Category Archives: First Wave

Icela’s Final GOC Update


length check 07/30/11

by Icela (First Wave) of Shapely Alterations

Hey guys!

Wow, it has been a while.  The last time I checked in was in October so I have A LOT to catch everyone up on. During my last update, I had listed the following goals:

1. Hair – Wash and DC EVERY Week:
This I was totally able to do because I actually LOVE washing my hair.  I find the whole routine VERY therapeutic. However, since being on the GOC, I’ve changed up my original hair regimen, which now looks more like this . . .

Step One: Section hair into four parts
Step Two: Pre-poo with Vatika Oil overnight
Step Three: Shampoo hair (in sections) with SheaMoisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo (review here)
Step Four: Conditione & Detangle with Aussie Moist Conditioner
Step Five: Deep Condition with SheaMositure’s Deep Conditioning Mask
Step Six: Dry hair with cotton t-shirt
Step Seven: Apply Kimmaytube’s Leave-In Conditioner or Giovanni’s Leave-In Conditioner and Twist Hair
Step Eight: Seal ends with Vatika Oil

2. Hair – Go with protective styles during the week (rocking hats) & 3. Experiment with more styles (on weekends):
Uh, yeah . . . . I tried a few styles here and there but this didn’t really work out for me. As much as I LOVE washing my hair, I was never really big on experimenting with styles.  Once again, I kept relying on my wigs as my go-to “protective style,” but this ended up causing me more grief.  How you may ask?  Just take a look …

Yep, that is some SERIOUS hairline breakage folks. I’ve been racking my brain trying to pinpoint when it started exactly, but can’t really recall a specific time frame or cause. When I removed the braids in the fall, my hair did not look like this. The only thing I can think of is the constant wearing of the wigs, since I’ve spent a majority of this winter with my hair covered for most of the day. Yeah … not a good thing.

To remedy the situation, I’ve been applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my hairline after reading this post on Strawberricurls. I’ve also been reading up on Kalpi Tone and purchased several boxes from Butter-N-Bars. I’ll be including it in my pre-poo process and will keep you guys posted on my progress.

4. Hair – PROTEIN:  I’m not sure if I’ll be sticking with Henna or trying Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Infusion:
I was a bit torn as far as which way to go on this one until I read this review of LUSH’s Henna Bars by Sophia of Kiffe Coco. Over the holidays, I just happened to wander into LUSH’s Herald Square store and headed straight for their Henna section. I picked up their Caca Brun Mama and gave it a try.

Here’s a quick recap:

a. The Prep – After checking out the preparation video on the site, I KNEW I should have shredded the block. But NO, I decided to cut it into blocks. Not a good idea. It took way too long and felt like way TOO much work for the blocks to dissolve. Couple that with the fact that I am NOT the most patient person … yep, there’s going to be a problem.

b. Application – Okay, so because of the problem mentioned above, I had various sized clumps of henna in my hair as I applied it. At this point, I didn’t care.

c. Rinse – I left the henna in overnight. Rinsing it out took a bit of effort, but it was nowhere near as bad as the first time I ever applied henna. Whatever was left, came out easily with the Aussie Moist conditioner.

d. Final Look – Here are a few shots a couple of days post LUSH Henna application.

e. My Thoughts – Given the amount I paid, I would categorize my experience as … eh. Even if the preparation and application went smoothly, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to pay this much for ANY type henna, no matter how great people say it is.

5. Fitness – Train for a New Event:
Just to move things along, I’m going to make this real simple. I was originally training for this event, but now I’m training for this event …

6. Fitness – Drink more water (1 Gallon a day):
This was pretty easy to do since water is usually my drink of choice. To jump start my daily intake, I drink 20 oz. as soon as a I get up every morning.

7. Fitness – Hit weights at least 3 times a week & 8. Cardio at least 3 times a week:
Okay, there’s good news and there’s not so good news here. Let’s start with the not so good news … I was only able to lose 2 pounds since my last update (in October 2011).

My weight in October 2011

My weight on Monday (2/13/12)

But now on to the good news … as of today (Friday, February 17th), I have followed a workout regimen for exactly 31 days straight!!! After totally being inspired by Shelli’s Project Scale Down, I started Project Better Body. The original purpose of the project was just a way to track my progress as I get ready to compete in my figure competition.  What ended up happening was it helped to FINALLY create some type of consistency for me, which is the ONE thing I had been lacking. I’m sure you all can feel my excitement!

9. Fitness – Start any form of Yoga this month:
When I listed this, I originally wanted to try out the Hot Yoga that was being offered about 15 minutes from my house.  But with my ever changing, hectic schedule, I could never really make it down to the studio. Luckily for me, I have a massive collection of exercise tapes :-). On a random Sunday afternoon, I found this gem while looking for an old movie to watch.

MTV’s Advanced Workout: Total Body Training (1997)

Do NOT be fooled by the old school look of this tape. There’s a kick ass 30 minute Yoga routine at the end of the intense 60 minute workout. The Yoga portion is easy enough to follow for beginners, but challenging enough for experienced Yogis. Love, love, love this tape!

I am SOOOO glad I participated in this challenge! I’ve learned so much about myself and my hair. Although there were a few setbacks along the way, I’m now armed with better information that’s leading me to a healthier lifestyle and healthier hair. I’m looking forward to participating in the next Grow Out Challenge! Who’s with me?


If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the course of the challenge!


Mershauna’s Final GOC Update


by Mershauna (First Wave) of The Dancing Optimist

My bangs have grown all the way down to my chest. The front is now fully bra strap length and I believe the back is mid-back length (MBL). My hair has been very moisturized since I’ve added my leave-in back into my regimen and I also added rosemary and grapefruit oil. I mix that in an oil blend and it keeps my hair sealed and moisturized. I also use it as a pre-poo. I plan on dusting my ends in February and flat-ironing and trimming in March for my birthday. I hope to be closer to full MBL by then.

End of July 2011

End of January 2012

 I’ve been sticking to my word on going to the gym. I definitely feel stronger, But I don’t see any new progress visually. I’m hoping to change this by eating better and keeping track of everything I do. My new goal is to be down to 120 by summer. We’ll see how that goes *lol*.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve spent the past couple months evaluating how I go about accomplishing my goals as far as health and hair. I’m starting to realize certain habits I have and what I’m consistent with. I’ve been going to the gym at least 3 times a week, always doing 45 minutes of cardio and then weights. Right now, I’m focusing on slimming my thighs and toning my butt, which I consider my problem areas. My hair has been growing nicely and is behaving now that I’m being more consistent with my regimen.


If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the course of the challenge!

Krystal’s Final GOC Update


by Krystal (First Wave) aka Kaligirl1980

So this journey has been great for me. My overall goal is mid-back length, but there is no way that would have happened in 6 months with hair that was barely shoulder length straightened when we started. I started at just above shoulder length and I am now halfway between shoulder length and armpit length. If we do another GOC, my goal will be armpit length straightened. I think I’m well on my way to achieving mid-back length. Maybe I’ll reach mid-back length in 2 years. I’m not going to discuss my weight loss goals because I went backwards after my foot surgery; however I do believe that I managed to add muscle by following the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. It’s hard work, but those 20 minute circuit progressive workouts are great.


Regimen and Routine Change:
Starting this natural hair journey, I went from using whatever worked in the past to only products for “natural” hair. I went from one end of the spectrum to the other. I think that I have found a great midpoint now when it comes to products, regimen and everyday styles. I started out trying to do twist outs, braid outs and protective styles. I have decided that really isn’t for me. My everyday styles are wash and go’s that last me 3 days and then, on the 4th day, I put it in a high ponytail. Doing so keeps me from having to manipulate my hair too much.

I still wash my hair once a week and co-wash midweek, but I’m not as concerned with the products that I use. I love Terressentials Mud Wash for cleaning my hair and I still use DevaCurl One Conditioner, but I also use Herbal Essense Hello Hydration for a conditioner. Instead of doing a lot as far as conditioning products are concerned, after I do a general co-wash in the shower and rinse with ACV, I put a little HE HH or One Conditioner in my hair and don’t rinse it out. My hair loves this method. I get a great curl pattern and I don’t have to worry about mixing up a KimmayTube Leave-In conditioner. It’s the perfect low maintenance regimen for me.

I still give myself Henna treatments monthly and straighten every other month so that my boyfriend and I can enjoy a different look. My hair feels well-conditioned all the time now that I leave rinse-out conditioner in it. A simple solution to buying 10 million products. I’m still trying protective styles, but that’s more for variety than to protect my ends. I’m also not as prone to single strand knots when I use this low manipulation method.

Weight Goals:
I’m continuing to focus on muscle strength and muscle mass, but that is a general goal for health reasons. I’ve added flexibility to my goals too since my hips have limited flexibility.


Here’s a little tip! If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the course of the challenge!

December GOC Update: Kendall


by Kendall (First Wave)

Man oh man where has the time gone?! I really fell off about keeping the GOC updated on my hair happenings (sorry blame grad school … and holiday hibernation).

So, as far as fitness, I just signed up for a gym membership. I miss taking those group classes. I took a hot yoga class last night that kicked my butt in a good way! So, I’m excited that I’ll have some new things to do to keep me active.

As far as hair goes, I straightened and got my ends trimmed right before New Year’s Eve. Compared to where I started with the challenge my hair looks so much fuller and healthier!

Late July 2011

It’s crazy how perspective can change over time. When  we started in July/August, I remember thinking, “Oh wow, my hair looks good!” … FALSE! Now, my hair looks “good” in comparison to where I started, but I just want to focus on getting my hair healthy! I can’t really tell if the back of my hair has gotten that much longer, but I look at my bangs and I know something good is going on! They’re almost grown out! And, I have had bangs since forever, so I am SO happy to get rid of those suckers!

The no-heat makes a huge difference, I know. But, as I’m learning more about my hair, I’ve noticed that it’s still pretty dry. I usually leave conditioner in it, but, when I don’t, it usually dries out before I even have a chance to finish detangling. I’ve been doing research about how to fix this problem. But, I think it may mean I have porous hair? I just bought some new products to try out from Aubrey Organics.  They’re all focused on dry brittle hair. Hopefully, this will help seal in the moisture!!

Shampoo: Green Tea Cleansing
Conditioner: Honeysuckle Rose
Deep Conditioner: Jojoba and Aloe Desert Herb

I should probably share a pic of how I actually wear my hair every day! LOL! So, here’s my go to style.

After I take down my twists, I put Vatika oil on the ends and the it goes up into a bun. I try to switch it around so that it’s not always high and sometimes I add parts or french braids in the front. But, I never wear my hair out when it’s curly.

Sorry about the picture quality! Talk to you curlies soon!



Looking good Kendall! Glad to have you back :)!! I definitely see an increase in length and thickness! My hair is porous too and dries quickly if I don’t apply any product to it. However, it takes FOREVER AND A DAY to dry with a leave-in. I find that henna treatments and the kimmaytube leave-in both help with my porosity issues and my hair retains moisture pretty well due to pre-poos with Vatika oil/EVOO and regular DCs. 

Any words of advice from you ladies on dealing with porous hair? 

December GOC Update: Mershauna


by Mershauna (First Wave) of The Dancing Optimist

Wow, I can’t believe that I forgot an update for the past three months! Unacceptable. Time is really flying. this semester seems to have flown by. Finals were crazy and emotional in the dance department. People were freaking out and I was no exception *lol*. My hair has held up very nicely with my altered winter routine. I was even complimented on it by a hairstylist at a hair show that I did. I love when hard work is appreciated *lol*. During finals, I didn’t have time to work-out with all my papers and comp pieces that I have to choreograph. Fortunately though, my daily classes kept me in shape. Over break, I have been working out with the help of YouTube and my brand new kettle bell that Jon bought me for Christmas :).

I ended up giving my hair a trim after doing the hair show. I was worried about what all that manipulation did to my ends, so I just got rid of them. Also, it was the first  time that I cut my hair curly. I like this technique simply because I don’t have to worry about making it even. I just trimmed each curl individually and tried to cut the same amount on each one. I really liked the result. And it was easy. I’ve been DC’ing my hair with mayo, honey and brahmi simply because I ran out of conditioner and haven’t had the chance to replace it and it has worked pretty well.

So, 2012 is the jump off to me getting serious about my body. I want to be healthier, leaner, with more muscle. Jon and I gave up red meat this year ,which wont be too hard for me. I did it in the past for 6 years. Jon, on the other hand, is a major steak guy *lol*. I am going to start running soon, which I am excited and anxious about.

I’m so excited for this new year. I can’t wait to reach all of my goals!


Here’s a little tip! If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the last 5 months!

Lead Hair Experiment: Michelle’s Update


TO BE lead hair or NOT TO BE lead hair? That is the question!

Do you remember that, a few months back, I wrote a post entitled, Chicoro’s Lead Hair Theory? And, do you remember that I asked for guinea pigs to participate in a lead hair experiment? And then, remember how I never wrote anything else about the experiment? Ummmm … yeah … my bad! *lol*

See, I ultimately did enlist two viable volunteers. The first is our very own Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty and the GOC First Wave. Below are her October and December length check comparison photos and thoughts.

M i c h e l l e

Attached is my hair growth comparison photos from October and December 2011. Not real impressive. There’s a little over a 1/2 inch of length (maybe about 1/4 inch a month, but I think that it was more). I had some breakage, so this could be better. I’m 95% sure that all the over-manipulation of my strands caused hair breakage in the back. I know better for next time. The sides and front of my hair have not incurred any breakage. They are growing nicely. My crown is also growing in (you’ll notice it in the non-lead hair photo).

Here are my take-aways or, rather, my update:

  • Stick with big twists and buns and cutting down on braids (except the occasional fishtail).
  • Cut back from washing twice weekly to once weekly..
  • Increase my protein treatments from once a month to weekly.
  • Added a new vitamin to my regimen.
  • Working on improving exercise, which is sporadic due to my schedule.

Stretching my lead hair. At 7 in Oct; at 8 in Dec.

Hair not stretched at all. You’ll notice the hair filled in and grew in some of the spaces.


I definitely see an increase in length and thickness Michelle! One component of Chicoro’s theory and method that I didn’t know when I wrote the prior post is the concept of goal points. However, Misha explained it in the comments on that post and I’ve since read the concept in Grow It! In order to really the test the theory, I would suggest the following:

  • Set your first goal point length (which should not be more than two to four inches longer than the bulk of your hair).
  • Keep your lead hairs at that length to evaluate whether the shorter lengths grow to fill in your perimeter and create full thickness at (or beyond) your goal point. 
  • Once the bulk of your hair reaches your goal point, trim all hair even at that point. 
  • Then, you start over again by setting a new goal point.

This may not be your cup of tea, but just wanted to suggest it, as well as explain it for the benefit of those not familiar with the process. Can’t wait for your update at the end of January!

Tomorrow, I’ll share the starting point of our other Lead Hair experiment volunteer. So, stay tuned!

October GOC Update: Icela


Icela (First Wave) gives us a two-fer with her September and October updates all wrapped up in one!


by Icela of Shapely Alterations

Hmmmm.  I really don’t know what to say other than I have NOT made significant progress.  As a matter of fact, as far as the last 2 months are concerned, the Hairscapades GOC was THE furthest thing on my mind.  I feel absolutely horrible saying so, but I have to be honest.  In this post, I started off being very optimistic for September when it came to my fitness goals.  I knew what I did wrong in August and all I had to do was implement those changes in order to see progress.  Unfortunately, I gave up one bad habit (eating chips) and replaced it with another (fast food was what I ate most of the time).  The reasons I did it, and trust me when I say that I’m not trying to justify my actions, was because it was easy . . . plain and simple.

Uh yeah  . . . .so, this stuff has gotta go!

Phil and I did a significant amount of filming in the last 2 months (for Enemy Mind our feature-length script), so eating pizzas and burgers almost became a daily occurrence because it was fast and readily accessible.  Couple that with the fact that I haven’t worked out AT ALL since this post, and you got yourself a recipe for disaster.

Please excuse the pajama pants, lol . . . But. . .uh, yeah . . . I’m up 5 lbs. . . YEESH!

As you can see, the number on the scale has gone up.  This is VERY disappointing.  But you know what?  I have no one to blame but myself.  These are the consequences of eating more and moving less.  Besides for the weight increase, physically, I don’t feel as great.  During the day I’m sluggish, tired and irritable.  At night, sometimes I suffer from insomnia.  By 3 pm I was ready to pass out, by 5 pm I’d be struggling to stay awake, but by 7 pm I’d be tired but NOT sleepy.  I don’t like taking pills so an over the counter sleep aid was out the question.  Eventually, I found a “Sleepy Time” Tea at Trader Joe’s that helped me out.  However, on the nights I did “sleep”, I’d wake up feeling drowsy, achy and moved A LOT slower throughout the day.  In other words, I felt a helluva lot older than I really am.  Not good.

As far as my hair is concerned, it’s safe to say that braids are NOT for me.  Again, what started off as a good idea (in this post), didn’t pan out like I thought it would.  I’m very low maintenance (another way of saying lazy), and LOVED the idea of the braids providing me with “get up and go” days, which it did . . . . in the beginning.  But then my schedule got all hectic and I didn’t make time to get a touch up and then I washed my hair a few times and . . . well . . . . you can just imagine.  The braids ain’t look all that hot after about a month so I’m in the process of slowly removing them. To me, they look ragged and unkempt so it’s back to just me and my natural curls . . . .by around the 11th.  Yes, I do plan to take this long to take the braids out.  I’ll just rock a few hats and wigs til then 🙂  I do, however, have to say that I’ve got some serous new growth sprouting here so I’m definitely happy about that.  Check out the pics below . . .

My lovely braids, before (Sept 2011)

My NOT so lovely braids, after (Nov 2011)

So this is what I’ve been up to (or not up to) the last 2 months.  November is a NEW month and I plan to redeem myself in a BIG way.

Here are the goals I’ve set for myself:
1. Hair – Wash and DC EVERY week (After being in braids for 2 months, my hair is in DESPERATE need of some TLC)
2. Hair – Go with protective styles during the week (rocking hats)
3. Hair – Experiment with more styles (on weekends)
4. Hair – PROTEIN:  I’m not sure if I’ll be sticking with Henna or trying Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Infusion
5. Fitness – Train for a new event
6. Fitness – Drink more water (1 Gallon a day)
7. Fitness – Hit weights at least 3 times a week
8. Fitness – Cardio at least 3 times a week
9. Fitness – Start any form of Yoga this month

If I accomplish these goals, I plan to treat myself to a $30 shopping spree on accessories at this little boutique on Austin Street in Forest Hills (the name escapes me).

Stay tuned and wish me luck!


Visit Shapely Alterations to check out Icela’s post braids hair and her progress on the fitness front! She’s up to some good things! 

October GOC Update: Krystal K.


Our resident KaliGirl1980 (First Wave) provides us with a video update to tell us about her weight loss challenges, her DIY protective style and her fantasy product ;)!! 

Awwwwww!!!  Thank you so much for the kind words Krystal!!

Let’s Grow Baby!! 

Tales of a Transitioner: Kendall’s HairStory


Describe yourself in 20 words or less.
I’m Kendall. I have some alter egos. They try to co-exist. Young professional, living in NYC until I move again!

When did you receive your first relaxer?
My first relaxer was in elementary school.  I think I must have been about 7 or maybe younger.  I remember going to the salon and when my hair was done I was so amazed at the way it moved and flowed (just like the women on TV-yeah that brainwashing starts early). But I was even more amazed by the way that after she washed my hair I didn’t have any knots or pulling when she detangled my hair!  I was so happy to not have my hairdresser pulling and yanking the knots out of my tender little head that I was addicted to that feeling!  I never wanted to go back to sitting in the chair and crying over how much it hurt to detangle my natural curls.

Why did you choose to go natural?
Mainly I was sick of the damage! The heat and the chemicals just got to be too much and the more I thought about, I had been damaging my hair for most of my life. I didn’t, and in some ways still don’t, know what my hair looks like now. (My texture may have changed from when I was little).  While my hair has retained a good length while I was using chemicals and heat, it wasn’t healthy and my ends were always splitting or breaking off.  I love the idea that I have a head of who know what type of curl that I’m getting to know, embrace and take care of in a healthy way!

Senior prom - relaxed with glue on extensions. GLUE ON!!

Are you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
As of right now, I’m about 7 months post relaxer! But it wasn’t until June of this past summer that I started learning about what it meant to be a “healthy natural.” I’ve been doing my research about the Big Chop and transitioning times and I think I’ve decided to be a long term transitioner.  The shortest I’ve had my hair was a bob-like cut a couple of years ago. I think, like most other transitioners who are long term, it’s about the preference of having a certain length of hair to work with, and I love being able to put my hair up and out of the way so that I can’t play with it. I’m planning to big chop and get rid of all of my relaxed ends after 2 years of new growth … so 2013 (sounds so far away right now but I’m going to make it!).

First time attempting to transition. Flat-ironed through attempt.

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
My reaction to re-discovering my natural hair  is one of excitement and fascination!  The more my natural hair grows out the more I just want to look at it and touch it!  It’s like meeting up with an old friend that you haven’t seen in a long, long time!  I just want to know all about it!  And every time I see a curl I get so excited!!

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
I haven’t experienced any negativity so far, but then again I’m still transitioning. For the most part, when I tell people that’s what I’m doing, everyone has been positive and supportive. I have to admit though that being in New York now has made a huge difference. I feel like if I had tried to go natural while at school in LA, it was a much bigger struggle in terms of the community outside of my closest friends and family. New York seems to be very pro-natural hair and whatever variations it may come in.

What is your transition routine?
I’ve finally got my routine down *pats self on the back*. On the weekends I deep condition my hair with Aubrey Organics GBP conditioner. I usually put it on and then throw on a plastic cap and let it sit for about an hour or so.  Then I shampoo with Giovanni clarifying shampoo, rinse, then shampoo with DevaCurl No Poo. But when I shampoo I only focus on the scalp and just let it cleanse my ends as I rinse it out. I follow up the shampoos with Giovanni 50:50 Balancing conditioner which I don’t rinse out.  I leave the conditioner in and run my head under the water for more slip and then use my denman brush to detangle. I usually put my hair into about 11 twists, braiding for the first inch or so by the roots and seal the ends with argan oil.

What is your staple transition hair style?
I’ve been keeping my hair tucked away, 1. so that I don’t play with it  and 2. to protect my ends from getting dried out. I usually leave my twists or braids in over the weekend and then come Monday will take them down and reapply oil and put them away in either a low or high bun. I keep it pretty simple with the hairstyles, just because I don’t have the patience to try to re-do fancy styles that are only going to last one or two days.

How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I think keeping the conditioner in my hair helps keep it moisturized. But I also apply argan oil to my hairs and edges every other day. I’ve also started using Curly Pudding on the ends and edges to keep the frizzy-ness away. So far I haven’t seen too much breakage, although I know it’s coming as a part of the transition process.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or going natural?
I love knowing what to do with it! Natural hair can be so overwhelming, which is why when I’ve tried to go natural in the past, I’ve relapsed and gone back to relaxers.  Learning about what was naturally given to me and how to care for it has been my favorite part of this transition so far.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
There’s a young MC named Marz Lovejoy who is friends of some of my college friends who are in the music industry. She has some beautiful curls! And Corinne Bailey Rae! But I think everyone has a crush on her though!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I found this site through Curly Nikki, but I also follow Chime “HairCrush” and Longhairdontcare2011 on YouTube. Terri from Tightly Curly has an amazing hairstory! I love looking through her pictures and website to see her transformation and to stay motivated through the transition phase. I actually use Terri’s method of washing and conditioning as the basis of my hair care regimen.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Patience!  This is something I have to remind myself of every time I walk down the street and see a beautiful relaxed head of hair!  I think it’s important to think long term and know that the change you want to see won’t happen over night but it WILL happen! The other thing that I would stress is individuality. Because I’m transitioning, I’m not even really sure what my hair looks like naturally. I see the roots and that gives me an idea, but I’m trying to remember to do what’s right for me.

Transitioning - Pressed

September Update: Mershauna


by Mershanua (First Wave) of The Dancing Optimist

September Update: hair – bsl; weight – 134 lbs

As far as crazy goes, August has nothing on September. The seniors at school are doing their BFAs, which ia like a capstone project where they showcase their choreography in an informal concert setting. I was cast in 3 pieces, so rehearsals have been crazy … like 5 days a week crazy. I flat-ironed my hair this month also and since my choreographer wanted my hair straight, I had to keep it that way longer than i intended. John Frieda had my back though. I trimmed maybe a little over an inch off all my hair. That was greatly needed in my opinion. I had a lot of splits and knots, thanks to summer. I probably would have cut more if my BF didn’t beg me to put the scissors away *lol*. I’ve been in strictly protective styles since I’m dancing. It’s just easier.

On the fitness front, I’ve notice myself get stronger in class. I’m getting my beastly calves back! The other day, a classmate complimented me on my arms … that made my entire week. Getting back into the gym. I’m focusing on toning and strengthening more so than losing weight. I figure that will come with the rest. I’m also eating healthy and drinking ridiculous amounts of water.

Oh, the picture of the girl who obviously isn’t me is my goal for the end of this school year. lol. I want muscles like that :)!

Goals for October:
  • Henna: check
  • Hit the gym at least 4 days a week
  • Moisture
  • Protective styles: check
  • Buy a scale – fitness center has one :).


Looking awesome Mershauna! Hair and body (dang, look at those abs!)! You’re going to have to give us a rundown on your straightening process and products! How ironic that your choreographer wanted your hair straight and that episode of Reed Between the Lines was about the daughter’s play director wanting her hair straight for the part. He gave her a wig though! She’s the one that opted for the flat-iron!