Archive | March, 2012

How Do You Get Your Hair Like That?

25 Mar

Browsing through some Natural Hair photos online, I always wonder how these gorgeous, bold women get their Afro hair to look so sexy and textured. Instead of a fuzzy lump on their head, no matter the length, their hair looks AWESOME. And I just wonder–what is their secret? Whenever I leave the house, my hair is just dry and frizzy and lifeless. There is no bounce, no curl…no nothing. I still love my hair to death, but I wish it had some sass and oomph!

I read what some women said were their “secrets” whether its coconut milk, yellow shea butter or jojoba oil. I think I just add so much oil to my hair and I don’t have enough creamy stuff in it which adds to the frizz. Right now, my hair is very tangled from hair nets at work and needs to be detangled (SERIOUSLY) and I am thinking to myself–Oh I wish I had some coconut milk to really get in there and soften up my ball of tangled frizz. But I forgot to pick some up and I’m left with sparse ingredients to deep condition my hair with. To keep my hair detangled for work, I am going to keep it twisted and try to work with twists as a protective style. My goal this spring is to really bring out the texture of my hair, whatever product or style it takes. Whether I have to twist my hair every night, or do a wash and go–bringing out the natural texture of my hair is important. I find it so attractive and unique, and I just don’t really know what I’m doing wrong in my regimen that leaves my hair so textureless. So what products out there are going to bring out the natural curl and texture of my hair?

Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie is one product that sounds like it does everything I need–smoothing the hair, detangling and moisturizing it! For thirty dollars, I hope it is worth it’s price but I have heard raving reviews of this product and Carol’s Daughter. Carols Daughter Hair Milk – The Original is known to bring out the curls in natural hair, and that’s just what I need. But more than that, using new methods to manipulate my hair is needed–like hair sprays and gels. Curl Junkie Aloe Fix Lite sounds like a good bet for light, curly spring hair. I can see myself spritzing my hair with a leave-in conditioner spray and then using the aloe gel to put my hair up in a cute do with some sparkly hair clips. I’m sure the humidity will keep my hair soft and manageable. What are you doing for spring hair?

 

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The Spring in My Hair

12 Mar

The snow is melted and I’m bringing out all the humectant products for spring: aloe gel, honey and molasses. With my hair hidden under a hat for most of winter’s dreary days, it is about high time to be able to rock my curly hair out in public again. With nothing but high temperatures for the next week, it got me thinking….How do you go from flat twists to non-protective styles without drying out your kinks? I am so used to keeping my hair moisturized and safe from breaking by twists that the idea of leaving it out–even on a sunshiney days, worries me.

And it’s not that easy. We naturalistas don’t have it easy, but that’s okay. We didn’t come this far to just let our hair dry up and die, did we? My hair will look fabulous on my way out the door–my curls will be springy and sexy and nice. An hour later, after the wind has blown it or I’ve sweated a bit…those nice curls are now a big frizzy hot mess. And my hair is ruined. Or not…Just as you take care of your hair at home, do so on the go. Run to the bathroom and spritz some moisture in your hair with a water bottle containing filtered water, a moisturizer (like olive oil or some conditioner) and a pomade (or some shea butter). My hair is 4b and dry, dry, dry as well it has major shrinkage after being wet, fragile because of zig zags and will get frizzy QUICK.

Spring, you are a nice season, but hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy you and enjoy my hair too! I just finished a hot oil treatment in my hair with EVOO, sesame oil and coconut oil. My hair was feeling very dry and needed a nice dose of extra moisture after my usual Deep Conditioning which helped with softness but left my hair dry for the rest of the week. I have been twisting my hair every night faithfully throughout the winter but am now switching to banding my hair gently for the spring. The main reason I’m switching to banding is because when I quickly twist my hair for bed, the twists focus mainly on the ends and my hair doesn’t get the individual TLC it needs. When I section and band my hair, detangle it and oil it it seems to get more attention with banding and grows more efficiently for some reason. Plus, it takes less time! In the morning, I just unband it, take one band and put my hair up in a bun with some bobby pins! Voila!

Be Fearless

6 Mar

Rocking our textured hair that stands out takes guts. It takes guts to defy convention and misinformation about Black women and their hair. It takes guts to go against the grain and to be confident in your skin. That is why it is so important to be fearless in our natural hair quests, to be proud of our curls and kinks in its various forms and to NEVER feel less than anyone else. Despite the dirty looks, the quizzical smiles and the negative comments–we must rise above it all and be fearless.

It doesn’t matter whether we are having a bad hair day or trying out a new style. There may be people who do not think our hair, in its pure and natural form, is beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? But it doesn’t mean we need to fear their opinions,or acquiesce to how they think we should look. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t important. We don’t look like them. We look like ourselves. We are unique. We are original. We are individuals. And we should be fearless.

Sometimes I get the feeling when walking down the street with my hair in an Afro puff or in a remarkable twist-out that people of different races do not understand my hair. They make thing I look messy, disheveled or didn’t comb my hair this morning because it doesn’t look sleek and straight–resembling their own appearances. I have felt inadequate in certain places because I looked different, but as each day begins, and I wake up and look at myself in the mirror before I leave the house, I tell myself “You look great. You must be fearless. Your hair is all yours–and there’s nothing wrong with it.”

 

—-> Even though my hair can be dry and unruly sometimes, and look utterly crazy. I’m not afraid to embrace who I really am.

Hair Lesson 2012: Leave That Hair Alone

5 Mar

Probably one thing I learned from 2011 is to just leave my hair alone and let it grow–checking up on it once in a while to make sure it is healthy and moisturized. As I stated before, I leave my hair twisted for 6 days while I work and take the twists down on my days off. I may occasionally undo my twists if I hit the gym or go on an excursion, but if I head home after work (I usually do!) my hair stays twisted. Not fussing with my hair daily has not only saved me time getting ready in the morning and in the evening, but means the hair is not getting stressed out every day. It seems healthier and longer to me. Even though I am tempted to prance around town with my hair out, with the high gusty winds I know it is best to secure my hair under a hat and leave it out during nice, humid weather. It may sound ridiculous to people who want to enjoy natural hair, but while I let my hair alone now–it will grow faster and I’ll be able to do more with it LATER. If I leave my hair alone for 3 months, imagine how much it will grow by summer?

I notice my hair’s texture changes as it grows longer–it becomes curlier and looser as the hair hangs heavier. Also, with my hair continually in twists, the hair pattern is used to being in S shape. Twisting my hair and covering it up at night, moisturizing it and spritzing with water is my focus. I’m not worried about it being perfect or looking great–just making sure it’s protected. I wear a hat at work and so there is no point to have my hair done, anyways. It is a great advantage while I try to grow my hair and keep it healthy. It may not be fun and it may not be glamorous, but just letting your hair grow on its own is probably the best thing you can do for your African textured hair.

It may not be growing like Pocahontas…but I definitely see some improvement :).

Bye, Bye Afro Puff

5 Mar

I have been donning the Afro Puff for so long, I could do the hair do in the dark. The snow is melted away and I’m ready to try a new hairdo as my staple for spring weather that goes with my style and is easy (because complicated hairdos are not my thing!) I watched a lot of YouTube videos, checked out hair style websites like NaturallyCurly and decided the best idea is the bun. I played around with this versatile hairstyle in the winter but I think for spring I can dress it up with big plastic earrings, flowered hair bands and colored hairpins.

The hair bun is preferred over other styles a lot of naturalistas will be doing like the “wash & go” because my hair is so dry that leaving it out for prolonged periods of time will lead to (sigh) damage and breakage. Yes, I will wear my hair out in twists outs and some wash  & go, but my staple–like the Afro puff was for me in fall and winter, is going to be the bun.

Getting Ready for Spring!

5 Mar

I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t one of the many naturalistas getting excited for showing off dazzling curls for the warmer spring weather. It is time to stuff those long black winter coats and heavy boots in the closet in lieu of something lighter and more colorful. I’m already putting together my Spring Lookbook which is mostly compiled of bright clothing from super-affordable stores like Forever 21, H&M and Winners. The only thing I really plan to splurge on is a pair of vintage sunglasses. I still regret the pair  I didn’t buy at Sunglass Hut that now cannot be found anywhere.

I dyed my hair red with L’Oreal a week or so ago (I was too intimidated to use henna) and I really love having a bit of color in my hair. It makes a huge difference and it has really loosened my curl slightly to make my hair look more defined with curls rather than just frizz. Since dying my hair, I did experience the breakage and dryness that everyone warns you about. I know it was a risk so I have been deep conditioning like I am right now (with argan oil conditioner, coconut oil, some oil blend and water). I have had my hair in mini-twists for 6 days during work and plan to keep it twisted next week for another 6 days so I can absorb some of the damage from the dye by keeping my hair 100% protected and moisturized. I only wear my kinks out on my days off (Sunday/Monday) and wearing my hair protected means retaining much revered length.

 

 

But enough about me and my hair. It seems that now, more than ever before, there are natural hair style icons popping up everywhere and I had also taken notice of the stylish women who make natural hair part of their identity, personalities and their style. Icons like Solange and singer Lianne la Havas.

 

Their take on bold color and unapologetic big hair really inspires me. I love Solange’s coral nails and lipstick and her bright prints and African style jewelery. She has a unique style and the confidence to pull it off, and my eyes are on her. La Havas also has a graceful, vintage style she totally owns and gorgeous spirally hair she wears in a trademark side bun, but it looks gorgeous out and wild.

I hope this spring to wear less boring tans and whites and browns and take a leap with style and opt for more daring prints like zebra as well as colors that scream “Look at me” like raspberry, mint green, sunny yellow, aqua and purple. I love how these women completely own the wild tribal look. It completely matches their awesome hair and style. 🙂