FREE Hair Care Report!!

I know…  It’s been a minute since my last natural hair update, but I am still on my natural hair journey.

For the record, having natural hair has not interfered with my running, CrossFit, and now training for my first Figure Competition.  Once you learn how to care for your natural hair, you’ll experience the freedom that the rest of us natural curlies know all about.

On June 26, 2010, I walked into KinHairitage Salon/Spa and met ShidaNatural.  From the moment I saw ShidaNatural, her big curly hair and her spunky personality inspired me!  Later in the consultation, she wowed me with her cavernous knowledge of the care and maintenance of natural hair.

I learned more in the nearly two-hours that I spent with ShidaNatural than I did in over 20 years of salon hopping trying to get the latest cut, perm, braids or weave.  Where have you been for most of my life?

Three years into my natural hair journey, I credit by knowledge base to ShinaNatural.  We recently chatted.  To my pleasure, I learned that she is working toward launching a book, “101 Natural Hair Care Tips for Curly, Kinky, and Coily Hair- Get ShidaNaturalized!!!”   Hurry ShidaNatural, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book!!

One of these days, I will consider myself an expert on “my” hair.  Nevertheless, I am consistently solicited with endless hair care questions, such as “How did you get your hair like that?”  “What do you use on your hair?” and “Who does your hair?”

To discover the best way to care for curly, kinky, and coily hair, you just have to read ShidaNatural’s “FREE” special report,

“How to Care for Natural Curly, Kinky, and Coily Hair so that you Get the Best Styling Results ~ My Top 6 Tips”

 Happy readings!

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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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My Natural Hair Journey

Two and half years have passed since I started my natural hair journey. As I look back, I am amazed at the progress of my hair growth; never has my hair grown with such consistency and without breakage.

Yesterday while sorting through family pictures, I came across a few pictures of me. In the spirit of the reflecting on the past year and moving forward, I’m sharing a few shots of my hair journey.

Happy Holidays!!


Chance meeting or not?

I love traveling.  Meeting new folks, acquiring different perspectives about people, places, cultures, and simply learning about the unknowns. The opportunities feed my wish to learn.  The same manner that people share with me, I like to do the same.

I am convinced and believe in destiny. The older I become, the more I understand that there is no such idea of chance.

When I experience a calm mental state of being, my sense of awareness increases. I tend to hear and listen to my instinct and inner voice and avoid external distractions.  The state of being grants me the opportunity to interact with people and to encounter what is meant for me to experience.

As I compose this on my iPoodle (Acer tablet), I am sitting in Orlando, Florida’s airport at Gate 31 waiting to board my plane back to New Jersey.

I strike up a conversation with Laura, who looks to be around my age, sitting next to me.   One pleasantry after another we chat and before I knew it, my son, Tailor chimed in on our conversation. He told her about our puppy Alex.  Pulling out his DS, he showed Laura pictures of Alex.  His animated chatter raised her brow and put a huge warm smile on Laura’s face.

“Your hair is beautiful!” Laura commented.   I smiled and thanked her.   She shared a picture of her new puppy, which was being held by a curly-haired, adorable little brown-skinned girl.  The adorable five-year old is her daughter, of whom she adopted.

In less than 10 minutes into our conversation, Laura and I discovered that while we looked very different and live poles apart, we share a few commonalities.  Laura Caucasian with pretty blue eyes on her way to Cleveland… me… well you know… brown-skinned, brown-eyed, curly girl from New Jersey…  had several qualities in common.

So what was the purpose of us sitting next to one another?   Laura has no experience in working with curly locks like her daughters.  She wanted to know how I style my hair and the type of products that I use.    I respect her so much for asking.

To be frank with you, I am often disturbed when I see a child of color, whose parents are walking around with untamed locks.  I try not to judge but wonder in frustration why the adult is not maintaining the child’s hair.  Sometimes I assume that they haven’t taken the opportunity to seek out the answers. Assuming is wrong; I know.

I am so impressed by Laura’s wish to seek out the best and healthiest solutions for her adorable bi-racial curly girl’s hair.  I graciously applaud her.

So many woman of color seek out quick solutions and erroneously and prematurely slap the crack (chemical) on what they perceive to be unmanageable hair of very young girls.  Why?  Because it’s easier than the daily battle of pulling through course, tight, and resistant hair. Because they lack the knowledge of the proper hair care curly locks.   Because our daughters see “straight hair” on television, in magazines, and on cereal boxes and want to look like what they are misled to believe is “normal.” Others want their little girl to have the long braided pigtails with a dozen or so colorful dangling bows.

Still Laura has chosen to find better and healthier solutions for her daughter.  I began to share my natural hair care knowledge with Laura.  We lost track of time and before we knew it, her flight was boarding so our chat was abruptly interrupted.  Time did not permit for me to give her the name of the products I use or the websites, etc…  So I gave her my email address and invited her to contact me to get the rest of the information.  I hope to hear from Laura; there is much for us to talk about.

She was happy to connect with someone who may be able to help and I was equally pleased that along my travels that I could help someone.

There is something innate within me that is greatly placated when I help others.   I don’t know what or why, it just does and it feels really good.

I believe that divinity placed Laura and I in the airport together and our meeting was meant to be. Laura’s desire to seek specific knowledge has put her in a place to receive it. She will continue to gain the wisdom simply by way of quest. My life experiences have taught me this; I know.

When we seek answers and knowledge, the process of “seeking” will draw the wisdom that we desire.

        “Use your life as a class.”
-Oprah Winfrey

 


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