Monthly Archives: September 2012

Gold & Leopard

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Despite that smile, it’s been a long week y’all. Meeting after meeting after meeting, with two 3+ hour roundtrip commutes thrown in for good measure. Few more meetings today and need to clean house tonight, so no rest for the weary (mind you, I feel guilty even saying that in comparison to you ladies with kids! I don’t know how I’m ever going to do that! I’m already tired and I’m old! *lol*).

Anywho, quick post to share my outfit from yesterday. I’m giving that leopard skirt from Wallis a workout (sorry, it’s out of stock as of the date of this post)! I paired it with a black tank and a tulip-sleeve, gold brocade fitted jacket that I got from Atelier in Montclair for about $12, I think! I accessorized with white-trimmed, black T-strap BGBG Girls platforms and a cute little, gold and cream flower earrings and necklace set that I got at Walmart in the spring.


My hair was essentially in the same tuck and roll from the previous day with a different flower.


A little worse for the wear at the end of the day,
but you get the idea.

By the way, did you notice the nice little bruiser on my cheek?!

I was outside of work on Wednesday night talking to a friend and got bit the frick up by mosquitos or something! I have four bites on my right leg too!!

Can you tell how big, red and swollen these things are?!? They itch like crazy!! Okay, sorry. That was completely random, but just needed to share my pain with you guys ;).

Alright, gotta go!

Happy Friday!

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Flash Post

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This is just a quick flash post of random hair things.

First, the above pic is of a quick roll and tuck style that I wore to work yesterday and I’m wearing again today with a different flower. Return of the stretched and protected hair ;).

Prior to that, I wore my twist-out hair down on Monday … but not with the side part. Seems that I can only ever get that to look right at home. Part of the problem probably is that I can’t work like this … you know, with only one eye ;). *lol*

Got some gifted goodies from CreamandCoco.com this week that I can’t wait to try! The Hair Pudding smells delicious!!  Well … to me anyway … I love sweet smells ;).

Oh, and got gifted an EboniDreams Ebonnet from EboniCurls a few weeks ago. Eboni is a complete doll!! Anywho, I’ve been wearing the bonnet for about a week and a half. So, full review for that coming soon too!!

That’s it! Told you that it was a “flash” post ;).

What’s been going on with all of you this week? C’mon, share a little ;). 

Hair Crush: Fay’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Fay, and I am a single working mother of five (three girls and two boys). I have a lot on my plate, but I am grateful for it all. I live in Orlando, FL and am trying to embrace my culture and the redefine the ideal of beauty that has been forced on us for so long.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for the past 3 years. My decision to go natural came after really thinking about what we are doing to our scalps and hair with the chemicals that we put on them for the purpose of supposedly “making our hair more manageable.” I figured God gave us our hair the way it was and since He knows what He is doing, He must have figured we could manage it.

After making the transition, I realized that not only is our hair manageable, but it is versatile, diverse and, most of all, beautiful. We have been taught for sooo long that our kinks and curls and knots and twists are ugly, or to be tamed that we just took it for granted that straight was the path to beauty. But, like this world, beauty and hair comes in many forms. I am complimented wayyy more now with my natural hair by all ethnicities than I ever have been before. More importantly, I love what I see when I look in the mirror and I hope to be an example to my daughters so that they can say the same

Did you transition or big chop?
I did the big chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
My friends and family did not understand why I cut off all my hair (it was fairly long and permed) and insisted that I would regret it. They all felt like it was a waste of time, since they assumed I would just wind up perming it again. My response was simple … I was tired of sitting through the unneccesary pain of chemical straighteners (I have a very sensitive scalp). I also felt like, in this day and age, black women should embrace what makes them different and understand that that difference is not a curse, but something rare and beautiful.

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 hair challenge initially was my own mental block as to what to do with my natural hair as far as styling was concerned, because I love trying different hair styles and versatility. I overcame that with experimentation and realized that there are endless options when it comes to styling natural hair. There are cornrows, twists, curly fros, box braids, blowouts … I could go on and on.


What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love the feel of it … the ease of it. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I wash and condition my hair twice a month. I use carrot oil to blow dry it and, after blow drying, I use coconut oil to twist it. I generally leave the twists in overnight and take them out the next day for an easy curly do that generally lasts all week. That’s pretty much what I’ve done since going natural.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Definitely carrot and coconut oil. I recently added Shea Moisture Organic Coconut Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk. It moisturizes really well.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it?
I have not had to cut/trim my hair at all.

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?
After going natural, I found that it made me rethink a lot of other aspects of my day to day and was the impetus for me rethinking the way I eat. I wanted to be more natural/organic in that area as well.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My “hair crush” was definitely Teyana Taylor when I thought her hair was naturally that thick and georgoeus. I’m still not sure whether it is or not.


What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I would definitely advise any African-American woman who is thinking about going natural to go for it. It may seem daunting at first, but the pay off is sooo worth it. The money it saves, the confidence it provides and the self-love it promotes. As your natural hair grows, so will your horizons as to what is beautiful about you and in turn your culture and black women in general. It’s cliche but true, “Black is Beautiful,” hair and all. Our daughters deserve to know that.

Final GOC Update: Faye (At-Home Player)

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via Faye of That NY Poet Girl

I haven’t been updating on the GOC and need to before school starts because I am going to be busy and it will be over in September!

Hair Goals and Regimen:
I have been washing my hair every 7-10 days using the Sauve Naturals Shampoo and condish with HH as a detangler and Shea Moisture/coconut oil as moisturizer/sealer. I have experienced extreme drying due to the high heat and humidity and then blow drying my hair. I attempted to go with it for a while, but the combination of wearing my hair out and being in the hot sun was not a good look. I haven’t been wearing as many protective styles and as a result my hair has been frizzy and dry :(.

In other (GREAT) news – My hair has grown almost back to where it was before I cut the layers, which is impressive! Overall, I am happy with my growth thus far after cutting off about 1 inch in the layering process! I also cut off another 1/2 – 3/4 inch on a search and destroy mission that went too far O_o! I have seen about 3 inches of growth over the past 4 months!! And overall I retained about 1.5 inches of growth!

I’m getting braids today for the month of September and October, so I am going to miss the end of the GOC! Therefore, I am going to chart my progress in photos from May until September 1st.

First Length Check 5/12

Pre-layering Braid-Out 5/12

Pre-layering Pic 6/12

Post-layering Pic 6/12

Post-layering Braid Out 6/12

Traci Ellis Ross – Inspired Look 7/12

Braid-out Grown Out! 7/12

Take 2 with better lighting! 7/12

This is my hair now! 8/12

Health & Fitness
I wasn’t as diligent in my workout routine unfortunately, but I am going to get back on the horse this fall. Overall though, I have dropped the ball on my fitness goals. Partially, because I had nowhere to go this summer (i.e. Miami or LA), which sucks for me and is sooo horrid! LOL! I usually start in the Spring with a full body cleanse and only have very little to lose. But, this spring, I didn’t cleanse, had gained so much over the winter due to my accident and physical limitations and was way more busy than I expected to be this summer.

I am still 155 lbs! SMH! But, at least I have not gained any weight! (-_-)

Also, to compound the issues – my son had gone through a traumatic experience and wasn’t sleeping well, which meant NO ONE was sleeping well! LOL!

Anywho…. The fitness goals I have now are for the end of the year at this point. I read an article from Wellness Mama on Hormone Balance, which discusses supplements and alternative exercises like walking and weight lifting instead of intense workouts which seem to exacerbate the problems.

I also found a video on Leptin that says that perhaps I need to change my diet first and keep my exercise to a minimum in order to restore my hormone levels, because I was having problems with my insulin and sugar levels.

Final Thoughts
Things that I will do differently with the next challenge for my hair:

  1. I will be consistent with my protective styling.
  2. I will be consistent with my regimen.
  3. I will NOT cut my hair in the middle of the challenge! LOL! ^_^
  4. I will measure my hair with a measuring tape so that I can more accurately measure my growth and make a tank top for measuring as well.

For my fitness goals

  1. I will monitor and correct my hormone imbalance so that I am working smarter and not harder!
  2. I will work out consistently and work on building muscle.
  3. I will make sure that I eat well and when I fall off the wagon, I will get back on immediately!

That’s it! That’s all folks!

GOC Done!
~Faye
TNPG

Will follow up with pics of my new hair (as soon as its done!)

Thanks for playing Faye!! Best of luck as your journey continues and, we’ll “see” you around ;)!

Check out Faye’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:
Initial Submission
May Update

And if you want to see  how her braids turned out, see her results post here!

Natural Hair and the Media

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source: BoutiqueDeBandeaux (Etsy)

Last week, I shared an Infiniti commercial that featured a natural bride, because it really struck me and made me smile (see the commercial here). Someone wrote an insightful comment on the post that ended with, “[I]s it really necessary for a commercial to validate the beauty of natural hair?”

This reply prompted me to explain a little more about why this particular commercial struck me and my thoughts on the media as it relates to natural hair:

I’ve kind of always been a person who dances to the beat of her own drummer. So, I don’t need it to validate the beauty of natural hair. I just think that it’s nice to see, especially for children and young women who may internalize the images of beauty that they see promulgated by the media. I think the more we see diversity in all things, the more people are able to recognize their own beauty. So, again, although I don’t find it personally necessary for me, I don’t discount the influence of media nor the role it plays in the self-esteem of the impressionable.

I agree with what you say about the actresses too and sometimes think it’s just the sheer numbers. As more women become natural, more actresses auditioning for roles are natural. I think it’s partly just those mathematics. If it used to be that 1 in every 10 women who auditioned for a role was natural/curly and now it’s 5 in every 10 (just making up numbers, not saying that this is the reality), the chances increase that the actress cast will be natural.

But yeah, this one excited me … again, I think because she was a bride and even some natural women still seem to struggle with the idea of wearing their hair in natural styles for their wedding, because there is this residual idea that natural hair isn’t sleek or elegant enough for “special occasions.” I love that we have options and if someone wants to wear their hair straight because it’s a way to switch it up for the day and make it a little different from their daily look, or there is this particular style that they want, I’m all for it. I just don’t like the idea that someone might not wear their natural hair for a special occasion because it’s not “special” or elegant enough. So, I just liked the image of the bride, because, again, I do believe the media can influence self-image and public perception.

Okay, I’ve rambled and said my spiel!! LOL!! Just wanted to clarify why this particular commercial struck me:).”

Yeah … I know … that’s a mouthful ;).

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All that being said, what are your thoughts on natural hair and the media?

Hello Bye Bye …

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I’m very tentative about trying new products anymore. I know what works on my hair and I don’t want to cause a setback with untested products. I’m especially hesitant about shampoos and conditioners, as those can be make or break products for me. Stylers cause less difficulties. Therefore, I’m more willing to experiment with those when companies send me products to try/review.

Therefore, when I saw the sample size bottles of shampoo and conditioner that arrived in the mail last week … I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try them, especially given the state of my hair. I hadn’t washed it in two weeks and it was a rat’s nest of tangles. I’d styled it in a WnG that I bunned haphazardly and failed to re-moisturize for most of week two.

On Friday night, I pre-pooed with Aubrey GPB mixed with Vatika Oil and it took over an hour (maybe two?) and required the periodic use of scissors to cut out several untenable knots. So, when I say that I didn’t think that there would be enough of the conditioner in the four little 1 oz. sample-size conditioner bottles to detangle my hair on a good day, let alone on a day where it was a tangle-ridden, shed hair filled mess, I’m not kidding you.

But, you see, this wasn’t any random company that had sent me these products. No. They were sent by the wife of a friend of Wei’s who started a new haircare line, Bye Bye Parabens. So, I felt obligated to at least give them a go … though I did so with immense hesitation.

via Bye Bye Parabens

Bye Bye Parabens is pleased to announce the launch of its new luxury line of hair care products. The first product designed to dramatically transform natural or curly hair into soft hair with unbelievable shine, body, and bounce. Bye Bye Paraben products are also sulfate & paraben free and made from non-toxic natural and organic ingredients. Bye Bye Parabens was founded by Tracy Riggs who is an award winning international master stylist and salon owner with over 20 years experience in the hair industry. Tracy has styled the likes of Erykah Badu, Lil Kim, Mary J Blige, and Charlie Baltimore but more importantly servicing thousands of mom’s, wives, and daughters over a 20 year period. Tracy Riggs saw a need for a sulfate & paraben free hair care line that would be safe to use without sacrificing the integrity of the hair and that would achieve optimum results.

Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo Ingredients:
Water, Sodium Methyl-2 Sulfolaurate and Disodium-2 Sulfolaurate/Cocamindopropyl Betaine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-4, Citric Acid

Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner Ingredients:
Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Citric Acid

SEE 10/25/12 EDITOR’S RETRACTION BELOW REGARDING INGREDIENTS LIST

The Experiment
I was sent four 1 oz. sample size bottles each the Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner. I decided to start by diluting about 3/4 of the bottle of shampoo in about 6 ounces of water.  My hair was in 8 twists and I shampooed the roots and then squished the suds through the length of my hair. The shampoo had a refreshing minty scent and a nice tingle. My scalp and hair felt clean, without feeling stripped. Shampooing also didn’t seem to cause any additional matting at my roots, which sometimes happens to my hair with sudsy shampoos. In fact, although I LOVE the Aubrey conditioners, the Green Tea Shampoo was not doing me any favors. Last week, I used it for a body wash because I ran out of the real stuff!! LOL!! But, anywho, I was pleased that my hair didn’t feel any worse for the wear after using the Rosemary Mint shampoo.

After rinsing, I planned to try one bottle of the purifying conditioner on one twist. I even grabbed a new bottle of HE HH from under the sink as I was prepared to need it to finish the job. I just knew that there was no way that those little sample size bottles of conditioner would provide enough product or slip to detangle my whole head. But, after I applied the conditioner to my first twist, I was like, “What’s this here now??” OMGosh!!! The slip was great!! Definitely comparable to HE HH, if not better as I didn’t seem to need to use as much!! I hopped out of the shower to tell Wei, “Color me impressed!!” LOL!! I ended up using three bottles to do my whole head. But, I think that I was a little heavy-handed with that first section and could have gotten away with two bottles if I had spread the wealth around a little more!!

Anywho, after finger detangling with the conditioner under the shower stream (so helpful!), I rinsed and applied Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Rose Conditioner to DC. I kept it in for about an hour using my Thermal Heat Wrap. Then, I cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse and finally rinsed it all out with cold water.

Initial Thoughts
My hair felt “loverly!!” In fact, it felt so good that I didn’t even apply any leave-in conditioner! I just re-twisted it and applied a little JBCO/EVOO to the twists to seal in the water.

My hair dried quickly and the twists were so soft and plump! My God-cousin’s 30th birthday party was that evening and I simply released the twists with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade for a fluffy twist-out.

I gotta say that I was impressed by my first experience with Bye Bye Parabens! I am glad that I gave it a try, despite my initial hesitation ;).

Conclusions
To wrap this up, I still love HE HH for the amazing slip and cheap price tag. So, I will continue to use it for henna rinsing. But, because I do like to incorporate as many natural products as I can, this may become a “go to” as a post-shampoo detangler if my next experience is as pleasant as my first one!

10/25/12 EDITOR’S RETRACTION: Last week, I received full-size bottles of Bye Bye Parabens conditioner and shampoo. I looked at the ingredients lists on the bottles and found that both the shampoo and conditioner contain the silicone  DIMETHICONE and the conditioner also contains CYCLOPENTASILOXANE. The silicones are high on the ingredients lists. Based upon the lists of ingredients that were sent to me by via e-mail, I thought that these products were silicone free. They are not. So, they are not a natural alternative to HE HH and actually contain non water-suluble, build-up prone silicones versus build-up resistant cones the HE HH. That being said, this conditioner would not be a natural option or an option for those practicing the CG Method, the TCM Method or following a co-wash only regimen. 

And that’s it. Oh, wait, one more thing. Because I do like to anticipate your needs, I’ll just let you know that the outfit above (it’s not a dress!! It’s a peplum top worn with the skirt that I previously showed you here) was another one that I jacked from Style Pantry!! To see Folake rocking it and find “where to buy” info, click here.

Happy Monday!!

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Calling all reformed, pseudo-reformed or never-been-a PJs who like to stick with what they know works:
Are you willing to experiment with products? Are there any categories of products that are strictly on the “No-No” list? 

Natural Times ∞

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As many of you know, I’ve been natural for 12 years. When I see comments that more natural women are in commercials now … I often think, “They’ve always been there.” But, I think that “seeing” natural hair in the media is like seeing the car that you drive, you never notice how many of them there are until you “own” one yourself ;).

That being said, just saw this Infiniti commercial on TV and was CHEESING to see a natural bride:). Immediately paused the TV and hopped onto YouTube to see if I could find it to share!!

#WINNING

And how cute are those curly kids ;)?!?!