I started this post about 3 weeks ago with the title, “Eventful Week.” I never got past uploading a few photos. *Womp Womp* *LOL* So now, this post will briefly cover my last month of activities. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know most of this stuff already, so it’s old news. If not, here goes!!
I’ve had THREE bridal showers in the last month!! My sisters and bestie threw a bridal shower for me in Princeton on November 10th. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was very exciting and a lot of fun :). It’s always wonderful to be surrounded by family and friends who love you and are rooting for you. Got lots of goodies, and I’m pretty much set for nightwear for the cruise! LOL!
The same week, my friends and co-workers in my company’s main office got me there under the pretense of a 2014 Project Planning meeting only to surprise me with a shower! I think the best part of that was … no meeting! LOL!!!!
Then, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, my friends and co-workers in my home office surprised me with yet another shower!
Needless to say … I have a lot of awesome stuff … and no idea where I’m going to put it all!! LOL!!
Next, my custom invitations from Little Peanut Gallery (Etsy) were sent this month, options selected for the wedding and finalized with Royal Romance, my Sofisafunkcustom wedding dress was finished and picked up, I did two hair trials with Tameeka (Jaded Tresses) and decided on my wedding day hairstyle, and I did a make-up trial and found my look and artist on the same day at MAC in Rockaway Mall (shout out to AdjoaFierce on IG!). In addition to that, I’ve ordered so many things on Etsy and Amazon that something has happened that I never thought would. I’m sick of seeing packages on my doorstep!!!! They just look like winged dollars flying away now ;)!! LOL!! Anywho, I’ll share those other things after the day has come and gone as I want them to be a surprise to show how everything came together. But, here are some pictures of the invitations, a teaser of the hair and dress, and the before and after make-up look!!
Purple and teal are my fave colors. So I LOVE the box in which these were sent to us!
Before and after.
I soooo love this! I had nowhere to go, but I didn’t want to wash my face!!
Getting an idea of the look ;)?
365 DAYS OF THE WORD:
So, when I was going to do this update several weeks ago, it was to post that I had finished 60 days of The One Year Bible. But, yesterday, I finished Day 90 and reached the 25% complete milestone! Woot woot! I’ll admit this, the Old Testament has been difficult at times and I spend time researching some verses/sections in order to understand them better and to address my unease with some areas (the animal sacrifice, death penalty, and murder for land acquisition have been particularly troublesome). I have realized that I am very much a child of The New Testament, which is as it should be. So, reading that always brings me back to life :). It reinforces my beliefs and the way in which I try to conduct my life. And reading from Proverbs every day has been reinforcing the importance of wisdom in all aspects of life. So, that has led me to pray for wisdom in my thoughts, words, actions, and interactions every day. Hopefully, it’s working! LOL!!
Anywho, it has been very good for me to start each morning with reading a little from the Bible and praying The Lord’s Prayer, followed with a prayer of thankfulness, and asking for wisdom, focus, and blessings on various things in my life, as well as the lives of family and friends. It took a little while, but a new morning ritual has definitely been ingrained as I am not really tempted to check my FB/IG before reading and I don’t even think about turning on the TV first anymore.
365 DAYS OF FITNESS
Day 43 (April 2nd) vs. Day 289 (Dec 4th)
Yesterday, I completed Day 290 of 365 Days of Fitness! I’m just 10 days away from reaching 300 days straight of working out at least 10 minutes a day and I’ve been going hard with the wedding date fast approaching! I still almost can’t believe that I’ve gone this long when initially I was just trying to get through 28 days!! And, I have no doubt that I’ll make it through both my honeymoon and another vacation that I have planned within the last 75 days!! Knowing that people are inspired to start their own challenge or even just work-out on a day that I post an update on IG/FB definitely helps to keep me going!
And that’s it! I have housework to do and wedding day errands to run, plus Day 291 to get done! So, time to go!!
(Oh wait! One last thing! Completely unrelated. Anyone else watch Justified? I always knew that I would probably like the show, but never watched it as I could never remember when/where it aired. But, trusted friends had been telling me it was really good and right up my alley. So, when I learned that I get free streaming from Amazon Prime, I asked Wei to download it to my Kindle. Welp, I finished season 1 on Thursday and I am LOVING this show!! Great characters, good action, and quirky humor! Check it out if that sounds like your cup of tea! And, if you are already watching it already, NO SPOILERS!! I just started season 2, so I have 3 seasons to go before season 5 premiers in January!)
So, a couple of weeks ago, I was a “model” in the Sofistafunk fashion show at the Mane Event (Luna Stage, West Orange). And, for such a special occasion, I wanted to do something a little special with my hair. So, I opted for a twist and curl (TnC) set on small perm rods.
Up to the wee hours of the night (like, 2 am) washing, conditioning, and setting my hair.
Curly ‘Fro TnC Set
Separated freshly washed, conditioned, and finger detangled hair into 4 sections (2 in front, 2 in back). Did next steps working section by section.
Using tail of rattail comb, began parting hair in small squar-ish sections.
Applied small amount of Eco Styler Olive Oil gel to smaller sections, two-strand twisted hair, and rolled twist on small grey perm rod (I always cover my rods in end paper to prevent snagging on take down).
Repeated until entire head set (I used a spray bottle, as needed, to dampen dried hair).
Now, I did this late at night and had to get up early as call time was 10 am and the fashion show didn’t start until 6 pm!! So, I knew that I needed to get my workout in first thing in the morning. And, I was praying that my hair would dry in that short time as well.
Well, my hair wasn’t dry in the morning … but that didn’t deter me. I got Day 146 of my 365 Days of Fitness in with a 20 minute run, rollers, hairnet and all!! I ended up lugging my portable, soft bonnet, Gold n’ Hot dryer along with me and sitting under it for a good 2 hours while the other models in the show got their hair and make-up “did!”
Once my hair finally felt dry, I smoothed a little SheaDecadence Sweet Marmalade Pomade down the twists to seal and add shine … then I fought to release some of them as the ends were snaring on each other. I was sure that all my efforts would be in vain as I felt frizz setting in as I wrangled with twists and got sweaty and annoyed with the take down process!! But … all’s well that ends well …
Yup!! It turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. There was some frizz from shorter strands near my front part, but, other than that, it was all good. And, in fact, I think it looked better in person! Photos always seem to make hair look smaller than it does in person! LOL!
So, after the hair was in order, I got made and dressed up all pretty like and eventually hit the “runway” with all the other lovely ladies in their gorgeous Sofistafunk finery!!
No. No, I don’t know how to wobble. LOL!!
Now, some pics:
My sissy poo, Shana.
LOVE this skirt!!!
Fascinator by Sofistafunk too!
Yes that is Jaded Tresses herself! She did hurrrr, then she walked honey!!
The amazing Arlinda McIntosh, the design genius behind Sofistafunk!
Hey guys!! It’s contest time!! Have you reached the end of your transition and started thinking about the big chop? Or, maybe you JUST decided to go natural and are the adventurous type. If you’re ready to say, “Cut it all off,” well, have I got the contest for you!!
Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses is doing a LIVE Big Chop at the Mane Event. The only problem? She needs a “big chopee” model!!! If you are interested in being that lucky gal, comment below by telling us why you want to big chop (and don’t forget to leave your name)!! Contest ends Wednesday at midnight. I’ll choose a winner on Thursday!!
I need to get in the shower in a few, but figured I’d share the plan for my “look” for the Katie Couric show today! LOL!! So, as you may know, the braid-out won the poll for my hair look today! It was a close race, but the braid-out kept the lead the entire race, sometimes by only 1 vote. But, as of this moment, it beat out the curly ‘fro 138 to 126. So, last night, I gently finger detangled my hair with my coconut oil whip and then set it in 12 braids (3 in each quadrant). I used a little Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly at the roots to smooth and set them, dampened the braids with water once done and then used Deva Curl Set It Free on the ends before rolling them on grey perm rods. I set my ends to make certain that they would be curly today as I usually sleep on one side and flatten some of the ends.
This morning when I woke up, I decided to do the bentonite clay mask that I failed to do last night. I mixed the clay with plain, whole milk yogurt for the low-grade peel qualities of lactic acid and added a little tea tree oil for the antiseptic qualities. Plastic utensils should be used to mix bentonite clay as metal decreases its ability to draw out impurities from the skin. Has something to do with negatively and positively charged molecules or electrons or something sciencey like that ;)! You can find a variety of bentonite clay mask recipes online, as well as info about the benefits of using bentonite clay internally and for topical applications!
This mask is still on my face, immobilizing it like Botox! LOL!
Finally, I think I’m set on my OOTD, which is my awesome Sofistafunk skirt and the top that I bought from The Unique Pieces at The Mane Event on Saturday.. I may swap out the top though. I LOVE it and the color, but since I’m wearing my hair down, I think the mock turtleneck may make me look squat!! I’ll be wearing a cardigan as they warned that the studio can be cold and I freeze easily. With the hair down, the mock turtleneck and a cardigan, I’m afraid of looking stumpy. So, I may wear a yellow tank top under the cardigan instead to expose my neckline. We’ll see.
Oh, and I’ll be wearing my Michael Kors knee-length, black, suede, scrunchy boots. Don’t worry, you’ll see the whole look pulled together soon. Hopefully, it’ll be good!!
A’ight! I better get to it!! Gotta wash off this mask, iron some clothes and hit the shower!!
So. I’m sure that all of you are well aware of the Mommy & Me event that I had this past Saturday with Tameeka McNeil-Johnson (aka JadedTresses) at Christos Fifth Avenue salon ;). Well, here’s a little recap!!
Preparations The day started with me and Wei rushing around to clean the house on Saturday morning before my middle sister Sheri arrived with my niece, Reghan, and her little friend. I hate having people over my house when it isn’t clean and I hadn’t managed to clean the prior weekend or all week. So, the crunch was on and the kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom were cleaned in record time (I need to always have people over; I get things done so much more quickly ;))!!
Anyway, Reghan was asked to be a hair “model” at the event. She’d been wearing braids for about a month and my sisters took them down Friday evening. Since Sheri is not at all into hair, I wanted to give Reghan’s tresses a little TLC with a pre-poo and deep conditioning treatment before turning her over to Tameeka. The little troupe arrived at my house at about 10 am and I proceeded to pre-poo Reghan’s hair with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (should have added Vatika oil, but was rushing) and put it into about 12-15 twists. Y’all, my niece has some seriously dense hair!! Head FULL of hair. I told her, “Girl, people wish they had all of this hair.” She told me, “It takes a long time to do.” LOL!
So, I put her under my thermal heat wrap for about 30-45 minutes while I pre-pooed my own hair (I managed to add Vatika Oil to my own pre-poo … I know, bad auntie!!). Then, I donned the thermal wrap while I shampooed her hair in the kitchen sink using Bye Bye Parabens Rosemary Mint Shampoo diluted in water. I concentrated on her scalp and allowed the shampoo to run down her twists. She liked the smell. As I washed her hair, I explained to her that her hair appeared to be low porosity, because it did not easily absorb water. In fact, the water seemed to just bead and roll off of her hair. She asked if that was a good or bad thing and I explained that it was good in that it allows her hair to hold styles well and for a long time, but it can be a challenge to get moisture into her hair.
Next, I used Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) to condition and detangle her hair. It worked very well and her hair was actually a lot easier to detangle than my own, in my opinion!! She has 4c hair, but her strands are strong and resilient. I detangled in sections and re-twisted each section once done. After rinsing the conditioner, I applied Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque and put her back under the heat wrap while I hopped in the shower to wash up and do my own hair.
After I finished up in the shower, I used a Curl Cloth to “plop” and eventually applied Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) to my hair before placing it in 8 twists. I then cooled and sealed Reghan’s hair using diluted HE HH and rinsed with tepid/warm water (since I think her hair is low porosity, didn’t want to use cold water, which she complained about anyway ;)). Then I used a tee-shirt to lightly blot her hair dry before placing it in several braids to keep it detangled and stretched. I applied a little KCKT to her hair to provide a little moisture.
And then, it was time to hit the road!!
The Event We arrived in the city at around 3 pm and the salon was bustling!! So many beautiful heads of curls of all colors and textures! I wish I had asked to take pictures!! Anywho, Tameeka was with a client, so we killed time by talking to a grandmother who was there with her two curly, red-haired granddaughters who had already been serviced. Their mother decided to get her hair done after seeing the results on her daughters.
As we hung out, Reghan and I also traded shoes. So sad. My 10 year old niece and I wear the same size.
Shoe swap (me on the left; Reghan on the right).
I texted this picture to Sheri, who wears the same size as me, and she replied, “All the shoes I buy for her now, I make sure that I will like once she grows out of them.” Now THAT’S planning ahead!! LOL!!
By now, it was Reghan’s turn in Tameeka’s chair! We quickly traded shoes and they took her to the shampoo bowl to wet her braided hair. Then, Tameeka used Curlisto Design Lotion to rake and shake Reghan’s hair in small sections to style.
Reghan was also gifted this super cute skirt from Sofistafunkto wear for the event and another adorable skirt was donated for a giveaway!
After her hair was finished and while she got dressed, the salon employees began to set up the room for the event. Then, at around 5 pm, everyone started to arrive.
Hors d’oeuvres were served and everyone was given a coupon for 20% off of a Sofistafunk purchase! All were seated and then Christo himself welcomed everyone to the event. He gave a rundown of the agenda for the evening, which included “Day 2” hair and styling demos, individual consultations with the salon stylists, goodie bags with sample size Curlisto Kids products, a future service coupon and, finally, a giveaway.
Christo introduced me so that I could say a few words and then Tameeka stepped to the “stage.”
And … at this point … I discovered that I was selected to be the “model” for the styling demo! So, I had to hand my camera over to Reghan’s friend so that they could take me to the sink! Yeah, the rest of these pictures were taken by a 10 year old! There are many that didn’t make the cut (‘cuz, you know, they are of the girls making funny faces and carrying on ;).
First, Tameeka explained how she styled Reghan’s hair using the same technique that she uses for all textures. She talked about the different textures, about moisture and about styling. She then “finished” Reghan’s hair by using a little Curlisto pomade to “scrunch the crunch.”
Next, Tameeka talked about how Day 2 hair can be challenging as kids are so prone to sleeping wildly and are bad at keeping their hair wrapped/covered at night. So, she explained that creative styling is a parent’s best friend. Then, she proceeded to demonstrate how the front of the hair can be styled into a braid to create a fun look, while adding some “polish” and control to the hair.
Then it was my turn. Tameeka used the Curlisto leave-in and styler and proceeded to demonstrate how to section the hair, how to properly apply product to wet hair from the ends first, how to rake the product through the hair to encourage curl clumping, and how to squeeze the ends of the hair and shake as the final step to further encourage curl.
Raking & Shaking
After Tameeka finished with the styling, I was placed under the dryer and the one-on-one consultations began. I had to sit it all out!!
All by my lonesome. *lol*
After about 15 minutes or so, I came out from under the dryer and Tameeka diffused my curls to finish drying them and give me the volume that I crave!
Finally, we closed out the evening by raffling off the other girl’s Sofistafunk skirt … just as my camera’s battery died!!
This is the adorable little whirlwind who won it!
And that was it! It was a fun little event and we hope to do more in the future! I also want to try my hand at a braid out on my niece, whose only complaint was that her hair looked “short.” Ahhhhh … she’s a true natural in training … already bemoaning shrinkage ;). *lol* Anywho, that’s why I’d like to try a braid-out with rollers on her ends to see if she likes that natural style.
Alright, here are a few more pics from the event (you know that I love a slide show ;))!
Okay, so I apologize for it taking so long to post on last night’s event … but seriously … I took 407 pictures!!! It was a lot of HARD work to download, rotate, resize, save, import, organize and caption these jokers man!!! Shoot, I may have just used up the last of my free media space with the pictures you are about to see in this slide show. I didn’t include all 407, but there are 111 here!! So yeah, pic heavy post ahead!!
Waiting for the festivities to begin.
The event was so much fun!! I thought it was all going down at Atelier Boutique, but it was actually staged at three different, but close, locations in downtown Montclair. And, with the Democratic National Convention and the POTUS speaking, MTV Video Music Awards and Fashion’s Night Out in NYC all occurring the same evening, there was really a nice little turn out!!
The first “stage” of the evening.
The first stage was Gallery U, an actual art gallery, where designs by Blackbird Lane, One Savvy Design, Speakeasy Vitage, Clarence Black Couture, Mark Tauriello Couture, Boyfriend Clothing Company and Bumblebee Boutique were on display. At this point, I tried my best to get photos of the fashion. However, my camera shutter speed and temp display mode were sooo slow that I did a horrible job of capturing the designs.
Loved this dress! Wish I had been able to get a full length front shot of it!
Then I headed over to Parlor Hair Studio where I hooked up with a couple of friends to see the next show. But yeah, Sofistafunk the Skirt Company didn’t present a mere fashion show … they presented a Skirtopera!! Seriously, this was the main event and what I paid … well, I didn’t pay anything, the night was free 😉 … to see!!
Second event of the evening and the one I really was excited to see!!
By this time, I’d scanned my camera settings several times and figured out how to take continuous shots. It didn’t always work and I was cursing at and shaking my camera the whole show. But, I did get tons of fab shots as you’ve probably figured out since I said I took 407 photos ;)! You’ll also get a chance to judge my claim when you see the slide show at the end of the post!
She was giving all kinds of face!! Fierce!!
Gorgeous!! You know I was checking out the hair!!
Sooooo Wuthering Heights!! Love the intense blue sleeves popping out of the crow black!!
Just PERFECTION!! Is this to die for or what??
And here’s Tiffany, the winner of the Sofistafunk & Hairscapades Natural Model Search!!
And then we wrapped up the evening at Atelier Boutique with a “rack sale” and raffle (but, for some reason, I didn’t get a raffle ticket!! Booooooh!! LOL!).
Clothes and raffles … what more could a girl want??
Arlinda McIntosh (the genius and talented designer behind Sofistafunk), Tiffany and me.
I did walk away with a really cute little gold, tulip-sleeve fitted jacket for $25!! Should have taken a pic of that as it looked pretty hot with my leopard print skirt!! LOL!!
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably already seen the albumwith all of our contestants and their essays. But, if you missed it, here are all of the GORGEOUS ladies who sent in entries for the Great Sofistafunk & Hairscapades Natural Model Search Contest!! Check them out in all their fierceness and see how they answered the question: “How is your natural hair a expression of YOU?”
Before I went natural my hair, style and personality seemed to be dictated by what I believed was the norm and what I mean by “norm” was long straight hair that didn’t grow from my scalp, that HAD to be straightened (That’s what I was told for 15 years!). I always loved curly hair but didn’t even know THAT IS what grows from my own scalp. I finally made the resolve to say I’m OK with what grows from my head no matter what it looks like; and I’ve found a whole new me in the process. I’ve become more confident and bold in everything, from my social life down to my fashion sense (Big hair seems to make any outfit POP!). The freedom of not planning my life around my hair and being able to be the spontaneous girl I love to be. My friends, family and co-workers alike have been inspired by the transformation taken place by simply learning to love ALL of me. I’ve fallen in love with someone I didn’t even know was in there and I fall that much more in love with the woman that was fearfully and wonderfully made everyday on my journey. Ironically enough ever since I’ve been natural my friends and family comment that they don’t even remember what I looked like without my natural hair and it suits me so much better; I would HAVE to agree! I’m finally ME!
CONTESTANT #2: TIFFANY
India Arie stated in her song, “I am not my hair”…. Hell! Maybe I am my hair!
It’s mine! I do what I want, it’s my decision! Not yours. Changing my hair doesn’t change me! I’m still the girl you grew up with that had a mushroom cut in 8th grade. I’m still the girl that was the silly, goofy ,sarcastic one with the red hair in high school that you ate lunch with. I’m still the girl with the perm straight hair down her back that you wanted to get with in college. I’m still the woman that you married and the mother of your children who now happens to have this DOPE curly fro courtesy of Tameeka- McNeil Johnson (HEY GURL!)!! Being Natural hasn’t changed me. It’s a contribution to the Beautiful, Smart, Loving, Confident, ever-evolving woman I have become and will continue to grow into. Self-Expression is natural! I love my hair! I love Me!
CONTESTANT #3: CYRENE
Every person has their own unique reason for transitioning to natural. I can say that although my choice was more necessity for my health and recommended by my GYN 2 and half years ago. I love that I am natural. My daughter who is 7 years old has not had any chemicals in her hair. Actually, not even as much as a blow drier. When I was still relaxed she would make comments about wanting her hair straight, but now that she sees my curls, kinks, waves she has accepted her own. We are the example for the generations to come. I don’t look down on anyone who still decides to relax their hair. That is their choice, but I do educate on the health risks that can be involved. Since I have been natural my confidence level has increased tremendously. Its a refreshing feeling to look at the woman God created the way He intended her to be.
CONTESTANT #4: ADRIENNE
A Reflection of Me
NEW: Discovering more about myself every day. ARTISTIC: Takes life’s lemons and makes lemonade. TRUE: To myself and what I believe in, no matter what others may say or think. UNIQUE: Everyday is something different; you never know what you’re going to get. REAL: What you see is what you get. AWKWARD: Klutzy and prone to mistakes, but gets it right in the end. LOYAL: To my friends, family and loved ones.
HUMAN: I’ll make mistakes and I’ll learn from them and overcome them. AMICABLE: Makes friends easily but prefers having a few close friends over many. ILLUSIONS: There are none. RESERVED: Chooses words carefully before speaking.
CONTESTANT #5: LANORA
Me and my hair have lived parallel lives. Sounds strange, but “The Diva,” as I affectionally call my wooly mane, truly has a life of her own. LaNora was born, The Diva had her big chop. LaNora grew older, The Diva grew longer. LaNora graduated from elementary, The Diva had her first press. LaNora became a lawyer, The Diva became a hood star. LaNora found her Artist, The Diva went au naturale. LaNora moved to Harlem to be a writer, The Diva became a model. My hair defines me; strong, proud, resilient, natural. Like a good friend, my perfect wing man, The Diva complements my personality. I love interacting with strangers, she draws them in. I’m a no fuss girl, she’s down for the fluff and go. I love dressing up, she’s the perfect accessory. Like a great pair of heels, she adds height and swag to any getup. We are both girls who love who we are “flaws and all.”
CONTESTANT #6: KAYLA
Self-willed, expressive, special, original, amazing, and one of a kind. These words describe both her (my hair) and I. Sometimes we also go by the 3 B’s. Bold, black, and beautiful but that’s only when we’re being humble. We are a team, we compliment each other perfectly. I wouldn’t change anything about her and I hope she feels the same way about me. She has been with me through it all; good, bad, hot, cold, healthy, sick, drunk and sober (don’t judge me).
Kayla Nation & her hair
CONTESTANT #7: QUIEONA
Natural hair is an expression of me by boosting my confidence. When I did perm my hair, I tried to blend in with everyone else and trying to fit within their world.By doing this, I have lost myself to the point to where there was no more of me. I thought less of myself as a person and actually thought I was ugly. Once I got the courage to do the ” big chop” it was a huge release for me because I was able to be me. I had my own style, my own look. I finally looked the way God created me to be. Now that I have broken out of my shell I sarted to love and appreciate myself more and more….. I am Happy to be Nappy!!!
CONTESTANT #8: JANICCA
My natural hair is an expression of ALL OF ME! I have been a natural lady for 8 years now and it truly was and has been the best thing that I could have done for myself. I have always strived to be healthy in all aspects of my life. So in getting my physical and spiritual health in order, it was only natural to get my hair in order! Thus doing the “Big Chop!” I feel so free with my natural hair b/c it allows me flexibility, creativity, style and so much fun!!! I love that I can literally create something different everyday if I wanted to! And most of the time I do 🙂 Natural has helped me accept my true inner beauty. I am one of 4 sisters and I always felt the least “pretty.” But now, not only do my sisters, girlfriends, co-workers, and even strangers compliment me on my hair, but now I COMPLIMENT ME! I so love my NATURAL HAIR and won’t ever go back!
CONTESTANT #9: TEEKA
Rocking my natural hair for the past 10 years has really made me feel closer to my roots and culture. Growing up in Jamaica my natural hair was never a problem because everyone pretty much had the same hair texture or style. However, when I migrated to the United States my fellow peers made me feel ugly and out of place because of my hair. So eventually my mom permed my hair so that i could assimilate to my new surroundings. However, the older I got the less I really cared about how my peers saw me or my hair. So I went natural in 2003 and it was the best thing that I ever did (pertaining to my hair). My natural hair has taught me self-confidence and strength. With my natural hair I am able to express my fun, free spirited, spunky self through my many natural hairstyles (ex. my Afro puff and my Mohawk).
CONTESTANT #10: APRIL ELLIS
Naturally Beautiful: Working from the outside to the inside
My name is April Ellis and I have been transitioning to natural hair for 7mths. I consider my hair an expression of who I am because I believe my hair is a semblance of me. As my hair transitioned, I transitioned. I think my hair even schooled me, lol. When I first made the decision to go natural, I did it for financial reasons. Unfortunately for me, when I graduated from college thats when the economy took a serious plunge and I couldn’t find a job. I fell into a serious depression and got tired of looking at my hair break every time I touched it. So, after a year and a half of no job, I went back to retail and started using my little paychecks to rock weaves. However, that wasn’t fixing the problem. It was only masking it. I let myself go without even thinking twice and my self-esteem was so low not even my boyfriend could have made me feel better. I knew something had to change and I was going to start from the top. I stumbled upon CurlyNikki when I was researching hairstyles I wanted to do for my next weave. The pic was featured on CurlyNikki’s website so I naturally clicked on it. I had an epiphany! I realized neglecting my hair was a reflection on how I gave up and negelcted my life. And if I wanted change it has to start with re-evaluating myself and a major makeover, lol! I did, however, relapse in December 2011 around the time of my birthday. I let my friend/hairdresser convince me to do a half-head weave and perm the rest of my hair. Biggest mistake but, on the other hand, it was an eye-opener.
People can have an input into your life but at the end of the day, you’re the one who is living it. So as flyy as my hair was I knew that this was the last time the cream crack was going near my head. I was going to stick to my guns and do whats best for me! But I knew I didn’t want to just chop off everything and start from scratch. So I decided to transition. I wanted to challenge myself to actually stick through with a project to the very end instead of giving up in the middle. As my hair grew, my confidence grew. As my confidence grew, my mentality grew and I was able to start seeing what a mess I created for myself. Just like what I did for my hair I started to do research and light reading on how to get other aspects of my life in order. I know the old saying goes “You gotta work on the inside so it can be reflected on the outside.” This time around I did the opposite and so far, its working for me. My hair and I are still transitioning. Its only the beginning for us. But I know that the expression I want to remain for the both of us is FABULOUS!
CONTESTANT #11: EFUA
A little Background
I remember the moment I decided I was done with relaxing my hair like it was yesterday. As I sat in my Botany class trying to listen to the professor lecture us on plants, I remember wondering why I insisted on burying what lied underneath. What was this obsession behind having straight hair when my God given hair was kinky and curly? This style of hair does not define the Efua from Ghana days who had the freshest corn rows and creative styles ever! I bought into the way things were done and was not happy with that decision anymore! I can recall my childhood in Ghana with my Natural hair and loving it but understanding quickly that when you become a young woman, the perm and weaves come on to make you look like an “adult”. When we moved to the USA, it was economical to get the relaxer because we didn’t have the community like we used to at home. I lived in the south and having natural hair was not the norm! I was tired of the hours and 4-6week visits to the salon to sit for hours just to hide something so beautiful! My natural hair is an expression of me in many ways and it’s also a story of my journey.
How my Natural Hair Expresses Me? Natural Beauty- Having my natural hair shows my natural beauty which encourages others not to hide their beauty behind anything other than what they have naturally. Amazing- This hair is amazing! It is so versatile! Who would have thought it could do so much? Twists and turns, tests and trails with this hair during my transition (you remember those awkward phases and non cooperation!) Unique style. My natural hair makes me the unique person that I am. It is always a topic of discussion one way or the other! Risk taker. I took a risk by going back to something that felt right to me! Adaptable. This hair can be molded and shaped into so many different things! It amazes me how much we can do with it. It is a work of art. Love affair! Having natural hair is a serious love affair! It’s been a journey and it’s one that is not done yet! Loving every minute of it!
CONTESTANT #12: TIFFANY NICOLE
Hello beautifuls!!! My name is Tiffany and I have been transitioning for a year and a half. I absolutely LOVE discovering my curls and the variety of styles they give me. I also love the new sense of community that comes along with it. I never knew I could feel so connected to people half way around the world simply through hair!! With all of the blogs, youtube tutorials and even random 20 minute conversations with strangers in the mall (these are my favorite!!), it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride of being apart of something bigger than ourselves…yes, it’s only hair, but even our society is beginning to recognize how beautiful our natural curls are. I mean, how can you not notice all of these national commercials sporting models and actresses with their gorgeous curls?? It seems that wearing our hair natural is not only empowering to other African American women, but to women of different cultures as well. I believe that we as a community, are giving others the freedom and confidence to rock their do’s in it’s natural state, that they don’t need chemical alterations to feel beautiful. And that is something I am more than happy to be apart of!! God bless!! =)
CONTESTANT #13: VELVOR
My hair has a personality just like me. Carefree, happy, and bouncy in rain or shine. I love that I can wash and go and leave it to do it’s own thing. The texture of it is so much stronger now that it’s chemical free, it shines with the sun and brings out a healthy color that looks black but is really a darker shade of brown. I never thought it would be this easy to maintain. I like to laugh a lot and I feel that when I laugh my hair is laughing right with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner and a special surprise later this week!!
Okay, this is a quick post to share some pics from the meet-up at Pooka Boutique in Orange, NJ! We had such a good time!!! I want to take a minute to personally thank those who donated their time and talents. Thank you so much to Donna and Dawn of Pooka Pure and Simple, who generously supplied our venue, the Pooka Boutique in Orange, NJ. Thanks to Arlinda, the brilliant designer and owner behind Sofistafunk, the Skirt Co. and Michelle who dressed me in this fabulous skirt for the event. Thank you to Tameeka of Jaded Tresses,who did a wonderful styling demo and provided great information to all who attended! There was some awesome networking going on between all of these black female businesses and I’m sure we are going to have some amazing events coming up for you all in the near future!!
And, last but certainly not least, thank you to all the beautiful ladies (and their fabulous hair) who attended my first NJ meet-up! I hope that you’ll all be back for the second one ;)!!
(p.s. This “quick” post just took an hour to put together! *lol)
What more could a girl want?!?! I know that this is a little late notice, but if you’re in the NJ/NY area, come see where fairytale skirts marry Cinderella shoes!! Hope to see a few of you there!!
p.s. Sofistafunk is offering ”Black Friday” discounts today as listed in the flyer immediately above and on “Small Business Saturday” with prices starting at $45.00 and up to 50% off Signature Skirts!