, I am use to going against the grain and when I went natural it was such an emotional, spiritual, and cultural experience I figure this new thing won’t be much different. Let’s talk about people.

People have opinions about other people’s hair. Your family, friends, and society are the “people” I am talking about. I’ve discovered that none or not very many of these people are willing to pay for what they think is best for you. My personal hair experience has been mostly negative until I began to accept and denounce opinions and societal guidelines of beauty. I was praised and awed at for having naturally red hair and being African American (because that’s not often seen on a daily basis). I was also told early on by my mother and beauticians as a child that my hair was “nappy” (said with disdain) and thick and hard to do because it tangled easily. Sidebar: My mom seem to have a problem with the styles I chose once I was old enough to decide what I wanted. I can’t remember anything she liked. It was always pointed out that it was “ugly” or not cute. It was met with a scrunched up face and an “ew” no matter what I did. It was and is course. It needed to be straightened by a press or perm to make it easier to deal with first. Secondly, having “straight” hair would be deemed more acceptable by society (jobs, white people that were doing the hiring, black people that were employed by white people that were doing the hiring). Having straight hair would make you cuter and boys would like you. Then I found out that having long hair was needed on top of your hair being straight. The only time you didn’t need straight hair is if you had “good” hair. You know, curly or wavy.

Believe it or not, things like this impact my race psychologically. It makes you “think” twice about choosing a style that YOU want based on what society will accept or a biased job. African Americans in this country are sick of others controlling the narrative on what we should and should not do to our hair. I hate to say it but, it goes back to slavery and what was “ok” as far as what we did, how we did it, when we did it, what we looked liked as far women covering up their curves, and their “exotic” hair and features. I don’t have to look like you to be accepted. I don’t have to dress like you to be accepted. It really runs deep in the psyche of a predominately white society. Look like US. Act like US. Speak like US. Even in Christianity, worship like US. I want to ask, who are you? WE are AMERICA. All of us that are born and live here.

Should jobs have restrictions on hair? Yes. Should they be biased and slick geared towards the discrimination of African Americans? No. We know you don’t like braids, natural hair, and locs. It’s not “professional” and it’s a way to keep African Americans from being employed at your business. Do companies have a right to decide on how they want employees to dress and represent their company? YES. But once again, you have to take into consideration culture and people that do not LOOK like what you deem acceptable based on biases. Honestly, who gives a damn about what you like about someone’s hair? Go beyond that and see what they bring to the table. VALUE our hard work and intellect. Do yourself that favor.

And why I am at, we don’t prefer the touching of our hair as our ancestors were often touched and felt over and picked like fruit by those who wanted to buy us. Our hair and bodies were touched and we could not say NO. STOP. GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME. RESPECT MY BOUNDARIES. I AM NOT SOME OBJECT TO BE GAWKED AT. There is a difference from being marveled at, curious (Because it’s different, it’s fascinating, and you want to see if the things/lies you’ve been told are true about black hair. You want to know how did you do that with your hair?). That, I don’t mind. I am here to inform you but, I must warn you, many of my people are on the offense about things pertaining to their blackness or culture. I think it comes from defending, explaining, fighting to be accepted, etc.

Well, as I take a deep breath, without further delay, I have decided to loc my hair for the sake of my hair. The constant breakage and damage and the inability to maintain it regularly. And who knew, it would become another personal journey. I can tell you right now, most in my family HATE IT or mildly put, DON’T LIKE IT. As expected. I just focus on those that are neutral, like it, love it, and support it. My hair doesn’t change my love, my intellect, my creativity, my compassion and passion, etc. Did you know that with natural hair, braids, or locs people can still gain knowledge and perform their job duties? They can run businesses, own businesses, and corporations. They can even, brace yourself, change the world. Mind blowing or blown?

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: Shopping Off Seasons

 

We took a trip to Iowa and I went to a Goodwill store there. They had coats and Jackets on sale. I paid 13.99 for the St. John’s Bay, lined, double breasted coat on the left and the 5.99 for the corduroy jacket on the right. I will have them dry cleaned and put them away until the Fall/Winter. It pays if you are on a budget to check out some of these shops. I donate clothes to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and thrift stores. I also consign. My mom always gave and she told us to never give something you wouldn’t want to wear. So, I make sure it’s in good condition and sometimes it’s brand new. There are people out there who do this and that’s how you find some great items. Both of these are excellent quality and excellent condition.

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: Frugal Birthday Finds

 

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Essie polish is not cheap. This is why when you find it on clearance or mark down you snatch it up. This was the case at TJMaxx. It was on clearance for 3.00 a bottle. Also the headbands, which I have a hard time finding these were for 2.00 and originally 8.00. I turn the bow to the back and you can’t see it. All are very spring and summery colors.

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And I went back to Dillards to search for the hot pink shirt I wanted and it was marked down a little more for 22.40. The original price was 64.00.

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This is me Sunday. My shoes are by Nine & Co and I think they were like 5.00 on clearance some years ago, but I can’t remember where. I always thought they were an odd color and a challenge to match. However, I have worn them a few times with jeans or khakis. The back of the shoe is a teal color and I have not found anything to match it. It worked out great for the shirt and a pair of jeans. My lipstick is by MAC “A Girl About Town.”

 

~Nikki

 

 

Fashion Confetti:Liz? Is that You?

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I went to JC Penny’s to look for a black pencil skirt. It was on sale and this cute blouse by Liz Claiborne was on clearance. I stayed on budget. I really need to add more blouses to my…dare I say…wardrobe?

You see I have this thing with “blouses” as I am, to nicely put it, “top heavy” (lol!). I don’t like the way most blouses fit me. However, I tried it on and well to my surprise I liked it. Now I wonder how many cute blouses have I passed up because I thought it would “hang on me” and make me look as if I was floating. So, the lesson for me here is to TRY IT ON (I hate trying clothes on, but I hate bringing them back more!).

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: Perfume

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Perfume can be very expensive. However, when you are a fashionista and thrifter, you know exactly where to go to add to your collection. TJMAXX! Yes, that is correct. Very good, designer perfume can be found at TJMAXX. It’s less expensive than going to one of those “outlet” perfume shops. I can never find any good deals in there and feel as if it’s a waste of time. Enjoy.

~Nikki

 

 

Fashion Confetti: Versatile Styles w/my New Leather Shrug Jacket

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Here is the consignment jacket mixed with two dresses and some Vince Camuto outlet heels. I thought I would never be able to wear them again after I had surgery on my foot. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I no longer wear heels as often or as high. Plus it all depends on how the shoe is made.

ANY…WHO…I have always been a stylish chic and I will continue to do so making changes along the way. The jacket is the amazing deal I found for 14.99 with an original value of 219.00. You can see details on my blog under the Fashion Confetti tab. The red dress i from TJ MAXX around $20 and the black dress was definitely a clearance item. It’s mostly how I shop.

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: Consignment Find

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I felt the the jacket and thought to myself…”Oh….this is so soft.” I tried it on and it felt sooooo good and was a perfect fit. I purchased this at a consignment shop for 14.99. I had $10 off the 24.99 price tag. When I got home I searched Jessica London, the designer/label and found the jacket is called a leather shrug jacket. It retails at 219.00 and was on sale this week for 149. 00. Can you say this was a steal!!!! By the way…there are some really great deals on the website.

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: Winter Warm

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Last Sunday was extremely cold in my city. I wore my camel colored thrifted corduroy jacket I think it was either $4-$8. The fingerless gloves were from Urban Outfitters in a clearance bin. Jeans are from TJMaxx at $24.99 (This brand of jeans are always between 19.99-29.99 and the brand is D. Jeans New York). The boots are the $22 dollar pair of knee high boots caught last year on sale at Dillard’s (clearance!). INC long sleeve t-shirt was half off at a Macy’s One Day Sale. Jessica Simpson leaf earrings were on clearance at Dillard’s. Necklace was on clearance from Target.

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: A Night Out

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The shoes are by Guess, which  I’ve had for sometime, but I purchased them at TJMAXX. The dress is by London Times and my lipstick is Zoe’s Red by L’oreal. I went out to a birthday celebration at IN LOVE’S nightclub here in Memphis, TN. The dj was great. The service and staff was great. The live band, the PC band, was amazing. It was a setting for adults.

~Nikki