My coworker went to a lot of those Super Bowl parties and after she saw Nas and Kelis at Prive, she told me — “Kelis looked mad washed out.” And I agreed with her, yeah, she’s trying to work the blonde look and I don’t know if it’s happening.

But I didn’t really know what she meant until I saw this photo over at Crunk & Disorderly.

Oh my. Kelis is my girl for life, but she looks like an old woman here.

The bright red lipstick and Pebbles outfit aren’t helping much, but this photo gives further proof that bleach blonde can be the black woman’s enemy (see Eve for past evidence).

Pardon me for a sec, y’all. I need to holla at her for a moment.

Kelis, boo… I must admit you broke my heart at the beginning of the Bossy video.

Watching you cavalierly hack off your lush curls felt like a strange omen, but I got over it. You worked the sleek asymmetrical cut and Bossy became my jam for more than a minute. You’ve always loved color. Heck, from your very first video you came out raging with a rainbow cloud of curls dancing around your head.

I loved your look then, you were so funky and different and beyond fierce. You scared me a little, but I liked it. Hey, you even made the same terrible hair decision I did, by going blue in the video for “Good Stuff.” But despite the crazy colors, you were working the natural in those days, and you inspired me to release my curls as well.

I liked the hair tips your stylist gave from the Honey magazine cover shoot you did back in 2001 or 2002. The braids off to the side totally worked to give your crazy mop some asymmetrical flava. The style worked for you when you were Young, Fresh, and New.

Now you’ve been in the game for a minute, and the pressure’s got to be on to revamp the look, have an Edge, come out with some new sounds, and generally reinvent yourself as all rock hip-hop pop stars must do. I can tell the grind is getting to you, you confess as much on Circus, one of my favorite tracks on your latest album.

But the damage is showing. Your hair looks brittle and the color is unflattering to say the least. I’m not saying you need to go back to black, I’m just saying you need to bring healthy back. For inspiration, look at the adorable little girl who plays you in the Millionaire video — one of your very best vids, in my opinion. Her hair is so gorgeous and healthy-looking!

So from one afrobella to another, I say drop your current stylists. They’re giving you bad advice. Find someone who will lay down the harsh chemicals and bleaches, and condition your hair back to its former glory. If anyone can work a transitioning style, it’s you!

Consider the twists you rocked in the Trick Me video. Those were so, so fly.

I know what you will probably say to my well-meaning suggestions, but trust that I’m saying it out of love. That blonde look is ovah, and you are too young and fly to be looking washed out and overprocessed like that. For real real.

Maximum respect,

Afrobella

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