Friday, April 29, 2011

April Length Check!

This is just a quick post to record my April length.  April marked 4 months since my big chop and 10 months post last relaxer.  Below are a few shots to show the length.  Using a tape measure I'm between 3.5 and 4 inches.  So let's say 3.75 inches on average. My next length check will be on my 1 year post relaxer
anniversary date which is June 10th!!!

1 more inch to the base of my neck!

Down below my eyes

Below the ear!

See how much my hair shrinks? Crucial!
I feel like I'm right on target with my hair growth of a half an inch every month. When I go to get my hair done on my anniversary date, I'll have Taji check for split ends to see if I need a trim.  Until then, I will keep up these growth promoting tips:

1. Cleansing and conditioning weekly
2. Moisturizing daily (look for an update to this now that I'm doing wash & go's)
3. Sealing and protecting my ends (especially when detangling)
4. Drinking lots of water!
5. Taking a a great multivitamin
6. Eating healthier (going to be more focused on this)
7. Exercising (just good for your body overall)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For Discussion -" I Hate the Natural Hair Movement" Article

Photo is not of the columnist

I recently read this article on a natural hair care forum.  It made me think, hmm are we new naturals a little too serious about this natural hair thing?

Here's my opinion:  Hair has long been a "serious" thing for woman no matter what race, no matter what length or condition (chemically treated or not).  Open any woman's magazine, I would dare say that 40% of the advertisements are related to hair products.  So I don't think hair has just become serious to women.  Hair is just as serious to women as is cosmetics, purses, shoes, in general.  I think the sensitivity comes to this particular author because her experience as a natural has changed so much over the duration of her "journey".  When she first went natural in 1996, wearing afro textured hair not relaxed was not the norm, she was not in the majority.  So the few negative comments that we experience in the post "Good Hair" movie era, she received in abundance and relatively alone.  There was no natural hair meetup for her in the mid-ninety's, no blogs, no Youtube channels (was there Youtube in 1996?).  Bitter? Possibly.  As she talks about doing her 2nd big chop in 2009 and having new naturals giving her advice, I can see how she might bristle at this.  It's like a teenager who just got their license trying to tell someone who's been driving for 20 years how to drive.  It's just the excitement of gaining new knowledge and wanting to share with everyone.  So to net it out (because I feel a rambling tangent coming on), I do believe that there is a crazed passion that is going on in the natural hair community right now.  But I embrace it.  My hair (relaxed or natural) has always been important to me as it is to most women.  Our hair concerns are an experience unique to women that bonds us together as much as our monthly visitor from Aunt Flo.  Men don't get it but we all do.  And as with every new experience I have in life, I've learned and continue to learn a little bit more about myself.  I would caution that we not look down on our sistas who have chosen to chemically treat their hair (and I've seen touches of this in various places).  Their decision should be respected just like we want our decision respected.  All in all, whatever a woman's decision is regarding her hair, if it brings HER joy, that's all that matters right?  Ms. Lady, chill out, it's not that serious. LOL.

Feel free to add your comments below.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Recognizable Natural - Alice Walker

"You told Harpo to beat me."....."You sho is ugly!"......"You said this be our juke joint!"......"How did he die?  On top of me." ....."You betta not never tell nobody but God."  ....."I'se married now!"...."Lettie!  Celie!"

These are lines penned by Alice Walker and powerfully performed in the epic movie "The Color Purple"  that I and my friends often quote.  I'll never forget meeting Alice Walker as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill and having the opportunity to get my copy of the book autographed by her. 

I was so honored to meet the woman who had written such a colorful (no pun intended) and meaningful story of survival.

Best known for her novel The Color Purple for which she won a Pulitzer prize, Alice Walker has written numerous novels, short stories, and poetry collections.  A known activist who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, her writings tend to focus on the struggles of blacks and of women in particular.

Ms. Walker is known for her locs.  Imagine my surprise as I was searching for pictures of her to discover that she has cut them and now wears a close twa.

In observance of poetry month, enjoy her reading of "You Confide In Me" & prepare to laugh.

Easter Look!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Ressurection Sunday!  I am so thankful that He rose and that He lives!  I truly don't know how I would live without my belief in Jesus Christ.

Here is my Easter hair and outfit (SN:  do adults still buy Easter outfits for themselves?  I didn't.)  All that was new was my cream flower that I got from Target.   

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Product Review - Moroccan Argan Oil Ecostyler Gel

So you guys, I think I've finally made my peace with EcoStyler and my wash and go's.  Now that my hair has grown a little longer, and that I've realized how simple this styling option is, I'm actually loving it.

I prefer the Moroccan Argan Oil gel because it tends to be a little heavier than the Olive Oil version and weighs my curls down more.  I've been rocking the above wash and go since Saturday.  It's now Thursday.  Each morning to refresh my curls, I just spray with my water bottle, fluff my hair to it's original style and go.  Now that it's on average 75 - 80 degrees outside, I don't have to worry about leaving with wet hair.

The Ecostyler gels can be found at your local Sally's Beauty Supply, which often runs sales on this for $2.99 for the 32 oz jar.  Usually, it's $4.79.  The gel has almost an orange aroma to it, but I can't smell it in my hair.  I have found that applying a generous amount of coconut oil under this gel doesn't make it quite as hard but it does have a max hold of 10.  As you manipulate your hair from day to day, you'll find that the hair does lose some of the crunchy feeling but maintains the hold and curl pattern.

Day 6 Hair!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Product Review - Curls "Creamy Curl Cleanser"

During the 4 months since my big chop, I have used this cleanser and I wanted to provide a product review.  This 8 oz container can be purchased at Target for $9.99.  Shampooing my hair weekly, it took me 2.5 months to use the first container.  As you will find with all Curls products the cleanser has a delicious smell.  Almost like a vanilla cake batter, yumm.  (But don't eat it!)  The consistency is creamy of course, but not watery.  Since it does not have sulfates in it, it doesn't lather but it does cleanse my hair thoroughly without it feeling stripped. (For a picture of my hair right after cleansing with no other product on it see my Product Review & Hair Revelation post.)  I can tell my hair is clean because I don't detect any feeling of  residue or gels on my hair after cleansing.

Curls also has a salon line that can be purchased online, in a salon or select beauty supply stores.  The cleanser under this line is called "Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream".  It sells for $15 (plus shipping and handling) for 8 oz.  There are slight ingredient differences but not enough for me to opt for the higher priced version when the line designed for Target does an excellent job.

You guys know my goal is to not become a product junkie during my natural hair journey.  Do any of you have a weekly cleanser that you love that you would like to share?  Leave a comment below!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recognizable Naturals - Ledisi

On Thursday night, I had the pleasure of attending a concert to see two of my favorite R&B artists:  Kem and Ledisi.  The concert was a part of Kem's "Intimacy Tour" and Ledisi is opening for him.  If you haven't attended, it's definately worth the money.  They both are awesome performers who sing good, quality music.  After seeing Ledisi perform, it only seemed fitting that she would be this week's recognizable natural.  I first heard Ledisi on the radio as one of Michael Baisden's "B Side" features.  The song was "Alright" off of her Lost & Found album.  I instantly loved her voice and that her songs had meaning.  I also had as favorites from this album "In the Morning" & "Think of You".

Her second album on Verve records was Turn Me Loose.  I have several favorites on that album as well including "Going Thru Changes" and "Higher Than This" which has a spiritual twist to it.

In addition to her strong, jazz & R&B tinged voice, she is known for her beautiful locs.  Earlier in her career, she wore her locs down but since her most recent album, her locs have been dyed red and are often rocked in creative updos.  Simply beautiful!!

Check out the video for "Higher than This" below.

Here was my day 3 twist out and outfit that I wore to the concert.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Twist Out Results!

Just a quick post to show you the results of my twist out.  I used Curls Creme Brule with a little Aloe Vera gel to set my twists.  They stay twisted up for a whole day and then I un-twisted them out this morning with a little coconut oil on my fingers.  I was very pleased with my results!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My First Headwrap - Creative Camouflage

I two strand twisted my hair this morning.  I'm not quite comfortable with wearing my little twists out. I needed to go out for a moment and camouflage my twists underneath.  So I decided to try a head wrap.  It came out well I think!  Let's hope my twist out turns out as well tomorrow morning!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recognizable Naturals - Yaya DeCosta

America's Next Top Model Season 3

Yaya DeCosta is an American supermodel and actress.  She gained most of her fame after coming second to Eva Pigford in season 3 of America's Next Top Model.  In addition to her modeling career where she has been seen in commercials for Oil of Olay, Sephora, and Garnier Fructis, she also has had various acting roles.  She had roles in Tron: Legacy, had a short stint on All My Children, and Ugly Betty.  She is reportedly currently filming a comedy heist thriller "Whole Lotta Sole".

When out and about doing her social circuits, Yaya's beautiful natural curls abound.  The brown hue of her hair is just gorgeous and gives her an easy, breezy look, no matter on which red carpet we see her.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Growing!

So this isn't an official length check but just a quick comparison shot of the same hairstyle 3 months later.  The first set of pictures were taken  January 7th.  The 2nd set were taken on April 1st.  Both were picked out afros pulled back slightly with a headband and finger coils in the bang area.  It's amazing how much my hair has grown in just 90 days!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do You Miss Salon Visits? I Do!

Comb coils with 2 strand flat twists

Friday, I went to Taji's Natural Hair Styling to get my hair done.  I looked forward to the experience all week.  For me going to the hair salon when I was relaxed, was my one regularly scheduled (every other week, reoccuring appt to be exact) pampering session.  For me it was nothing better than laying back in that shampoo bowl and having my scalp massaged (it makes a smile come to my face just thinking about it)!  Then because I am a natural extrovert, I enjoyed the experience of being in a shop full of women and chatting about our day, men (of course) and current events.  Such is the case when I go to Taji's.  It's a professional salon, I get seen on time, I have a great rapport with my stylist and others in the salon so I love going!

One of my major goals as a natural in addition to growing healthy hair is to learn for the first time in my life to style my own hair.  Another one of my goals is to find another way to save money.  Though I will splurge from time to time, I find that when it comes to spending my money, I tend to be more practical.  I won't get too deep into that (it's a WHOLE 'nother post), but debt is evil..... 

I really enjoyed my experience on Friday.  I enjoyed getting pampered so I've made a decision is that I will get my hair professionally done at least once a quarter and of course for special occasions. My hair is still fairly short so my at home maintenance is still relatively easy.  And let's just face it, I like playing in my natural hair!

Let's look at the comparison what I WOULD have spent on relaxed hair care versus what I have spent on natural hair care since December 2010.  I have not counted products because I bought product as a relaxed hair girl as well.

Relaxed Salon Care
6 shampoo & roller sets   at $35210
2 relaxer at $60120


Natural Salon Care
Big Chop/Comb Coils85
Partial 2 strand twist80
Comb coils55

I plan to wear my comb coils for about 2 weeks.  The pictures I have posted are day 3 hair.  All I do to maintain is to sleep in a satin bonnet and fluff in the morning with coconut oil.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recognizable Natural - Lisa Nicole Carson

Lisa Nicole Carson is an African American actress best known for her supporting roles on two popular TV shows in the 90's, Ally McBeal and  ER.  She also had supporting roles in silver screen movies, Love Jones, Eve's Bayou, and Jason's Lyric.

Some of the most memorable traits of Ms. Carson were her awesome singing voice, her ability to always bring sharp humor to a situation, and her voluminous coily hair.

She hasn't been seen much recently but one thing we will never forget is her beautiful hair.  Though I was a fan of Ally McBeal, my favorite role to watch Lisa Carson in was as the best friend of Nia Long in Love Jones.  Maybe it was because I loved the movie so much but I just loved the authencity of her "girlfriend" conversations with the character Nina.

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