Sep 30, 2011

Roots 'n Rhythm: "Be Here" by Raphael Saadiq ft. D'Angelo


As one who is currently in a love/hate relationship with her TWA-teeny weeny afro-right now (pray for me), I am now a little bit inspired seeing Raphael Saadiq's love interest in this video rockin' her fiery TWA with confidence and style. Check out "Be Here" from Saadiq's 2005 release Instant Vintage:

Sep 29, 2011

LINK LOVE: Singer, Goapele, shares her hairstory with

“I big chopped my hair, but I’ve had many style transitions over the years,” she says, “You have to be creative when you’re growing your hair back!”

Goapele is one of my favorite singers. She's been rocking relaxer-free hair since stepping on the scene in 2001 with her first project, Change it All. At that time, the singer wore waist-length locs that were enviable. Since having a baby and releasing a new project (Break of Dawn), Goapele lost her locs and started rocking retro inspired braids (seen above). talked with the singer about her transition(s) and some of her favorite products. Click the link below for the interview:

Below, the singer shares video of the 9 hour process of getting her hair braided:

Hair Lust: Fall for the fro!

Don't you love when you see a picture of someone with hair like your own? I know I do! That's why I fell for this awesome street style shot from Milan Fashion Week. On top of her awesome fro, her style is great as well! She's bringing me Fall fashion life! Do you love this look?

Sep 27, 2011

Melissa's Hair Dairy: My hair goals (VIDEO)

Ok, so I was uber-busy this weekend. I wasn't able to pen a diary entry, so I decided to do a video diary.
In this video, I talk about my goals, my braids, and give many thanks to out new followers.
Take a look!


DIY Treatments: Avocado Hair Mask Recipe

If you have been interested in finding some do it yourself natural hair recipes as I have, the process of creating your own treatments can seem a little laborious. Some of the recipes can get a little intricate depending on what kind of oils and ingredients you have access to. I mean, does anyone know where I can find vegetable glycerin? Anyone?! I'm no chemist or anything so in the beginning of my research I was a bit gun shy. However the more recipes I found, the less intimidated I became. There is a wide variety of recipes that require only a few natural ingredients. The treatments provide lots of nutrients for your hair and even better, most of the recipes seem to pretty much be foolproof.

I found this really easy three ingredient hair mask recipe from Youtube user Toliahli's channel.

I look forward to trying it soon as I usually have these ingredients on hand. Honey and olive oil are cabinet staples of mine and who knows? While this is sitting on my hair maybe I will take the rest of the avocado and make myself some delicious guacamole. I'll be sure to report how it goes.

Do you have some at home natural hair recipes that you love? Any that you've been itching to try?

Sep 26, 2011

HAIR LUST: Luxe Locs

Photo by Sarah Fulk

WOW! Look at those lovely locs! Her hair is gorgeous, don't you think?
This is a picture of artist/model/musician Amoa from Dallas.
Follow Amoa on Facebook:

Sep 23, 2011

Natural Leader: Tonya Elizabeth shares her tests, trials, and testimony!

Yay! We are rolling right along with this natural hair project in Nashville. ONce again, I continue to be overwhelmed by the awesome love our readers have shared on the Facebook Page, Twitter, and our Youtube page. We will continue to give you quality content as long as you promise to keep reading and sharing your stories!

So let's get into this week's Natural Leader hair story! Below, Tonya Elizabeth shares her journey. It's filled with a hearty laugh and a wholesome testmony. Check it out:
Tonya with her relaxer
"Your Crown is Your Glory!"

For as long as I can remember, I obsessed over hair. Starting on my 5th birthday, I went every two weeks to get my hair pressed. Going to the beauty shop was a dream. I entered with a rough “kitchen” and came out with springy spiral curls and ribbons. Since my hair dresser lived next door, I also had the nightmare of constant hot combs to my edges so Miss Johnnie wouldn’t see my hair messed up.

Appearance was an important part of our value system. At a young age I was taught that “hair is a woman’s glory.” By age 12, my tresses had been pressed, relaxed, braided, care free curled and wave nouveau-ed. The next decade would be filled with extreme cuts, colors and weaves. “Keep your hair and face done. Don’t wear cheap clothes and always have nice shoes,” my grandmother would always say. I followed these words as if they were the 11th commandment. If I had somewhere to go and wasn’t physically in order, I didn’t go.
Tonya's Big Chop
Go To Church or Go to the Salon?

I had a hair color experiment go wrong my junior year of college. My boyfriend, at the time, had been turned off from traditional church services because, in his view, it was all about appearances. I’d convinced him my church was more concerned about the inside of a person and not what they wore. After some time and much praying, he wanted to attend a Sunday service.

The night before that Sunday service, I highlighted my hair with bleach and wanted to tone the color to a reddish auburn hue. I realized after I applied the pure red toner that I was out of brown. As a result, I looked like Strawberry Shortcake. I peered at myself in horror. Since I looked a wretched mess, I would not attend church service.
He drove over the next morning and saw my hair. I was still in pajamas when I should have been dressed. I informed him bluntly, I wouldn’t be going. He was in shock. He looked at me, rolled his eyes and said, “You’re just like those people at my old church; worried about appearances and not the heart. I’m going to your church and I pray they aren’t so vain and simple.” The door slammed and the motor started and all I heard was one word---Vain. I was instantly convicted.

"I'm doing a new thing!" - God

I prayed to God. I cried. I asked for forgiveness and I knew what I needed to do. Hair was my Isaac and it needed to go. I almost let it get in the way of leading someone to Christ. For 6 months I grew it out under sew-ins and did a dramatic chop in 2003. For the first time in a long time, I felt free. It made such a difference in how I lived my life that my whole family, including my grandmother who created the appearance manifesto, went natural.

While I have gone back and forth over the years since between natural, relaxed and weaves (can we say big chop number 4), I can say with certainty I am a natural for life.  I am raising an amazing little four year old and I want her to know how beautiful she is inside and out.  We condition and twist our hair together. While she doesn’t know what glory is, I asked her how she felt about her hair.  She smiled and said, “Mama, I love my hair.  I feel good.” I agree with my baby.  My hair, and freedom, feels good

Tonya's Current Regimen
I live by the twist out.  I take my hair each night and put it into about 15 twists using Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothie and cover it with a satin bonnet. Untwist in the morning.  Spray it with the Hold and Shine Mist.  Fluff and go.
·         Shampoo - Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free Shampoo (every 7-10 days)
·         Conditioner - Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner or Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque every 3 days
·         Detangling - Taliah Waajid Crinkles and Curls Natural Hair & Lock Lotion
·         Curl Define - Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
·         Daily Mositure - Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Mist or Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier (my first love!!)
·         Styling/twists - Jamaican Mango & Lime Braid-Twist & Lock gel

Roots 'n Rhythm: "Picture Perfect" by Eric Roberson ft. Phonte

Jill Scott once described Eric Roberson's voice as being "like a piece of red velvet cake" and I couldn't agree more. You'd be hard pressed to find a voice more effortlessly smooth. Natural in Nashville's been long time fans of Eric Roberson so we are definitely delighted to see that he chose a gorgeously loc'ed naturalista to be his "picture perfect" muse in his latest video. For more on Eric Roberson, check out

Sep 22, 2011

Event: A Gathering Of Goddesses - Natural Hair Meet-Up

Last Saturday, at the African Street Festival, we were introduced to the ladies of A Gathering of Goddesses. A Gathering of Goddesses is "an organization dedicated to cultivating holistic health and inspiring spiritual awakening in woman of color. Formed in 2005, its programs and services include healing retreats, educational seminars, and informal gatherings."

The group is hosting a Natural Hair Meet Up this Saturday, September, 24, 2011, 4p-7p at the Harambee House in Nashville!

Along with discussion on excerpts from Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair, there will be a natural hair demo, and questions answered by natural hair experts. For more information, click here for the event's Facebook page.

Natural News: TSA Searches Big Hair for Explosives

A lot of us will admit that the TSA has been a little extreme with the pat down searches lately but this takes the cake. Isis Brantley, Dallas hairdresser to Erykah Badu, was practically chased down recently by Atlanta's TSA to search her sizable coiffure for explosives. According to the TSA she left the security checkpoint before being thoroughly searched but Brantley claims that is untrue. She makes an arguably valid point when she asks if Dolly Parton or Cher ever had their searched. The reporter even questions if The Jersey Shore's Snooki ever had her checked by the TSA.

Question: Is anyone else a little taken aback that they referenced the movie Undercover Brother for this story or is it just me?

Anyway, the TSA issued a statement saying that they offered Brantley a private screening. Now while this may have cut down on the public humiliation she says she experienced, she would've felt humiliated and violated nonetheless. What do you all think? Was the TSA being fair with their precautionary search?

Sep 21, 2011

LINK LOVE: Natural Belle discusses the obession with curl definition

This is a great discussion topic among naturals - how to get that perfect curl definition? Blogger, Natural Belle, discussed this topic on her website recently:
 "Is that natural? it seems to me that some women (hear me say some not all!) after going though the effort of shunning relaxing and 'embracing' their natural hair, they still feel as though there natural texture is not good enough." - Are We Slaves to Curl Definition? - August 2011
Do you yearn for your hair to do something it wouldn't normally do? I know I fall into this trap some days. I Why? Well, my hair, while tightly coiled and curly when wet, my hair takes on the look of soft cotton candy when dry - no curls to be seen. It's quite frustrating!

So, are you obsessed with getting those perfect coils? Let me know in the comment section below.

HAIR Lust: Cinnamon Coils

OOH! The color of her hair is just soooo . . . awesome! I'm also loving her (apparent) twist-out style. Just fly!

What do you think?

Sep 20, 2011

Natural in Nashville Hits the African Street Festival

Natural in Nashville hit the annual African Street Festival on Sunday in Hadley Park and we had a blast. It was so wonderful to meet so many of you and see so many diverse expressions of natural hair. I think our favorite part was walking up on someone and saying "Hey we think you look awesome and would love to take a picture of you" and that person looking completely shocked. Telling unsuspecting women that they looked beautiful  was a joy. Whether you feel they you look your best or not, who doesn't love being blindsided by a compliment every once in a while?

Be sure to check out and subscribe to our new Youtube Channel! Natural in Nashville will be out and about capturing local natural lovelies as well as posting videos of product reviews, natural hair stories, and much more. Be sure to keep up with this website to see where we will hit next.

Sep 19, 2011

Toya's Hair Journal- I Need Thee, Coconut Oil, Oh I Need Thee

I'm already aware that in writing for this new blog that I am going to need to deviate from the products I regularly use to do product reviews.  I welcome that.  I love new things!  However,  there's something to be said about forgoing certain steps in your routine because of lack of time and laziness.  This is what happened when I tried to get away with not using coconut oil as well as not detangling last week on The Big Day.

The Big Day is what I have dubbed the day where naturals really do the whole shabang. For some this consist of Pre-pooing, Shampooing, Deep Conditioning, Conditioning, and then styling whether that be flat twisting, two strand twisting, etc. It's a big time consuming deal and you may want to have some movies lined up on Netflix to get through it.  Nonetheless, it's an essential time to pamper your hair and yourself for that matter.  Well last week I was in a rush and didn't feel like taking the 30 seconds it would have taken for me to go downstairs and get my coconut oil out of the cabinet to coat my hair before detangling.  Oh and let me also mention that I didn't really even detangle.  I called myself using a little extra of Shea Moisture's Curl Milk and raking through with my fingers a few times, detangling.  Skipping my essential oil to coat my hair before adding product AND failing to detangle is a huge no no for hair as thick as mine.  My hair woke up THIRSTY!  I could almost hear it coughing as I raised my hair off the pillow.  Whatever regimen you follow to make sure your hair stays adequately moisturized, stick to it.  There's nothing wrong with trying out different products, oils, recipes and things.  Just be sure to give your hair what it needs.

Melissa's Hair Diary: The End of the Road

Aww man, I can feel it in my scalp - it's time to take my braids out. (insert music from the world's smallest violin playing Boyz II Men 'End of the Road'). I know I shouldn't feel so bad but . . . I do. I get my hair braided often and every time, I fall in total love with the style. Taking my braids out means I go back to this:

Above is the pic I took right before I stepped (no, ran with GLEE) into the braid shop. When I posted the pic on Facebook I stated, "My puff is so big it's getting crushed by the roof of the car." This is not a bad look. But I KNOW the issues I have with my hair: Single strand knots, super dry coils, shrinkage that is beyond controllable, and shedding, so much shedding!

I can't do wash n' go styles (hair shrinks, gets tangled). Forget going to sleep without banding or flat twisting - my big puff mushes into a twa! Oh gosh, forget about going to the gym with the puff - sadness at the thought of it! Ughh, having my hair protected is so much easier! UGHH!

I've had my box braids since July and I've loved every moment. But I have about an inch of new growth that is ready to be tamed. My 4b hair is coiling so much that some braids are starting to loc. So, next week, I'll be removing my braids. You think my hair diaries are fun now - wait to you read my 'woe is me' chronicles.

But hold up, let me pull back. Let's think positive. Since I run this awesome blog, I'm going to work hard to find solutions to the issues stated above. Can you guys walk with me? Encourage me! I know some of you can you sense my frustration. Maybe you've been there too?

Don't think because I run this natural blog it doesn't mean I don't have some shortcomings about how my hair looks. I get frustrated often - I've only been natural 2 years. Sometimes, the box of Motions Relaxer whispers my name in the middle of a heated detangling session! Also, please believe I have an arsenal of half-wigs waiting to be put in rotation -

Let me end this by saying, I love being natural, but sometimes natural hair is like having a newborn baby. You love the baby, but boy do you wish he/she came with an automatic 'Sleep for 8 hours' button. Same thing with my hair - I wish my coils were satin-like curls, I wish my hair didn't get so tangled, I wish it would grow faster, I wish, I wish, I wish. But I have to embrace what I have and learn to work with it. Get ready guys!!

Natural Hair Pics from the 2011 African Street Festival

I'll continue to say that moving the festival to Hadley Park was the best idea the AACA Nashvlle ever had. The new spot really brings the festival together. There's places to sit, talk, and watch the people walk by.

Toya and I had a glorious time at the African Street Festival this year. Toya and I were overwhelmed with the amount of awesome natural hair that we saw. Curls, coils, locs, and waves floated by us in a parade of natural glory. We took more pictures than ever and even got to interview some folks about their haircare regimen. Stay tuned to our YouTube page for the videos. So let's get started! Click the link below to view all the fabulous natural hair we photographed:

Sep 16, 2011

Roots 'n Rhythm: Zhane's "Hey Mr. DJ"

I remember when Zhane' came out in the nineties. They added even more diversity at a time when we were rocking everything from bi-level haircuts, and blonde extension pigtails, to what I like to call the "Halle Berry do" that Rihanna brought back a few years ago. With Jean Norris' close shaven haircut and Renee Neufville's short finger waved style, they helped usher in a new natural standard of beauty.

 I remember being at a party after my first time going natural and a guy who had never ever in all my days given me any shine whatsoever, walked up to me and said "You got that Zhane' thing going on. I like that." and proceeded to talk my ear off until a fight broke up the party. Aah college days!

It's almost like groups like Zhane' and 4 Real made it acceptable to not just be natural but to be short and natural- a relief to future Big Choppers everywhere. Hope you have fun rocking out to these beautiful ladies today. Happy Friday!

Natural Leader: Model, Sabrina, shares her hair story

Yay!! This is our first Hair-Story! And guess what, it's from the lady that graces the top of our website. I'm sure you've wondered, "Who is that girl with the gorgeous afro?" Well it's my friend, and model, Sabrina. Below she shares her hair-story - from a bad glue-in weave to a glorious head of curls - read about her journey!

Flat-ironed hair for a photoshoot
Tell Us About Yourself (Age, Career, Where you're from, what brought you to Nashville?) -I'm 26, I'm a Music Business student/teacher/commercial model, I'm from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I moved to Nashville to get a head start working in the music industry. 

Sabrina sporting her relaxer
Let's get into it - Why did you choose to stop relaxing your hair? -I chose to stop relaxing my hair because I was wearing alot of weaves because of modeling. I figured, there was no point in relaxing hair that no one could see anyway. I started transitioning in December 2009. This was not by choice. I left a "quick weave" in too long and the glue was stuck to my hair. So I took I cut it all off, freaked out, and went back to weaves until I felt comfortable wearing my natural hair out. Finally by August 2010, I was ready. 

How did your family and friends react to your choice? - Most of my friends didn't think I'd go through with it. They seemed to like my natural hair after a while though. My family loved my curls, but didn't think it "worked" for family functions. Basically they thought it was cute, but not pretty. 

Did you do a big chop or did you transition? - I transitioned for a few months, and then I ended up doing the big chop earlier than I wanted to, as I explained earlier.

After her big chop!
What is your current haircare routine? - I've had a relaxer ever since I was 5 years old. I only knew how to take care of my relaxed hair. So after reading all of the natural hair blogs, and watching all of the youtube videos, I decided that I didn't need to spend a lot of money on hair products. I do the same routine I used to do when my hair was relaxed. I wash it with shampoo, condition it, moisturize it, braid it, unbraid it, and wear it out. I don't wash my hair often. I wash it about twice a month. My hair behaves best when it's "dirty" so I don't feel the need to wash it all the time.

Pictured with Eric Roberson in February 2011
List some of your favorite products? I like olive oil hair moisturizer. I use it everyday. I can't live without hair gel. I like the Apro Pro Styl hair gel the best. It keeps my edges super smooth. I use a variety of different shampoo's and conditioners. I never had a favorite when I was relaxed, and I still don't. I'm the anti product junky. (lol) 

So, what is your ultimate goal: Length or Curl Definition? Both. - My hair is mostly 3c with a little 4 thrown in the middle. The longer my hair gets, the more the curls stretch. I let the curls do what they want...I'll be satisfied when my hair touches my shoulders. It's growing so fast! My guess is by next year this time, my hair will be huge!

What do you LOVE about your curls? What do you wish you could change? - I love my waves. I love I can put a little gel and conditioner in my hair and it curls up. I wish I could change the shrinkage issue! I'm not confident wearing my hair out of it's secure poof because I hate the way it looks all shrunken up. I look like Al Sharpton.

Summer 2011
Do you have an hair idol, any celebs or bloggers you follow? I love the Newly Natural lady! I want my hair to look like hers one day. I love Solange's hair. Watching her hair grow has been fascinating! 

What would you like to tell someone who's struggling on their natural journey? - I would tell them to be themselves. I was very insecure about what people would think about me. I'm a Florida girl, I love weaves, and shorts, and tank tops. I was afraid that my style would have to change with my hair. I thought I'd have to turn into a Bohemien, India Arie, Erykah Badu kinda girl. I realized, I'm not a hippie. I'm not Bohemian or Afro Centric by nature. I'm a classic girl. The only thing that changed was my hair. So be YOU. Wear your hair the way YOU want to wear it. Use the products that work for YOU. Don't try to be something you're not.

Sep 15, 2011

Hair Lust: Gorgeous Kinks!

 Model: Doris Bello (Niger)
Photographe: Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast)

How gorgeous is this photo? When I came across this photo, I had to post it on the blog. Hair Lust is our way of letting everyone know that their waves, curls, and kinks can be beautiful! Love this! Click the photographer's link to view more of his images.

Product Review: Organic Root Stimulator - Olive Oil Edge Control

I think every curly/kinky hair woman wants to obtain the ultimate holy grail of hair styling - smooth edges. Maybe it's from years of relaxers, but having smooth edges was something I yearned for after going natural. My hair is notoriously stubborn on my edges and temples. It's will not lay down. I learned to live with furry, curly, and kinky edeges for much of my transition phase because I thought, "This is all that I can do, I'm natural now." (insert sad face).


Then one day, a co-worker of mine asked me to give her some flat-twists; she was transitioning as well. She handed me her bag of products. In the bag she had some Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Edge Control. She swore by the stuff stating it was the only thing that "Laid her edges down." I scoffed at her, knowing my supremly stubborn edges would defy gravity even though this stuff was supposed to be 'magic'. 

I smoothed a bit on my edges and . . . they were smooth - almost as if I had a relaxer. I wasn't convinced, I waited an hour, I know my hair. By the time I finished her twists, by edges were still smooth. I was an instant fan. Now, Olive Oil Edge Control is a staple in my hair arsenal. It works well when I wear my hair in a high puff or when I put my braids in a bun.

So what's in the stuff that has become my MAGIC IN A JAR? Well here's a list of the key ingredients:
  • Olive Oil:  Rich in essential fatty acids, it infuses moisture directly into the cuticle.
  • Aloe Vera: provides moisture and conditioning properties
  • Wheat Protein:  strengthens the hair and reduces breakage
  • The product is quite sticky, and it really holds the hair in place all day.
  • You don't need much. Usually a finger-tip full will spread around your edges.
  • Great for people with fine hair - it holds 2-strand twists together.
  • It smells really good -  a fresh fruit smell.
  • If too much is used, there can be a residue.
  • The product can dry out and lose it's stickiness if left open overnight.
Retail Price - $5.19

Hair Lust: Aevan Dugas, Guiness Book of World Records Winner for World's Largest Natural Afro

How gorgeous is that fro?!  36 year old Aevan Dugas' afro is a whopping circumference of 4 ft 4 in.  She can even fit the world's smallest man in it! Although sometimes problematic, Dugas is very proud to rock her natural fro.  "The afro is my natural hairstyle and there can't be anything more beautiful than that." We wholeheartedly agree! For more about the New Orleans native click here.

Sep 14, 2011

Internet Finds: Kente Cloth Earrings on Etsy

So, I'm like an ETSY fiend! If you've never visited then you are missing out. Etsy let's artists set up their own online stores. From cosmetic, to baby clothes, vintage items, and like the above, earrings, you can find anything on Etsy.

This morning, I came across these awesome button earrings made by Meosha Tall. She's a jewelry designer, blogger, and fellow naturalista (follow her on YouTube). She writes for one of my fave websites, Black Girl With Long Hair.

So, how much do we love these cool earrings? When I started wearing my fro, my jewelry game definitely stepped up. I like to find new and interesting jewelry designs to add to my collection. How about you?

Check out the rest of Meosha's collection here -

Sep 13, 2011

Melissa's Hair Diary: OOH, your hair smells so good!

Hola Ladies and Gents, 
It's your girl Melissa! First up, I want to say how happy I am that you are enjoying this website. Toya and I work hard to provide great articles and visuals for you to enjoy. So far, my favorite part of this website is sharing my hair diary with you. So lets get into it.

From the first moments of going natural I had several fears. On the top of the list was making sure my hair didn't smell all . . . . . I don't know . . . .  natural? Then when I started wearing braids, I realized the braids can get a bit  . . . musty. These type of braids are heavy and the amount of extra hair on my head cause me to sweat. I'm a very organic type of person when it comes to what I put in my hair. I'm always checking ingredient labels, making sure I'm not using too many chemicals. My first hand knowledge of shea butter and black soap didn't give me any confidence that I wouldn't smell like the woods. 

I had a misconception that ALL natural haircare products would make my hair smell like sandalwood, incense, or patchouli -  you know that woods-y, hippie, smell. I wanted to smell like a lady. I wanted my hair to be a reflection of who I am, not what everyone seemed to think going 'natural' was all about. I hadn't realized how great today's natural haircare products would smell. 

So, after alot of research, I came across two items that I could use that mixed well with my love affair with Bath & Body Works and were natural. Essential Orange Oil and Rose water (pictured above). Let me tell you, I love this stuff. it's a great way to make you hair smell good without adding any extra heavy product to it. When I use these products on my hair, I always get compliments about how great my hair smells. 

Rose Water smells just like the title states - a bunch of roses! I love it. The rose oil in rose water helps curls retain their bouncy-ness and helps with frizz. Orange oil smells like a bunch of oranges! I love it. When I'm around kids they love this stuff on me. Orange oil also helps curls retain moisture as well can aid in helping depression (source).

Like I said, this has helped me alot. I have about one more month before I take my braids down, so this is a great way for me to keep them smelling fresh. But when the fro is released - -  watch out! lol

Thanks for reading, 

Hair Lust: Curly Cuties!

Oh-M-GEE! If this pictures doesn't make you smile then your heart is made of stone! Plus, their hair is AMAZING!! What do you think?

Toya's Hair Diary- Dear Shrinkage: Thou Art The Enemy

My hair before the shrinkage monster takes control

It’s a well known fact amongst naturalistas that Type 4 hair is subject to shrink a whopping 70% of its length when it dries. With that being said, it is so easy to get discouraged with hair growth after doing The Big Chop. You shampoo your hair and massage your scalp in the shower, marveling at how long it’s getting. You detangle your sopping wet hair in the mirror and think about how fabulous your hair will look when it is dry and defined. Then it dries and somewhere in the distance you hear Taps playing because your hopes of looser curls have been dashed.

My friend Melanie and I did our hair together one weekend while watching Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair.  She, a white woman, was giving her platinum blonde hair a touchup on her roots. At the same time I was going through my weekly ritual of cleansing, deep conditioning, detangling and defining (this was an awesome and enlightening experience to share together. Story and pics coming soon.) After I was done she looked over in the mirror and said “It’s so much shorter!” She saw me go from having a great big bushy afro to a teeny weeny spiral curled afro. “Yeah, that happens” I said in exasperation. I went on to explain that it will get a little fuller as the week goes on but for the most part this was it.

I forgot to mention in my previous post that when I went natural the very first time that I used to put kiddie perms in my hair, air dry and wear it curly. I know that this must sound like an abomination to you hardcore natural chicks out there but it stretched my curls out and made my hair "look" fabulous. Unfortunately it wasn’t healthy. The new growth was gorgeous but the relaxed ends left me with various curl patterns throughout my hair. As hard as it has been I have decided to go completely natural this time. I will confess though: the shrinkage makes it difficult for me to walk past those Just for Me perm kits at Walgreens.

So how am I handling shrinkage through this awkward stage after The Big Chop? By dressing up my curls!  I have invested in some pretty cute accessories. Between Claire’s, Target and Lovely Bands at the Farmers Market, I’ve been able to pick up various feathered hair clips and flowered head bands to help bide my time.

Headband from Target
This keeps me from being bored with my hair. I also have plenty of scarves that I have collected from various thrift stores.

A scarf I picked up from Southern Thrift that I'm wearing on 4th day hair
This link on Curly Nikki  has some tips on how to combat shrinkage using some dairy based treatments, banding and twisting techniques.  I have also read that avocado butter helps. I have no idea where to find that so if anyone can hip me to that spot where I can get some, I'd love to know.  In the meantime, I am going to continue to dress up my curls and enjoy the growth process.

Sep 12, 2011

Link Love: Curly Nikki talks with Mo' and Kita of the T.O. Show

One of my favorite natural bloggers, Curly Nikki, got a chance to talk with Mo and Kita from the VH1 Reality Series, The T.O. Show. Mo and Kita talk about their hair-stories as well as what it's like to work in the Public Realtions and Reality Television industry. In this article, you'll be happy to find out that one of them has NEVER had a relaxer and that the duo has a hair and beauty line coming out next year. 

Sep 11, 2011

EVENT: Nashville African Street Festival, Sept 16-18, 2011

29th Annual African Street Festival
September 16 - September 18, 2011
Hadley Park (Near TSU)

Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville's Annual African Street festival will be held at Hadley Park State Hosted by the African American Cultural Alliance (AACA), this phenomenal, family-oriented festival has grown continuously and now attracts thousands who are interested in African and African American culture.
Oh, I love the African Street Fest. My dad is from Sierra Leone, so it's always good for me to re-identify with my roots when the festival arrives. The food, the dancers, the artistic displays, and music always makes me feel good to be an African-American.

Another reason I love the street festival is I can re-up on my natural hair supplies. Shea Butter, Black Soap, and new product lines can be purchased at the festival. I like to walk the entire site and haggle the vendors for the best prices. I also buy African print material to make turbans and head coverings for my 'bad hair' days. I'm telling you, if you don't purchase some supplies from the festival you are missing out!

So make sure to make a visit to the fest this weekend. Hope to see you there!

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