Daily Archives: April 17, 2012

GOC Contender #35: Kimon

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And here’s the other half of the sister tag team that is Donna and Kimon;)!

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Name: Kimon

I stopped relaxing my hair when I found out I was pregnant in January 2010. I continued to flat iron my hair through my transition, but wasn’t diligent with using a heat protectant. My older sister did her big chop around September 2010. She started the search for natural hair websites and blogs. She introduced me to this new information and I began to try incorporating some of it. By the beginning of 2011, I was ready to start trimming off my relaxed ends. And by June, I chopped off the last of the relaxed ends, but I still had a lot of heat damage. I still used heat to straighten my hair, but was more aware of using a heat protectant. By August 2011, I stopped using direct heat and did a lot of roller sets. On February 5, 2012 I did my big chop and I LOVE MY CURLS!!


Day after Big Chop 2/7/12

Goal:
Hair – I would love armpit length. I think it will take longer than 6 months for that.; Health & Fitness – As for a weight loss goal, I’d like to 5-10 lbs and get a more toned physique. And I want to drink more water!!

Regimen:

Hair

  • I currently wash once a week with a sulfate free shampoo. I just purchased As I Am Cleansing Pudding … I LOVE IT!!! I plan on keeping this in my regimen.
  • I also plan on weekly deep conditioning treatments. My gym has a steam room and I try to sit in there weekly for about 10-15 minutes. I am hoping to make this part of my weekly regimen.
  • In my current regimen, I make/use the Kimmaytube leave-in conditioner. I like how it makes my hair feel, so I will keep this.
  • I seal with jojoba oil, shea butter or a castor oil/EVOO mixture.
  • I twist, flat-twist or bantu knot my hair nightly.
  • I sleep with a satin bonnet and a satin pillowcase.
  • Oh, and monthly henna treatments (this is going to be the hard part).

Health & Fitness
It’s simple …

  • Work-out 3 days a week for at least an hour.

Reward: I haven’t really thought about it.


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GOC Contender #34: Donna

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The buddy system is in full effect this GOC!! First we had friends, then a mother and daughter duo and now a pair of sisters!! First up …

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Name: Donna

I can’t really remember when I stopped relaxing my hair. I did my BC in September 2010. As my hair has gotten long, I started LOVING my curls more.

Big Chop Sept. 2010

Goals: Hair – My goal is to reach bra-strap length and get a better hair regimen.; Health & Fitness – I don’t need to lose any weight, but I do need to tone up my body. I need to be consistent in going to the gym.

Regimen:

  • I usually wash once every two weeks and deep condition after.
  • Then, I flat twist my hair with Kimmaytube leave-in conditioner and seal the ends with shea butter.
  • I almost always have my hair pinned up during the work week.
  • I was doing monthly henna treatments but I just colored my hair last week and I don’t know how the monthly treatments will work with the color.

Reward: Haven’t thought that far into it.

GOC Contender #33: Rebecca

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Name: Rebecca

Goals: I believe my hair is what would be considered armpit length and my goal is to achieve mid back length. I would also like to continue working on keeping my hair moisturized, especially my ends.

Regimen:

  • I will continue to do DCs every week and finding good moisturizers for my hair.
  • I will start doing less wash n go’s and more protective styles.
  • I want to start doing henna more often than I do, because I slack sometimes.
  • I want to stop using gels and hair sprays on my hair and also find staple healthy products.
  • I’m still experimenting with different products from Jane Carter, Aveda and Shea Moisture, so I’ll still use some of those. But, I will probably exclude a few Aveda products because they contain alcohol.

Rewards: At the end of the GOC, I would like to treat my hair to a trip to the salon, because I never go. I’m a DIY kind of girl (thanks to YouTube *lol*), so getting my hair straightened will be fun.

 

GOC Contender #32: Cococrispecurl

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Name: cococrispecurl

Goals:

Hair
I’m rolling into this hair challenge from BGLH.com’s “Protect Ya Ends” challenge; achieving some of my goals (retaining 1-3 inches of length, no direct heat and learning new protective styles). My starting length is 15 inches on top and 12 inches in the back. To stay on course, I want to learn how to cornrow, braid and do mini-twists. My styling options are so limited without these skills. I want to retain length, strength and continue to learn fun and easy protective styles for the summer.

Health & Fitness
My weight loss goals are tied to accountability. I plan to continue with Weight Watchers, get a trainer and track my progress with monthly photos. I think losing 30 lbs, my double chin and back fat are attainable.

Regimen:

Hair
Other than sealing my ends once a week with Karen’s Beautiful Body Butter and using a satin scarf/pillowcase for bed, I don’t quite have a routine anymore. I’ve been experimenting with mini-twists and treating myself to the salon. My stylist uses sulfate-free shampoo, deep conditions and detangles quite nicely. I pre-poo with an EVOO/coconut oil mix the day before. I figure I’ll develop a routine as I get back to doing my own hair.

Health & Fitness
My current weight loss routine involves:

  • Weight Watchers
  • Walking to and from the car at work
  • Occasionally taking ChaCha, my dog, for a nice walk and;
  • Jumping on the elliptical for 30 minutes, followed by 3 to 4 days of making excuses for not going back until the following week.

I need to get on track with meal preparation and planning. I cancelled my membership at a more expensive gym and will be joining a smaller, les expensive gym and getting a trainer. I mentioned that I need accountability, right?

Reward: I’m keeping my rewards simple: spa visits and cute workout clothes.

GOC Contender #31: CJ

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CJ is back for the GOC sequel!! If you missed it, check out her Final Update from the first round of the GOC here.

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I hope it’s not too late. I still need a trim, but this is where I’m at right now. Thank God it’s spring and I can quit torturing my hair with dry styling. I’ve desperately missed the simplicity of the wash n go. Now my problem is figuring out which conditioner/gel/oil combo works best. Wish me luck!

C

Preference, Privilege or Political?

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Last month, a natural friend of mine posted the following status update on Facebook:

I definitely prefer wearing my hair straight and blonde over wearing a huge, dark brown afro … It’s simply more flattering. Not a political or cultural statement. Simply a preference.

Of course this prompted a flurry of responses, including the following question and my friend’s reply:

Q: Playing devil’s advocate here- if this statement is not meant to be political or cultural- why vocalize it on Facebook in the first place? Just curious.

A: I recently unfriended an acquaintance on Facebook who had the nerve to tell me how he thought I should wear my hair and his preference for a more “natural” looking woman. Never mind the fact that I am romantically committed to someone. Never mind that my hair is personal and none of his business. This man felt so deeply offended by what he saw as a deeply political act that he was compelled to send me a message voicing his disappointment. Thus, the status update explaining that fashion, at least in this instance, is a matter of stylistic preference, and not a defense or critique of the how’s and why’s of what other women of African descent choose to do their hair.

Now, generally speaking, I am not one who likes to stir the pot of controversy. It’s just not my thing and that’s probably why I am not a fan of reality shows ;). I also belong to the “camp” that qualify anyone who doesn’t relax their hair as natural, regardless of whether they weave up, wig out, press and/or permanently color their hair. It’s just that simple to me. Anywho, my friend asked me to chime in on the topic and my reply was as follows:

As you know —-, I’m a fan of the huge, dark brown afro … but, you already know, I love huge, curly hair. That being said, I agree with you that how you chose to wear your hair is your decision and a casual acquaintance has a lot of nerve to tell you what HE prefers. I don’t care what YOU prefer. I myself wear my hair curly, but on occasion wear it pressed. If someone who I knew peripherally, after seeing my hair pressed, had the nerve to tell me he preferred my hair straight, I’d be pissed. And, it would have nothing to do with how I view myself, but with that person’s belief that they have a right to tell me what they think of how I wear MY hair [as if] their opinion should matter to me when I know them not.

At the end day, I found my friend’s statement to be about the presumption of male privilege rather than issues with self-image and acceptance. And, let me clarify, my friend loves her hair in every form and has rocked it in a variety of styles in its natural state. However, she has indicated that she currently prefers it blonde and straight.

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So, what do you think? Is this about preference, male privilege or racial politics? Can a Black woman’s preference for “straight and blonde” hair simply be an aesthetic choice and not fueled by a deeper, hidden meaning or self-hatred? Did the explanation that prompted the statement change your initial, visceral reaction to it?