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Intro­duce your­self!
M:
Amber. I live in Nashville, Ten­nessee. I am a col­lege pro­fes­sor, live event pro­duc­er, and I’m about to start the Ave­da Insti­tute in May. 

What is your style phi­los­o­phy?
M:
I’ve pinned my style phi­los­o­phy to Afroechic (chic not chick). My style tends to be a lot like my hair as well. The sky is the lim­it, but with every­thing I wear I try to pay homage to my his­to­ry, my ances­tors, to black folks in some way. I love bright vibrant col­ors and pat­tern mix­ing. I think more than any­thing my style phi­los­o­phy is about not being afraid to explore styles and fash­ions grew from the African Tra­di­tion and not just Euro­pean Tra­di­tions. Black is Cool and I try to show that through the styles that I wear. My ulti­mate phi­los­o­phy is tru­ly fash­ion as the ulti­mate expres­sion of self. If you like it, wear it!

What is the process of decid­ing what to wear in the morn­ing?
M:
Hmm­m­mm this is a tricky one. Some­times I just know. Oth­er times I scour the Inter­net and pho­tos for inspi­ra­tion. At oth­er times I know there is a spe­cif­ic piece I want to wear and I just go through tri­al and error until I put some­thing togeth­er that is a reflec­tion of me. To me it’s like an artist and her can­vas. I may have the ini­tial idea of how I want to feel or what era I want to harken back to. But I nev­er know what the end prod­uct will be. I just keep paint­ing till the art reveals itself to me. 

How would you describe your sense of style?
M:
My sense of style is eclec­tic. I wear what I want to when I want to. It sim­ply depends on my mood. As I’ve grown and come into my own I’ve real­ized that I don’t have to be any one thing. I can be them all, and I express that through my wardrobe.

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What are the three favorite things in your clos­et?
M:
1. My African/Surinamese straw hand fans. It’s the ulti­mate lady acces­so­ry and in south­ern sum­mers you can look chic and cool. 2. H&M Con­scious Col­lec­tion 2010 Recy­cled Sheer Flower Water Col­ors Baby Doll Dress that I paid $20 for, but it looks like a mil­lion when I put it on. 3. My San­dal Col­lec­tion. 3 years of liv­ing in South­ern Cali had its perks!

What are some of your favorite shops/websites for clothes, shoes and acces­sories?
M:
Asos Curve | Zara — H&M | Forever21 | Tar­get | F21 | Akente Express | Fash­ion to Fig­ure | Rachel Pal­ly | NuBam­bu | Sole Soci­ety | NakiMuli | Etsy | Thrift­ing | Ran­dom Bou­tiques | Hav­ing Pieces Made

How long have you been nat­ur­al?
M:
I had been nat­ur­al since birth. My moth­er wouldn’t allow my sis­ter and I to get relax­ers until we turned 18. I had a relax­er for about 2 and ½ years in col­lege.

How and why did you tran­si­tion into nat­ur­al hair?
M:
While I was in grad school my hair was nat­ur­al, but I was wear­ing my hair straight for the major­i­ty of the time using a lot of heat and weaves and my hair just wasn’t healthy. But I real­ized it wasn’t just about want­i­ng my hair to be healthy. I was real­ly both­ered with why I was so con­sumed with my straight hair and why I felt my curls need­ed to be hid­den or altered in order for them to be accept­ed. It final­ly clicked for me why my moth­er didn’t allow me to get a relax­er. While grow­ing up I may not have nec­es­sar­i­ly real­ized how close­ly my hair was relat­ed to my iden­ti­ty and how much it would help me lat­er on in life in real­ly embrac­ing who I am. I hon­esty just thought my mom was being the stan­dard unfair mom who was out to take away all of my fun. In those 18 years I did learn how to deal with my hair. I learned how to love my hair. If I had had the wealth of resources that we have avail­able to us now it might have been a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence all togeth­er. But I learned how to deal with my hair through tri­al and error; burnt ears, blue mag­ic pim­pled fore­heads and all. I lit­er­al­ly can’t think of a style I haven’t tried. 

The main dif­fer­ence I found between tran­si­tion­ing and when I was a child was that this time it was about mind, body, soul, and the pol­i­tics behind nat­ur­al hair for me. I was no longer inter­est­ed in being lied to by the media, my peers and who­ev­er and what­ev­er else about a Euro­pean stan­dard of beau­ty that wasn’t mine to claim in the first place. So in 2009 I tran­si­tioned. I’ve big chopped twice since then main­ly because I love the style and struc­ture that comes with a TWA, but also because I need­ed to know that I was ok with my hair at any length, that I could look at myself near­ly bald and feel just as sexy as I would if it was down past my behind. Hair has played such a big part of my life and I think it has in most women’s. So cur­rent­ly I am work­ing #1 to become a licensed hair­styl­ist, but I am also work­ing beyond the hair and hop­ing to bring togeth­er a com­mu­ni­ty of women that rec­og­nize that as well. While it makes me so hap­py to see so many women embrac­ing nat­ur­al hair, I have come across so many women who aren’t real­ly sure why they are doing it or why they did it. I know we all like to get scared when some­one throws the word pol­i­tics behind nat­ur­al hair but there real­ly is, and in my opin­ion there real­ly has to be a men­tal change that hap­pens if you are to be suc­cess­ful. I have also seen a lot of neg­a­tiv­i­ty and cat­ti­ness with­in the nat­ur­al hair com­mu­ni­ty, which to me defeats the pur­pose. Whether long or short it’s all beau­ti­ful. I want to encour­age a com­mu­ni­ty of women who can love and com­ple­ment each oth­er gen­uine­ly because they know their own self worth with or with­out fly hair.

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What is your sig­na­ture hair­style?
M:
I don’t know that I have a sig­na­ture hair­style. I love head­wraps and tur­bans. I go through hair­style phas­es, but I lit­er­al­ly have tried every look in the book. I’m not one to keep a style for too long. I have “pret­ty shiny thing” syn­drome when it comes to hair I am always look­ing for the next style to try. Right now I am real­ly in love with col­or, the brighter the bet­ter, and I real­ly dig unde­fined styles that aren’t all about defined curls. Wild, and messy and big!

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the month.
E:
I’m not big on sham­poo­ing, sul­fate free or oth­er­wise. When I sham­poo my hair and scalp it feels stripped, peri­od. I may sham­poo once every cou­ple of months by using a sul­fate-free sham­poo, and I water it down in a spray bot­tle and only apply it to the scalp. I love co-wash­ing. Some of my favs are Curls Coconut Sub­lime Con­di­tion­er, Herbal Essences Hon­ey I’m Strong, Alba Botan­i­ca Hawai­ian Extra-Rich Coconut Milk Hair Con­di­tion­er, and Hen­na. I also use all of these as deep con­di­tion­ers; usu­al­ly adding some essen­tial oils and what­ev­er else I may want to add in. As far as leave-in con­di­tion­ers and mois­tur­iz­ers I use Fan­ta­sia IC Pure Tea Silky Gel Mois­tur­iz­er, Hydrather­ma Nat­u­rals Dai­ly Growth Lotion (I swear by this stuff and it’s the one thing I rec­om­mend to every­one), Aloe Vera Juice with Essen­tial Oils (Avo­ca­do, Emu, and Almond), Free Your Mane Hydrat­ing Hair Masque, Shea Mois­ture Deep Treat­ment Masque, Shea Mois­ture Raw Shea But­ter Extra-Mois­ture Detan­gler, Shea Mois­ture Yuc­ca and Baobab Thick­en­ing Mois­ture Mist, and good ol H2O. For styling I use Can­tu for Nat­ur­al Hair Coconut Curl Cream, Design Essen­tials Twist and Set Spray, Oyin Hand­made Shine and Define, shea but­ter whipped with oth­er prod­ucts, and any of the Fan­ta­sia Gels. To seal and pro­tect, Hydrather­ma Nat­u­rals Growth Oil, Grape­seed Oil (Heat Pro­tec­tion), Emu Oil, Nubian Her­itage EVOO & Moringa Repair and Extend Hair But­ter, and my own oil blends.

Tell us about your hair col­or?
M:
Under my yarn braids right now I’m a fad­ing straw­ber­ry blonde. After the yarn braids the plan is an ombre pur­ple for spring and sum­mer. My hair is bleached. Any time I dye my hair, I do it myself. I don’t feel it has changed the tex­ture of my hair. The only thing that has changed for me is my mois­ture reg­i­men is even more extreme now. I haven’t had any break­age and have con­tin­ued to see growth. I lift­ed my hair for about 4 months before bleach­ing and then I bleached every 8 weeks or so for about 6 months. The hard­est part for me about hav­ing dyed hair is the main­te­nance.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M:
Yep, if you’re in Nashville please be on the look­out for Nashville Natty’s — Rock the Hair com­ing sum­mer of 2013. Please fol­low, share and reach out. We can’t learn from one anoth­er if we don’t com­mu­ni­cate. If you hash­tag you can find me across the web #bespoke­cur­ry #nashvil­lenat­tys #afroechic #nashvilleeats. You can also find me here:

Instagram.com/Bespokecurry
Twitter.com/BespokeCurry
Bespokecurry.tumblr.com
Facebook.com/bespokecurry
Youtube.com/bespokecurry
Bespokecurry.wordpress.com

Meosha

Just anoth­er lover of nat­ur­al hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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23 Comments on "BGLH Style: Amber in Tennessee"

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Old fan

I hope BGLH will do an update with her after she’s spent some time at Ave­da to dis­cuss things she’s learned. Btw your hair looks great, the colour(s) show­cased are fab­u­lous on you and your style is nice too.

linguanigra

Aw, this is great! Love your style, you look like me! Are you going to Ave­da for hair? I hope not, because a friend of mine is enrolled and knows noth­ing about nat­ur­al hair! She almost ripped mine out! Be sure to ask about their pro­gram regard­ing nat­ur­al hair if you are going for that, because in some states they’ve stopped teach­ing it alto­geth­er.

Amber

I am going to Ave­da for hair but not for their nat­ur­al hair knowl­edge I’ve picked up most of that through my own learn­ing and men­tors. I’m not sur­prised that they have a lim­it­ed knowl­edge. I’m plan­ning on schoolin them some! That’s for the sup­port!

Amber

Thanks for the sup­port!

MAHA

Col­lege pro­fes­sor!! Thats the coolest col­lege pro­fes­sor I have ever seen! Wow! I love the short hair looks it makes her cheek­bones pop, pop, pop!

C in Colorado

Unique and inspir­ing style!

Head­wraps + prints + beau­ti­ful self = fan­tas­tic  :-)

Sassy24

love it

Amma Mama

My Insta­gram boo! Loves her and her style! You ROCK Amber :-)

jenna marie christian

i can’t even explain how much i love her style. beau­ti­ful girl. amaz­ing style.

Amber from TN

Hi Amber from TN…it’s Amber from TN lol. I went to high school (i think) and col­lege with you. Nice to see more locals on here!

shelikes

how did u get that pret­ty afro? my hair clumps and falls down. what do women do to their hair to get big fluffy afro hair? i love the look so much. i wish bglh would do an arti­cle on how to get an afro? do you blow dry it to get it to fluff? do you plait it? is it the shape of your hair cut? help me. btw, you have beau­ti­ful skin. pret­ty.

Amber

I blow out with a heat pro­tec­tant and the. Use a small amount of can­tu coconut curl cream to fin­ger coil the very ends giv­ing it that clumped look!

Lillian Mae

There are all kinds of afros! Twist­ed and Braid­ed fluffed out afros and blown out afros. 

The only way I am able to achieve the tra­di­tion­al afro, is to blow my hair out. It is def­i­nite­ly ‘gone with the wind fab­u­lous’!

Afroista

I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove me some Amber!!!!! Such an amaz­ing beau­ti­ful Queen!

Denise

Wow, beau­ti­ful and very inspir­ing lady. Keep being you. It’s gor­geous :)

karajw

Great sense of style, love the mix of african prints!

Olivia Lane

She’s gor­geous and I love her style!

Knatural

She real­ly can rock any­thing!! Love!

Messiah

Bril­liant­ly Done. Love How Vibrant Your Dia­logue and Pho­tographa Came Across & Sis­ter You Looked & Are Beau­ty in a Rare, Extra­or­di­nary Form. 

Be Blessed. Insta­gram. Mes­si­ah1212 (·_•)®€GI€M™.

Annette Dutchie Glover
Annette Dutchie Glover

con­grats shuga…you look Fab-U-Lous!!!

jojo satoes

Cute! Love how ure rock­ing that african print skirt! U just gave me an idea!

Caramelcurls

Amber!!!! SOOOOO glad to see you fea­tured on BGLH! I think you are so beau­ti­ful, and I ADORE your sense of style. I also love that you are all about pro­mot­ing self con­fi­dence and self worth from the inside out. 

Bless­ings,
Blair

Keisha

beau­ti­ful woman hair and style!

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