Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sale Alert!! Shea Moisture Products at Walgreens!

From March 27 - April 2nd you can get Shea Moisture Organic Hair Products buy 1 get 1 free! 

Check your zip code to see if your Walgreens carries the Shea Moisture line and if it is on sale.

Go to and click the "Weekly Ad" tab to see your local weekly flyer.

Happy shopping!

Perm Rod Set - Maintenance & Day 4 Hair

This is just a quick post to show how I am maintaining and refreshing my hair every day.

At night, I tie my hair down with a satin scarf.

My hair after I take the scarf off - whoo scary!  (That's my "I'm not so sure" face. LOL)

Helmet head....yep pretty much

Let's fix this -  I rub coconut oil on my hands and take the balls of my fingers and fluff my hair all over, lifting slightly as not to cause too much frizz.

Finished Results!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We Are Not Our Hair - Sandra Dubose-Gibson, Mrs. Black NC 2011


I was so inspired after reading about this young woman, I just had to share it with the public.  Sandra Dubose-Gibson was named North Carolina's first bald beauty queen as the 2011 Mrs. Black North Carolina.  Mrs. Dubose-Gibson has Alopecia Universalis, which has caused her not only to be bald, but to lose hair all over her body.  Imagine learning at the age of 25 that you have alopecia and that your hair is going to fall out.  This is a time in a young woman's life where your appearance can be one of the biggest concerns of your life (second only to men, possibly).

For a few of the years following her 25th birthday, she wore a wig but in 2008 made her debut as a bald woman on her way to a bald photoshoot no less! Talk about courage.   Along her path of self rediscovery she has come to redefine what beauty is, turning what could be a devastating diagnosis for some into her purpose.  In 2009, she founded the Alopecia Community of the Triangle, a support group for those who have this disease.  Her mission extends beyond being just a spokesperson for those diagnosed with alopecia like herself.  In a statement she said, "My mission is to be the catlyst that enables women to heal the experiences that have eroded and challenged their self esteem.  I am here to help them see the beautiful human beings that they truly are and boldy celebrate that beauty and strength from the inside out.  Sandra has gone on to become a sought after public speaker, produce a documentary about alopecia, as well as record a song that speaks to the internal source of beauty.  This Saturday, March 26th, she was crowned as Mrs. Black North Carolina for 2011, the state's first bald beauty queen.  Outstanding!

As I read about her story it made me reflect back to the beginnings of my natural hair journey and how I too had to redefine beauty in order for me to even consider ending my routine 6 week relaxer visits.  Even though most people see me as this very confident woman, I had to conquer my own fears and deal with my own issues regarding what defined beauty to me.  Too often, we allow societal definitions of  body size/shape, skin color, hair texture and length create impossible measures which tear down our own value and self esteem.  Why do we as a society place more value on physical traits rather than non-tangible traits such as integrity, generosity, and honesty?  Have we forgotten that the physical is what we appear to be (temporarily because the physical will change with time) but our character is who we really are?

Since I did want to be comfortable with the woman in the mirror with her new hair, I turned my eyes to the Word of God for His truth.  The Bible told me that we were made in God's own image (Genesis 1:27).  How can there be anything wrong with someone made in the very image of God Himself?  How can we not love God's creation?  In Luke 12:7, the Word says that "And the very hairs on your head are all numbered; so don't be afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."  God has so valued His children that He has taken the time to number every hair on our head.  Yet by allowing the opinions of society define our beauty and worth, we put God's opinion of us lower than the world's definintion.  I choose to agree with what God says about me and make this my confession to Him and the world.  "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well." (Psalm 139:14)   

Watch the video below to see Mrs. Dubose-Gibson embrace her baldness for the first time.  The lyrics to her song are posted below the video.  For more information about her please see her blog,

I’m Beautiful” Song Lyrics

Featured on Project Liberation Soundtrack

Written and Performed By: Sandra Dubose-Gibson

Music produced by: Clayton Brock, Keith Carlyle and Rashaad Terrell

I used to think my beauty came from the outside
So the woman in my mirror I could not identify
I didn’t recognize my smile, my eyes, or personality
No regard for my intellect or the spirit in me
I admit that, I was wrong and my feelings had been hurt
But finally today I understand what I’m worth
And I’m beautiful
Inside and out- this is true Ooh- Ooh
I’m beautiful
With or without you, and so are you
The changes I’ve been through had an effect on me
Through the pain my eyes have opened and now I can really see
The real definition of me cannot be compromised
And my freedom came the day I realized
I admit that, I was wrong and my feelings had been hurt
But finally today, I understand what I’m worth
And I’m Beautiful
Inside and out- This is my truth Ooh- Ooh
I’m Beautiful
With or without you, and so are you
Take my advice my friend, don’t focus out- look in
No shortcuts to happiness, the work begins and it never ends
Then one day you will see my same reality
That after all of the pain and tears, there lies a beautiful me, A beautiful me……..
I’m Beautiful
This is my truth, this is my truth!
I’m Beautiful
With or without you, and so are you.
copyright 2008

Monday, March 28, 2011

Roller Set Take 2

Me and my long haired Chihuahua - Princess

This is just a short post to show my hair for this week.  It is another perm rod set.  I used more rollers than before to get more curls all over.  My plan is to tie my hair down with a satin scarf and hopefully the curls will maintain (fingers & toes crossed). 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recognizable Natural - Kim Fields

We all lovingly remember Kim Fields in her roles of "Tootie" from the sitcom The Facts of Life and "Regine Hunter" on Living Single.  On Living Single, there were several things that embodied her character, her love of shopping, her desire to catch a man, her voluptuous bosom AND her every changing hair.  There were times during a show when she would change wigs several times to go with her outfit.  LOL  ( I loved those shows!)

In 1994, she started directing.  Her most recent credits are Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns as well as BET's Let's Stay Together.  She boldly declares herself as a born again Christian and was recently interviewed on Trinity Broadcasting Network on January 25, 2011, sharing her testimony.  She is married to Christopher Morgan and they have 1 son, Sabastian.

After "Living Single" ended, we saw Kim Fields in the public eye sporting her golden locks.  In late 2010, she decided to change back to a loose natural and change her color to more of a reddish blonde color. 

See her funky mohawk style in this excerpt from the 2010 Soul Train Awards last year.

Hair This Week - Week of March 20th

Well, last week I attempted a protective style that I just didn't like over time.  I wore it for 2 days.  Then I went back to a wash and go for the remainder of the week and rocked my puff for the weekend.
Twist out in the front

Mini french roll in the back

Flat twists...and acne...I thought that was over after I passed puberty!

Love my it from Target!

Wash & Go - I used ECOstyler with Argan Oil.

For the first time this week, I felt less adventurous about my hair. I didn't really want to do any new styles. It was the 3rd week where I wore mainly wash and go's and I really liked the look!  It only takes me 30 mins to do a wash and go in comparison to an hour for 2 strand twists.  If I do it early enough in the evening, I can air dry before bedtime.  I used Ecostyler with Argan Oil for the first time and I like how it stretches my curls over the Ecostyler with Olive Oil.  I used a water bottle with olive oil and jojoba oil mixed (about 50/50 mix oil to water) to keep it dripping wet while I applied the gel.  It still had hold but not as hard as when I've used it before.  (I still prefer my hair soft to the touch.)  I'm tiring of wash and go's so I have decided to do another style for this week.  Let's see how I conquer the challenge of maintaining it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Interview with Taji Shabu - Natural Hair Stylist

During my transition from my relaxed hair to my big chop I chose Taji Shabu, a natural hairstylist in Raleigh, NC to be my stylist of choice.  I chose her not only because of her many years of experience and her expansive knowledge in natural hair care maintenance & styling but also because of her warm personality and passion for pleasing her customers.

I recently had an opportunity to interview her to get some tips regarding natural hair maintenance at home.

NN:  What are the mistakes that you see women with natural hair make when maintaining their hair?
 TS:  What I’ve seen with women who do a big chop or a semi-big chop is that they tend to wash their hair every day, causing it hair to dry out.   I would recommend that if you feel the need to add water to your hair daily, use a water, glycerin, castor oil & essential oil mix spray or let the shower mist to dampen your hair.   With women who have opted for a longer transition (a year or more), I’ve seen damage done to the hair with the use of  tools that were used when they were relaxed (ex. Small tooth combs) or using products better suited for relaxed hair.  I’ve also seen newly natural women complain of dry hair when it’s really not.  Curly hair has a different feel and texture than straight hair.  Dry hair is crunchy or brittle.  I’ve also seen them confuse the lack of “shine” with dryness.  Some don’t understand that curly hair absorbs light rather than reflect light like straight hair which gives the appearance of shine.

NN:  Any must have products that you believe women with natural hair should have in their arsenal? 
TS:  What I believe is less is more.  You need a good SLS free shampoo, a high slip conditioner, an oil, & a good leave in conditioner.   The rest are just styling products.  Some of my favorite oils are coconut, avocado and Moroccan Argon oil.   A good starter shampoo is Dr. Bronner’s Castile Peppermint.  Herbal Essences Hello Hydration is a good conditioner for co-washing.  Kinky Curly Knot Today is a preferred leave in.  I also don’t mind endorsing a few product lines.  A product line that I like is Ohm Body.  It’s sold online and the website is  Blended Beauty is also an excellent line and  there are also  products for children. The website is .  Silk Shake is a favorite for everyday use for a daily moisturizer.  

NN:  What advice would you give newly naturals on not becoming a product junkie?
TS:  Whether a product is sold locally or on the internet, try to get samples sizes (2 oz.) first before you buy the full sized (8 oz or greater) container.   If you have friends who are going natural around the same time you are, buy products together and share them instead of buying alone.  Lastly, utilize product swaps through your local natural hair meetups.  If there are hair shows in your area, you can get the free product samples from there.

NN:  What words of encouragement can you share to those who are nervous about embracing their natural hair or are already natural and feeling frustrated about caring for their hair?
TS:  Sometimes people get caught up in the natural hair movement or because it’s in style.  There’s nothing wrong with that but what I choose to focus on #1 is it’s healthier for your hair.  Removing the chemicals from your hair and scalp is just flat out healthier for your hair and scalp.  Let that be your main reason for going natural.  In addition to the words that I use I also arm them with images.  Not everyone has a supportive environment that will like their decision.  I can’t change for them the reactions that people may have (i.e. spouses, individuals at work).  But what I can do is provide them with beautiful images of different natural hair textures & styles.    I often refer customers to .  This website features professional and candid shots of various natural hairstyles.  I have also organized all the natural hair magazines I have into a huge binder that I show patrons. I find that sometimes images are more powerful than words when it comes to changing women's perceptions of beauty as it relates to their hair.
NN: So share with us what things are on the horizon for Taji's Natural Hair Styling? 
 TS: My new salon is opening up on April 2, 2011 & my goal is to be the best natural hair styling salon in the Triangle area.  My new location will be 2200 E. Millbrook Rd.  Ste. 122, Raleigh, NC.  I plan to provide extra perks to my customers to enhance their salon experience such as massaging shampoo chairs.   My sister Mabinti and I will be adding on options to the list of services that address scalp issues.  I like to compare the scalp to soil; without healthy soil, the plants aren’t healthy.  Similarly I believe, without a healthy scalp, your hair won’t be healthy.  We will be partnering to develop treatments  that address these issues. We also will be adding coloring options: traditional & henna, as well as another natural color option.

Taji has been natural all of her life and has more than 13 years of natural hair care experience.  She is constantly expanding her knowledge and list of services so that she can provide the most comprehensive and up to date hair care experience.  She has experience in all stages of natural hair whether transitioning, big chop/twa, locks, or established natural hair with sustained length.  See her expansive gallery of past clients to see her work.  Her website is

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2 Weeks of Wash & Go's!

So I know I haven't posted too many new hairstyles these past two weeks.  Mainly because I've been rocking wash & go's and puffs.  They have been quick and easy to set, moisturize, and maintain. 

This week I will attempt a different style, it may be a variation of the above or something totally different.  Stay tuned.....we'll all be surprised (I have no idea what I'm going to do yet.  LOL)

Recognizable Natural - Solange Knowles

Though most of her career she's been in the shadow of her wildly popular sister Beyonce, in my opinion Solange came into her own in the fall of 2009 when she decided to go natural.  The day after her natural picture hit the internet, she was the #3 trending topic on twitter.  She stated at that time in her life, she just wanted to focus her time, energy, and money on something other than spending her time in a salon.  Since 2009 Solange has been seen rocking her own natural hair and other fabulous natural styles using braids, natural hair weaves and hair pieces. Check out the photos below.

In the video below, she shares with Oprah why she decided to go natural.    

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Think you can't? Think AGAIN!

It's funny how your words come back to haunt you.  I remember that almost a year ago, I was telling my dermatologist that I couldn't go natural.  My curl pattern was too tight, it would simply be too much work for me to maintain.

What I've learned (once again) is that as individuals, we can do anything that we CHOOSE to do.  I've found out that I can go natural, my curl pattern is not too tight and it hasn't been overwhelming for me to maintain.  How many times have we given up on ourselves before we even get started?  No evidence to the fact that you CANNOT achieve a said goal, you just decide hey, I won't even try.

I also had a reality check when I saw this article about Ida Keeling.  Who is Ida Keening you may ask?  She is a 95 year old sprinter.  No, that's not a typo, she's 95.   Ida hasn't had an easy life.  Her mother passed away when she was just a child, her husband died of a heart attack when he was just 42.  Her 2 sons, were both murdered in drug related killings in 1979 and 1981.  That was a lot of grief for her 4'6" frame to bear.  Her daughter Shelley, who happens to be a track & field coach, convinced her to start running around the age of 67 and she's been running ever since.  How's that for teaching an old dog new tricks?? She's now recorded as the fastest nonegenarian.  Her time:  60 meters in 29.86 seconds.

 Her goal is to live until she's 108.  She said that's 4 years longer than her father's mother who lived to be 104. Taking only 1 prescription drug a day, her daily motivation to herself  is, "Count your blessings, Ida.  Count your blessings."

I think we should all take that advice when we're having a bad day.  Count your blessings.  And remember, it's NEVER too late.

See the video from ABCNews below.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Recognizable Naturals - New Feature!

As we all know, popular media is filled with beautiful African American women who have relaxed or weaved hair.  For many of us (including myself), our definition of beauty has been sculpted or shaped because of the images we've seen over the years.  Well, I wanted to bring to the forefront some images from the media, people you may or may not know, who are natural.  Let's get this definition of beauty redefined, one picture at a time!  I hope to feature 1 person each week...let's see how many I can find!  Please note:  this does not mean that I am anti-relaxer or anti-straight hair.  I just don't think one look should be the "preferred look" by popular culture for African American women. 

This week's feature is Ms. Cynthia Bailey; supermodel and recent Real Housewives of Atlanta fame.  Her online portfolio from her website features several pictures sporting her natural hair and I think it's beautiful!  I don't think she's still natural now, but obviously at some point in her career she was! 

Please see her website for more of her gorgeous photos and to read about her start & success in the modeling industry.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's a MILESTONE BABY!!! (Thanks Phillydiva 19154)

I am able to achieve my first PUFF!!!  Yay!  I am so excited.  (Happy dance!  Happy dance!) See the pictures below.

Just pulled back with a headband - side view

Rear viw - with headband


MY PUFF!!!  Rear view

Note:  This was done on a 2 day wash and go with the Smooth & Shine Curl Activator Gel, with a doubled up Goody Ouchless Headband.

In the Youtube video below Youtube vlogger Phillydiva talks about reaching Natural Hair Milestones.  She says you should celebrate when you achieve them and since I've achieved my wash and go AND puff milestone in the same week can we say, Nita's doing the running man right now!  (Rolling laughing!)  By the way, I'm LOVING my natural hair journey! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finally! A Wash & Go I Love!

Those of you who have been following my blog know that I have not been crazy about wearing my hair in the wash & go style with Ecostyler Gel because I don't like the crunchy feel of my hair after it dries.  I'd pretty much given up on doing a wash and go.  Well, I was watching a Youtube video this weekend (surprise, surprise) and saw one of the ladies that I follow talk about using Smooth & Shine Curl Activator Gel on her twists.  (Note:  This is the "new" formula, many of the reviews on Youtube are about the "old" formula with the blue label.  I wasn't natural when the "old" formula was out so I don't have a comparison.  All I can speak to is the "new" formula.) 

After I finished my shampooing routine, I added my the curl activator gel, detangled with my detangling comb and then used my denman brush to spread the product through my hair.  What I noticed was that my curls popped in very beautifully!  After I finished the whole head, I let my hair air dry for about 2 hours. It was still a little damp and I was getting ready to go to bed so I sat under the hooded dryer for about 15 mins and then went to bed. 

Imagine my surprise when I woke up in the morning and found that my hair was not crunchy, or stiff, in FACT it was soft, and moist!  Not wet, but moisturized!  It has been like that for 2 days! I love the curl definition and the moisture retention using the curl activator gel.

I will continue to use this product and I might try out other curl activator gels after this one runs out.  The only draw back to this product is that it does leave my hair a little sticky the first day of application, but I'm willing to deal with that for the amount of moisture that it adds to the hair.  Two thumbs up!!

Product ingredients:  Water, glycerin, propylene glycol, aloe barbadenis leaf extract, pathenol, hydrolyzed wheat protein,, hydrolyzed wheat starch, carbomer, Oleth-2-, aminomethyl propanol, methylparaben, phenoxyethanol, dmdm hydantoin, disodium edta, benzophenon-4, parfum, violet 2.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Three Hairstyles in One

I wore my protective style of the flat twists and the two strand twists from Tuesday thru Saturday.  I was very busy on Saturday though and didn't have an opportunity to shampoo my hair.  I wanted to jazz up the style so I untwisted the back and smoothed one side with the Mizani Butter Rich and pinned it with bobbypins.  On the right hand side, I two strand twisted a couple of extra frizzy sections with my Curls Creme Brule & Aloe Vera gel mixture (I love the way this defines my curls by the way...definate keeper!)  See below for the results!

Front twisted out

Side view

Side view of partial twist out

Rear view of  partial twist out

Left side view

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