Sep 25, 2012

CELEB STYLE: Tia Mowry does the BIG CHOP

One half of the Mowry sisters, Tia Mowry, just chopped her tresses! Tia left her role on BET's The Game in order to put her foot in more endeavors. The new mom and new author, who is known for her long hair, was spotted in CA with super short curls. I feel like this will define her as an actress. She looks very mature and lovely!

 Do we love it?

Sep 24, 2012

Toya's Hair Diary: Wash Day Woes

"'Use coconut oil', they said. 'Sleep in a satin scarf', they said. Why is my hair so dry then?!"

"You can't win!"

This is what my hair was singing this past week as it felt like straw (hence the above picture of the scarecrow from The Wiz).  It was just dry, brittle, and no matter what I put on it, it just didn't seem like it would absorb moisture.  It looked cute and all for about two days and then I had to have it up for about three days after that.  On the day that I went to co-wash I frantically looked everywhere for my conditioner.  When I found it not in its normal place, I realized the problem: I never used it the last time I washed my hair.  Oh no!

Check out Mike's twist out though

Maybe the scarecrow and I have more in common than I thought. Where was my brain? Conditioning your hair is one of the main components on maintaining natural hair. How did I miss that?  When I retraced my steps I thought that perhaps I just forgot to do it.  After all, there are a lot of steps involved when it comes to my wash day:
  1. Homemade pre-poo
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar rinse
  3. Homemade deep conditioning
  4. Conditioning
  5. Leave-in Conditioning
  6. Detangling
  7. Parting and distributing moisturizing cream
  8. Setting with gel
  9. Blow drying
However, when I thought about it some more I realized that I skipped a step on purpose that night.  I remembered that I ran out of my natural non-silicone conditioner ( I co-wash with a Tresemme conditioner that is not silicone-free).  Since my hair tends to take better to more natural products, I thought that deep conditioning would be enough. Nope! Not at all.  In one of my last hair diary posts I talked about how my hair was acting funny because I hadn't deep conditioned it. Now it was acting funny because I didn't condition it.  *Sigh*  After reading through a couple of bloggers' wash day regimens, it looks as if it is not uncommon for some naturalistas to not use a conditioner after deep conditioning.  My guesses as to why my hair wasn't absorbing well are the following:
  1. I didn't rinse my homemade deep conditioning treatment out well (2 eggs, yogurt, and honey). 
  2. I also forgot to add coconut oil before styling. 
  3. Conditioner not only softens my hair but prepares it better for the styling aids I use.  
My hair is behaving much better since I co-washed it thankfully. If I ever make this mistake again, I may need to start using a checklist for my wash regimen to remember all of the steps.

So what about you and your wash day? Do you both condition and deep condition or do you do one or the other?

Sep 21, 2012

Roots 'n Rhythm: Terence Trent D'Arby "Wishing Well"

When Terence Trent D'Arby hit the scene in 1987 with his debut album Introducing The Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, he was a pretty unique artist even with all of the Prince comparisons. With a voice that  was strong, gritty and bigger than he was, he had the moves like James Brown and was rockin' the braids when plenty of his contemporaries were rocking S-Curl's. 

After a few successful albums...and a stint as a blonde....

D'Arby later changed his name in 1995 to Sananda Maitreya.  He  is now wearing locs and continues to make music from his home in Milan with his band The Nudge Nudge.

To find out more about the artist formerly known as Terence Trent D'Arby, check out his website

Sep 19, 2012

The 30th Annual African Street Festival showcased natural divas and fantastic African-American History

Every year the African-American Cultural Alliance hosts the African Street Festival. The festival boasts more than 50 vendors and informational booths, performances, and informational seminars. Each year the festival get better especially with the recent location change. The Alliance has moved the festival to Hadley Park in North Nashville. Guests love the change. It builds a sense of community and the historic park, once a plantation, can support more guests.

The Natural in Nashville crew: (l to r) Candice, Toya, Ashiya, and Melissa
The NIN team met at the Festival to snap photos, eat tasty food, and socialize with our readers! Let me tell you, it was so nice to meet you guys. It makes me so excited about our upcoming meet-up (It's coming ya'll, I promise). So let's get to my favorite photos. Make sure to hit up the Facebook page to see even more photos! Click the link below to read more:

Sep 18, 2012

LINK LOVE: "BUSTED! 4 Myths About Black Hair"

Like I always say, this natural hair journey is all about self discovery, patience, and endurance. At any time, you can find me contemplating the pros/cons of going back to the relaxer kit - lol! I'll never go, but when these coils start tangling and not falling the way I want, I often think back to the days . . .

Anyway, the best way to help yourseld get over those woes, it to read articles like the one I've linked below. Knowing that your hair can do the things that others said it couldn't will give you the faith to keep going on. My goal is to grow the biggest afro EVER, but many think kinky coils don't grow long. Sorry! It's not true, kinky curls can grow long (with a lot of patience)! Take a look at my favorite myth that was busted and click below to read the rest:
Trimming makes your hair grow faster - If you missed this informative post by Jc, please do read it. The bottom line is that trimming does not make the hair grow faster. It does not have an effect on our growth rate. What trimming can do is cut away the damaged ends of the hair thus allowing for one to attain longer length. Length retention and growth rate are two different areas.
Visit Black Girl With Long Hair to read  the rest

Sep 17, 2012

Hair Lust: Kinky Curly Cuteness

I love posting Hair Lust photos but I especially love finding photos of hair that looks like my texture. It's great thing to stock up on pics that represent your texture. It will help you with your natural journey.

I'm loving her hair!

Sep 13, 2012

Product Review: As I Am's Curling Jelly

I tend to get really excited about new and fun things. I mean, shout from the roof tops, this thing is absolutely awesome, excited.  And while this can be a good thing sometimes, at times it has bitten me in the butt. For instance, my on again off again love affair with Kinky Curly Custard.  KCC was the absolute truth for a few days and then...not so much.  This is why I wanted to give As I Am Curling Jelly a few weeks before I posted a review. The verdict? Yes! I believe we have found a winner in the hair staple category!

"I hope that you're the one. If not, you are the prototype."

I had ran out of my trusty Paul Mitchell Clean Gel one day and was scrounging for something to make my curly updo pop.  I looked in my trusty box of hair samples from various natural hair events when I came across a sample of it. Now am I the only one with a head full of thick coily hair who gives product samples a mean side eye because usually they only give you enough for half of your head?

What am I gonna do with a tablespoon, Willis?
It's not right I say! Anyway this sample gave me just enough to hook me and it turned out that I didn't need that much anyway. I was so hooked that I couldn't wait to get to Sally's to find it so I could get a full size. Imagine my shock when I found out that a jar was $23! Twenty three whole dollars!  "We have a coupon for a $1 off" the sales clerk told me.

I guess.
No but it's cool because honestly, I think it works great on my hair. When I defined my freshly washed and moisturized curls with it, I loved how bouncy it was.  Another good things is that you really don't need that much. Now I tend to be heavy handed with products so I have had to readjust some things. This is not a product that I can use without a good moisturizer underneath because it will dry and flake.  Therefore, I am still trying to perfect the styling gel to moisturizer ratio.  Overall it has been a great lightweight styling product for me because it gives good definition and hold, making second and third day hair pretty easy. I've enjoyed it so much that I am definitely going to look into purchasing more from As I Am products. I've heard rave reviews about the Coconut Co-Wash.

So if you define your curls with gel, I would definitely recommend As I Am Curling Jelly.  $23 is a lot but I think for the amount and the results I get, it's worth it.  

  • Lightweight, you don't need to use a lot
  • Produces bouncy defined curls
  • Good size (22 oz at Sally's but there is an 8 oz online)
  • Adds shine
  • Good for wash 'n go's
  • Expensive
  • Can only be found at Sally's Beauty Supply stores and a few Walgreens in Nashville

Discussion: The Price of Help

So, let's be honest.

Most of us didn't care for our 'natural' hair all our lives. The process can be overwhelming. It took me three attempts to go natural before I was able to completely transition. Why was the fourth attempt so different?

I got help.

I went to a salon and got assistance with transitioning. Luckily, I had a friend in beauty school, so I got most of my services for a reduced rate. (Style tip: Getting services at a beauty school involves risk, but if you know someone or can have a good student recommended to you, it's an awesome way to get inexpensive hair care without exactly going to the kitchen beautician.)

If you don't have a beauty school near you, you'll probably end up asking for help from another relaxer-free friend. That's great. I love that  there's a growing community to support ladies and men who are still learning to care for textured relaxer-free hair. But where do you draw the line when asking for help - how much is too much?  How often is too often?

How many in-home hair appointments are you allowed to request before you become a natural hair nuisance? I wish there was a hair fairy that tapped us on the shoulder and whispered "She's helped you a lot. This deserves $25." Alas, no such fairies exist. Personally, I have SO MANY QUESTIONS about this situation. If I continuosly ask a friend for advice, styling tuips, or actual styling sessions, should I:
  • Pay by the hour? I don't know many people who can wash, untangle, condition, and style hair in under an hour. 
  • Pay you in food? If a friend styles your hair but you feed them a full 3 course meal... are you even?
What if it's you? What if your friends are asking YOU for help? After so many in-home hair style demonstrations, you will eventually tire of helping that same friend... for free, right? I have no idea what an unlicensed natural hair stylist is going for. But a single strand knot removal session can take some time. Some styles can take well over an hour to complete. And gently de-tangling someone ELSE'S 4b hair? I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Is it rude to ask for money after you've played stylist and no compensation is offered? What if someone showed their gratitude with $10 for a wash and style? How much is 1.5 hours of teaching and styling worth?

The purpose of this post is to establish some natural hair community etiquette guidelines. Do you think someone who needs hair help should pay for hair help? And when should the payments start? One or two free "help" sessions a month?

This post is FILLED with questions. Leave your answers in the comment section below.

Candice's Hair Diary: "Unbeweaveable"

So... I've been trying to do this post for a while. I know my next post was going to be about me taking my twists down and getting reacquainted with my own hair. But it's taken more time than usual because I've gotten caught up in homework. And now...7 weeks later... My hair extensions are STILL HANGING. And by hanging I mean hanging on for dear life!

You know it's time for extensions to go when you develop mini afro puffs underneath your braids.

Not to mention the fact that there are now tiny afro puffs underneath each twist. I am going to take them down this week for sure. So this hair diary will be a short one.  Here are a couple of styles I have worn lately in order to minimize the fuzziness (you may see these again in a style post):
A twisted swoop bang thing

I feel totally hippie chic with my hair like this. A braided  swoop bang thing
with an open ponytail.

Also, I did great for the first 4.5 weeks, but I went a week without caring for my hair. You can bet I sprayed enough leave in and oil once I got back on track. I don't want to be the person who neglects their real hair because they have weave. But I can definitely see how ladies get comfortable and ignore their hair needs. I've also decided to put focus back on my diet. My nails were weak and two of them broke in the middle of the nail. ARGH! Weak nails often means weak hair. I've been experimenting with my diet, so I plan to add more protein. I also stocked up on biotin, and I'm going to increase my water intake. Winter will be here soon and I need to get my hair ready to battle the cold dry air.
I'm not angry. Promise. I loved this huge loose rosette style. 

And before I go... it's pretty different not being involved in corporate America anymore. I absolutely love the fact that I can wear my hair in eye-catching styles on a Tuesday. My former employer wasn't really strict on hair, but I would look pretty weird with extra spunky hair and business casual attire. Look for an update to this hair diary soon of my hair without twists. I'm trying not to be the unbeweavable girl anymore.

Sep 11, 2012

EVENT: 30th Annual African Street Festival, Sept 14-16, 2012

YAY! It's time for the African Street Festival! I love attending the festival. This weekend, September 14-16 you'll be able to enjoy the food, the vendors, and the HAIR!!! Yes, the wonderful hair!!! Last year, Toya and I had a blast taking pictures of all our new natural hair friends. This year we hope to see you again. Take a look at the info, above, and make some time to attend the festival!

Oh yeah, check out our video from last year's festival:

Sep 9, 2012

CELEB STYLE: India Arie sports a new look

I spotted this picture of India Arie on tumblr. Ms 'I am not my hair' is sporting some new locs cut in an asymmetrical bob style. I love it. How about you?

Sep 6, 2012

Hair Lust: Regal AND Professional

"No matter your age or job, your natural hair can still be professional!" - Transitioning to Natural

I love her regal essence!  Her hair works in a professional setting because it is simply a reflection of her own personal style.

Sep 5, 2012

CELEB STYLE: Jill Scott covers Essence Magazine October 2012

I posted recently that Jill was spotted in London rocking her TWA. So now, it's official that Jill is back to relaxer free styles for the fall. I don't think we've seen Jill's hair this short, but she looks AMAZING!

According to the Jill gave the magazine an ultimatum because they didn't want her to sport here natural hair on the cover. Wow! The industry is tricky - media outlets tout their love for natural hair, at the same time wanting to suppress it. That's why you have to love yourself, regardless of what others say.

Of course I love the styling. Everything in this photo is SO on trend for Fall 2012. Do you love it?

Sep 4, 2012

Michelle Obama's DNC 2012 hair

We don't know if First Lady Michelle Obama isn't relaxer free, but I must give her props for such great hair at the Democratic National Convention. Her stylist, Johnny Wright, won't confess of her chemical status, but does admit that the girls, Sasha and Malia are relaxer free (seemingly heat trained). If Mrs. Obama is relaxer free, Johnny Wright is a WIZ with ceramic flat irons!! Take a look:

HAIR LUST: Curly Love

ALL THE FEELINGS! ALL THE FEELINGS! This picture is so doggone cute! Clearly, it's someone's engagement photo. And, clearly, when I get engaged I'm going to copy it! This is just another vision of inspiration to brighten your day. I love seeing pictures of natural haired brides. I'm sure her wedding photos will be just as lovely!

Photo courtesy of The Beautiful Mess Wedding Photography

*UPDATE* The bride is a Nashville resident! I'll make sure to interview her on her routine for all my readers!

Sep 3, 2012

SALE: Shea Moisture BOGO 9/2-9/8

Get your wallets ready. Shea Moisture is having a BOGO sale at CVS. From September 2nd - 9th go to your local CVS and get to shopping. This is a great time to try something new.

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