Afro Alice Hebdo- Francesca Andre, Our Guest For This Week

The adventure is going on with Afro Alice and the guest to our forum for this week is Francesca Andre, a talented photographer and naturalista.

 1-           Tell us about you & FAP.

I am not sure what you would like to know but I will tell you the basic…I like to cook (small appetizers…) I am very persistent and lately I have become more disciplined. I also like to dance but for some reason I feel like I have lost my rhythm. I love music, Norah Jones, Gil Scott Heron, Salif Keita, Emeline Michel, Brenda Fassie, Hugh Masekela, Lauryn hill, Manno Charlemagne,Louis Armstrong, Cesaria Evora and so many more. I am loyal but I also know when to draw the lines, being the only child for such a long time thought me how to rely on myself as well as the importance of others.  I like being around people as much as I like being alone.   Francesca Andre Photography is my business/creative outlet.

Francesca Andre Photography

Francesca Andre Photography

 2-           When and why did you return natural?

 I went natural about 4 years.  I don’t really know why but it was after a break up with someone and I felt like shaving my hair was a way of getting rid of the bad energy.  There’s renewed strength whenever I shave my hair.  It is like I am giving myself another opportunity to start over and claim a new beautiful beginning!

3-           How did people surrounding you react to the change?

 I have shaved my hair before so it really wasn’t a big surprise.

4-           Who were your supporters? Your hairspirations?

My Friend Carine Eustache was beyond supportive and I will forever be grateful for all her support.

5-           What is your hair regimen?

I use vegetable glycerin, organic extra virgin olive oil and I mix it with water and put it in my hair. I don’t use shampoo.  I wash my hair with conditioner. Yet, to be honest, I need to take better care of my hair.

6-           What do you like most about being natural?

I feel free.  And even when I braid my hair with extensions, I don’t feel like I am hiding anything.  I feel proud.

7-           A message to the existing, upcoming and potential natural hair community?

 It is a journey….certainly a journey to self-love.  BREAKING the chains is not easy….be patient with yourself, be patient with your hair…and re-program yourself to love and embrace your hair.

Maximize your Hair Growth From Within

Growing long, healthy, thick and full natural hair is not an overnight task.  You certainly have to take care of your hair and maintain it on a regular basis.  But,  there is more to be done to achieve gorgeous nap.  And this effort should be done from within: watch your diet. 

Let’s talk about three of the food which maximize hair growth:

1- Salmon– source of protein, iron, B12 vitamin, omega-3 fatty acid which result in beautiful and healthy skin and hair.

2- Carrots– source of vitamin A and beta-carotene and keratine for healthy sight, hair and skin.



3- Dark green vegetables– source of iron, calcium, vitamins A and C which the body uses to create this natural conditioner good for both our hair and skin: the sebum.

Next time you are thinking about the reason why you hair is not growing enough or at all, remember- the process of growing hair starts in your plate. 🙂


Afro Alice Hebdo – Meet One of The Faces Behind Bèltèt Grenn

Afro Alice has taken much delight in interviewing Clara Luce Lafond, a natural hair passionate and one of the founder of Bèltèt grenn.

1- Tell me about yourself and Bèltèt Grenn.

I am Clara Luce Lafond a founding member of BELTET GRENN. Which is a joint effort taken on by women with natural hair in order to celebrate our curly manes and encourage other women to do so, especially Haitian women. Our goal is to encourage all women to love their natural hair regardless of ethnicity, culture or hair texture. We specifically target Haitian women because there seems to be a lack of support for these wonderful women who decide to wear their natural hair. BELTET GRENN should be a place where they feel at home and comfortable to share freely, whether they are newly naturals, women who have been natural for a long time or even women who are struggling with loving their hair, because yes! that also happens and there’s nothing wrong with that because going natural doesn’t happen the same way for everyone. For some it is very easy and for others it’s a very hard process. We offer support to all.

Clara Luce L., BTG

Clara Luce L., BTG

 2- When and why did you return natural?

It was in the summer of 2006, I had just graduated high school. Of course I was rocking a perm like most girls my age. But over the summer I was growing tired of my perm, I didn’t like the long hours at the salon, the process of getting a touch up, then roller sets, sitting under that oh so very hot drier, then trimming (if necessary) and finally getting them styled with a blow drier. I remember one particular day, I had just washed my hair and I was sitting in front of the TV with my brother and I suddenly asked him : what if I stopped getting a perm? He had no idea what to say. Not because he thought not getting a perm was a bad decision, simply because he didn’t know what else I could do. So I looked at him with a confused face as well and said: But what would I do with my natural hair? And the idea went away and I carried on caring for my relaxed hair. But in that same summer, my wonderful sister in law, who is also a founding member of BELTET GRENN, came to town. And I immediately noticed her new growth. When I asked her about it, she said she had been growing them out for 5 months already and told me she’d been researching on alternatives online. She had decided to go natural. We spent an afternoon talking about that nonstop! I was hooked! This is what I was searching for this whole time. She said we should do it together; I didn’t hesitate one second and said yes! Absolutely!

So I started transitioning. I washed and braided my hair and rocked braid outs as my transitioning method. I, not being a very patient person, especially at the time, didn’t transition very long. August 2nd 2006, I big chopped. If I remember accurately I believe she as well big chopped later in that same month.

 3-How did people surrounding you react to the change?

The first person who saw me when I big chopped that day was a neighborhood friend of mine. He stopped by just to say hi and saw my very teeny weeny afro. He had the sweetest grin ever and said: you should have done this a long time ago! And then the rest of my family saw me and they all loved it. When I went out and started seeing people I knew, a couple of them didn’t recognize me at first glance others were simply in shock. Most loved my new look while a few others asked if I had gone mad.

 4-Who were your supporters? Your hairspirations?

 My sister in law was my biggest supporter and inspiration. We embarked on the natural journey together. We had joys, frustrations, trials and made errors together. We shared every bit of information we gathered to help each other. And there are of course the endless pictures of beautiful women with natural hair online. I spent countless hours browsing those pictures and blogs. I did anything and everything to keep me focused on why I had made this decision. And I never regretted it. Not once.

 5- Are you working on any project related to natural hair?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. I’m currently launching BELTET GRENN as a natural hair salon where I offer my services as a natural hairstylist and consultant. If anyone is interested in contacting me for my services, I can be reached at

 6- What is your hair regimen?

I wash my hair every week, sometimes every 2 weeks. I no longer use shampoo personally unless it’s a sulfate free one, because sulfates irritate my scalp. I wash with a mixture of apple cider vinegar or baking soda along with my favorite conditioners, whether VO5, Tressemme naturals, Suave etc… Then I apply a leave in conditioner and seal my hair with either oil or butter such as Shea butter. I use some gel depending on the style I plan to wear.

 7- What do you like most about being natural?

I love everything about it. I love how it kinks, curls, coils, waves in every possible direction. I love that it needs to be cared for with lots of love and patience. I love that water is its best friend, that everything I need to care for it can be found in either my kitchen or garden. I love how big and fluffy it can be. How it has a mind of its own, how there are days no matter what I try it will simply not cooperate because it wants to do its own thing. I love all the different shapes I can mold it into. I love how it has affected everything about me, from my personality, to my personal style, to my personal beliefs and so on. I even love all the strange looks I get from strangers when they see me with my natural hair. I love everything my natural hair has brought into my life. Had anyone told me a few years ago changing my hair would mean so much I would have told them they’re crazy, because it’s “just hair”. Today I stand corrected, going natural has meant everything to me and I can’t picture myself any other way.

 8- A message to the existing,  upcoming and potential natural hair community?

To the natural hair community I would like to say, thank you. Thank you for existing, for making yourselves heard, for empowering women like myself to take this journey. To committing to your choice everyday in spite of a society that does not yet fully accept us as we are. To the women who are already natural and to those who are contemplating the decision, I say congratulations and welcome. This is probably the best personal decision you will ever make for yourself. In a perfect world there would be no need for such a community, because every woman would naturally wear her hair as nature intended. But in the world we live in now such communities must exist and thrive today, in order to ensure a better tomorrow, where we will teach our daughters that their hair is not a “mistake” nor is it “hard to manage” that it is simply Unique and Special just as they are therefore we have Unique and Special ways to care for it. Embrace and care for you kinks, coils, curls and waves, I promise they do embrace back.

Afro Alice Hebdo – Je vous présente Donalzie Théodore

Et la découverte des figures haitiennes avec les cheveux naturels continue….

Cette semaine, Afro Alice vous présente Donalzie Théodore, pianiste, chanteuse, compositrice et co-fondatrice du groupe musical, Vwalib.

1      Parle-nous de toi. 

  Je suis Donaldzie Théodore. Chanteuse, pianiste, compositrice…

Donalzie Theodore, Vwalib

          Donalzie Theodore, Vwalib

 2-      Parle-nous de Vwalib. 

  Vwalib est le groupe musical dont je suis cofondatrice depuis 2006. Vwalib, qui après tant d’expériences accumulées  et  après son test pressing « Mwen renmen ou », prépare la sortie de son tout premier album pour bientôt.

 3       Quand et comment es- tu redevenue naturelle? 

 D’une part, mon cuir chevelu était toujours très sensible aux produits chimiques en réalité. Alors souvent, je me faisais l’idée de ne plus appliquer de défrisant.  D’autre part, j’ai senti que défriser définitivement ses cheveux c’est changer de nature, ou pire c’est être sans nature ! En somme, je sentais que je faisais du tort à ma santé rien que pour être une artificielle ! En mai 2012, j’ai donc arrêté le défrisage.

  4-      Comment ont réagi tes proches?

Ils ont bien réagi.  «J’aime tes cheveux ! » « Ça te va bien ! » « C’est joli. » 

 5-      Qui t’a supporté?  Qui est/sont ton/tes hairspiration(s)?

 Ce n’est pas comme si je me rendais seule sur Saturne ! Ce n’est rien de difficile qui demande une assistance, un support… C’est un choix, une décision, ou si on veut une prise de conscience, un revirement. Je l’ai vécu comme ça. J’ai par contre reçu des conseils et des astuces de quelques amies et aussi des bons vieux trucs si efficaces de ma mère !

 6-      Travailles-tu sur des projets (une musique?) concernant les cheveux naturels? 

 Lol! Non. Pas une musique sur les cheveux naturels précisément! Mais je suis très sensible aux questions d’identité en général. Je revendique la reconnaissance de notre culture, de notre musique locale, de la particularité artistique de notre pays. Une reconnaissance que nous-même haïtiens devons donner en premier à tout ça. Qui sommes-nous ? Qu’est ce qui nous représente ? Qu’est-ce que nous apportons au monde ? Les cheveux naturels peuvent être pour beaucoup rien de plus qu’un nouveau look sans être pour autant une recherche d’identité. On a le choix !

Le constat c’est que nous essayons parfois de tout faire pour ne pas nous attacher à nos origines. Nous croyons que le meilleur vient d’ailleurs : la mode, les coiffures, la beauté…

En tout ce que nous faisons, je crois qu’il nous faut une identité capable de nous présenter positivement et originalement.

Mes projets artistiques présentent effectivement des thèmes sur cette quête d’identité, ce besoin de se repérer et de s’imposer. Cheveux naturels ou alors promotion de la productionartistique locale, transmission des valeurs, patriotisme, bonnes actions… Nous devons rechercher qui nous nous sommes vraiment. Ça doit être un projet commun.

 7-      Quel est ton régime capillaire? 

 Lavage régulier, soins à base naturelle.

 8-      Qu’est-ce que tu aimes le plus à être naturelle?

 Tout simplement le fait d’être naturelle!

 9-       Un message pour celles qui font partie de la communauté naturelle? 

Bravo de représenter si bien une facette de la beauté de notre identité.  Soyez vous-mêmes dans ce que vous projetez extérieurement, aussi bien que dans ce que vous êtes intérieurement.


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Launching my Youtube Channel

Yipeeee! I made it!  Last night, I launched my Youtube Channel: Afro Alice.

Yesterday was a holiday but I was so busy that I made the video late and took sometime to edit it then it started to rain and the Internet connection went slow.  I started uploading it at 10:27 p.m, it was 11:45 p.m and only 83% was uploaded.  I fell asleep before it was complete and I woke up this morning with all uploading and publishing done.

The good news-for the Haitian community and all creole speakers- is that my channel is in Creole.  The bad news-for my faithful English speaking community- is that I didn’t start writing the captions in English yet but I am getting there.  Thank you in advance for your patience.

Below is the link to my Youtube channel:

Please, comment, like and subscribe 🙂

Happy Thursday