Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obsessive Links: www.LivingNoLye.com

The fab ladies over at http://www.livingnolye.com/ recently featured Naturally Obsessed in their newest webisode. I've never been to their site but when they tweeted my the link saying I was featured, I scurried on over to see. After watching the video and clicking through the other sections on the site I was quite impressed! The site is a celebration on all hair types and the approach is youthful yet informative.

Hair Diary: Meet Kristal

About Me...My name is Kristal. I am currently a graduate student studying Biomedical Engineering in pursuit to start a career in the biotechnology field, but my heart is really into crafting and jewelry making. I am the owner/designer of BEadifully YOUnique Jewelry on Etsy that has been up and running since November 2010 and I am totally in love with the artistry behind creating beaded hoop earrings and jewelry. This is where I can really let my creative juices flow without the hustle and bustle of life's stresses. I have a BEAUTIFUL daughter who keeps me running and helps me see how much greater God really cares for His
children. I am currently engaged and the soon to be wife to the most AMAZING fiance' later on this year.
But above all, I am a perfectly imperfect yet growing Christian.

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

I am from Columbia, SC but currently reside in Durham, NC aka Bull City. If I could describe the natural community here, I would put it like this: a natural root was planted in the heart of Durham several years ago and now there are fields of natural sisters blossoming through out the city and surrounding areas. When I first went natural, there were not that many people with natural hair on my college campus or in my Church's congregation. However, as I rocked my natural hair in twists, twist outs, afros, and puffs, more and more sisters really started to notice this awesome versatility with natural hair. It is such a humbling experience to be an encouragement to so many women in their decision to go natural simply because I was never afraid to rock my big natural hair (except during the first several months after the big chop...I had to get over the shock factor of being newly natural). What is even more awesome is that more and more women that I know are sisterlocking their tresses.

When and why did you decide to go natural?
I have been natural since February 13, 2004 after being relaxed since I was 8 years old. When I decided to go natural, none of my friends in my circle were natural at the time so I did not get any external influences when I made my decision to transition back to my natural hair texture. Back then, it was a routine for me to refrain from any relaxers over the summer periods to allow my hair a "break" from any chemical processing. So after my last relaxer back in March 2003, I had already planned to start my hair break until the end of summer right before I started my junior year in undergrad. However, that June I stumbled across http://www.nappturality.com/ and a few days of reading through articles, lurking around the forums, and stalking fotki albums of natural women, I decided then that I would start the transitioning process. Plus at the time, I had cut my hair to the shortest it has ever been...chin length...so the decision to go natural was not as difficult as it could have been.

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?
My family has been pretty much supportive since I did the big chop in 2004. My mom would ask me every now then during my transitioning phase: "When are you getting a relaxer?" After awhile, she got the point and stopped asking. My friends have been very supportive of my decision from the get go, and my fiance LOVES it. My natural hair is actually what initiated our first connection. :) I guess having a huge support system from the beginning has enabled me to be confident with my natural hair over the years.

Describe your current hair routine.
I am now all about KISS: Keeping It Simple Sister. I struggled with this thing called a hair routine/regimen until last year when I decided I want to grow my hair out to waist length. I did lots of research on hair forums and YouTube to help me develop my simple yet effective hair routine.

I wash my hair once a week, usually Friday night or Saturday morning (shampoo, condition, detangle, moisturize with leave in conditioner mix), braid my hair, and call it a day. I re-moisturize my hair mid week by wetting it and applying my leave-in conditioner. I wear a satin bonnet faithfully at night because I do not like the feel of satin pillowcases...it gives me the chills. That is pretty much it! Not much manipulation going on meaning more hair retention, which is my goal. Besides, this simple routine has given me consistent results and 4-5 inches of healthy new growth since last March. Why complicate things now? :)

What are some of your favorite products?
For my shampoo, I alternate between Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream (Moisturizing Shampoo), Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo, and Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo (once every 6 weeks). For my conditioner, I use Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner and Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Organic Conditioner (deep conditioner). As far as my moisturizing leave-in, I am using a modified version of YouTuber Kimmaytube's recipe:

2 tablespoons Kinky Curly Knot Today, 2 tablespoons Aloe Vera Juice, 2 teaspoons Jojoba Oil, 2 teaspoons Coconut Oil, 1 teaspoon Castor Oil.

As you can see, I am no product junkie.

Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?
My current hair goal is to reach healthy waist length hair, which I am on track to meet by the end of this year. I am about half an inch away from mid-back length and got to this length through protective styling. March 2010, I decided to go on a 1 year protective styling challenge with braiding my hair and wearing wigs as my two methods of protection. Some people may frown upon wearing wigs and weaves, but then there are those who oppose naturals straightening their hair. You cannot please everyone and just have to focus on what YOU are trying to achieve and not what others might say to you along your natural journey.

My wigs have always been curly and no more than a few inches longer than my real hair length at any given time. So it is not like I am trying to be all outrageous with the length of my wigs. I have a goal in mind, and braiding my natural hair and wigging it have been my keys of successfully reaching toward my goal. Once I reach my waist length though, I do not plan on wearing wigs on a regular basis...only when I would like a color change every now and then!

How has being natural changed you?
Being natural has also gave me a sense of empowerment to help others embrace their natural hair texture and know they can be beautiful without chemically altering their tresses. It amazes me how many sisters in my Church congregation who have gone natural over the past 5 years simply because they were encouraged and knew they had the support to embark on their natural hair journeys. Some people can take the plunge on their own, but a simple 'You can do this! I am here for you' can mean the world to someone who struggling with the decision to go natural or stay natural for that matter.

What are your top 5 obsessions?
1) Making unique beaded hoop earrings. I can do this all day everyday if I had the option. Maybe one day, that will come true...
2) Growing my hair out to waist length. I have always been amazed and inspired at looking at other women with natural hair down their backs. It is my mission to achieve long lengths so I can be the walking example to defy those who believe that African-American women cannot grow long natural hair beyond shoulder and arm pit lengths.
3) Currently, wedding planning. I am not anywhere near to being a bridezilla, but I am ready to tie the knot and move on to the next level of my life.
4) Styling my daughter's hair. It amazes me how much my daughter's hair has transformed in less than a year and an half! It has only gotten better with time, and her texture is absolutely beautiful and thick. I am excited to learn how to manage her hair so I teach her how to style her hair and properly take care of it later on down the road. What is surreal is that her hair is similar to mine in the front and like her father's in the back (he had long hair years ago so I remember his texture).
5) My fiance's cream cheese pound cake! He knows he can do it up, too! :)

Anything else you would like to add...
I have a YouTube channel under the username "BEadifully YOUnique" (http://www.youtube.com/user/BEadifullyYOUnique), which I opened December 2010. I have already posted my natural hair care regimen and staple hair products and plan to post hair tutorials on how to style mid back to waist length hair as the year progresses.

My fotki albums are under the usernames "Naturallybeautiful" (http://public.fotki.com/naturallybeautiful) and "Naturallybeautiful2" (http://public.fotki.com/naturallybeautiful2). The first account contains albums from my transitioning phase and first year of being natural. The second account is from 2006 until now, which I am updating on a monthly basis.

You can also find me on twitter under "beadifullyouniq" (http://twitter.com/BEadifullYOUniq) where I tweet with women about natural hair and tweet pictures of my hair along with my daughter's natural hair.

My motto for my jewelry shop and life in general is to Be.You.Always. Whatever life takes you, make the best out of it by just being yourself. There is no other person on this earth exactly like you. Therefore, embrace that honor and love your beautifully and wonderfully made self. That is it! :)

I would like to thank you Shana for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share my story with you and your readers! :)

iObsess: Ishea


Age • 26 Location • South Carolina
Hair • twist-outs w/ minimal products... just using some Aussie Moist as a leave-in
Skin • No 'Zit' Sherlock by Bliss @ http://www.sephora.com/
Fashion • Skinny jeans that actually fit! The Gap has the best ones...
Food • Adding Kikkoman Teriyaki marinade to my food. My mother-in-law is Japanese and swears by this stuff.
The Tube • Reality TV!! Everything from RuPaul's Drag Race to House Hunters International. I love it all.
The Net • When I'm not working on my blog http://www.ishea.blogspot.com/, I'm hooked on YouTube.
Places • Currently obsessed with the idea of living overseas for a few years... either Japan or France.
Life • Working towards becoming one of the new vloggers for NaturallyCurly.com! Check out my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkEo8may4_

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hair Update: Buns And Fishtails

Officially missing my curls...
Since straightening my hair I haven't really done anything spectacular with it. I hardly ever wear it down and out because it just gets in the way and remembering to pack a comb in the purse too much. Heck, when I'm in the house I rarely take my scarf off lol! But when I do take it down it's either in a high bun, ponytail or a fishtail braid to the side...simple and cute!






I'm thinking I might wash my curls back to life on Wednesday....I'll keep ya'll updated :)

iObsess: Jessica W.


age: 24 where: richmond, va
Hair • twistouts and fro-hawks, and either kinky-twist or yarn braids (that I do myself)
Skin • African Black Soap & African Shea Butter
Fashion • Jeans, mid-calf boots, & a fashionable top or cover up, but I'd prefer sweatpants & a tee ANY day
Food • PIZZA! and fruit...LOVE fruit!!
The Tube • I didn't notice before but I'm a SERIOUS reality TV FREAK! LOL Teen Mom, RHOA!!--pretty much any Bravo show, Basketball Wives, American Idol...also, THE GAME!! (SOO happy it's back!), SATC, Glee, The OFFICE!, Grey's...so much more.
The Net • I stay on Facebook and Twitter (well TweetDeck---@prettybrwnangel)..other than that, I'm researching cupcake things =D
Places • I LOVE NYC! But I would really love to go to L.A...and I've always wanted to travel to Italy. BELLISIMA!
Life • I'm not your typical unemployed college grad lol...I'm currently busy trying to get my one woman cupcake business off the ground. (Check me out www.facebook.com/Jessicupcake; and www.twitter.com/jessi_cupcake) I'm also about to welcome my very first niece into the world so I'm busy helping my sis and my family out =D

Tapotement For Hair Loss And Hair Growth??

Article via www.HairBoutique.com

First of all, what is tapotement? It sounds very exotic, but in reality it’s a specific type of massage technique utilized primarily in Swedish massage.

Wikipedia defines tapotement as a rhythmic percussion, most frequently administered with the edge or cupped hand or the tips of the fingers. When the edge of the hand is used it’s also called Hacking. Finger methods including wiggling, drumming and lightly tapping on the body. The name of the stroke is taken from the French word “Tapoter” meaning simply to tap or to drum.

Tapotement massage stroking and taping is primarily designed to release lymphatic build up in the back, shoulders, under the arms and other parts of the body where lymphatic drainage might be deemed appropriate and helpful.

Is Tapotement Helpful For Accelerated Hair Growth Or Reduced Hair Loss?

Is this type of sports massage helpful for the scalp to generate accelerate hair growth? Many hair growth and hair loss experts recommend scalp massage as a way to stimulate the hair roots for reduced fall and stronger roots. But it tapotement the best massage methodology to utilize?

The answer to whether tapotement would help with accelerated hair growth or reduced hair loss is maybe. Like all types of treatments designed to improve hair growth and reduce hair loss, there are a variety of factors involved.

While many hair experts caution against the use of sharp fingernails, rough brush bristles or scratchy combs directly on the scalp, tapotement movements are usually delivered with partly-flat finger tips. If the fleshy part of the fingers are used and there is no contact with sharp fingernails or rough skin, the tapotement type of massage may offer some circulatory benefits for a congested or sluggish scalp.

Overly Aggressive Massage May Be Too Much For Scalp

Generally speaking, true tapotement massage movements such as accelerated and vigorous finger tapping, pummelling, pinching, slapping or stroking would most likely be too aggressive to apply to the scalp for any extended period of time. Even if the fingers and the hands are completely free of sharp fingernails or skin, any amount of strong or concentrated force of tapping and, pummelling could actually be too aggressive for the scalp area.

In that case, overly aggressive massage could prove as damaging as scratching the scalp with fingernails, sharp brush bristles or razor thin teeth of a comb.

Bottom line? Tapotement massage movements are probably not the best for encouraging hair growth or slowing hair loss.

While the tapping, pummelling, pinching, slapping and stroking can be fabulous for those in need of a good sport massage, consider other massage therapies options if you wish to pursue scalp massage.

To read the full article click HERE!

iObsess • Joelle


age: 22 where: florida
Hair • Shea Moisture Hair Products, pompadours, big hair
Skin • Cetaphil and St.Ives apricot scrub. M.A.C makeup ;)
Fashion • Jeans. leopard prints. stilletto pumps. white shirts.
Food • ANYTHING SPICY. Sweets. ice cream. kettle cooked or baked potato chips.
The Tube • Law and Order SVU
The Netcocoandcreme ; curlynikki ; twitter ; youtube ; bglhonline
Places • anywhere with a beach is the place I want to be. Thank God I live in the sunshine state ;)
Life • working towards my bachelor's in biology then, if all goes well, optometry school.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NaturallyCurly•Com Is On The Hunt For 5 New Vloggers!!!

Are you interested in joining a fab group of curly/kinky vloggers like Natural Chica, Curly Girl Lexi, Taren916 and me KinkyKurlyQueen?? Well read the info and watch the video below to see how you can be apart of the NC vlogger group!!! 

NC - Want to work with Curly Hair Solutions, Hair Rules, Mizani, Pantene, and other top curly brands? You can! Enter for a chance to be one of five new video bloggers for NaturallyCurly.com.

We are on the hunt to look for five women with curly, kinky, kinky-curly, wavy and curly heads who embrace their texture but are also willing to straighten their locks now and then to help us review new and exclusive products!

Create a video explaining why you should be one of our official video bloggers, upload the video to your YouTube channel and then send the link to our marketing department. Then, we want to see your marketing skills! Promote the heck out of your video—on your Facebook page, via YouTube, your friends—just get the word out. We’ll consider your hit count when choosing our winners.

Be creative and have fun with it. We want to see your hair and your skill. Check out our current YouTube channel to get ideas and see some of our current video bloggers.

Once your video has been submitted, the NaturallyCurly staff will review and contact our 5 winners. Contest ends February 2, 2011, and winners will be announced on February 14, 2011.

Random: India Benet

aspiring singer and daughter of singer Eric Benet
more pics & video below

Hair Diary: Meet Nia

I have been trying to get Nia in a Hair Diary forevvver!! Well, I finally got her lol...thx Nia :)

About Me...Hello! My name is Nia. I'm an artist who has turned my love for graphic design into a career as a web specialist at a big non-profit organization in DC.  I became a home owner recently so I'm into DIY projects. I'm newly 30 and I love reading and writing science fiction.

Where do you live? How is the natural hair community there?
I live and work in the DC area and the natural hair scene is huge here.  There are lots of natural stylists, salons and easy access to products.  Most of my friends have natural hair so we style each others hair and provide support and advice.  In comparison, I grew up in Bloomfield, CT and lived in Boston for 7 years before I moved here almost 6 years ago. The aesthetic of straightened hair prevailed in my family and communities there so it was hard to find support if you weren't pressing or relaxing.

When and why did you decide to go natural?
It was a lovely accident over 9 years ago. I was stretching relaxers to 3 months while I was in college to save money. I used Motions relaxers normally, which left some texture in my hair so I could wear it "curly" when my schedule got hectic. In April of 2001 I got a touch-up with a much stronger brand that made my 3 months of new growth SUPER straight. I had no way to remedy the 3 textures I had once the new growth came in. I decided that once I had enough hair I'd cut it short and go back to my original relaxer. BUT, after transitioning for 4 months I cut my hair down to my own texture and I immediately fell in love with it. I have not had a relaxer since!

Were your friends and family supportive? If not, how were you able to move forward?
My friends were shocked that I went through with it and cut my hair very short. The term "going natural" was not really used then, so It was more about wearing it short than kinky/curly for a while. I kept it short for a few months and didn't let it grow out, but when I stopped cutting it I began to get the questions. "What are you doing with it? When are you getting a relaxer? How do you get it to do that?" However, very soon after, the idea caught on and several of my friends cut their relaxers out as well. I was always into doing hair so I quickly learned how to twist it and style it and got more compliments than questions as my family saw it progress at holiday gatherings.

Describe your hair routine.
My routine this past summer had been almost strictly wash and go based. I'd co-wash it once a week or so, and use gels and leave in conditioners to define the curls. I'd wear it out for a few days and begin pulling it back as it got fuzzy. I was avoiding cones and had put in highlights, and then a rinse to darken them as they grew out. This winter I think I will shampoo it once every few weeks and go back to using cones and heavy leave in conditioners and do more braid and twist sets.

What are some of your favorite hair products?
I love castor oil, natures blessings pomade, Natural oasis hair and scalp conditioner, Yes to Cucumbers conditioner, IC Fantasia and pink Eco Styler gel. Kinky Curly Curling custard works well in my hair and the Deva Curl Set it Free leave in spray is great. I've also always loved Paul Mitchel's The Conditioner. Sally's sells a pretty good imitation of it for cheap.

Do you have any hair goals? If so, what steps are you taking to achieve them?
Every few years I have different goals for my hair as my life changes. I recently got very busy with the business of buying and renovating a house, and cut my BSL length hair into a shoulder grazing angled bob for the warmer months. I wanted stylish, easy to take care of hair. Before that I had been trying to grow it long, and was trying to keep it strong and healthy to avoid loosing my ends to damage. I'd done a second big chop before that in 2006 after sustaining heat damage. No more extreme heat for me! I was also recently diagnosed with PCOS, and though I have few symptoms, one common one I want to proactively watch for is thinning hair. Right now I just want to get through the winter with healthy hair before I decide what to do this coming summer. I may dabble with color and get another precision Deva cut for a medium length.

How has being natural changed you?
Wow, in so many ways. I looked very different with short natural hair than I had looked my entire life before that. I began to meet very different types of people once I no longer attracted (or repulsed) the long hair, light skinned, light eyes obsessed. All of a sudden I was having more conversations and I wasn't worrying so much about how I looked or maintaining that look in the weather or at a party. It was liberating and refreshing. When I realized that many of my old products no longer helped my hair, I learned more about the ingredients, why they are used and what I should avoid. That inclination to research products naturally leaked into my cosmetic and food buying process. I generally became more aware of myself as an individual and more spontaneous which ultimately made me more confident.

My top 5 obsessions are...hmmm. My home renovation projects are like, truly addictive lately. I'm working on simplifying my life (wardrobe, products and general routine), growing my own herbs, my blog and following the natural hair and arts blogospheres, and 5th would be my job. I hope to get a dog or two soon, so that might bump something lol.

Anything else you'd like to add...
My lil blog is www.itsjusthair.com and I have lots of pictures and styles there. Also, the thing that resonated most with me about having natural hair is the notion that I'm simply not relaxing it anymore. I decided instead to just work with whatever grows out of my head, as best I can. If you go natural as a function of accepting your hair for how ever it is, you stand a much better chance of falling in love with it and enjoying it down the road.

You can also follow Nia on Twitter and on YouTube!

Friday, January 21, 2011

iObsess • KKQ


age: 26 where: delaware
Hair • Braid Outs and Rhassoul Clay
Skin • Oil cleansing method using a 50/50 mix of Sweet Almond Oil and Grapeseed Oil. Witch Hazel as an astringent when needed
Fashion • Long skirts, flats and headwraps I ♥
Food • Sweet Potatoes and Mac & Cheese!
The Tube • Reality junk tv! Currently...Rhoa, Rhobh, Jersey Shore...can't forget about Scared Straight (yikes!)
The Net • My fav blogs at the moment are: theMopTopMaven - FashionBananas - CurlyNikki - theFlyGirlBlog
Places • I would love to go back to Cancun, Mexico!! It's a whole lot more to it than what you would think. Me and the Mister honeymooned there and were pleasantly surprised to see that it's more that just a party destination.
Life • All about family and building a stronger relationship with God. Thoughts of going back to school are getting stronger...I think I'm ready :)

**Share your obsessions?!? Send in your list along with 1 or 2 CLEAR (non-camera phone) pictures to naturallyobsessed@yahoo.com along with your name, age and location(optional). Also, your obsessions can be about whatever...my list is just an example and please include any links (your twitter, facebook, blog etc) with your submission. Thx!

Obsessive Quote of The Week

Double standards have become standard. Its a form of selective obedience that conveniently allows us to justify whack behavior. -Bereolaesque via Twitter

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hair Diary: Meet Candace Denise!

About Me...Who, little ole' me? (smile) I am an observer, daughter, sister, lady at all times, bold, a dreamer, a lover, a friend, a believer...but, in short, I mostly go by poet, photographer, collector, and most recently, a designer.

Where you do live? How is the natural hair community there?
I currently reside in Columbia, SC, which is also my hometown. I will be relocating again this year (just moved back to Columbia from Atlanta last summer), any suggestions? Sadly, I have been a bit of a hermit since moving back, so I can't give an honest opinion about the natural hair community here. What I can say is that I have friends who are newly natural, as well as old classmates who inspired me to go natural...some live here and others are in Charleston, SC.

When and why did you decide to go natural?
I've done the big chop & transitioned several times over the past 8 years. When I was modeling, I tried to be as diverse as possible, so one minute I would have a perm and the next minute I would cut it off & start all over again. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2008 and last year, it really took a toll on my body & self-esteem. I lost a considerable amount of weight & the hair at the back of my head began to fall out. When I cut it, it was mostly because I no longer had the energy to maintain certain styles.

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?
My mother did not like it. She has always been extremely vocal about how I should do "my hair," much to my dismay. It has grown on her a little bit, but I am confident enough to no longer allow anyone's opinions to bother me. My friends are really supportive...as a matter of fact, they have always joked with me dying/cutting/perming my hair. Outside of that, there will always be someone, whether a close family member, friend, stranger or associate, who will stare or have something negative to say. I do not care. It is more important for me to comfortable with myself, than to exchange my happiness for acceptance.

Describe your hair routine.
My hair routine begins with food. I drink alot of water...sometimes more than 8 glasses, and ATTEMPT to take all of my vitamins. I've gone through phases and even when I do eat meat, I try not to consume as much. I wash my hair every two weeks or longer and trim it when necessary. My hair is usually wrapped up in a scarf, but I have worn it out in twists and roller sets.

What are some of your favorite products?
My favorite products for cleaning my hair are Shea Moisture shampoo and black soap. I have always been a fan of olive oil so it is a staple product for deep conditioning, along with shea butter and coconut oil. As you can see, I like to keep it quite simple. When I first went natural, I practically bought the whole hair store and now I have an inventory of products that I probably won't use, sitting in my closet.

Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?
I would really like to lock my hair, but overall, I just want it to be healthy. I decided to keep a journal or log book of certain ingredients in products that work better with my hair, so that I can make my own mixes at home. I'm also cutting back on junk food & procrastination...those are the main culprits. I am a workaholic, with a tendency to stay up at all hours of the night, eating ginger snaps, key lime pie and end up falling asleep with my scarf off (lol).

How has being natural changed you?
It has been a long journey. When I was sick, it was a struggle to get out of bed and I begin to isolate myself...from myself. Last February, I became a vegetarian for approximately 3 months (Lent), and things started to change during that time. I grew stronger. I begin to revisit & rekindle my love for certain things...music, the arts...elements that were so ingrained in me that I don't know how I ever lived without them. My hair became a symbol of my courage and I wore it well.

What are your top 5 obsessions?
Michael Joseph Jackson, and yes, I did spell out his whole name (lol). Words cannot describe how much he means to me. When I was little, I remember watching him on tv and thought that if he could dance...if he could sing...then there had to be something that I could do too. I wrote my first poem when I was listening to his music. From there, I begin drawing. Sigh...I miss him. On a lighter note, I am obsessed with music...at least 5 hours of my daily life has music as a backdrop. I also love to shop at thrift stores +collect vintage glassware, seafood, and pampering myself.

Anything you would like to add....
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your world. Inspiration starts with courage and acceptance...and that will always lead to inspiring others along the way. I aspire to do the same through my work. I can be seen writing and "dilly dallying" on my blog: www.awildspringshebore.blogspot.com on Tumblr: www.wildspring.tumblr.com on Twitter: www.twitter.com/awildspring or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Ms.Tokyo. Peace, light, and love to and all your readers. We are all queens.

Random: Mike Jackson

Rihanna & Her Kinky Red Wig!!!!

Spotted in Hollywood for a night on the town, style chameleon Rihanna, looked HOT in a new kinked up, curled up, frizzed up red wig. In the words of her new single titled S&M....I Like it, Like it!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Random: Afro Art by Daisy Giles

Fishtail Braid on My Straight Natural Hair

Completely bored I did what most of us do when junk tv is not enough.....I video surfed on youtube lol! I have been wanting to learn how to do fishtail braids for a while now and since my hair was straightened I gave it a go. After watching the video below a couple times and trying to do it along with the demonstration, I went to the bathroom and practiced in front of the mirror. And 5 tries later (lol) a fishtail was born....Luvs It!!




Not sure how this will look on my natural texture...If I try it I'll let you guys know :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Nighttime Routine For Straight Hair


My nighttime routine for maintaining sleek and smooth straight hair is super simple! I first start by dividing my hair into 2 halves, then I began to de-tangle my hair GENTLY with a wide tooth comb. Sometimes we assume that our straight hair doesn't need to be combed and that it won't get tangles....well it does! Especially if you have some length and your hair rubs up against your clothing. Before I de-tangle I apply a small amount of EVOO (ex. virgin olive oil) to each side, this allows the comb to glide through the hair as smooth as possible. However, you don't want to oil it down too much or you'll weigh the hair down and make the hair too greasy.

After each side is de-tangled, I pin each side up into 2 big bantu knots and cove with a satin scarf and my bonnet. When I take them down in the morning the hair will have a slight wave, but if I want more texture I'll do 5 or 6 bantu knots at night. And that is all!

TIPS!
•Don't over do it with hair products. The more you put on the hair, the more you'll weigh it down and you'll lose volume and body.
•Keep your hair off of your clothing and other fabrics.
•When your hair is straight it's the perfect time tidy up those ends and to cut out those single strand knots. Having length is cute but scraggly ends are a NO!
•Be cautious when applying additional heat to the hair. If you like a more volume and curl to your straight hair do so with bantu knots and pin curling.
•And lastly enjoy YOUR hair! Don't let anybody else come to you with their "natural nazi" rules and stop you from enjoying all that natural hair has to offer. It's YOUR hair!

p.s. I got the hat from a Rave store that was going out of business in PA. It was only $1 and some change :) #fabfind

Video: Flat Ironing My Natural Hair

I've been itching to straighten my hair since early November and this past Friday I finally had some time to do so. Of course, like everyone should, I thoroughly cleansed and conditioned my hair. On wet hair I applied Grapeseed Oil to 6 sections and allowed the hair to partially air dry while in braids. After that I blow dried on low heat until fully dry and then began the flat ironing process. If you own a maxiglide then you know that it comes with 2 plates, one flat and the other has raised teeth that come the hair as you straighten. Since I first I got my Maxi I've always used the combed plate, but decided to give the flat plate a try and see which one works better. With the Maxi heated to level 3 I started flat ironing from the back using the "comb chase" method (LINK). I don't know if it was because of how bulky and heavy the Maxiglide is, but this method was not working for me. It was taking too long and my hair wasn't come out as smooth as a I prefer. So about halfway through the middle I switch to the combed plate and got through my hair in no time.

When it was all done I slightly surprised at the length. I knew my hair had grown, but seeing it all straight was like WOW...shrinkage can really be deceiving lol!

And f.y.i. my hair has never been this length! Some people seem to think that I had really long hair when I was relaxed, but that is not the case at all. My hair would always grow to my collar bone and then start to break off. It has always been thick though. Heck, I used to sew in weaves to get to the length I'm at now lol!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Rising Voice in Afro-Latin America by Frances Robles

I spotted this article while scrolling through my timeline on Twitter last night. The tweet came up with a caption that read "Wow, who knew Dominicans hated blacks this much". So I quickly click the link to see what the fuss was about and found an interesting 5 part article on Afro-Latin Americans and the issues they face mainly due to the color of their skin.
BLACK DENIAL
(06/10/2007) SANTO DOMINGO -- Yara Matos sat still while long, shiny locks from China were fastened, bit by bit, to her coarse hair. Not that Matos has anything against her natural curls, even though Dominicans call that pelo malo -- bad hair.

But a professional Dominican woman just should not have bad hair, she said. "If you're working in a bank, you don't want some barrio-looking hair. Straight hair looks elegant," the bank teller said. "It's not that as a person of color I want to look white. I want to look pretty." And to many in the Dominican Republic, to look pretty is to look less black.

Dominican hairdressers are internationally known for the best hair-straightening techniques. Store shelves are lined with rows of skin whiteners, hair relaxers and extensions. Racial identification here is thorny and complex, defined not so much by skin color but by the texture of your hair, the width of your nose and even the depth of your pocket. The richer, the "whiter." And, experts say, it is fueled by a rejection of anything black. "I always associated black with ugly. I was too dark and didn't have nice hair," said Catherine de la Rosa, a dark-skinned Dominican-American college student spending a semester here. "With time passing, I see I'm not black. I'm Latina. "At home in New York everyone speaks of color of skin. Here, it's not about skin color. It's culture."

The only country in the Americas to be freed from black colonial rule -- neighboring Haiti -- the Dominican Republic still shows signs of racial wounds more than 200 years later. Presidents historically encouraged Dominicans to embrace Spanish Catholic roots rather than African ancestry. Here, as in much of Latin America -- the "one drop rule'' works in reverse: One drop of white blood allows even very dark-skinned people to be considered white.

CULTURE PULL
Several women said the cultural rejection of African looking hair is so strong that people often shout insults at women with natural curls. "I cannot take the bus because people pull my hair and stick combs in it," said wavy haired performance artist Xiomara Fortuna. "They ask me if I just got out of prison. People just don't want that image to be seen."

The hours spent on hair extensions and painful chemical straightening treatments are actually an expression of nationalism, said Ginetta Candelario, who studies the complexities of Dominican race and beauty at Smith College in Massachusetts. And to some of the women who relax their hair, it's simply a way to have soft manageable hair in the Dominican Republic's stifling humidity.

"It's not self-hate," Candelario said. "Going through that is to love yourself a lot. That's someone saying, ‘I am going to take care of me.' It's nationalist, it's affirmative and celebrating self." Money, education, class -- and of course straight hair -- can make dark-skinned Dominicans be perceived as more "white," she said. Many black Dominicans here say they never knew they were black -- until they visited the United States. "During the Trujillo regime, people who were dark skinned were rejected, so they created their own mechanism to fight it," said Ramona Hern├índez, Director of the Dominican Studies Institute at City College in New York. "When you ask, ‘What are you?' they don't give you the answer you want . . . saying we don't want to deal with our blackness is simply what you want to hear."

Hernández, who has olive-toned skin and a long mane of hair she blows out straight, acknowledges she would "never, never, never'' go to a university meeting with her natural curls.

To read the full article, which I highly recommend, please click HERE!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Video: My Favorite Hair Products

Product List
Shampoo
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo
Bee Mine Nourishing Shampoo
Ori Organics Hydrating Curl Cleanser

Conditioner
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Conditioner
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner
Suave Shea Butter and Almond Conditioner
Desert Essence Green Apple and Ginger Conditioner
Desert Essence Italian Red Grape Conditioner
Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner
Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner
Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner

Deep Conditioner
Bee Mine Deep Conditioner
Rhassoul Clay
Cassia Obovata
Curl Harmony Intensive Repair Masque

Styling Aides
Ori Organics Curl Styling Buttercream
Ori Organics Moisture Balancing Buttercream
Bee Mine Curly Butter
Safi Hair Care Curl Clouds
Safi Hair Care Avocado Shea Butter

Oils and Things
Beyond The Zone "Turn Up The Heat" Protectant
Grapeseed Oil
Coconut Oil
Cantu Shea Butter Leave In
Castor Oil
Vatika Oil
Unrefined Shea Butter
Huetiful Hair Steamer
Wide Tooth Shower Comb

What's your fav Shampoo, Conditioner, Styling Aid and Oils & Things??

Obsessive Kinks: Meet Jasmine Swift

About Me....My name is Jasmine Swift, I'm 22 years old and I am a senior at Old Dominion University majoring in Photography.

Where do you live? How's the natural hair community there?
I live in Norfolk, Virginia. The natural hair community is growing by the day, especially at my college.

When and why did you decide to go natural?
I began transitioning in August 2009 and did the BC in October 2009. My true reason for going natural (in short) was to find the inner me and be set free from all the self-hate I was indulging in while I was relaxed. I came to the realization that I would love to know how my hair really grew out of my head naturally without being chemically straightened.

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?
My friends and family were very happy for me, they loved the new look and embraced it tremendously.

Describe your hair routine.
My hair routine consist of me simply keeping it simple, I do this only because my hair can not handle too much of anything on it. I co-wash my hair at least three times a month with triple nutrition conditioner by Garnier Fruitis, and I wash it once a month with suave coconut shampoo. To keep my hair moist I use extra virgin coconut oil and/or carrot oil. If my hair feels dry I use glycerin to hydrate it, it leaves my hair feeling very fluffy. 

What are some of your favorite hair products?
My favorite products are coconut oil, shea butter, Oyin "juices and berries" (I love the way it smells) and glycerin.

Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?
My ultimate hair goal would be growth, and to achieve this goal I have been doing what I call the "no heat challenge" in the past I would blow my hair out at least twice a month and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with blowing your hair out, however, my hair needed this break. I haven't used my blow dryer in almost two months now, and I have seen a lot of growth.



How has being natural changed you?
When it comes to how has natural hair changed me I have a saying, "my hair doesn't define me, but it did help me find me" meaning that although I love my hair so much, I am just happy that I have accepted the real me and I do not wish to change that for anyone. I found self-love and self-confidence like never before! Natural hair is one of the purest essence of being comfortable with who you really are, just the way God intended. Just like India Arie would say "I know my Creator didn't make no mistakes on me" I couldn't agree more with that sentiment.

What are your top 5 obsessions?
My five obsession are: reading my Bible, photography, vintage clothes hunting, spending time with my love and walking around to view nature (of course when it's not freezing outside lol).

Anything else you would like to add.
I'm also apart of organization with a friend of mine called "Sunflower Sisters." In this organization we help women embrace their natural hair with product sharing, inspirational testimonies of our natural hair journey and all the advice we can give. Outside of that, three of my close friends and I are coming up with a blog called "4 Natural Chicks" which is still under construction but will be up soon. Thank you so much for having me on your blog S. Michelle E. your blog is truly helpful, inspiring and greatly appreciated, please continue to keep up the great work and be blessed :)


Make sure you follow Jasmine on Twitter @NaturallyJSwift or on Facebook Jasmine Free-Spirit Swift.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Video: "Shadeism"

Interesting vid I found this morning while cruising the net, check it out and please share your thoughts. This issue of "light is right" plagues so many women of color, with many different backgrounds. It's great to see these young ladies shedding some light...no pun intended...on such a deep issue. Enjoy!


About the video..."This documentary short is an introduction to the issue of shadeism, the discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community. This documentary short looks specifically at how it affects young womyn within the African, Caribbean, and South Asian diasporas. Through the eyes and words of 5 young womyn and 1 little girl - all females of colour - the film takes us into the thoughts and experiences of each. Overall, 'Shadeism' explores where shadeism comes from, how it directly affects us as womyn of colour, and ultimately, begins to explore how we can move forward through dialogue and discussion."

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

UPDATE: I Want • Sesame Street "I Love My Hair" Tees

Take a look at these tees from www.WeLoveFine.com and tell me they are not the most adorable shirts you've ever seen!! I must have the green one!!


Pick yours up today at this link: https://welovefine.com/shop/character/SESAME-STREET/
If your unfamiliar with this character get to know her HERE!

UPDATE: Hey Guys! Necole from welovefine.com just let me know that these tees are now available in girls sizes and a new tee has been added https://welovefine.com/shop/CHARACTER/SESAME-STREET/I-Love-My-Braids.html

Friday, January 7, 2011

In Review: Wonder Curl's Get Set Hair Jelly & Get Slick Hair Smoothie

Get Slick Hair Smoothie
Description: Get Slick Hair Smoothie provides your hair with the benefits of organic coconut oil and organic castor oil. Coconut oil, known for its benefits to skin and hair, is the only oil that penetrates the hair shaft to strengthen. Castor oil, also known for its medicinal properties, protects hair, prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. Using Get Slick Hair Smoothie will keep your hair looking soft, shiny and strong.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Distilled Aloe Water, Hydroxyethyl Celloulose, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Fragrance

Cost: 8oz for $13 @ www.WonderCurl.com

Get Set Hair Jelly
Description: Get Set Hair Jelly smooths, soothes and controls frizz without stiffness. Used with organic aloe vera which for many is a miraculous plant. In hair it is used to promote growth and revitalize hair. This jelly is also loaded with pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol) to strengthen your hair. Get Set Hair Jelly keeps your coils looking fresh and fabulous all day.

Ingredients: Aloe, Polyquaternium 7, Panthenol, Vegan Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Citric Acid, Alcohol denatured, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, TEA (Triethanolamine),

Cost: 8oz for $15 @ www.WonderCurl.com

My Thoughts: I Love Love Love it!! I wish I was sent the full sized products, because it definitely needs to be added to my stash lol! No worries though I'll be purchasing them very soon. On to the review...
I started off applying the Hair Smoothie to clean wet (not dripping wet) hair in small sections starting from the back. The first thing I noticed about it has a creamy consistency and it's not too thick, which makes easier to distribute through the hair. I expected it to be very oily being that castor oil and coconut oil being #2 and #3 on the ingredient list, but it wasn't oily at all. I then detangled, which I do before braiding each braid to prevent a frizzy and tangled braid out, and applied the Hair Jelly. It looks and feels like most gels, but without the sticky residue feeling afterwards. And just like to Hair Smoothie it had a clean fresh scent, nothing to overly fragrant. I was anxious to see how it would turn out once it dried. I've read some reviews in the past that said because of the witch hazel in the jelly it may cause the hair to feel dry. Here's a few pics of my wet braids...
*note: Twists work better than braids on my bang area since I cut them...I don't know why but they do lol!
I sat under my hooded dryer for about 20 minutes and then cover with a satin bonnet and allowed it to fully dry overnight. In the morning I coated my hands with some Coconut Oil and unraveled the braids and twists...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Biggest Myths About African American Hair

I spotted this post on www.MadameNoire.com and just had to share it with guys. Before going natural and really getting to know my hair I some of these myths to be true as well...boy was I wrong lol! Here's a few excerpts that stood out for me...

1. Washing your hair too often will dry it out.
Washing is actually one of the best ways to moisturize your hair and scalp. Not only does washing your hair restore moisture, it also cleanses a dirty scalp allowing for growth. This myth keeps circulating because hard water and the wrong shampoos and conditioners can strip the hair of much needed oils.

2. African American hair doesn't grow long.
Lies and deceit! African-American hair has the capability to grow and thrive under the right environment. But our hair is sensitive and must be cared for diligently to reach optimal length. In addition to the proper beauty regime make sure you give your hair a helping hand by eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water. It will promote hair growth. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before.

4. Relaxers make African American hair grow.
The chemicals in a relaxer do not promote hair growth. Curly or natural African-American hair has a tendency to shrink or draw up. A relaxer simply breaks down the hair, eliminating the curl and stretching the hair to its full length.

8. Taking prenatal vitamins will make your hair grow.
This is a tricky one. Pregnant women do have luscious hair but many believe this is because of the high estrogen levels during pregnancy. The increased estrogen activates the growth phase for the hair. But all of this stops after the baby is born and the hair eventually returns to its normal growth pattern. Prenatal vitamins have no estrogen in them but do contain folic acid which stimulates hair growth. If you’re looking for a supplement for your hair make sure it’s high in biotin and folic acid.

To read the full list please visit www.MadamNoire.com
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Hair Diary: Kayla W.

About me....Hiya! My name is Kayla and I have been natural since August 2010. I transitioned for about 8 months using individual braids. I'm starting college next year and I thought that it would be the perfect time for me to go natural. I love being different I kinda always have been and my hair matches my personality now.

Where do you live? How is the natural hair community there?
I live in Jersey City, New Jersey and we are a go through kinda town ( a town where people travel through to get somewhere else) and I see a couple naturals from time to time. Its hard to determine if they are really from Jersey or traveling through. Weaves and perms are way more popular than natural hair for the most part though.

When and why did you decide to go natural?
I made the decision to go natural for many reasons, but one major one is that as stated before I'm starting college next year and I feel that natural would be a lot easier to maintain in college. Natural hair is more versatile and I felt like there are so many restrictions with permed hair. Another reason is that I have always wanted an afro and now I can have one.

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision?
My mom, dad, older brother, and my friends were very supportive with my hair. My grandma and some of my aunts and uncles not so much. They would make jokes and comments and at first it really hurt me. But I realized that I made this decision for me not for them and I love it. At the end of the day my opinion is all that matters.

Describe your current routine.
I deep condition every week with Organic Root Salon's Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner. I use hot oil treatments every other week using either jojoba oil. I only use shampoo every 2 weeks with Curls Organic Clarifying Shampoo.

Do you have any hair goals?
My only goal right now for my hair is to keep it healthy. Length and other goals will come if I keep it healthy. I wear a satin bonnet every night and I make sure to properly hydrate my hair. I NEVER comb or brush my hair when it is dry and I only use and wide tooth shower comb and denman bush.

What is your favorite natural hair style?
My favorite go to style would have to be a twist-out. I have just mastered how to accomplish one and I love it. I take damp hair and detangle it piece by piece and apply Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

Curly girls have more fun because....we are unique, beautiful, and we shine better than all the rest!!

Feel free to follow Kayla's blog www.PurpleKittten27.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

From Braid Out to Twist Out...

After about 2 days of wearing the sticky braid out that was a result of using Design Essentials, I decided to refresh the look with a little water and then re-twisting. I lightly sprayed each section down with water and began twisting without adding any extra product....

In Review: Design Essentials Hair Care Products


My Final Thoughts:
As you can see in the video above I first gave the Daily Moisturizing Lotion and Defining Creme Gel a try back when I had my twists in a couple weeks ago. I wasn't blown away by the results and really didn't care for the sticky feeling it gave my twists, but my hair was soft and had nice hold so it was ok. I promised in the video, to be fair I would give them another try on clean loose hair and as soon as I took my twists out I did just that.

I started off by applying the Daily Moisturizing Lotion, one section at a time, to clean wet hair. Then in smaller sections I applied the Curl Stretching Cream and began to braid. When I finished I tied my hair down with my satin wrap and bonnet and allowed it to dry overnight. In the morning I unraveled and these were the results....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome To NaturallyObsessed.net!!!

Same content just on a different platform....

I've been wanting to change over to Blogger from OnSugar for a while now and I finally had the time to do it. Blogger offers a lot more features and gives me a bit more freedom on how I want my content displayed. I'm still adjusting to the new setup, a lot of the comments from the original blog are missing and the pages in the navigation bar are not working how I would like them to....If any of you have any suggestion on those please help me out!

Also last week (I think) on the old blog I asked if you guys would like to see a "Flashback" feature and a large number of you said "heck yeah." So I'll be starting that up this week...how does Friday sound??

Anyhoo...welcome to www.NaturallyObsessed.net and enjoy :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

In Review: Cocoa Hibiscus Conditioning Custard


Note: This product may not be available until Feb. 2011 at a price of $17 for a 16oz jar.
All products or tools reviewed on this blog are always 100% honest and fair to maintain the integrity of Naturally Obsessed. This product was sent to me courtesy of Safi Hair Care. I was not paid for this review. For more info please review the Disclosure Policy by clicking HERE or the link located in the side bar. Thx -kkq.
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