Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Reader Question: Transitioner Learning how to Style

Sietta (Not Pictured Above) said...

I'm looking to transition from wearing sew-ins to wearing my own natural hair again, but I'm lost about how to go about styling it :( I haven't worn my own hair for more than a week in almost 5 years and I don't have a perm so as you could imagine it is very difficult to work with at this point and I am concerned about styles because of this. Also, my coils are SUPER tight and idk what to do with them at this point because my hair has never been this untrained so I know I have a job ahead of me lol. Do you have any suggestions for styles until I can get my coils to loosen a little?

Hi Sietta
Thanks for asking and we're glad to help =)
For starts, I would say it'll be a little hard without a few extra details (Hair length? What look you would like to achieve? What do you mean by trained hair and coil loosening?)but I will give you the best advice possible for anyone in your situation or anyone who needs help learning their new texture and how to care for it.

Part 1 - Moisturize, Detangle & Stretch!!!
As a professional hair stylist, time and time again I've seen women trying to go natural after wearing weaves for quite some time, but feeling discouraged about their "rough, dry, hard" manes. They think they have this horrible texture of hair because it is usually dry and malnourished, and because of this, their hair may also be a lot more shriveled and shrunked up.

Start with a spritzer bottle with water, get some of your favorite slippery conditioner, take your hair in one section at a time, moisturize, detangle from the ends up, and either braid, twist, bun or band the little section to keep the moisture in and your hair from shrinking up again (You can also do this in the shower if it's easier/faster for you). 

Part 2 - Washing
Don't be afraid, moisture and water are your best friends :)
After detangling and moisturizing it should be much easier to deal with your hair now, and if you have a lot of hair you may want to leave it in those sections during your wash. If/when I wash in sections, I will bring a few hair clips in the shower with me so as I wash one section at a time, I can twist and pin it back up so it stays stretched and detangled and I won't need to comb through my hair again....or at least bring a scrunchie to throw it all in a ponytail.

Part 3 - Styling
When it comes to styling natural hair, it's all about knowing the look you're going for, and understanding what your hair will and won't do. Henna and other natural products like coconut milk have been known to cause a little curl loosening, but usually on looser textures. The way we usually go about loosening our curls usually is by way of chemicals or heat damage, as a lot of hairstylists will call burning your curls out "heat training." Know that this is not an accurate method (not a method at all) ladies.

I love the curly look and my hair is curly but shrinks A LOT so I live in twist outs as it lets me have the look of my own curls, minus all the shrinkage. Doing twist-outs, braid-outs, banding, or any other kind of Set that will stretch the hair, should help with your feeling of wanting to loosen your curls. When I want a curlier, froey-er twist out I will do it on wet hair or re-twist an old twist out, and if I'd like my hair to be a little silkier, I'll first rollerset my hair and do my twist out on that. 

Here are some links to help you along your journey:
Tips For Naturals
Creating Textures
Creating a Regimen

I hope this helped, and please, don't ever feel like your options are limited, And Haircare above all else!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Question: Your Natural Hair at the Beach

This coming week is my birthday and I'm off to Virginia Beach! I can't wait to get out of NYC for a bit and spend some time with my sister, her boyfriend and my fiance, and we even like each other enough to be driving down there together - road trip/double date should be fun!

It's not just beach/vacation time for me, I know many naturals are headed off to great places like the Caribbean, and wonder what we should be doing with our hair. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine posted a hair emergency on Facebook because she's heading to the Bahamas and wants to know what she can do to manage her hair quick and easy. Some people suggested a weave but since I've never worn a one I could only tell her what I planned to do for my beach excursions: pack shampoo, conditioner and an oil and be on your way with braid outs, twist outs, bantu-knots and wash-and-gos! I'm not sure exactly which I'll be rocking down in Virginia, but I know those are my options (and trust I will still be wearing a sun hat and sunscreen!)

 But tell me, what's your natural hair going to look like for your time a la playa (at the beach)?

Have a Sunday question? Send us an email at yais.nyc@gmail.com!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How I Feel About You Touching My Natural Hair

There's no definitive answer as to whether or not hair touching is okay. It really matters to the individual; some naturals are all for it, others are against it. I will say I'm not a fan of strangers touching my hair and I don't care what your race is. I've had instances when both white and black men and women have decided it was okay to reach out and touch my strands without asking first. The first time it happened must've been when the concept of "going natural" was still really new; I was a junior in high school rocking my signature box braids and a woman with short natural hair stopped to ask me if all the hair was mine and if I was trying for sister locks - I guess because my braids were so tiny. As I was attempting to answer her she decided she'd reach out and touch my hair. It happened so fast that I didn't really get a chance to react, but I was mortified that a complete stranger thought it was okay to just touch a part of me without permission.
Box braids, Spring 2007
Fast forward to now and I don't allow strangers to touch my hair, I don't care how cool they think it is. I'm flattered when people stop me in the street or on the subway and chat me up about hair, but I will say no if they ask to touch it. HOWEVER, if I have some sort of connection I don't mind and depending on how close we are asking may not be necessary; my close friends touch my hair, will pull it from my face if it's windy or a strand has escaped the hold of a bobby-pin; my sisters touch my hair in both admiration and if they suddenly need to fix it, and my dad sometimes cocks his head to the side and asks "how I get my hair like that" while reaching for a lock of hair, and of course my fiance will stroke my hair absent-mindedly; he even helps me wash it sometimes. Since I view my hair as part of my body, being allowed to touch it is a matter of intimacy which strangers, or people who I don't know too well, aren't afforded.

But there have been a few times I felt it was okay. When I was working with kids last year, I let the little girl who was teased and shamed for her natural texture feel mine to make her feel better;  a few months back a co-worker was admiring a fluffy braid out - this might have been Valentine's Day. She's natural too, but always seems to struggled with her hair and I'm actually not close to her at all - we barely say hello to each other. Anyway, one day I saw her rocking a wash and go with her hair a little poofy and I could see it on her face that she wasn't comfortable even though I thought it was cute. I bumped into her in the kitchen and complimented her on her hair and she suddenly opened up to me about how unsure she had been of rocking her texture and how she always liked my hair (color me surprised that she even noticed me!). So the day I had my hair big and poofy she came up to me and chatted me about how I did it, what products and methods to use etc and asked me if she could touch it and I actually said yes. I was slightly uncomfortable with it, because of what I previously stated about hair touching being intimate, but I really wanted her to feel good about her hair. We're not buddies or anything now but I think I helped her in some way and that gave me some satisfaction.

So those are my views on hair touching! How do you guys feel about it? Do you let strangers touch your hair, why or why not? Let us know!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

That Awkward Moment When Everyone Wants You To Straighten

Growing up, I remember everyone hounding me to straighten my hair. Even in the best twisted style, or colorful hair with box braids, no one seemed satisfied with my hair because they were dying to see it straight. I too wondered what my hair would look like and it was a welcomed change, until I started becoming dependent on it because I thought my hair was too crazy any other way.

Hair is hair and can be changed whenever and however you want. But why does it seem like people are so invested in naturally curly/textured hair being straight? I will never forget this girl I knew freshman year of high school who had beautiful curls; everyone complimented how nice and long her hair was but immediately suggested that she straightened her hair. When she did, they ooo'd and aaah'd over it and said she should wear it like that all the time. I notice when I started putting pictures up on Facebook of my hair straight, I'd get tons of comments of how I had "good hair" how long and pretty it was, how I look more "Indian" and folks wondering why I didn't do it more often. I notice a different grade of comments when I post pictures of my hair curly, the comments are either fewer, or I get comparisons to "insert-random-black-celebrity-I-look-nothing-like." I pretty much made it a thing not to post anymore straight hair pics because of this; now I post poofy fros and my hair fresh after washing. You all know that I have no issues with straight natural hair and I enjoy it every so often, but the comments are not about "oh look you changed your hair" but more of an admiration of what my hair is not. And that's what seems problematic to me.

SP and I were talking yesterday about how people who are mixed are expected to look a certain way, and I've blogged about this before. People act downright shocked to learn SP is Brazillian unless she dyes her hair a lighter color; folks want me to look more "Indian" (or do they mean Native-American? Which is what I actually am) and wear my hair straight. I find it both silly and frustrating that in this day and age, people think that the hair that grows naturally out of your head is "wrong." Again, I don't care if you have a relaxer, my preference is not to have one because I don't need it. Wanting and needing are two different things, and honestly no one needs a relaxer, even if we've been conditioned to think this way.

So, here's to big poofy hair, embracing the way I look and having the freedom to change it whenever the hell I want to!

Straight hair 2011

Night out sometime in 2011

Just washed, Summer 2011

Poofy hair, April 2012

Early 2012

There you have it folks! Basically, wear your hair the way you want and don't let anyone tell you that you need anything! That's all!

My Last Straightening Before Summer Concluded

Here is what my hair looks like straightened after being unwrapped, without having any real bump to it. These pictures may be kind of horrible, but they've been great with helping me track my progress.

As you can probably see, my left side is my faster growing side, and my right side is my fuller growing side, so my hair is a little asymmetrical but I'm okay with that for now. I've been growing out my layers a little before focusing on length, trimming more in the back and less in the front or I would have definitely had an afro mullet by now -___- Not happening. Seeing as how I "big chopped" twice, I would definitely say my goals were readjusted from growing length first, to shaping my hair first. I'm really looking forward to this summer coming and the length I can retain, since last year I dealt with a setback and basically had no summer retention, plus needed to trim a good 1/2 inch of split ends. This year I'm really on my game so nothing of the sort will be happening under my watch. I'm definitely looking forward to those 2 inches I should gain from now until September.
I've gauged that my hair doesn't grow that fast, and I think it definitely misses Hairfinity. I can't lie, I feel like my hair was growing like weeds when I used to take these vitamins religiously back in 2010... My birthday is coming up, I think I'm about to make myself an order...
I've been fully natural for the past 2 years now, so I have more than enough mistakes and set backs to have taught me a thing or two so I can now avoid those issues. I know certain things are unavoidable (Yeah, I mean You SSK's! #ikillyou! You too split ends!) but I'm so happy I've learned different techniques and theories to keep these issues at bay. Aside from any setbacks, I'm also really happy just to have learned my hair, what it likes and needs, the fact that I have like 7 different textures and all of my beautiful hair is in a mohawked section on my head, and my sides and edges will be the death of me. The fact that my hair doesn't seem to grow the average 1/2 inch a month but instead a little slower. Understanding is a beautiful thing.

Looking back at the different goals I've set and readjusted on this blog over time, I wasn't doing too bad with staying on track until my setback last summer. With a quick goal readjustment, I'm hoping to claim full shoulder length by the end of the summer, Collarbone length even, and full arm pit length by Valentine's Day 2013. By this point, hopefully most of my layers will be grown out, so all of my hair can reach these lengths, not just a tail in the back. My hair is really fine, so it also adds to the reason why I don't want too many layers, I want my hair to look as full as possible. My goal is actually to achieve all one length (with probably just like an inch of layering from the bottom for shape), full, hip length hair that is full all the way down to the ends. It might sound crazy, but since I'll be wearing my hair curly 97% of the time, it'll probably still be shrinking up to shoulder length in Wash n Gos if I let it... Plus with my short torso, hip length is jsut about 20-22 inches of hair on me... 6 down, 16 more inches to go! lol

And lastly, I will say I'm uber excited to see my ponytail, as with relaxed hair I never had a ponytail even half as full as it is now (sad. I know). The even better thing  about that is, my hair still has a lot of growing to do so my ponytail will be even fuller soon! =D

I can't wait to see what my hair will look like straightened come September!!! Who out there is Growing with me?! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Momma SP's Natural Hair

My mom came over yesterday for a little moment to chill and I was surpised to see her with her hair in it's natural state. I always thought my mom had some of the most beautiful hair, so of course I got her to go natural too. The last time she had seen her hair all natural she had to be in her early teens... 30 sum' years later, I helped her transition for a year by weaving her hair up, having to chop a little earlier than she inteded because of a matting incident (Lady didn't listen to me, washed her hair, didn't condition or detangle or anything and just threw a hat on. -_- NO.) My mother works a lot and ponytails are easy for her, so since the matting only occured in the back, all of the relaxed ends were cut from the back, but she still has a few relaxed ends at the top/front to be able to pull her hair back into a ponytail.
She came over with a ponytail, that I switched out for a banana clip, picked her curls out, and proceeded to resmooth her curls with a little Eco Styler Olive Oil gel to prolong her style.

I really love her beautiful, full curly wavy hair, and I can't wait to chop those stringy ends off. My mom has very strong, healthy, full hair and I'm soooooo jealous, but also so proud of her for letting go of the relaxer... it was about damn time. She is in her second year of being natural and nearing APL soon, the longest her has been since she was a teenager... She's always had a full head of shoulder length hair, but I think that's saying something about the creamy crack! lol
 Love you momma... And all that hair!!!

When you started your natural hair journey, who did you take with you?!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Question: The Hair Tool You Can't Live Without

Earlier this week at work, I walked into the bathroom to find a co-worker at the sink fussing over her hair. She randomly started telling me that she cannot live without her blowdryer, and she hoped that someone in the office had a spare one so she could salvage a bad hair day. I couldn't help but think about what hair tool I couldn't be without: bobby pins. I lose them so easily and find them in the strangest places, but I always try to have a few on me. In some cases it can make or break a style or I can quickly conjure up a new one whenever there's a bit of a hair mishap.

So tell us, is it your ponytail holder? Your denman brush or wide tooth comb? What's the hair tool you can't live without?

Have a Sunday question? Send us an email at yais.nyc@gmail.com!

My Last Straightening Before Summer... (+OOTD)

 On May 3rd I got the itch to straighten my hair for the last time before the summer hits... I figured "Hey... Cinco de Mayo is coming up..plus I have the itch to see what my color looks like straightened." I had just gotten back from LA too, with their beautiful, even weather so I was still getting used to the fact that the weather was still $h!tty here in NYC! I thought I would leave for a week at the end of April and come back to sunny skies... it was actually colder when I got back -__-
Anyways, A roller set and flatiron later (notice: I can use bigger cap less rollers now!!!), I got invited to a friend's surprise birthday so I set out to join the fun. Without watching the weather. #nobueno
Though I was only going about 5 blocks from my house and it was only drizzling, my hair went from looking like this right after I finished it:

To looking like this by the time I got there, ending up in a little bun on the top of my head so I could look half decent just tipsy going home:

 I wore my hair in a little tightly wrapped bun to keep my ends moisturized for the next day, and went with my trusty 2 buns for Cinco de Mayo. I'm really a big advocate of only straightening once, so once my hair goes puffy on me, that's it for the bone straight look...
 I hope you enjoy my Cinco de Mayo look, I tried to play on the 2 buns and basically go for the cute Asian girl look, lol (I dig cute Harajuku Kawaii Asians!) Looks like I was feeling stripey for the start of May... I guess you could also say I did a little light protective styling, lol

 I will be posting a part 2 to this hair straightening post to show you  my straight hair length check for before summer! I don't plan to straighten again until its not humid anymore... so that'll probably be some time in late September, that should be a great comparison as long as I keep up with the hair care.

After I got tired of the buns, I returned to my regular 2-strand flat twist pattern to achieve a silky, stretched, twist out. Unfortunately my camera died before i could take a shot of how I fluffed and styled, but I promise there will be a lot more fluffing and styling to come =)

Don't judge me! I know y'all were all out there trying get your last straightening in before the summer too! Were you? lol 

**I used the same products for this style as I used in my Rollersetting and Flatironing Natural Hair Video.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This Week Should Have Been: Banana Clip Week!

 Earlier this week, I posted an easy little Banana clip w/ pompadour up do I had done a few months ago, and Curly Film Chick was inspired and also made her own, super cute banana clipped style. I too had been inspired and decided to wear my hair up in a banana clip!

I did the two braids in the front to give my thin/fine/fragile edges a break (minimal protective styling), as I can leave them in as a headband and style around them, not having to constantly manipulate the hair in my hairline/edges. The braids in the front are also great at keeping the front of your hair looking neat and frizz free with out having to manipulate the hair with brushing and pulling to to slick it back.
I was rocking a twist out I had done on hair that had been twisted and banded to stretch after washing, and decided to put it up with a Banana Clip. Using a banana clip is always a favorite and easy go to because they fit all of my hair, aren't too tight, and won't completely ruin whatever "set" I had done to my hair. Wearing a twist out with braids in the front, I was able to easily go from the banana clipped hair style, to this:
Think of options like these for all of you ladies who need the ease of changing your hair from day to night in a cinch. Also for you ladies who feel stuck with limited options, think of little, low manipulation ways to be able to easily switch your style up for the week. In one week we've shown you 3 different Banana clipped hair styles at 3 different lengths, and all are totally adaptable!

Any of you try rocking a Banana Clip this week? Have a super versatile style you like to share? We'd love to see it too... Please send any style ideas to yais.nyc@gmail.com so we can share them too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Ultimate Leave-in: Water

I forgot to mention that I had to re-washed my hair Monday night when I did my pompadour style (which I'm rocking again today, I love it!) because it felt a little dry and it looked a bit dull. I wondered if it was just one of those time when I put too much product in my hair.

So I re-washed with Yes To Cucumbers, conditioned with Pantene Pro-V Dry to Moisturized Conditioner and rinsed it all out. While my hair was wet I sealed my strands with some Vatika Oil, then added some Eco Styler Gel and loosely braided my hair in four plaits. My hair felt (and still feels) soft and shiny, curls are mostly defined, and best of all, still moisturized!

Lesson of the day: Water is a natural's friend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today's Style: My Own Pompadour!

I know I said this would probably be a boring hair week for me, but after seeing my fellow co-blogger/bestie show off her updo with a pompadour I got inspired to do something similar. I have an event to attend tonight and I want to look cute without having to manipulate my curls too much, and a style that wouldn't take so much time. So this morning I got in front of the mirror and in about five minutes I had this style:

This is my version of a pompadour with banana clip, just like SP's in yesterday's post. Basically I just took some hair in the front and gathered it to one side with a little "hump" secured with a bobby-pin. Then I secured the rest of my hair with a banana clip. I'm very pleased with the results! I'm sure anyone who does this style can make it a little sleeker with some gel or something on the edges, I'm just really not the "sleek" type so the fuzzy hairs don't bother me.

Who says that natural hair blogs and youtube videos aren't needed anymore for inspiration? And in this case, your very own blog can help you out!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Long TWA Style: Banana Clip Up-do with Twisted Pompadour

In my latest efforts to make sure to hold my TWA ladies down, I decided to look back through my computer to see what I hadn't posted over these pasts TWA months when I came across and remembered this super cute style.
I wore this to work when I was still interning at Wilhelmina and they were in love with my hair that day!
How did I achieve this style?
  • My hair was banded overnight in 2 ponytails after washing, to dry and stretch my curls. 
  • In the morning, I unbanded my hair, parted and separated out the section I wanted to use as a pompadour, and proceeded to apply Eco Styler gel and brush the edges and the sides back.
  • Next, I put in my banana clip. The easiest way to get all your hair in, is to gather and hold all of your hair as if you were going to use a scrunchie to put it in a ponytail, then put in one side, then bring around the other and snap closed.
  • I then took my pompadour section, added a little eco styler gel for shine and to tame frizz. I stretched the section of hair to the side and proceeded to to do a loose 2-strand flat twist.
  • I tucked the end of it under and inside of the pompadour, pinned to my liking, and voila! Style! lol
  •  It's also a style I really love because you can always easily wear it again, Just remove the banana clip when you come home, tie it down to sleep, and replace your banana clip the next day! Simple as Pie!
This style is perfect for going out, formal or not. You can embellish the sides of your banana clip puff or add an accent to your pomadour for a formal occasion. You can rock a smooth look to the office or go to your job interview in style.
This style can be worn to the club for a fuss free night, or (as it kind of was in high school for me) an easy every day go to style.
I would say it takes about 5-7 minutes to achieve this style and it's a great way to fake it until you make it for us short haired ladies, as a banana clip always makes my hair seem fuller and longer. I use the Goody banana clips (large ones) and they haven't failed me through out the years, plus they don't break easily.

So Long TWA Ladies, would you rock this style? Would you say this would be a Formal, Casual, or Go- to style for you?
I hope this helps!
(My hair was between 4 and 6 inches long for this style)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Boring Hair Week

Happy Belated Mom's Day!

The weather over the weekend was great, but it's rainy and humid again today. I think this is going to be a boring hair week for me; even though I'm always happy to be back to curly, I really have no desire to style my hair. Yesterday I washed and deep conditioned my hair, then used conditioner for my leave-in and added some Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel. I've actually been experimenting with this gel for a few weeks now and haven't made up my mind about it. I will say that my hair is less frizzy when using it, but using it alone I'm not sure. So I just let my hair air dry yesterday which took forever and I had a lot of shrinkage. When bed time came I tossed my hair in a couple of braids and then this morning I quickly pulled it into a bun with a little flat-twisting (single) from the front all the way to the back for a side-bun.

Nothing spectacular, but it was quick and easy. Plus my hair is already well de-tangled and I'd like to keep it that way. The self-trim I did when I straightened my hair was great because I had a lot less breakage when handling my hair yesterday. Also, the product I picked up during lunch last week worked out pretty well. I won't say it was anything to dance about, but it did do a great job and I will most likely be passing this conditioner on to one of my sisters. That's all for my quick check-in, hope you're all doing well YAIS readers!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Between the TWA

Hello all of my beautiful YAIS readers!
I think we've all pretty much established that I (SPstyles) am the TWA blogger on here and Curly Film Chic is the long/full  hair blogger. We didn't plan for it to be that way, as we are two high school friends who just one day decided to start a natural hair blog together, but I guess it totally works, lol.
Anyway, I always wondered why all of my TWA posts got so much attention when they were posts I wasn't particularly excited about... all because I was all too eager to get away from my TWA. The other day I decided to send my most recent TWA post to Curly Nikki, as I thought the feelings evoked from the post here on the blog, might translate to a wider audience, and it did! One of the readers left a comment that totally opened my eyes to a little more of what's needed here in the TWA world, In Between TWA posts! Reader Comment:
"It is soo nice to see someone on here in the same awkward stage that I am in. Though the long glossy meins are great inpiration, I sometimes feel that there could be more catered for up neck lenght girls. Maybe it should be you. Post some more."

And that is just what I plan to do!!! TWA ladies, I, SPstyles have taken a vow to hold you down for as long as I still have this in-beTWA! Lol I'm a hairstylist so please utilize me! I would love to be able to try out and come up with new methods for us In-beTWA-er's! (eew. ugly word play, lol)

Have any Ideas for TWA Hairstyles you've been thinking of and just don't know how to execute? Any Questions concerning anything... Please let me know what you all need, as I'd love to be able to cater my posts and videos to those topics

nothing? really?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stunning Chocolate Afro Beauty In The GAP campaign

While walking my dog today, I was taken aback by the sight of this beauty on the bus stop GAP poster.
Not only is she a gorgeous chocolate girl but how about that Afro! I love how they didn't photoshop her hair perfectly round, nor did they photoshop the texture. Very seldom do we see a chocolate girl, with actual chocolate skin, rocking a a huge full on fro... it would usually be a twist out or curly set of some type, or just cut low... It's so beautiful to see chocolate faces in fashion places, especially Naturally Beautiful ones.

Lunch Break Product Pick-up: Pantene Pro-V Conditioner

Basically I should be confined to my desk when I take lunch, especially when I have the urge to buy something. Even though my hair is straight(ish) right now and it's only Tuesday, I am already thinking about curly styles when I wash my hair this weekend. Naturally, I walked around and found that CVS was having a sale on Pantene Pro-V, and so I picked up two bottles of their Dry to Moisturized Conditioner from their Relaxed to Natural line.

I decided to try this conditioner for a few reasons: one, I'm interested in trying something new - I've been getting a major case of PJ-ism lately; second, I am quietly searching for drug-store products that I can pass on to my sisters. I have three of them, all on a budget in high school/college, and even though we have different textures of hair (save for my youngest sister who shares the same texture as me but with looser curls) but since I know their hair pretty well, I want to experiment with my hair and then let them know which ones they can find locally and relatively cheap that might work for them. Finally, I did a quick ingredients check when purchasing and saw that there's Behentrimonium Methosulfate which is great for de-tangling. I'm looking to use this as a rinse-out conditioner, so we'll see how it goes this weekend. If any of you have tried this conditioner, let me know what I can expect!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hair For The Week: Straight

Good day YAIS readers! Hope you all had a great weekend. I cleaned, cooked, played video games and straightened and trimmed my own hair! Yeah, haven't done that myself in a looooong time. SP is the one to normally do it, and I always feel bad when she does because I have so much hair. I decided I wanted to do something different with my hair and trim it a bit so I can have less breakage (snap, crackle pop!) I tried my best to keep even, although it wasn't my main concern. I blow-dried my hair with a paddle brush using Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (I've been using this for a couple of weeks, review to come) and then used my Soila Flatiron at around 350degrees (maybe a little less). It took me forever and my hair isn't bone straight which is fine with me. My only complaint is that my hair felt dry, but it's since been moisturized with Vatika Oil. I have only used the Soila once so I can't give a proper review, but it seemed to do it's job; part of any styling process is technique and mine is a bit rusty. Of course, I didn't take any initial pictures of my hair when it was freshly done, but it was a little poofy which is the norm for me; after I wrap or pincurl my hair flattens with no problems.

Anyway, I also wanted to share my look for today. My hair is just pulled back with some bobby pins.

I've never worn bright pink especially to work, but I thought why not. A co-worker noted that she liked the look and the black sweater tones it down and makes it "office friendly." I suppose you can also tell from the pictures that I'm a small person and am wearing wedges to give a teensy-bit of height LOL.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Question: Justifying Style Choices

I'm sure many of you who've been rocking natural hair for a bit have witnessed some of the divisions the community has created; some believe you aren't natural if you color your hair, straighten it often, wear roller sets, etc. I remember being startled once by a woman on the train who asked how long had I been natural prior to coloring my hair. I told her I was still natural and she insisted that since I colored my hair I wasn't. I didn't have all the time in the world to explain to her why I felt I was still natural, but I'll admit I felt compelled to do so, especially since she was newly natural and seemed disappointed.

Then, there are those of us who rock twist-outs, braids outs, fros, wash-n-gos, locks, and other natural styles and are questioned by others about "the whole natural thing." One time, a cousin told me that while my hair is cute, why didn't I do the "wet" look when it comes to showing off my curls. I wanted to explain to her that I liked big, semi-defined hair because it felt more me, but then I was insulted because I would never say to her why was she always wearing her beloved Remy hair.

With warm weather comes more BBQs and other gatherings and your hair might be the topic of discussion by both naturals and non-naturals a like so tell us; Have you ever had to justify your style choices?

Friday, May 4, 2012

De-Lurk Friday (We See You!)

We're so happy to see that we've been gaining more followers and more readers to our little blog! From SP and I (Curly Film Chick) we thank you so much! Especially those of you who have been following us for a while. We've been at this for about a year-and-a-half and we appreciate all the comments and feedback we've received.

For those of you who are new, this is a lifestyle blog; natural hair, make-up, recipes, and random thoughts and musings from SP and I about what it means to be young women of color in NYC.  We hope you continue to find our posts at least amusing if not completely informative.

So let us know: what are your weekend plans?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long TWA Ladies: Do You Ever Feel Stuck Between A Rock And A Twist-Out?

Yes, I said Long TWA, lol. I'm sure anyone who's grown their hair out from a TWA before would understand what it's like when you get to that in between point when your hair is finally not 2 inches long anymore... but still once you let it dry, it kinda still is.    >_< grrrr shrinkage!
I would say my hair is close to being full shoulder length,  definitely full neck length already with my nape already crawling past my shoulders. When I wash my hair, most of my textures shrink up to about 2 - 3  inches. My hair lengths range from 5 to 8 inches. If I was to air dry, I would always have a 1 inch looking shrunken up Afro  -_- 
Now That would be fine if I wanted to rock a 1 inch fro. I would totally just keep my hair cute and cut and easy, but since I'm currently in the process of growing my hair out, it's really frustrating to not immediately be able to see my length, I always have to do some type of stretching process: Banding, Braiding, Twisting, bunning, setting, straightening... uhg... I've learned that it comes with the territory but it's all so frustrating. 
I thought I was out of the TWA park but I'm really realizing I'm not. I just can't wait until my hair gets longer so I can stop feeling like I'm stuck between a rock and a twist out.

All you ladies that have or have had a TWA, have you experienced this feeling? What helped you get through these in-between times?

Battle of the Shampoos - Ouidad Climate Control and Yes To Cucumbers (Round 1)

There are two shampoos I've been experimenting with at the moment. On the "high end" we have Ouidad Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo and on the "low end" (drugstore, whatever you want to call a less expensive product) Yes to Cucumbers Color Care Shampoo. 


Before I say anything more, I want YAIS readers to be aware of what I look for in an everyday shampoo. (Clarifying ones don't count, because they shouldn't be used often) I've played around with a few over the years, but I'm a little picky when it comes to cleansing my hair; I don't want my hair to be more tangled then I started with; I don't want my hair to feel like straw (dry and crunchy) or for my scalp to get dry and flake; safe for color-treated hair; it should smell pleasant; my hair needs to actually be clean - I use gels and other products that can cause build-up, but at the same time it needs to be gentle enough for everyday use since I tend to shy away from harsh sulfates.  I don't think these criteria for an everyday cleanser are all that challenging, and with so many products on the market finding a shampoo I love to bits should be easy in theory, but it's not. I really only have two shampoos I go back to, and that's Jessicurl's Hair Cleansing Cream (which I haven't ordered in so long!) and SheaMoisture Rentention Shampoo. So if I know my staples, why am I buying other shampoos?

Simply because I'm curious. Finding a great cleanser has been a product weakness for me, because I will splurge on a shampoo a lot faster then I would any other hair product - which isn't saying much because I'm cheap as hell. So I picked up Yes To Cucumbers at a Duane Reade when I was waiting to have a prescription filled, and then my Ouidad Shampoo came a week-and-half or two weeks ago. Since using them both I have to say initially they didn't leave an amazing impression on me. I was in the shower like #shrugs, washing my hair like I was supposed to - but how my hair behaved after was what left me nodding in satisfaction. My curls were very defined and felt very clean, and yes, less frizzy even when drying my hair with a towel. My only complaint about Yes To Cucumbers is that my hair is slightly more drying then Ouidad.The drawback of Ouidad is the price - I'm not sure I would use this shampoo everyday because of that. Nonetheless, it seems to be perfect for this kind of rainy, random weather NYC is experiencing and will probably be great for summer.

So that's my initial feelings for these two shampoos. I'll go another round of comparing and contrasting in a couple of weeks!