Daily Archives: November 23, 2011

Hair Crush: Candice’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Oh gosh! Me? I’m a quirky, pop-culture geek who loves to write and adores dancing even more! I have a successful dance company in Texas, having danced in front of thousands (live) and even had our company represent as the featured dancers in the Stellar Award nominated music video, “Lead Me Jesus” on BET! My curly hubby is a playwright and together we’re writing a magical their-story, lol! I’m nearly 40, but always get mistaken for one of the kiddos that dance with me – I’ll take that as a blessing ;).

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I’ve been natural for 8 months of awesomeness!

Did you transition or big chop?
A little of both. I transitioned for 17 months. It was a great one too; I survived mostly on braid-outs, whew! Near the end, my new growth was so coily you could finally see a bit of difference between the relaxed/natural portions, so I bid adieu!

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest challenge was MOISTURE. My strands did fantabulous while transitioning and were never dry; in fact my hair grew to BSL – longest it’s ever been! But as soon as I chopped … the tumbleweeds came a’callin’ :(.  I had to figure out my holy grail, which turned out to be S-Curl Activating Moisturizer, to get rid of the dryness. My hair loves glycerin.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love how it just coils and coils! I love the volume, I love the ease of it. And quiet as it’s kept, I kinda dig the attention I get from it.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I’m a simple girl! I co-wash, shampoo as needed, apply my S-Curl, shea butter or styling product and either let the curls rock out or I twist/twist-out,which ends up looking like stretched coils anyway. Since I dance constantly, my go-to is a puff, which lately has turned into a pony due to growth retention (yea)! I pineapple with baby puffs at night, let them rest under a bonnet or my satin pillowcase and shake loose in the morning. That’s it. I want to get skilled at some of these gorgeous updos I see so many beautiful naturals rocking, though.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
S-Curl Activating Moisturizer, raw shea butter, Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk, Fantasia IC Gel, V05 Moisture Milk for smoothing my frizzy front!

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My pony puff – it never fails me! It’s perfect for dancing AND my hair ornaments because I’m not a product junkie, however I am an ACCESSORY junkie! (Pray for me, y’all!)

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it?
Ummmm … holding my head in curly shame: I don’t. Right now, my strands stay so moisturized and happy, they don’t seem to need it. They’ll tell me when. And I am a major DIY princess, so I learn to do it all through quality advice on You Tube!

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
My life is very fast-paced, so it’s made things easier for me since I’m always on the go and working out through dance. But you know what? We have to watch how it impacts our health and that of our sweethearts in a negative way. Some products absolutely make my hubby gag. I found myself coughing a lot recently and I realized that it may have been what I was letting my coils consume. I love the way it made my hair look … but my lungs couldn’t take it (I’m working on a blog post about that).

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
SO MANY! I should be ashamed! Naptural85, Bargain Princess, Curly Nikki, Nisus (It’s Just Hair), Nik Star and Shelli of course! There are many more, though … I love natural hair!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?
All of the above as well as Simplyounique, 101LadyT, Miss Vaughn and Meechy Monroe. Oh heck: I watch -em all, ha ha!

Where can we find you online?
My blog, The Frizzness (I also contribute to Curly Nikki); YouTube (dance video, not hair), dancegrl7 (Ordered Steps Productions) and Facebook, Candice Ordered Steps Johnson.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I would encourage you to stick with it the same way you would a dream that seems impossible! There are some bad days, but oh so many good as long as you remain patient, figure out what works for you and nurture your tresses. This is your crown of glory, and it won’t fail you as long as you believe in it; what doesn’t work, won’t kill you … try again!

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my story. The natural hair community is a beautiful place to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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October GOC Update: Taylor

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Okay, can you say stunning?! Taylor (Second Wave) didn’t reveal her “gorgeosity” to us in her original GOC submission pics. So, imagine my surprise when I opened her first update to find this beautiful smile and head of hair staring me in the face!

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New cut!

Hey, Taylor here.

Wow, has it really been three months already? Sheesh!

So, let me break down the last three months right quick. Shortly after starting the GOC, I was convinced that I started to see a lot of short, broken hairs while washing and styling and had deemed my hair un-workable for the moment and decided to get my hair braided (singles, box braids, whatever you like to call them). I had those in for about 6 or 7 weeks.

 Pre-braids

Box braids

Upon taking the braids out, the growth looked really awkward with my hair being two different lengths from me growing out my mohawk. So, just recently, I cut it a little … Aaah!

Being a little short of funds, I took a trip to my local Super Cuts for the cut. Needless to say, the little Cambodian woman knew nothing about cutting natural African-American hair! It’s not like I’m a cosmetologist or anything, but her technique was all wrong to me . So, I left out of there with about 3 to 4 inches cut off the top, where a lot of damage and awkward length was, and about 2 inches off the back, where it was longer also, and a trim on the shortest length. I like it though, so it’s not totally ruined.

My routine hasn’t changed much. Products are pretty much the same also:

  • I still wash/condition/DC weekly with Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa, Aussie Moist  and generic brand Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm.
  • Leave-in: Kimmaytube’s recipe
  • Seal: coconut oil
  • I will be doing a henna treatments monthly (I have done 4 already)
  • Still have not found a protein to use.

Sorry, I don’t really have comparison photos right now because of the hair cut. I don’t think I will do an official one until the end of the challenge to surprise myself *haha*.

I hope that all the other GOCers are having just as much fun as I am! We’re halfway there ladies, let’s finish with a BANG!

Perm rod set, pre-haircut

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Love, Love, LOVE your new cut Taylor!  OMGosh! If that woman didn’t know what she was doing, you sure could have fooled me!!

So, it seems salon visits are the topic of the week as I received three e-mails this week about them! I feel a post coming!! 

Wear it in Summer, Wear it in Winter

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It’s time for another fashion trick! So, do you have a summer dress or skirt that you love and bemoan having to pack it away for the winter? Well, hold up there! Don’t give up on wearing those adored items through the cooler weather just yet! There are a couple of very easy ways to take a lightweight, colorful and/or traditionally summer item into winter with a few cold weather staples!

  • Cozy up your lightweight skirts (eyelet, gauze, silk, nylon) with blazers, thin or chunky sweaters, cardigans and turtlenecks (try them solo, layered together and/or over button-down blouses).
  • Wear dark or color saturated opaque and textured tights or leggings (they do double duty by keeping the legs warm too!) under dresses, skirts and tunics.
  • Don leather or suede boots of all shaft lengths and heights (booties/ankle boots, mid-calf, knee and over the knee; flat, kitten, wedge, stilettos).
  • Round toe platforms and wedges or flats work well too when worn with tights.
  •  Add a scarf to keep your neck warm if wearing tops that expose the neck.
  • Use a narrow or wide belt to cinch in voluminous fabrics when a curved silhouette is desired.

So, here is an example of a sundress that I wore in the summer with wedge sandals …

… that I easily made winter-worthy by putting on a short-sleeve turtle neck sweater, a bright narrow belt, black textured tights and ankle boots.

(Two-fer bonus! As far as anyone knows, this is now a skirt!)

It’s as simple as that and it works great with all kinds of winter skirts and dresses, if done right!

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How do you winterize your summer wardrobe?

(p.s. The style in the first picture evolved out of the two braid updo that I shared yesterday. Check out the my Facebook Hairscapades for more pics and … coming soon … a video tutorial!