Friday, December 31, 2010

And the Curlformer Winners Are...

Thank you all so much for entering the Curlformer giveaway and being patient with me as I post the winners. I hope you all had a great Christmas! Another big thanks to Curlformers for the giveaway. And the winners are...

who said...


who said...

Congrats ladies! Please email me your mailing address by January 5th to Thank you!

Keep checking back for more giveaways! I suspect there will be another very soon. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bee Mine End of the Year Sale! One Day Only!

Bee Mine Products is having their end of the year sale! December 30th, ONE DAY ONLY! Receive 15% off using our reader discount code: BBBTHUR

Happy Shopping!

Please allow 7-10 days for delivery

Friday, December 17, 2010

Curlformers Giveaway! Win 1 of 2 Styling Kits!

We're giving away 2 Curlformer Styling Kits! The winners get the choose which kit they would like so that's 6 different options. Check out all the styling kits here. This would make a great gift for anyone in your life (including yourself!). The styling kits include 40 Curlformers (24 if you choose the long and extra wide styling kit) 2 styling hooks, a how to instruction sheet and a cute clear bag you see pictured above.

Win 1 of 2 Curlformer Styling Kits:
  • You must follow Beads, Braids & Beyond. Following is easy, just look under "followers" in the right side column and hit "follow". Leave a comment telling me you follow the blog.
  • Visit Curlformers and tell me which styling kit you would choose if you won!

Example: I follow BBB! I would choose the extra long and wide styling kit. (Please note: this counts as 1 entry)

Want more entries? (optional)
  • Enter once a day! You can come back every day after you first enter and simply tell me this is your "Once a day entry!". Example: I'm back! Here's my extra Once a Day entry!
  • Post about this giveaway on your Facebook or Twitter
  • Suggest 10 friends on Facebook. For every 10 friends you suggest on Facebook, that counts as an extra entry so make sure you leave separate comments for every 10 friends you suggest. You can suggest 10 friends, or 50 friends, it's up to you. :)

Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry. This will increase your chances of winning.

That's it! Good luck. This giveaway will run from December 17th to December 22nd. I will choose 2 winners on December 23rd (extended to December 24th!) using

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mixed Chicks Winner!

Congrats Natashababie! Please email me your mailing address by December 20th. Include your shirt choice, size and color. Thank you!

I would like to give a big thanks to Mixed Chicks for the great giveaway!

If you didn't win, no worries! There will be plenty more giveaways to come. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Giveaway: Mixed Chicks Leave-in + T-shirt!

We are starting our 2010 Holiday Giveaway off with a 10oz bottle of Mixed Chicks Leave-in and a Mixed Chicks T-shirt of your choice! Makes for a great gift or stocking stuffer!

To enter the giveaway:
  • You must follow Beads, Braids & Beyond. Following is easy, just look under "followers" in the right side column and hit "follow". Leave a comment telling me you follow the blog.
  • Tell me who the leave-in and tshirt will be for.
Example: I follow BBB! The prize will be for my niece! (Please note: this counts as 1 entry)

Want more entries? (optional)
  • Become our friend on Facebook
  • Post about this giveaway on your Facebook or Twitter
  • Subscribe to our Youtube channel
Please leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning.

This giveaway will run from December 7th-14th. The winner will be chosen on December 15th using Good luck!

Seriously Cute Curly Haired Dolls!

After posting the Open Letter to American Girl I thought it was only right to create this post. Most of these were brought to my attention but I had to share them with you all.

First up we have Girls 18 inch Soft-Bodied Doll - Taryn. She is on sale for $19.99 and she IS sold in stores so call your local Toys R Us. One of our Facebook friends (Cheryl) brought to my attention that that you can buy extras to go with Taryn from cars to beds to new outfits.

Next, we have Heart 4 Hearts Rahel from Ethiopia. You can purchase her for $24.99 at Target. I know another Facebook friend bought her from Amazon.

Avon has this adorable doll named Shelia on sale for $39.99. They also have the adorable jacket and shoes for your little girl to match.

Target carries this Barbie Doll for $20. She is currently sold out online but I saw her in stores so call your local Target.

Lets not forget about the two Barbie dolls I bought A a while back. You can find these at Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc. Prices range from $20-$45

If you're into collecting Barbies I highly recommend checking out The Byron Lars Collection. He makes gorgeous dolls. Google his name to see more of his work, I'll post a couple below. Most of his dolls are sold out but you can find them on websites like Ebay.

I recently saw Pretty Puff Dolls on Afro Puffs and Ponytails. These dolls cost about $25, Check out their website for more choices.

Kartio Kids carries this gorgeous doll, "LuLu from Kenya". She's a little more on the expensive side, $100.

I also recommend checking out the list of dolls Happy Girl Hair posted a while back. Happy Shopping!

If you have any other dolls to add to the list please feel free to do so!

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Open Letter to American Girl *UPDATE With Response*

12/7- Update with response:

Dear American Girl friend,

We appreciate your interest in a doll with very tightly curled hair. We
are sorry, we do not have a doll matching your daughter's description at
the present time.

We currently offer 40 different combinations of eye color, hair color
and style, and skin tone. Girls can create their special My American
Girl? doll using our new online tool that allows a girl to personalize
her doll's look onscreen, including the addition of ear piercing, braces
and glasses. They can also create a unique personal style for their
dolls through an expansive collection of outfits and accessories that
reflect their favorite interests and activities.

Although we do not currently offer a doll with the combination of
features you are looking for, we hope you will continue to watch our
website for new developments to this product line.

Thanks again for your interest in American Girl!


American Girl Customer Service
Phone: 1-800-845-0005 or 608-831-5210
Fax: 608-828-4790
Available Monday - Sunday 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Central Time

This seems to be the same response someone else posted. I still urge you all to email them. Thank you!

I asked Cassidy of  Natural Selection to share this open letter as a guest post. I would like for us all to join together and email American Girl with this link, in hopes that they will further look into this. Click HERE for their contact form or email Thank you!


Dear American Girl—

I grew up as a huge fan of your dolls and your books. I pored over the pages of your biographical books of these young girls. I soaked up the historical facts of Addy, Felicity, Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly, girls who grew up in our country in times past, girls who very well could have been me if I had lived 60, 75, 100, 150 years ago. I applaud your efforts in striving to ensure that girls today are not only aware of, but also proud of their heritage.

All American Girl Dolls

More recently, (and past my age of doll-playing) you introduced a line of American Girl dolls that are designed to look like their young female owners. “What will she look like?” asks your website. Well, the clear response for any young lady looking for her doll-sized counterpart is: SHE’LL LOOK JUST LIKE ME. As a person of color, I was pleased to see your attentiveness to including a wide spectrum of skin tones and eye colors for the dolls.

However, as an African American who wears their hair completely natural without any chemicals of heat to alter the curl pattern, I was more than disappointed to see your exclusion of highly textured, curly, kinky, coily hair options for these lookalike dolls. Sure, you do have one doll with tan skin and loose ringlets, that I assume is supposed to be the representative of the entire ethnic demographic with natural hair, but what about options for those who hair that is more tightly coiled than the options you provide?

In all you have 40 dolls offered in this collection and only 8 of them have wavy or curly hair. There are many young girls of all ethnicities from Caucasian to Indian to African American to Jewish to Hispanic who have hair that is excluded from your offerings of hair texture. If the goal of this line is supposed to promote and encourage a healthier sense of self esteem for young girls by creating dolls that look like them, what sort of message does it send that they must fit into the aesthetic ideals of straight hair or loose curls to match your dolls?

I was extremely put off by the fact that you advertised this doll as having “textured” hair. Frankly, I see nothing textured about this long, straight hair and would love to hear your explanation about this product descriptor.

I called your customer service lines to ask about this issue as well as see if your in-store salons might have styling offerings catered towards this demographic because of their ability to further customize the dolls to their owners’ preferences. The first person I spoke to was a customer service representative who I asked if there were any styling options that American Girl dolls could have that would reflect more ethnic hair styles. When asked what I meant, I explained highly textured coils or twists or braids or dreadlocks, popular styles of many African Americans, including my 8-year old sister who is a huge fan of American Girl dolls. I was shocked to hear your customer service representative reply to my question by saying “Dreadlocks!?!?!? We would never do that to our dolls.” Can you imagine what sort of impact a response like this could have on a young girl, especially one that your company is attempting to celebrate- a REAL American Girl? The customer service representative continued to explain that they did offer many braiding styles that might work, styles such as “two braids, a pony tail flip with braid, two half braids, two fishtail braids, a half pony tail braid, ponytail veil, half side braid, or pig tails” which are offered in stores for $15-$20. While these braid offereings as being well-intentioned, I see these styles as being catered towards straight hair as well.

After this first conversation, I decided to call your company back in hopes of speaking to a marketing representative who could explain to me the decisions made about your product line and why this exclusion of African American hair. While the customer service representative did not have access to the marketing department’s contact information, she did inform me that creating curly hair textures was impossible due to the fact that the American Girl doll hair was made of a synthetic fiber called Kanekalon. Having paid countless trips to beauty supply stores throughout my life, I know exactly what Kanaekalon is. No, you cant use heat on it to manipulate the texture, however it IS widely used to create wigs, including those that have more tightly coiled curl patterns.

A Kanekalon Wig

What it appears to me is that it is more than possible to create a multitude of customized hair textures, but do not want to expand the style options to include those with highly textured hair. I commend you for including wheelchairs, retainers and headgear and other accessories catered to smaller demographics for the purpose of creating an inclusive community. You should expand your doll hair options to include more textures reflective of natural, highly textured hair and include cornrows, flat-twists, two strand twists and bantu knots in your menu of hair styles at your salons. Whether it is for motives based on maximizing profit or otherwise that you have decided not to reflect naturally curly hair, this exclusion can be damaging to the psyches and self-esteems of young ladies as they grow up. It can also be a hindrance to them as they develop hair-maintenance skills on hair that is very differently textured than their own. I encourage you to take a long hard look at the ever-growing diversity of today’s living, breathing American girls and continue to work to make sure that your dolls are inclusive of all.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter,


Cassidy Blackwell

Natural Selection