Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Food for Thought: Pumpkin!

Hello Naturally Obsessed Readers,

It’s TheHeartfeltHoney and I’m here with this week’s Food For Thought: Pumpkin! I am going to be honest with you all. When I thought to use Pumpkin as a food for thought I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to find very much information on the benefits of Pumpkin on hair. Needless to say, I was wrong!! Surprisingly enough, Pumpkin whether directly applied topically or ingested is great for hair.

According to ehow.com, Pumpkin seeds contain the fatty oils with linoleic acid and oleic acid, both known to prevent cancer-causing cell production. They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C and nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. Most beneficial to those suffering from hair loss, the seeds contain cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for Pumpkin seeds' effects on hair growth. Pumpkin is also considered a ‘super food’ by many researchers because it is so rich in arytenoids which are fat soluble substances found in many plants. There are more than 50 arytenoids are found in Pumpkin.

So, how can we use Pumpkin to improve the quality of our hair and skin? Ingesting Pumpkin is an easy and tasty way to help retain hair. Eating two hands full of Pumpkin seeds a day you increase your zinc intake. According to Source 5, a reduced level in Zinc in the body can result in poor hair growth and dandruff. You can find Pumpkin seeds at your local convenient and health stores. They come in a variety of ways including dried, shelled, salted or roasted. If you are looking for another use for those Halloween Pumpkins, try this fun recipe from ehow.com for roasted Pumpkin seeds and there is always the classic Pumpkin pieJ

We can also reap the benefits of Pumpkin by applying it externally. The oil from Pumpkin seeds is believed to effect testosterone and androgen levels in the body. Lack of androgens in the body is believed to be a primary cause of hair loss. You can also purchase Pumpkin seed oil at your local health food store or online by visiting Amazon.com. Also visit BellaSugar.com for a fun and easy Pumpkin facial mask.

I found so many wonderful ways we can benefit from Pumpkin during my research that I decided to compile a short list of them here for you via HairLossSupplements.com:

*Research has been done on the benefits of arytenoids and it is found that foods like Pumpkin can decrease the risk of cancers including lung, cervical, colon, breast, bladder and especially skin cancer, since arytenoids are known to protect the skin (and eyes) from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

*One 13-year-long study also noted a strong positive relationship between a diet high in carotenoid-rich foods and a decreased risk in heart disease.

*Beta carotene is not only a powerful antioxidant, but it is also considered an anti-inflammatory, which prevents the buildup oxidized cholesterol on blood vessel and arterial walls (atherosclerosis), thus reducing the risk of stroke or heart attack.

*There are no known side effects to eating Pumpkin or taking it for medicinal purposes. It is recommended however, that when purchasing products for their healing properties, the seeds contain 30 percent of the unsaturated fats (linoleic and oleic fatty acids).

I hope you enjoyed this post. For more fun ways to easily incorporate Pumpkin in to your diet check out ehow.com. Until next time, I wish you all peace and light. For more from me visit me at my YouTube channel TheHeartfeltHoney or at HoneyCee.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Whatchu Been Up To KKQ??

I've been getting this message a lot and my response is...nothing much! I've been kind of lazy to be honest, especially with my hair. As far as styling goes, it's braid outs all the way. Takes me about 30-45 minutes to set my hair in braids and after a day it's dry and ready to be unraveled and fluffed. I get a cute style without the tangled fuss. In the picture above I set my braids using Cantu Shea Butter Leave In on wet hair. I purchased this jar a few months ago for Niecey poo's hair, but her hair didn't like it too much. While going through my product stash, I came across it and decide to give another go on my hair. Loved it! The pic above is actually 3rd day hair, it still hair nice shine and definition. Most importantly it still had it's softness.

I also recently tried a new washing/detangling method. The recent events("drama" lol!) on YouTube had me going through older vids of others and I came across KimmayTube's "Updated Wash & Detangle Routine" video. I won't detail the whole video here, because you can watch it by clicking the link, but she has a method of applying her shampoo, lather up, squeeze out the suds and then apply the conditioner on top of that. Then of course rinsing it out. I tried it the other day using Elucence Shampoo and Conditioner and it worked like a charm. The only thing I did differently was I used a Castor and Grapeseed Oil mix instead of Ex. Virgin Olive Oil like she did, prior to applying the shampoo. Have you tried this method yet...thoughts??

Also, lately I've been having a terrible itch to flat iron my hair. The MaxiGlide just keeps calling my name lol! My plan is to not straighten my hair until early next year, hopefully I can stick to it. To satisfy my craving I'll be tiny twisting my hair up in a few weeks. Tiny twists will give me the length fix and a much needed break from detangling that straight hair would. We'll see how it goes...

How has your weekend been so far?

Hair Diary: Constance C.

About Me....My name is Constance Marie. I went completely natural on April 5, 2010 after transitioning for 10 months. I must admit that I LOVE being natural and I wish I would have done it sooner. I enjoy being natural so much that I started blogging about my journey after becoming natural on my blog at http://elegantnatural.blogspot.com.

Where do you live? How is the natural hair community there?

I live in Tuskegee, Alabama—a predominately black town—and the natural community is average here. I see more naturals on the campus of Tuskegee University, however; the residents in the city seem to have a majority of relaxed/chemically altered tresses.

When and why did you decide to go natural?

As aforementioned, I did my Big Chop on April 5, 2010. I went natural because I realized that I needed to accept myself fully and stop conforming myself for others. Once I embraced my God-given beauty I have really moved forward in life with confidence and I love it.

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision?

My sisters and parents were very supportive of my decision. Two of my sisters were already natural and recently, my other sister just did her big chop. My mother has also stopped getting relaxers. So we are truly a family going natural:-)

My current hair routine....My current hair routine is fairly simple. Every Sunday I will either co-wash or shampoo. Then, I apply a conditioner for my leave in (this method was suggested by Teri LaFlesh of “Curly Like Me”). I will then twist my hair. After my hair is completely dry I will oil my scalp with essential oilsand apply EVOO throughout my hair—while it’s still in the twists. For the rest of the week, I simply sleep with a satin bonnet and oil my hair every other day. Very simple.

Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?

My hair goal is to obtain significant length in 2-3 years, maintain my thick hair, and have healthy/strong hair. The steps I am taking to achieve these goals are having little to no manipulation of my hair. I never comb/pick my hair. I only detangle it once a week and this is done while the hair is soaking wet with conditioner. I never use heat or a blow dryer on my hair. I also use a very limited supply of products because I do not want to overload the hair. Also, I only use oils on my scalp. I avoid sulfate shampoos or any other products that may dry out my hair and make it prone to breakage/damage. I also make sure to seal my ends with a shea butter/EVOO mixture I made.

Describe your favorite natural hair style.

My fave style is twist-outs.  I put the twists in once a week after co-washing or shampooing it. After I apply my conditioner as a leave-in, I begin to individually twist my hair throughout my head. After the hair is completely dry I take the twists out while sealing my hair in ends, simultaneously. I then separate the twists for fuller look. To maintain the style for the remainder of the week, I sleep with a satin bonnet. The next morning, I take the bonnet off and gently tug the hair to re-shape it.

Curly girls have more fun because....we are embracing the natural beauty given to us. By doing this, we show that we can appreciate the uniqueness given to us by our Lord and choose to not conform for others.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hair Diary: Meet Lybra

About Me...My name is Lybra. I am a free spirited artsy type. I make jewelry, paint pictures, and try to see life through the eyes of others.  To others I am friend, auntie, sister, Wifey, and so on.

Where do you live? How's the natural hair community there?

Originally I am from Washington, DC; a true city gem. LOL. But I have uprooted myself and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida.  The natural hair scene here is very much lacking. Most of the women here are holding on tight to the weaves and relaxers.  But I do see a few natural women sprinkled in here and there and it warms my heart. I have inspired two girls whom I work with to go ahead and do the big chop. So I guess you could say I am starting a movement =).

When and why did you decide to go natural?

I've attempted to go natural on three different occasions.  I guess the third time is the charm because this time it stuck around. In may 2009 with the help of my Boyfriend, I Big Chopped. There were so many reasons why I went natural. Overall, I wanted healthier hair and I suffer from dry scalp issues and, the relaxers always burned my scalp and left it flaky and itchy.  Shortly before going natural I really started to focus on my health more.  I became Vegetarian and started to do periodic system cleanses.  I learned that the chemicals in Relaxers have no business in the body and I decided it was time to rid myself of them.  Also, I wanted to get to know the real me.  I hadn't seen my natural hair texture since I was very young.  Growing up my hair was so thick and curly that my mom would relax just to manage it better.  I never wore it free because she would corn roll it every week but I think it was a task for her in it's natural state. I've seen pictures of her Fro from the seventies but my hair is much thicker than hers was.  

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?

My first two attempts were not met with much support at all.  My best friend at the time would always say things that made me self conscious about my hair. And another friend at the time who was going through the journey with me ended up relaxing so I just went on ahead an did the same.  I was completely unaware of the huge resources online at that time.  My third attempt came after losing my mom.  I decided to really take a look at who I was and who I wanted to become.  My boyfriend was really supportive.  He loves natural women so he really gave me the push I needed.  During my growth process I realized that the more I did things without considering what the outside world thinks the easier it was.  People eventually accepted it.  My brother and Dad are still warming up to the idea though.

Describe your current hair routine. I deep condition once an week and I co-wash every few days.  I use a sulfate free shampoo whenever I feel build-up. After washing depending on what I'm feeling I use shea butter to either braid it for a braid out or twist it for a twist out.  Sometimes i leave the braids or twist in for a couple of days before I take it down.  Every day to refresh my hair I spray with a mixture of avocado oil, rose water, vegetable glycerin, and water. On my scalp I use "Nature's Blessings Hair Promade" every few days to avoid it becoming dry.  Every night i tie my hair down with a satin scarf.

Do you have any hair goals? If so, how will you achieve them?

My main goal is healthy hair but I also want to allow it to grow to it's full potential.  To maintain length I am careful when I comb through it and try not to manipulate it too much.  I also take a supplement from Dherbs for Hair, Skin, and Nails.

What's your favorite natural hair style?

I love twist outs.  They seem to last the longest and as the curl it creates loosens, I am able to get a few extra days out of it if I pin it up or put in in an Afro Puff. When my hair is wet after co-washing, I separate it in sections.  I use shea butter and a little of Giovanni LA Natural hair gel to twist. I allow it to dry over night and separate in in morning.  I can typically get 4 or 5 days out of that.

Curly girls have more fun because...we are free from the rules of what our hair should look like.  The style possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weekly Food For Thought: Yogurt!

Hey Naturally Obsessed Readers!

I’m back with another “Food For Thought” for you all this week and this one is a little creamy. This week’s food: Yogurt. So what is in this healthy dessert that can also benefit our hair? According to Katie Did over at DailyGlow.com, Yogurt contains enriching elements like zinc, calcium, lactic acid, vitamins B1, B2, B-6 and B-12, protein, and yeast. It also has rich deposits of friendly bacteria that boost overall health as well as that of the hair and skin. It is made through milk fermentation and bacteria that changes milk from a liquid to a semi-solid. The consistency of yogurt is important here because it is used as the base in many homemade hair conditioner recipes.

Much to the curly girls delight, Yogurt spreads easily along the hair shaft coating it with nourishing ingredients. The protein in Yogurt strengthens hair strands which aids in hair retention. According to Crunchy Betty, the fatty acid in lactic will help to shine and smooth tangled hair, making it easier to comb, and leaving your hair soft.

Yogurt also acts as a gentle cleanser, working to clear the pores of your scalp and eliminating dandruff. Like tomatoes and banana, Yogurt also strengthens hair follicles. Crunchy Betty tells us that the enzymes in yogurt will combat dandruff and help soothe an itchy scalp. Hair that is dry or worn from styling would really benefit from a Yogurt hair mask. Visit ehow.com to try their fun, easy, and curly girl friendly homemade Yogurt conditioner.

Not only is Yogurt good for our hair, but it can also work wonders for our skin! It helps reduce black and white heads, lightens dark spots, and shrinks pores. For a few good face mask recipes visit Tips4.net and Bukisa.com. I actually plan to try a few of the recipes myself:) I hope you all enjoyed this post and I look forward to sharing the benefits of pumpkin with you all next week. As always, I wish you all a peace and light. See ya in the next post!

If you would like to see more posts from HeartfeltHoney please click this link! http://naturallyobsessed.onsugar.com/tag/food+for+thought

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

In Review: EXTENZZ From Curly Hair Solutions (Video)

Product Description: "A styling product that without damaging the hair can loosen the tightest of curls and soften course wiry hair preventing you from having to use harsh chemical relaxers. EXTENZZ™ is the ultimate non-chemical curl styling relaxer. By using the correct combing techniques, EXTENZZ™ allows you to manipulate your curls into a looser, well defined, FRIZZ FREE curl without the look and feel of heavy oils". Silicone and Sulfate free.

Ingredients: Aqua, Lecithin, VP/VA Copolymer, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Silk Amino Acids, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract Sodium PCA, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Straw Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract (Sea Kelp), Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polyquaternium-37, Trideceth-6, Parfum, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-11, Oleth-20, DMDM Hydantoin, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Isoceteth-20, Oleyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol/Ceteareth-30, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-7, Disodium EDTA, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Isopropyl Myristate, Benzophenone-4, Polyquaternium-10, Polyacrylamide

Cost: 8oz bottle for $21.00 @ CurlMart.com

My Thoughts: (See Video)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Video: Singer Goapele Makes Art With Her Braids

via Essence.Com

Absolutely Gorgeous!!!

Former 106th & Park Host "Free" Blogs About Her Natural Hair

Back when 106th & Park was about something, hosts Free and AJ graced my television everyday after school. Never paid too much attention to AJ, it was Free who grab attention of young teens, male and female. Her outfits were on point, the shoes always fierce and the hair ever changing and bold. Back then natural was not a big deal to me...not much of a thought either. However, I admired her look and the confidence she had to be on tv everyday completely owning a look that most women in the industry hid. When I think about it now, back then that was something rare to see. The bloggers over at Naturally Me recently wrote a post about Free and her natural hair, and Free responded with a bog of her own!

Here's a few excerpts for Free's blog that I found interesting....

So here's the background on my hair: I was born with a head full of it (in more ways than one)! My hair is a mixture of my DNA, strong and stubborn in parts (especially on top of my head), soft and curly in other spots, which makes me what hairdressers call an "interesting head". Here's the real on my background: African American, Indian and West Indian.

What does that have to do with my hair? Everything. Because I can wet and it'll get curly, but as it dries up it just rises up to that afro (even when I don't want it to). If I want a straight look for a night (and I mean one night, because the humidity will curl it right back up)I use a blow dryer, flat iron and hairspray to keep it down as long as I can, but I promise you in the AM my hair will be on it's way back to afro.

Now I am a fan of weaves and wigs, especially in this entertainment business. If you don't take care of what GOD gives you will have nothing left. So helllll yeah I weave sometimes and wig sometimes, all depending on my mood. You'll know how I'm feeling any day if you look at my hair. Daring, conservative, funky, crazy, soft, sexy, rebel, even the "Pepe Le Pew" looks work for me. You know why? Because it''s just hair, it's mine, whether it's all mine or not and I shall do whatever I feel like with it....Hmmph!

Free goes on to address mother's with multicultural or highly textured children, as well as an unnamed female entertainer who told her once that she(Free) looked so much more feminine with straight hair....Oh No She DIDN'T lol! Read the rest of Free's blog here http://www.freesworld.com/2010/08/27/turning-heads-with-my-hair

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sesame Street Celebrates Black Hair "I LOVE My Hair"

"Don't need a trip to the beauty shop, cause I love what I got on top"

I'm sure most of you have seen this vid already, it's been posted all over the natural hair blogs. I just watched it for the first time today and had to post it here! It's an adorable vid and song, but the message is strong and clear. Love Yourself! No matter how you choose to wear your hair....Love It! The Sesame Workshop gets a A++ for putting this together, but to really get the point across it's up to us...the Mothers, Aunties, Sisters...to carry the message into the homes. It all begins in the home. Please watch the vid in HD with your little one below...Enjoy :)

The giggle at the end was too cute lol!!

Time To Change It Up...Old Man Winter Is On His Way!!

(Original post date Sept. 19, 2009)

This year summer flew by like nobody's business and old man winter is already creeping around the corner. So the same way we prepare our homes, cars and wardrobe for the chilly weather we must do the same for our hair. No drastic routine changes will be needed but, the extra effort to protect and maintain your healthy locks will indeed pay off.

Here are a few easy tips to that have helped my hair brave the cold...

Protective Styling

The less manipulation the better. Twists, braids, cornrows are awesome protective styles that are very easy to do and will prevent tangling in the hair which means less combing and brushing. Buns and funky up-dos, accented with chic and colorful accessories are great as well. And remember protective styling does not have to be boring have fun with it and be creative. In a few weeks I"ll definetly be putting in my tiny twists to give myself a break from my hair. As my hair grows and the thicker it gets, the more effort it comands.....which means more work for me, I need this break lol!

Condition Condition CONDITION!!!

Properly conditioning your should be a year round thing in my book. I co-wash my hair once a week and deep condition once a week normally, but for the winter I like to throw in some hot oil treatments too. Olive Oil mixed with Coconut Oil is a great combo. Pre-pooing with Castor Oil and Grapeseed Oil works well too. My new fav hair treatment is Rhassoul Clay, I'm still trying to work it into my hair routine. I'll also be replenishing my hair stash with more Cassia. I haven't done one of those treatments in a while, but I will be when I get some more.

Get A Trim

If your ends are already in good shape disregard this tip. But if you know your ends have been looking a little raggedy lately with splits and knots, it is time for them to go. Hanging on to those bad ends will only lead to more problems. And remember a trim and a cut are two different. If your are brave enough to trim your hair yourself, take your time, don't rush.  If you prefer the expertise of a professional make sure you are paying close attention to what is being done to your hair.  Be clear on what your expect from your stylist and don't be afraid to nag. Heck its your hair and being a professional doesn't mean they always do what's in the best interests of their clients.

Keep The Gunk Off Your Scalp

This tip should be enforced all year long lol! Nothing says healthy hair like having a clean and build-up free scalp. With all the deep conditioning and normal conditioning you'll be doing, you need to keep your scalp clean or else you'll just be putting product on top of product. Not only are you sufficating your scalp, but the look and feel of your hair will suffer. Who really wants dull, limp and dirty hair?

This list could be a lot longer, but I really want to hear from you guys, how do you maintain your healthy hair in cold weather?

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Few Pics From My Latest Video..."A Simple UpDo"

Hey Guys! I posted a new video on YouTube last weekend and thought I'd post it here along with a couple pics for you all to see. I also want to apologize for the delay in posts this week. I had a serious toothache and after seeing the dentist and not really being able to eat, I didn't have much energy for blogging. But I'm feeling a little better a lot better today and I'm sure by next week I'll be back to normal! Video and pics below...enjoy :)

Pics!!

How was your week?

Weekly Food For Thought: Honey!

Hello again Naturally Obsessed Readers!

It’s that time again! This week’s Food for Thought is Honey! I’m sure you can tell just from my screen name "HeartfeltHoney" how much I love this food. I use it in everything, especially my morning tea. Though I've found through research that honey can be used for everything from hair conditioner to healing burns!

When researching why a particular food is good for hair I always look at what it is comprised of. According to Bees-Online, Honey contains sugars and minerals such as, glucose, fructose, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. Honey also contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Small quantities of copper, iodine, and zinc can also be found in Honey. All of the above stated sugars, vitamins, and minerals combine to make Honey extremely moisturizing to scalp and hair as well as a natural humectant.

Humectants hold to water molecules and help moisturize hair. According to an article I found at Beauty Brains, humectants smooth the hair shaft so that it feels soft to the touch and looks shiny. So how can we use honey effectively on our hair?

I found endless recipes on how to make Honey hair masks and apply them to hair. However, I choose to include here the recipes that I feel would be curly girl friendly. Jacob Mabille at Healthy Guidance suggests combining two tablespoons of honey with olive oil and shampoo. I liked this recipe because honey is very sticky and does not make hair easy to separate or de-tangle. However, when applied as stated above, our hair receives the moisturizing benefits of honey and olive oil while also preventing stickiness with shampoo. I would also suggest diluting the shampoo if you choose to try this method.

One other quick and easy recipe  I thought would be good for naturally curly hair is mixing1 tsp. of honey with 1 tsp. of olive oil and 2 tsp. of water to make a paste. Massage this mixture onto the areas where you may be experiencing hair loss or thinning (ehow.com). I chose recipes that include water because I know first hand how tightly coiled hair textures can be non-receptive to mixtures that lack moisture. The paste will not spread as evenly over coiled hair if it does not include oil or water.

I was surprised to find out that aside from hair care, Honey can be used to treat burns, insect bites, and mild acne pimples. According to Bees-Online, Honey is a natural antiseptic that prevents infection by killing bacteria around the wound and allowing tissue to grow back. Honey can also be used to sooth sore throat by drinking a teaspoon of honey mixed with lemon juice every few hours. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in honey sooth raw tissues.

For more Honey hair mask and skin care recipes check out IndiaParenting.com. They have a ton of honey based recipes that I think you will enjoy. If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below as well. I look forward to returning next week to uncover the moisturizing properties of yogurt. As always, I wish you all a peaceful and productive week. See you in the next post!

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Fab Finds Under $100: Cozy Cardigans & Fun Flats

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hair Diary: Kapinga Marie

About Me....I am Congolese American living in the U.S for now 17 years (born in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium). There is something about movies, music, dance, family, friends, cooking, writing, and physical challenges that make me smile. A book I have re-read three times: "New Seeds of Contemplation" by Thomas Merton. The concert that set standards: Coldplay. Something I desire – holistic health. Something I am grateful for – that God continues to give me the vision to see that life is worthwhile with all it has to offer (good, bad, beautiful, plain ole ugly).

Where do you live? How is the natural hair community there?

I live in Atlanta, Ga. The natural hair community here is alive and well. There are naturals in my workplace left and right (accounting department, media and entertainment industry, culture’s more corporate than average). I’m sure it wasn’t always this way, but I’m glad the corporate world is coming around.

When and why did you decide to go natural?

I’ve been natural for a while (at least 5 years). I don’t remember deciding to go natural. I just wore braids so often and remember not putting a perm in my hair after a while. I did consciously make the decision to continue as a natural, and stop the braids in 2009. It was a dramatic decision. After sharing my hair woes with my brother (I couldn’t take seeing my hair break from all those tresses), he recommended that I make a list of what objectives I had for my hair…what were my coif goals irrespective of money, time, social “propriety,” etc. That’s when I realized that I wanted to keep my hair natural, and be able to have a few consistent, go-to styles for various occasions (that I could do myself). I also mentioned on the list that I would love to dread my hair later on in life, maybe post-grown children..but that story is decades away…God-willing.

Overtime it started to hit me that staying natural was the right fit for me. I can appreciate and admire all kinds of hair on a black woman; however, there was something about natural hair that made my eyes follow that woman’s head across the room. And I’m not even just talking about the cute, done up natural styles…I loved Celie’s hair in The Color Purple – the coarse, kinky, “nappy” hair. I thought “that’s so us!” Being natural involves no less effort than when I had perms, or when I had braids. Still, I find that I am more willing to put in the effort with the former.

Were your friends and family supportive of you decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?

Lol. My mom was sssllllooowww to understand. She thought I was trying to restore my hair from breakage and then would go back to perms. She thought I looked unprofessional and indecent. The list goes on. My aunt tag teamed with her and convinced me to wear a wig the first few months following my decision to stay “au naturelle.” My mom’s reaction surprised me, but my dad and siblings were all for the change. I moved forward confidently mostly because my siblings kept commenting “it’s just you, it fits.” This confirmed what I had felt for a long time. By the way, my mom now loves it – seeing the growth, and the textures it has taken on. She offers me as a hair advisor for naturals she works with. I didn’t give her the “I told you so.” I was sympathetic to how times were when she was growing up.

What is your current routine?

It’s simple – shampoo and trim every two months; co-wash weekly with Suave Coconut conditioner (apply coconut oilor olive oil before hand); flat twist my hair into eight cornrows using cantu leave in conditioner, unrefined shea butter with an essential oil. That’s it. (oh and the satin bonnet is a must). So I’m pretty much in protective-styling mode all the time. I make sure to experiment with different hairstyles on the weekends (which may get promoted to a weekday style if it works). For the most part though I wear the flat twist cornrows, which I touch up after exercising. Shout out to my hair angels for giving me the patience to get better at braiding. I really believe I have one who encourages me with my hair. Oh, and I may throw on a wig if I am too tired to braid really neatly. I’m looking to break out into loose styles more often, but I’m concerned about the effect of my regular exercise, and I have yet to find a styling product which works. My plan is to keep cornrowing until my hair gets too long to tuck the ends under and out of sight. Recent update: I just started using Argan oil and love it, mixed it with a hair crème made at a local hair shop which may replace the cantu shea leave in. We’ll see.

Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?

No real hair goals: just I want to make sure I stay engaged with the health of my hair, and stay open to new possible styles, or treatments. That’s where YouTube, and this blog has really helped me: to stay engaged. My biggest concern was that I would get hair lazy as a natural, which hasn’t happened – so I’m good. Also, I’m not a product junkie by any means. However, I’m aware that there is such a thing as a better fit for my hair, and/or a better fit for my styling objectives. I allow that to guide me as far as products go.

What is your favorite go to natural hair style?

Ooohhh…my favorite style was an accident that I have yet to reproduce. I allowed shrinkage to run its course after a twist out, and cornrowed four small flat twists on each side (back, to my ears). So it was almost like a fro-hawk mixed with a high top fade, but not. A+.

Curly girls have more fun because....we are more aware that coifs involve choice. Relatively speaking, being natural involves a little more conscious decision-making versus going with the flow of mainstream styling. I had a friend who was natural, and got a perm because it was more conducive to her Peace Corp lifestyle abroad (where she may not have had the products available, etc). I love that story, because there was conscious choice involved. My choice has led me to discover that I love the options that wigs offer. I appreciate my natural hair even more after getting the chance to rest from it for a few weeks. I’ve also discovered that I don’t mind sporting cornrows 90% of the year (some people would find that extremely boring). Whatever the coif: choose peace-fully.

Gorgeous skin sis and thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading your diary:-)

Obsessive Quote Of The Week

"Black sisters if you see another sister that looks fly, stop and say "you are doing IT girl!" Don't hate. That gets you nowhere. We need to lift each other up, instead of being jealous. If you love what a woman is doing ler her know!"
VonSoBlessed via Twitter

NC Review: AG Re:Coil Curl Activating Shampoo & Conditioner

Product Description

[Shampoo]Activate and moisturize curls with this sulfate-free shampoo. Infused with AG's C3* curl-creating complex, this mild formula maximizes curl retention and controls frizz while helping create practically inconceivable curls or soft, casual waves. Sulfate, Paraben and Glycerin free.

[Conditioner]Activate and moisturize curls with this rich conditioner, infused with AG's C3* curl-creating complex. Re:coil conditioner's rich formula smooths every curl while instantly detangling hair from the roots to the ends. Paraben and Glycerin free.

C3* Curl creating complex consists of...Rice amino acids penetrate the hair shaft to provide moisture and strength / Biofermented fruit acids help shrink the cuticle to encourage curl / Fatty acids present on and in hair are decreased to improve flexibility and smoothness.

Ingredients

[Shampoo]water/aqua/eau, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, sodium C14-16 olefin Sulfonate, Ammonium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaineamide MEA Chloride, PEG/PPG-120/10-Trimethylopropane Trioleat, Lauret-2, Acrylates/PEG-10 Maleate/Styrene Copolymer, Polyquaternium-47, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyurethane-14, AMP-Acrilates Copolymer, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Amino Acids, Stearoyl CoA-Desaturase(SCD-1), Lactobacillus Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Ferment Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowfomate, Hydrolyzed Oats, Hydrolyzed Wheat protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Acetamide MEA, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hyaluronic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Sorbitol, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis(Jojoba) Seed Oil, Thocopherol, Sulfur, Sodium PCA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Parfum/Fragrance, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

[Conditioner]Water/aqua/eau, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Quaternium 91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Polyurethane-14, AMP-Acrilates Copolymer, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Lauryl Alcohol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Amino Acids, Stearoyl CoA-Desaturase (SCD-1), Lactobacillus Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Ferment Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Panthenol, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin, Citric Acid, Silk Amino Acids, Ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Parfum/Fragrance

Cost: 8 oz Shampoo $20.00 @ CurlMart•Com 6 oz Conditioner $20.00 @ CurlMart•Com

My Thoughts: ( See Video)

I forgot to mention this in the video, but I think these products/brand works best for looser curl types.

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