Yes, there’s a bra there somewhere…

It has been another full year of naturalness. I will be rocking a fro for the next few days, and then I’ll get it straightened to see how long it’s gotten. Kind of counter-productive.

I’ve always looked up to my mother. She’s a beautiful woman and I want to be just like her. However, my mom has (nearly) naturally straight hair, so I can’t really look like her without a bit of work. This weekend is her 50th birthday party and to pay homage to her, I wanted to have my hair straightened in time for the party. I told her this and you know what she said?

“No. Keep it natural.”

I love my mother.

For anyone who is curious about how I keep up with my hair, this is what I’ve fallen into the habit of doing lately. First, the items:

Shampoo: Arganic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Infinite Moisturizing Shampoo.
I’m looking for a new bottle or a good replacement, as I am almost out. It’s sulfate-free!
Conditioner: Silkience Silk-Smooth Conditioner
I really like this conditioner! It’s cheap and works well. Also sulfate-free, but has alcohol. However, it has never made my hair feel  dry…
Rinse: Apple Cider Vinegar
I just filled my spray bottle and poured some vinegar and a little coconut oil. You can find a recipe anywhere!
Sprays: Water & Coconut Oil (picture of the coconut oil I used in this post)
Used for wetting dry hair that needs to be styled and for whenever I feel like my hair needs a little spritz.
Palmer’s Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil
I don’t use it too much. It smells weird, but my scalp likes it.
Rasta Locks & Twist No More Itch Gro Spray
For calming an itchy scalp in between washings!
Creams: Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream
I mostly use it for moisturizing, haven’t tried it for curl definition next. Maybe next post? No… Next post will be how I bleach my hair!
Softee Indian Hemp Hair Grease
Can this be considered a cream? I know I shouldn’t use it, but it’s more convenient that oil.
Tools: Large-toothed comb
Paddle brush & boar bristle brush
Ponytail holders

Nearly every weekend, usually on a Friday I wash my hair. I start by parting my hair into four sections and repeating the same steps, one section at a time.

  1. Get section wet and spray down with ACV rinse. I concentrate mainly on my scalp because it helps control my itchy dry scalp.
  2. On shampoo days, I take a little of the Arganics and rub it through the section and my scalp. It’s sulfate free, so it doesn’t lather very much.
  3. Next (or first if I’m not shampooing that day) I use the Silkience conditioner. It smells like apples and completely eliminates the stink of the vinegar. Also, it doesn’t leave an overpowering smell of its own on your hair (probably because it’s cheap).
  4. I detangle with my large-toothed comb and sometimes brush it out.
  5. I then twist the section up and secure it with a ponytail holder.
  6. Wrap up in an old t-shirt to soak up excess water without over-drying or distressing hair.

Voila! My wash regimen. Styling is usually a bit more varied, of course, depending on the style. But my go to style lately has been twists or braids. I also do one section at a time here. This is how I go about it:

  1. I take a lock of hair and spray it with the coconut oil water mix if the hair has become too dry (like when I don’t do my hair on a wash day).
  2. Lightly grease the scalp around the lock (or the oil, if you’re a better person than me)
  3. The lock then gets a finger of the Cantu curling cream worked through it and brushed straight with the boar bristle brush. (I get a really pretty curling effect when I do this, but I’ve never let it stay like that. I ought to try one day!)
  4. Twist or braid (Or finger coil or bantu knot) the lock.

And then you would continue throughout the whole head with that. It’s very simple, but can be time consuming. Lately I’ve been making really large twists out braids and then pulling it into a ponytail in the morning. Sometimes I may undo them, sometimes not. It’s usually not very pretty or stylish, but it has been getting the job done, and I noticed today that my hair feels a lot softer and looks shinier and stronger.

Good luck, all! Tonight I’m going to start packing after I finish my hair. I’m moving next week! :)

Dear Delilah,

I don’t know what your problem is. You’ve really let yourself go. You’re itchy, flaky, and making me look bad! You’re supposed to be soft, curly, and shiny…But you’re dry and crunchy. You look like a bad wig. You smell weird! I can’t believe that after all we’ve been through, you have the nerve to walk around looking like that. Split ends hanging all out and dull as can be!

What am I saying? It must be my fault. Did I use a new product you didn’t like? Was it the Ecostyler or that random ‘Pudding’ my mother bought? Maybe I was in the sun too long. Maybe I over-shampoo’d. Do you want more coconut oil or water, or both? I’m sorry I have been busy and forgetful. You haven’t been moisturized with creme or covered at night…Not even a bit of water sprayed on you, poor thing!

I promise I’ll change, my dear! In fact, you need a good deep condition and detangle. Forget that party tonight! It’s all about you baby. I’ll make sure you’re trimmed and protected well, and I’ll never let you down again!

I love you,
Faye

*Delilah is the name I call my hair.

I met a fellow product junkie today who made me realize I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties (again). She asked me about a product I was buying (more on that later) and since I haven’t used it yet, I directed her to my blog to check soon to see if I’ve posted about it. Of course, I have to be a regular poster in the first place for that to happen! Unfortunately, I gave her the wrong url…But she’ll figure it out…Right?

Anyways.

I took up an offer from a friend of mine to get my hair flat ironed. I haven’t had it done in quite a while, and I really wanted to see how long it was…So why not? I am primarily concerned about the health of my hair, rather than the length so I went in apprehensive and took defensive measures to protect against heat.

Meet two more friends of mine! Organic coconut oil and Garnier Fructis Blow Dry Perfector!

As you know, the new thing in the natural community is coconut oil, so I had to give it a try. I have used coconut oil based products before (Blue Magic Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner. You know the stuff!), but that was before going natural and before paying attention to my hair’s reaction to products. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties to prevent hair loss, moisturizes, and has a higher melting and boiling point than many oils, making it an ideal heat protectant. The Blow Dry Perfector contains argan oil, which is rich in omega-3s and is great for smoothing and straightening hair.

A few hours before it was to be straightened, I washed, treated with coconut oil, rinsed and then braided my hair after running the Fructis through it. My friend was a bit upset, because she wanted my hair wet so that it’d be easier to blow dry, and I hadn’t been able to rinse out some of the oil. So I had to wet my hair AGAIN and she blew it out….Mostly.

Then she went through most of my hair with my flat iron, and then decided it wasn’t hot enough. (Quote “I touched it and it didn’t even burn my hand!”) SO she went through again with her own, got tired and passed my head over to our other friend, who went through my head all over again! Needless to say, I was there for a while, but I had fun with them and got the result I wanted (They weren’t as pleased :D)

It was much longer than I thought. It moved when I walked. It bounced! I could toss it around or whip it out of my face. I was having so much fun! Best of all, my scalp didn’t itch at all (I think thanks to the coconut oil). I thought everything was going well until something odd happened…

People weren’t saying my hair looked ‘cool’ or ‘cute’ or ‘interesting’. They used words like ‘beautiful’ and ‘gorgeous’. I got hit on a lot more. I acted different, more confident. But that’s not what bothered me…What got me down is how much it took a toll on my naturalista psyche. I started questioning my natural beauty, wondering if I should just keep my hair straight. I just knew that people were like “Finally, that nappy-headed girl came to her senses!”

Then it rained, my hair puffed out like magic, and I finally did come to my senses! I was taking things way too seriously. It’s going to be a long time before the majority of people will cherish anything but long, straight hair. And that’s fine by me, it’s beautiful too. But so is natural hair! And so am I.

AND SO ARE YOU!

I was inspired to do mini-twists (my third try) again to get ready for my first real spring break vacation! Every year before this I’ve been a high schooler or stuck working a new job that I couldn’t take a week off from just yet. Well, my wonderful boyfriend and I saved up all the money we could and just…left. Haha, it was great! We brought friends, had a crappy hotel, fun, food and drinks…Oh, but you’re here about hair, right?

I don’t have any recent pictures, but here are some twist I’ve had before, as a reference.

Now, while shopping at the beauty supply store I came across this:

The famous ecostyler! I’ve heard a lot of good things and have seen it many tines, but this was the first time I decided to buy it because I knew exactly what I could do with it. You see, my scalp gets itchy. Everyday for most of my life, before and after going natural. So it had only been a few days to a week since I had these twists in and they were already looking fuzzy! This is why I decided to wash and moisturize my poor scalp (I also bought Jamaican Mango & Lime itch relief spray for good measure. Life saver!) and use the Ecostyler gel to help keep my twists intact. Take a look.

ECOSTYLER | WATER

(It’s the less frizzy looking side with the product) Not only did my hair naturally curl up because of the water, the Ecostyler held the twists, the curly ends, and even made it shinier! I was very pleased once it was dry and even slept on it multiple times without any problems.


I’ll stop gushing over how great this was for the beach…Eventually. Water, wind, humidity and sun did nothing to it. I could headbang to my boyfriend’s favorite dubstep songs (ew!) and it was very touchable.

It even looked cool and stylish as a twist out, as opposed to the twist out from the last mini-twists:

My only problem was that it didn’t turn into an awesome fro like my last two minitwists did. Must have been the ecostyler!

It was still cute and pretty durable. And a great protective style. After I combed it out nearly 3 weeks later, there was only minimal hair loss. (And for those wondering, I’m fairly certain I used pure Shea butter and cantu moisturizer for my initial twists)

Happy twisting, everyone!

(Hint hint! The next post may be about straight hair! ;])

So there comes a time in every naturalista’s life in which she wonders ‘Well my hair is natural now…Shouldn’t more things in my life be natural?’ And this can go a few different ways: She’ll either a) continue her life as usual with the regular chemical additives and processed foods, b) try to include natural alternatives in parts of her life, or c) turn into a natural nazi and probably piss off a lot of people.

I was A for a while when I first went natural. Chopping off my hair was a pretty big step for me because I’ve always idolized my mom’s long, insanely fast-growing hair.  I still bleached in highlights (permanent) and used other chemicals in my hair (non-permanent). I still ate crappy, over-processed foods (trying to be impartial here). Ahem. I still ate a lot of non-perishables, chockful of additives and more chemicals, and canned fruits. I was, and am still, in college, so it was affordable and it lasted pretty long.

Now, I’m in B mode because I’m trying to take better care of my body. I know its nearly impossible to live a completely additive-free life in my food and hair products, so that’s not my goal. So I’ve been buying fresh fruits and veggies (and cleaning them with a neat spray called Fit; it helps clean off pesticides!), getting dried beans and fruit to cook with and snack on, respectively, and drinking more water and natural juices (And Naked Smoothies. Oooh). On the hair care side, eating better means better skin and hair overall, and I have also gone the route of using essential oils and pure shea butter.

Sound good, right? BUT. I haven’t given up a lot of other things I don’t care to mention. I probably won’t, and I’m fine with that. And here’s were type C naturals come in. Some tend to judge and look down on others for not adhering to their arbitrary natural rules. Just because I bleach color into my hair means I’m not a natural to many people. And to them, it might be a sin to eat hot Cheetos. I guess that’s fine too, because I’m happy they way I am. How I describe myself matters a lot more than how others describe me.

…ANYWAY. The main reason for this post wasn’t to rant about varying degrees of “naturalness.” The previous paragraphs have simply provided background information for me to announce how I failed an attempt to only eat fresh bread. It’s gets moldy so quick! I tried for about 2 weeks, but I’m wasting too much food, so I went back to my favorite potato bread with all its yummy preservatives and food coloring. Hehe. And I never knew moldy bread tasted like dirt.

What’s that? After almost a year of nothingness I’ve decided to blog twice in the same day? Yes, nonexistent readers, it’s true. After posting on my general, now turned sewing blog and taking a trip to Walmart, I’ve thought hard about it and decided that the death of my camera shouldn’t stop me from updating here once in a while. So while I save up for a new cam, here’s an opinionated, experience-based discussion.

Today in the freezer section while I had an armful of groceries (I almost always forget to grab a cart) I was approached by a fellow natural who, without any sort of greeting asked “How long have you been natural?” This happens to me a lot (and it’s always a little strange that they never say hello, but whatever), so I told her, and she proceeded to ask me about how I got my hair to do what its doing today and blah blah blah. Two things.

My hair looked like crap. I had a sinfully cute style two days ago (no pictures, don’t ask), but it didn’t hold up very well after releasing my ribbon and scratching my scalp like no tomorrow. (I replaced the ribbon when I realized I needed to go shopping, but still…borderline hot mess) I think the only reason she noticed it was because of how obnoxiously large my puff of hair was.

Was I supposed to ask her anything? Never fails, when people comment positively on my hair, clothes, style or ask me questions, I just say thanks, respond to their question, and keep moving. Am I obligated to ask her about her hair? Furthermore, should I compliment other women’s shoes (like that will ever happen)  if they say they like my shirt? I just don’t have a natural response to ask about or compliment others in return and it leaves stranger encounters a bit awkward for me. I also just learned about a year ago to take compliments instead of disagreeing with the person. That’s me…delightfully awkward and self -deprecating.

What do you think? And what makes people compliment strangers out of the blue? I rarely do it myself, so I’m at a bit of a loss.


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