Friday, February 25, 2011

Vespers - The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Experience

Photo credit Andrew Eccles

Tonight began the "Nita Date".  It is where I take me out for a night out.  Sometimes in giving all to others and things like family, work, friends, church, and significant others, the "me" can get burned out.  So at least twice a month, I'm making a date with myself, just me, to do something that Nita really wants to do.  This will be a time that I can be a little selfish, not have to consider other's preferences and desires, just fulfill Nita's wants for a night.  Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with others, anyone who knows me knows that I am a people person & I relish being in a group of lively people.  But I've also found over the years that it is good to get some time away to recharge and love on me a little bit.  In 2011, I'm determined to love "me" a little bit better. 

So for my first "Nita Date, I had the joyful pleasure of witnessing The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre perform. (Great first date, hunh? LOL)  I sat in awe for 2 hours as I witnessed grace meshed with passion as the dancers glided, stomped, raced, and piroutted across the stage. I was riveted to my seat as I saw powerful muscles propel bodies forward and upward while maintaining positions that were dainty and soft.  Grace and strength pervaded the theatre as each scene was meticulously performed.    For most of the 2 hours I was just awestruck at not only the talent that was showcased on the stage but the creativity of the choreographers who saw all of this in their mind before it was ever danced.  If this dance theatre comes near your city, I would highly recommend attending the performance, you won't be disappointed.

During the intermissions and prior to the show I also witnessed some heart warming relationships in the audience.  Two ladies who were sitting beside me were clearly long time best friends.  They were easily in their late 50's or early 60's.  Watching them interact was like witnessing my current best friends and me in our future.  If what we have is anything like what I saw tonight, we're gonna be having a blast for a long time!  I also saw a mother with her 2 year old daughter at the show.  She came in with her personal booster seat and strapped her daughter into one of the auditorium chairs.  The little girl stayed awake and attentive during the entire performance.  What an awesome thing to get an introduction to the arts on this level at such an early age!  #TeamNatural was in the house as well!  There were many women wearing their natural loose and locked hair in the place.  We gave each other knowing looks and smiles and exchanged compliments in the ladies room.

Tonight I wore a fro hawk created from a 3 day old twist out with the sides 2 strand flat twisted. Not bad for the first time doing 2 strand flat twists!  I thought it was pretty cute!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Coil - Out

After wearing my finger coils for 3 days, I did a coil out on my hair.  Here are the results.  I used the Mizani Butter Rich to pull the coil out and moisturize before I let it the hair wind back on itself.  This was a great style that allowed me to minimize the amount of manipulation that I did to my hair during the week.  It will be one that will be repeated in the future.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Finger Coils

As I alluded to in my previous post, I got bored with the wash and go after day 3 and wanted something different.  I was on Youtube checking out natural hair videos and got inspired (around 11:30 pm no less) to try out finger coils.  Around 12:30 am when I was still coiling my hair I wanted to kick myself!!! 

Here is how I achieved the look.  I used my spray bottle and saturated my hair in sections with water.  Then I applied coconut oil and detangled with my detangling comb.  I then took small sections of hair and twisted around my fingers with Olive Oil Eco Styler gel.  While my hair is definately set, I found that this combo kept my hair from being extremely hard.

I finished around 1:15 am and sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes just to dry the last section of hair.  It took me so long to coil my hair, that the rest of my head had already dried.  The first 2 pictures below were taken around 1:45 am, thus no face shots, I couldn't even fake an awake face at that time of the morning!

I love the results and am going to leave this style in for the weekend, possibly uncoiling on Sunday.

I tied my hair down with my satin scarf and in the morning, slightly lifted with my pick being sure not to (pull it all the way through)  to unflatten my coils.  Tomorrow morning I'll spray with one of Oyin Handmades Juices and apply coconut oil to remoisturize and lift again.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Picture slideshow made with Smilebox

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Wash & Go

With this week's focus being on defining my curls, I decided to co-wash my hair earlier this week and do a wash and go.  I am not a fan of the wash & go set with Olive Oil Ecostyler gel so I decided to use a cream based styler and forgo the hold.  I chose the Curls Curl Creme Brule'.  I shingled my damp hair with the Creme Brule' and got the below results.  It defined my curls, my hair was soft, and smelled great all day!
I'll definately try this again.  By the way, I only made it through Wednesday with the wash and go.  I wanted a different look by day 3.  So be on the look out for my next style attempt with my growing TWA.

I also wanted to check my growth by looking at the difference between my TWA right after my BC to now.  Check out the slideshow below.  I'm growing!!!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This slideshow personalized with Smilebox

Monday, February 14, 2011

Product Review & Hair Revelation

First, the product review.  I've been in search of two things in my hair regimen: a deep conditioner and a styler that defined my curls for braidouts and two strand twist outs but didn't leave it crunchy.  This week I found my deep conditioner.  I got it from Butters-N-Bars.  I bought the Hair Masque.  The product description states that it will condition and moisturize, leaving hair soft and manageable.  It contains Australian Pink Clay, Moroccan mud, raw honey, organic aloe vera juice, virgin hemp seed oil, organic virgin olive oil, and silk protein.   I applied the masque to freshly cleansed hair with a color applicator brush from root to tip & sat under a hooded dryer for 30 mins.

Clean hair with no product
Hair after masque applied.  Here you can really see the texture differences in my hair.  Look at the front middle (4a/b) in comparison to the temples (4c).

The conditioner did leave my hair soft and moisturized.  I will continue to use this conditioner every two weeks and let you know how my hair responds to it over time.

The second product new product that I used was Mizani's Butter Rich Deep Nourishing Hairdress.  I used this to set my braids for my  braid-out.  I first heard about this product on a fellow natural hair blogger's site, Robyn's Nest.  She, like myself, likes definition without stiffness, and moisturization. After using this product, I must say that it delivered these things.  My hair is soft, defined, and doesn't feel heavy.


As is evidenced in the picture of my hair above, I have several textures of hair.  Here are pictures of my braidout from last week and this week.

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Free picture collage created with Smilebox

The first row of pictures show my very first braid out with the Curls Creme Brule mixed with aloe vera gel for a soft hold.  The 2nd row of pictures was the 2nd day with Design Essentials Defining Creme gel.  The last row of pictures is with the Mizani Butter Rich Deep Moisurizing Hairdress.  After looking at all of the results, there wasn't much difference in definition in the 3 braidouts.  I also noticed that there are certain areas of my hair, that just simply lack definition no matter what product I use.  So instead of investing time in creating newstyling my TWA right now (each time I braid my hair it takes about an hour), I will instead focus on moisturization and curl enhancement until it gets longer. I will return to the braidout or a twist out later.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My First Braidout

This week I wanted to try a new hairstyle for my growing TWA.  I also wanted to try out some new products for definition with out stiffness.  So for my braids I used Curls Creme Brule' with some aloe vera gel (for light hold).

Here are my braids and day 1 results:

Day 1 Braid out
Day 1 Braidout
Day 2 braidout results with Design Essentials Defining Creme Gel (had a sample from a product swap - love those things)- gave me great definition, but a little bit more crunchy than I liked.

Day 2 Results with with Design Esentials Defining Creme Gel
Day 5 - Fro Hawk - Yay!  I can pull my sides back!  I was too lazy to re-braid my hair last night so this morning this style was created.  How you like my "mean - mug"?

Side view of the Fro Hawk

I really liked the results of the braid out and will probably continue to wear this style for a while.  I love the versatility of natural hair!  What do you guys think of my results?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Cheerleader - Lateshia's Story

As I stated before, I have been blessed to have a lot of support from my family and friends in my transition to natural hair.  One person who was pushing me to the very end was Lateshia.  I watched a lot of Youtube videos about going natural but it was she who was the tangible, real life example of the process that let me know "Hey, I can do this!"  I interviewed her recently on how her journey is going so far.  Read her responses below.

NN:  What made you decide to go natural?.
L:  I have always wanted to go natural but I thought my hair was too thin and wouldn't look right. Plus my hair was so thin (practically nonexistent) at the temple area, I was just scared to do it.

NN:  How did you know it was time to big chop?  How long was your transition?  What was your big chop date?

L:Well suffering from severe anemia, stress, and not to mention chemical overhaul my hair started to thin out really, really bad. I always wore my hair short so I would never go longer than 7 weeks without a fresh relaxer. Anytime I saw curls in the back (of my head) I'd slap some on creamy crack.. Finally after visiting my dermatologist April 6, 2010 and being diagnosed with Non-scarring Alopecia, it was a no brainer for me. There are some things I have control over and I could definitely live without the relaxers so it was a done deal for me.
Because I'd always worn my hair short, I wouldn't say I had a big chop date, but I say May 1st 2010 is my official natural date. All I needed to do was cut the few relaxed ends off and keep it moving. I did that over a 2 month period. I've worn two strand twists with extensions and faux fros for the first 7 months. During that time my hair was totally natural, but I wanted to keep my hands out of it and let it grow.

NN:   What do you love the most about your all natural hair?  What is your greatest frustration?
L:  I love that my hair is thicker than its ever been. Where I had no hair where I'd been relaxing, I now have healthy hair. I love that's is mine, mine, and all mine.
My greatest frustration is realizing I have very tightly curled hair and getting my hair to stretch is a challenge.

NN:  How are you coming on establishing a hair regimen?  What products is your hair loving right now?

L: Now this was the biggest challenge for me. Because my hair is so tight and needs lots of moisture, I realize I cannot shampoo my hair as often as I did when it was shorter. Now I'm trying to stick with shampooing every 1 to 2 weeks depending on the style I'm wearing. Right now I'm rocking my fro so when I get up I just fluff it out, refresh, and keep it moving.
Right now, my hair is loving Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo, Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, and Kinky-Curly Styling Spritz(to refresh curls). For added moisture for hair and scalp, I use Coconut Oil or Cantu Hair and Scalp Oil. For 2 strand twists or braid outs I use Jane Carter's Wrap and Roll.

Thanks Lateshia for being MY cheeleader and motivator!

Lateshia & me w/ relaxed hair - December 2009

TWA June 2010

Stretched Hair January 2011

Wash & go - February 2011  "Shrinkage!!!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And the Men say.......

Can you believe it is February 1st?  January just flew by!  As many think of February as the month of love, I thought it would be interesting to address one of the many concerns that women of color have about transitioning to a natural hairstyle.  I've found that some women feel that if they go natural, men will not find them attractive.   This was actually a concern of mine before I went natural as well.  So, I decided to actually ASK a few men what their preference was (imagine that!) instead of assuming what it would be.  These gentlemen were more than happy to give their honest opinions.  They were asked to respond to the following:

Does whether a woman wear her hair natural or relaxed factor into whether or not you find her attractive?  Define what IS attractive to YOU.

Michael P, 29    

Here's the thing...the most important thing about a woman (at least to me) is not her hair.  As long as she has confidence and a great personality that comes first.  There are several other factors that go into my attraction that we will not go into 'cause I could write all day.  Just to give you an idea I like a woman who is average height, carries herself well, is sexy in her dress yet conservative, confident, loves kids, and can make me laugh.  She also has to have pretty
Now at the initial sight of a woman all men do a head to toe "check out" because our initial attraction to anyone is based on how they look physically.  We look at the hair to see if it looks nice, we check out the face and body.  If a woman is going to go natural it has to be groomed.  The most unattractive thing is nasty hair.  I don't want to see flakes in your hair.  I'm not running my fingers through that.  To be honest, most men don't care about what type of hair a woman has on her head.  They just want to be able to touch it in the heat of the moment and the +$200.00  weave or lace fronts aren't going down that way.  So natural is a lot better.  About 3 years ago, I saw a woman at a local night club who's hair was shorter then mine and cut very close.  She was one of the most attractive women I have seen around.  I'm all for a woman that does something "different" with her hair then the typical weave you see on Beyonce or other women in entertainment who are glorified as gorgeous.

Taurean P, 28
Not at all; I’m a simple man, as long the style looks good on her and she wears it confidently how can you discriminate? It’s all about those intangibles, with the main one being confidence. It would be impossible to sit here and list all of the characteristics I find attractive in a woman because from a physical standpoint, the list would go on forever and then it would begin to contradict itself.

The truth is all women are beautiful in their own way but what sets some apart from the rest for me is, in no particular order: sensuality, sense of humor, great smile, nice walk, confidence, sense of style, positive attitude, nice skin, and nice eyes.

As you can see from my list, that woman could have a natural do or have some relaxer, it’s really at her discretion. The important thing is she stay true herself and wear it confidently.

Randall H, mid-30's
1) The way a woman wears her hair is not my highest priority in determining whether or not I find her attractive.  I tend to find women with varying degrees of hairstyles--relaxed, natural, a brush cut, locks, braids---all to be attractive.
2) What I do find most attractive about a woman is her confidence.  Having said that, a woman who opts for something other than the traditional relaxed hairstyle appears to me to exude that confidence.  Whether the hairstyle was by choice or necessity, I find it appealing when a woman really owns and embraces a change such as that.

Christopher W., 37

 I feel that a woman's hair is her crown. Her everyday Sunday morning hat. I feel that as long as it's "hers" (grown from her scalp and un-attached to anyone else's natural or synthetic hair) and done when it needs to be, she's good.
My definition of "attractive" are the striking features that a woman carries, and how she carries herself. There is not one thing that makes a woman attractive, because there are all types of attractive women.

Anonymous, 45

Whether a woman wears her hair natural or relaxed does NOT factor into whether or not I find her attractive.  What I find attractive in a woman is natural beauty, be it hair, skin, or whatever.  I don't really care how long or short a woman's hair is, as long as it is HER hair (meaning, it grows out of HER scalp).  I also don't like to see women wear a lot of make-up (actually, I prefer none at all).

Well ladies there you have it!  The men have spoken!  It's not the hair that attracts them, it's the confidence on the inside that draws them.  I want to thank the gentlemen who participated for their feedback. 

Ladies, what have YOUR experiences been with being approached by men once you went natural?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...