Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
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!!!
I am really considering locing my hair soon (within the next month). My doubts are this:
- 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.
- 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...
- 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
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
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! :)
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
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
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
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
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
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)
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.
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:
- I believe that it is healthier for not only my hair, but my entire wellness.
- 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.
- 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")
- 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).
- 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:
- Laziness (I was pregnant, couldn't do my own hair, and I thought it would be easier relaxed).
- Black Hair Matrix* Re-lapse.
- 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.