At the 2015 Oscar Awards, the usual suspects were there: actors, musicians, directors…pretty much the who’s who of the entertainment industry. But also, there are the self-proclaimed “fashion police” who comment on any and every look that the stars have on that night.

One critic, TV personality Giuliana Rancic, made an ignorant comment that went viral and made everyone come to the aid and defense of 18-year old actress Zendaya Coleman, who was wearing an impressive gown and an even more impressive head of locs. But that didn’t stop the ignorance from coming. Rancic said she thought Zendaya must smell like patchouli oil or weed. And co-host, Kathy Griffin, also joined in on the “weed” comment.

But it was Zendaya’s mature and intelligent response that left everyone in her corner. See below:

zendaya twitterSo with that, we applaud Zendaya for taking the high road (which was the right road too) and urge more to study their hair, and respect others choice for it. Whether it be short, long, pressed, natural, or fried, dyed and laid to the side, it’s still their choice: respect that.

It doesn’t take an outsider from a different race to make a negative, ignorant comment about Black hair.  It unfortunately happens in our community all too frequently.  Let’s use this as a stepping stone to celebrate the differences and diversity we have as beautiful Black women and not to tear down someone who is “not natural” or who has a twist out instead of straight hair. We are all beautiful–especially you.

And for those who want to have beautiful healthy locks, like Zendaya, here are a few tips:

I. Consistency Is Key

In order to make sure that dreads are as healthy as possible, a weekly wash is recommended. There is no need to buy a dread-specific soap; any non-residue shampoo will work well.

The most effective way to wash dreadlocks is by washing the scalp only at first, and then rinsing the soap through the dreads. Placing 1 part shampoo in an applicator bottle and 12 parts water will not only allow direct shampoo to scalp contact, but will also minimize the overuse of shampoo.

II. Condition and Condition Again

The element of conditioning is vital to maintaining shine and the overall healthy look of dreadlocks. An apple cider vinegar rinse is the best way to get dreads looking the best they can. Mix ¼ cup to 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 16 ounces of water. After shampooing apply the vinegar rinse. Message the rinse into the scalp and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

The hair and scalp have a natural acidic pH. In any situation where there is an imbalance of pH, caused either by the hair products used or a natural imbalance, the apple cider vinegar used will restore it.

The rinse should be used twice a month, but since everyone’s hair is unique the user should use his or her own judgment when considering increasing usage.

III. Feed Your Locs

Three days after washing, locks should be given the food they need. In other words, moisturized daily. Using a moisturizing mist is the most effective way to ensure locks are receiving adequate moisture. One can either buy a pre-made mist or make one themselves.

Fill a ¾ spray bottle with aloe vera juice, and the remaining ¼ with one of the natural oils mentioned earlier. Then add a maximum of 5 drops of rose oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil or lemon oil to add a nice smell. Shake your spray bottle before using it, because the oil will be floating on the surface of the water. Store the spray in the fridge after use.


IV. Get Ready For The Night Shift

Just like with any other hairstyle, sleeping with a night scarf (a silk wrap to avoid breakage) is so important. Locks tend to shed a lot and protecting your edges and your scalp is crucial. A silk night cap helps keep the moisture in your hair and scalp, as well as protect your hair from pillow friction. Make a practice of never going to sleep without protecting your hair.

The Black Hair Debate: “I Am Not My Hair”  was originally published on

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