Its me AGAIN and my fab braid-out from last week. These pics were taken when I first unraveled the braids. I was having one of those "I LOOOVVE My Hair" type days, so of course I had to grab my camera and get to clicking. My hair was soft and bouncy...Perfect for a mini photo shoot...Right?!? LOL! Enjoy ladies :-)
"The first step to getting people to love and accept you is loving and accepting yourself" -KKQ
I got my last relaxer in the spring of 2005 right before I graduated college. I'm not exactly certain when it became fully natural because I didn't do the BC. I decided to continue to get it straightened (which I don't recommend) until my stylist, a fellow cheerleader at my college, decided to graduate and move back to California (how dare she...lol ). I decided to go natural because even though my hair was just past my shoulders relaxed, it completely stopped growing and it was not as thick and full as I liked. A couple of my friends were natural and I love, love, LOVED their hair, so they were my motivation to go through with the process...and it is a process!
My mom was supportive, but not many more people! My father and other relatives would frequently make fun of me calling me Ceelie from the Color Purple (when I would prepare for twist-outs) and saying I looked like a slave. It was extremely hurtful! I was already super self conscious about going out in public with my hair "undone" and almost equally self conscious about the end result of my look when it was "done". I really had to try hard to ignore some people and educate others. It really helped when my then boyfriend, now husband, supported my new look and encouraged me to keep at it, knowing that I would find the look I wanted. He loves my hair natural, which is not as common in black men. But I continued to be steadfast and focus on my goal which was and still is, healthier and happier hair!
Hair routine. Yeah...don't really have one...even after all these years! I am trying to find one though. I had began a routine of doing twist outs weekly or biweekly, but that got kinda old. Now I am trying lots of styles that KKQ suggests along with other wonderful ladies on youtube...wish I would have know about them in 2005! I usually wash once a week which is generally every time a style is over. I would like to do more co-washes and I'm currently in the process of purchasing more products to see where I get the best results and so that I can pull from my collection the right product for the right style, something KKQ seems to have mastered! I wanna be like her when I grow up!
My goals are to continue to get to know my hair, know what it needs and when. To keep it healthy and happy. I would like to achieve better length (which I think is hand in hand with health) only because it was so much longer before and I know it can be. But I also want to continue to be an example and role model of a black woman with natural hair. I have brought in 5 (and counting) new naturals who look to me for advice and support and I constantly have other people asking about natural hair and complimenting me. It feels great to have such a huge impact on other women!
My advice would be:
Stay true to YOURSELF and don't worry about what others think about your hair. Being natural is beautiful and there is nothing wrong with it and EVERYTHING right with it!
Hang in there! It is a process and it WILL be trying, but if your goal truly is having healthy hair and doing what's right, YOU CAN DO IT!
Don't reinvent the wheel. There are soooo many people just like you who have done what you're doing. Use your resources to find great styles, products, and support...start with YouTube!
Be patient and love your hair...I love myself more now than ever because of my choice (hope that doesn't sound arrogant), but you will learn so much about yourself and TRUE beauty if you give your hair a chance and wait for the results..they will come!
Don't compare your natural hair to others. "My hair won't look like yours..." You're probably right, but you may be wrong...you don't know what goldmine is sitting under those roots, so stop comparing yourself to everyone else and really devote your time, effort, and even money, to finding products and styles that work best for YOU!
Great story..Thx Cort :-)
After I posted my review of the Sof-n-Free Milk Protein & Olive Oil collection, I decided to give the Strengthening Creme and Leave-In another try. I co-washed my hair and sectioned it into 4 parts as usual. I generously spritzed the Leave-In Treatment to my hair, paying close attention to my ends. Then I applied the Strengthening Creme and combed it through with my Denman brush. I parted my hair with my fingers and began braiding medium sized braids. Once at the ends I smoothed on a small amount of Castor Oil and twirled with my finger to create a coil. Air dried overnight and unraveled in the morning. Here's the results!!
Me Likey :-)
A N.O. reader writes-
I was just browsing through FabSugar because I'm thinking about joining the network to publish a fashion/style blog and I came across your blog and I love it. Just the other day a girlfriend and I broke down and got perms and we got an earful from our friends who have natural hair minus the perms. LOL! We both are against weaves and have naturally long hair..but when it comes to taming our locks, we go for the "conks" as my friend Monica the dread lock diva calls them. I go about two - three months without a perm and tend to give up on the thick long hair challenge..the harder it gets for me to manage. For one, I would have to learn about products and how to style my hair. It's always been easier for me to manage and tame my locks with a perm and heat. However when I look at Corrine Bailey Rae or anyone else with natural long locks I always wonder.."wow, could mine look like that too if I just leave it alone and learn to care for it minus the heat and chemicals?"
Your blog is inspirational and who knows..by this time next year I may not be getting perms anymore..let's hope that I make it through the summer
getting less of them, first:-)
All the best,
Being natural is an awesome thing. But It has to be something you want for yourself, not to please anyone else. If you can't honestly say that your ready for this than wait until the time is right. Natural hair is less about styling and saying you have "natural hair". Its more about finally be comfortable and honest with self. I transitioned for a year and a half for that very reason...I just was not ready. That long transition gave me time to prepare myself for all the things life seems to throw at you when you go natural. The stares and rude comments from family, co-workers...etc. All that combined can break a chick down if she's mentally prepared for it. When I finally wore my natural hair to work for the first time I was nervous, but confident at the same time. Nothing they could say could break me down. I felt free and sure of myself for the first time as an adult and I still feel that way today.
Learning how to style and maintain you hair is a learning process. But with a lot of practice, patience and trial & error, you'll be able to figure out what works best for your hair.
Good Luck to you :-)
If you have any other advice please leave in the comments below :)
Back in November I was contacted by a rep from the M & M Product Company to test out their new collection of products. This new line combines milk, olive oil and Omega-3 to keep naturally curly hair healthy and strong. Here's a little excerpt from the press release...
"Curly black hair is gorgeous, so women shouldn't consider these structural characteristics as shortcomings in beauty. They just need to know that their hair might require some special attention to keep it strong, " says Will Williams, director of education and product development. Milk protein contains calcium to strengthen hair and provide light reflective properties; its anti-irritant benefits soothe the scalp without causing build up on the hair. Olive oil, long known for its ability to add shine and repair damage, also helps to promote a healthy scalp and well moisturized hair. Omega-3, rich in essential fatty acids and recognized as a powerful nutrient for the body and brain, rebuilds, strengthens and protects hair from within. No other hair care line has this triple treatment combination."
I tried all 5 of the products in the picture above and here are my thoughts...
Three Layer Oil: Cool packaging on this product. You can actually see the layers of Omega-3, Milk Protein and Olive Oil and you have to shake it to activate the oil. Sounds corny, but I thought it was a cool feature...lol. After admiring the bottle I quickly turned it around to check the ingredients list. Now that Im natural I find myself checking ingredients like never before...lol. The second ingredient on the list is Mineral Oil and I was immediately turned off. Not only does Mineral Oil cause a ton of build up on my scalp, it irritates the heck out of my face. I decided to give it a try anyway while taking my last set of twist down since I was gonna shampoo my hair anyway. My hair didn't care for it at all and it wasn't very moisturizing like Castor Oil or Evoo
Daily Growth Lotion: I wasn't a fan of this product for my hair, but my niece's hair loves it. Her curl pattern is very similar to mine, but her hair is a lot drier than mine, especially her scalp. I recently did a set of 2 strand twists on her and it let her hair feeling very soft and moisturized. I may give this another try on my hair I'll let you guys know when and if my opinion changes. I'd definitely recommend this for kids.
Leave In Treatment: This is a very light leave in spray that's supposed to soften and mend split ends. It can be used for setting twists and braids, but you would definitely have to follow up something a bit more moisturizing.
Deep Conditioning Treatment: Me no likey this product!! It contains Mineral Oil too, but again because I was shampooing my hair afterward it wasn't a big deal. The application started off nice. It has a thick consistency which made it easy to finger comb my hair. I left it in my hair for about 5 to 10 minutes...And that's when the problem started. I noticed a slight tingling which felt nice at first, but then the sensation got stronger and stronger. I can't really find the words to describe the feeling, it didn't burn or sting, it was just VERY unpleasant. I think to get the full effect of this product I would've had to leave it on longer but I just couldn't take it no more. I rinsed it out asap!!
Strengthening Creme: By far my favorite out the bunch. Its thick and creamy and the smell is awesome. This creme works great on my hair and my niece's. For my next set of braids ( for a braid out) I m gonna try this with the leave in treatment and post some pics of the results.
You can find these at mass-market retailers at a suggested retail price of $5.99 and $1.99 for the deep treatment packet.
**Every product differently for everyone. You may have the same results as and you may not.**
To learn more about these products and the company please visit M&MProducts.com or follow SOFnFree on Twitter. If you have any other questions for me about these products please leave them in the comments.
If you live on the East coast than you already know the snow was out of control last week. In my area the snow was a little bit above the knee and there was no way we were leaving the house. So while mother nature was handling her bizness outside, I decided to spruce up my braid out (which is officially my fav style) and snap a couple pics. **The high bun is my FAV!
Bonus: Here's a short vid of my niecy poo playing in the snow :-)
Alicia gets wild and curly on the set of her video for "Put It In A Love Song" featuring Beyonce. Both ladies looked gorgeous in and seemed like they had a ton of fun working together. Now I'm not too crazy about the song at all, but I think after I see this video it may be hard to resist.
Rio + Hot Fashion + Fab Curls = A Winner!
Updated: Behind The Scenes Vid Below....
I personally don't suffer from an itchy scalp, but apparently a lot Naturally Obsessed readers are struggling with this issue. I found an informative article, written by Amy O'Conner at FindArticles.com, that breaks down the causes of having a dry scalp and she offers some good solutions as well. Here's a snippet of the article...
Dry Scalp, characterized by itching and sometimes, dry flakes (not dandruff-like clumps), can be caused by genetics or harsh shampoos; in the latter case, the damage can be offset by switching to a plant-based, pH-balanced product. Shampooing hair more than once a day also leads to problems. "People who exercise a lot need to cleanse more often, but they shouldn't shampoo more than once a day--just rinse," says Hamernik. And when you shower, turn down the water temperature. While hot water might be soothing, it can exacerbate a dry scalp problem. "Most of us use excessively hot water, which means you're no longer hydrating, you're dehydrating," she explains.
One of the best ways to treat dry scalp flakiness is with an essential oil, though oily scalps also can benefit. Lazo recommends massaging a few drops into the scalp for five minutes or longer before shampooing. Jojoba oil, which smells fresh and fruity and has a non greasy feel, is "the most effective for breaking up encrusted oil and pollution and helps to break up flakes so that they're easier to remove during shampooing," Hamernik says.
Tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic that combats bacteria and soothes irritated skin, has a strong disinfectant smell, so look for hair products that contain it if you don't want to apply it in its pure form. A good one for normal to dry hair is Desert Essence's Daily Replenishing Conditioner with tea tree oil and jojoba. To ease the itchiness often associated with dry scalp, apply cooling eucalyptus oil. Essential oil of sage moisturizes and soothes very dry hair and a scalp that's been damaged by over processing. To use either of these essential oils, just warm a few drops in your palm, massage them into your hair, wrap head with a warm towel for 10 minutes or longer and then shampoo. A dry, itchy scalp is a bigger problem in winter and may need extra conditioning and essential oil treatments when the air tends to be drier.
The full article adresses other scalp conditions as well, click here to view them.
Product Description: Now Foods Castor Oil is expeller-pressed from the seed of Ricinus communis, and is virtually tasteless and odorless. While it has become synonymous with many other areas of wellness, Now Foods Castor Oil is considered by many to be one of the finest natural skin emollients available today. Now Foods Castor Oil is 100% pure and suitable for internal and external use. Gently cleanses inside and out.
Ingredients: 100% Pure, Guaranteed. Expeller-pressed and Hexane-free.
Cost: $5.82 for 16oz. bottle from LuckyVitamin.com
My Thoughts: I've read and watched so many reviews on Castor Oil that during a recent "PJ" attack I gave in and purchased a bottle. There are many uses for this oil such as fighting acne, constipation, menstrual disorders, etc. But I of course was more curious to see what benefits Castor Oil would give to my hair. It's been said that when used on a regular basis Castor Oil works to repair and prevent damage and can hide the appearance of damage while improving your hair's health. Which leads to thicker, fuller hair over time. Castor oil seals in moisture and leaves the hair feeling soft and silky.
I've only used this oil twice, but I already LOVE it!! The consistency is more like a serum than an oil and its thick, but not at all sticky. The smell isn't the greatest, but is not too overwhelming and doesn't linger. I used it to give a my scalp a much need massage and to set my braids for a braid out. When I was braiding my hair I was thinking that it may leave my hair a bit greasy, but that wasn't the case. Once dry my hair felt very soft and moisturized. I'll definitely be re-purchasing this amazing oil!
Have you tried Castor Oil for your hair?!? Share your thoughts!!
What would you like to see more of on this site? Your opinion matters so please share. If you have any other suggestions that are not listed please leave a comment below :-)
**Taking a short break, but regular posting will resume on Monday**
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