The last time I did twists, they lasted an incredibly long time. They were in for roughly 5 weeks. In that amount of time, I washed them twice (once after swimming). I mostly wore them up in a bun or some kind of updo.I loved my twists and was very happy that they lasted so long without getting too fuzzy.
Then, insanity struck: I did a blow out and flat iron job in the dead of summer. I thought it would be cool as long as I left my hair in a bun during high humidity (which is pretty much all the time down here).
I have no pictures because right after I did my hair, I was unexpectedly splashed with a ton of water by a 5 year old.
After I felt that water on my scalp, I had a surreal moment of disbelief. There was no way I’d just spent 5 hours on my hair only to have it washed away in a few seconds.Although I’d read stories online about things like this happening, they rarely happen to me.
But it did. In addition to that, it started raining cats and dogs.
In my frustration, I did what I’d been wanting to do for a long time: refrained from cussing out the 5 year old, washed my hair, combed it out and rocked a puff.
These pictures are of my puff the morning I wore it to work. It was raining like crazy so I had on my raincoat but of course my puff wouldn’t fit under the hood. Haha.
Who cares though, right? That rain only made my puff look better. I’ve been moisturizing with a spritz, tying down my edges at night, and going about my business. I’m not thinking about single strand knots, I’m not thinking about tangles. I’m not even thinking about curl definition. I’m just enjoying.my.puff!
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here, but I started homeschooling my 5 year old son. It was a big decision on my part and something I sometimes doubted I could do, but in the end I feel it’s the right decision. With the help of a local homeschooling group and some supportive friends, it’s been going smoothly thus far. And no, we are not wearing long skirts and churning butter. I don’t think most homeschoolers fit the preconceived notions that society has of them.
In other family news, I had an unexpected (but welcome) pregnancy in May that ended in miscarriage about a month later. After having had a miscarriage before my son was conceived, it never occurred to me that I’d have another one. How arrogant we humans can be.
I’ve known some women who weren’t very affected by miscarriage but both times have been pretty depressing for me. This last time was not quite as bad, more than likely because I had my children to keep my mind occupied.
Thankfully, I do not live in a coastal city but we are often affected by hurricanes in my area. During Katrina, we lost power for 5 days and had several causalities in the area. I also have a lot of relatives further south. I am humbly asking for prayers and thoughts during this time, though I’m sure we will be fine.
As I’ve been sitting typing this post, the wind has gone from nonexistent to strong, intermittent bursts. So I guess Isaac is about to pay a visit!
Thanks for reading this long ramble and, as always, thanks for reading Now back to hurrrrrrr…!
Here are some things I absolutely can’t stand at work. First, hair flopping in my eyes. An errant piece of hair can be the most annoying thing on the planet. I have even gone so far as to borrow a paperclip to try and keep the hair out of eye.
Second annoying thing at work: Hair on my shoulders falling into patient beds. No matter how clean my hair is, it’s unacceptable for it to fall into the beds of my tiny patients with their fragile immune systems. To remedy this in the past, I have used a rubber band from the front office.
When I started dipping into the office supplies a little too much, I decided that it was about time I started carrying some backup.
Ouchless bands and headbands These are great for pulling the hair back into a puff (the remedy for any natural hair disaster) or just pulling it back from the face.
Bobby pins To tame that little piece of hair that always sticks up on the side of your head. Or that piece of hair that refuses to stay out of your eye. Oooor maybe you are not feeling today’s braidout and want to make a quick but stylish updo.
Spritz bottle Over the past, I’ve put all sorts of liquid in my mini spritz bottle. During the dryer months, I’ve used a leave in liquid conditioner to remoisturize on the spot. Right now, I have plain water with a few drops of lavender oil. Lavender (along with tea tree oil and rosemary) and water make a nice spritz post-exercise to refresh the hair.
Scarf Maybe your ouchless headbands aren’t doing the job and you need a bit more backup. A scarf, for me, is a must have. Sometimes it’s not even a matter of needing to fix a hair problem. Sometimes, I just want to accessorize and didn’t have time before I left the house. I usually carry a black colored scarf for simplicity sake.
Gel With the loss of my edges due to post partum shedding, I find gel to be more useful than I have in the past. Until my “nubs” grow back completely, a little gel is helpful in smoothing back the flyaway poofs.
Moisturizer The pink bottle contains a creamy moisturizer. I don’t use this much but I do keep it on hand. I also use it when I run out of lotion for my skin.
Trimming Shears Yes. It’s that serious, folks. I’ve spent too many days examining the same split end over and over. If I see one, I want to trim that sucker. Overboard? Maybe. Genius? Definitely!
So there you have it. The only thing I’m lacking is a rain bonnet. Although I rarely run for the rain, there are times when I still don’t want to get my hair wet.
Do you have an emergency hair bag? What “supplies” do you carry with you at all times?
You may or may not have seen a recent video about an Essence article essentially (and allegedly) discrediting YouTube vloggers as good sources of information on natural hair. I saw the complaints posted on both BHM and NC.com but I could never find the original wording from the article.
I finally viewed the video that started all of this, which can be seen here below.
And then, while picking up a few last minute Christmas gifts, I found the article in the actual magazine. The selection that is giving everyone fits is under the subtitle “Transitioning Do’s” and is as follows:
Be selective about using the information you get from the internet. “A lot of times YouTubers are speaking about their texture, which may not be yours,”says Martin. Instead, join natural hair communities like those at ESSENCE.com and naturallycurly.com, which are designed to help you learn your hair type and texture. A plus: You can connect with other women who are also transitioning.
Truth be told, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The way people were going on about it, I thought it would have been much worst. Having said that, it was still not ok.
As other people have mentioned, natural hair has become big business. Essence recognizes that and well they should. I have enjoyed some of the natural hair related features from Essence. If you follow me on me on Twitter, you may have even seen me recently share Essence’s Street Style Hair because there were so many beautiful pictures of natural hair. And who doesn’t love pretty pictures of pretty hair?
I don’t mind people cashing in on the natural hair popularity…as long as you are not doing it a disservice.
What the author of the article is saying is truth mixed with omissions. I will fill in the omissions as I see it :
A lot of YouTubers ARE discussing their own texture, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a lot of ideas and styling tips from them even if their texture is completely different.
The same problems I would run into on YouTube would also be present on NC.com and Essence’s forums (or any forum for that matter). People in these communities are sharing their own experiences with their own hair, not mine. Unless my own personal clone was on these forums sharing information, there is no guarantee that any information will benefit me.
Just like YouTube.
I am certain that people share misinformation (also known as haircare myths and legends) on those forums.
Just like YouTube.
A “community” will have varying opinions and advice, whether it’s through videos or a forum. Just as one would have to weed through misinformation on YouTube, one would also do the same on these forums to find the good tidbits. By the way, Essence, transitioning ladies can also connect with each other on YT.
Whatever Essence says, it can not change the fact that YouTube is an awesome resource for naturals. Never has there been such a large collection of tutorials, product reviews, opinions and hair care experiences all gathered in one place. Not only that, if you want to know how someone did their hair, it’s right there for you to see.
So, for me, it all comes down to:
Essence wants to make more money (don’t we all?) so they cast doubt on vloggers and instead uplift their own website. Again, great advice about being selective, but unnecessary to bring the YouTubers into it.
If I had been them, I would’ve reworded it like this: “Be selective of the information you find on the internet. You can find great advice at our website.”
Again, there was some truth in what they said. You DO have to be selective about information you get from the internet. Really, this statement should’ve just been left at that. Except they should’ve added that you also need to be selective about the information you receive from magazines as well.
In this same issue of Essence, I found several of the tips to be confusing and ill advised. The ones that sticks out in my mind the most are suggesting coloring your hair if it’s “dull” (though they do advise that the hair needs to be healthy beforehand) and using the terms “shedding” and “breakage” interchangeably.
This is not the first time I’ve seen hair advice that I personally disagree with in Essence. It all goes back to, as Essence suggested (hehe), being selective (have I used that word enough?). I’ve read a lot of books on natural hair care. Some of them sucked, some of them were great. Whether I deemed the books helpful or not, it is up to me to take from these books what applies to me and my hair. It is also up to me to not always put all of my faith in “experts” because many of them have kept us all near balding.
I’m going to address the two pieces of advice from the article I disagreed with. I am not doing it because I am going on an “Essence sucks” rant. I am doing it because I want anyone who is transitioning and/or newly natural to get a different point of view if they read the article and took it for absolute truth.
First, from the article:
Lifeless strands are an inevitable by-product of making the switch due to dehydration and product buildup. You can bring the wow back by adding color or a gloss. The only caveat: Avoid dyeing until your hair is in a healthy state. “If my client insists, I may opt to add a demipermanent color which is ammonia-free and adds moisture and shine to the hair,”says Martin.
A lot of new naturals will classify their hair as dull. I remember doing that myself. That’s a leftover from living with relaxed hair your whole life. As I’ve stated before, natural hair (or curly hair in general) is not going to have the same shine as straight hair. Instead, it’s going to have sheen, if anything. So for them to suggest coloring the hair is not cool with me. They say you’re bring the “wow” back, but you might be bringing the “ow!” back.
It’s one thing to color if you just want a change…but to cover up “dull” hair? No ma’am. Also, going natural and adjusting to natural hair care is a big change…do you really want to throw color in the mix??
If you experience shedding while combing or brushing, don’t be alarmed; it’s perfectly normal. The difference between the two textures causes strands to shed and break off naturally. How much shedding you experience will depend on your curl pattern–the tighter the curl, the more shedding you’ll see. “To avoid breakage you should continue to condition your hair, and choose styling options that are not pulling or tugging at the hair daily,” says Titi Branch of Miss Jessie’s hair care line.
I’ve been in this game a few years and, in that time, have taken notice of the advertising methods of the companies that cater to natural hair. Some of these methods leave much to be desired and if you’ve been around long enough, you’ve probably had enough too.
I notice that most of what I get angry about has to do with them preying on people who are not yet knowledgeable about caring for natural hair.
Here is Kcurly’s list of ”Natural Hair Advertising Donts”, alternatively known as “How To Get A Serious Side Eye from Kcurly”
1.Pick your company name carefully
I’m not going to name any names…but…having a name like “Mulatto Mixtures” (Ok, maybe they are not that bad), or the like, has me raising an eyebrow. And I know why they do it: They want to appeal to all of those women out there who have multiracial or biracial backgrounds. A lot of these women have been branded their whole lives as having “difficult” hair. So, of course they are drawn to products that are supposedly made just for them.
The truth of the matter is that ”multiracial” hair can vary so much in its characteristics that throwing all the people who have a mixed racial background into the same group doesn’t make sense. Also, believe it or not, some of those folks who are not multiracial might enjoy your products as well and you are turning them off from the get-go. Throw in other company actions and now both my eyebrows are raised.
2.Actually use real hair in your ads
If I see one more natural hair product ad with a woman wearing a wig or a weave in it, I will scream. The worst part is that they don’t even attempt to find some fake hair that looks like natural hair. I mean, it’s bad enough that we got Beyonce doing hair color commercials while wearing wigs and such (yes L’Oreal, I still got my eye on you!) but now I gotta see alleged curl defining cream results on a wig?
If you’re going to do that, give me the name of the wig or weave so if I do want the same results, I can actually have them without wasting money on your crummy product.
3. Your “all natural” isn’t my “all natural”
Maybe a lot of people equate natural hair with ingredients straight from the earth (ie juices and berries) and that is why these companies feel that they need to emphasize that aspect in their advertising. I have no problem with them emphasizing this if it’s true.
I do have a problem with these said products being touted as natural and still being full of crap. Just because you have shea butter tossed in the ingredient list somewhere does not make your product natural.
And guess what? Not all of us naturals do the juices and berries thing and may love your chemicals (minus the lye of course )
Slapping on a price tag that makes me wonder if I need to mortgage my house adds insult to injury.
4. Stop exaggerating
I said “exaggerate” and not “lie” because it’s a thin line sometimes.
I just spent a few minutes checking out a few popular lines, specifically products that are curl defining. I saw more than once the claim that they will “transform” your fro into curls.
These products may help to define the curls that are already there but they are not going to magically make them appear. This is not a Disney movie, last I checked, but real life.
And just to be clear, I have nothing against curl definition. I am, however, against product claims that have women buying products that are never going to do what they want (in some cases).
Do you have a gripe with these types of ads and/or claims? Share them below!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. If you’re like me, you have a few pumpkins hanging around. My kids went and picked out some from the local pumpkin patch. Some friends gave us a few, etc… You know the drill.
For all you mixtresses out there, how about adding a little pumpkin to the mix?
Pumpkin is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein. It has been renown for moisturizing properties for both the hair and skin.
Because I am fully in the holiday spirit, I decided to make a pumpkin hair mask.
So here’s what I did. And I am no mixtress by any means, so feel free to do what feels good to ya! (I know some of ya’ll are channeling Martha Stewart, but for those of channeling Peggy Bundy, this might work for you )
Rinse pumpkin thoroughly, scrub if necessary
Cut off stem. This pumpkin is pretty old, so it had a bad spot in the top near the stem, so I cut off a lot of the top.
Cut pumpkin into halves or quarters and scrape out the seeds. I ran a sharp edge (pizza cutter) along the inside to get all of the stringy stuff out too.
You can either steam, bake, or boil the pumpkin then until it’s nice and soft. I boiled mine, which was probably the worst as far as keeping the nutrients.
Scape the cooked pumpkin flesh away from the rind or you can sometimes just peel the rind back.
Take the flesh and mash it up. I would really recommend pureeing it because pumpkin can be stringy. Take it from me, I once had banana chunks in my hair for 5 days. You do NOT want that to be you!
Add some yogurt, honey, oil…whatever you want!
Apply to hair. I left mine in for about an hour with a plastic bag.
I rinsed about three times and then used some diluted castile soap.
My hair felt very moisturized and springy afterward. This is probably not something I would do on a regular basis, but it’s nice to not just toss the pumpkin out once the fall time is over. I would also like to try a facial mask using pumpkin as well.
If you have any pumpkin tips, feel free to comment!
I did a chunky braid out Saturday for my son’s birthday party. I put in maybe 10 big plaits and some in the back were still slightly damp when I undid them so the back wasn’t as defined. However, I loved it! My hair felt bigger than life
I used a Ficcare clip to pull the hair back in the front. Before putting the braids in, I used Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. My hair was very soft and fluffy.
This is my extra strong Ficcare clip that I bought on eBay. I'm still playing around with it.
This cap barely fit on my head. I thought the cheapo plastic caps at the beauty supply store were small but they are way better than these. Luckily, I was able to stuff my hair in while it was braided and soaked with conditioner. Despite the shiny, fancy looking material, I didn’t notice any more heat retention than I get from a regular plastic cap or even my trusty plastic grocery bag. I had the cap on for about an hour.
Seriously, is this what a solid gold dancer uses to deep condition?
What is the price of this garish creation, you might be asking? I didn’t pay for it so I can’t give you a first hand quote but Amazon has it listed for $4.79.
And you only get one in the package.
Not that two (or three) would help since they don’t work all that great. But unless that is real gold they used to make it, I’m going to need them to tone down the price. Or at least make the cap bigger.
I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day. We are safe and happy but not far from Tropical Storm Lee, so we have been getting a ton of rain all weekend. It was my son’s birthday weekend and he got a new bike. Of course, he wanted to ride this bike outside. Luckily, my [...]
First of all, this woman’s hair is precious. And it really didn’t look that big. I was expecting some huuuuuge fro (like mine today). And it was up in a puff? Hmm, something is fishy, folks. Check it out and give me your opinion. (see article here) Laura Adiele wasn’t expecting any trouble when she [...]
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday full of lots of hotdogs, burgers, ribs, chicken, potato salad, apple pie, deviled eggs, watermelon…mmmm….er…what was I saying? Oh yes. Have a great Fourth! And thanks to all of the veterans out there, several of which we have the honor to have in our family. Well, [...]
*Blink* Oh. Ok. Several observations on the instructions: -I wonder if this cassette tape had some bonus “player” instructions? Such as “For added sexiness, grow a big a** mustache and look as uncomfortable and stiff as possible” -A cassette tape back then with instructions on it was very fancy. Today, that would be like getting [...]
You think you have it bad as a natural today with your single strand knots and unsupportive relaxed friends and family? Well, this commercial shows the true struggles of naturals a few decades ago. First, please view this video. Apparently in the 70s, not only did one have to contend with the effects of [...]
I admit it: I just haven’t been big on the curl definition thing lately. Which is funny because that is all my little brain could focus on when I first went natural. I suppose it’s just another stage in my mental transition . There is nothing wrong with wanting to define your curls. I just [...]
Ya’ll know I love some Etsy. I was browsing there the other day and found the cutest natural hair oriented shop. I was impressed with both the affordable prices and also the amount of kids accessories. Click here to visit Zuri.
I haven’t heard any of their music, but I was contacted about them and just had to pass it along. Both are beautiful ladies repping the natural hair community! Amana Melome While maintaining her natural elegance, combined with her American and European heritage and cosmopolitan influences, Amana Melome’s latest album “Phoenix Rising” is a refreshing [...]
5/5/2011: This is a repost from 2 years ago, I’m bumping it! I was thinking of something meaningful to write for a Mother’s Day post besides the generic “Happy Mother’s Day”. So, I decided to think about mothers and hair. In what ways can I connect the two? For African Americans girls especially, the process [...]
Thanks for reading! Remember that our hair is a gift and that it can blossom and grow if we take good care of it. If you have questions, want to share your story, or just want to say hi, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org