Stop Being Afraid: Just Do It!

It is likely that at some point in your life, fear will prevent you from doing something. That “something” could be returning to school, making a career change, relocating to a new city or state, ending a toxic relationship, starting a fitness program, public speaking, starting your own business, or something else.

“Empowered fear is the mighty immobilizer.  tfc

The thing is, you give fear power by “living in your mind,” and the fear then becomes the biggest roadblock you create for yourself.  Instead of just taking the risk and see where your actions lead, in your mind you concoct absurd conclusions based on what ifs, and make  excuses as to why you cannot move forward,

In my early 30’s, occasionally I would see a sista with locs. At that time, locs weren’t as common and they were not viewed as socially acceptable or professional by employers and close-minded and uneducated people. Even today in a more liberal society, some people remain ignorant and believe the style is dirty, unkempt, and ugly.

Regardless, I have always loved their unique and free-flowing ability. Their lack of uniformity and rebel like style is appealing to me. When I see men, women and children sporting their locs, to me, they symbolize freedom and confidence. I especially love seeing Caucasian men and women workin’ the heck out of their locs and can’t stand when black folk of color take issue with them and act like the style belongs to black folk, but that’s a whole other post.

Why freedom and confidence?  Because of the mass confusion and general lack of knowledge about locs, people are often judged, snubbed, and ridiculed for taking a liking to the style.  Some level of confidence is inherent to comfortably and confidently wear the style.  Ask anyone wearing locs. They can tell you about the ill-mannered questions, statements, and odd looks they receive.

Nearly three years ago, when my son began his Loc journey, a woman thought she needed to correct me about decision to wash–that’s right–wash my son’s hair.  Smh! This black woman was convinced that my son’s’ hair would not loc if I continued to wash it.

Depending on the hair, the process can take months… many months. That notion is foolish and makes no sense because the water, I learned from my son’s professional Loctician, help the hair hair  loc),  Included in my son’s’ loc maintenance is always a good shampoo. His hair Loced with no problem.

As I sit and write this, my heart started beating fast again! Lol!! I am one hour and six minutes aways from a new chapter in my life.

While I am writing about the start of my loc journey,

this post is more about overcoming and conquering fears. 

After months of  serious deliberation and weighing the pros and cons of locing  my hair, I committed to begin my loc journey.  “I am expressing my creativity…” Lauren Hill, I Am Not My Hair.What took me so long?

I was afraid. Yep, there goes that immobilizing word again. FEAR!!!!!!

Afraid that I would not like the style.

Afraid of the early frizzy stage.

Afraid that if I changed careers, the style would beome a barrier.

Afraid that my locs would not be as pretty as my sons, my cousins or others.

Afraid that my busy schedule would not allow me to keep up the appointments.

Afraid of what I would look like with tiny coils in the early stage.

Afraid of not looking attractive.

Afraid of looking my age.

When I read over the list, I think to myself, “girl that is stupid!” Stupid but real.  You feel what you feel.

So how did I get over the hump?

Three weeks before my loc appointment, I decided to do something that I have not done before. Install small two-strand twists and wear them to work.

Th twist were a huge contrast to the big puff I wore all summer. Lol! After twisting my hair, my head looked so flat and small. While I was not convinced the style complimented my facial features, I pushed the thought to the back of mind, added more mascara, puckered for my favorite lip color, and kept it moving.. Lol!! The style definitely changed my appearance and this took some getting use to.

Now for the positive. For two weeks, I did not have to style my hair. With my active lifestyle, this was a bonus. As each day passed, I became more comfy and cared less about what anyone thought. I felt free from the daily grind of styling my natural hair.

During the two weeks before my hair appointment, I continued to gain inspiration and knowledge from bloggers and photos on Instagram and Pinterest. People don’t always realize how much they help others by posting pictures and by sharing their personal journeys.

The bottom line is, I simply made a choice to stay with my theme of living an authentic life and to do exactly what I have been wanting to do without looking back.

Fast Froward…

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, my loc journey officially began.   🙂 
The night before my appointment, I decided to flat twist my hair…  Lol!  Bye-Bye products!!


Drum roll……



My coils are so tiny, but eventually they will expand… I am eager.


The first week has been an emotional roller coaster!!   My locs were installed on Saturday. Sunday I worked out and sweated like a dog.  Monday’s hair wasn’t so bad, but after Wednesday’s spin class, I was feeling uncomfortable with all the frizz.  I felt like my hair was going in every different direction.

On Thursday, I wore a loc sock, but I think it was a big fail.  Lol!! 
All week the natural chica’s in the office were so supportive and encouraging. By Friday, I felt raggedy and needed to do something.

My long time bestie was burrying her mother on Saturday and there was no way I could have showed up with my hair all frizzed up.  I looked a hot mess so Friday after work I found a solution!!

Ta-da!!    

I bought this funky wig!!  Now my locs are happily nesting under my temporary hair. During my loc journey and until my locs begin budding, I think I will bounce back and forth, in and out of my wig; it’s so much fun!!

Whatever it is that you’re thinking about doing, just go ahead an do it!  The outcome will mostly likely be better than you ever expected.

Keep it movin!!  🙂


Here Is A Great Protective Syle

The summer is my favorite season to rock my wild and natural curls. I especially enjoy the unpredictability of my hair and how my curls respond to the heat, humidity, and hot radiant sun. The color becomes more vivid and my fro grows bigger and wilder as the day goes longer.

Back in the day when I was permed, the sizzling hot summer days constantly held me hostage to closed windows and air conditioning in my car, and major dilemmas of how to style my hair after a long ten-mile run.

Now, I’m free to be me!  Hairs that are out-of-place are in place and exactly where they belong.  Three years into my journey, I am having more fun than ever.

With September only one week away, it is time for me to transition to the new school year. The spare time that I indulged in July and August will soon quickly disappear. The slots will be filled with strict early morning routines, football practice, home work, dinner, and barely enough time to get to CrossFit. Oh, and I left out my hair in the mix.  Length retention means more time required to co-wash, condition, moisturize, twist, and style. Whew!

So what’s a curly girl to do?  Visit her favorite stylist to find the perfect protective style. I am so excited! I decided to go with temporary loc extensions, styled by the one and only Vicky at KinHairitage.  After staring in envy at several photos posted by KH, I knew exactly what I wanted.

My natural hair is safely tucked away and my new regime is reduced to moisturizing my roots and grabbing a satin bonnet at night.  And the best part…  after a long run or CrossFit, no hair maintenance is required!   Heeeey!  I can sleep a few minutes later now too.  Check out my new style.

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Loving the highlights!

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Styled and photographed by stylists Victoria at KinHairitage Salon

 


Slept in Later

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For me, going to the hair salon on a Sunday is a privilege. Other than a morning or afternoon jog, my calendar stays clear and I consider the day to be my day of rest.

That said, today was the second time that I took my son to the salon (KinHairitage) for his loc maintenance on a Sunday. His last appointment was at 10 a.m. and he was super unhappy about having to get up early on “his” day to sleep late. The nerve of him! Like he works a job or somethin’. These kids are a trip. I really do understand the wish to sleep late, but come on, he’s got a good behind life… He can nap anytime he’s home. Lol! Anyway, today’s appointment was at 2 p.m. – he was cool with the pm appointment.

Three months have passed since his baby locs were started and his hair is progressing nicely. What am I most surprised at? He remembers to wear his stocking cap at night. Even on the weekends when he goes to bed later, he still remembers to cover his hair at 12 midnight. Thank goodness!! Although Tailor still tells me that he loves his hair, his actions corroborate his declaration, which pleases this mom BIG time.

Here are a few photos. Oh, one last thought— already I’ve had an interesting chat with someone whose child is growing locs. She pays substantially less for his maintenance than I (and wanted me to know) and feels good about her choice. However, he “doesn’t get his hair washed. You’re not supposed to wash the hair when locing !” Sigh!! Already the debating has begun, but I’m cool with it.

I won’t judge her and feel as confident about my choice for my son’s maintenance routine. Washing of the hair is a natural process to maintaining any healthy style. If it is dirty and it smells, that cannot be healthy. I’m just sayin’. I will only say that, conjectures and myths exist in every cultural, race, and religion. The key is always to educate oneself on whatever it is you choose to get involved in.

Check out my baby, he’s so handsome!

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“There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it!

“There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love!  I am a whole complex package.  Take me…or leave me.  Accept me – or walk away!  Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don’t fit your idea of who I should be and don’t try to change me to fit your mind. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.  When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.” 

-Stacey Charter

Over one year ago and while proudly sporting a two-inch Mohawk, my son proclaims, “Mom, I want my hair like Malakai’s!” We had not seen Malakai for a few months.  Malakai is a former classmate – same grade.  His friend has the most adorable plush locs that I have seen on a kid in a long time. His locs are maintained by Victoria at KinHairitage Salon and Spa.

I am surprised that during the middle of football season he was thinking about a new hairstyle. Tailor’s request was a shocking because I never encouraged him to wear locs or any hairstyle.   The Mohawk was his idea but is typically partaken as camaraderie among football players of all ages. To prepare for locs, at the end of the 2011 football season, his Mohawk was shaved.  During the ride home, I glance at him in the rear view mirror.

 “Tailor, what’s wrong?  You look like you want to cry.” “I’m sad mom because I had to cut my hair.”

I reminded him that to achieve locs, his hair needed to be cut even.  He understood but was still sad to see it go.

The big day came on Satirday, November 17, 2012.   We were both excited.  Finally after a year of mishaps of so-called “trims” at the Barber, my son’s hair grew long enough to begin the process.  Yay!!!

From across the shop, I hear his jubilant voice, “this feels good!”   I cannot resist a peek, so I quietly sneak over to the shampoo bowl. This is what I see!

Baby locs initial styling  11-17-12

Baby locs initial styling 11-17-12

His smile says it all!  Enjoyment and delight!  There is no doubt in my mind that he was grateful for the experience and look forward to indulging in luxurious shampoos in the future.  While Victoria twisted his hair, he sat content chatting with her.

I watched in amazement.   Why amazed? Because at his age, many children are trapped by the idea of looking like everyone else and trying to fit in.  My son has chosen a hairstyle, which is different from all other classmates.  He is comfortable and confident with the choice.   His choice pleases me a great deal.

How long will he wear his locs?  I don’t know.  He can wear the locs for as long as he chooses.  The choice is his. Speaking of choice… I’ve been asked,

“You’re letting him wear those?!”   “Those!”  Hmm… “ABSOLUTELY!”

I grew up without the benefit of making choices for myself.  As a child and as a teen,

I was told what to wear, what and when to eat, and darn nearly, what to think!

The same person, who tried to “think” for me as a kid, still frowns upon and attacks my personal likes for tattoos, piercings, and other nontraditional accessories.   Lol! Frankly, the thought makes me laugh and want to behave like a rebellious child and get more tats and holes!  Lol!  I refuse to impede my child’s ability to make sound, reasonable, and responsible choices.

Nearly 24 year of parenting has taught me to pick and choose my battles carefully.  The phrase is a cliche  but it is the crux to surviving the teen years. You get to a point, when you ask yourself, how important is the situation?  Is it life threatening?  Is it life altering?  It most cases the scenario is not and is not worth the stress and aggravation.  A friend says, “I’m not trippin on the dumb sh**!”  She’s right.

In the weeks that have passed since his first styling, my son has shown a genuine interest in maintaining his hair.   Before bedtime, sometimes I get, “Mom, can you fix this twist, it’s coming loose.”   Lol!!  I love it!

Victoria at KinHairtage Salon and Spa styled Tailor’s hair wonderfully.

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Shop owner, Victoria, specializes in loc maintenance and does an incredible job with all lengths and hair textures.  Two and half years ago, I started my natural hair journey with ShidaNatural at KinHairitage.  More recently, Vicki jazzed up my hair with color and highlights.  I don’t know if I will ever return to my natural dingy brown colored hair. Heeey!

Using WordPress’s new photo gallery feature, I am working on a post to show my 2 1/2 year  hair journey.

I must admit, I am excited at the thought of my son’s hair thickening and lengthening   He is so cute with his new style! Yesterday was his second salon visit.  He was shampooed, conditioned and retwisted. He told me that the visit was “relaxing.”  Lol!

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Re-twist after 4 weeks 12-15-12

For now, the locs are a cool and a fun hairstyle for Tailor.  Later they may become something greater with more depth and meaning to him.  It is imperative though, that he can confidently and accurately articulate his knowledge and understanding of the cultural and historical aspects of locs.  Too often I see young people proudly donning cultural, religious, and other styles but lack the historical knowledge base to understand the meaning or possible ramifications of their chosen style. We will learn about the history and traditions of locs together.

I am also certain that in the future, if not already, he will be questioned about his hair and will receive ignorant stereotypical and negative comments.  As with anything else, we will talk about specific situations as they arise. Some of the family matriarchs’, including my mother, are absolutely revolted by the site of locs.

“Eeew!  How can you wear that mess?!?”  “It looks terrible!”   Are a few comments made to a family member who is six months into his journey.  The comments are absurd and offensive!

It’s a personal choice people; get over it!!

I told my mom in advance about her grandson’s new style.  I told her to speak positively or say nothing.  Mom did not like my command but it was necessary.  My son WILL receive encouraging and loving support from our family.  Anything other is unacceptable.

So far Tailor’s journey has been positive and encouraging.  His classmates, teachers, and family have shown him much love.  He is confident, has a positive self-image, and is upbeat about his new look.   We are truly blessed and I thankful.


10 lessons I learned from my natural hair journey

Nearly a year and half ago, my natural hair journey began. As life goes, the plan to go natural was unexpected and was not part of my immediate plan. I was in the company of a natural beauty and could not keep my eyes off of her lovely locks. They were gorgeous and flowed unlike any I’d seen before. I asked the name of her stylist and she graciously shared.

Not long after, I sat eagerly for a natural hair consultation with Rashida aka ShidaNatural at Kinhairitage Salon. Never before had any stylist take one hour and forty-five minutes to discuss my personal hair regime. During my session with Rashida, I learned more about hair care than I’ve learned in my lifetime. Cool!  Up to this point and before going natural, I was ignorant to the world of natural hair.

When I saw a woman sporting natural hair, I had no idea that their decision to go natural was just as conscious as my decision to use chemicals on my hair. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I wasn’t totally naïve and understood that the choice to wear dreads (dreadlocks) is a conscious decision. But I’m just talking about the typical (if there is such), afro, twists and what I perceived to be textured styles.

Since I started this journey I’ve learned so much and would like to share 10 lessons that I’ve learned.

1. I learned to appreciate the natural beauty in everything, not just hair. While shopping during the holiday season, I observed a handsome elderly man, who had to be at least 80. I took note of his skin–flawless, smooth, with a rich chocolate tone. I longed for my camera to photograph him. His face wore wrinkles, but I saw beauty in them. Immediate below his aging brown eyes were a thick and even series of wrinkles. They reminded me of the ripples in a body of water that flows after it is disturbed by a small stone. “Awesome!” I thought. I really wanted to take his picture. Later I’m going to invest in a better camera and I am going to take it every place I go.

2. Transitioning from chemically treated hair is a journey! The process is called a journey for a reason. Imagine yourself taking a long road trip across the country. You would use a map for the journey; however, you experience many uncertainties along the way. Wrong turns, flat tires, over heated engines, and a sudden desire to turn back. Duh Tanya! That’s why it’s called a journey. I‘ve experienced all of those and then some. At the end of a journey, to which I have not yet arrived, you would probably experience a rewarding feeling of accomplishment. Pictures, videos, and long-lasting memories capture the journey. The lessons will last a lifetime. So will the memories of my journey.

3.  Appreciate the unpredictability of natural hair and the unpredictability in life.  My hair has a mind of its own. I can twist it the same every night, yet in the morning, the curls move in whatever direction they decide to go. I am a planner and appreciate an organized and chaos free life. However, in life, we cannot predict or control everything, so I am learning to have fun with it. When I’m driving my car and a slow-moving car gets ahead of me, I now appreciate the fact that the car is there for a reason. Perhaps it is not meant for me to be further along down the road. Especially when I’m in a hurry… slow down. Like in meditation inhale, hold, and slowly exhale. The slow-moving vehicle in front of me could be saving my life. I get it!

4. I’ve learned to read labels; not just hair care products, but food labels, cleaning products, clothing that I buy, and more. Chemicals are not friendly to my hair. Neither are they any good for my body, my home, or the environment. I am eating cleaner than ever, but still have ways to go. Eating clean basically means avoiding processed foods. I’m working on purchasing chemical free house hold cleaning products, which is a challenge. Bleach is my go to for everything. I love its clean fresh scent and its ability to effectively disinfect. However, it’s so bad for the environment so I’m looking for an effective alternative. If you have suggestions, please share.

5. I’ve learned to give enormous thanks to my mom for the childhood lessons on gardening. At home, we grew collard greens, hot peppers, green peppers, corn, okra, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, and a few other items. I enjoyed helping my mom prep the soil, plant the seeds, keep up the garden, pick the foods, cook it, and finally freeze it for later. I never thought 30 years later, I would be planning my garden. I’ve convinced hubby to trade-off a small section of his beautifully landscaped yard for a gardening space. I’m siked! I’d better make sure to growing something that he loves because he is serious about his plush, manicured, weed –free lawn.

6. I’ve learned that YouTube is useful for more than watching comical videos.  I never imagined that I would be making products for my hair. Thank you Naptural85!  This is huge surprise. Thanks to YouTube and a huge community of naturals who share their knowledge with viewers. I’ve learned to make products for my hair and ways to maintain healthy hair. It’s actually fun and my hair is thriving! I’ve also learned that there is virtually a YouTube video out there to show you how to do just about anything that you want to learn.

7. I’ve learned that there is a large community of Caucasian men who are very much attracted to sistas with natural hair. Contrary to inaccurate media reports, there is a population of Caucasian men who are fascinated, attracted to, and are turned on by women who wear their hair natural. They are not all attracted to fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. I am no longer amazed by the reactions, but I was initially surprised at the responses.

One day while in a hurry and  buzzing through the grocery store, I almost ran over this tall, pepper haired and distinguished Italian “looking” male. Inches from his chest, I looked up and apologized prophetically. He greeted with me with a huge warm smile, and said, “Oh no, it’s truly my pleasure!” Lol! He was so damn smooth, I was actually a tad bit embarrassed. I’ve had  a few of these experiences and I will argue that it is definitely my hair. Why? Because when my hair was permed, I rarely received the warm and suave greetings, intense stares, and comments that I receive now. Lol! It’s an observation… I’m just saying.

8. My journey of transitioning from chemically treated to natural has taken me from feeling incredibly confident to insecure and uncertain. I’ll explain. Before transitioning, I was comfortable with my desired hair style and never gave second thought to what others thought. At the start of my natural journey, I was very uncertain if my hair was “right,” and how other naturals viewed it. Sounds crazy right? I wondered if my hair was viewed as a specimen that needed intervention. Were other naturals laughing at me? Did they see what I was trying to accomplish, but felt that I was falling short? Those were my ridiculous, insecure, and unfounded fears.

I’ve received nothing but support from the natural hair community. I no longer have these fears and they should not have existed from the start. But I know that fear is a natural part of human behavior. I have and continue to receive compliments from all sorts of folks. What surprised me most? Women have asked me for advice! I am NOT an expert. I just work hard to learn how to work with my God-given grade of hair and to find a regime that is working for me.

9. I’ve learned to appreciate my natural hair and to stop wondering and wishing why I didn’t inherit my dad’s hair. My hard-working dad was West Indian and Portuguese. His hair was fine and straight. He could not have worn an afro if his life depended on it.

As a little girl, I would sit on his lap and gently rub my hands over his head, enjoying the feel of his soft, smooth hair. He seemed to enjoy it as well. I admired the fineness and lack of frizz without the use of any products. I wondered daily, why I needed heat and grease to lay my hair down and he didn’t. At that time, I believed that he had “good hair.” When I met his mother, I wondered even more, what the heck happened to my hair? His genetics are strong; both my brother, my nephew, and I inherited every other physical characteristic of his, except for his hair. We got his physique, his lanky arms, thin legs, and even his veiny long skinny toes—in a headless line up, you know we are family. But not his hair—I’m over it.

10. Finally I’ve learned to appreciate my natural unaltered God-given hair. I realize that my hair is healthier without the chemical. Some hair textures can withstand the chemical process, but mine cannot. For years, I allowed my hair to be permed. After a fresh perm, I committed to a bi-weekly wash, condition, and blow out or a wrap. Slowly but surely, I’d slack off resulting in the predictable breakage.

I now understand that perms are not for everyone. I also under that natural is not for everyone. To each its own and just because I’ve transitioned, I don’t expect or persuade others to do so. If you ask me about or tell me that you’re thinking about going natural, I will share what I know, but I won’t tell you that you NEED to do it. Nor do I judge anyone who chose chemicals. I admire all healthy and well-groomed hair.

Natural at the age of 6

12/2010 Six months new growth (still have texturizer on the ends)

10/2011 All natural - no more texturizer

6/2008 I wore my hair short like this for 10 years. A Barber cut it & I texturized it at home.

Thanksgiving 2011 - Me & hubby