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Portia Clark

Portia Clark – TV Personality

Portia Clark is a mother, writer, and wife. She is a clever radio personality for CBC, the oldest broadcasting network in the nation, and a household name. Portia aptly divides her attention between her passion for public broadcasting and her deep love for her children.

Portia’s beautiful children are 4 and 6. “They are the centre of my life,” she says. Time spent styling her own hair has been displaced to taking care of her children’s hair. Portia is of Barbadian and Nordic heritage, and her husband is an English Caucasian man. They weren’t sure how their children’s hair would end up looking. “We thought our son could be anywhere from being a redhead to having an afro–to having a red afro,” Portia admits with a laugh. Her son was born with soft ringlets that demand little to no maintenance. Portia says she finger detangles her son’s hair and has it cut once a year. Ridiculously easy. Her daughter’s hair is another story.

Portia’s daughter’s hair is completely different from her son’s. “Hers is a lot closer to my hair,” Portia explains, “she has a few different hair types and does not enjoy having her hair played or dealt with.” Portia is experiencing a bit of what her mother went through when her mother was trying to style Portia’s hair. Portia was adopted into a Caucasian family and her mother had no idea how to style or take care of her hair. “My hair would always look unkempt because I didn’t want her to touch it.”

Now that she has experienced both sides of the situation Portia is much more sympathetic to her daughter’s squeals of pain and contempt for the comb. “It’s not worth either of our time for me to be chasing after her about her hair,” says Portia. So she usually leaves it. Once a month Portia will sit her little girl in the bathtub, douse her head in conditioner, and take time to work through the knots.

Black Hair and TV Broadcasting

For 7 years Portia hosted the CBC supper hour news with natural hair. That is rare occurrence now – never mind 10 years ago. “I have received different advice from consultants throughout the years on how I should or shouldn’t wear my hair on TV,” says Portia. They asked her to cut it, sleeken it, and tame it so that she would be less of a distraction. She has now defined what “presentable” and “professional” means for herself.

Portia says she’s excited about Black Hair Spot because it is a resource she didn’t have access to when she was developing her hair identity. “It took time for me to figure out how to do my hair in a way that matches my identity,” says Portia.

Sintra Lewis

Put together. Stylist. Fit. Beautiful.

Those are some of the words I would use to describe Sintra Lewis. For fourteen years, Sintra was a dedicated track and field athlete. Then one day she decided she was over the tomboy look. She started searching through various blogs online and suddenly found herself waist deep in clothes, shoes, jewelry—and a modeling contract.

“I like the way fashion makes me feel. It gives me the opportunity to be artistic. Sometimes I lie in bed and instead of sleeping I put outfits together in my head.”

Unfortunately, as I’m sure we all know, being fashionable is expensive. “Keeping up with the latest trends can be a pain,” says Sintra. But somehow, she does it. Sintra frequents fashion blogs like Cupcakes and Cashmere and Atlantic Pacific for her daily inspiration.

Sintra’s hair is an integral part of her overall style. She describes her style as classic and feels that her straight hair enhances her look. “I just need it to stay in place,” she says with a chuckle. Sintra’s hair is usually relaxed with a few added weave tracks for body. She trusts her salon so much that her hairstylist is not just her stylist—she’s her friend. “Once Yvette of Yves Salon gives me a wash and blowout I have good hair days for weeks.”

Sintra is in her thirtys and was born in Grenada but grew up in Trinidad. She describes herself as Afro-Caribbean and now lives in Edmonton, AB.

Sintra says when her roots grow out her curls are between 3B and 3C. Her 5 favorite hair tools are:

Check out Sintra’s favorite hair products with her reasons why below:

  1. Redkin Smooth Down Heat Glide
    – I use this right before I flat iron my hair. It’s a leave-in serum that provides heat-safe control to take frizz.
    – A dime size is amount enough for my entire head.
  2. Big Sexy Smooth & Seal
    – This is a finishing spray to help lock out moisture and keep my hair smooth and shiny.
    – I usually spray it on my hair before applying heat.
  3. Big Sexy Spray & Play Hairspray
    – This is the most ideal hairspray!
    – Gives my hair hold and movement. It’s manageable and shiny and the next day it does not have that caked-on finish.
    – This product makes it easy to comb through my hair when I’m tired of one style and style my hair another way.

Have you used any of these products? Do they work for you?

Have you used any of these products? Do they work for you?

Krystle Dos Santos

#BHSHerStory, with Krystle Dos Santos – Krystle’s Branded Fro

The air feels electric as Krystle Dos Santos winds down from the second-last song in her set. It’s only 10.30 on a Sunday morning and a horde of blues-lovers have gathered in the streets to dance away the afternoon. They are completely taken by her music. Her groove.

“Okay we’ve got one more song for you beautiful people,” she croons into the microphone. Audible groans and protests come from the audience. The dancers deflate a little bit. None of us want her set to end.

The drummer counts four beats and Krystle’s band launches into a dynamic cover of Pharrell’s “Happy”. I throw my camera into its case and join the revived frenzy of hip-shaking and happy-making.

*****

Krystle’s giant curly fro is a big part of her brand. “People recognize me because l have a big afro.” It isn’t just us black women that drool over her perfect coils. Krystle says when her hair was straight people told her she didn’t look like… Krystle. “When my second album came out and I had dead straight hair with straight bangs people were like ‘I don’t see you in this picture.'”

Krystle has not always had such buoyant healthy hair. “I dated a hairdresser for three years and he helped me keep my hair healthy and growing. My hair was about shoulder length while curly when one summer my mom suggested I lighten up my look a little bit.” Krystle agreed and went to a local hairdresser for the dye job. The hairdresser left bleach in her hair for one hour. Krystle’s hair went dead straight-pun intended.

After cutting all her hair off, growing it out, cutting it off again, growing it out… Krystle realized the two things she was doing wrong. Chemicals and heat.

“I treat my hair like a baby now.” Krystle’s family is from Guyana. She explains her heritage as a mix of Chinese, Portuguese, African, East Indian, European and Amerindian. Her hair type is a mixture of 3B & 3C.

Krystle’s parents were completely lost when it came to taking care of her hair. “My mom took me to black hairdressers when I was younger and we did weaves, braids, cutting it short – everything. It wasn’t until my 20s that I realized curly hair is beautiful.”

Krystle has taken her musical career to Vancouver, but finding products for her hair is no easy feat. “Everytime I come back to Edmonton Images and Shades is like a candy store. I like to experiment”

Krystle can be a bit of a hair scientist when she gets her juices flowing. “I’ll mix mayo, eggs, olive oil… vodka, beer – whatever I can find in my house to make my own hair masks.”

Krystle Dos Santos can be a bit of a hair scientist! #bhs Click To Tweet

Krystle’s giant curly fro is a big part of her brand. “People recognize me because l have a big afro.” It isn’t just us black women that drool over her perfect coils.