Happy to be Nappy

I was perusing through Pinterest when I saw a Buzzfeed article that caught my attention, “12 Things Black Women Have Been Told About Their Hair…”  Number seven on the list drew my attention and warranted another click.

Relaxers are OK in moderation.

FALSE: Our skin is porous, meaning that almost anything you put on your skin and scalp has the ability to seep into your body and affect your organs, bloodstream, and other bodily systems. From a safety standpoint, all you need to do is view this clip from Good Hair to determine if relaxers are safe. (Spoiler: They’re not.)

I continued on to watch the clip from Chris Rock’s Good Hair Documentary, which I’ve heard about in the past but never actually watched it. After that clip, I began to watch clips about the chemicals and the process of a relaxer. I’m dramatic, but in all honesty I teared up at one video when a little girl told Chris Rock he should let his little girl get a perm because, “You’re supposed to.” The reality is, that is what I believed as well.

Unfortunately, I didn’t necessarily go natural because of health benefits. I went natural because I wanted long hair. After being around Pentecostal women with super long glory my entire life … and I felt like “Wait…you say this is what is causing me to lack growth?! I can have long hair?” I watched video after video of black women that couldn’t grow their hair past a certain length, but experienced extreme growth after going natural! I’m definitely a believer because this is how much hair that I’ve grown and KEPT in less than two years!

Hair Growth

I can hardly believe it myself. My hair is thriving and I’m too excited about it. It happened because I quit the creamy crack! I am very happily nappy now. For those of you that are still addicted, let me tell you a few things about the sodium hydroxide you’re putting in your hair…

  1. Sodium hydroxide is a highly corrosive substance, one that will destroy and damage other substances with which it comes into contact. The word corrosive is derived from the Latin verb corrodere, which means to gnaw, indicating how these substances seem to “gnaw” their way through flesh or other material.
  2. It is an alkali that decomposes proteins (yeah … that stuff your hair needs).
  3. This chemical it causes chemical burns on contact. I googled sodium hydroxide burns because I was going to insert one here … but I just couldn’t. It’s disgusting, don’t do it.
  4. A drain cleaner is a chemical-based consumer product that unblocks sewer pipes or helps to prevent the occurrence of clogged drains – sodium hydroxide is that chemical.
  5. Inhaling sodium hydroxide can cause breathing difficulty, lung inflammation, sneezing, and throat swelling.

I can hardly believe we put this stuff in our hair …

I know some of you are on the fence about relaxing or going natural. I never thought I would be one of those natural hair natzis, they honestly really irritated me when I was relaxed! But I am totally, entirely sold on natural. And you should know that I have officially thrown away that perm hiding in my fridge *gasp* and I am living nappily ever after!

Say No

Download PDF here

Pentecostal Product Review: 800 minutes

“Yeah, 800 minutes,” was my six-year-olds response to, “You know it takes Mommy a while when she’s doing her hair.” Kids are funny, one night previously his father asked why he was still up and he replied, “Mommy’s doing her hair. She forgot.” LOL My kids know wash day means they can get away with more. My attention is redirected to the cause. Does that make me a bad Mom?!

THIS time, he was absolutely correct. I feared get my crunchy, wooly hair would take forever to replenish! I felt like I needed something drastic. So I went to my favorite resource … YouTube. I landed on this tutorial and quickly became immersed in Bentonite clay reviews. When I came up for air, I went to YouTube Green Beauty for the scientific explanation of its benefits to hair. It helps with a dry scalp, dry or damaged hair, frizziness, heat damage, and lack of shine.

After that video, I sat in my chair with a blank stare, I believe I even said “Huh?!” out loud! I decided that I had to ask my husband to watch this video. Who, even with a mild concussion, is smarter than me 🙂 Oh yes, ladies, brains and good looks …God has been good to me!

First he had to make a sarcastic  comment, “Let me get this straight, you’re going to wash your hair with dirt?” But honestly, I was thinking the same thing! 😂 I’ve never been a fan of homemade products. I’m a believer that there’s a product out there for my needs. I don’t even like cooking so mixing product for hair is TOTALLY unappealing!

After a series of smart-mouth comments, he explained to me that it stripped your hair, in a nutshell. Takes out the bad and possibly the good as well (moisture) and to be careful. Here are the steps I took:

– I included only Aztec Healing Clay and Great Value Apple Cider Vinegar in my mask.

– I divided my hair into four sections.

– Going section by section, I wet my low porosity hair with warm water, detangled, then applied mask.

Note: Be careful as hair begins to harden, so you will not experience breakage.

– I washed my hands after every section. Okay, okay, this may not be a necessary step, but it reminds me of me as a child. I got in trouble because I would play in mud, then come in often to wash my hands. My tom-boyness was in direct contradiction to my undiagnosed OCD-ness :)!

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-Also, I had a bit left and spread it on my face (apparently that’s a thing). I was all in at this point anyways.  “Alexa, set my alarm for twenty minutes.” “ Okay, alarm set.”

– Then I rinsed out the “dirt” in the shower … any other way would’ve truly been a mess!!

– Although many YouTubers vary in what they do next, I decided to deep condition with my staple.

IMMEDIATELY, after washing out the clay, my hair felt different. I couldn’t see it at this point, but butterflies started to well up in my stomach. I could not get out of the shower fast enough … I needed to see my hair!!!

what I saw left me speechless and I promptly sent a picture to my husband downstairs. He was not excited enough for my tastes, so I sent a picture of my wet hair a week ago, then today’s.

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After these results, I rushed off to do research on just how often I can do this. I’m a fan. So much so, I’m changing my regimen to include this. Grab your own  from Amazon here, or head to your local beauty store today! I picked mine up at Beauty World for $7.99.

800 minutes, well worth it!

Baa Baa Black Sheep

“Your hair looks like a sheep.” “Thanks?” “But I LIKE it!!” Hmmmm, I felt like maybe my friend should’ve led with that! She was referring to my first wash and go ever. I accomplished (using that term very lightly) by the products below:

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Last summer I fought my hair constantly. I’d wash, blow it out, and then the return to it’s natural state began. My hair was #winning. This summer, I don’t plan on fighting. I am fully embracing my natural hair. Life has calmed down a bit, about as calm as it gets with two boys! I’ve decided to spend some QT time with my God given hair.

One thing I noticed was that my hair was shedding/breaking a lot less and vowed that when my life calmed down, I’d let my mane fly free. So I tried my hand at a wash and go. I’ve  got to be honest though, wash and go … is a bit of a stretch …

C9F88888-3300-4387-ADB7-686A61BEEC94.jpegAlthough I did rock this on the fourth, it was less than ideal. I wasn’t feeling it. Unfortunately, I had big hair, BUT I cared! I actually twisted the front in attempt to tame it. Lance said and I quote, “Girl take that mess out!” 🙂 He was encouraging me to take that twist out, let loose and let go!

I was met with a gamut of responses, oooohhs and ahhhs with different emotions. “Ooohhhh, I’ve never see your hair like that!” “Oooohhh, girl what’s up with your hair?” Mid-week I ended up with it pulled back like so …

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The end of the week I ended up here…

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It was definitely a new experience with my hair. It lasted a week before I could no longer deal with my crunchy, dry hair. #fail Although it didn’t look too bad, it FELT horrible! 

My favorite comment/compliment of the week was, “It looks like a sheep!” I was immediately reminded of the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any wool? Why yes ma’am, yes I do. A whole head full 🙂

#teamallnatural

#naturalhaircommunity

#curlyhairdontcare

#naturalhairjourney

#naturalhair

#teamnatural

#blackgirlmagic

There are many natural hair community hashtags and my list probably didn’t do them justice. Today, I’m only interested in one.

#teamallnatural

I know it’s not a thing. But, it is to me. I’ve never understood the natural hair movement completely. I love that it is filled with those feel good phrases such as,

“Your hair is not the problem, society is.”

”Don’t go natural, return. It’s where we began.”

“I’ve got good hair, I’ve got African in my family.”

But, it seems odd to accept your natural hair while covering up your natural beauty. Doesn’t the reasons for natural hair apply just as easily to the “no makeup” movement? It’s very confusing…

Well, here’s to creating new hashtags. Let’s make it a legit au natural movement. It kind of helps that I’m Pentecostal 🙂

#nomakeupmonday-sunday

#teamallnatural

#ireallywokeuplikethis

All Natural

Click on this to print!

Song of Solomon 4_7

 

For a free printable of this verse, click here!

Oh, come on!

My oldest son occasionally looks through my photos occasionally. He was interested in a picture of a frog I took a few nights ago. It was on our front step and YES we went around to the side door in the pitch darkness to avoid it. Funny, you give a person your phone for one picture and they start swiping as if they are on Tender *insert eye roll*.

He started swiping and kept seeing my smiling face in every frame and said, “Oh, come on,” in exasperation. It made me think of the scripture, “vanity, all is vanity!” All is excessive pride and admiration in your appearance or achievements … to be honest I thought Solomon was a touch dramatic in this text. But, the older I get, the more I agree with the sentiment. Especially after this happened:

Car Picture

My husband was in this car. He survived.

He survived.

Yep, he made it.

Look again and let that sink in.

So yeah, all is vanity. Life has a way of giving you perspective. It’s pretty easy to prioritize when tragedy visits. Lately my to do list has gotten a lot shorter. We’ve had an outpouring of love and support during this time, so I’m definitely NOT doing it on my own.

Solomon “denied himself no pleasure,” yet he stated it was ALL so meaningless. Seriously? I’ll be honest, I started reading Ecclesiastes because I was planning this post, but I kept reading because I felt unsettled. Everything is meaningless? Like everything, everything??

I can’t say that I’ve come to a life changing conclusion. I am still trying to figure out this book. I know he wrote this book during his old age. He had seen a lot of life. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I believe I have to read and study it more. I will say this though, we have to all take a look at life and the way we live it. It is important how we invest our time. Keep God at the center of everything you do.

Do your hair! Make it look GOOD, “there is a time for everything under the sun.” Wash-days and blowouts included :)! But, in the process don’t forget to

“Remember your Creator…” Ecclesiastes 12:1

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about Ecclesiastes below!

 

 

911, what is your emergency?

On April 30, 2018, at 4:45 PM, I received a phone call that we all fear. “Your husband has been in an accident. And the madness began. It hasn’t quite ended and though I don’t quite feel settled about writing about hair at a time like this, I wanted to share what I’ve done with my hair in the last week to expedite hair styling.

During the last week and several days while my husband is in the hospital, I needed a quick and easy style. So I went to my go-to. I purchased this and forewent deep conditioning this once, because … ain’t nobody got time for that 🙂

843D6006-0090-4641-B700-147FEF379D87Was I blown away by it? No, but it was very balanced in that I had a bit of slip and it was moisturizing and didn’t completely strip my hair. I was pleasantly surprised.

I detangled as I washed and after washing/conditioning, I applied grape seed oil as a heat protectant. Then used my Revlon One-Step Dryer, because it is just SO easy to use.

I cranked that baby up and moved through my hair like nobodies business. Although I have been wearing my hair in its natural state, I decided to return to this method to save myself some time during a stressful week.

I will note one thing I noticed this week, I had A LOT less hair shedding! I contribute that to staying away from heat over the last month. So I definitely plan on returning to that, but I was able to fly through my wash day in a solid hour and end up with this:

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Hopefully, I will be able to return to my regular hair routine on my next wash day … but it’s nice to know there’s a lazy natural routine I can revert to if needed. I have a few tips for you ladies if you have a family emergency.

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair in the shower.
  2. Use an oil or cream for heat protectant – if a heat protectant spray is used, you still have to add a moisturizing element as well. You can skip a step by using something that serves two purposes.
  3. Use heat – It is an easy stretch for your hair and allows you to style freely without working through all the kinks and curls 🙂

I pray you NEVER have to expedite your washing and styling regimen. But sometimes, life happens.

 

 

Nah, sis.

“Did you cut your hair,” is a question that I have received over the past week! And the short answer is ….. no! I suppose I did look very different than normal because it was the first time I wore my natural hair out freely and found a successful way to conceal the relaxed hair …. a secret I shared with my followers on Facebook, check me out!

It was my first successful (in my opinion at least) style I had because it met a few of my criteria:

  1. My hair was very moisturized.
  2. I felt good when I looked in the mirror.
  3. It lasted multiple days.
  4. It was easy to maintain.

I will walk you through how I created this style and maintained it. First, I styled and washed my hair for four weeks straight because I couldn’t get my hair to cooperate. That’s the part that no one tells you about. I tried numerous times and failed. You should first know that! The road to discovering exactly what combination of products and methods that will work for YOU will be a process. I suppose that’s why the “natural hair journey” phrase was coined.

On the fifth week of failure, determined my hair WAS going to do as it was told, I co-washed my hair. I really wanted to wash, but it was a Tuesday and I didn’t have the time. I had church the following night and God deserved better LOL. I follow Naptural85’s co-wash video with Dollar Tree coconut oil and V05 conditioner. I put a shower cap on … well two … and did “life” for the next hour. You know, those imperative things like feed my kids/dog/etc….

I then rinsed my hair and proceeded to style. I divided my hair into four sections and did typical twists and a hanging Bantu knot on ends that were relaxed. The only difference in my first attempt at mini twists is that I made my sections and little larger and made a side part. I had around eight to ten twists per section. Every section was treated with a leave-in conditioner, grape seed oil, and curl creme.

Also, I put every section in a ponytail so my twists would dry in a stretched state after watching t his Chic Natural video about stretching hair without the use of heat. Of course, I didn’t look near as cute as she did! LOL

Pony tails.jpg

I let my hair air dry overnight and took my twists apart with a little oil in my hands and TA-DA, I had a style for going on nine days!! I moisturized and re-twisted it as needed … which was not much! Here is a close up of the knots on the end of a twist:

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A texture shot:

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So my answer is nah sis, I’m still Pentecostal and I’m rocking my uncut hair 🙂