YouTube will have you out here applying a concoction of honey, mayonnaise, bananas, and avocados to your tresses in an attempt to get your unapologetically untamed coils in alignment and before crafting her haircare line, Tracee Ellis Ross was a sister one the DIY haircare struggle, too. In a recent interview with Dazed Digital, Tracee revealed that before the birth of her brainchild, Pattern Beauty, she tried everything (and I literally mean everything) to whip her curls into shape—including but not limited to employing one very unusual (and frankly, ineffective) hair hack.
Recalling a story that proved what works for some won't work for all, Tracee shared how a friend from Italy gave her an idea that would ultimately do more harm than good when it came to her hair health:
"I was trying different things, I put beer in my hair. I had an Italian friend who had big, huge, glorious curls. She would wash her hair, wet them, and then pour a can of beer in her hair. And it would make the curl. So I tried that."
It was then, Tracee said, that she began to learn what products her hair did and didn't like. While her friend's hair care tip may have been effective at first, the 47-year-old actress says it didn't take long before her tresses were stressed the f*ck out by her alcohol-infused antics:
"But that was the beginning of me discovering how my hair did not like alcohol. Maybe for the first couple of hours because they would curl, but if you do that for a month it will be dried to a pulp. I've tried all of it...And then I started to educate myself both about what worked on my hair and what didn't."
The actress, who says that she later became "extemely protective" of her crown, says that this wasn't the first time she had tried to beat her curls into submission. In fact, there was a point where she even tried to iron her hair—yes, I mean with an actual iron. In a previous interview, she shared:
"I even whipped out an iron (the kind you use for clothes) in an attempt to straighten it that way. Trying to make my hair look 'easy and breezy', 'bouncin' and behavin' actually had the opposite effect. My hair was broken, damaged, and tired of trying to be something that it wasn't."
While Tracee's relationship with her hair has been tumultuous, to say the least, she explained that she has now come to a point where she's done trying to live up to society's expectations of natural hair "should look". The Black-ish star, who plans to release the second phase of her product line that features styling products this June, had this advice for anyone who feels lost on their haircare journey and has resorted to beer and avocados as a final resort:
"First of all, I am not opposed to iron, beer, wig... anything. They're all choices. The only suggestion that I would offer people, is inform yourself and be your own start from the seed of finding your own self-love and connecting to the beauty of what you and who you authentically are, what is authentically growing out of your head. Even if your choice is to wear wigs, make sure that you are caring for your scalp and your hair and offering it the love and support that it needs, even if it's only in the privacy of your home.l"
Crusty curls are never a good idea, so if you need recommendations on a few products that will keep them thangs poppin', scroll below!
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports