Check Out Our Feature in Atlanta’s Tastemaker Magazine!

around the way curls, tastemaker's magazine, atlanta, beauty tips, natural hair
around the way curls, tastemaker's magazine, atlanta, beauty tips, natural hair
Photo Credit by Vivid Vignettes
around the way curls, tastemaker's magazine, atlanta, beauty tips, natural hair
Photo by Vivd Vignettes
around the way curls, tastemaker's magazine, atlanta, beauty tips, natural hair
Photo by Hannan Saleh
 Yo, we really like this magazine. The folks over at Tastemaker put together 96 pages of dopeness. The aesthetic is great. The articles are straight to the point and well written. And they feature the old and the new. Overall, it’s a good read. We’re glad we stumbled across each other!
Check it out here:
Special thanks to the good folks over at Tastemaker and all the Around the Way Curls repping ATL!
PS… Shanti’s teeth are hella white because of her peroxide regimen but be sure you don’t swallow any of it. I was a dummy and accidently ingested a couple capfuls. Needless to say, I was home with a serious upset stomach. SMH!

White Girl with Kinks: Around The Way Emma

I’d like to start by learning more about you. What is your name? What is your background? Where are you from? How do you define yourself?
I’m Emma Cole Hart… I was born in New Mexico and lived in Flagstaff, Arizona with my mom, my Aunt Gail and her girlfriend until I was five… when I was five, my mom met my current step dad and we moved in with him shortly after…. A year or two later my little brother was born and we stayed in Flagstaff until I was eight. Money was tight and jobs were slim, so we packed up our lives and moved to a rural town in southern Utah called Boulder Town. I lived there until I was thirteen, which was when we (once again due to job and money issues) moved to Bellingham, Washington, which is where I still am today at fifteen. I live with my mom and step dad, my brother and my best friend from Utah, who’s name is America. My aunt and her son Desmond (who’s father is from Guinea) (OH! and I suppose I should mention that I lived in Tunis, Tunisia in Africa for a year when I was in sixth grade.)
 We met via your tumblr photo submission where you wrote, “It’s always a surprise to people, but I think my picture belongs here.” Can you explain what you met by that? 
Well, people always ask me if I’m  half black, or if I have African or African-American in my family because of my kinky hair. I always say “No”, and then people just assume that I’ve gotten a perm (nope!) I reassure them that my curls are all natural and they’re always amazed. I’ve always tried to get myself into the ethnic-hair community because really it seems to be the only place that understands the maintenance and honestly-the personality that comes with super curly hair. I think that part of my wiley personality and free spirit is expressed in my hair, and I find that to come through in more than a few people that I’ve met that have hair similar to mine.
It is no secret that Shanti and I are both bi-racial with white mothers. At times, I have found it difficult despite having textured hair and being one of the co-founders of this blog to be accepted into the ‘natural hair community’. In terms of being accepted and ‘fitting in’ whether it be family, friends or society related, what has your experience been? 
I lived in Africa for a year when I was eleven. I think that’s when I really started accepting my hair. I had this really good friend who was half Indian and her dad was from Nigeria. She had the most beautiful, long, frizzy (in a good way) curly hair that I’d ever seen. She started to encourage me to wear my hair down instead of keeping it up in a bun or a pony tail like I usually did. I really started loving my hair. It was kind of weird because people would give me funny looks when her and I walked around together… usually they just thought I was just super pale, haha. When I came back, it was like… my hair wasn’t just natural and fun…it was like some kind of Velcro that attracted old ladies who would just pet me for a few minutes and tell me how “cute” I was.. and how “awesome” my hair was. It was really sweet, but I felt like people were treating me like a phenomenon when I had just learned to accept my hair as a part of my personality instead of something out of the ordinary.
Now, I absolutely love my hair! The guy I’m seeing right now is African-American and we call each other hair twins. His is more nappy and his fro definitely beats mine by far… but it’s just a part of me now. He loves my hair. I love my hair. And it’s easy to feel comfortable in my own skin and curls.
Have you always embraced your locks? Have you ever considered getting a relaxer?
When I was a lot younger…about eight… I hated my hair. I wanted desperately for my mom to buy me a straightening iron or get my hair permed straight- it was just too much for me to handle! Now, I’m thanking my mom daily for not letting me do that to my hair, because I really love it now and I love that it’s bouncy and hydrated rather than ruined, flat and fried.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is bipolar. One day I can wear it down and it’s not frizzy at all. The curls are big and do exactly what I want and I love it and feel confident with it.
Other days, my hair is just a big mess of frizz and almost-dreds.
From another perspective, my hair IS me. It describes me, and represents all my moods… it can be pulled back and hidden.. it can be braided into tons of little braids who are all different yet a lot alike, or it can be wild and all out there. I love my hair and how it represents who I am.
What is your current regimen? What products do you use?
Right now- I’m all about the warm olive oil. I love it! It hydrates my hair and keeps it soft. Split ends disappear, and i feel totally rejuvenated. What I do, is i take extra virgin olive oil- or just plain vegetable oil- either one. (canola oil doesn’t make my hair smell so olive-y) I heat it up in a pan on the stove, until it’s warm, about the temp I take my showers. Then I have my mom or a friend or somebody massage it into my hair, down to my scalp. I wrap a plastic bag around my hair and sleep with it in (adding a towel in helps so your pillow doesn’t get all oily) I wash it out the next day and heavily condition it and it feels wonderful. I also use Moroccon oil as a sort of leave-in kinda thing if I gotta get my hair to look less frizzy if I need to go really quick after i jump out of the shower.
I’m also a huuuge fan  of coconut oil! It’s great…. I use it as a leave-in, as a gel- whatever! It smells great, and my hair absorbs it really well so it doesn’t feel greasy.
I deep-condition my hair at least three times a week, and only was it about once ever week- or even less sometimes. My hair dries out super easily and washing it too much really does a number on my curlies.
I try to use after-conditioners with SPF in them, because I find that the sun really fries my hair and gives me super bad split-ends
(EMMA!!! YOU ONLY TALKED ABOUT OILS! You’ve got to find a good leave-in conditioner! Read this post☺ )
Who is your hair idol?
Okay, that is sooo hard to say honestly. I do have to say either my Aunt Connie- or my friend Gigi (who I mentioned earlier) My aunt connie who is my biological aunt’s partner of about twenty five years, has really similar hair to me. Whenever people used to ask me where I got my hair (which they did- daily). Despite the fact that my aunt connie and I weren’t blood-related- I’d always say “My aunt connie!” I love having hair conversations with her and laughing about when I was a little kid. She doesn’t anymore- but she used to rock her hair HUGE and I really respect that in people who have curls.
What advice would you give to women that have kinkier/textured hair?
Accept it- realize that it will really make your personality pop! Think about your girls as a nice shirt that accents your eyes- but instead it’s your hair that accents your enthusiastic, beautiful personality! That’s what has really gotten me.
Lastly, I want to leave you with a hard question. What would you say to those who will look at this post with contempt and criticize us for showcasing and featuring you because of obvious reasons?
I’m a white girl. Really, I’m Irish, Scottish, Swedish with a little bit of English in there somewhere…I’ve got no color in me… But that has never stopped me from embracing my somewhat-ethnic hair. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, where you’re from or how you express yourself…. it’s a matter of whether or not you’re going to accept yourself. I definitely do… and my hair is a huge part of who I am so if that means I have to prove that I’m worthy in the naturally curly hair community, then so be it! But why get worked up about people being who they really are? People who don’t accept that just haven’t accepted themselves and to those of you who haven’t, I welcome you to delve into a whole other world of self-exploration and amazement. Your hair (even if it’s not kinky) should be a part of that!
To Antoinette and Shanti- I just wanna say thank you girls so much for recognizing me and asking me to be featured on your blog. It really makes me so happy. I recently found a lady who will actually cut my hair without hesitation. She encouraged me to check out some curly hair blogs and that’s how I found you guys! Thanks.
AROUND THE WAY CURLS, white girl with curls, curly hair, natural hair, kinky hair, race relations
AROUND THE WAY CURLS, white girl with curls, curly hair, natural hair, kinky hair, race relations
AROUND THE WAY CURLS, white girl with curls, curly hair, natural hair, kinky hair, race relations
AROUND THE WAY CURLS, white girl with curls, curly hair, natural hair, kinky hair, race relations
AROUND THE WAY CURLS, white girl with curls, curly hair, natural hair, kinky hair, race relations
AROUND THE WAY CURLS, white girl with curls, curly hair, natural hair, kinky hair, race relations
What do you think? Should the ‘Natural Hair Police’ chill out and welcome Emma with open arms? We vote… YES! 

What is Sexy?

Last summer we went to see Sade in concert and her performance was by far the best performance we have ever witnessed. She swooned and sashayed around that stage with a un-defineable swag and sex appeal that had grown ass men in the audience on their feet screeeeaaaaaming! We are and always have been obsessed with Sade. She is our prototype of what it is to be sexy. 
In this day and age where everyone is attempting to be “sexy” with open mouthed facebook profiles and “coincidental” booty shots with the over the shoulder smile (you know what we are talking about) we all have to admit it takes a certain….something to really pull it off. It can’t be a feigned, overdone, raunchy, pathetic attempt. Sexiness is natural. We wanted to explore this idea of what it takes to be genuinely sexy and share who we find to have that sincere type of sex appeal. You know, the kind of sexy that a women exudes… not the kind that she throws up. We are curious to see from your responses if sexiness is an objective thing and what differs in your opinions. Keep in mind sexy and beautiful are two very different things…. Oh and we would really love to hear from our lurker male readers as well. We know you’re out there : )
1. We believe that a sexy woman has some reservation and control about her. She has the air of allure. She is never completely available to you.
2. Strangely enough, she has a slight masculine edge to her in style and mannerism.
3. She is confident. Her way of being is her own. She rejects outside influences and makes decisions based on her own opinions and beliefs even though they made be unpopular. She has nothing to prove.
4. She owns the room when she moves, being completely in her body and aware of the space around her. Her movements are intentional even when subtle. 
5. She is sincere and honest which sometimes causes her to be transparent, but her vulnerability is never confused for weakness. Instead, it is reassuring.
6. Lastly, she may not be the cookie cutter idea of ‘what is beautiful’ but surface beauty fades. What she has, however won’t. And that little something you see in her eyes is there because she knows it.
Below are some examples of who we are talking about.
Phylicia Rashad
Lisa Bonet
Angelina Jolie
 Erykah Badu
Whoopi Goldberg
Nia Long
Kate Winslet
Helen Mirren
So, what do you think? Is this sexy? Or are we tripping? 


Cantu Shea Butter Introduces NEW Naturals Collection
If there’s one topic that resonates with all women, it’s their personal relationship with their hair.  From salons and grocery stores, to discussions on the streets and over Twitter, women are conversing and sharing their hair journey.  Everything from the good, the bad and the frustrating.  And Cantu is listening.  With over 36% percent of African American women wearing their hair natural, up from 26% last year, Cantu created a new, six-piece collection of styling and treatment products for women with natural hair and those who choose to use products with the fewer harsh chemicals. 
The Cantu for Natural Hair collection features high quality formulas that nourish and protect hair from styling damage. Say so long to potentially harmful ingredients including Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Parabens, Silicones, Phthalates, Gluten, Paraffin, Propylene Glycol, PABA and DEA. What is not in the formula is just as important as what is in it. Eliminating these toxins allows room for more natural healing ingredients like vitamins, oils, and butters.  All of the Cantu for Natural Hair products benefit from 100% Pure Shea Butter for added moisture and nourishment for all hair types.
When hair is newly natural, it can become a challenge to style and manage.  Cantu kept it simple by creating six core products – 2 for conditioning and 4 for styling – a combination of maintenance and styling agents to protect hair while keeping newly loose waves soft, manageable and head-turning.  Now that’s hair worth talking about. 
The Cantu Naturals Collection
Deep Treatment Masque:  A natural girls new essential, the Deep Treatment Mask helps heal dry, damaged hair and provides intense moisture without all the chemicals and harsh ingredients.  It repairs hair by imparting much needed strength back into hair.  Coat hair by sections and leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing for best results. 
Creamy Hair Lotion: Soften, moisturize and detangle curls, leaving them light, shiny and bouncy! Easy to fit into your daily beauty routine, this product can be used on wet or dry hair to add moisture to newly washed or day old styled hair.  Its versatility makes it the go-to-product; the results make it your natural hair’s dream come true! 
Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel:  Add manageability and moisture to twist and locks – without the frizz!  This non-flaking formula will hold twists in place while adding shine for definition.  To comb twist, free hand twist or double strand twist: section hair and apply Twist & Lock Gel to the section.  Twist the hair with a comb or fingers.  To touch up Twists between shampoos, section hair and apply Twist & Lock Gel to new growth.  Palm roll or re-twist the hair to touch up. 
Coconut Milk Shine & Hold Hair Mist:  Rehydrate and refresh curls with lasting moisture and shine.  This light mist will eliminate frizz, gently moisturize and leave high shine to any style. 
Coconut Curing Cream:  Define curly, kinky and wavy hair with this hydrating conditioner that adds manageability to curls, leaving them soft, shiny and deeply moisturized.  This cream provides intense moisture to parched locks with some hold to define curls. 
Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream:  Define, moisturize and restore curls, leaving them smooth, frizz free and full of life.  This product can be used as a light leave-in conditioner that won’t weigh hair down. 
All of the the Cantu for Natural Hair collection retails for $6.99 and can be purchased at Walgreens and Walmart stores nationwide.  For further information please visit their website at and on Facebook at
 3 Winners will receive a full sized, 6 item, Cantu Naturals Collection!
To qualify you must: 
– Like  both Cantu and Around The Way Curls on facebook.
  -Leave your full name, facebook name and email in the comments section below! Contest ends August 1st.

Reflections on Motherhood – LaToya

How many children do you have? How old is your child?
I have two beautiful daughters, Mariah (14 months), Ava (6 weeks).
If you could tell your pre-baby self anything to prepare for motherhood, what would it be?You will not be a “perfect” mother and that’s ok. I would also tell myself to enjoy all of my leisure and “ME” time.
The times are definitely a-changing. The stay at home, betty crocker-esque archetype of motherhood is being redefined. In what ways do you think you are re-defining mother-hood?
 I’m not sure if I’m redefining motherhood, but I try to make choices that work best for me and my family.  Too often, we get caught up with what others (your family, society) deem are best for your family.  I choose to work full-time and to enterprise on the side.
What has been your greatest challenge as a mother?   
Surviving a newborn with reflux and a rambunctious toddler who gets into everything. (It’s not easy… at all!)  But big picture… having a work/life balance.  I used to want major titles like Vice Provost or Professor.  But now, I’m not willing to make the sacrifices of time to achieve those “titles”. Besides, now that I work in higher education, I don’t like how those jobs would not allow me to work closely with students.  My career goals have changed vastly. I now want to grow my career in a way that I have control of its growth and how it affects my family.  Furthermore, if I’m going to spend extra time working on projects, I feel that I should benefit financially…not someone else.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of motherhood? 
 Appreciating the little things in life.  The first time I saw my older daughter smile, I felt such joy.  (I’m twiddling my fingers waiting for my youngest’s social smile. For now, I’ll settle for her newborn reflex smile.) Every time she blow me kisses — her way of saying ‘I love you’ –, it literally brightens up my day.  Too often, we forget to take the time out to tell our loved ones we love them.  Motherhood has definitely helped me put things into perspective.  Also, being a mom, showed me firsthand how much my mom loves me.  You really can’t understand a mother’s love until you experience it yourself.  
What do you wish the most that your child cultivates and keeps in his/her adulthood?
A fervor for life. A desire to grow and develop each day. To fall; get up. To make mistakes; learn from them. And to live life with no regrets.
How do you maintain your sense of self against the constant demand for self- sacrifice and constant vigilance as a mother?
I try to remember that first and foremost, I am Latoya. THEN, I am a wife and mother.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in being [fill in the blanks’] wife or mother and lose sight of yourself.  I try to recognize that in order for me to be a great mom, I have to be happy. If I’m happy I can be “present” for my family.  I try to find pockets of time for myself.  I take long showers when I can. And I secretly enjoy some me time when everyone else is still asleep…Ahhh.
Do you have anything to share to the anticipating or new mothers out there?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Tell your husband how he can help.  Ask family members for help.  (I haven’t been afraid to call in desperation for family members to come over or to babysit.) And although motherhood comes with some challenges and sacrifice, it is one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences.  It makes EVERYTHING worthwhile. Your career. Your ambitions. Your dreams. They have a whole new meaning.  Because now, your achievements are not only yours. But theirs as well.
To See More of the Lovely Latoya, Check out Her Natural Hair Blog 

New York New York: For My Town

My homie put me on to dude. He does the cinematography and creative development for him. Cool cat. Stixx is definitely on some NYC ish. He’s someone to watch. Hopefully we can get a interview with him. (*Hint.Hint*) The cop cameo is priceless. 

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