Nov 28, 2012

LINK LOVE: Genetics and your hair journey

My friend Sabrina and I, December 2011 (2 years of being natural)

When I saw the video below, posted by Laila Jean of Fusion of Cultures on YouTube I knew I had to post it. In the video, Laila talks about how genetics plays a HEFTY role in hair growth. So many times, I see newly chemical free girls get frustrated when their hair isn't growing as quickly as they think it should be growing. The video reminded me of how I felt when I went natural at the same time as my friend Sabrina.

My friend Sabrina and I (above) started our natural hair journey roughly around the same time. There's nothing like seeing how fast (or slow) your hair grows when you start comparing it to someone else's hair. You may drive yourself crazy comparing your growth and texture to that person. In those early stages of your natural journey it's hard not to compare and it's hard not to let envy or jealousy creep in.

I watched as my friend's hair started growing, her curls started popping, and her hair texture was getting silky - she even had a bit of 'hangtime' 6 months into her journey. For me, my hair got more fluffy, more kinky, and just grew UP - no hang-time for me. At the same stage of growth, Sabrina's curls looked like she was months ahead of me.

I almost let the natural hair jealousy take over - but I realized, we had different genetics. When Sabrina's hair was relaxed, it usually grew pretty long - past her shoulders. When my hair was relaxed the longest it got was my shoulder. I'm 50% native African (my dad is from Sierra Leone), naturally, my hair would be a bit kinkier like my ancestors. Sabrina's mom has naturally long hair and her dad's hair is kinda curly. She was definitely going to have a different texture than my hair. After realizing those facts, and many more, I got over curl envy and worked with the hair growing out of my head.

The video is a little long but is FULL of important info about genetics, growing long natural hair, hair porosity, and enjoying your journey. Take a look!

Nov 26, 2012

HAIR LUST: Girl with the lovely Curl

I looked around and realized we hadn't posted a 'hair lust' photo in a couple days! Well, I present to you, for you inspiration this kinky-curly beauty. As much as I like elaborate styles, there's something elegant about a simple style. Just washing your hair and letting it do what it wants. You know, I'm trying to embrace shrinkage (to some capacity). Pictures like these help with the process. Now I don't know the products she may have used to achieve this look, but it seems pretty simple to me.

Product Review: November 2012 CurlBox Opening

Happy Holidays to my favorite people! I hope you had a wonderful mini-vacation for Thanksgiving and I know you are gearing up for a great Christmas season.

Anyone, I almost forgot to post my video of the November 2012 Curlbox opening. If you follow us on Facebook (click here if you don't) then you've seen the video. If not, I've posted the video below. Watch the video as I review some of the products available. Of course I'll be writing individual reviews of the stuff in the box, but the video is a quick intro to what was available.

Nov 20, 2012

LINK LOVE: Natural Hair products on sale during Black Friday

One of my favorite shopping days of the year happens this week! Black FRIDAY - best day for in-store retail shoppin! Oh yeah, don't forget it's sister, Cyber Monday (best internet deals of the holiday season). Well, below, is a link to all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on these internet streets! Shout-out to Derby City Naturals for compiling this wonderful list!

Check out some of the deals below:

  • Miss Jessies Sunday 11/18 thru 12/15
    • BOGO Free product + Free Shipping No Coupon Code
  • Mozeke Products Friday 11/23 Midnight CST 
    • Save 25-50% off all inventory No Coupon Code
  • Naturally Smooth As Friday 11/23 thru 12/31
    • 12% off with code: HOLIDAY12
    • 3 x 2oz butters & 3 x 2oz shampoo bars for $20
  • Nyenzo Natural Boutique Wednesday 11/21 – Friday 11/23
    • 15% off total order + Free shipping on orders $45+ no coupon code
  • Ouidad Monday 11/19 – Tuesday 11/27
    • 25% off everything with code: FFCURL
  • Oyin HandmadeFriday 11/23 – Monday 11/26
    • 20% off everything in store. No coupon code
    • Free domestic shipping with order $60+ code: thisisblackfriday

list will be updated daily

Stylist Chronicles: Kaneesha Martin at Mahogany Suites

Can Kaneesha handle all this!

Lucky me! Last month, a hair stylist, named Kaneesha Martin of Mahognay Suites in LaVergne, TN, contacted me about gifting me a styling service. Hmm . . . if someone wanted to tame this mane, why not?! Plus, I hadn't had my hair professionally done since going natural. This would be a great experience.

So, Keneesha and I set up a time, and I was on my way. I scheduled my appointment  right near wash day so she cold tame my hair in all it's madness. It was shrunken, slightly dry and definitely needing a wash. I knew my professional experience would be different because Kaneesha emailed me asking if I had any current issues with my hair. The service included a spa/steam treatment. She wanted to use products that would help with any issues I had. At this time, right after removing my braids, my hair was pretty dry and shedding.

Nov 19, 2012

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Grateful Locs

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart."  - Jean Baptiste Massieu

During the month of November, I agreed to share one thing publically that I am grateful for each day.  It's been said that gratitude is the way to bring more love and abundance in your life and I must agree.  When we express gratitude, the joy of receiving is amplified attracting more life events that continue to manifest joy.  Today, I am grateful for the decision I made to loc my hair.  It was the first definitive step I made toward being more authentic and I've enjoyed growing through my hair.  I've learned patience, self-expression and most importantly, gentleness with myself. 

Nov 16, 2012

Roots 'n Rhythm: Chrisette Michele, "Charade"

Chrisette Michele has been one of my favorites since she stepped on the scene. In the past month she's debuted a new body and a fancy new haircut. She talked about her health journey with Curly Nikki HERE - citing that she became vegan, going back to tap dancing lessons, changing her hair, and her new mix-tape, Audrey Hepburn Mixtape (Dec 8).

Below is the Derek Blanks directed video for the first song from her mix-tape  "Charades". I'm loving her updated style and I'm loving this video. Her hair is making me want to cut my hair! Ugh! I'll wait though.

This video is very chic and an obvious nod to Ms. Breakfast at Tiffany's  herself, Audrey Hepburn. Check out the video below!

Nov 15, 2012

DISCUSSION: You are not alone.

You are not alone. We're all here with you.

I was speaking with some new naturals and some frustrated naturals and I learned, as with other situations in life, many naturals often feel as though they have a unique situation on their scalps. I was the same way.

4 different curl patterns on one head?!?! I'm a total freak of nature!!

It took a while to rationalize that it's extremely common for naturals to have different textures. I was new and didn't know any better. But since then, I've heard many other uncommon but super common things.  Here are some non-unique issues that tend to make many naturals feel like they are all alone in this natural hair world. 
  • Multi-textured Hair
    • As I said above... this was me. My left side curl pattern is REALLY different from my right side, which is slightly different from my crown. And all of these are SUPER different from my front. Also, none of these are even remotely related to the loose curls on the nape of my neck. I thought I had alien kinks. But you know who else has multiple textures? Almost everyone.
  • Curl Envy
    • It's okay. I did it too. You look at other people and get curl envy. You think: "Look at those curly curls. Her hair isn't shrunken into her scalp. I want HER hair." But you don't know that she stayed up late, used 1/2 a bottle of product, and got a cramp in her arm. Her back length hair might have taken 17 years to grow because she kept damaging it. But all you know is you want her hair, her style. Now. 
  • I can't even comb my hair when it's dry!
    • You know.... you're not supposed to do that anyway. Only comb your hair when wet, especially if you have kinkier hair. Also, learn to put down those tools and remove tangles with your fingers. Stop looking at Garnier commercials like this one to learn how to care for your hair. Try instead to look for YouTube instructions. Or EVEN BETTER... check out this great site for natural products and style tips AND hair talk. All in one place.
  • I use products for my hair type and I still don't know what works!
    • Yep. Your hair is special. Just like the rest of us. Here's a secret: You don't know what works for your hair until you try things on your hair and realize that they don't work. The "typing system" is only a typing system. It is not a product guide manual. My hair has it's own attitude. Yours does too. And that's Oh. Kay. Don't feel alone because you aren't pre-cut to fit a curl category. Most of us had to do plenty of label reading and hair catastrophes before we found a good regimen.
See? These things that make your hair uncommonly crazy are.... pretty common. If you're a new natural (or perhaps just new to caring for your natural hair) it may seem overwhelming. Most of us have been there? You are not alone.

Is there a special, alien hair characteristic about your hair? Is there a common characteristic that ever made you feel so alone?

Nov 12, 2012

HAIR LUST: Beautiful Big Hair

I don't know who this little beauty is, but she and her big hair are amazing! I mean, this little girl is just GORGEOUS! That's the best twist-out (or rod set) I've ever seen on natural hair. Nothing witty to say here. Her hair is SUPER lust-worthy!

Candice's Hair Diary: Stubborn, Unruly, Crazy Rebel Hair

What has my hair been up to lately? Whatever the heck it wants to have been up to! I am determined to show my hair that I am the boss. My hair (affectionately coined by someone dear as Puffy) has been determined to show me that I am NOT the boss, and it will do what it wants.

Not long ago, I removed my Marley twists and my hair has been dry and unruly ever since. I have deep conditioned, and deeper conditioned. I've tried protein treatments. Nothing was working, so I decided to straighten my hair. I flat ironed my hair twice within 12 hours and I got this:
This is what a blowout should look like. Not TWO flat iron attempts.

Let me tell you... my hair gave not the smallest care about me nor my heat styling tools nor any smoothing products, nor brushes. It was just.... Puffy the Rebel. She stood her ground and refused to acknowledge my authority. So... I "put her on punishment". I decided to put protective styles in my hair to avoid constant heat styling. Four days, four styles:
Day 1: I was fed up. The punishment begins.
Day 2

Day 3 of punishment. I'm especially proud of this one. It's just a jazzy flat  twist.

Okay, this was at the end of day 4. It's just a French braid, covered up.
After all of this, I decided to wash and straighten it again. To make a long story short, it still didn't work. It's better than before, but my hair is going through a rebellious phase. I guess I will have to work with it. 2.5 years into being natural and I never thought my hair would turn on me like this. Maybe my hair is just changing? Am I alone??

Anyone out there dealing with rebellious hair? Was it just a phase? How did you get over it??

Nov 9, 2012

LINK LOVE: Chescalocs' Petaled Loc Fro Tutorial

Franchesca Ramsey of Chescalocs does it again with clear, simple directions that create a complicated look.

The Petaled Loc Fro is not only beautiful, but it could double as a protective style as the winter months approach.  I'm definitely adding this one to the "must try" list.

Roots 'n Rhythm- Amel Larrieux "For Real"

*Sigh*  Amel Larrieux's song "For Real" is what being in love sounds like.  Simply a classic.

I remember when Amel Larrieux hit the scene in the mid 90's with the group Groove Theory.  Although they put out one of the best CD's in the 90's,  their success was short lived as they would break up not too long after its release.  Since then Larrieux has had a successful solo career churning out Neo-Soul hits like "Get Up", "You Will Rise" and of course "For Real".

The latest on Amel Larrieux's career is that her album “Ice Cream Everyday”is to be released on her own label, Blisslife Records some time this year.  I know I am looking forward to it but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't keeping my fingers crossed for a Groove Theory reunion soon too. 

Nov 8, 2012

HAIR LUST: Locs of Loveliness

Since we are doing the Twist 'n Locs product giveaway, I though this week's Hair Lust should feature . . . LOCS. Like loose natural hair, loc'd hair can be dynamic, different, and diverse. On a loc wearer's head, he/her says each LOC is different from it's brother. Oh my, what amazing creatures we are! Even our hair is longs to stand-out.

Nov 6, 2012

PRODUCT REVIEW: Carol's Daughter Chocolat Smoothing Collection

I was excited to do this review because we all love chocolate. (Chocolät if you're fancy.) Now, I'm going to be honest. But I do not want to have to create a "hair" expense section for my budget. I'm always on the hunt for hair discounts. So I wished upon a star and guess what was a featured product on Groupon last month? It was Carol's Daughter Chocolat Smoothing Collection. All 3 FULL-SIZED products were delivered to my doorstep for $25.00. I clicked "buy" so fast my finger got whiplash.

Frizz is a big issue for me. Sometimes when my hair is dry, it's a frizz ball. And other times when my hair isn't  dry, it is still a frizz ball. For reference, here is a blow out from earlier this year. I usually use the tension method to dry my hair.
This is about 2 hours after blow drying without the Chocolat system. 

Check out that frizz action. It's been one of the things that has remained consistent since I've been natural. Carol's Chocolat Smoothing system claims to reduce frizz by 70% and keep hair smooth for 72 hours. I was interested in seeing how my hair responded to the Carol's Daughter brand. I used everything according to the label instructions except for the blow-dry cream. I have way too much hair to use a dime-sized amount and work it through my entire head. But here's my review:

The Good

  • I love the consistency of this line. Everything is thick and creamy, but not too hard to work thoroughly through my thick strands.
  • I was expecting this product to smell like I'm shampooing with a Hershey bar. But it doesn't. It doesn't smell like chocolate. It smells like perfume laced cacao. Think cocoa butter with a hint of sugar and fairy dust extract. Win.
  • I am IN LOVE with the twist tops on the shampoo and conditioner. You open it up by twisting the top. There are no aluminum/plastic seals that get stuck in the slotted caps. Just twist and squeeze. Easy.
The Not So Good
  • Um... Did you miss the Groupon? Because if not, you save $6.00 and pay only $54.00 for the full sized set on the product website. I know you have to pay for the good stuff. And if you are able to do so.... this product worked wonders for me.

This is less than 1 hour after blow drying.  BIG DIFFERENCE.
The picture above is not a real twistout. I only twisted the hair as I dried it to keep it out of the way. I have only used this product once, but I'm already a fan. My hair is very hard-headed can be difficult to control. I wonder if there is room on the Carol's daughter bandwagon. The Chocolat smoothing system has me seriously considering jumping on board.

Nov 5, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Win TWO Twists 'n Locs Products!

Yay! I'm so happy to participate in giveaways! I love hooking you up with cool products. This week we are giving away two products from the Twists 'n Locs line for loc'd hair.

Twists 'n Locs was born in 1989 and has experienced a growth in sales due to the interest in natural hair and organic hair care products. Twists 'n Locs has 13 product that are fortified  with Nano Vitamins A, D, E & F. Nano Technology reduces vitamin molecules to nano or microscopic size. This enhances the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients by passing the molecules through the blood stream and directly into the hair and scalp. The result, of course, is that you will receive the maximum benefit of the vitamins along with deeper penetration and faster absorption to the roots, scalp and hair.

So, what do you have to do to win a the contest. Read below to enter:

  1. Read, Ashiya's review on the Twists 'n Locs product line - click here
  2. Make sure to follow us on Facebook - click here
  3. Follow Natural in Nashville on twitter, click here, and Follow Twists 'n Locs on Twitter - Click here
  4. Leave a comment below telling us why we should choose you to win the products. Make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you should win.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks for your participation!!

Nov 2, 2012

Roots 'n Rhythm "Dred Loc" Me'Shell Ndegeocello

Uber-talented musician, singer and songwriter Me'Shell Ndegeocello debuted in 1993 with her album Plantation Lullabies, which I highly recommend.  I remember this because it was one of the first CD's I ever bought when I decided to let cassettes go and join everyone in the 20th century.  Remember Sam Goody y'all?

With songs like "Outside Your Door", "If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)", and "Sweet Love", her CD quickly became part of my soundtrack for that summer.  Check out her first video off of Plantation Lullabies for "Dred Loc".

Nov 1, 2012

LINK LOVE: When Co-Washing isn't enough via BGLH

According to Natural Hair Community (online) a Co–Wash is "the act of washing your hair with conditioner only so that it is not stripped of its natural oils. It is often done on dry, damaged hair. This method can be used daily and is often referred to as conditioner wash."

Sometimes I co-wash and sometimes I don't. Personally, I haven't found that co-washing my hair aids in better moisture. That's why this natural hair life is so confusing. So many people have found success in co-washing, and some don't. It's all about individual hair strands. 

Clearly, the science of co-washing may be a bit conflicting. Think about it; you are NOT washing your hair, but rinsing your hair and adding conditioner to it. If you do this all the time, your hair is NEVER really clean. Question: Would you take a shower and only use lotion to cleanse your skin? NO! So why would you ONLY co-wash all the time?

That's where clearifying shampoos come into place. Check out the article on Black Girl With Long Hair that breaks down the reasons when co-washing may not be enough. Click the link below:

HAIR LUST: Coiling Cuteness

It never surprises me how versatile natural hair can be. No two curls are the same, no product works exactly on each person, and everyone rocks their style in different ways. Check out today's hair lust model. She so fly. Her curls are super . . . curly and I'm loving her simple updo. The simpistic nature of her hairstlye is what makes it so fly.
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