Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coming to Terms....

So this has just been on my mind for a while.... I really don't agree with a lot of the terms used to describe ethnic hair and just some other terms in general, here's why:

Kinky, Nappy... ( This also includes "Kitchen" and "Beady-beads")

A lot of people don't even know the words they are using to describe their own hair are offensive, besides the fact they themselves use it in a negative light.
e.g. "Damn, yo' hair is nappy!

nap·py 1  (nāp'ē)   
adj. nap·pi·er nap·pi·est 

  1. Having a nap; fuzzy: a nappy carpet
Often Offensive  Tightly curled or coiled. Used of hair.

nap·py

3   [nap-ee]  Show IPA
–adjective, -pi·er, -pi·est.
1.
covered with nap; downy.
2.
(of hair) kinky.

down·y

  [dou-nee]  Show IPA
–adjective, down·i·er, down·i·est.
1.
of the nature of or resembling down; fluffy; soft.
2.
made of down.
3.
covered with down.
4.
soft; soothing.



For those of you who don't know, I am a licensed cosmetologist. I was highly embarrassed and infuriated while in hair school, when one day we opened the text book to learn about different hair textures and ethnic/black people's hair was referred to as "Kinky, coarse, and overly curly." No other texture was referred to as overly straight or overly wavy. As the only black person in my class, i felt the need to defend our hair in front of all the white Italians, one white Brazilian woman, and another Thai woman who didn’t even see a black person in person until coming to this country about 3 years ago.

Why not "Very curly" instead? A lot of terms and descriptions of our hair can be so negative. I also know our hair should not be boxed into this category because black/ethnic people from different places all over the world have such different hair, not to mention that fact that most of us have mixed hair types. Some people's hair can be tightly coiled but very fine, soft and silky, just like you can have straight or wavy hair that feels very coarse and kinky as well. I know many black people with silky curls and coarse curls of all shapes and sizes and we should not be boxed into that.

BC also know The BIG CHOP!!!
Why "BIG CHOP"?

To me, for those who are deciding to go natural and are cutting their hair really low, it would just sound scary to me if someone told me they were getting a BIG CHOP! I would be like, "BIG CHOP? OMG! That sounds scary!!!" lol I'm sure if a person who had no idea of natural hair and the different labels we give things heard you describe a haircut as the BIG CHOP it would sound like something negative to them too. 
There are so many terms and sayings to describe our hair in a negative way. I think we could have found a better name to call the BC, something that sounds more positive and the beautiful to describe this meaningful and often very emotional/spiritual event. It takes a strong woman to decide to cut her hair down low or short and wear it that with pride and confidence, so i commend you all who have.

Another thing i can't stand about the whole BIG CHOP thing, is when people trim like 3 inches off their way past shoulder length hair and then call it a BIG CHOP.... i just don't see how they would think that is a BC, correct me if im wrong but BC to me just sounds like you're doing something really drastic like shaving your head or cutting your hair down to a TWA. I understand the whole finally going from transitioning to completely natural thing, but if your hair is 80% natural and 20% percent relaxed ends, that's called a trim to me.

I have gone from relaxed to natural at least 4 times, cutting all the perm off instead of transitioning twice.
It felt great to finally part with my relaxed ends and come to peace with my natural hair.

These are just some of my thoughts and feelings, 
no offense is meant for any one person or group.
SP :)

I See Progress.... and i love it!!!!




I was taking down my twist headband this morning that i did yesterday and i really like the way the twist-out was looking. I was really surprised because i have done twists on my hair many times, either single 2-strand twists or flat 2-strand twists and i haven't really liked the way the twist-out would look on my little TWA. I'm finally seeing some more progress! I wore my first pouf and probably in like a month, twist-outs!!!!! Im so excited to see what my hair will be like once i've officially made one year since last perming my hair!

(The twist-out from the two twists in the front, pictured in the 2 photos above)
I just wanted to quickly show you where i started off when i finally decided it was time to part with my relaxed hair on March 14th, 2010. Now, 3 1/2 months and an inch worth of hair trimmed later, I am in love with her majesty that is my hair and  truly enjoying this journey.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lazy Hair


Well, summer is clearly here. The heat, the sweat, the frizz, hot damn! I'm trying to deal with all this hair, I really am....

I wore my hair interesting this past Sunday. I washed, deep condtioned and twisted my hair the night before. I was going to support my friend for the Pride Parade and was running late, so I took out my twists and fluffed it out, and tried to put a headband on, but because I was uber lazy (and headbands can hurt sometimes) I decided to not pull it completely over my head....





These pics were taken towards the end of the night, so my hair was a little poofier then it began. But it was an interesting approach, no?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Henna: The application

My previous post was a brief introduction to Henna which you can read here. I'm breaking up these henna posts because it's a lot of information. This one will be about my experience with the application.


I have put henna in my hair twice already. I ordered Body Art Quality Jamila Henna from Butters and Bars. It comes in 100g foil packs and is a green powder. I did a simple mix: two boxes with about a cup and a half of green tea to make a thick paste....






When the dye releases, which takes several hours, the henna turns brownish. It's supposed to be left in a warm dry place. Some people leave it over night or 12 hours, and others just put it in their head right away and let the dye release there. To get the full effect of a henna treatment (color, conditioning, strengthening) it takes about four hours. I actually let mine sit for a couple of hours in front of a heater to make it brown, and then started applying it to my freshly washed, damp hair. Note that I am using gloves...











The more henna on your hair the better, I mean they suggest for it to be caked on. Two boxes was just enough to cover my hair, but not enough to cake my strands like I wanted. I applied the henna and then wrapped it with saran wrap. The first time I did it, I actually had errands to run so I had to put a big ass hat on my head and go to the store, but I left it in my hair for about 5 hrs.






NOTE: Henna is quite messy. I would recommend putting newspaper down and having paper towels nearby. Don't freak out if it gets on the skin, it's not a big deal just wipe it off. If you don't wipe it off right away, it'll stain your skin an orange color but will go away after a few days. Also, if you are hestitant about trying it, be sure to test a shed hair (from your hairbrush or something).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Perfect Day! (Concert, Accessories and More!)

I woke up yesterday morning feeling so bored with my hair, feeling like it was entirely too short to do anything with it and to my surprise, i learned i can do a pouf now!!! 
* I'd like to give a special shout out to KCCC for holding down the frizz!*

I took the flat twists out, picked my hair out and added some natural whipped Shea butter and Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave In Conditioning Cream, then added KCCC all around the edges, used my boar's head bristle brush (for the first time in months) to smooth everything down, put my headband on and pushed it back to my desired look,then tied it down with a head scarf while i showered, and from this, my first pouf since parting with my relaxed hair was born!

Originally i was supposed to meet with Curly Film Chick for some fun in the sun on Governor's Island today, but i got a pleasant surprise call from my mother saying that my cousin had some Maxwell and Jill Scott concert tickets that she wouldn't be able to use, so she bought the tickets for my boyfriend and I!!!!
What a great surprise!!! (Thanks Momma! You're the bestestessesss!!!)
My Cousin Mo' had just came from Khamitkinks (www.khamitkinks.com) after getting the new growth from her sister locs twisted when i went to pick up the tickets from her, and she was looking so beautiful so i had to take a quick pic with her. She just made 2 years with her sister locks and they are way past her shoulders (as you can see, they were in Bantu Knots) and her skin was so beautiful too. 
Thanks for the tickets cuzzo! (My pouf was all flat in the back from leaning on it on the train ride into BK).  
The concert was awesome!!!!! It was so nice to go and see some real TALENT, as i feel like in this new age of pop music, there has been more and more people making music with no talent, maybe just a pretty face and/or a lot of hype surrounding them.... wont say any names :) Jill Scott and Maxwell really know how to put on a show, that's for sure!!! They are both so beautifully talented  in their own ways, and i appreciate them for always keeping it real as artists.
Unfortunately because of the lighting i couldn't get the greatest shots of Jill Scott but her afro was bangin'!!! (That's a good thing :)


I will also say, i wish i could have taken pictures of everybody cuz the naturals were in full effect today! I was in curls, locs, and afros heaven and i was loving it, as i caught myself staring too long, wanting to reach out and touch people's hair, and even wanted to ask them to take a picture with me, but i didn't want to be too forward. Black people were out looking good and enjoying themselves tonight; The Grown, Sexy, and keepin' it real and natural crowd was out tonight and i felt so proud to be a part of that

I really enjoyed the show tonight and it was such a pleasure to see my Aunty Betty looking as young and beautiful as ever. She is a natural too who is starting her locs over again and they are so beautiful! I wish i took a picture up close so you could see how silky and shiny her hair was. I love it!!!

On another note, i bought some great accessories today!!! While walking to go meet up with a friend in Spanish Harlem, i passed this Native American lady's stand where she was selling all handmade one of a kind pieces made by her... i had no choice but to stop when i saw all the turquoise on the table! I also try my best to support those who deserve it.
For starters, wow! What a gorgeous woman! i wanted to touch her silky long braid so bad, but i didn't, lol.
She goes by Peaceagle and she is on 3rd avenue, between 105th and 106th streets on the SW corner. Please go see her if you would like some amazing pieces! Have a baby? Even cuter than that are the baby moccasins she has (so mad @ myself for not taking a picture).
The feather earrings i bought are amazing!!!! The Turquoise part is suede, the black feather under it is leather, mixed with real feathers and beads.The necklace and ring are real Turquoise and i love the shape of the ring, looks like Africa to me!
I actually wore the necklace and ring as soon as i bought them, and realized my outfit was missing them all along! Unfortunately she had just run out of business cards but i will be back to collect more info from her!!! I had Big Chocolate take some pics of me wearing the pieces i bought from her so you all will be able to see, and i will post some pics from the night in general so you can see how i wore the pieces, how my pouf was over the day,our cool concert tees and all the fun we had! Please enjoy and i hope my perfect day can somehow inspire yours!!! 
(Waves Spinnin' in a candid shot by Big Chocolate) I love Jill's fro on her t-shirt! that's my fro dream.

Friday, June 25, 2010

TWA BLOOOZE

What do i do with this little bit of short hair?
Im bored of the same old hairstyles!
I feel like im gonna have a twa forever!!!!!
This twa is such a snooze
Yup, i got the TWA blues....

Lately, every hairstyle i try, i hate. I feel like a baby with a clip in the front or flat twists in the front and little afroey curls in the back. Headbands usually hurt and squeeze my head so i don't wear 'em often (also cuz of my 5-head!) and i'm tired of just wearing it curly in wash n go's, little afros or little 2 strand twists...  i need some more options!!!!

Exhibit A =====>
An attempt @ a frohawk (Gone wrong, and definitely did not wear this out of the house!)
The curls in the middle/top couldn't figure out what they wanted to do, hang or fro it out, and im not a fan of the mini box of hair in the middle that seems to happen when u do a frohawk on a twa and it  shrinks up... guess i'll just wait until my hair gets a little longer.....WOMP, WOMP.

Until then, it looks like this is my only other option in TWA styling, either my afro or flat twists (besides just wearing it curly of course).
I can't wait to see how my style options change as i gain more and more length!




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Henna




I made a decision to start using Body Art Quality Henna for my hair after reading about it for the past 6 months (yes, that's how long I was researching it!). I wanted to find a way to add some color to my hair without it being damaging. I have colored  my  hair with box dyes mostly with browns and reds but I even had gold and orange hi-lights. The colors were nice and weren't tacky (as outrageous as some  of it may sound) but my hair wasn't being taken care of so it dried out and broke off. (I'm not against using commercial dyes, fyi.) So I started reading about pure henna. Some facts about it:

- Henna is a plant that grows to about 6 meters high. Found to grow in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
- the leaves have red-orange dye (lawsone). There is no such thing as pure "black" henna or "Blonde" henna, they are probably mixed with other compounds that can even be harmful
- Body Art Quality henna comes in a powder, mix it with a slightly acidic liquid (lemon juice, tea, ect) to release the dye 
- Safer to use then commercial dyes. Can also be used over commercial dyes, chemically processed hair (relaxers etc) and natural hair
- doesn't lighten dark hair; rather it gives a shine. Best explanation is CurlyNikki's when she said it's like coloring with an orange crayon on black paper.
-Strengthens and conditions hair.

So since I am a little addicted to color and want to have healthy hair, I gave it a try. I'll write about my experiences with it in an upcoming post, so stay tuned. In the mean time, you can read more information about it here, and check out the results from bloggers who use henna (CurlyNikki, The Feisty House, or Tia )