Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Product Junkie

You may not know this, but I'm a reformed product junkie (aka PJ). It's been a while since I've bought something new, but I have just bought two products from Carol's Daughter. One product is an old favorite of mine, Carol's Daughter's Hair Milk. I've always loved the smell of this and nursed a sample bottle for like a year. I decided since I love this so much I HAD to buy it again. Luckily the Macy's near me has a Carol's Daughter section in the cosmetics/fragrance section! I have not found this in another Macy's I've been to so far, holler at me if you know another Macy's that has this. So, I bought that and her Black Vanilla Leave-In conditioner. I've been using the leave-in as a daily moisture spray while I'm in my twists and I have definitely found a new favorite. Most other moisture sprays for naturals have so much glycerin in it (good for moisture bad for the ick factor), but this one doesn't. I cannot stand anything that makes my hair feel sticky and most sprays do and then I end up watering them down, but not this one. All the moisture, none of the sticky!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Year, New Me!



Okay, so it's an early start to the new year, but hey! I was happy on my loc journey, but the other day I just decided I wasn't ready to loc. I've neve gone longer than 9 mths. natural in all my incarnations and I'd really like to see myself natural and loose after 1 year. So, on Dec. 23rd I took down my locs and deep conditioned by applying olive oil to my damp hair and wearing a plastic shower cap (and two scarfs holding it down on top). The next day I washed with Elucence Moisture Acidifying Shampoo and conditioned with a Tresseme conditioner. I then went through my hair with a wide tooth comb for an initial detangling, I then seperated my hair into 5 for puffs and ran through each section with my Goody (knock-off denman) brush, all this was with conditioner still in my hair. After I put each section in a puff I lightly rinsed some of the conditioner out. I then started with the lower back puff and added shea butter to that section and then just grab and twisted it up.

My master plan is to stay in protective styles for most of the time, since my locs were that essentially and I retained a lot of growth. So my regime for the winter months are to wear a protective style for two weeks (rinsing or co-washing in the protective style after one week ) and then wearing my hair out for no more than 3-5 days, then back into the protective style. I will wash every 2 weeks until the warmer months. I plan to continue to try and use mostly lighter and natural products, that's one thing that having locs taught me I don't need a lot of thick heavy or chemically products in my hair.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SURPRISE!!!

I went to a salon and got loc maintenance yesterday! I really loved my experience, my stylist's name is Stacy and I would definitely recommend her to ANYONE! She works at Urban Nature Salon in Silver Spring, MD. (If you decide to go to her, please tell her Kenesha referred you!)

Without further ado, here are the pics!


BEFORE




AFTER


hang time LOL!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rocking the Loc-Puff!



Hello all,

Lately I've been rocking what's known as the loc-puff. This means that my roots are puffy and the ends are loc'd, it kind of looks like a twistout when I wear it with my headband. I kinda like it, but I know to the uninitiated if they looked at me, they'd never think I had "locs". This loc-puff is the result of rinsing everyother day and not having a retwist for a minute since I still have baby locs. I'll take a pic and post it tomorrow. I'm just really loving the low-keyness of maintaining my hair right now.

Pic 1 is 12/5/08 and pic 2 is 12/08/08

P.S.

I have a surprise in store coming next week...STAY TUNED!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Living la vida loc(a)

Okay, long time no post, but grad school is kicking my behind and I had to get a tooth extracted from a botched root canal. In more pleasant news, I am still chugging along. I actually just did a wash and re-twist yesterday. I am still rinsing almost every other day and I am also budding in the back most definitely and trying to bud a bit uptop. The top of my hair is still fuzzy-wuzzy and comes mostly aloose during washes. I've decided to not keep two-strand twisting the top when they come a loose and instead am doing finger coils there. I believe (whether in truth or error) that continually re-two-stranding them would be futile in the progress of them locing faster. I also have shrugged off the notion that I should re-twist less, my reasons are #1 my re-twists aren't really tight in the first place and #2 it's essentially the same as someone who washes and fingercoils or twists everyweek since my locs are babies, this means that there is no re-twistsing of previously twisted area, I'm always twisting loose hair.

I will try and take a picture of my locs tomorrow, this time I have a side part instead of my usual middle part. I cannot wait until my hair is longer so I can do a re-twist and then bantu knot the twists instead of using clips, this will both make things easier with my re-twist and give me a new style. I might actually try that with the next re-twist since it is getting a bit longer.

Oh last, but not least, as the wife of someone with extremely manicured, shop locs I sometimes feel my husband looking at my head like WTF! LOL! It's funny because he hasn't said anything since that one time he mentioned maybe I should get them restarted at a salon. I guess he learned I wasn't really listening in that regard. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that sometimes I get the urge to go to the salon just to see what the difference is and I might act on that impulse sometime this month or next month. I however will never stop my continual process of rinsing and "watering" my babies, the thought of my short locs looking plastered to my head is not something that excites me in anyway, I guess the thing I like the best about shop locs is the presence of clearly visible partings, which is usually non-existent on me. LOL!

TTYL!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just chugging along...

Hello everyone,

I'm just chugging along here on my journey. I did a re-twist yesterday and wonder of wonders I wore a scarf to bed and DID NOT rinse this morning. LOL! These are firsts for me. Anyway, I'm loving the journey from the retwists to the rinses to the washing. The only question I have is, when I wash and re-twist those that come apart, should I retwist them as two-strand twists or should I just finger coil them like how I retwist my roots? Does re-two strand twisting them impede the locing process? Other than that, things are fine. I can't wait until they all fully loc. I'll add pics later tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's my ONE MONTH loc-aversary!


Hello, I am super-psyched because it is my one month anniversary of putting my hair into twists and starting my locs. I've had mostly good days with my locs and it hasn't really been hard. My only negatives were the first time I rinsed and just wanted to see how a re-twist would look and I freaked when it didn't look like all the lovely re-twists on fotki. Then I went to NP and relaxed after some much needed advice. I then went to you tube to search for some loc maintenance vids and found out how to do it (I'm a visual learner). My next negative actually happened two days ago, my hair hadn't been re-twisted in a while & I know it probably looked a little "wild" and the DH suggested I go to a loctician to have them start my locs. I was blown to say the least! For a while I actually considered it; I then thought about how far I've come and how my babies in the back don't even unravel and I was like to HELL with starting over! I just went, washed my babies, and did my own re-twist. He hasn't said anything else about it, so I guess he just wanted me to re-twist. The thing is, he is a "shop dred" he's had locs twice now and he's always been dependent on a loctician for his washing and maintenance. Where as I want to be a DIY-er. I don't particularly like salons, don't really trust stylists, and like to be in control of what is going on with my head. But because he is a shop loc-er, his aesthetic is definitely more controlled than mine is. In fact I HATE for my babies to be lying down, I think they look better when they're "puffed up", they have more life & character in my opinion.


Anyway, I'm just happy my first month is down. I'm learning and loving it each day! These pics are the result of a water rinse and ACV rinse this morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Re-twist

Morning all!


I did my first re-twist this weekend, at first I was a little anxious on how it would turn out, but after visiting You Tube and searching for loc maintenance videos I felt more confident. So, I went to Macy's to visit the Carol's Daughter counter (which I didn't know even existed until a week ago!). I initially wanted the Hair Milk (I love the smell) I thought it could be a good moisturizer and/or something I could dilute and use as a spray for my locs. Well, of course they were out of it, but they did have a product called Hair Balm. The consistency of the Hair Balm is like a gel/oil consistency, but it melts in your hands almost immediately. Because of this, I thought it would make a great re-twisting agent. I'm kinda cool on using a gel because I'm afraid of build up. I washed my hair before so for the re-twist I decided to just dampen with my diluted Greg's Juice (by Oyin). I actually took two days to do it, but it was because I took my time and several breaks.

Pic: During The Process (Top is the "before" pic LOL!)


Pic Finished


I also rinsed them this morning because I don't like when they lay all flat and I like them a bit "puffy"; I'll post pics when I get home this evening! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Party Like a Loc Star...


Yes, I have started my locs. No, I did not go to the salon. I did them myself; I'm a do-it-yourself-er at heart and why start something with a pro, when I plan on maintaining them myself anyway? So my loc babies were born on Sept. 27, 2008!

The Process:
It took me about 4 hrs. altogether, usually twisting takes me two hours, but I wanted to make sure that the horizontal parts were pretty straight. I also tried to make the rows in the brick laying pattern, so my locs would lay a certain way as they mature. I used Barry Fletcher thick and slick custard to twist. It's a pretty natural product and doesn't cause build up or flaking. The top part of my hair is the loosest and the ends like to splay and not join, so they will probably take a little longer to loc and they will definitely frizz the most. I am making peace with that. To see more pics, please visit my fotki album!

Almost 1 week in:
This morning I rinsed my locs while I was in the shower. The DH thought I had retwisted my hair, he said it looked good. I told him that I just rinsed them in the shower, it brought some life back to them. I'm still trying to figure out what my nightime routine will be. During this week I've worn a du-rag, a loose "wave" cap, and nothing but my satin pillow. I don't like the flatness of the du-rag, but I don't like the total freedom of the pillow. I'm thinking about getting a satin bonnet thing or just doing a loose satin scarf. For daily maintenance I've basically been doing nothing, every other day I sprayed it with some water in a spritzer bottle. Low maintenance and LOVING IT! :) I plan on washing and re-twisting the weekend of Oct. 11th. I will update then!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let it do what it do...

Hello,

Long time no blog. I've been so caught up with life in general I haven't had time to really do much or think much about my nappy hair. LOL! Well, I've decided that I am going to loc up my hair! Yay me. Here's how I pretty much decided, #1 I am lazy. I feel like locs will be pretty low maintenance. #2 I want my hair to show length, to do that as a natural I would pretty much have to wear it twisted all the time, which clashes with my #1 because I am too lazy to twist. So, locs seem like a good answer to that. #3 Have you ever noticed whenever you're reading an article about hair (not in a black hair magazine of course*) that the first thing they say is to think about your hair type before you pick a style and that the best style is one that works with your hair, not against it. Well, if you've never noticed, that is what they say. I personally think that my hairtype would work great with locs. The nappiness should help with the locing process and hopefully I will be fully loc'd by month 6.

I plan on going to Noire Salon, the owner has GORGEOUS locs and she comes highly recommended. My only thought right now is as to whether I want to start with comb coils or two-strands. I like comb coils because they look "loc-like" immediately, but they unravel easily during the washing process. I like the two-strands because they do not unravel as easily and I believe that they take less time to loc. I think I will defer to Noire or maybe not, I see myself really leaning towards the two-strands, the more that I think about it. I also hope that, whomever does my hair sees that they can indeed two-strand my hair.

Once upon a time, I went to another natural salon in the DC area (name witheld) and when I came in, with probably more hair than I have now, and asked for two-strands the stylist was like, "Your hair is too short for two-strands." So, then I say, well I just did some last week. Then she goes, "Oh." What natural hair stylist doesn't know about SHRINKAGE! I mean I came in there with a bohemian fro that was dry, how in the H-E-double hockey sticks, would you know how long my hair is from that? That should have been a sign to bounce, but I didn't. I got my two-strands, but they were MICRO (I did not ask for micro two-strands) and she used a product that was greasier than fried pig fat. But, I digress...

Locs it is, I will hopefully have pics of my starter locs up this weekend. I have yet to make my appointment, but I'm calling in today. This is an early birthday present to myself (Oct. 6...the big 2-9!).

*Nappy Note: Working with your hairtype is an anomaly in the black community because on the whole most of "us" work so hard against it by relaxing it or pressing it to make it straight.

ETA: My dream locs

Monday, August 25, 2008

Watched Pot...

They say a watched pot never boils, so is that why it feels like my hair is growing slower than molasseses?

I KNOW that I'm starting off with shorter hair this time than my last BC, but it's still frustrating that my hair seems to be stuck at a certain length! I'm ready to do a puff and my butchered hair line area (1 inch in) is so short I don't know when that will be able to lay down. Also my Qhemet is not living up to my earlier hype and my hair is not as moisturized as I'd like. I think I'm about to order some avocado butter, I believe that did the trick before. I should have kept better notes when I was natural before because I can't remember what was the best butter for me. I'm thinking either the avocado or the shealoe (not the homemade kind).

I do know my hair is growing though because I was able to twist it, so I know it's getting there. I'm just being impatient!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nappy Updates...






As I type I am twisting my hair....yes at work! LOL! I am currently half way done and will take pictures when I get home tonight.

I am still thinking about locs, but will wait at least a year before making a final decision. I would like to reach my napp-limit, that's the time when I usually get frustrated and UNFORTUNATELY relax my hair. I think my napp-limit longest has been 9 mths. I plan on surpassing my napp-limit and enjoying a lifetime of nappiness!!

I will also not be trimming my hair until I reach my one year mark and I will be buying new trimming scissors for that occasion. I plan on twisting and trimming when that day comes (no loose trimming).

For my birthday I will be getting my hair "done" at a natural salon. I haven't chosen which one yet, but I think I will be getting some jazzy two strands.

I finished my hair yesterday at 3:00 pm because I wasn't doing them constantly. I added pics.


Edited to add pics taken (8/15/08)




Friday, August 1, 2008

Shake Your Beauty Natural Posts...

I love Tia Williams' blog Shake Your Beauty and this past month she has done two posts on products for natural girls. The first is about Carol's Daughter's Hair Milk, which I've used before and loved (esp. the smell), but I haven't used lately and the second is a hair routine of one of her natural friends (she looks like a nappy to me, Tia is a curly).

Enjoy the posts!

Tia Williams is a beauty blogger and former magazine beauty director, and is currently a writer... she also co-wrote Iman's beauty book.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Product Review: Qhemet Biologics Karkady Tea Replenishing Mist


Qhemet's Karkady Tea Replenishing Mist is a spritz for natural hair made that is a water based herbal infusion that nourishes the scalp and restores moisture to dry, brittle hair. And it does just that. I can use nothing, but that on my hair and have soft hair all day. My only problem with it was that the original recipe was too sticky, however as of 3/27, they created a new non-sticky formulation with all of the same ingredients in an adjusted ratio. I have not used the new formulation yet, but I will be purchasing it soon because I am getting LOW on my mist!


Read more...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nappy University


Saw this and love it!


Welcome Alumni!

Educating the African Diaspora since 1419, Nappy University is guided by a need to redefine the collective pasts of those of African origin, while shaping our academic, social, and economic futures. Nappy University is a school of thought.

We develop minds, examine the age old question of "What is Black?" and create Afrocentric mindsets through the process of BLACK LIFE. The lives of Black folk are our classrooms, and our students never miss a day. They have already received their B.A.s because they are born alumni. Now they are simply going higher in their education (i.e. higher education).

We are dedicated to the preservation of the history of the African Diaspora. We believe that all races and all nations have been richly blessed by our alumni.

We seek to progress the agenda of NU though a number of initiatives, most notably, Nappy University Clothing. We welcome all alumni and supporters of NU.

GO FIGHTING BROWN SHEEP!!!
Buy Something HERE!

To Loc or Not To Loc?

That is the question!

I am really considering locing my hair soon (within the next month). My doubts are this:
  1. If I start with combcoils now I'll have a lot of thin locs, which I'm not sure I want. However, I can always combine some if I want them thicker later.
  2. I have a hard time commiting to one hairstyle and although locs can be styled, because mine will be shorter for a while there won't be much I can do in way of "styles". However, I can thrown on different headbands I guess the loc equivalent of a TWA with a headband...
  3. The commitment that locing requires, as I said before I have a hard time with hair commitment and locs are a high commitment style. I guess if I didn't want them anymore I could always un-loc (although that's a heavy time commitment) or BC again.

I also have some questions about what method I'd like to use, so right now I'm researching on NP.

P.S. I stopped my hair growth experiment with the MN; I am too low-maintenance/lazy for that. LOL!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

C Napp...

What's a C Napp, you may ask? I was wondering, too. From some of the posts on NP (Nappturality.com) I thought that a C Napp was someone with "cottony" nappy hair, which I don't consider myself having...cottony hair to me is light and fluffy, although may have no defined curl/coil pattern, however many people who rep C Nappiness had hair like mine, so I decided to investigate further and I now classify myself as a CNappy minus the cotton, with a coil pattern that is hard to define while dry. (pic is my hair Sept. 2006, 5 mths. post BC)

C Nappy Hair as definied by the creator is:

... nappies whose hair would never be mistaken for "good" hair. It's not wavy nappy or curly nappy...it's just plain 'ole nappy hair. We're most likely to be told that we are too nappy to go natural. We're also the ones who at some point in our lives have felt that we had the nappiest hair on earth and wished we had "good" hair.

The most defining characterists of tightly coiled, kinky strands of product-free cNapp hair is that it has no defined curl or wave pattern when wet or dry. In other words, when shampooed, you'd never wonder how to define your curls or cute little ringlets after your hair dries because you don't have any to begin with. Instead, our coils all take their own route and when our nappy hair is loose, freshly washed and product free it takes on the appearance of a thick fluffy, cottony cloud of naps; hence our nickname cNapps.
With the right products and tools, our hair can be molded into styles that define our naps. Comb coils and finger coils are a few styling techniques that come to mind as they're easily done on cNapp hair and can hold these styles quite well. In addition, the ends ouf our twists often coil up, giving the hair a wonderful finishing touch. Other characteristics of our hair is that it's usually thick (but it doesn't have to be), coarse and very reactive to moisture. As a result, many of us experience MAJOR shrinkage. Our hair is inherently dry and extrememly prone to breakage and craves moisture all the time. We often have problems retaining length and cNapps with really long/big hair can be hard to come by mostly due to frustration and a lack of understanding about how to care for our hair. In addition, most of us cannot tolerate mineral oil and petroleum-based products, which can contribute to dry, brittle, breaking hair as well.

Finally our hair has no natural shine to it. The twists and turns of our kinks don't allow light to reflect off our hair, instead our strands absorb the light. However, once again, the right products can make our hair have a healthy sheen, think like a suede material as opposed to a high shine like the sun bouncing off a hard wood floor. While none of these characteristcs are mutually exclusive to cNapp hair, they all come together to give us what we have, the nappy hair that in many instances, no one would ever want. But as cNapps, we've learned to embrace our unique hair and accept it for what it is - and that's "good hair." We've redefined beauty and and the term to mean hair that's growing strong, healthy and thriving. If you can relate to this, you're a cNapp...

Re-training my self...

I have realized I need to retrain myself in how I manage my hair. You would think that with the 3rd BC I would already know that, but I obviously forgot. The past two days I've been having issues with my hair, breakage to be more specific. Why? Because I was just combing all willy-nilly, although I was doing it on wet or damp hair, I was combing too fast and definitely not taking the time to detangle. So, today I just sat down and sprayed my hair in sections with my trusty Surge Hair Revitalizer Plus 14 (side note: WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED WITH THIS PRODUCT? This is my last bottle and I will CRY when it's gone!) and then combed out with a medium tooth comb, this time NO BREAKAGE and no pain, DUH!

In the mornings I'm usually running around trying to get myself and my son ready at the same time that I rush my hair prep time and this is at the detriment of my hair's health and length retention. But, no mas! I think I will start detangling and then baggying my hair at night, which will help retain moisture and hopefully make styling in the morning much easier.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Confession is good for the soul...

I have a confession to make...

I am a certified hair album stalker, yes I am. I love to stalk random napptural hair albums, not only that if I'm in one album and I see a comment from someone with hair I like, I click on her link and stalk her album, too. I can't even count how many fotki "friends" I have.

Okay, major confession...I have a spreadsheet containing my favorite inspirational nappys! Hey, you can't depend on something like just adding them to your friend's list, you need something quick, immediate and with notes. Yes, I said NOTES! I put in notes like, "possible hair twin", "dream hair", and "definitely twin"!

Maybe one day I'll post my complete list, but for now here's a teaser.Fotki Member Sera25...she started almost 5 years ago with a BC and a TWA and now has almost waist length NAPPTURAL 4A/B hair!She is so freaking inspiring and where I want to be in the next five years. If you've ever thought to yourself, secretly in your little nappy heart, my hair will never grow really long because I don't have "that type" of hair...pish-tosh! She is living proof!

Okay, start at the beginning so you can really admire her journey, this is the first year.
Then hype yourself up to see years 2-4...

You can thank me later! :)

Hair Types & Texture, what am I?

According to Andre and an addendum from NaturallyCurly.com I am a Type 4a.
Type 4: Kinky hair
If your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile. Like Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of this strands densely packed together. Healthy Type 4 hair won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will be soft to the touch and will pass the strand test with ease. It will feel more silky than it will look shiny. Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg and the actress Angela Bassett are all Type 4s.Type 4 hairs looks tough and durable, but looks can be deceiving. If you have Type 4 hair, you already know that it is the most fragile hair around. Why? Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less natural protection from the damage you inflict by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening it. The more cuticle layers in a single strand of hair, the more protection it has from damage. Each time you damage your hair — fire up the curling iron, fry it with chemicals – you break down a cuticle layer, robbing your hair of much-needed moisture. I cannot emphasize this enough. It's like taking a wire and bending it again and again. Eventually, it's going to snap and break.Many women with Type 4 hair rely on chemical relaxers to make hair easier to control. In its natural states, sometimes Type 4 hair doesn't grow very long because every time you comb it, it breaks. (Of course, if you have dreadlocks and never comb them or keep them braided, your hair can and does grow quite long.)

There are two subtypes of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an "S" pattern; and Type 4B, which has a "Z" pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z"). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture. But what if your hair has been chemically straightened? How can you tell which subtype you belong to if your hair is relaxed? You'll need at least one inch of new growth to tell. Pull at the roots. If you can see a definite curl pattern, then it's an A, if not, then it's a B.

Addendum: NaturallyCurly.com type 4 readers have found the above description limiting, and somewhat misleading. We offer the following addendum: Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse strand texture. Generally, this hair is densely packed to give the appearance of very thick but fragile hair. 4a hair has a clearly visible curl and wave pattern that ranges from pen size curls to pen spring size coils. 4b hair has a tighter wave pattern and kinks of various size. This texture does not exhibit the shine or silkiness of looser type curls, but instead has sheen, and a soft, almost cotton-like feel. As with other types of curly hair, showing the true length can be an extra challenge, as the hair may grow “up” or “out” before starting to hang down. In its unlocked/unbraided state, type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length. With the proper care and technique, type 4 hair is indeed resilient, manageable, durable, growable and easy to control.

According to the LOIS System I am an OS, Spongy, Medium to Thick hair strands.
LOIS HAIR TYPE SYSTEM:
OurHair.net has devised a simple system to define hair types and to encourage healthy hair as well as a healthy mindset. Their system is called LOIS, which takes away the need for a strict hierarchical hair system that separates good hair from bad hair.

Before you begin, please keep in mind that a healthy, undamaged, virgin hair strand, meaning one that is not processed, relaxed or colored, is needed. Examine Your Hair Strand: Select a single strand of the most common type of hair on your head. Aim for 70%, so if you have different textures, use the most common texture on your head. The hair should be freshly washed without products applied to it and rinsed in cold water. Or, gently rinse a single hair with a little dish detergent and rinse in cold water. Allow the hair to dry on a bit of paper towel so that you can look at the pattern without touching it.

Find Your Pattern:
L - If the hair has all bends, right angles and folds with little to no curve then you are daughter L.
O - If the strand is rolled up into the shape of one or several zeros like a spiral, then you are daughter O.
I - If the hair lies mostly flat with no distinctive curve or bend you are daughter I.
S - If the strand looks like a wavy line with hills and valleys then you are daughter S.
You may have a combination of the LOIS letters, possibly with one dominant. If you cannot see one letter over the others, then combine the letters. Example: LO or IL or OS.

Find Your Strand size: A strand of frayed thread is about the thickness of a medium sized strand of human hair. If your strand is larger than this, then your hair is thick. If your strand is smaller than this, hair is thin, or fine.

Find Your Texture:
Thready - Hair as a low sheen, with high shine if the hair is held taut (as in a braid), with low frizz. Wets easily but water dries out quickly.
Wiry - Hair has a sparkly sheen, with low shine and low frizz. Water beads up or bounces off the hair strands. Hair never seems to get fully wet.
Cottony - Hair has a low sheen, a high shine if the hair is held taunt and has high frizz. Absorbs water quickly but does not get thoroughly wet very fast.
Spongy - Hair has a high sheen with low shine with a compacted looking frizz. Absorbs water before it gets thoroughly wet.
Silky - Hair has low sheen, a very high shine, with a lot or low frizz. Easily wets in water.

Shine is a sharp reflection of light while Sheen is a dull reflection of light

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Napptural Celeb: Esperanza Spalding


If “esperanza” is the Spanish word for hope, then bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name at birth. Blessed with uncanny instrumental chops, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and a natural beauty that borders on the hypnotic, the 23-year-old prodigy-turned-pro might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music.“She is an irresistible performer,” says The Seattle Times. “She sings and plays bass at the same time and does a sort of interpretive dance as she plays…Her analysis of what’s going on in jazz today is perceptive.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Growth Scheme...

I am not usually one to immediately jump on growth scheme bandwagons, I bought MTG about 3 yrs. ago and only used it once because of the smell, I've used Growth Specifics Sulfur Oil and I liked that pretty much, but the price has gone up a lot, so no. So, now I'm going to jump on a very controversial hair growth bandwagon.

MN (Miconazole Nitrate) also known as the active ingredient in Monistat...yes THAT Monistat. Now you might be thinking, esp. if you're new to this hair business, what does Monistat have to do with growing hair? Miconazole Nitrate is an anti-fungal ingredient (like Sulfur), the theory is that there is a fungus on our scalps that inhibits hair growth, when you remove the fungus your hair grows more.

What really motivated me to jump on this bandwagon after hearing about it for at least two years is this woman's fotki: http://public.fotki.com/thecreativelady/my-mn-results-revea/ Her before and after results CANNOT be denied. I will not use the exact mixture that this woman does, I believe the cayenne is not needed and I will not add any sulfur products to gauge the efficacy of the Miconazole Nitrate without any other added "growth aids". I plan to mix mine with Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil (ingredients: Castor Oil, Mink Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Jojoba Oil, Paraffin Oil, Safflower Oil], Lanolin, Cocoa Butter, Propylparaben, Fragrance).

I plan on using it every other day after I co-wash my hair at night. I will keep everyone updated on my progress! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nap Love During Independence Weekend

This weekend I went over my bff's house and her mother-in-law told me that I look younger with my hair like this. :) She also told me that when she is 60 (65?) that she is going to cut all her relaxed hair off and wear her hair very short. She also told me that her son is always getting on her about having relaxed hair (he is very pro-black).

My bff has gorgeous locs and so does her husband. oh and now her brother is growing out his hair to loc as well. And on a personal note, my husband has locs as well. I've definitely been thinking about locing my hair in the future, but it will have to wait until after my 1 yr. nappiversary. I've promised myself, no cutting, dying (with chemicals), or locing until after 1 yr.

On another note and kind of unrelated, I feel like my hair is not growing as fast as it used to. I don't know if it's because this time I started off with the least amount of hair I've ever BC'd to and so the month by month comparison is thrown off OR if my hair is actually growing slower. I dunno.

Pics of my hair immediately post BC (May 13, 08) =====>




Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nap News: Entrepreneurs reclaim black hair care market with niche products for newly coveted kinks

Entrepreneurs reclaim black hair care market with niche products for newly coveted kinks
By: DIONNE WALKER - Associated Press Friday, February 29, 2008 7:32 PM PST

BALTIMORE -- Hunched over folding tables in their Baltimore basement, Pierre and Jamyla Bennu put the "hand" in Oyin Handmade, meticulously squeezing droplets of oil into amber-colored bottles of "Juices and Berries" hair tonic. They spend up to 18 hours a day concocting products aimed largely at black women who've abandoned hair straighteners for their natural locks -- fragile coils easily dried by many store products. Blacks have long bristled at figures showing the billion-dollar black hair care products market led by white firms. But as black women frustrated with chemical damage reconsider straightening their hair, black-owned mini-companies like Oyin have emerged as go-to sources of organic products, capitalizing on their firsthand knowledge of ethnic hair to return the market to its roots.

"There's an empowerment aspect," explained Jamyla Bennu, who started out making products for her own "natural," or chemically untreated, hair. Oyin's products average $10 and rely on shea butter, honey and other cupboard ingredients. The Bennus ship more than 100 orders weekly, each averaging $40.

"I used to go to the post office once or twice a week on my bicycle," she said. "(Now) three or four times a week, the post office picks up five or eight bins of packages from us."
Krika Bradsher began her business, My Honey Child, after years styling natural hair in her Raleigh, N.C. salon. "I found out using a lot of commercial products, that they weren't really designed for our hair ... We don't have any say so in designing them," said Bradsher, who earns $3,000 a month selling products like soy moisturizers.


The brands are relatively small, marketed largely through black-aimed Web sites, salons and festivals like Atlanta's annual World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show. Vendors ballooned from 25 at the outset of the 11-year-old show to 110 on average, said founder Taliah Waajid. About 10,000 consumers are expected in April, mostly women lured by the increased versatility of natural hair. "You have a lot of younger stylists coming up, and they're adding creativity and creating styles that can work in the workplace," Waajid said, pointing to Sisterlocks, a popular version of slender, easily curled dreadlocks.

In June, Chicago market research firm Mintel valued the black hair care products market at $1.8 billion. That report named mainstream firms L'OrDeal USA, Alberto-Culver Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. the largest suppliers of hair products specifically made for blacks in the American food, drug and mass merchandising sector; brands include Just for Me, a line of products for children. Blacks, meanwhile, have dominated the entrepreneurial side of the industry back to Madame C.J. Walker's early 20th century hair treatments, explained Lafayette Jones, founder of the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute, a Chicago association of minority-owned hair care companies. They've historically spotted street trends like the Jheri curl of the '80s, he said, marketing them and selling out when business reached critical mass.
But Jones said modern black entrepreneurs have more formalized business training than previous generations, a key to holding on to the reins. Black consumers, meanwhile, have more wealth -- and potential investment capital -- as well as a growing interest in keeping black dollars in the community.


Black buying power is projected to top $1.1 trillion by 2012, according to a July report by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. It placed black buying power at roughly $845 billion last year. It's benefited firms like Carol's Daughter: Chairman Steve Stoute, himself black, credits investments from black entertainers and patronage from savvy black consumers with helping grow the company founded by a black New Yorker to a $20 million business known for organic products that pamper ethnic hair.
"I like to support our black business owners, so if I see someone who is offering a particular product, I'll give it a try," said Angel Shabazz, a Richmond, Va. woman who uses Carol's Daughter on her dreadlocks. Hair is a touchy subject for many black women. Most straighten their hair for manageability and social acceptance, beginning the monthly ritual as early as age 5, explained Venus Opal Reese, assistant professor of aesthetics/cultural studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.
"Natural hair historically has been related to as militant," Reese said. "If you go further back, it's been regarded as unclean and unkempt."


Attitudes shifted in the late '90s, as kinky-haired entertainers like Lauryn Hill challenged traditional black beauty ideals, Reese said. Also influential is the damage black women have seen from years of chemical straightening, said Sam Ennon, with the Black-Owned Beauty Supply Association, in San Mateo, Calif. "The new generation is beginning to go natural because they have lost their hair," said Ennon, who predicted the resulting change in product demands would continue. You're going to see more products for the natural type of hair style," he said.

The Mintel report predicted a 23 percent decline in sales of straighteners, or "relaxers," through 2011, while conditioner sales were expected to increase. Some credit an awakening among black consumers. Activist Duron Chavis said his annual Happily Natural Day, in Richmond, draws 1,000 consumers for an organic product expo and natural hair show -- a modest turnout, but one Chavis said would've been scant years ago. "People have become secure and affirming of who they are as African people," Chavis said. "... They're going natural to affirm their heritage."

Qhemet Biologics has tapped the trend. The Tampa, Fl. business markets Egyptian-themed mixtures of Indian gooseberry and other exotic ingredients under the slogan "ancestral hair care for modern naturals." "I see the renewed interest in natural hair and use of natural products as part of a larger process of rediscovery," said owner F. Butler. "It's a movement toward coming full circle."

On the Net:
Oyin Handmade,
http://www.oyinhandmade.com/
My Honey Child, http://www.myhoneychild.com/
Qhemet Biologics, http://www.qhemetbiologics.com/
World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show, http://www.naturalhairshow.org/

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dr. Bronner's New Organic Line and Aryuvedic Products

Someone on my hair board just told me about the new Dr. Bronner's All-One Shikaki Citrus Conditioning Hair Rinse and boy am I PSYCHED! I've always wanted to try a Shikaki rinse, but I've been too lazy/busy to buy and make one myself. As soon as I try this I will give a review!

About Shikaki:
Shikakai is a natural herbal powder derived from the fruit of the Acacia Concinna tree. It has been used for centuries as a hair cleanser. Because of its amazing benefits for the hair the name Shikakai literally means fruit for the hair. It is extremely mild and has a natural low pH. It is an excellent natural hair cleanser and astringent and also acts as a natural detangler. Used as a hair wash in lieu of soaps & shampoos, it promotes lustrous hair growth, removes dandruff and strengthens hair roots

From the Dr. Bronner's Site:
DESCRIPTION:Our organic conditioning rinse is nourishing and effective without synthetic ingredients, and is certified by the same National Organic Program that certifies organic food. The USDA logo is your guarantee of organic integrity.Organic Shikakai [“Shee-kah-kye”] powder comes from the seed pods of the small South Asian tree Acacia Concinna, and is widely used in India for soft shiny hair. Organic lemon juice, used traditionally in the west, rinses and tightens hair shafts for excellent manageability. Organic coconut, olive and hemp fatty acids moisturize for luxuriant hair.

INGREDIENTS:Organic Acacia Concinna (Shikakai) Extract, Organic Citrus Limon (Lemon) Juice, Organic Coconut Acid*, Organic Olive Acid*, Organic Hemp Acid, Potassium Citrate (made with Organic Lemon Juice), Organic Glycerin, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Organic Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil, Tocopherol (Vit. E), (* Certified Fair Trade by IMO) Our organic conditioning rinse is nourishing and effective without synthetic ingredients, and is certified by the same National Organic Program that certifies organic food. The USDA logo is your guarantee of organic integrity.Organic Shikakai [“Shee-kah-kye”] powder comes from the seed pods of the small South Asian tree Acacia Concinna, and is widely used in India for soft shiny hair. Organic lemon juice, used traditionally in the west, rinses and tightens hair shafts for excellent manageability. Organic coconut, olive and hemp fatty acids moisturize for luxuriant hair. INGREDIENTS:Organic Acacia Concinna (Shikakai) Extract, Organic Citrus Limon (Lemon) Juice, Organic Coconut Acid*, Organic Olive Acid*, Organic Hemp Acid, Potassium Citrate (made with Organic Lemon Juice), Organic Glycerin, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Organic Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil, Tocopherol (Vit. E), (* Certified Fair Trade by IMO)

My Hair Routine/Mini Product Reviews

Currently my hair is in a TWA (teeny weeny afro) and I don't do much. I co-wash at least once a week with Tresseme conditioner, after that I add Qhemet's Olive & Amla Heavy Cream. I think this is a Holy Grail product, it makes my hair soft for days. On the days when I don't co-wash I spritz my hair with Qhemet's Kardaky Tea Spray, which I've diluted with about 1/3 cup water because it was too sticky for me initially. This product smells like maple syrup to me, but the smell dissipates. When I do wash my hair (whenever the mood strikes me) I use either Oyin Handmade's Grand Poo Bar (it's a shampoo bar and not a liquid shampoo) or Dr. Bronner's Magic All-in-One Soap in Peppermint or Eucalyptus, but those can be kind of stripping so I only use them if my hair or scalp seems super gunky.

This is my hair groove for right now, but I'm going to experiment with daily co-washing and see if it jumpstarts my growth, I believe it did before. I'm also in need of regular deep conditioning instead of doing it every blue moon when the mood strikes me. Honestly, I'm looking for a good natural deep conditioner and I have yet to find one, any reccs? I'm also going to start trying some more aryuvedic hair products as well.

About Me...pt. 1

Hello world,

This is my third time "going natural". It seems like I do this every two years now, but I'm praying and believing that this will be my last time and that I will stay natural for the rest of my life. So, I guess the next important item to address is why am I natural.

I'm natural because:

  1. I believe that it is healthier for not only my hair, but my entire wellness.

  2. I believe that in this post-colonial society that natural black hair is vilified ESPESCIALLY in the black community and that maybe I can be an example of it's beauty.

  3. In that vein, I want black people to see that ANYONE can and SHOULD return to their natural hair no matter their hair type, being as I don't have "good hair". (good hair is defined by those unenlightened in the African Diaspora as hair that is either naturally curly or wavy, i.e. closer to a Eurocentric standard - also known as a "good grade of hair")

  4. I want my son to appreciate and love a black woman with her OWN natural GOD GIVEN hair because the most beautiful and important woman in his life has natural hair (that would be me, his mom).

  5. If I ever have a daughter I want her to be able to wear her own hair "naked and unashamed" because she's seen her mother do it all her life.

Why I've gone back to the relaxer in the past:

  1. Laziness (I was pregnant, couldn't do my own hair, and I thought it would be easier relaxed).

  2. Black Hair Matrix* Re-lapse.

  3. Extreme Nap-Hate from family members, specifically my mom who now has been forced to go natural because the perm ATE UP her hair **.

*The Black Hair Matrix is a term coined by Nappturality Member LaBellatrix to describe the lies that we tell ourselves and each other about black natural hair. I will expound on those lies in later posts.

** Back-story coming in a forth coming post.

P.S. My blog title picture is from my BC in 2006.

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