Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Well, I will say Fall has sure let us know it's here in NYC... and for some reason, there seems to be something  about me and blue this fall. Not a bitter blue, but an optimistically bold blue.
I didn't go outside like this... yet.
Coincidentally, within the past month I've rinsed my hair blue/black, fell in love with the Nars Outremer eyeshadow (yes, it's blue), and for some reason I channeled a blue lip the other night. I think her Majesty up there is actually the one channeling all the blue around here because it's looking good with her (you know we're talking about my hair right? lol).

What's your new fall inspiration?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Protective Styling For Natural Hair: The Case For Braids

As some of you may or may not know, protective styling roughly means a style where your hair is given a "break" from a lot of manipulation and/or daily styling. It protects your ends--the oldest part of your hair--and can be great for reducing breakage which means your hair growth can be preserved. There are many options for protective styling and some naturals are all for it while others are against it for various reasons, but today I'd like to make a case for braids.

So yesterday I decided to put my hair in box braids. This time I did them pretty small and it took me a while, especially since I did not do them all in one sitting. But knowing that the maintenance will be quick and easy for the next couple of weeks is most appealing.

The Pros:  Braids can be done on long hair or short hair and can generally be worn without any issues in terms of work environment or special occasions if you are concerned about issues like that. I personally like box braids because I can wear it out, bun it, curl it, and pony-tail it. Braids have endless styling options and if you're creative you'll find a way to make it work. They can last for however long you want them too and you can wash your scalp in the braids if you find it getting a little itchy.  I know some people think they are for kids, but I disagree; just stay away from adding those little plastic beads or bows at the end and it's definitely a "grown-up style."SPStyles and I both wear braids, with extensions and in our own hair. Check out these posts for our styles.

The Cons: They can be annoying to take out and if you aren't careful, you can rip out your hair. Also if you plan on leaving your braids in for a while they can unravel, frizz up, and shrink. And if you are wearing extensions, your own hair may slip out of the braid. And brace yourself for a detangling session once your hair is loose again!

Tips on upkeep: Whether you are doing cornrows or "single braids" a water or creamed based moisturizer followed by sealing with an oil and/or butter should keep your hair from drying out. A simple homemade spray I like to use is water with Olive Oil. Do not forget about moisturizing your scalp either! Sleeping with a satin scarf or on a satin pillow case will definitely help keep that moisture in as well.

Now I turn it over to you folks: how do you feel about braids? Is protective styling for you? Let us know!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Embracing Shrinkage With Two-Strand Twists

It appears now that my hair is arm-pit length and my bangs reach my chin. I'm excited because it felt like my hair wasn't growing and then all of a sudden it has--maybe by the end of the year I'll be creeping to the bra-strap? Guess we'll see...

Anyway, last weekend I washed my hair and decided to twist while wet. My hair wasn't sopping wet, but it's change for me because usually I twist on dry and/or stretched hair.

Now, the reason why I like this set is because it's shape: I twisted the back first so it shrunk up the most and the front sections of my hair hang longer because they were damp when I started working on them. I have a cute bob that I've really been enjoying this week...

my little ponytail
This simple style has made me really think about wet vs dry styling a lot more. I know some naturals prefer dry styling (or damp) because the hair hangs better but I notice that wet styling helps the hair "set" and last longer. I've been moisturizing my hair with SheaMoisture's Hair Milk and sealing (the moisture) with Vatika Oil--which I didn't know gets a little solid as the weather gets colder.

I'm curious, do you guys prefer to style wet or dry? What are the pro and cons for you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hair Crush: Mel B. aka Scary Spice!

 I just know that deep down inside everyone, they loved the Spice Girls! I remember the days of jumping on the bed with my cousin, stereo blasting, screaming Spice Up Your Life! I know some of you can relate to always having to be the "black one" whenever you played pretend, me always having to be Scary Spice... or being teased and called Scary Spice, lol. I didn't care though because I loved her funky style, spunky attitude, and that hair!!! I guess you can say she's one of my life long hair crushes.
One of my favorite things about her hair, besides those seemingly perfect curls and coils, was always her choices in hair color. For the most part they always complimented her and her curls well, in beautiful chocolates, caramels, and blondes. To think of it, while google-ing for images of her, I really didn't come across a photo of her with fudged up hair... Straight, curly, or naturally curly, her hair always seems to exude strength, shine and health, I love it!

It's been a while since the Spice Girls but Melanie Brown seems to be doing well, as she is in ideal shape and seems to be a great mother. Now that she is a mommy I love her childrens hair too and she seems to take good care of it, her eldest daughter with those gorgeous curls, and lil murphy with the adorable Fro-hawk. Some may beg to differ with her shaving her daughter's hair into a mohawk, but she is an adorable and very happy looking little girl so I see no harm in it. You only live once and hair will always grow back.... let's not forget people that her mom is Scary Spice! lol
And don't forget to spice up your lives!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


So again, i was supposed to go out the other night for Fashion Week but this adorable little outfit i pulled together, ended up looking like hot trash by the end of the night so i didn't go :( 
I was so upset because i put a lot of time and effort into my makeup and look for it to suck but whatever...
Color w/ flash
Color w/o flash

I went to Sephora in search of a new lip color to wear out for the night and instead stumbled across this beautiful new eye shadow from NARS called Outremer and I'm in love!!! It was costly at $23 for the one palette, but i love the color, the little case it comes in, and the fact that it includes a mirror. It goes on like a dusty navy if you apply lightly, and if you pack it on it gets as bold as it looks. The image below is the ad for the makeup itself and where i decided to draw inspiration from. I didn't want to use the same exact colors as her, as i had a bit of a different view in mind.
The Starting point of the inspiration...
Below is the finished look, lashes, lightly filled in brows, and everything included and i must say i'm quite pleased with the way it turned out... even though i didn't go anywhere.... lol. I'm not really one to wear much makeup, as I feel like black liner is my go to for best accentuating my features, but I plan to start dolling it up a little bit more from time to time.
This color is looking awesome with my new Blue/Black Fro so this might be my color for the winter!
What do you think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hair Crush: Yaya DaCosta

I think I am a decent looking young woman, but if I had to pick a celebrity to look like I can only think of three woman, and one of them is YaYa DaCosta. Like others, I saw her on America's Next Top Model Cycle 3 and was entranced by her beauty. In addition to being a model, she's dabbled in acting on Broadway and in films. I seriously envied her looks and wanted to be as talented and educated (she went to Brown University, didn't she?) And gosh, her hair always looks great to me.

If I actually had the skill to do a decent twist out, I would totally do my hair like that .

I like that she's usually spotted with textured hair, it definitely looks great with her outfits. Her make-up is usually natural looking too, which brings out her already gorgeous features.

How do you guys feel about her?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Relaxers Vs. Naturals IV: Stop the Hate; Remember the Truth

These days there's so much talk out there about who's truly natural, based on who's been natural their whole life, who has color treated hair, who doesn't use all organic/natural products, and/or whatever other bogus rules people seem to keep coming up with. Who died and made them the Natural Hair Gods who get to decide who is a natural hair puritan and is allowed into the curly gates anyway? Lol
As someone who's been through everything when it comes to hair, both physical and emotional, I've learned that there are lessons far more valuable behind being natural than shunning someone for straightening their hair occasionally or having color in their hair.

After natural hair blogging for a little over a year now, I see that a lot of the same discriminatory issues I see in the black community are occurring in the natural hair community; People discriminating against different hair types, those discriminating against other's choices with their hair. Deciding to return to being natural, and especially being introduced to the online natural hair community, really taught me the real reason behind why I was going natural this time around and the reason why I at this point felt that most other ethnic women should embrace their natural hair too: It's all about acceptance; Learning to accept yourself for who you really are, and accepting others for who they really are ...or who they really aren't ...or for whoever they choose to be. We were and still are discriminated against the most by other races, being the most different, so it really hurts me to see when we continue to break each other and ourselves down when we should be supporting each other and all the differences around us that make us the beautiful and most exotic ethnic people that we are. 

If a woman is natural and decides to straighten her hair for a week, what makes her any less natural? She is indeed natural, and obviously secure enough with herself to love wearing her natural hair and can be outgoing enough to try different hairstyles, straight ones included.
If a woman is natural and decides to color her hair, are her braid outs and twist outs now inadequate because she is color treated? When you're working with frizz and humidity or shrinkage or dryness, is she not still going through the same journey as you just because her hair is color treated? 

If a woman decides to return to or try using a relaxer, obviously she is no longer natural, but even so should we discriminate against her? What are her reasons behind relaxing, and why not learn something from her experience that you can pass on instead of joining the ignorance in bigotry?
If a woman is natural and wants to try or return to relaxer for a different hairstyle for a different period of time, its okay. Regardless of whatever chemical alterations she does to her hair, it will still continue to grow from her roots as glorious as our creator(s) intended and that, she will never be able to fight. There is nothing wrong with wanting to switch it up every once in a while and for the most part, she will more than likely go back to natural sooner than later. Learn from her reasons for relaxing her hair.

Now for example, if you took a moment to understand where the 4zzz (for hairtypers) is coming from, you would understand that a texturizer may be a better alternative for her lifestyle to keeping her hair healthier and from breaking and tangling since the curls are tight. Are you there in the morning to help her moisturize and style her hair? Now as we would all say there are other alternatives and why turn to chemicals, but if that's her choice, that's her choice.

Just for a hairstyle change... Cool, catch you back on the natural side!
Because she hates her natural hair... You should help her to learn that she should learn to appreciate her natural hair for what it is and to accept and love her true self, regardless of how she decides to wear her hair.  
We are no better than those who discriminate against US when we discriminate against each other.
The truth is we need to stop the hatred that goes on among us.
Let people be who they want to be and continue to be you for the right reasons. 
If natural is who you are, then let that natural show love and compassion for fellow people and understand that their journey may be different, but we all cross paths for a reason. Pass on the good word of being natural, self love and love and respect for all things and living beings, instead of passing on negativity and fueling the issues we're still struggling to overcome.
We should continue to promote health for the hair, the body and soul.

Going natural this last time around to me meant learning an even deeper love for myself and a deeper appreciation for the differences and similarities in others, and promoting that all people should do the same.
Don't be a Natural Hair Hitler.
The Beginning:

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Originally I wasn't sure if I wanted to participate in Fashion's Night Out, but just in case, and with fall steadily approaching here in NY, I rinsed my hair blue/black to prepare for the weekend. I decided I wasn't really in the mood to do anything for Fashion's Night Out this year, so instead I fashionably met up with a few friends for drinks. Even though I didn't go to any events, it was nice to see everyone out and about in the city again in the Fashion's Night Out best.
My good friend who i've known forever who always seems to be the style Yin to my Yan... this night we both wore Navy Blazers and Orange lips... who knew?! (I know, I'm not wearing my blazer in this picture... and  I should have taken an outfit photo for you all! Darn!)
One of the coolest things I have to say about that night, was everyone i was with was either natural or transitioning. I can't wait to see what the streets of 2012 will look like... curlies everywhere!!! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Low Sleek Side Buns at NYC's Fashion Night Out

Yesterday I attended some events for NYC's Fashion Night Out with some friends. The city was like one big block party without music in Soho and the West Village. There were sales, gifts, cocktails and fashion shows at various stores. It was cool.

While at Loehmann's, I noticed that the models in the fashion show they were having rocked low, sleek side-buns. I thought they were gorgeous. I'm not one who really keeps up with trends much so I have no idea if this style is "in" for the season but I'm suddenly interested in trying the look:

Even some sleek ponytails like this appeal to me

If you guys notice, I don't exactly wear my hair "sleek." It's always poofy and big; I don't slick my hair back or lay my edges down. I think it's a combination of me being too lazy to do so and that it can be difficult to get the sleek look because I have a ton of "highly textured" hair. I'm going to try this weekend to create a sleek and low side-bun without using heat. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 5, 2011


This past weekend, using my CHI 44 Iron Guard and Silk Infusion Heat protector spray and serum, I blowdryed and flatironed my hair. I then lightly dusted the ends (even though i can still stand to dust a little more) and took off about an inch at the nape to avoid the afro-mullet look that I refuse to let my hair grow into, which also made my top layers appear a little longer.
 I silk-wrapped (wrapping dry hair with Saran wrap and sitting under dryer) for about 5 mins, bumped my hair, and then finished with Aveda's Air Control Hairspray for a light hold.
 By the end of the night, thanks to the bus making the wrong turn and me having to walk like 10 blocks in windy weather, this is what my hair looked like:
So the next day, to avoid adding any extra heat,  I wore it like this:
 Im happy my hair has grown so much and it can almost go all into one ponytail!!! The next time I straighten my hair will probably be some time in October so i will definitely length check then!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hair for the Week: Side Swept Twist Pin-Up

I was bored with my hair yesterday and decided that I wanted a protective style. I checked some of the blogs I follow for inspiration and once again, Her Best Hair won me over with the Vacation Updo. What I really loved about it was the idea of the "side-swoop" with twists. I love bangs and side parts so I decided to use this look. Although my style isn't an updo, the style I did does give me that option:

As you can see, I did single two-strand twists in the back, flat twists on the side, and then a mixture of flat twists and single two-strand twists in the front, then pinned them to the side. Twists galore! I played in my hair a bit, and using bobby pins I also got these styles:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yesterday's Look: The Asymmetrical TWA Twist- out Bob

Yesterday some of my friends came to meet up with me and we decided to have lunch at Crepe's On Columbus (Yum! My favorite!) and head to the Museum of Natural History for a day of free browsing. Unfortunately the museum was closed, but it was fun that we got to hang out anyway... took a nice little walk and just chilled. We were playing around snapping flics of each other but I wanted them to snap a few flic's of me because my hair was looking amazing (of course, because I didn't plan it) and I was getting a lot of compliments on my pants and belt; Compliments of Vintage Emelda and Nadine (my grandmother and mother).

How did I achieve this look?