Jul 31, 2013

DISCUSSION: The Ghost of Relaxers Past


Everyone may not feel the same way about relaxers. For me, my hair was relaxed before I hit middle school. I vaguely remember when I was around 5 years old and getting my hair braided. My mom used me to show off her braiding skills and would put stars and shapes and beads in my hair. Then at one point I remember my grandmother straightening my hair (and occasionally burning my scalp, lol) with hot combs. Do you remember your first relaxer? I'm not even sure how old I was.

Okay, fast forward to May 2013. My family was gathered at my Granny's house. And during one of my eldest brother's random rants about Afrocentrism, he pointed to my hair and said "That's what our hair is supposed to look like. That's the way it grows out of our head." He continued with talks of European beauty standards and then took the liberty to inform our grandmother that I "never liked perms (relaxers)." He said that she used to put them in my head and I didn't want them. And then he motioned to me and said "Am I right or not? Tell her. Go ahead!"

And as I sat there, I had a conversation with the inner me. I said, Self, you really didn't like perms when you were younger. Your hair was "stubborn" and it took forever to straighten. And you had countless sores from chemical burns. And remember that time you tried to get away from relaxers before you even knew what "going natural" was? That was funny. But do you really need to tell her?

I decided that no. I don't need to dredge up old feelings from the past because my Granny decided that the best way to manage my hair was with a relaxer. I mean, I was pretty clear about the fact that I didn't like getting relaxers when I was younger. And she was pretty clear that she didn't care because she was the one who was responsible for how my hair looks, and she didn't want invest the time to deal with my 'nappy' hair.

On some level, I can understand. You're working hard to take care of 3 children. And albeit in the early 90s there was hardly a natural hair "movement". Most people had relaxers and you had better not let your roots grow out too long. And back then, knowledge of the effects that exposure to the chemicals in a relaxer does to young girls wasn't readily available. So one may have weighed the pros and known cons of chemically relaxing a child's hair and decided that straight hair would be prettier and/or easier to manage. There were already a limited market of quality products for any type of black hair. When you filter out products that were not designed to manage kinky and unprocessed black hair, the pickings for hair care were relatively slim. I learned to get by with relaxers, Blue Magic®, and Pink Oil Moisturizer®. And although I was never too fond of it, I got along just fine with my long and straight hair.

Now that I'm an adult and responsible for my own hair, I'm natural and loving it. Even when I'm not in love with my hair at a given moment, I am happy that I have gotten to know and love my hair for what it is. My nappy, stubborn, kinky, curly, coils are everything they were meant to be. At one point I was annoyed that it took so much for me to transition to natural hair because neither my mother nor my grandmother thought that my naps were pretty. But that situation taught me to be more understanding of others' decisions. You don't have to agree with an action to understand the premise behind it. Once a permanent hair choice is made, it's done. It doesn't matter whether your hair was locked or relaxed at an early age, it's okay to enjoy the happily natural life without settling the score on hair decisions made by your caretakers. But this leaves me wondering:

What would you have done? Would you take advantage of an opportunity to talk about how much you didn't like getting relaxers as a child? Or do you consider it no big deal?

Jul 30, 2013

CELEB STYLE: Yaya (Dacosta) Alafi is preggers perfect!

Some of you may remember Yaya (Dacosta) Alafi as the runner-up on America's Next Top Model Cycle 3, 2004.

Model, Eva Marcille, won that round, but Eva's win didn't stop Yaya from using the platform to build an awesome career for herself. Since appearing on the modeling show, Yaya can be seen on stage and screen. The formally trained dancer turned model and actress is currently playing a part in Lee Daniels, The Butler.

Yesterday, the cute and preggers newlywed hit the red carpet showing her lovely baby bump and even more lovely head of curls. Her natural style and carefree look just exudes happiness. Congratulations Yaya on all your endeavors!

Yaya's America's Next Top Model/Covergirl Photo

PRODUCT REVIEW: Hydratherma Naturals Daily Growth Lotion

What do we all want when it comes to natural hair?  Of course some want definition, others want products that aid in stretching, but most of what I hear is that we want long, soft hair. Less breakage means more growth and retention. 

A few years ago when I was living in DC I was scouring the web for new products that would keep my hair soft permanently and came across a website called Healthy Hair Journey.  The owner of the line had all sorts of information about her products and also documented her own healthy hair journey and how these products helped her hair to grow and while keeping it soft and lovely.  The entire line is great but I swear by the Hydratherma Naturals Daily Growth Lotion.  It is packed with all kind of great oils, from Avocado, to Emu, Shea butter, and Olive oil along with a few others. 

I found out that my hair loves Emu oil.  It is great oil will many benefits, it helps with cell regeneration on the scalp and restores your hair follicle and shaft. 

A 4 oz bottle will cost you about $14 and the 8 oz $19. This is a product that is packed full with oils so you don’t need much.  When I first started using it I started out with a small amount and built on top of that until I achieved my desired softness. I saw a huge boost in growth retention.  But it should be used daily in order to see results. 

If you have tried this product or are planning to, let us know your thoughts. 

Jul 26, 2013

Roots & Rhythm: India Arie - "Cocoa Butter"

India Arie gracefully moved past allegations of skin bleaching to release her fifth studio album, SongVersation, last month.  I'm excited I finally have a day to enjoy my first listen.  India is on of my favorite lyricists and in the first release "Cocoa Butter" she sings beautifully,

"I show you my burns, you show me lessons learned.  I show you my scars, you show me works of art.  I show you a blemish, you show me God's not finished.  With every imperfection, you showed me your blessing.  You've got a way of making it all ok."

Yoga Journal featured India on the September 2012 issue and I noticed her turban and thought it was great way to control her hair for the shoot.  As she moved closer to the album release, it seems she's fallen for them again.  In the interview, India shares how yoga helped her find her voice and I heard the influence during a quick preview of the album.

From her album cover to promotional events, India has opted for a vibrant array of turbans and wraps for her hair.  I do love the energy she brings with them, but I am curious to know what is going on underneath. After my first run through SongVersation, I'm sure India will bring me back to the reality that she is not her hair.

If you've had a chance to check it out, how do you feel about India Arie's new project?  Don't forget to share your favorite track!

Jul 24, 2013

DISCUSSION: Natural hair workout STRUGGLE!

So, I don't have anything against Frederick Douglass (pictured above). He was a great man and fought hard for the rights of African-Americans. However, I do not enjoy looking like his long-lost daughter when I leave the gym!

That's right ladies, having natural hair and working out is an ISSUE! As fan of protective styling, for length and moisture retention, I often wear my hair locked away for months at a time. Some think I don't even LIKE my hair because it's always hidden under the latest installation of braids or weave. I promise you, I really like my hair but it's prone to shrinkage and tangles.

I'm attempting to let my hair rest from my braided installations, but I have this issue, what to do with my hair at the gym. Add to that, I sweat in my scalp - - like profusely. So my hair starts to curl, twirl, and tangle and shrivel -  I get off the treadmill looking like  . . . say it with me, "Frederick Douglass' daughter!" 

I realized bunning my hair and rocking a scarf during my workout saves me from looking crazy and having shrunken hair, seems to work for me. I did gain some knowledge from the posts below - like sealing my hair with water/oil combo before I bun - that will help with moisture retention. I know one thing, I'm not going to stop working out because my hair wants to work against me. Never sacrifice your health for you hair! 
So, here's some suggestions on how to maintain you hair while working out:

"You want to make sure that your have time set aside for your workout and also the time to wash and maintain your hair. On the days where you are doing lighter workouts and have the day off, you can have a little more fun with your hair!" - Alicia James via Curly Nikki

"The two tips I have for you are to A.) seal in your moisture before your workout and as soon as you can after or B.) rinse or cowash your hair after your workout to start with fresh, clean hair the next day." - Tasha from Just Curlz

"To avoid dry, crunchy hair after your workout, mix a little bit of water and leave-in conditioner into a travel-sized spray bottle and keep it in your gym bag to refresh curls post-workout." - Essence Online

If your hair is pressed or flat-ironed - "Always tie your hair back with a satin scarf or better yet, invest in a Save Your ‘Do Gymwrap which will absorb moisture and keep your hair pressed down during workouts." - Essence Online

I hope these tips work for you. If you have more tips, list them below - we all need help figuring out this natural hair workout routine. Happy working out!

Jul 23, 2013

Amber's Hair Diary: No Really, You Can Touch My Hair.

Hi my name is Amber and I have hair ADD.  There was a point in time when I thought I had a problem.  Was my sense of self too wrapped up in the fact that, in order to have natural hair I felt the need to change it, and change it often?  I was having natural hair guilt.  I should just leave it alone. Find a protective style and stick with it.  If “Hand in Hair (HIH)” syndrome were one that was medically documented then I would be the poster girl. Then I began to think that there may be a greater problem.  It made me laugh though, because it seems that women of color no matter which way we roll, relaxed, natural, or somewhere in between there were so many rules surrounding hair and touching. 

How much should I touch my own hair? Should I let others touch my hair? What will other women think of me if I do? If, I don’t? Do I let my man run his fingers through my hair?  

Then it clicked. 

Why does it matter? 

Don’t get me wrong.  There are times when we need to be aware of how we are treating our hair. After all textured hair requires extra pampering and TLC.  If you aren’t receiving the results you want with your hair then by all means it may be time to re-evaluate your routine. But so much of our defensiveness concerning textured hair in women of color is wrapped up in traditions, fears, and others reactions. 
We all had that kid go to touch our freshly pressed curls in junior high that reached out and recoiled at their oily fingers. 

However, natural hair has evolved so why have we not evolved with it? I think about the daughters and sons that I may someday have, and I don’t want them recycling the same fears that I have been battling with for years. 
The whole you can touch my hair situation set many a folks off, and yet I was so happy to see that campaign.  Yes, perhaps it wasn’t staged in a way that folk felt was uplifting, but someone always has to be the first.  I am not afraid to touch my hair so why should I be afraid if anyone else touches it? Then I got to see this fear in action.  As you all know I am currently in school at the Aveda Institute.  I arrived at the Institute when I first started in standard me style. Funky hair, funky outfit, funky me. 

I expected questions but I did not expect the fear that I saw across some of my classmates faces as they tried to understand (black and white classmates alike). I could see they were itching to get their hands in it and yet no one made and attempt to touch it. I wondered if I might have unknowingly been giving off my “angry black girl” face and that’s why none of them dared.  Finally a few weeks in and a few hairstyles later they got to see my natural hair. I encouraged them to touch it and there were still some who reached out to touch my hair like it was diseased or those who weren’t sure if their fingers were going into something soft and friendly or harsh and brittle. I was concerned because I know if I go to sit in someone’s chair and that is their response to my hair, I am out of there. So instead of reacting negatively I took the time out to communicate.  Let them see their reaction to if I had gone in to touch their hair like that.  To their surprise when they did touch my hair it was soft and fluffy and there was no greasy after touch either (I secretly reveled in this).  At that moment though I stopped and realized that had it not been for my hair ADD and some 20 years of taking leaps of faith with my hair and sometimes failing miserably I might have never realized the perfect concoction that keeps my hair soft and moisturized without coming back with a hand full of oil. 

I encourage all you curly heads to not be afraid to break the rules or bend them to suit your needs. Reinvent yourself daily, weekly, monthly, or within whatever timeframe works best for you.  With natural hair comes versatility and with that comes the ability to change it up and change it up often.  But know that as you do that you are setting and creating new hair traditions.  With the advent of the internet information is now available to anyone and everyone who seeks that knowledge.  Embrace the newness and have no fear in shedding the old ways.  Plus I’ll clue you in.  It’s just hair. How do you embrace the versatility that is natural hair?  

p.s. My recipe for soft touchable hair. 
Herbal Essences Honey Im Strong Co-Wash 
Fantasia IC Pure Tea Silky Gel Moisturizer 
Cantu for Natural Hair Coconut Curl Cream

Hair Lust: A fro fit for a KING

Nothing like a guy with a wonderful head of hair. So, when I saw this awesome photo I had to share it with you all. Once again, the men be WINNING in this natural hair game. Too Fly!

Jul 22, 2013

EVENT: 2nd Annual Naturals in the City Hair & Wellness Expo - Memphis, July 27-28


It's that time again! On the weekend of July 27-28, A Natural Affair Hair & Beauty Lounge, is happy to host the 2nd annual Naturals in the City Hair and Wellness Expo! This year the expo is bigger an better with more presenters, sponsors, vendors, and classes. 

The event's founder, Takeisha Berry Brooks, spoke and presented at the Music City Naturals event back in May.  She was happy to share info about the Memphis event with Nashville's natural hair ladies. Takeisha is a certified cosmotologist and business owner who sepcializes in natural hair matenance. Takeisha continues to raise awareness about natural hair by presnting events like the expo and doing business at her salon, A Natural Affair.

CLICK HERE for the official schedule of events.

This year, the presenters include psychologist/weight loss specialist/YouTuber Nina aka Beautiful Brown Baby Doll and brand stragtegist Kimberly Brown. There are more that twenty vendor booth and several classes for attendees and professional stylists. This is an event you don't want to miss!

Jul 19, 2013

Roots & Rhythm: 1,2 Step by Ciara

I'm not sure how she's doing in your market, but Ciara is getting share of the air time in Nashville.  Having a summer hit - or two - is a major deal for artists and Ciara is working her spot well.  With "Body Party" and "I'm Out" featuring Nicki Minaj both getting equal airplay, Ciara is having a pretty good summer promoting her latest project self-titled "Ciara".  

"Ciara" By Ciara - 2013
Melissa caught her on Jimmy Fallon and she left everyone wowed after her performance on The BET Awards.  Her dancing ability on BET drew many comparisons to Janet Jackson while debates over the quality of her voice continued.  Ciara's voice has been described as being able to convey three necessary emotions: "sweet, sassy and sexy", which it seems to work better for her with each album.

Ciara in Braids during promotion for Fantasy Ride in 2009.
Her dancing has always been solid and I'm sure choreography is a talent she will have the opportunity to explore more as her career progresses.  As I looked back at Ciara's dance moves to determine if she's worthy of the Janet comparisons, I noticed she keeps her "signature" hairstyle relevant by playing with color.

Ciara caught with darker, casual curls.
 For this summer, Ciara went with a short cut that is adorable and looks incredibly easy to manage.  How do you like Ciara's new cut compared to her "signature" style?

Ciara's latest  hairstyle.
Here's a flashback to Ciara rocking it in 2004 with 1,2 Step.  If we didn't recognize her ability to move in Goodies, we definitely figured it out at 2:55 of this video.

Jul 17, 2013

A natural in Nashville: LaTonya shares her washday routine

Straight and sleek for work

Today's, Natural in Nashville, is a friend of mine. LaTonya and I have been friends for almost 10 years; we attended the same church for much of that time. Even before I knew her personally, I always admired her long gorgeous hair. To my knowledge, LaTonya's been natural for quite some time, 15+ years.  She's rocked her hair super long/waist length and in layered cuts. Recently, LaTonya embarked on her own little journey called #HealthyHairDontCare
Wash and Go
According to LaTonya, she'd been ignoring her hair, using too much heat, washing with haste, and coloring without conditioning. These acts resulted in her hair becoming limp, losing its natural curl pattern, and looking sad. She wanted her healthy shiny hair back. It's very common to get lazy, ESPECIALLY when your hair is very long. Relying on bunning or 'wash and go' styles sometimes add more stress to your hair than necessary. 

Latonya started her journey with a good haircut and deep condition. The stylist removed THREE INCHES of sad hair. After, her curls hung better and her hair started to regain its shine. Below is a collage of Latonya's NEW wash day routine:
Latonya's wash day routine
Latonya told me:
"I pre-poo with extra Virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and plain greek yogurt.  Then I wash my hair with Organix Coconut Milk shampoo. Then I sit under the steamer with deep conditioner from Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery deep conditioning treatment. Then follow-up with Suave Almond & Shea butter rinse out conditioner. The end result-beautiful shiny defined curls.  
The products I use, I now try to stay away from too many extra chemicals and sulfates. Oh, and that hair steamer I use for my deep conditioning treatment, I got it for LESS than $100 on eBay! I researched EVERYTHING. I've watched YouTube videos, looked on Pintrest, and consulted sites like Natural in Nashville for tips."
Side pony-tail with curls
Well, I'm loving these results! I know Latonya's hair will be better than ever. Use Latonya's story  to inspire you to seek healthy hair results. If you've been neglecting those strands, make a visit to your fave stylist, or fave website and start your own #HealthyHairDontCare journey. 

Twist-out with ultimate definition

Jul 16, 2013

HAIR LUST: Regal Coils

I love a free flowing fro! It just gives me all the life to see someone letting the hair do what it wants. Letting your hair rest is a good way to reinvigorate your styling options. IN addition, it's just healthier to let it rest while not putting too much stress on your follicles. I hope this inspires you.

Jul 15, 2013

Candice's Hair Diary: The Lost Edges

If you've read my previous hair diaries, you know how amped I was about getting a weave for a worry-free vacation.


I am going to keep this as concise as possible with a few bullet points.

  • I got a sew in with 12"-14" Bohyme Brazillian (also known as Bobraz) Platinum hair.
  • It cost me an arm and a leg. If you see me hopping down these Nashville Streets, blame it on the Bobraz.
  • It was cute once I got it to blend with my hair. It really resembled curly natural hair.
  • It is NOT suited for water. NO Swimming. No Swimming in this hair. There should seriously be a warning label on the package. It cost too much not to have a warning label.

This is the BoBraz hair after I spent a FULL HOUR in the shower
gently detangling after swimming. 

(Sidebar: I detangled some of the larger knots to see if it was my kinkier hair that was snagging up the Bohyme hair. It wasn't. Those knots are all BoBraz. And for the record, I swam with my hair in a bun.) Besides the hair I wanted definitely not being the appropriate hair for my vacation, the install service I received was not a good experience. I will write a separate post about why it's important to find a stylist who can actually work well natural hair. As a result of having less than stellar work done on my hair, I lost some edges. Thank God for thick hair because if my hair was thin, I'd have a serious problem on my hands. Next time I go on vacation I'm going to mini-twist my own hair, or just wear my hair out. Because BoBraz was cute, but it's definitely not functional for a tropical vacation. Not at all.

This is BoBraz 2 weeks post install. A little bit of ocean
water killed this hair.

Also, I see another hair cut happening in the near future. It's only logical. This next cut should completely remove my color damage carry me back into the land of smooth ends. And once my old color is out, I really REALLY want to get more color in my hair. Don't judge me.
Are you following me on Instagram? I'll post more pictures
there soon.

I took my hair down almost as soon as I touched down in Nashville.
I was clearly THIS close to being nicknamed Patches. 
 So, what's my hair lesson this time?

  • Vacation is not the best time to experiment with new hair. Vacation is for vacationing!
  • Everything that glitters isn't gold. Bobraz was glitter, not gold.
  • What God has joined together (you and your edges), let no man put asunder. That means don't let anyone separate you and your edges. Not Bohyme hair makers, not a lead-fingered stylist.... no one. 

BoBraz in a blown out style.
 All in all, I kept the Bohyme Brazilian hair in for 2.5 weeks. And I have never been happier to remove a tangled, matted, hair hat. I'll count this hair fail as a stepping stone as I learn more on this natural hair journey of mine. By the way, as soon as I took my weave out, I went swimming with my own hair. It felt awesome.

What has your hair taught you recently? Let's discuss it in the comments section.

Jul 12, 2013

Roots & Rhythm: On The Run (Part II) Jay-Z featuring Beyonce

This weekend Beyonce is set to take over Bridgestone Arena as The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour stops in Nashville.  It seems The Carters have captured the world's attention again with their craft as opposed to their lifestyle.  While Beyonce continues sell out shows, Mr. Carter went platinum and took over Twitter for a day before his latest project was officially released.

Whether you agree with their lifestyle or not, The Carters have found their power as a couple.  I appreciate music more than entertainment, so I've learned to respect an artist's right to grow and change as much as our own.  While Beyonce has always appeared to be extremely private, it seems that she is most natural standing with her husband.  It is impressive to see someone that can hit every mark with ease, but it seems we see a more relaxed, carefree Beyonce as Mrs. Carter.

We get to see her hair in more relaxed or protective hair styles.  Her smile seems more authentic and she makes clothing choices that remind us that she and Solange are definitely sisters.  We all come to a point in our lives when we're more comfortable with who we are and where we are in life and perhaps Beyonce has reached that point in her experience as a wife and mother.

Of course Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail, would not be complete without an appearance from Mrs. Carter.  Beyonce lends solid, sultry vocals to On The Run (Part II) where she tells everyone why their love has grown to what it is for them.

"Who wants that perfect love story anyway? Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche."

It looks like they're finding a way to make this life work for them.  Isn't that what we all hope to do?  Looking at the reviews for her show, it seems that Mrs. Carter is doing her thing on stage as well, leaving a string of rave reviews in her wake.

Are you going to the show, Nashville?  Let us know!  We we want a full report next week!

CLICK HERE for OUTFIT INSPIRATIONS via our sister-site, Fab Glance Fashion & Style!

Jul 11, 2013

CELEB STYLE: Brandy reveals her natural hair

Y'all already know that Brandy is one of my FAVORITE singers. She just has such a sweet spirit that resonates through everything she's produced: tv shows, movies, and music. But we not here to talk about her life story - this is about HAIR! 
For most of the 90's Brandy was the princess of Braids and Babyhair! There was never a time she wasn't seen without those edges slicked and those braids tight. As she got older, she switched to wigs, weaves, and lace front installations to protect her hair from the rigors of Hollywood set life. Well, yesterday, on Instagram, Brandy revealed her super-fro to the world! 
Pictured with celeb hairstylist, Kim Kimble, Brandy snapped a photo of her super huge natural fro. I'm sure this was before a new weave/wig installation, but nevertheless, it's cool to see our fave celebs rocking that relaxer-free lifestyle! Yeah!

Jul 10, 2013

CELEB STYLE: Nicole Ari Parker rocks a textured up-do

During my BET Awards style coverage, I don't know how I missed Nicole Ari Parker rocking this amazing up-do. Nicole walked the red carpet with husband, Boris Kodjoe. Her hair was styled by celebrity stylist, Felicia Leatherwood - natural hair stylist for Jill Scott, Model-Tomiko Fraser, and Will Smith. She's the person celebs go to when they rock their natural style.  Well she did that!

Follow Felicia on Facebook. She posts often especially about her natural haircare forums, Loving Your Hair With Natural Care.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo

Some time ago, I discovered that some of the products I used when I had a relaxer, continue to work well for me now that I'm relaxer free. Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo is one of those products. From the website:
This creamy formula is enriched with humectants to help retain moisture as well as protein and smoothing agents to improve manageability, shine and softness. ApHogee Deep Moisture Shampoo helps styles last longer and imparts elasticity and vibrancy to dry, lifeless hair. Safe for daily use as well as on extensions, weaves and hair color. 
I've been a fan of ApHogee products for a long time. My stylist would use the two-step protein treatment on my relaxed hair. My hair loves protein, so if your hair is protein sensitve, you may not want to try this line of products. The ApHogee system is designed to aid in giving you hair strength after environmental damage. I often recommend Aphogee products to friends who have color treatments, breakage, and/or dull hair.

Curly Extensions installed using the crochet method
So, I've had my hair in a protective style for a better part of the summer. Using synthetic hair for your installation is great way to cut costs and have a fun style. Extensions are a great way to play with color as well. Above, Amber (our new writer), installed these curly extensions using the crochet method. My hair is cornrowed underneath and the pieces are intertwined to achieve the fullness and style I wanted. But with using extensions, you must remember to take care of your REAL HAIR. That's why I turned to the ApHogee shampoo.

The formula is EXTRA moisturizing and I knew it could get within each cornrow, cleanse the hair follicle, and add moisture and softness. Plus, the shampoo smells really good, the formula is super creamy, and washed out easily without leaving residue. And, ApHogee Deep Moisture Shampoo is suggested to use on synthetic and human hair extensions! GENIUS! I follow-up with Pantene Natural Conditioner and a homemade coconut & castor oil mixture to seal in the moisture. This routine lets me know my hair is conditioned and clean under my install.

ApHogee Deep Moisture Shampoo is available at most neighborhood hair stores and Sally Beauty supply. The price is around 5.99 for a big 16oz bottle. One bottle usually lasts me six months - you don't need a lot to get the cleansing results. I will say that this is NOT A NATURAL shampoo. It has lots of sulfates and a high fragrance. If you are going the more natural route when dealing with you hair, this is not the shampoo for you.

However, if you are open to trying a shampoo with a good mixture of chemical support and natural ingredients, try this product. The formula touts Evening Primrose oil as one if its natural ingredients.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Jul 9, 2013

HAIR LUST: Purple Fro Twist-Out

Is this girl not the cutest!! I'm loving her free-flowing purple fro. If you dind't know, our new writer, Amber, is rocking purple curls right now. I'm so jealous! In the fall I definitely want to play around with adding  color to my hair. Anyway, there's nothing like letting you fro fly free, especially during these summer months. Embrace it.

Jul 8, 2013

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Creamy Crack Part II

Changing my routine over the past month revealed an addiction I did not realize I had.  I left the world of relaxers only to find new creamy crack: cream conditioners.  I traded cream conditioners for hot oil treatments over the last month and am very pleased with the difference.  I have always been a fan of oils, but there was still a part of me that felt as if I weren't conditioning my locs if I didn't use a "regular" conditioner periodically.

My hair feels so free and light now that I've adopted oils for all of my conditioning treatments.
When I noticed the difference between my locs feeling "soft" and feeling "weak" after conditioning, I did a bit of research and found out I was late to the party.  It seems that more and more people with locs are turning to oils for conditioning as well.  I also realized this could be a huge contributing factor to the thinning I was experiencing with my hair.  

Black Earth Products Enhancing Herbal Conditioner: My favorite of my addictions.

I could knew some of the conditioners didn't work well for me, so I decided they were off my product list and moved on.  I didn't think to look at the type of conditioner in general.  A few more trips through Google and I found Yannie The Locologist who hosts weekly hot oil challenges for her clients and readers.  I'm going to commit to hot oil treatments as necessary until the end of the summer and check the progress of my hair at that point.

My creamy fix when I needed it quick and cheap.
I also plan to try some herbal rinses after some inspiration from my hair muse Esosa Edosomwan, I've a also decided to give herbal rinses a try.  I'm sure it will take some time to make a rinse that works well for me, but I'm looking forward to experimenting!

                                     The latest of creamy addiction.

Now that I have a whole new world to explore without looking back, let me know your favorite hot oil treatment.  If you've tried herbal rinses, let me know!

Jul 5, 2013

ROOTS & RHYTHM: Janelle Monae - "Dance Apocalyptic"

Janelle Monae as Lisa Cage in "Dance Apocalyptic"

With another single from The Electric Lady, Janelle Monae lets her hair down and "dances until the end" in her new video "Dance Apocalyptic".  The video is part of a short film set in an alternate version of present-day America starring Monae as Lisa Cage, a perfect housewife facing the apocalypse.  No doubt this will be an interesting film, to say the least.

Janelle Monae - "Dance Apocalyptic"
People unfamiliar with Janelle's music will watch the video just to see how long her hair is and I can't blame them. Its kind of comforting for it not to be so perfect for once.  The Electric Lady also parts from her formal look again and gives us some serious footwork obviously inspired by James Brown.  It does my heart good to see her hair move just as much as her feet.

Janelle Monae - "Dance Apocalyptic"

And is that George Clinton giving her a ride at the end?  If so, she's definitely got her ticket to the Mothership.  Why not dance?

So, are you feeling Janelle's new song and relaxed look?
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