Tag Archives: Protective Styles

Breakage…again!

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clutch-the-pearls

I did not want to have to blog about breakage again, but here we go. I already know the cause of it:

  1. Not protective styling enough
  2. Becoming lazy when caring for my hair
  3. Using too much heat (blow dryer & straightening brush)
  4. Not moisturizing enough

It’s all shameful because I know better. I know better. However, I took a break from getting my hair braided this winter and I’m paying for it. I became a very lazy natural and now I have breakage as a result towards the back of my head. I noticed more than the usual shedding and unevenness. I have no one to blame but myself, and I know what needs to be done to fix it. I need to do the opposite of all four things I listed above!

I’m going to cut off as much breakage as possible (try to even out my hair back there), give it some extra TLC, and then get my hair braided. It’s time, it’s been almost six months since I’ve been to the shop to have my hair braided. I tried faux loc crochet braids recently (see picture below) but could only tolerate them for almost three weeks because the synthetic hair made my scalp itch horribly! But they were cute! As always, I’ll keep you posted on my breakage saga. 😦

sonya-faux-locs

Protective Styling – It’s Not That Hard!

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So why have I been making it so hard? Or am I just lazy/content with what I’ve been doing thus far? I think it’s the latter. Lately, I’ve been seriously thinking about other ways to protective style that will not hurt my pocket book so much. (I just showed my age saying pocket book LOL!)  I LOVE going to the shop and getting my hair braided, however that’s not always financially feasible. Braids are a wonderful investment that you can get two – three months out of, especially when you find a great hair braider. Crochet braids only last for a few weeks (depending on style and type of hair you use) and then you have to take them down.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten myself into the bad habit of twisting or plaiting my hair and then taking it down the next day to wear a curly fro, then retwisting or plaiting to do it all over again night after night. Well, I’m noticing split ends and extra shedding. Not good. The shedding and split ends aren’t just because of over manipulation. It’s also because I haven’t been tucking my hair away this winter. The cold, harsh winter air has my hair dry and brittle. To be more loving and gentler to my hair, I’ve set a new goal for myself, inspired by fellow Naturalista’s on Facebook. My goal is to leave my hair in a protective style for a week and to keep doing it every week until it becomes a habit. I think this is a great goal for people like myself who desperately need to leave their hair alone.

Yesterday, I had an epiphany. Not only am I going to invest in more colorful scarves so I can wrap my hair in different styles, I’m going to also invest in a WIG! And not just any ole’ wig, I want a good wig that looks like my natural hair. I’ll admit that I’ve been resistant towards wigs for quite some time. I’ve never worn one in my entire life except for a talent show. I’ve always felt that I wouldn’t look right in them. But I’ve now had a change of heart and I’m ready to rock a wig! Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40’s and I no longer care about what other people think. Regardless of the reason, I’m here for them. I’m here for wigs! yaaasssss

Until I get my wig and more colorful scarves, here’s what I’m rocking today to keep my plaits in my hair:

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses, hat and closeup

Come through, hat! 😉

Gabrielle Union Twists Update

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Tamar

Hey, lovelies! So a few weeks back I posted a picture of Gabrielle Union with her gorgeous, free flowing twists with the hopes of getting them myself. Well, that didn’t happen. I thought my braider could re-create the look with the same or similar hair used for Gabby’s twists, but that wasn’t the case. I ended up getting my usual Senegalese twists. Yes, I’m totally bummed about that. However, a few lessons (and reminders) were learned from this experience:

  1. Not every hair braider can do every style you want. Have a backup plan in place, and by backup plan I mean other hair braiders and stylists. It’s ok to shop around and keep an eye out for other talented braiders. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a very loyal customer to my beautician when I was getting relaxers, and I’ve been very loyal to my hair braiders over the years. When I find a good one, I stick with them and follow them wherever they may go…unless they go overseas which is what happened to one of my very talented hair braiders. That’s when the following stops, lol. But seriously, keep this in mind. There are other options out there.
  2. Braids are not cheap, and every woman who gets them can attest to that. That being said, we pay too much money to not be satisfied with the end product. That’s why it is so important that you find a braider that listens, not one who simply wants your money and gives you what THEY want you to have. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either. If they can’t recreate a style, are there any alternatives? Perhaps using a different type of hair or technique? If the shop provides the hair and they don’t carry the hair needed to do a certain style, offer to bring your own.
  3. There is no reason for your hair to be braided so tight until your scalp is in pain for days or weeks afterward. If your hair is constantly being braided tight, even after you tell your braider that it’s too tight, it’s time to look for a different hair braider. Heavy hands and tight braids will leave you bald around the edges and with bald spots throughout your scalp, and that is totally counterproductive (and unacceptable) to having braids in the first place. Braids are used as a protective style to us naturals to preserve what we have and to protect it from the elements and over manipulation. Keep that in mind when getting your hair braided. DO NOT allow a braider to damage your hair and scalp by braiding your hair too tight.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask other women who did their braids. Trust me, that’s how I’ve found my hair braiders over the years. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Just the other day at the grocery store, I complimented the cashier on her eyebrows. They were beautifully shaped and her make-up was beautifully done. It looked very natural and it wasn’t caked on. What I loved the most was she was a dark skinned young lady and she used all the right shades of makeup to compliment her beautiful skin tone. Anyway, she thanked me, and before I left with my groceries she handed me her business card. It turns out she’s an African hair braider and cosmetologist! She also has a YouTube channel that I will be checking out soon. But do you get what I’m saying? I now have another option to look into for my braiding and styling needs.

Too often because something is the “norm” we accept it. That should never be the case when it comes to our health, and it should never be the case when it comes to the health of our scalp and hair. Just because braids are typically done tightly doesn’t mean they should be. It also doesn’t mean that we should accept it. Remember, there are other options out there so don’t be afraid to explore them.

Hey Girl Heeeyyy!

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It’s been a long time, and I’ve missed you!

Let’s talk HAIR! I’ve been rocking braids for the majority of the spring and summer. Keeping my hair in a protective style (with a few weeks of rest between styles) has produced growth and retention. I don’t fuss with my braids when I have them i.e. putting my braids in buns or constantly pulling them up or back into ponytails. I love my edges and I want to keep them! When I take them down I’m not experiencing a ton of shedding that would have me concerned about breakage, which is awesome.

I just took down a cornrow style that I had for almost two months and I’m just rockin’ my afro at the moment. I plan to have braids installed again next week. My usual braids of choice are Senegalese twists or Kinky twists, but my latest braid-spiration (yes I just made up that word) came from Gabrielle Union. She wore these beautiful twists to the BET Awards about a month ago and I was mesmerized! First of all, they were neatly done, so shout out to her hairdresser/braider, and secondly they flowed as if they were the weight of a feather! What the heck? It was clear that her hair braider didn’t pull her edges tightly at all, and the hair that was used was different from any other hair I’ve seen used for twists.

Gabby's twists

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Ever since seeing Gabby’s braids (yes I called her Gabby as if we’re friends), I was on a mission to find out what kind of hair was used to accomplish this beautiful, regal look. I asked my hair braider and she told me the name of the hair used, and of course I can’t recall it at the moment, but I text her a picture of Gabby’s braids and told her that I wanted them. I cannot wait!!

Here are some pictures of me in the braids I’ve been rocking since the last time I’ve posted.

BeFunky Collage

I’ve also been keeping my two girls’ hair in braids and their hair is growing and is very healthy as well. Keeping our hair moisturized while we have the braids and deep conditioning is a must after I take our braids down. And remember, be gentle and take your time when taking down your braids so you won’t experience unnecessary breakage.

I’ve kept my products to a minimal, still making my own butters and mixing my own concoctions of oils. I’m in love with my organic mango butter, coconut oil butter that I make that is awesome for your entire body from head to toe. And yes, to have an awesome twist out I will use good ole’ Blue Magic hair grease from time to time, but not often. I’m looking for a new shampoo and conditioner to use and I’ll post about that at a later date. Till next time my lovelies!

Kisses

Interview With A Naturalista: Part III

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Flaunt your fro

This is my final interview in this series, and I must say it has been a lot of fun connecting with all of the ladies and talking natural hair. Michea is a long time friend of mine. We go waaaaay back and she’s one who has been natural since I’ve known her, and I’ve known her for well over 20 years! She’s the sweetest, funniest, most outgoing person you will ever meet. I think you will find her interview very honest and refreshing.

Q: How long have you been natural?

Michea: I’ve been natural most of my life.

Q: What made you go natural?

Michea: After I got my first relaxer at 14, it has been pure laziness and busy life that keeps me natural.

Q: Was the transition easy?

Michea: I’ve been obsessive about protective styles which has allowed me to be natural so long, so transitioning is always easy. I cut it short then get some braids. When I get bored with my natural hair, I relax it. So no big “natural hair movement” for me. I flip-flop.

Q: What do you love most about having natural hair?

Michea: Versatility and being the only race that has this ability to do what we do with our hair.

Q: What do you find to be your biggest challenge with natural hair?

Michea: Umm finding different hairstyles. When the natural hair community found YouTube, I got more ideas.

Q: What advice/encouragement would you give to someone considering going natural?

Michea: Be patient. You may not love it at first. Do it because you want to not because of pressure, and if you don’t find peace and happiness do something different. Sometimes that means going back to a relaxer.

Q: What are your favorite products to use and protective styles, if any?

Michea: Honestly, I don’t think I have any real favorite products. But since the beginning grease and a spritz of water has given me all I ever needed for a good twist out. Braids are my favorite protective style.

Many thanks to my girl Michea for taking the time to chit-chat with me. Like I always say, every naturalista’s journey is different. Not everyone’s truth is the same as the next person’s. All of my participants, Mleta, Tyssa, and Michea spoke their truths. You may not agree with all of their views, but you can do nothing but respect them because these are their stories and their truths. THANK YOU to all of these lovely ladies for sharing a bit of their natural hair journey with me. I hope it inspires and encourages those who read their interviews and provides them with insight. Let’s keep spreading the positive love and acceptance of everyone’s natural hair journey!

Interview With A Naturalista: Part II

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Radiate Positive

Here’s to my first blog post of 2015!!

To continue my series of “Interview With A Naturalista” with the objective of bringing positive energy and encouragement to the natural hair community, I would like to share my interview with Tyssa. Tyssa is a naturalista who likes to change things up with her beautiful, natural hair be it with color, cutting, or wearing braids that she installs herself. Here’s her interview:

Q: How long have you been natural?

Tyssa: I went natural June 2006 at the age of 19.

Q: What made you go natural?

Tyssa: I wanted to not only see my own hair texture, but also because chemicals just burned my scalp!! My hair never got completely straight and I just got tired of it!!

Q: What do you love most about having natural hair?

Tyssa: I have a lot of versatility even though it took me years to accept and love my hair texture, which is very, very coarse and thick.

Q: What did you find to be your biggest challenge with natural hair?

Tyssa:  The difficulties that I found for me was finding the right products to keep my hair moisturized since I have 4C type hair and very thick 4C type hair. I also noticed that the longer it got, the more work, and because I’m so lazy when it comes to my hair, I just kept it short and never allowed my hair to grow longer than 6 inches before cutting it. It had everything to do with combing and the extra 30 minutes to an hour it took to do it.

Q: What advice/encouragement would you give to someone considering going natural?

Tyssa: I would tell anyone going natural that what works for one person doesn’t work for all, and have fun trying new things and learning about your hair and yourself. It teaches you patience if you don’t have it already. Embrace your textures and don’t worry so much about length but healthy hair instead. I would also tell them not to compare their journey to someone else’s because everyone has their own unique journey.

Q: What are your favorite products to use and protective styles, if any?

Tyssa: I keep my hair in braids as a protective style. As far as products I use, I’m still experimenting because what worked 6 months ago doesn’t work now, and I have to make a lot of my own products because a lot of the products they have on the market I am allergic to the ingredients.

THANK YOU Tyssa for taking the time to speak with me and for sharing your positive and insightful experiences! I hope your journey inspire and help others. 🙂

Interview with A Naturalista: Part I

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Positive Life

Hello my lovelies! Lately I’ve felt like I spent too much time venting about the divisions among fellow naturalista’s, so I decided to bring back the positive vibes and encouragement. What better way to do that than to interview naturalistas and learn about their journey?  I decided to interview a few of my naturalista friends and get their viewpoint on their natural hair experience. A big THANK YOU to all of my friends who agreed to participate, I adore you ladies!

The first person I interviewed is Mleta. She’s an old high school buddy of mine and she’s a riot! All we have to do is look at each other and we’ll die laughing! Without further ado, here is my interview with Mleta:

Q: How long have you been natural?

Mleta: I have been natural since March of 2012, so 2 years and 8 months.

Q: What made you go natural?

Mleta: I went natural because I noticed my hair was starting to thin out and it just did not feel or look healthy. I was unhappy with it so I decided to make a change.

Q: Was the transition easy?

Mleta: The transition was very easy. I think it was due to the fact that I wore quick weaves all the time and my hair was changing right before my eyes.

Q: What do you love most about having natural hair?

Mleta: What I love most about being natural is how healthy my hair has become. It’s grown thicker, longer and I also love the natural curl pattern of my hair.

Q: What did you find to be your biggest challenge with natural hair?

Mleta: The biggest challenge for me was learning that there would be far more maintenance required with my natural hair than I’ve ever had to do when I was relaxed.

Q: What advice/encouragement would you give to someone that is considering going natural?

Mleta: My advice first and foremost would be to research it before going natural. Going natural is not for everyone! It requires a lot of patience. The transition period can be tough, and at some point you may want to run for the creamy crack. Stay strong. Just because you are natural, it does not give you a pass to walk around looking like BUCKWHEAT! Please tame the mane, lol! Also, keep in mind that what works for one naturalista may not work for you. This is going to be all about trial and error. Please do not get discouraged.

Q: What are some of your favorite products to use and protective styles, if any?

Mleta: I have narrowed it down to 2 must have products. My first favorite product to use, and don’t laugh at this, is Blue Magic – Coconut Oil. My hair is IN LOVE with this product, especially on bantu knots. The second product that my hair loves is the Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried a plethora of products, but I have found for me, these 2 are a must have. My favorite protective styles are crochet braids and quick weaves. The first year that I went natural, all I wore were quick weaves all the time. I started doing research on Youtube and I came across the new technique of crochet braids and I was sold. Till this day I rock my crochet braids, which are my favorite. They are low maintenance and you can care for your scalp while wearing them. There are so many different styles and hair types that you can work with..I absolutely love them!

Once again THANK YOU Mleta for taking the time to share your natural hair journey and experience. As far as the Blue Magic Coconut Oil goes – hunny that stuff gives me LIFE! I love it too! I hope this interview and the ones to follow help and inspire all who read them! 🙂