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Lurie // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Sep 9, 2011

Introduce yourself!
L:
My name is Lurie. I’ve lived in Brooklyn, NY since I was in law school. Before that I was in Pennsylvania, and before that Germany. My dad was in the army so we basically moved around Europe every 2–3 years growing up.

I’m a consumer rights and bankruptcy attorney. My law firm is dedicated to helping people with money problems use the law to address problems with debt. Most of my clients are either being harassed by debt collectors, getting sued by debt collectors, or considering bankruptcy. I also help run a non profit organization called Sankofa Community Empowerment whose mission is to educate and empower people of African descent to change the condition of our communities through educational and leadership development programs. My husband and I run Breaking the Cycle Consulting Services LLC, a consulting company that teaches teachers how to teach kids in urban environments.

Why did you go natural?
L:
Since we grew up mainly overseas my family members in the States were concerned that we weren’t learning enough about our culture so they always sent us books and information about what it meant to be of African descent. In college, I majored in Africana Studies & Spanish so I’d spend a lot of time critically analyzing how black people came to be in the conditions that we are in. Once I began learning more of the truth about what happened to us, I began questioning everything about who I was and why I held the opinions that I (and seemingly everyone around me) held.

When I learned about how Black people were systematically taught to hate our hair, lips, noses and everything about us that made us Black – I became angry. I mean, it’s one thing if we naturally thought we were ugly and our hair was ugly. But once I learned that we were taught to hate ourselves, it drove me to a path of self-discovery. I now know that the anger I felt was a necessary part of getting my right mind back and beginning to heal from that trauma. A lot of times we are afraid of the anger that we feel as Black people. But just like the assault victim has to confront what happened to her, we have to confront and embrace our history if we are going to heal from what happened to us.

How did you transition into natural hair?
L:
I first cut my hair April 6, 1997 during my second year of college. I started by growing my hair out for a few months and one of my girlfriends (who was the resident dorm room hair & nails powerhouse) would press my roots to help me “pass” as an undercover natural. The only problem was that I’ve always sweated out a press in a matter of moments – so my transition was challenging. I used braids and extensions to help me grow it out a few inches so I had something to work with. I did not plan on doing a “big-chop.”

Back then there were not a lot of natural heads so there weren’t websites, books and other women who were readily accessible with a ton of information. My hair began breaking at the point where the natural met the chemicals. (I always thought that was a bit symbolic – in many ways we have to recognize how our connection to a hostile society is hostile to who we are as a people… but that is another topic).

I was holding on as long as I could to length because remember, when you’re a black girl, you’re taught to want 2 things: 1) “good hair” and/or 2) “long hair.” My mother came to visit me at school in April 1997 and she watched me going through all sorts of crap to keep my press straight. Finally she said the words that just liberated me from all of that: “Lurie. It’s just hair. It will grow back.” Five minutes later half of my hair was on the floor. I haven’t looked back since.

I feel much stronger and more confident in who I am as a result of rebelling with my hair. For some people going natural has nothing to do with politics. But as someone who has studied the Pan African reality for so long – it’s hard to ignore the fact that we are all historical products and who we are today is a result of things that happened yesterday. So I know that even if I were completely a‑political – the rest of the world ascribes a message to my hair.

Many Black colleagues, secretaries or other staff members tried to “help” by advising me to get a perm if I wanted to “make it.” These attitudes are reinforced by many Black institutions. A few years ago, the business school at Hampton University (an HBCU) implemented a policy that said female students could not wear their hair in natural styles. I believe the rationale was based on the belief that a Black woman with natural hair could not get a job in corporate America. I first read the article about this while I was wearing a flat twist style that pulled back into an afro ponytail, sitting in my office in Times Square at a major New York law firm. A lot of our hair issues are projections of our own insecurities (which we were taught). It’s sad – but understandable.

How would you describe your hair?
L:
Very thick, very nappy. Most people don’t believe me when I say it’s nappy until they see my afro. It can be hard to imagine how long, soft, flowing twisties can shrink up into a 2 inch thick, stiff afro if you just add water. It is also very independent and has a mind of its own.

What’s your regimen?
L:
I typically wash it with my mom’s products. She’s a natural stylist & damaged hair specialist in Queens, NY and has an all-natural product line called Yanla’s Nature. The scalp detox & shampoo cleans it really well. I also use the strengthening conditioner to comb and style. During the week I use a spray that we make from rosemary, nettle, sage and burdock teas as a leave-in conditioner. At night, if it’s in a hanging style, I’ll typically braid the twists into fat braids. This helps keep the style and makes sure that the twists don’t shrink up before I want them to. Around two weeks after it’s styled, I’ll take it out and wear it untwisted for another week and a half (usually until the puff is too much to easily manage).

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
L:
Using the wrong tools was a huge mistake. I cringe when I think of all the hair I pulled out using tiny combs with teeny tiny teeth. The combs and brushes I used when I had a perm are totally inappropriate for natural hair. Instead of using tiny teeth combs or brushes w/ millions of bristles, I started using the classic “white girl” brush and big tooth combs. They were much better suited to naps.

The other issue was wanting natural hair – without unlearning European standards of beauty.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
L:
I don’t try to control it. At first I wanted my natural hair to act like my permed hair did. After months of frustration I realized that I was setting both myself and my hair up for failure. It wasn’t until I recognized that European standards and hair expectations were completely not applicable to me that I began to relax and enjoy the natural road.

I realized that what I wanted my hair to do was the opposite of what it was designed to do. I had to not only cut my perm out – but I also had to cut out my expectations for what my hair should do and be. All of my expectations were based on a European hair model. I learned to accept the fact that straight hair can be controlled, gel’d and sprayed into place and natural hair will do its own thing. My hair and I have been getting along ever since.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
L:
Yes. You can find me at www.NYCDebtAndBankruptcyLaw.com, www.blogtalkradio.com/danielfavorslaw, or at www.btcconsultingservices.com. I am also working on a new site (still under construction) called www.raceandrecession.com.

Anything else you want to add?
L:
An older mentor once told me she admired me for wearing my hair natural because as a lighter skinned woman I “had the option of wearing styles that look more European.” She was a darker skinned woman and had lived through segregation in the south.

I realized then that it’s not enough to change our hair if we do not change our ability to accept ourselves as God intended & designed us to be. There are millions of little girls and boys out there whose ideas about their lack of beauty and self-worth are reified each time they hear about “good hair v. bad hair” or “light skin v. dark skin.” It is imperative that we create more spaces like this site where black women can put our feet up, let our afros fluff and enjoy the beauty of the almighty nap, the bodacious big nose, the lovely full lip and the bountiful behind. It’s our own model of beauty – modeled after the design God chose for us to have. And it is good. It is very, very good.

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krenea
krenea
9 years ago

Lurie is an amazing woman taking care of much business and I’m proud of her accomplishments and don’t even know her! Beauty inside and out it appears and hair that is absolutly incredible!

Sharese
Sharese
9 years ago
Reply to  krenea

+1

lina40
lina40
9 years ago
Reply to  krenea

+2
I love that she applied her new-found knowledge first to her own life, instead of just reciting it to others. She is a force of change, and YAY — a HAIR TWIN 🙂 checking out her pics so I can rock similar styles in my environment!

Brittany
Brittany
9 years ago

Beautiful!

Jack
9 years ago

Well said, well said!

Cee Cee
Cee Cee
9 years ago

WOW!! Her hair is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL!! (fighting hair envy) And so accomplished too! Thanks for these features!

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

Beautiful woman with beautiful hair. I enjoyed this interview very much!

Sonya
Sonya
9 years ago

This is the best interview yet, I read it from start to finish! Shout out to all the Africana Studies majors! <3

Deeds
Deeds
9 years ago
Reply to  Sonya

My sentiments exactly!

Alecia
Alecia
9 years ago
Reply to  Sonya

Ditto…one of the best interviews on BGLH!

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  Sonya

YES! One of the best natural hair interviews I’ve read on ANY site in a while.

She is lovely and her hair is sooooo thick and lucious…

Li
Li
9 years ago

Very inspirational and genuine! Plus, her hair is amazing!

K. Lynn
K. Lynn
9 years ago

Gorgeous! And I live in Queens, too! Lurie where does your mom work? I may have some clients for her, myself included.

luvs
luvs
9 years ago
Reply to  K. Lynn

+1

CoilyRob
CoilyRob
9 years ago
Reply to  luvs

+ 2

lurie
9 years ago
Reply to  CoilyRob

Hello ladies, much appreciation for the love 😉
Her salon is called The Woven Wool (www.thewovenwool.com) and you can reach her at 347.251.1212. She is pretty close to York College so not sure if that is your area or not. Either way — here’s to #teamnatural 😉

June
June
9 years ago

This interview made me think a lot. Thanks for this. There are some hard truths I don’t like to acknowledge about myself, but this is pushing me there.

I do have to say what is it with all these women that look like teenagers this past few days? They look so young and gorgeous. I am feeling so awful here. I am going for a long run once I get home.

tonia b
tonia b
9 years ago

Amazing, educational and inspiring feature. As another poster mentioned, I read each and every word wishing there was more. Beautiful hair and style!

eSPy
eSPy
9 years ago

Yes I love her! I’ve also considered law school but have been feeling like I am too radical to be a lawyer. But I too would like to use the law to empower our people.

Also, I saw her afro pic on LeCoil and always admired her aura. She’s beautiful! And I LOOOOOVE her hair in her wedding pic. Nice choice…

Im all over the place with this comment. But I enjoyed this one a lot!

Dont never tell me natural hair aint professional! 😉

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

Deep, Lurie. Just deep! I really appreciate the way yout bring out the historical aspects of how Blacks (were taught to) feel about themsevles, their hair, their unique feautures. Deep…

Monz03b
Monz03b
9 years ago

She is beautiful and so is her hair. It is so big! Rock it!

Amore
Amore
9 years ago

I really love her hair. She truly is beautiful. I also would like to know where her mother’s salon is in Queens please. I’m in the New York area as well.

Adeyinka
Adeyinka
9 years ago

She is gorgeous!

lurie
9 years ago

Thanks ladies! I appreciate it 😉 and am glad the interview added some insight.

My mother’s salon is called The Woven Wool — she ONLY deals with natural hair and is: 1) a damaged hair care specialist; 2) certified sister locks consultant; 3) a barber/stylist. You can learn more about her at http://www.thewovenwool.com or by calling her salon at 347.251.1212.

Really looking forward to learning more about our hair from the rest of you!

MsKroberts
9 years ago
Reply to  lurie

you are amazing! One of the best style icon interviews that i’ve read. I have been struggling with the fact that so many black women have been changing our hair, yet our kids, families, health, men have and are falling by the wayside. I commend you! I am so glad that I had a chance to read this today. I had a meeting last night with a few people to in regard to starting an organization to help grieving kids in our community, that have experienced death/incarceration of a loved one, from a perspective of other black psychs that have… Read more »

lurie
9 years ago
Reply to  MsKroberts

Thanks MsKRoberts! That is fantastic that you are starting an organization — and I can think of SO many people who would benefit from something like that. We don’t all have to do everything but if all of us would just do something…can you imagine how far we would go? Much success to you and your group!

karlyne
karlyne
9 years ago

all of these + more feelings~~GREAT, PRIDE, NATURAL, BLACK WOMAN!! That’s all I have to say.com

leilei
leilei
9 years ago

Lurie… you are a CERTIFIED DIME!!! As a black woman I am so proud of you and what you are doing for our community. Not only are you beautiful, but conscious and intelligent. How impressive what you and your hubby are doing. God bless you both!

Monique, Sofull Sista
9 years ago

Beautiful hair and woman! I love all of the pics, it really shows how versatile natural hair is. Love it!!!

crimsonpeach
crimsonpeach
9 years ago

This is the woman with the fabulous fro that I admired for ages! That’s what I’m trying to get to! Of course her personality would shine as bright as her hair. And now I can envy her twists also!

BrownSugahChild
9 years ago

love love love your hair!!! i especially love the bridal pic!!!!

Kamilah
Kamilah
9 years ago

I so enjoyed this! Her story is so inspirational. Its sad how we are the ones who oftentimes box ourselves into a societal “standard.” She gives me hope in knowing that I can succeed and become a respected professional and still stay true to myself:)

Erika
Erika
9 years ago

This may be a big controversial, but I totally agree with her opinion about how we were taught to hate ourselves, especially our hair. Why else do so many women still opt for a relaxer and feel they have no other choice? My sister just told me a few days ago that she had to have her relaxer since her hair is so unmanageable otherwise. In my opinion, complete brainwashing by society is what causes black women to feel this way. And it’s so hard to convince someone that their hair is beautiful just the way it grows out of… Read more »

LBell
LBell
9 years ago
Reply to  Erika

What you’re saying isn’t controversial…it’s the TRUTH. And for some the truth hurts…there’s no two ways around that…

Lurie, you and your hair are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

I usually lurk but had to come out and say that Lurie is absolutely beautiful- inside and out! And to all the ppl who say that natural hair can’t be professional, check out her picture in a her suit and try and tell me that ain’t professional! As a fellow natural attorney in NYC, all I have to say is ‘go girl!’

Shakira
Shakira
9 years ago

I loved reading this piece. We need more black women in corporate america to have the courage not to conform to the European standard. I felt so proud reading it. Thank you.

Lacoya (thesupercoya)
9 years ago

OMG! I’ve been trying to find out who that infamous fro belonged to for so long! And it feels so good that it was not in vain — it belonged to a strong, courageous, educated, successful black sista. God bless you and your family for doing SO much good in our community!

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago

Coya, where you been?

Thelly
Thelly
9 years ago

lovely!!!! Same as my hair is NAPPY and Thickness.

Zipporah
Zipporah
9 years ago

This was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! It’s a terrible stigma in the black community that hair is diectly related with success and it’s wonderful to see a woman challenging that stigma and winning! Stay blessed Lurie and continue to share your wisdom!

HandsInHair
HandsInHair
9 years ago

Great Icon…beyond style, but in life. I really applaud you for not just talking about what’s wrong in our community but taking action. I have struggled with trying to figure out how to make a positive difference without just preaching or talking down to/about people who make bad choices. As a student and working full time it is difficult to focus energy on something as stressful as this, but I will graduate soon and have time to mentor. You give me great hope and inspiration for my hair and my lifestyle.

Pam
Pam
9 years ago

I truly enjoyed and learned so much from this post. Thank You! It actually helped me to understand more of those moments when I struggle with my hair and wished it looked different, I know now that has to do with society and what we are taught about our features. This was so enlightening, Thank you so much!

foxyr
foxyr
9 years ago

Wow! She is gorgeous! I love her fluffy hair and the jewelry she’s rocking in almost all the photos! Her natural hair definitely suits her very well. I love that she is trying to do good things in the Black community. Good for her!

Jai
Jai
9 years ago

+1 to all the previous posts, loved the interview. Lurie is a beautiful and positive sista!!!

Coffey
9 years ago

Love Lurie’s hair! Amazing interview too!

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
9 years ago

I almost teared up reading that last part.

It’s our own model of beauty – modeled after the design God chose for us to have. And it is good. It is very, very good.”

AMEN SISTA!

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  Amma Mama

Amen too! 🙂

Sherri
Sherri
9 years ago

It is imperative that we create more spaces like this site where black women can put our feet up, let our afros fluff and enjoy the beauty of the almighty nap, the bodacious big nose, the lovely full lip and the bountiful behind. It’s our own model of beauty – modeled after the design God chose for us to have. And it is good. It is very, very good.

Lurie, thank you so much for your words of wisdom and encouragement. They blessed me so very much! Your post should make sisters everywhere proud!

Monisola
Monisola
9 years ago

I want to know what kinds of protective styling she has done to attain all that length! we seem to have similar hair textures and I want to know how long it took her to reach that length and what kid of protection she used to get there.

Rachel
Rachel
9 years ago

Like so many other commenters, I thoroughly enjoyed this interview with Laurie. I want to give her a virtual high five. She expressed so many thoughts, sentiments, and realizations that I have, have had, and am still coming to as a black woman with natural hair. Also, I greatly admire her passion and activism for our community. She is beautiful inside and out. Thank you Laurie and many blessings to you and your family!

Rachel
Rachel
9 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

I meant Lurie, can’t believe I misspelled her name…

The Curly Rebel
9 years ago

Loved this interview! And omg, she is definitely my new hair idol… I can not wait until I get to that level!!!

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago

Fascinating interview, thank you for all the links and GORGEOUS hair. love the pics!

lulu
lulu
9 years ago

This is one of the best I have read. I completely agree with her. These are the things that I constantly tell my little sister who sometimes lacks the confident to just be herself. This society has really damaged black people and you better believe that it is all on purpose. I sympathize with the black community because most are ignorant and can’t control how they think. That is why this article is one of the best. Education is the key.

rosie
rosie
9 years ago

Awesome icon, interview and comments!

tzena nicole
9 years ago

best interview, yet! thank you! finally, some intellectual responses to those interview questions. she’s definitely got great hair and she’s clearly beautiful, but what’s most impressive is her great mind, her great work ethic, and her dedication to community strengthening. Lurie truly is someone to look up to. AND big-ups to her mom (and the rest of her family) for choosing enlightenment over conformity. this is why i love your site! thanks for this!!!

Sherrie
9 years ago

It was a pleasure reading your biography. I am a natural from hair to toe also. Thanks for sharing with the world.

Joi
Joi
9 years ago

I’ve been friends with Lurie since we were in law school together and y’all, she really is an amazing woman. Smart, strong, and with some serious hair. She also held my hand as I did my transition to natural a few years ago. Love you Lurie, so glad to see you profiled!

lurie
9 years ago
Reply to  Joi

Joi! How are you? 😉 And you’re being generous — no one needed to hold your hand. You totally burst into that law firm rocking a gorgeous natural! I have great memories of the day I came down to see it for the first time. Glad to see you’re still happy to be nappy, LOL.

Cherry Davis
9 years ago

I love her hair and am very curious about her mother’s hair salon and products. Does she have a link where I can see them? I live in Los Angeles so it’s unlikely I will get to her hair salon but love natural product lines!

brunettefury
brunettefury
9 years ago

Love this interview and I love her hair!

Sherri
Sherri
9 years ago

Lurie, I want to thank you for writing this article. I have only been natural for about a year now and I have to tell you that this was an eye opener for me. There was so much validity to the issues that you mentioned as to what was/is holding us back as a people. I agree, it started back then and has plauged our community every since. As an african american woman I try to share with our young people that it’s not all about skin complexion, hair type and or this and that…That we should appreciate what’s within.… Read more »

bbaby
bbaby
9 years ago

Let me first start off by saying I am just moved and proud of this smart and vibrant woman. You are that person I would love to say, “yeah I know Lurie” and be so proud of that fact. Thank you for what you do and stay strong, you have truely motivated me.

tobes
9 years ago

What a beautiful and inspiaring lady!!. Glad to hear she’s into law high fives for that!overall, amazing hair. the way she talks about natural hair makes me proud of not chemically relaxing my hair, straightening it only once per three months :)and accepting the fact that we should accept our hair for what it is. It is not frizzy but mostly lushously curly. Not weak but beautifuly soft and full of life and volume!! and very versitile. every one has this but most don’t know it yet!hope every one eventually love their hair more <3

napfrocurlzgirl
9 years ago

Just when I’ve grown to love my hair, now I wish I had a different hair texture! I’ve always wanted big poofy hair, but an afro is not in my future. Gorgeous!

Nichelle
Nichelle
9 years ago

This was a great interview with a beautiful, intelligent, and inspiring woman! I just have to add that the picture of her with the tiny flat twists pulled into a bun was the inspiration for my wedding hairstyle. 🙂

Shola
Shola
9 years ago
Reply to  Nichelle

I’m in Queens, what is the name of your mom’s salon?

Isisthenicest
8 years ago

this interview is my favorite.
where in queens?!

MercedesNechelle
MercedesNechelle
8 years ago

I cannot tell you how many interviews I have read but this one has been the best! I just had to comment. She is gorgeous inside and out a true inspiration. Thank you for interviewing her (:

ghd australia outlet
8 years ago

This site is definitely rather handy since I??m these days creating a world wide web floral website ?C although My organization is in the beginning stages therefore it??s really fairly small, dislike this incredible website. Can check out a lot of the posts here as they can be quite.

Debbie Gadama
Debbie Gadama
8 years ago

Am glad this new perspective is blossoming. Am in Malawi the warm heart of Africa and my fro is adventurous too. I also want to change the mindset of beauty here because its always been about hairs straighteners and chemicals (which I did use in my earlier years and they are still questionable in hair health terms) that make you appear more attractive or European. A m happy I discovered this part of me and glad some one else agrees.

kg.sunshine
kg.sunshine
8 years ago

This was the best article I have ever read on here. Thank you Lurie!

Heather
Heather
8 years ago

BEST ONE YET!!!!!!! Such a strong and uplifting message!!!!

trackback

[…] Style Icon Lurie […]

Alecto
Alecto
7 years ago

I bookmarked this one. Such a great interview and she is very insightful. I like her analysis of internalized hatred and discrimination. Her afro is gorgeous and her hair is so versatile. I just love it and I love her mind.

trackback

[…] up, the classic afro.  We spotted the lovely Lurie, pictured above, on BlackGirlLongHair where she discusses her hair journey and shares some of her fav looks.  Check out her story […]

youngin girl
youngin girl
5 years ago

I missed this because I didn’t come on this blog until 2012 but This is one of the most powerful interviews I ran into. I went icon searching and clicked this because I knew I haven’t read this before. I’m glad I ran into this. I know I’m late but I just had to comment. Your uplifting, amiable, and educated words just about steals the show. You’ve shown through your interview how self aware you are and how you appraise who you are. This kinda made my day in a way with all of the mixed confusion in my head… Read more »

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  youngin girl

Totally agree.

aaliyah
aaliyah
5 years ago

I am trying to.find Luries mom for hair care services and products..i cannot locate her online. I live in queens where she mentioned her mom.was located.
Thank you

Natasha Gaspard
Natasha Gaspard
5 years ago
Reply to  aaliyah

Her mom now does hair in Brooklyn at Sabine’s Hallway Natural Hair Care Salon 1260 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216 (718) 789‑2673. sabineshallway.com/

Me
Me
4 years ago

4 years later, still the best article on here! So inspirational, and very honest.

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago

Wow. I know I’ve come across this late in the day but Wow! What a refreshing read. I clicked on the thumbnail pic simply because (again refreshingly) here was a picture of what appeared to be a natural super-curly haired 4b/c rocking her hair totally naturally, and not even in a state defined by twist/braid out — just as it grows! That was a treat enough for the eyes — However, there’s much more: This is easily, by far, the most intelligent interview article I’ve read on site. The insights are so true and easily related to. I’ve believed much… Read more »

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