Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Hair Growth: About 10 months

So, after I put in this recent set of two-strand twists in my hair I really noticed the growth of my hair over the past 10 months. Below are just a few pictures showing you my hair growth through two-strand twists comparisons. All of the twists were dry twisted.

This is my hair about a month after my BC. (My BC was April 5, 2010)
This is my hair in August of 2010--about 4 months after my BC.
This is my hair in early February 2011--about 10 months after my BC.

I know that hair grows with proper care but, it is still amazing to see the results:-)

Oh, the random things people say

Photo credit: LeCoil

So, this past Friday I was attending a conference hosted by my department. The conference was in a hotel and various vendors were set up. They were selling such things as clothes, purses, oils, shea butter, jewelry, etc. I tried to resist purchasing anything but, I could not resist this sale one vendor had on clip-on earrings. Lately, I have really been feeling clip-on earrings. They have that whole 50s era, ladylike vibe. But, I digress...

This is how the conversation went:
Me: "Oh, I see you have a sale on clip-on earrings."
Vendor: "Yes, I do. Your ears aren't pierced?"
Me: "Yes, my ears are pierced but, I like the chunkiness of clip-ons and they don't pull at my earlobe."
Vendor: "Ok. I noticed your jewelry over there. I thought it was different that you had on such glamorous jewelry since you have locs. Don't you like ethnic jewelry? Most people with locs wear ethnic jewelry."
Me: "Actually, I like all types of jewelry. I have a nice size collection. And my hair is in twists not locs." Not that there is anything wrong with locs, I just wanted to point that out.
Vendor: "Oh, ok. So, do you wear it out?"
Me: "Yeah, I change it up."

I just thought it was funny that because I wear a certain hairstyle, I should be limited to certain jewelry. As I told her, my jewelry collection really does range from ethnic, to glamorous, to simple, to classic, etc. I never felt my hair should limit my style. I think this just goes back to the stereotype of natural hair and a certain look that is associated with it.

Hair Today: Twist Updo

So, I am still rocking the set of twists that I put in my hair last Monday. I haven't done anything special to them except wear them in an updo.

Right now, I am just enjoying being lazy with my hair. Each night or morning I oil my hair and pin it up. I decided that I am going to fully wear this hairstyle for the entire 2 weeks. So, I will probably just play in some more hairstyle options with this set of twists. The twists just started to get a slight frizz to them about a day or so ago. But, I really don't mind...it is what it is.

The weather has been so NICE in Alabama. We have been having temperatures in the late 60s - 70s for the past 2 weeks. Really, I could have worn my hair out during this time but, I decided to continue to rock my protective hairstyle.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aretha Franklin - I Say A Little Prayer

I simply adore this video! Aretha's natural hair is on point. And because her dancers are all wearing wigs, it makes her natural beauty stand out even more. I love looking at old images and videos of Aretha Franklin when she was rocking the natural 'dos.

Her voice is out of this world and I love to hear it on this song. Enjoy:-)

The History of Our Hair: Angela Davis

We have about a week left in Black History month and you know I had to feature Angela Davis.

Angela Davis is a political activist. Her most popular era of activism was from the late 1960s to the 1970s. She is linked to the Black Panther Party and the Civil Rights Movement. She is also a scholar and author. Click {HERE} for more information on Angela Davis.

A lot of naturals and non-naturals alike associate the afro with Angela Davis. To this day, whenever an afro is being worn people are quick to assume you are part of a political movement--and you may be. However, it is not always wise to make quick judgements simply from a hairstyle.

Also, contrary to popular belief Angela Davis has worn other hairstyles. Of course, if you put in a search for her on the net the first pictures you will find are of her rocking her humongous and glorious afro. But, dig a little deeper and you will find that she was diverse in her styles. Yet, no matter what style you find, she will always be rocking her beautiful natural tresses.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hair Today: Twist Updo

So, this past Monday night I put my hair in some medium size two-strand twists using Fantasia IC Olive Gel. I simply pinned the hair up into an updo.

I think I may keep these twists in for 2 weeks. My hair loves protective styles.

OAN: Some of my subscribers on Youtube asked me to do makeup tutorials. I must admit that I was a little hesitant to tackle this feat. I felt that I would rush through my makeup application and mess up. But, the video turned out alright for my first try. You can check out the makeup look {HERE}.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Natural Inspiration: Corrine Bailey Rae

She is so pretty!

I absolutely adore her voice, hair, features, etc. They just all work.

There is no doubt that Corrine Bailey Rae is beautiful and successful. Her voice just soothes me and put me in that mellow, chill mode. Of course my favorite song by her is "Closer". It's on point.

I think she has the cutest and most adorable pixie features. I feel her features were accentuated more with her shorter hair. However, I am digging the longer hair too. Either way, she is rocking it!

I Have Been Spoiled...by protective styles

So, this past winter/fall I have been wearing my hair in protective styles. And I must admit that protective styles come with a number of perks.

Here they are:
1. I never have to worry about my hair brushing rough fibers.
2. My hair is tucked away so, I am not picking in it constantly. (Yeah, I have "hands in hair" syndrome)
3. I have little to no fairy knots when the hair is in protective styling.
4. Sleeping and covering my hair at night is a breeze. When I wear my hair out, it gets difficult to tuck it under my satin bonnet--I know I need something on a larger scale.

Because of these perks, I immediately put my hair back into a protective style. It was nice to have an "out" style for that brief period but, I'm back to the twists. I wore my hair in the side swept twist-out for 3 days, which was longer than I intended. However, we traveled this past weekend and I didn't have time to do it. But, last night I sat down and put some medium size two-strand twists in my hair and wore an updo today.

So yeah, I have definitely been spoiled by protective styles. I wonder how my hairstyles are going to go in the warmer months. We shall see...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hairstyle: Side Swept Twist Out

Day 1 Day 1, full body shot Day 2

So, this past Friday I did the following:
1. Detangled my hair
2. Shampooed my hair with Giovanni Deep Moisture conditioner
3. Oil Rinsed my hair using a 50:50 mixture of EVOO & Castor Oil
4. Deep Conditioned my hair using Giovanni Deep Moisture conditioner for 30 minutes

I then began to put some twists in my hair:
1. I put the twists in using Herbal Essence Totally Twisted conditioner (Just when I said I haven't picked up a cone conditioner in a minute then, I used one. But the results were fab!)
2. I let the hair air dry fully.
3. I took the twists out the next day
4. I sealed my ends while taking the twists out using my Shea butter/EVOO mixture
5. I then seperated the twists for fullness
6. I swept the hair to one side and bobby pinned it in place.

Click {HERE} for the video tutorial.

Friday, February 11, 2011

History of Our Hair: Ida B. Wells

In continuing with notable Blacks for Black History Month, I will feature Ida B. Wells.

Ida B. Wells was a noted journalist, women's right advocate, speaker, and against lynching. She was also one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She has a rich history and it has influenced our lives to this day. It took strong people like her to give us the rights we have today. Click {HERE} for more information about her life.

Pictures of Ida B. Wells always depict her wearing her hair in an elegant updo. I believe she is one of the inspirations behind the pompadours in the natural community to this day. I even wore my hair in this style before. It just goes to show you that some styles will always be classic and timeless.

Hair Today: Roll & Tuck to the Side

So, I took all of my twists out yesterday and finger detangled them in the process. It took about 4 hours total (1/2 the time it took to put in).

When trying to figure out what I was going to do with my hair today I felt like my hair was singing to me that Miley Cyrus song "I Can't Be Tamed". It was so difficult to get the bobby pins to stay put and for the hair to stay in the bobby pins. I finally settled on a Roll & Tuck style leading to a low side puff.

This style is so simple and one of my fave go-to styles when my hair is out.

After church tonight I will detangle, wash, deep condition, and then put some twists in my hair for a twist out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Last Day for Mini Twists

So, this is the last day for my mini twists. I have plans to take them down tonight. I didn't quite make it 2 weeks with the hairstyle (Saturday would have been 2 weeks). I feel this style could have lasted a few more days. However, since I am going to this event for my church I wanted to have my hair out.

As soon as I get home from work this evening I am going to start taking them out. I have no idea how I am going to wear my hair for work on Friday but, I'll figure something out. Maybe an updo...

Then, after work on Friday I will detangle, wash, etc.

It's funny that I have to have a schedule for my hair. I have learned that its imperative to have a hair schedule and to stick to it. Otherwise, I would get nothing done:-)

Naturals In Advertisement: Oil of Olay (YaYa DaCosta)

Was looking at pictures of YaYa DaCosta on the internet and came across this advertisement of her for Oil of Olay. I think she is beautiful and I am in awe of her hair.

I like that in this advertisement they did not feel the need to straighten or hide her natural hair. It is there in all its glory.

Love it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things I Used to Do that I No Longer Do

So, I have been natural for about 10 months now. I was just thinking about some of the things I used to do that I no longer do. They are below:

1. Braid Hair Every Night - When I first went natural I thought it was imperative to cornrow my hair every night. I did this so my hair would stay looking fresh and defined (for either my braid out updos or afro puffs). Now, I just let my hair do what it do.

2. Pick My Hair (or comb my hair) - I used to be a big fan of the afro puff. I still think it is one of the most gorgeous hairstyles. So, each morning I used to take down my braids and then pick my hair out. Talk about damaging.

3. Wear Headbands - I had a horrible experience back in July 2010 with continuously wearing headbands. In a nut shell, that constant pressure caused me to lose hair in that area and I had a bald patch. That experience gave me a phobia of headband or hair ties. I think it may be alright to rock them every now and then but, I am just too afraid:-( So, I just don't go there.

4. Detangle Wet Hair - I used to detangle my hair when it was sopping wet and soaking with conditioner. However, I tried Moptop Maven's method of detangling on dry/slightly damp hair before washing and I never looked back! It became so much easier to wash my hair on hair that wasn't tangled (dealing with shed hair while trying to wash was a pain). I experienced less shed hair. And I didn't have to worry about water dripping constantly into my as I detangled.

5. Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme - I used to be a major fan of this product. And I don't know when I stopped using it or why. I just realized one day that it was sitting on my shelf and I haven't picked it up in months.

6. Use Conditioners with Cones - Now, I don't know when I stopped using my conditioners with cones and it wasn't a concious decision. I just noticed that on wash days, I usually flock to my Giovanni, Suave, or V05. I'm not saying I won't use my Herbal Essence conditioners ever again, I just don't flock to them like I used to.

7. Let go of all my leave conditioners except one - I used to use Cantu Shea Leave In and Garnier Fructise Conditioning Cream and Cream of Nature Lemongrass Leave in. But, I really did not like these leave-ins. The product build-up, the non-moisturizing factor, petrolatum, etc. So, I only use one leave-in and its one that I adore. And that's Giovanni's Deep Moisture leave-in.

8. Detangling with any wide-tooth comb - I used to use any wide tooth comb to detangle. It really didn't matter to me--as long as it was wide. However, I purchased a Conair seamless comb and it is my staple and only detangling comb so far. I don't think the other wide tooth combs gave my hair major damage. I just feel this new comb is much better.

I just think its amazing to look back at the things I used to do and that I no longer practice. Some of these were concious decisions while others were not choices conciously made.

Wish List: Tangle Teezer

UPDATE: I have decided to not purchase the Tangle Teezer. You can check out my reasons why HERE.

So, this is not only a wish...this is a must. I have heard too many great things and reviews about this product. It claims to help with detangling hair that is usually tough to detangle.

As naturals, we are always on the lookout for the best thing for detangling.

So, it is now on my agenda to purchase a Tangle Teezer from Sally's Beauty Supply Store. I hope all goes well with my experience. And best believe, I will be doing a video of my experience.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Hair Inspiration: LeCoil (Again)

Photo credit: LeCoil

So, I mentioned that I may wear my hair out this weekend to the "Evening Out" function for my church. I went to LeCoil looking for hair inspiration and found some inspiring hairstyles. I have decided that I would like to wear my hair out.

Now, I just need to find the time to take down my hair, detangle it, wash it, co-wash it, deep condition it, etc. Whew! Sounds like a lot but, I can do it:-)

The above pictures are examples of how I want to wear my hair. We shall see how it goes.

Hair Today: Mini Twists Pulled Back

So, this past Sunday marked the beginning of the 2nd week with my mini twists. Even though I spent 8 hours putting these twists in, I plan on taking them out this weekend. Simply put, my hair can't stay in twists for no longer than 2 weeks. It takes no time for my hair to start locking.

For today, I tried something new with the twists by pulling the front section back with bobby pins. It just made the hairstyle have a new feel and I like it. I may wear it like this tomorrow but, I just have to see how I feel.

OAN: This Saturday my church is having "An Evening Out" for Valentine's Day. I am debating if I am going to do an updo with this set of twists or wear my hair completely out in either a twist out or braid out. I think I'll know by Friday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The History of Our Hair: Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)

I love looking at pictures from the past. Especially pictures of black women from the past. It gives me a brief glimpse into their lives--what they wore, how their hair was styled, etc.

Tuesday marked the beginning of Black History Month. I know this sounds cliche but, I don't celebrate Black History one month a year. I celebrate it year round. To start off my celebration of notable Blacks in History I will begin with the great Harriet Tubman.

I am sure most people have heard about Harriet Tubman. She was one of the key leaders of the Underground Railroad, which was a network that helped many African-Americans gain their freedom. Harriet Tubman is known for saying that she "never lost a passenger". Not only was Harriet Tubman a key figure in the Underground Railroad, she also took up other causes such as women's suffrage. She was truly a great woman.

Most photos of Harriet Tubman show her wearing one of two styles. She was either wearing a head scarf--which we women sometimes wear to this day. Or she would wear her natural hair in a signature center part. Even in the photo of her in her last years she still had her center part in her beautiful head of natural fully gray hair. Simply marvelous.

Interesting Fact: As an adolescent she was hit in her head with a 2 pound weight in her head. She feels that the reason she lived through it was because of her hair, which "had never been combed...".

Quick Tip: Hair That Is Brushing Rough Fibers

So, as you all know I have been wearing my hair in the mini twists. I think the hairstyle is cute but, I really don't like my hair brushing my collar (I have worn tweed, cotton, and other fibers). This can lead to my hair ends being damaged or snagging on these fiber. I was hoping that when I sprayed some of my water mixture on my hair that it would shrink and not brush my collar but, that did not happen.

So, I came up with the idea to just wear satin scarves around my collar area. I mean, I wear satin bonnets/scarves to bed and under my acrylic hats. So why not wear it around my neck?

I have quite a few scarves in my collection so, I just focused my outfit today around my scarf. Now, my hair is brushing my satin scarf and all is well.

Another tip: Wear satin shirts. (I have quite of few of those as well.)

Moisturizing Natural Hair

Recently, I was on a blog and the blogger said she moisturizes her natural hair once a week. Some people moisturize their hair everyday (my sister does). I usually moisturize my hair every 1-2 days. I think it just really depends on your hair and its needs. It's essential to know your hair because everything is going to be different for everyone.

First off, moisture is important. Moisture in the hair will help to prevent breakage, damaged ends, dry hair, and so much more. Moisture is obtained through water--not products. Many products will claim to moisturize the hair but, what they should say is they will help you promote/retain your moisture. Simply put, moisture is obtained from water. Water is the bizness.

Here are few tips to retain moisture:
1. Stay away from petroleum/mineral oil based products. They will lock out moisture.
2. Apply a water based spray or mixture to your hair. I like to use this mixture my sister made for me which contains water, EVOO, and aloe vera juice. This really helps me in those colder months when there is not much moisture in the air.
3. I'm sure you've heard it before and I'll say it again. Oil does not moisturize the hair. Water moisturizes the hair. But, it is fine (great really) to apply oil on the damp hair or after hair has been washed. I do and my hair loves it. Some oils are permeable and will allow for moisture to come into the hair.
4. Let that steam from the shower do its work:-)
5. Wash/Co-wash your hair on a routine basis. I usually co-wash/shampoo my hair every 2 weeks in the winter. Usually, in the hotter months I co-wash about 1-2 times per week. No matter what your wash routine is just don't go too long without washing the hair. Our hair loves the water!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

American Girl Doll's Hair Texture

So, when I was a child I had 3 American Girl dolls. My first American Girl doll was Addy a black doll whose story was about her escape from slavery to freedom. My next doll was the Hispanic doll Josefina and my last one was an Asian-American Doll of Today that I named Ling.

I say all this cause I was and still am a fan of American Girl. They really make the dolls to accentuate the true features of the different ethnicities. I must admit that when I first got my Addy doll (the black doll) for Christmas I was upset that her hair was textured. Even though my hair was not permed and textured just like hers I didn't like it. I even called the company (I was about 10 years old) and asked why her hair was like that. It was called self-hate but, I didn't recognize it back then.

But, guess what? I grew to really love my Addy doll--even above the others I would later get. Depicting the natural way we look in dolls helps our girls to grow to love and appreciate their God-given beauty.

So recently, Brandy purchased an Addy doll for her daughter and the comments were out of this world. People called the doll's hair "ratchet" and other negative things were said. Someone even said "at least she isn't wearing a short, nappy afro." Well, guess what? Short and coily hair is a normal, appropriate, and beautiful hairstyle. This goes to show me that there is still self-hate within our community.

Naturally Leslie did a great job of documenting some of the comments. Check them out HERE.