Friday, December 18, 2009

A Letter to My Hair

Dear Hair,

I am so sorry for neglecting you this year. After I cut you I must admit I did very little. With school, pregnancy, a full-time job, and a toddler at home you just weren't at the top of the priority list. Deep conditioning became a distant memory and professional styling never came into the picture. Oh, I washed you often, but then a quick moisturizing and a run through with a comb was my M.O. most days. Many a time I slept on cotton with no scarf to be seen, but oh have I reaped what I sowed! My hair growth in the past 4 mths. has been the slowest ever! My ends are a bit crispy and screaming for a deep conditioner!

Hair, oh wonderful hair, I promise to change my ways. 2010 will be a glorious year for you. I promise!

Love,

Me

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oops I Did It Again...

I'm back on the nappy side, it's funny but my hiatus wasn't even that long, but I've had three different relaxed styles and lengths since my last post in March!

Here's a visual representation of what my hair has been doing since March:




I'll be taking pics at least once a month again. My plan is to start locs again, but I'm not sure whether I'll be doing it sooner or later. While on hiatus I've found some really great natural sites I'd like to share:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Busy/Lazy Lady...

Hello all,

I haven't blogged in about two weeks, but I've been really busy with life stuff, but I am still sorry I haven't kept in touch. Because I've been busy I've also been really lazy with my hair. Well, except for the fact that one wknd. I got it braided into a faux-hawk (pics in my fotki). So, for the past week I've been doing the nappy lazy girl hairstlye...a puff! I'm loving it though, the only issue is it tangles like the bejeezmus, so when detangle time comes there's a lot of detangling to do. I also henna'd my hair last week. I got my henna from Mehandi.com and I got their Henna for African Hair. Here's a description: This henna has the finest sift for easy rinsing from fragile, damaged, chemically processed hair. This henna is produced for us in the Indus Bhera and Mailsi henna growing regions. This henna is ideal for relaxed, damaged, and fragile hair (whether or not you have African hair). It is the only henna I recommend for locks because it is so easy to rinse out. This henna has good gray coverage, leaves shimmering red highlights on dark hair.
And it was true to it's word, easy to rinse out and a lovely red tint to my hair. Pics to come of the process and my hair. But before I leave, let me tell you one thing, DO NOT USE PLASTIC BAGS in the place of plastic gloves when henna-ing your hair! LOL!

TTYL!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Little History Lesson: Afro-American

The origin of Afro-American is NOT based on the hairstyle. I've "seen" many blacks on the net have issues with the term Afro-American because they said they didn't want to be named after a "hairstyle". Now, Afro-American is a passe term for most for whatever reason, but don't get offended because you believe it's a name derived from a hairstyle rather the opposite can be surmised.

In the year 1890, Afro-American was the term of choice in the African-American publication Advance, which advocated "obtaining for the Afro-American an equal chance."

Afro-American was prominent along with related terms such as Afro-American studies (1970), Afroism (1971), the hair style known as the Afro (1968), and music known as Afro-beat (1974) and Afro-rock (1977).

Afro-American was first used as an adjective in 1853 in a publication in Windsor, Ontario, Voice of the Fugitive. The OED2 lists examples of Afro-American and Aframerican from 1890, 1898, 1910, 1934, 1939, and 1944, the last being a use of Aframerican from an article by H.L. Mencken.

New Do Coming...

I will be getting this hairstyle (hopefully this weekend) I peeped on Goapele from Natural Belle's blog. I've also been inspired by BGLH's blog and her series on African hairstyles this week; I've been told that the Goapele hairstyle is a Nigerian hairstyle called "clap". I'm guessing because it looks like two hands coming together, you see the fingers are the cornrows...oh this is my interpretation of the name, so if anyone knows the real one please feel free to drop a line. I've been trying to google it for more info, but to no avail.










Here's some more Goapele pics:


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Shea Butter, Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol, and Carol's Daughter

Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for my hair. I currently purchase mine from a natural/vegetarian restaurant near my house, called Everlasting Life. I get a 16oz. tub for only $10.00. It is unrefined and I am inclined to believe that this has an effect on it's moizturizing qualities. I've bought refined shea butter before, but never felt like this about it. The only downside is that their is a shea butter odor, my son said it was "stinky" (he's 2), but the you can't smell it on your hair (or skin) when it melts in, so it doesn't bother me. Another thing I like about it is the fact that I can also use it as a skin moisturizer.

HOW I USE:
After I've washed/conditioned/sectioned my hair, I apply about a pea/dime size amount to my palm, rub it in to melt, and apply to the section of damp hair. I then apply a pea size amount to every section in halfs (halve each section when I am about to style). I do not apply any other product to my hair after this.




I'm not a bandwagon jumper, but one of the natural blogs I frequent mentioned Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol conditioner and I decided to try it. Although, the blogger has a different hair texture than me I thought I couldn't really go wrong as I've used cholesterol conditioners in the past with good results. I had also been searching for a new thick deep conditioner and figured this would be a good one to try. I actually bought a HUGE 64oz. tub for $10 at my local beauty supply.


I feel that it does what it is supposed to do, condtion the hair, gives me adequate slippage, and smells nice, what more could you ask for.



I am still using Carol's Daughter's Black Vanilla leave-in as an everyday moisture spray and I love it. The hair milk is still almost full and sadly a dud for me. :( This pic is my hair with the Black Vanilla spray in it, look at that shine. :)






Friday, February 6, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

State of the Nappy Union…


My BC was May 27, 2008 and today is my 8th month of nappiness! I am very excited and proud of myself, if I recall correctly, the 8 month mark is where I’ve usually faltered, but I have no desire to relax or otherwise chemically alter my hair! I will say that I pretty much have a comfortable routine down and I am not deluding myself into thinking my hair can do things which it cannot, nor am I measuring my hair for growth every other day, which I think definitely helps with staying on the nappy wagon. Too many times we get frustrated out of hair envy, growth chasing, and unfortunately lack of support from our friends and family members.

This time on my journey I find myself seeking out hair inspirations that have hair types/textures similar to my own; this helps with seeing exactly what my hair CAN DO versus being hung up on what it CANNOT DO. I think this is a good tip for newbies and vets alike, in embracing your own texture it helps to have idols that look like you. As for growth, I believe my hair is growing very well because of my decision to wear mainly protective styles in the form of twists. I know for some the word protective styles can equal boring, but I find ways to rock my twists differently and add accessories to spice it up. I wore my hair out when it was too short to twist, but since I’ve been able to twist I have been doing that on a consistent basis. I think I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve worn it in a puff since then. It also helps that it’s winter and in the winter I like to protect my hair as much as possible anyway because of the harsh conditions. Lastly, I am happy to say that my husband loves me whether my hair is straight or nappy. In fact, at work he was talking to some women at his job about his own hair (which is loc’d) and they asked him if his wife was natural, too. When he replied, yes, they then go on to say, well she wasn’t natural when you all got married was she, he says no, but I am happy that she is the type of woman that can go natural and isn’t afraid of her natural hair. I am sure you can guess as to what their responses were on why they could not go natural, I’ll give you a hint, their response had the word NAPPY in it! LOL! My family I guess is used to me doing different things with my hair now, so it’s basically business as usual.

In the coming months as I approach my one year mark, I hope to master some new styles/techniques…cornrows maybe? I also plan on having a nappiversary party for myself because it will be a very happy milestone for me; I have never made it to the one year mark being natural, but I feel that this is the year that I will!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Hair Regimen: Washing & Conditioning

Hello ladies!

I always wonder what people do to their hair on a daily basis; I mean like the littlest things because sometimes I feel so inept until I know what someone did to get their hair exactly like that! LOL! So, I'm going to practice what I preach and be more detailed in my blog and fotki. So, here goes:

Wash Routine:
I usually wash my hair only once a week and I only do it when I am going to do a totally new style. I do this because #1 nappy hair should not be washed a lot because it leeches the natural oils out, #2 I like to manipulate my hair when it is wet or damp to reduce frustration and breakage. When I wash I was using Elucence Moisture Acidifying shampoo (mainly because I have a 32oz. bottle and I'm only half way through it), but I will now limit that to once a month washing. I just started using baking soda as my "shampoo" and so far I like it, in fact just last night I used it on my son's hair and I liked it for him as well. After washing my hair, mainly focusing on cleansing my scalp, I rinse well and under the shower stream and detangle using my Jilbere shower comb. I then add my conditioner (currently using: TRESemmé vitamin E moisture rich conditioner) to my damp hair *see damp hair on right.

I then step out the shower and section my hair for my "detangling puffs". To do this I use a wide tooth comb to part my hair, I like to part my hair according to my hair types as well, i.e. the sides of my hair are tighter than the front and middle, so I make two sections for the sides. I grasp the ends of the hair and use my Goody (fake Denman) brush to detangle, making sure to detangle the ends first and then brushing from the scalp to the ends. After I detangle a section I put on a Goody ouchless rubber band on the section to make a puff. *see pic to the right
I will ALWAYS section my hair like this when washing/conditioning/styling my hair. Here is why:
#1: It stretches my hair a bit. *see diff. in puff pic length and washed hair length pic at beginning of post
#2: My hair is freshly detangled and separated this way.
#3: Easier to moisturize this way.
#4: Keeps unstyled hair out the way.

After this is done, I lightly rinse my hair under my sink to get out any globs of conditioner, my goal is not to rinse all the conditioner out, but to rinse enough so it's not noticeable in my hair. I then move on to moisturizing my hair. I moisturize my hair by adding whatever moisturizer to each puff section as I style my hair. My favorite moisturizer right now is raw shea butter that I get from a health food store near my son's school, but I also use Qhemet's Heavy Cream, and Carol's Daughter's Hair Milk.

I will post more details on my styling methods in a later post!

Naked & Unashamed...




My hair that is! Here is my damp, naked hair. I'm on the lookout for hair twins and cousins, is it you?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mighty Morphing Puff!

What can you make out of one hairstyle with out re-combing or re-wetting? We shall see, the first experiment starts with a humble puff and morphs into????



Friday, January 9, 2009

Learning by seeing...

I am a visual learner for this reason I am in LOVE with YOUTUBE! There are so many great nappy hair tutorials on there. Here is my current favorite:



Although there is a difference in our textures, I will definitely be trying a modified version of this. I'm thinking about going with flat two strand twists instead of a simple flat twist and maybe two strands with the loose hair.

Twist Out to High Puff Transition


This is a puff that I made from an old twist out. The day before I had a twist-out with a headband, I slept on that, then in the morning I doubled up a headband and pushed it up. I then sprayed it with my Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In and rubbed some Hair Milk in it. This is at the end of the day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nappy New Year!!

Well, its a new year which means its time for RESOLUTIONS, but not just any resolutions HAIR RESOLUTIONS. So here we go!

I resolve to:

  • Experiment more with styles on my hair.
  • Switch the majority of my products to natural ones.
  • Start using henna quarterly.
  • Use shampoo only once a month.
  • Find my holy grail conditioner.
  • NEVER detangle on anything but soaking wet hair.
  • Always section my hair for detangling.
  • Pamper myself at least every other month with a professional stylist.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nappy, What's in a Name?


The title of this blog is Nappy: The Other "N" Word and you may be wondering why I named it this. Well, I feel like the word Nappy has gotten (does get) a bad rap. Nappy is the "N" word, that most people don't want to be called, oh sure drop a few niggas on a song and no one cares, but call someone's hair nappy and they want to fight you. I'm sure we all know why this is, if you don't here's a quick history lesson:


We are colonized people, the colonizers made us believe that what was most like them was good and was most naturally like ourselves was bad, i.e. They made us hate ourselves and love their wealth - Nas, just replace wealth with skin color, hair texture, hair color, eye color, etc.


This also reminds me of the whole Don Imus Nappy Headed Hos comment. I believe (black)people were more upset that he called them nappy headed, that hos. I say this for two reasons, number one: black women get called hos all day everyday and most people aren't up in arms, on tv, on the radio, on the net, on the street, name a place and a black woman has been called a ho there. Secondly, I had a conversation with a group of black people, men and women, about the whole incident. A black man (Af-Amer. Studies type) said that he believed most people were upset about the whole nappy issue and not the ho issue and cited his mother's chagrin of the use of the word, he says that shouldn't have been an issue because nappy hair is just nappy hair, neither good or bad (only thinking, makes it so - Shakespeare). Another black woman stated she didn't want anyone calling her hair nappy, that it was insulting. And there you go, call a woman a ho and she's pissed, but say her hair is nappy and she's insulted. Of course, I am being dramatic with that last part, but it's partly true. So, this blog is a reclaiming of the word nappy, it's not a bad word, it's not an insult, it's just nappy.


Main Entry: nappy
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s):
nap·pi·er; nap·pi·est
Etymology: nap
Date: 1785

kinky: closely twisted or curled

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Natural Hair You Tube Vids

I am a newbie to viewing natural hair you tube videos, but I am really excited for this to be my newest internet addiction. I'm a very visual person so this will be a great resource for learning how to do new things with my hair and to see others routines.

I thought this girl was just so cute and genuine sounding that I wanted to share her video:



I also have loved this girl's hair on Nappturality.com; here's her video on how to detangle:



I will be highlighting my favorite You Tube Vlogs/Vids each week now and maybe one day I'll make my own!
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