Monthly Archives: November 2013

My Girls

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I’ve talked about my daughters since the very first posting I made in this blog. My daughters are a huge reason, if not the main reason, why I started this natural hair journey. I’ve spoken about my strong feelings of guilt for giving them kiddie relaxers only to watch it eat away at their already beautiful, healthy hair and how that began my mission of getting their hair and scalp healthy again. During that process I started to seriously think about my own hair. Why was I only letting them go natural while I continued to go to the salon and drop $70 (tip included) for a cut and relaxer? Why was I still frying my hair to death with curling irons and flat irons, essentially breaking my hair off even more?

The more I thought about this the more resolved I became in joining my daughters in this journey and doing this together as a unit. Mother and daughters united! My girls, Taylor (soon to be 12) and Talya (soon to be 10) are now 1 year into being natural once again. Their hair suffered some major breakage in different areas of their head due to the kiddie relaxers but thankfully with lots of time, patience and TLC their hair has grown back nicely. It’s still not quite at the length it was before the kiddie relaxers, but it’s definitely on it’s way.

Here are some pictures of my girls when they were younger with NO relaxer, and a few of them today rocking some twist out styles and puffs/Afros. I have 4 kids total, two boys and two girls and I love them to pieces! 🙂

Taylor age 3 N 112

Taylor's twist out2

Three T's 20071

Sister love2

Talya Puff2

Talya Twist Out1 2

Talya Puff1 2

THIS is why I started this blog

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I’m going to share with you something a friend of my sister’s posted on my Facebook page last night (Wednesday). Mind you I had no clue that she was even considering going Natural or that she had read my blog posts, which makes her post all the more heartwarming. I was moved to tears when I read it. It makes me all the more happy that I decided to chronicle my journey with this blog and posting it to my Facebook page for others to read as well. You just never know who you will inspire or touch in such a positive way. I’m over the moon happy for my friend and I hope OUR journey reaches and inspires many more directly or indirectly.

“Sonya, I have decided to join you in the nappy hair journey. I’ve been thinking about it seriously for a while. My mom and aunt and sister are all natural. They do it in three different ways and looks. My sister is more conservative. She just wears hers short with no frills. My mom has been natural for years. So, her hair is long and gray and she goes for braids (one or two) never anything too spicy. But my Aunt Wendy does all the frills and whistles with hers. Hers is long too. But all of them are natural and kinky (nappy) and seem happy. So, last night I just got up and cut the perm out of my hair. I have maybe half of an inch of hair on my whole head. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve ever seen myself like this. I love it!!!! Truly I do. Now Excell is sleep right now and I don’t imagine he will have anything kind or encouraging to say, but I’m maturer now and stronger. I have my own little vision and I can do this without his support. He’s been my major obstacle. He doesn’t like it, but he hasn’t seen it on his wife of twenty years yet. I can totally rock this. I will put a picture up for you tomorrow. You’ve been very instrumental along with a couple of my other nappy sisters in encouraging me to take one more step towards being a stronger and better woman. If you never learn to love the naked truth about yourself, then why in the world be you? I love my mind, my life, my children, my husband, my beliefs, my choices in life, and every glorious thing there is to love about myself. So, I’m about to start loving my hair too. Can I get a, “Right on, sista!””

The best part is she announced her decision on her own Facebook page and a whole community of her friends who are fellow naturalistas (including myself) came out and supported her with such encouraging words and experiences. I spent a good part of my morning reading and having discussions with some wonderful women. It truly lifted my spirits and reaffirmed my decision to love and embrace my natural hair. One of our mutual friends who is not African American joined in the discussion and shared how she made the decision to stop using harmful dyes and perms in her hair. She said she even stopped using shampoo and now use more natural methods to wash and condition her hair. So going natural isn’t just something African American women can do, ALL women can do it. Keep being an inspiration people!

It’s not always cute, honey!

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SJTwistout1 133

SJTwistout2 132

Soooo……last night I did my PUH-ing. This is the baking soda and water wash and apple cider vinegar and water rinse. This not only cleanses your hair of the build up of products and dirt but it helps define your natural curl pattern and restores your hairs pH balance. Every so often I’ll use this method for my girls and myself versus shampooing. Later in the week, usually on the weekend I’ll deep condition our hair and we’ll sit under the dryer for a little bit.

After puhing I decided to try my very first official twist out. First let me go back. A few weeks ago I did a “plait out” where I plaited my hair in tiny plats all over my head. That turned out so-so. My friends and fellow naturalistas keep telling me that my hair is long enough for a twist out even though I disagree. Last night I decided to give it a try.

First understand that I have very, very THICK, coarse hair and lots of it, so this process took a minute to do. I put my raw African Shea Butter mixture (with coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin e) my hair, finger detangled it and went to town. Afterwards I tied it up with my satin bonnet and went to bed. This morning I gently took down my twists with a little olive oil on my fingers and the results are what you see in the pictures.

It’s very curly but kind of hard to tell in the pictures. I think what I need are some hair accessories and I need to experiment with different styles other than my curly fro. I’ve done the head band thing but I need to be more adventurous. I’m not thrilled about my hair today. I love how it turned out but it needs help. What I really want requires more patience, and that’s more length. Until that happens I’ll have to make it do what it do and get creative and cute with my hair. A flower pin here, a cute barrette there. You girls know how we do! 😉

Looking back

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Tonight I was inspired by fellow blogger Muhala of Testimony and Truth when she asked several questions of me that required some serious thought. One of those questions was “What do you most want your readers to take away from your blog?” I love this question because when I first started this blog about my natural hair journey, it was more for me to chronicle my journey. As time went on I quickly realized that I didn’t want this blog to be just about me, I want this blog to be for everyone. I want it to speak to those who are either considering going natural, have just started out in the natural hair journey as I have, have been in the journey for quite some time, or for those who simply want to know more about African American hair.

After thinking about this question and responding to it, I went to the very first post I made in my blog and continued to read until I was caught up to today. All I can say is WOW! What a journey it has been so far, and it’s far from over! I am by no means an expert in hair care nor have I ever claimed to be. I never truly got serious about natural hair care until my daughter’s hair came out from the kiddie relaxers I gave them. When that happened I was on a mission to repair the damage I had done. I was on a mission to get their hair and scalp back to a healthy state, the way it was before I foolishly put chemicals in it. From that time on natural hair care is all I think about. My entire mindset and outlook regarding natural hair care changed dramatically. I’m constantly asking questions of my fellow naturalistas, reading everything that catches my eye, and trying new techniques or homemade natural concoctions.

I have no problem stopping a naturalista, a complete stranger, on the street, at the grocery store, in the mall, wherever I am and asking “What do you use in your hair? Who did your braids, they’re beautiful!” I’m a people person and I’m on a mission, so when I want to know something I’ll ask. My husband at times looks at me in awe or simply shakes his head at how bold I am when it comes to asking complete strangers about their hair. How else am I going to learn? 😉

What I love the most about my natural hair journey are the smiles, the head nods, the “Right on sista’s” I get from my fellow natrualista’s when I see them out in public. Again these women are strangers to me, we don’t know each other from Eve, and yet they took the time to acknowledge me when I had my TWA, and my now much bigger Afro in such a positive and encouraging way. Some have even stopped me to tell me how nice my hair looked and asked me what I used in it to get the curls I had when it was a TWA. Those experiences have been extremely heartwarming, and it gives me the extra boost of confidence I need to keep going, to keep embracing, to keep loving my natural hair. To be able to bond with complete strangers, men and women alike, through our natural hair is a beautiful thing.

Speaking of men: My brothas, whether if they have dreads, locs, Afros or not, the support and encouragement I’ve received from them has been awesome as well. There are more brothers out there than we think who support black women being natural or going natural, and I think that’s beyond beautiful. We need more of them and we need more of their encouragement. We need more fathers teaching their daughters that their naturally kinky, curly hair is BEAUTIFUL and nothing to be ashamed of. Daughters listen to their fathers, they get their first lessons in self worth and beauty from them. My husband constantly compliments our two girls about their hair. He’s in essence tag teaming with me, partnering with me in a united front to help our girls love their hair in it’s natural form, and I love him all the more for it.

Looking back I’m proud of myself. Proud that I didn’t give up even when I wasn’t feeling pretty and having bad hair days, proud that I didn’t listen to the discouraging comments or disapproving looks. I’m proud that my quest for information and education about my hair never waned. I had stated in my first post that I wanted to be an example for my girls. I told them from the very beginning that we’re in this natural hair journey together and I’ve stuck to that. I promise to continue to stick to that. My natural hair journey is not just about me. It’s about my girls, it’s about my fellow naturalista’s, it’s about anyone out there that need help, encouragement, or a “Right on sista.”

I was Nominated for The Liebster Award!

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I was very kindly nominated for The Liebster Award by Testimony and Truth. I’m pretty sure I’m not doing this right, but I wanted to answer the questions she posed to me. In the mean time I will find 10 bloggers to return the favor to. 🙂 Thank you again Testimony and Truth!

Here are the 10 questions I was given to answer:

1. What is your blog about?

My natural hair journey and the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of making one of the best decisions of my life.

2. What do you most want your readers to take away from your blog?

That while making the huge decision to go from chemically relaxed hair back to your natural roots can be overwhelming, there is help out there. Educating yourself is key as well as recognizing that there is a very large community of Naturalista’s out there to draw support from.

3. What are three (3) things that inspire you?

My children, my husband, and anyone who have perservered and never gave up when it came to attaining their dreams and goals.

4. What are you most passionate about?

Being the best mother I can be to my kids, the best wife to my husband, and best servant to my God. Oh, and baking cookies! 😉

5. What do you want people to say about you after you’re gone?

That I cared, I was genuine, and I lived what I believed.

6. What do your friends say about you behind your back?

“I wonder when she’s going to bake some cookies?”

7. What are your three best qualities?

Listening, honesty, loyalty

8. What food (s) do you love endlessly?

Chocolate, Italian foods and sauces, ice cream/frozen custard, desserts

9. What’s one thing you would change about yourself, if you could?

To not have a vomit phobia. It’s bad. And I have 4 kids. Go figure.

10. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 4 I wanted to be like Shirley Temple and I tap danced (or so I thought I was tap dancing) throughout the house for quite some time during that phase. My parents got a big kick out of that!

Thank you so much for the nomination!