February 07, 2014

It's Been A Long Time; Shouldn't Have Left You - Feb. 7, 2014

I'm alive!!! I've been MIA for awhile for many reasons but I wanted to check in and let my curly girls know that I'm still here! I have been blessed with other opportunities in the great Canadian North that have been taking up my time but I still love my hair blog with all my heart.

First off, thank you SO MUCH for reading my blog and supporting me in natural hair! It's a growing community and your support means the world to me! So, let's discuss my hair progress! Well, I still alternate between washing and conditioning my hair so that I don't dry out my hair. I do that about every 2 weeks. Over the Christmas break, I rediscovered twist and braid outs and became so pleased with the results that I've continued to do so. However, though twist and braid outs are meant to enhance curl patterns, I find that they don't do mine justice so I use them merely to stretch out my hair. I always get a nice, stretched out fro. As the week goes on, I apply some hair butter and get nice curl definition and amazing softness. This is my secret to being able to handle my hair at this length while aiding in the protection and growth. 

GROWTH UPDATE: My hair reaches my shoulders when it is sopping wet and I can FINALLY see my beautiful, unique, curltastic curl pattern! I don't know how to describe it in numbers or letters so I won't. My curls are like small, spiral springs and it's awesome! It is not, however, long enough to wear a fabulous wash and go but I predict that by May or June (my college graduation), I will be able to wear a perfectly curly wash and go! I'm still learning to love the twists and turns of my hair though. I don't really fuss with my hair because I have other things to do! But some of my foolproof hairdos include an afro with a headband or scarf, 2 or 4 puffs or a mega puff. I also like to twist the front of my hair like a crown for a cute Grecian style. 

My products have stayed the same as they work wonders for me (you can see them in my very first entries). I've started applying oil way more often to add soften and shine every few days. I've also started to DETANGLE my hair every time I wash and condition it. This had CHANGED my life. I'm finding that my hair is less tangly and easier to play with. When you have tightly coiled curls like mine, skipping the detangling process is a bg NO-NO! Kinky-Curly not Today Natural Detangler is one of THE BEST on the market for literally melting knots, creating slip and curl definition. The only downfall is that this detangler leaves annoying white residue so I always use it to detangle my hair, then wash it out thoroughly and apply my Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner to soften and hydrate. 

Other than that, life in the Northwest Territories is great! I hope to start posting more often so you can see my hair at its current length. Thanks again for supporting my blog and I send lots of love and blessings your way always!

November 01, 2013

Get Height: How to maintain your afro's real length - November 1, 2013


I hope the cool air is treating you well and I also hope Halloween was enjoyable. I'm still getting used to the chill winds here in the Northwest Territories but it definitely isn't as bad as I make it seem. My hair is also in great condition, nice and soft. One downfall is that I'm lazy and haven't detangled it since I've been here. How am I maintaining and protecting my hair in this cold weather? I am conditioning more than shampooing which is a must for curly girls! I have conditioned my hair three times since I've been here and have only shampooed my hair once. I make sure to moisturize with my hair butter and/or oil every few days in the morning or at night. I sleep on a silk pillowcase and wear my hat if it's really cold out. I also try VERY hard not to rip out the knots. It's not rocket science at all, just simple hair care!

This entry, however, is about my new discovery! HEIGHT and how to maintain it! We all know how horrid shrinkage is and we all wish we could combat it through the Teeny Weeny Afro and the Awkward Length stages. My hair is about shoulder length when stretched but it shrivels up to an afro once it dries. Here is the routine I created yesterday to get my afro to stay big even after my hair dried. You can do this on wet hair or freshly washed hair.

Wet or shampoo/condition hair.
Apply leave-in conditioner, hair butter or oil all over hair.
Rake product through hair gently to evenly distribute product and stretch curls.
Gently stretch hair and aim the blow dryer at the roots. Do this all over hair to help stretch the hair and keep the height.

This technique works great because by finger combing and stretching the roots, you've also detangled them. The next morning, you will find it easy to finger comb your hair and get a bigger afro as well because your roots are soft and detangled.

October 18, 2013

Quick & Easy Curl Definition - Oct. 18, 2013

I'm sure almost every curly girl has heard of Individual Finger Coiling/Twirling/Doodling, but what exactly does that mean? Well, it's a trick that curly girls use; when one (foolishly) takes the time to tirelessly define each and every curl on her head. Now, I say "foolishly" because I think us naturals are way too hung up on definition. The nature of the beast (curly hair) IS imperfection, difference in length, frizz, craziness! We who bear Afros are meant to look like lions! However, that being said, I know what it's like to want a defined look or a beautiful wash and go hairstyle. So, I'll dish out my simple tips for getting QUICK & EASY curl definition on wet or dry hair with limited products and tools.

(On wet hair - in the shower or using a spray bottle with water)

I discovered this easy method one day when I didn't have much time to get ready & do my hair. This is a great way to achieve a wash and go look without spending much time. I can complete this process in about 30 minutes.

  • Wet your hair thoroughly with water
  • Apply a conditioner all over your hair in medium sized sections
  • Instead of washing the conditioner out completely, wet your hair again & squeeze the excess water & conditioner out in a scrunching motion
  • Use a towel turban or cotton t-shirt to soak up extra water
  • Put on your hair accessories at this point (headbands, bows, bobby pins)
  • Use a blow dryer with or without a diffuser attachment, put it on low cool heat and aim it at your hair for a few minutes to speed up the drying process and enhance the curls

(On Dry Hair)

This method is great when you want to do a faux-hawk or up-do hairstyle and want definition but don't necessarily need definition everywhere. I can complete this process in about 15 minutes.

  • Mix water and a moisturizing hair butter together and apply all over your hair
  • Define the front, sides and back of your hair by sectioning the hair using the hair butter and coiling strands around your fingers
  • Style hair as necessary
These methods are both easy and fast. You too can get beautiful definition without coiling every single strand on your head. To summarize, all you need are:
  • A multipurpose leave-in/rinse out conditioner
  • Blow dryer
  • Hair butter

October 16, 2013

Me, my fro & I: Black and Kinky Speaks - Oct. 15, 2013

Hey everyone! I know I've been MIA for awhile but I'm thoroughly enjoying my life with my fiance and am currently in the Northwest Territories, Canada with his family. No, I'm not crazy! As promised, I will be documenting my new experiences of having kinky-curly hair in a cold place, the changes I need to make to my hair routine and the things I will learn adjusting to a new community. In this entry, I dish out tips to help you become or remain a confident curly girl, a frotastic femme, a kinky-curly chica in this cruel, cruel hair world. Warning: I am blunt but not intentionally mean. I've also been away from my blog for a bit too so here goes another one of my signature long rants. Enjoy!

Something I've learned while having natural hair is that how you feel is directly linked to how you act. Confidence seeps through your body & every move is laced with vibrancy & energy. You feel daring & try out many different hairstyles. Sometimes you don't even comb your hair or put product in it. You wear your curls wild & free. You may even colour your hair or get a funky cut. Self-doubt, on the other hand, wraps around you & hinders you from many things like trying on that sexy dress or saying hi to that super cute guy or truly embracing the twists & turns of your curly hair. You may wear headscarves all the time. You may dread wash day. You may resort to wearing protective styles or weaves because you can't accept the nature of the beast. I found that focusing on me & how I want to look really helps me rise above the confusion, negativity & weird stereotypes that still surrounds black hair. Focusing on myself helps me stay content with my Afro, my current hair length & steers me away from lifelessly clicking YouTube channel after YouTube channel, wishing & wanting other people's long, curly hair (no offence to those who do that).

CURL CRUSHES: Don't have curl crushes or curl idols if all you're going to do is wish for their hair. Your hair is not like theirs; no two heads of hair are alike! Your hair will never look like their hair. Now that that's said, pick curl crushes with SIMILAR curl patterns & hair lengths so you can actually accurately use them as idols & inspirations. I strongly discourage having a hair idol who has hair that you want. I think it's poison. Find someone who has similar hair & grow with them. For example, I would never use Tracey Ellis Ross as my hair idol. She has 3B curls, I have 4A curls. Her hair is super long, my hair is still in it's awkward Afro stage. I would, however, use @candiishoppe [on Instagram] as my idol because even though her hair is still in the TWA stage, her curl pattern is quite similar to mine & we even use the same gel as our styling product. Makes sense right!

EVERYTHING ISN'T ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS: Don't believe every curly hair blog, YouTube video, interview or spoken word that you see or hear. There is so much information out there, especially on the internet & we really don't know what is true or not. Your best bet is to go to a store or salon that specializes in black hair products for accurate information. Also, try reaching out to bloggers, authors, hair stylists and/or consultants. I'm currently emailing a girl who I'm following on Instagram (shout out to @pina_curlada). We have different curl types, hair textures & lengths but she has helped me understand curly hair in a different way, we recommend products to each other & we share tips & tricks. It's a great & easy way to make a new curlfriend & get valuable information! Hair blog, Black Girls Long Hair is also a great source to get curly girls' twitter, Instagram & website information so that you can contact them directly.

BE READY: Going natural isn't easy! However, you should do it for the right reasons! Your natural hair journey is or should be, more than about your hair! I've changed my whole lifestyle along with how I wear my hair. I'm working on living a healthier life. I have created such a positive place for myself, mentally & physically. I try to use all natural hair, skin & body products. Your hair journey should be more than just about changing your hair & wearing it natural. It's about embracing ALL of you, they way you were born & how you were meant to look. If you have thin skin, a weak mind or low self-esteem, you should really re-think going natural until you have gained the confidence. Yes, going natural is about personal growth but if you're not ready for the fire before it happens, you may just go back to the creamy crack [relaxer or texturizer]. People are going to stare, people are going to ask ignorant & redundant questions & you will feel like an alien. But, people will also love your courage & natural beauty, people will be inspired, people will respect your choice & people will compliment you. It all depends on how you choose to approach the journey. Will you be ready?

LISTEN: Listen to your hair. Yes, your hair talks & tells you things! If your hair is thin & prone to breakage & is showing you this by piling up in clumps on the floor, don't go & straighten or colour it 3 months into your natural hair journey. If your hair doesn't like being washed every week, wash your hair less! If your hair doesn't like certain ingredients, don't torture it! You have to listen to your hair if you want strong, healthy curls!

YOUR CIRCLE: Surround yourself with positive people who ACCEPT, LOVE & ENCOURAGE your decision to go natural. You'll do yourself a real disservice if you hang around people who don't accept natural hair. Now, I'm not saying you can't be friends with girls with relaxed hair or girls who've worn weave their whole life or guys who only like long, straight hair, but if they're going to try to convince you to revert or if they're going to make fun of you, you need to find yourself some new friends. End of story. The great thing about this natural hair community is that natural hair isn't new. There are tons of naturalistas out there & you're bound to know a few already! There are also tons of undercover naturals too! During my transition period & throughout my journey, I had plenty of friends who wore their hair natural & one girl in particular (shout out to my homegirl @neitaa_) who cut her hair around the exact same time as I did! I had a natural hair buddy & we were going through the journey together. It's great! Also, if you have family who aren't supportive, you need to set them straight (or curly haha) as soon as possible. When I told my mom, who is relaxed, that I was going to cut off my hair, I really felt like she was trying to convince me not to. It's important to make your friends & family understand exactly why you're doing this & make their ears hurt with the words: this is MY decision.

ALL IN: If you're going to "do this natural thing", do it right! Research about your hair type & texture. Research products. Do YOU & do things for yourself. It helps that I work at a natural hair product store but I spend my spare time reading up on products, familiarizing myself with ingredients, taking samples home & trying stuff out. I rarely purchase products just because someone said it worked for them or even because of what the label says. You have to find stuff out for yourself. I purchase products only after testing them out, comparing them to others & thinking about the price. I'm extremely cautious of spending money on products when I can get the same results from a cheaper version. My conditioner, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner is amazing, lasts for at least 6 months or more & costs $20. The whole package! Also, when I find something that works, I stick with it. I have stocked up on that same conditioner. Yes, I try new things but I don't exclude the products that my hair loves. Be as involved in your hair as you can! Know what works & doesn't work & don't expect to have it all figured out in the first year. I've said it before & I'll say it again, I talk to my hair. Love it as if it's another person. If you love it, it'll love you back by looking fabulous!

BABY STEPS: Before you go & colour your raven coloured tresses, get a funky asymmetrical cut, straighten your curls or do anything equally dramatic, make sure a) your hair is in good condition, b) you obtain all the information you need to move forward, c) think about it long & hard & don't make an irrational decision. Altering your hair's natural colour or texture will result in dryness no matter the process, chemical or chemical-free. All the above changes will mean your hair needs extra care & attention, especially extra moisture. Be sure you know what you're doing or get a professional to walk you through the process.

Natural hair & going natural may seem like a science but it's just an accumulation of information that you need to remember to be able to grow strong, healthy curls. I've been saying this all along: everyone can grow long, luscious curls! Remember, simplicity is extremely important. Using 3 different gels isn't necessary or even healthy for your hair just as using all these different protein treatments isn't necessary either! Research as much as you can but be aware of the information you're taking in. Use this hair & lifestyle change to really get to know yourself, your hair & who you were meant to be!

September 23, 2013

Even though my journey has been short compared to some naturalistas, I've learned a lot in 9 months. Many of these lessons came from working at Honey Fig, some came from the natural hair blogs or Instagrammers I've been following but some have also come from my own experimentations & experiences. The following are some tips & tricks that may or may not help you but have helped me. Enjoy!

•PREVENT FRIZZ: After washing or conditioning, don't use a towel at all. I find that even a micro fibre towel dries my hair too much & causes frizz. Put one or two shower caps on your head, followed by a towel turban or regular towel. This will stop your hair from dropping everywhere but won't dry it up.

•TREATMENT: Mixing oils are a great way for maximum pre-poo treatments (I use Jojoba oil & Sweet Almond oil together).

•DETANGLING: Mixing your detangler (I use Kinky-Curly Knot Today) and rinse out conditioner (I use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner) adds extra slip, softness & makes detangling an absolute breeze.

•EASY APPLICATION: Put your daily leave-in conditioner into a spray bottle for easier application. This is great especially for curlfriends with thick Afros as the nozzle gets the product all over the hair.

•PRODUCT APPLICATION: After shampooing or conditioning, apply your hair products to damp NOT soaking wet hair. The product will be absorbed more & you'll be able to smooth it through instead of ending up with sopping wet hands & wasted product.

•USING OIL: When you apply oil, don't be lazy! Do this before bed to help relax your head. Really massage the oil (gently) into your scalp and spread it root to ends. This will help with hair growth & proper distribution.

•DON'T BE LAZY: On the days when you're not styling with gel, apply a hair butter to your ends. On wet hair, apply a little extra leave-in conditioner to the ends. On dry hair, apply the butter from root to ends.

I'll be adding more to this list so stay tuned! Happy reading! :)