Friday, July 29, 2011

Diva Spotlight: Taylor Dior

Tell us a little about yourself & your daughter:
Hey I’m Chavon and my daughter is 4 y/o Taylor Dior. I don’t know her exact hair type but it’s versatile and seems to take on different textures depending on the product. Since she was a little baby, her hair caused a lot of healthy debate amongst many people. Taylor has had featured stories and topics of discussion on popular blogs such as SandraRose, MediaTakeout, many other hair care forums, and even Hip Hop Weekly magazine. We have been accused of putting chemicals and hair pieces in her hair as early as 5 mths old!! All of the accusations have taught us to have thick skin and that you can never please or convince everyone.

Taylor is quite the diva! How does she feel about having the spotlight on her?
Thank you! She is confident and knows she’s smart, beautiful, and strong. She likes seeing herself on tv, movies, internet, and in ads in stores/magazines. It puts the biggest smile on her face and sparkle in her eye. She is very competitive and always strives to be the best whether in sports, in front of the camera, or in school. She likes attention and is quite the comedian always doing silly things to make people laugh.
Aside from her beauty and charm, do you think advertisers are drawn to Taylor because of her gorgeous curls?
Yes, I think big healthy hair is a plus when it comes to her booking advertisements. Advertisers and agents love big hair on children…afros, curls, wild hair, etc. It definitely sets her apart because her hair is fuller and longer than many of her peers. It gives a slight advantage and allows her to book varied roles from a mixed child to African American to just ethnically ambiguous. Thus, bringing diverse and added opportunities.

How did Taylor get started in the industry?
Taylor’s dad and I submitted her photos to modeling agents/managers in the NY area when she was 5 mths old and waited to see which agents were interested. We thought Taylor was cute (like every parent thinks about their child), and she always took personality plus photos at home with me. She was also very alert and her eyes were huge and bright. Going to strangers was never a problem for her; she just wasn’t a crybaby lol. So we figured she could do some baby modeling since she had the looks and temperament. Better off getting paid to smile than taking pics at home with me for free. A little over a year after signing with a manager, Taylor booked the role of Notorious BIG’s daughter in feature film "Notorious". If anyone’s child is interested in getting into the industry, you can go to and click on become a model/actress.

What is your daughter's hair care routine?
I wash and condition Taylor’s hair every week or bi-weekly, depending on our schedules. I only leave her hair out and curly when she has auditions or jobs. It gets too tangled and she hates getting it detangled. The night before Taylor has a casting or audition, I twist her hair and put it into Bantu knots. Then she puts a stocking cap on it to go to bed. Right before her audition, I take the Bantu knots and twists out and run my fingers through it to make sure it looks big and full…the Bantu knots and twists are mainly so that her hair looks curly and wavy without having to use a ton of the curling pudding/lotions to achieve the look. It’s great because then I wont have to wet her hair just to get it curly…I twist and knot it while dry. On nights where she has no audition the next day, I put it in a simple ponytail and twist or braid that, and then she’s off to school the next day. Yea…boring hairstyle I know LOL…

What kind of products do you use on her hair?
I have used quite a few different products since she was little. Our current products are Mixed Chicks Products: shampoo, deep conditioner, and leave in conditioner. On days where her hair isn’t wet (non-wash days), I use Curly Q’s "Curly Q Custard". I use it when putting the twists and Bantu knots in Taylor’s hair. It enhances and holds curls while hair is dry. The mixed chicks leave in is great with doing that but on wet hair! Any product I have ever used has been a recommendation from friends. I am no expert on hair and have no secrets to haircare…I just try different products and if I like it, I buy more. I’m definitely open to trying something new on her hair.
Have you ever used chemicals on her hair?
No, never and I don’t plan on it. That would be a decision she can make when she’s an adult. If she ever wants a straight look, we can easily achieve that at the hair salon with a wash and set. She gets wash and sets every time she needs a trim. She loves seeing and feeling her hair so soft and straight for the few days it lasts :D
Can we see a few of your favorite styles?
Yes here are some photos:


How did you learn to do all of this?
Some of the pics were hairstyled by a stylist named Amy Theard…the other hairstyles I learned by practicing as a child. I can braid really well even though Taylor never wears cornrows. I can do a lot of styles but only really do them on occasions where Taylor needs a special style. Otherwise she wears a ponytail.
How does your daughter feel about her hair? Can we see her favorite style?
I asked her how she feels about her hair and she said "happy because it looks pretty". I just asked her about her fave style and she said "straight" is her favorite style. Too bad she only gets that about twice a year. Here are photos of her straight hair.

If you had to share one hair care tip, what would it be?
Kind of difficult because I am learning myself. My advice is to try not to use too much too soon on your baby’s hair and keep the hair protected at night if possible even as a baby. Also, I don’t use "bubbles/balls" in her hair…I only use metal free elastic bands in her hair…headbands and cute clips are fine.
Does Taylor have any upcoming projects?
Yes thanks for asking. Her episode of "Unfaithful, Stories of Betrayal" on Oprah Winfrey Network has been re-airing since June. She portrayed the daughter, Morgan. She will also be in an episode of "I Married a Mobster" on Investigation Discovery Channel around September. She has the role of the daughter, Dion. For NJ residents, you can see Taylor in commercials for Health First insurance. She is the girl riding her bike, flying a kite, sitting with family, etc. If you go to your local Target store you will find Taylor’s national ad in the toothpaste aisle. All other projects, videos, updates, and air dates are listed on her official website.
Where can we find Taylor?
Here is her facebook page (run by her mom). This is her only page on facebook, all others that you may find are imposters: ...Her latest projects are on her official website:

Braided, Twisted & Rolled: Day 2, 4 and 5 Updates

Guest post from our guest blogger Aisha of Braid with Me

I decided to share a few pictures to let everyone know how Anisa's Braided, Twisted, and Rolled style is holding up. I am pleased to say that it is holding up very well! I've been moisturizing her hair with Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk and Bee Mine Juicy Moisturizing Daily Spritz. I must say that it has been doing a great job! She also wears a satin bonnet at night in addition to her satin pillowcase.
Here are pictures from Day 2.
We were really busy on Day 3 so I didn't get a chance to take pictures.  On Day 4 I decided to leave her twists down instead of rolling them. This gave the style a whole new look!
On Day 5 her twists were rolled and pinned once again. Frizz is visible but I am still pleased with how it looks.
The final variation will be a braid/twist out so stay tuned!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Remake: Curvy French Braided Cascading Veil

I saw this gorgeous style on Princess Hairstyles a few days ago but didn't even bother watching her video tutorial because it looked like it would give me a headache. I saw the style again yesterday on Goldilocks*n*Me's Facebook page and it looked just as gorgeous so I decided to go ahead and give it a try since A's hair was already stretched out from banding. After watching the great video tutorial on Princess Hairstyles I realized how easy this style was and got to work.

So here's where the "problem" comes in. The styles only took about 20 minutes or so (this includes detangling and adding product) but A's hair is so dark that you cannot see the cascading veil. Both Princess Hairstyles and Goldilocks have blonde hair so it's easier to see the style on their hair. Another problem we had was A's hair does not lay flat like theirs so I had to use a bobbypin and pin the cascading veil down under the braid. You can see the results below.

I tried to get the style to look a little better so I did a large twisted ponytail. It looked better but it still seemed to be missing something.

That's when I grabbed a few accessories. Some flower spin pins and a cute side hair comb. The cascading veil is still not very visible but I like the end results.

A great style for special occasions! Make sure you stop by and Check out Princess Hairstyles and Goldilocks*n*Me!

How to Make Your Love of Natural Hair LOUD and CLEAR

Guest post from Kristl of How to Play With Barbies

Does your daughter have good hair?

OMG – you did NOT just consider answering that question!!

The only proper response is: There is no such thing as “good hair.” There is no such thing as "bad hair." Hair is just hair. What we do with our hair may be less or more healthy. It may be more or less convenient. It may be more or less expensive. It may be more or less practical.

But hair is not inherently good. Hair is not inherently bad.

So if you are still saying things like, “I wish my daughter had that good hair,” or you are allowing others to say that someone does or does not have “Good Hair” in front of your daughter, then by virtue of reading this post, and reading these words, a spell has now been cast on you. If you let it continue, your tongue will now begin to rot in your mouth.

When I was growing up my father challenged us mercilessly on semantics. If I said something was “Big” he said, “Compared to what?” A dog might be big compared to other dogs, but is it big compared to an elephant?"

The notion of good hair was borne out of Western Civilization that held women of European descent up as paragons of beauty. “Good Hair” became short hand for “Looks like the hair of movie stars and beauty queens.”

But you know all this, right? Because we all know about Euro-centric (and now Hollywood) beauty standards and how they can make the most beautiful girl feel undervalued. This blog is really about removing our own brainwashing from our speech patterns so that we don’t pass them on to our daughters.

So for starters…no more saying “Good Hair.” It is officially an illegal phrase.

So what do you do when someone says it to you - in front of you precious, impressionable princess? My stock response is a disappointment-laced, “Oh? I really wish it was curlier. I struggled with my limp, stringy hair my whole life so I always wanted hers to be those powerful, tight curls that don’t take 'no' for an answer. But thanks.”

So that’s where you start – don’t say it and don’t let others get away with saying it around your daughter. Because if there is such a thing as "Good Hair" there might be "Better Hair" out there somewhere.

What pains me even more is that so often, when women say this to me, they are almost always accompanied by other little girls who are getting the message that their curl pattern is somehow not good enough. If I can, I take it a step further and point to the little girl beside them (unless she has a relaxer) and say, “When I was pregnant I prayed she’d have THIS kind of hair.” And that little girl always smiles and blushes a little with the compliment.

And this leads me to one of the best ways to let our daughter’s know we value their hair. Compliment and point out other people with the same hair or even curlier hair. I often go up to other people and tell them how much I love their hair or their children’s hair. Leah, at age five, can now spot the people I am likely to compliment, before even I spot them. Now, going up to strangers to compliment them would not be something everyone would feel comfortable doing. I just do it because I enjoy doing it. Then I have to cut and run to keep from seeming all creepy, but I get it said.

If you are not the type to go up to someone and compliment them, then just point them out. But be specific. Say, “Look at that beautiful girl. Her hair is just so beautiful. Look how curly it is!!”

For some reason Leah believes my compliments more when she hears me compliment others. And just think if we were all out there complimenting each other on each other’s daughters’ hair and explicitly saying that what made it beautiful was its curliness. How cool would that be?

You can also make your values known through identification with fictional characters.

My daughter is five so she is in a phase where she wants to identify with cartoon characters. We have one book about My Little Ponies and every single page she interrupts me saying, “That’s me.” And “I’m that one.” And “No wait, I’m THAT one.” So I say, “I don’t want to be any of them because they all have that stringy hair.” Then Leah will try to prove to me that one of them has somewhat curly hair and then we fight over which of us get to be her.

Look for other ways in which your daughter might be absorbing messages from media images. Have you ever heard your daughter wish her hair was blonde? Because that one is easy to counter : “Duh. It’s boring. Blonde hair is boring.” I call Cinderella and Aurora “the boring princesses” because that is exactly what they are. A dime a dozen.

When we watch Bubble Guppies we both fight over which of us gets to be Molly. She’s the brown girl with the pink wavy hair. I always lament that Molly would be perfect if only she had pink CURLY hair. Another of the Bubble Guppies has peach skin and curly blonde hair (alas, Leah finds her boring) – besides we both know that if Molly were living on dry land her hair would be reaching for the sky!! My point in making this example is that claiming to be a particular character is yet another way of showing her what you value about her. I always want to be the brown girl and my daughter grabs my hand and holds it up in front of my face and says, “Mom, look at you! You’re white!” and I do a theatrical scream just to make her laugh. My daughter knows I love brown skin more than any other skin in the universe, just as I love curly hair more than any other hair in the universe.

Be careful of saying that your daughter’s hair is out-of-control or unmanageable. Replace it with “awesome,” “powerful,” and “independent.”

Lately though, I’d been hearing Leah ask for me to make her hair straight. I didn’t know what to do about her request because I don’t want to make such a big deal out of it that it ends up being MORE important to her. So, I tried a different tack. I built a collage using pics of beautiful curly-haired women and pointed out that “everyone knows these women are the most beautiful and talented women in the world and not ONLY are they beautiful and talented but they were also blessed with gorgeous, curly, powerful hair. And sometimes they straighten it because they don’t want to make all the stringy girls feel bad. It is much easier for a curly-haired girl to fake straight than vice versa. But they don’t wear their hair straight all the time because A) it’s boring and B)if you don’t take good care of the curls you were blessed with then it will get all damaged and you won’t get to have it anymore. “

As a blonde, stringy-haired child I got spiral perms every six months. It never looked natural, but it was better than straight in my mind. Both my sisters had them and even my brother. If you see a girl with a straight-to-curly perm whisper to your daughter, “Look, she’s trying to fake like she was born with great hair!! But you shouldn’t be mean to her. You should feel sorry for her. It’s not her fault she was born with boring hair.”

So after I put together my collage of powerful women with powerful hair I put together another collage of girls trying to have curls. Sometimes it works okay, sometimes not so well. I showed both collages to Leah. And whaddya know, it seems to be working. It’s only been two weeks but she hasn’t asked for a straight style again.

So, am I contradicting myself by saying "all hair is created equal" and then raving about curly hair constantly? Not really, because I always careful to say that I love curly hair and that lots of other people also love curly hair. Just as I call my daughter "Pretty Girl" as a nickname and tell her that she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen - but then occaisionally remind her that every other mom I know thinks their daughter is the prettiest girl in the world. Being the most beautiful girl in the world is overrated. But having your mom and dad, your grandparents and eventually your signifcant others tell you that your face is among their favorite faces in the whole world - that is essential!

One more note – kind of off the subject but – “Nice Eyes?” My daughter has Ebony Eyes. My husband has Ebony eyes. Ebony Eyes are my favorite color eyes in the universe! There have been five chart-topping songs written about Ebony Eyes!!

Start examining your messages today and let us know how it goes. What works for you? The more we exchange our ideas on this topic the more we can help each other keep our girls heads straight (oh wait, curly!)

Kristl Smith Tyler writes a blog called, "How to Play with Barbies" her blog gives step-by-step instructions and tips for using 11.5 inch "fashion dolls" to create a world full of possibilities for her young daughter. Her daughter's barbie world is a world where girls with beautiful Ebony eyes and dark hair are much more common than "that skinny blonde chick who always wears miniskirts". Her daughter's dolls include brown-skinned dolls with a range of body types, natural as well as straightened hair. She also has Asians, Muslims, Indians and many other diverse dolls. Her latest post is about creating dolls with locs or dreadlocks. Check out her blog at:

2 Large Two Strand Twisted Pigtails

Last night I washed A's hair with Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo and conditioned/detangled with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner (old ingredients). After washing and detangling, I applied a little Blended Cutie Butter Me Up to a medium size section of her hair and banded it. I did this for a total of 6 sections. The next morning, I removed the bands and detangled her hair again. I twisted each section after removing the bands and detangling. I planned on doing some kind of braid style but we had to go to the store so I parted her hair down the middle for pigtails. I used Blended Beauty Happy Nappy Styles and a Denman boar bristle brush to smooth the hair down. I used ouchless ponytail holders to secure the twists at the base and ends. Nothing special, just a very simple yet cute style.

To see random hair pictures, questions & answers, etc, stop by and "like" our Facebook Fan Page. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Braided, Twisted & Rolled + Introducing New Blog: Braid with Me

I am so excited to bring you this post from our guest blogger, Aisha. The style is amazing, of course! No surprise there but you all have been asking and asking if Aisha and Anisa have their own blog, well, I am here to tell you today that they DO!!! :) It is brand spanking new so head on over and show them lots of love! Make sure you follow their blog for more amazing styles like this one. Blog: Braid with Me and be sure to stop by and "like" their Facebook page! Aisha & Anisa have been around Beads, Braids & Beyond for a year or so now so I am very excited to watch their blog grow. :)

Before heading out on a family vacation earlier this month,  I picked up the July issue of Essence magazine. Once everyone was situated on the plane, I began to thumb through the pages when  I saw it! It was the Super Naturals gallery on page 60. Out of the 21 pictures that were featured, my eyes were focused on one in particular. It was a cornrowed, rolled and possibly twisted creation and it was beautiful! I knew that I had to try it!!
I started with clean, detangled, moisturized and stretched hair.  Anisa's hair was moisturized and styled using Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer, Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter and Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk.
Braid with Me
I began by parting her hair into 3 sections - one large section on each side and one thinner section in the middle of her head.
I secured two of the sections with an ouchless band and began braiding one of the larger sections. I made my first cornrow at the nape of her neck. I made a somewhat curved part and began braiding.  I continued the cornrow all the way down, but only on the cornrows at the nape of her neck on each side. I continued cornrowing her hair my making parts of varying widths and curves. The remaining cornrows were formed into two strand twists. 
I continued the same steps on the other larger side until that side was complete. Once it was complete I secured the twists with an ouchless band so I could add two strand twists to the middle section. 
This is how her hair looked once I was done cornrowing/braiding and twisting.
The next step was to form the rolls or "humps." I began by grabbing a small section in the back and rolling it under. Due to her length, I had to roll her hair around itself several times. I secured the roll with a hair pin.   I continued by grabbing sections, rolling them, and pinning them into place. One thing that  I found useful was to secrue the rolls to each other. So lets say that the first roll is Roll A and the next roll I made is that I made is Roll B. Once Roll B was formed,  I pinned it to Roll A, Roll C was pinned to Roll B and so forth. Once I was done, I'd formed a total of 6 rolled sections. Keep in mind that each "section" contained more than one roll due to her length. 
The results!!
I really love this style!! We had to go the grocery store shortly after I finished this style and she received several compliments.
Night Routine:
At night I will remove her pins and moisturize her hair using Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk. My alternative moisturizer will be the Bee Mine Juicy Moisturizing Daily Spritz. She will wear a satin bonnet that ties around her head. She also uses a satin pillowcase.
I found the Barbie shirt on the Hot Topic website. It is actually a junior's size XS. I added the belt to change up the look. The leggings are from The Children's Place and the sandals are from Gap.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mother Appreciation Giveaway from The Queen's Jewels & Fatemeh's Jewelry & Accessories

The Queen's Jewels and Fatemeh's Jewlery & Accessories are sponsoring a Mother Appreciation Giveaway for Beads, Braids & Beyond readers! How exciting is that? I would like to thank them both for reaching out to me and understanding the work will all put into our children's hair. This is so sweet of them to give back. :)

To enter:
  1. You must follow Beads, Braids & Beyond. Look in the right side bar under Join Us and click Join This Site.
  2. Like The Queen's Jewels FB page - Tell them BBB sent you
  3. Like Fatemah's Jewelry and Accessories  - Tell them BBB sent you
  4. Visit The Queen's Jewels and Fatemeh's Jewelry & Accessories on Etsy. After visiting their Etsy shops, leave a comment telling me you have "liked" both pages on Facebook then on this post tell me what you would like and why.
The comment with the best response will be chosen by QueenBre and Fatemeh. One winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to The Queen's Jewels & a $20 gift certificate to Fatemeh's Jewelry & Accessories.

This giveaway will run from Monday, July 25th - August 7th. All comments must be received no later than 12pm EST on August 7th. The winner will be announced on August 8th. Good luck!

Queen Helene Royal Curl Creme Day 3 Update

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Here's a quick Queen Helene Royal Curl Creme 3 day update...

On night 2 A's hair was feeling a little dry so after I sprayed it with water I spritzed some Bee Mine Juicy Spritz over her hair then braided it in 5 loose braids, as shown here. The next morning I took her braids down, her hair felt nice and soft, almost all the crunchiness was gone. The pictures shown here are at the end of day 3. After a day out, including 3 hours of skating. She went swimming right after these pictures so there will be no more updates but she got a good 3 days out of the Queen Helene Royal Curl Creme. I wouldn't use it too often because of the dryness on night 2 but A doesn't wear her curls out that often anyway so no worries here.