Celebrating Loc Black History 4: Franklyn Ajaye

laughstore_2228_81063088In our final Black History installment, we celebrate stand-up comedian Franklyn Ajaye; comedian, actor, writer, and musician.

The Brooklyn-born star was raised in Los Angeles. Enticed by the laughter, he dropped out of law school to pursue stand-up comedy.

The comedian first made his TV network debut on the The Flip Wilson Show in 1973, and hasn’t looked back since. He did subsequent appearances on all the major talk shows including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Letterman, Arsenio, and Leno. He has recorded five comedy albums.

As an actor, he has appeared in the films Car Wash, Convoy, Stir Crazy, and Bridemaids. He is best known for is role as T.C. “The Fly” in Car Wash. (He had a ‘fro back then.) Behind the scenes, he has written for In Living Color and Politically Incorrect. Finally, he is known as the Jazz Comedian for his excellent clarinet-playing skills. Once while on stage, he joked on his playing of the instrument, “It’s amazing what you can do after a breakup.”

Ajaye has also written the book, Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-up Comedy. It is a how-to book on the technique of doing stand-up comedy.

Keenan Ivory Wayans calls Ajaye “the Miles Davis of comedy.” He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He periodically returns to the U.S. for club appearances, specials, and TV performances.

I hope you enjoyed the four profiles done on Black History made with locs. We truly have achieved and arrived.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Celebrating Loc Black History 3: Lalah Hathaway

lalah-hathawayR&B and jazz has known few voices as unique as Lalah Hathaway.

The daughter of R & B great Donny Hathaway has made her own name in music in her own way. She was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 16, 1968 to father Donny and mother Eulaulah Hathaway, also an accomplished vocalist. As a 10th grader, she first started writing music. In 1989, Hathaway signed with Virgin Records and released her first song, “ Inside the Beat”. She recorded her first album, entitled, Lalah Hathaway, as a student at Berklee College of Music. Her debut released the hit single, “Heaven Knows.”

A host of albums later, including a cover of Luther Vandross’ “Forever, For Always, For Love”, shows that her alto and contralto voice continues to have a smooth sound and large following. Her longest singing note was on this performance, holding a note for 17 seconds. She is also an accomplished producer and songwriter.

When asked about her rich legacy in music with father Donny Hathaway, she responded, “I am his daughter and that’s the truth of who I am, everyday. When I was 15, and ten, 20, I didn’t get why people were asking me how I felt about him and his music. But when I turned 25, I began to understand. Like my father, I want to leave a legacy of music that makes people really feel something, whether it be happiness, sadness, grief or heartache. I also want them to appreciate my humor which I know can be difficult to interpret in a song.”

This year she won a Grammy for Best R&B performance with her own cover of “Something “ with Snarky Puppy. Her unique performance, including her unique ability of singing two notes at the same time, earned her the Grammy nod.

Throughout her career, her music and her locs have taken center stage. Her signature curly look is as much an ambassador for locs as her voice is for jazz and R&B.

Check out this video of her Grammy-winning performance. You will see how Lalah Hathaway beat the year’s best contenders. Here’s to Lalah Hathaway, a singer who makes Black history every time she sings a note.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Celebrating Loc Black History 2

274311.1020.AIn this issue of Loc’d Life, we continue our Black History Month celebration with boxer Lennox Lewis. Lewis is considered by many to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.

Lennox Claudius Lewis was born on September 2, 1965 in West Ham, England. At birth, he weighed 10 pounds and 10 ounces. Lennox moved to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada at age 12.

He decided on boxing early on and won the world junior amateur title in 1983. He fought for the gold in the Olympics twice, ultimately winning in the 1988 Summer games. He went professional and moved back to England. There he fought several fights as he rose in rank. He won the European heavyweight title in 1990. In 1991, he won the British title, and in 1992, won the Commonwealth title. He then became the top five world heavyweight.

In 1992, Lewis knocked out Donovan “Razor” Ruddock in two rounds, making him the number one contender for Riddick Bowe’s world heavyweight title. Bowe refused to face Lewis and held a press conference to dump his title in the garbage can and relinquish it. In December 1992, the World Boxing Commission named Lewis its top champion. He defended the belt three times.

He lost the title to Oliver McCall, but later regained the title. Lewis went on to fight boxing greats such as Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. The bout with Tyson was the highest grossing pay-per-view events in the U.S. at the time. Lewis held the title of Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion in April 2000. Lewis retired from boxing in February 2004. In 2008, Lewis was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 2009, Lewis was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Lewis is one of three boxers in history to have won the heavyweight championship three times. Lewis retired with an impressive record of 41 wins – 2 losses – 1 draw, 32 wins by knockout.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Celebrating Loc Black History


Sam: Molly, you’re in danger.

Oda Mae Brown: You can’t just blurt it out like that! And quit moving around, because you’re starting to make me dizzy. I’ll just tell her in my own way.

[pause; then]

Oda Mae Brown: Molly, you in danger, girl.

—From the movie, Ghost


It’s February again, the beginning of African American History Month, and Loc’d Life is celebrating it by highlighting famous loc’d heroes and heroines.

In this post, we celebrate Whoopi Goldberg, co-host and moderator of the daytime show, The View. She is also known for her role as Celie in The Color Purple. She was the charlatain medium Oda Mae Brown, who discovered her real psychic powers in Ghost. She was the wisecracking nun in Sister Act. She was serious as a maid who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in The Long Walk Home.

Little known facts about Ms. Goldberg include her real name, Caryn Elaine Johnson. She was raised in the Chelsea-Elliot Houses, a housing project in New York City. Her stage name is inspired by the whoopee cushion. (She states, “If you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.”) She was inspired into show business by the television show Star Trek—in particular seeing Nichelle Nichols in her role as Uhura. A young Goldberg exclaimed, “Momma! There’s a black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!”

Funny, outspoken, and sometimes controversial, Goldberg has made history as one of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award, and in the 1990s, was the highest paid woman in film.

sidebarGoldberg is a tough act to follow. She has earned two Academy Award nominations for The Color Purple and Ghost, winning for her role in Ghost as Best Supporting Actress. She is the second African American woman to do so. She is the winner of the 1985 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person show for her solo performance on Broadway. She has received eight Daytime Emmy nominations, winning two; five non-daytime Emmy nominations; three Golden Globe nominations, winning two; a Grammy award; a Tony award as a producer for Thoroughly Modern Millie; three People’s Choice awards; five American Comedy Awards, winning two; named an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters; and is the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

Goldberg is also an activist, championing human rights on several fronts. She won the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Vanguard Award for her continued work in supporting the gay and lesbian community.

Goldberg exemplifies individuality and is a loc ambassador each and every weekday on The View. Her locs help celebrate a new way for many to “enjoy the view”. For those who say that locs have arrived, look to Goldberg as living proof.

Don’t miss next week’s post as we continue celebrating Black history!

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine


The 10 best foods for locs

infinite-black-and-whiteYou are what you eat.

This year, vow to be whole. What better way to do so than to start to nourish your locs from within. Here are the top ten foods for your hair for growth, strength, and overall hair health.

1. Salmon For strong hair, try salmon. It’s rich in protein and vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, which the body needs to grow hair. Omega-3s are also in the natural oils of your scalp for hydration.

2. Walnuts These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous. One way to eat walnuts: try walnut oil on your salad.

3. Oysters Oysters are rich in zinc, a lack of which can lead to hair loss (even in your eyelashes), as well as a dry, flaky scalp. Three ounces has a whopping 493% of your daily value. You can get some zinc through fortified cereals and whole grain breads, but oysters can boast a good level of protein too.

4. Sweet Potatoes Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. It also helps protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp, and being low on vitamin A can even leave you with itchy dandruff.

5. Eggs A great source of protein, eggs are loaded with four key minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women.

6. Spinach The iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.

7. Lentils Tiny but mighty, these legumes are teeming with protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, making it a great staple for vegetarian, vegans, and meat eaters.

8. Greek yogurt Cruise the dairy aisle for low-fat options such as Greek yogurt, which is high in hair-friendly protein, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid — an ingredient you’ll often see on hair care product labels), and vitamin D. Emerging research links vitamin D and hair follicle health, but exactly how that works isn’t clear.

9. Blueberries Exotic super fruits may come and go but when it comes to vitamin C, it’s hard to top this nutrient superhero. C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.

10. Poultry This everyday entree is extraordinary when it comes to protein, as well as hair-healthy zinc, iron, and B vitamins to keep strands strong and plentiful. Because hair is nearly all protein, foods rich in protein are literally giving you the building blocks for hair.

Source: Web MD.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

More top loc tips for 2014


Source: gofro.tumblr.com

It’s a new year, and here’s Loc’d Life best tips for locs for 2014.

  1. Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life this year. Vow to try different styles in 2014. Braid outs, updos, maybe even adding a little color (permanent or temporary with some yarn or colored loc pieces) are all in order this year. Don’t be a plain Jane.
  2. Care for them. Don’t slip up with your regular routine. Make sure you oil your locs regularly, and tie them up at night to prevent dryness, thinning and breakage.
  3. Research them. Be on the lookout for new information all the time. Talk with your loctician. Read Loc’d Life.
  4. Take pride in them. 2014 is the year for locs. Wear them with pride.
  5. Nurture them. Drink water for moisture. Eat lots of salmon and omega-3-rich foods to grow hair and to retain moisture. Eat carrots for vitamin A to maintain oils in your scalp.  Oysters for zinc (A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss, and zinc prevents a dry, itchy scalp). Get your vitamins from whole foods.

Don’t forget these tips in 2014!

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Loc’d and loving it



Locs are a way of life—a natural way of life—for many.

Just ask anyone who wears locs. We would not have it any other way.

Would a style so versatile fit with curls? Yes. Would a style so versatile fit wrapped up neatly in a bun? Yes. Straight and long or just starting out, no style looks as regal as noble locs.

Imagine those days of yesteryear. Bimonthly relaxer touchups. The chemical burn. Not being able to scratch your scalp before a touchup. The breakage. Hair not being able to grow. Blowdrying your hair. Bumping it with a curling iron. A perpetual cycle that was repeated over and over again, just by chasing the myth of super straight hair.

With locs, you are free.

Watch the evolution as your hair really grows. Maintenance is relatively easy. You delight in seeing starter locs. Then your hair takes on a personality of its own as it grows past your neck, shoulders and down your back. You don’t need to do texturize it everyday to chase an ideal.

Remember this ode to locs the next time you feel a little lazy with your locs by not tying a scarf on at night. Or when you need to oil your scalp and your locs. You had it much harder than this before.

Now love those locs.

gail1‘Til next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Locs news and notes


This ad caught my eye
I was in the dentist’s office and saw an ad that stopped me in my tracks. On the inside front cover of Black Enterprise was this ad by Polo Ralph Lauren that highlighted locs. For a company such as this to feature locs so prominently is key to even more acceptance of locs. Keep those media images coming. 2014 will be the year for locs!


Curly Locs
This is me on New Year’s Eve. My loctician Shanda at Amazon Natural Essentials salon gave me a braided style, which when unbraided looks like this. To achieve this look, locs are freshly shampooed and palm-rolled or locstitched as mine are. Locs are taken into sections and braided, with the ends secured with small rubberbands. When completely dry, the braids are taken down and Voila!—you’ll have a head full of curly locs. A very simple way to achieve the curly look.

 Image of The Divine Ankh Collection

For your Los
Shedly Parnther’s line of loc jewelry, entitled Jewels4MyLocsbrings out the exotic beauty of your locs with golden jewels, cowrie shells, and coiled colored wire, and other gems. Check out this pair of leaf shaped jewels and these from the Divine Ankh collection. For more information on how to order, visit www.jewels4mylocs.com. Thank you for reaching out to Loc’d Life Magazine, Shedly!


‘Till next time
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Locs Trend Report 2014


Locs are ringing in the New Year in a big way! We talked with Nadra Smiley and Shanda Wright of Amazon Natural Essentials in Chicago about what’s hot for the new year. Cuts, color, and other trends are taking center stage. See what’s hot for 2014…

  1. Asymmetrical bobs. According to Amazon Natural Essentials, asymmetrical cuts are hot right now. Looking for a way to renew your locs after years of lengths? This trend’s a winner.
  2. Bold color. Bright red locs. Pink locs. Green locs. Bold and vibrant color is in. Check out these pink locs here.
  3. Bangs. Loc bangs are also in. Frame your look with eyebrow- or eyelash-length bangs this 2014.258687835_AKVyiv2d_c
  4. Moisture. Dry, dusty locs are so 2013! Use hot oil treatments and regular oilings of the scalp are vital to retaining moisture in your locs.
  5. Wearing locs. The time has never better to try locs as a style. They’re versatile, gaining even more in popularity, even on the corporate scene.  Now more than ever, women and men are embracing locs as their natural alternative. If you’re on the fence, come over to the loc side this 2014!

Happy New Year!

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Loc winter hat guide


What does a hat in the winter have to do with loc health? Everything.

For one, your hat helps keep you warm. You can lose 30% or more of your body heat by not wearing one. Another necessity is choosing a fabric that won’t rob your locs of moisture. Finally, and most importantly, your hat needs to be comfortable (and look good!).  Here’s the Loc’d Life guide to winter hats for locs….

Avoid wool.  Wool acts as a razor to black hair. Rubbing against it over time and locs will weaken and can snap off at the point of friction. There’s many more options out there. Good other choices: knits or fleeces made from acrylic, polyester, nylon, and various blends of these fabrics that allow the fabric to stretch.

Keep out (outside) moisture. Yes you want to keep your locs moisturized, but not wet from rain and snow.
Choose a synthetic material that wicks moisture.

Line it up. Linings can add to the warmth a hat provides. A full lining  is warmer than a partial one.

Keep your neck warm too. The same properties you would look for in a hat also applies to scarves. Avoid wool, and choose a fabric that keeps in warmth without itchiness.

Avoid lint. Choose yarns that don’t fuzz into balls or disintegrate after washing or with wear. Yarns should hold their strands securely. If in doubt, choose a hat color that matches your hair color. Wash your knits gently as well.

hattrioNow on to the fun stuff: What type of winter hats are out there?  Here’s some loc favorites.

Tams. The veritable loc hat that can protect all of your locs from the winter’s wind and snow.  This hand crocheted tam is available from ChicFanatic on etsy.com. There’s also the red, yellow and green variety. Tams are bigger than berets. They are made to hold long locs.

Beanies/skull caps. By far these are the lowest cost cap you can buy. Ranging from $1 at the beauty supply store to more lavish options, this style does the trick for cold, winter days. Get a style that is long enough to cover your ears. This style is a slouchy beanie also available from ChicFanatic at etsy.com

Trapper hats. These cute and warm hats are not just for kids and the outdoor types anymore. This style also keeps your head and ears warm during the long winter months.. Choose a style that is fun and keeps you warm. This style from Dick’s Sporting Goods (http://www.dickssportinggoods.com) is under the Peruvian Hat category from Columbia. It is made with an Omni-Heat and Omni-Wick technology that retains heat and wicks away moisture.

Have fun during your hat shopping! Winter is just beginning, Stay warm with style. Happy Holidays to you and yours from Loc’d Life.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

P.S. Don’t forget to get vols. 1 & 2 of our printed editions at http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/399285