Showing posts with label hair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hair. Show all posts

Sep 15, 2014

Candice's Hair Diary: Living on the Edges

No. This has nothing to do with the blog. Just wanted this gif of my niece and I here.
We're hair twins. Her hair is super thick and long!
No. The title does not have a typo. I actually meant "Living on the Edges", not "Living on the Edge". That's where my hair journey is. I've been fighting to save what's left of my edges. I don't want to be that girl who has empty spots in her scalp. 4 years into this hair, and I'm just now learning that Khani (the name I call my fro) is not here for high-tension hair styles.
My scalp is way too visible. WAY TOO VISIBLE!
Hello traction alopecia. In short, traction alopecia describes hair loss that is caused by constant pulling or tension over a period of time. And well... the first time I had a smooth bald spot when I got that horrible hair weave by that one person. The braids were tight, but the thread was even tighter.  Then, I recently had those gorgeous Havana twists that I kept in for nearly 2 months. And now... I am struggling to keep what edges I have left.

Jun 21, 2014

Candice's Hair Diary: New Things and a New Ring

So... I got Havana Twists. Or Marley Twists. Or Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-Thems.

My fellow writer (and soon-to-be licensed stylist) Amber, installed them. I must say... they are pretty awesome. Once I got used to the weight of the hair on my head and the new look, I was in love. I am still in love. I've got these long chunky twists and it's been fun having them for the past 2.5 weeks. If there is any complaint that I have, it's that I can't get them wet. Well, technically I can get them wet, but it would be a hassle to swim in them because there is so much extra hair on my head and adding water weight just doesn't sound practical.

It has also made me think about just how long DO I want my hair to grow? Marley hair definitely resembles my super kinky hair. And I can imagine keeping it twisted if it ever gets this long. Like.... what else would I do to it? I love seeing Naptural85 on youtube manage her super long hair. But my hair is a few levels higher on the kinky scale. Twist-outs would take FOREVER. EVERYTHING would take forever. It's just a guess, but anyone who has attempted to work with my hair will tell you that it is probably a great guess.

I'm enjoying the break from daily maintenance, but in true "Khani" fashion my hair has started to frizz before the Marley hair. The frizz adds a bit of charm, though. I thought about roughing the rest of the twists up a bit, but that seemed to be a strategy that would prove counterproductive. Anyway, I'm more comfortable with all of this hair now and I've been trying a variety of styles now. The half up-half down is my favorite style so far.

I finally stopped being afraid and was able to wrangle this hair into a bun!
So... that's all for hair. Also, I got promoted at my job (Yay!). I got new shoes on sale (Score!). And I got a ring, courtesy of my brand new FIANCE (sets off fireworks)! Once the planning gets underway I'll be sure to keep you all updated because... HOW WILL I WEAR MY HAIR IN MY WEDDING FOR THE PICTURES AND VIDEOS THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME OH MY GOSH I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT!!!

That's all for now. I'm officially open to advice from naturals who were natural when they jumped the broom. What was your wedding hair choice and how did it work out for you? Let's chat in the comment section.

Apr 21, 2014

Candice's Hair Diary: Revisiting Straight Hair

Okay. The flash got me. But still... check out my hair.
The last time I had my hair straightened was February 2013. I've been trying to get myself to straighten it since Christmas of last year. But finally, I achieved this long-lasting straight hair style via my favorite stylist, Tasha Shelton. It had been so long since I've had Tasha give my hair some professional care. I love that she's gentle with my hair even though it's thicker than average, and most of my hair is pretty coarse. It took a while to do, but I think it was worth it. What usually takes an 1.5 hours on someone else may take 2.5 hours on my head. Tasha said that my hair seemed to have gotten THICKER since the last time I was in her chair. She also said I should come in more regularly for a trim. Can't argue there. It had been over 6 months and I KNOW that I was overdue. I guess there are worse things that could be said to a client, so I'll take that.  *shrug*

So the current photo is on the left. The right is from Feb. 2013.
But MY HAIR THOUGH! On day 1 I had two different people ask me if I had a sew-in. *side-eye* Now that I have a side-by-side, I can see the growth. Especially since I had all that color cut off last summer and I can still see visible growth. I'm so inspired by something that I heard at the NIN meetup. I'm going to be more gentle with my hair and try to retain length. I'm probably not going to do regular length-checks; but expect to see my afro grow bigger.

Side twist. Twisted Bun. Side Pin-up. Straight hair is versatile, too.

 All in all, I had this style for 2.5 weeks. OF COURSE I didn't wear straight hair every day. And yes, it rained quite a few of those days. When I tell y'all my hair was LAID, I really mean it was LAID! Tasha did an excellent job. My thirsty hair stayed true to it's nature and soaked up the humidity, but I didn't have any real problems until I went dancing. The turn up was too much for straight hair. I was feeling fancy and left my elastic bands at home. Shout-out to my boyfriend who snapped this picture of me trying to do a make-shift side pinup with no hair pins and no hair ties. Oh the struggle.

I was downtown trying to save my hair.
The right photo is what it looked like the morning after.
This is the thing with straight natural hair. It can be fabulous! But, it takes maintenance to keep it looking its silky best, just like curly hair takes maintenance to keep it looking fly. See my face in the picture above?? It wasn't even hot outside. My hair was not here for my dance floor antics. *sigh*  I just KNEW that this was the beginning of the end. But I still got another week of wear out of this style. And not tragic, barely making it wear either. I had a good, FULL 2.5 weeks of wear. It could have lasted longer, but who goes that long without washing their hair?
Fun times. 
Straight hair that isn't naturally straight does take heat to maintain. I added heat to my hair on occasion. All but one of my heat styling was because I wanted curls. All in all, I wanted a break from the curly hair routine; and I did get a 2.5 week break. I learned a lot of new things about maintaining this style. The only products I used for maintenance were water, coconut oil, and a flat iron. The only time I put real effort towards straightening my hair was the morning after my sweaty "boogie night". Any other humidity problems could be solved by wrapping my hair. I loved the break, but I was going through curl withdrawal. I'm happy to back to my naturally curly self. I've learned so much this go around. I'm already planning my next blog for chemical-free naturals who wear their hair straight.

Do you wear your naturally curly hair straight? How do you maintain your natural straight styles? Leave a comment below!

Apr 3, 2014

Nashville Naturals: Emmanuel Ehiemua

Our Nashville meetup was awesome. So when I saw Emmanuel in one of my least favorite places, I had to keep the awesomeness rolling. I'd like to introduce you to Emmanuel Ehiemua! Say "Hi Emmanuel".

Hi Emmanuel!
Emmanuel was displaying his awesomeness in that store doing good things. So, because you can never get in and out of that store in a timely manner, we had time to chat it up. First things first: HAIR. I totally wasn't being a creeper or anything, but I first saw him from behind. I noticed his hair immediately. I know locs are more common with men nowadays, but they are often neglected. His locs were thick and lush and shiny, so I couldn't help but share. Take a gander.

This was the first view I caught of Emmanuel.
Tell me you hair fiends wouldn't have noticed!!! 
Emmanuel said that he's been growing his locs for 6 years. All of this happened in 6 years. It kind of made me want to get my hair life in order. And if you're wondering about his name, Emmanuel is a first generation American Nigerian who was born right here in Nashville. He is definitely a fan of women who embrace their natural beauty. Although he had never heard of Natural in Nashville, Emmanuel loves to see women with natural hair. He also shared that he is always encouraging Black women to be their natural selves. I know we love on ourselves, but it's so fresh to hear it from a man every now and then.

I'm 0-3 against the fluorescent lights. But you can see where I'm headed.

Now, the glare of the fluorescent lights tried to steal some of his thunder. But just imagine it without all of that. And while we waited, I learned that Emmanuel loves his job working with school-aged children. When he's not working with kids, he spends time being... an author. Yep. He has a published book of love poems. He was gracious enough to let me post his face on the internet. So I don't mind telling you that you can buy his book of poetry here on Amazon. He even gave me an autographed copy. How cool is that?

You know how sometimes you come across someone who has a genuine glow of niceness? I definitely have. Emmanuel's personality is just as nice as his hair.

So, what do you think? Nice, right?! Remember that the NIN team is out and about with our cameras[phones]. If you're not afraid to smile for the camera, you could be our next feature.

Natural In Nashville: Whipped Shea Butter Recipe

While I was at the meetup, more than one of you approached me because I said that I can be found in the kitchen, whipping up my own styling and moisturizing products. This is true, but you wanted recipes. I mean, of course you wanted recipes.

I was almost sure I posted this recipe a while ago. But apparently that post went to live in Lost Blogville. But better late than never, right? For those of you who were wondering, here is how I make my whipped shea butter. I'm going to let you know a few things in advance:
  • I'm not one who measures. I just eyeball how much looks right. Everything in this recipe is an approximation. It can be adjusted to fit your hair needs. But feel free to leave questions below.
  • Mixing this can be messy if you're using a blender. It can be hard to mix thoroughly without a blender. Pick your poison.
  • If you are a young reader, ask an adult for help.
  • Also, this is a mix that I use. You're totally free to customize it to fit your hair needs. If you are allergic to anything, or decide to use this mix in any way other than an external hair and body cream--- Please don't use it.

Now that those disclaimers are out of the way, go grab some items and get ready to mix! You'll need:
  • A mixing bowl
  • Electric Mixer
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Raw Shea butter
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Aloe Vera (juice or gel)
  • Coconut oil
  • Your choice of essential oils
  • Container with lid

As raw as it gets! I get my Shea butter from Gateway 2 Africa
Although it's not a necessity, you could make this mixing process go really fast by popping about 1 cup of the raw Shea butter into the mixing bowl, and then microwave. I'd say go about 15 seconds at a time until the butter is solid, but soft enough to mash down the middle with a spatula. It shouldn't take long. Next, add about 2/3 cup of coconut oil. Grab the electric mixer and blend. 

Add 1/3 cup of Aloe Vera juice. Mix it again until everything is well blended. At this point you can let the mixture sit for a bit and begin to firm up. Once it's the consistency of brownie batter, you can add the remaining essential oils and vitamin E oil. I like to use peppermint, tea tree, and a dash of lavender. I also like to add a fruity fragrance oil that compliments the peppermint oil. 

Add the ingredients to your container, and cover with a lid. Since all of  the oils are non-perishable and act as a preservative, this mixture can keep for months. So try it, and let me know how you like it. Also, my mixture was inspired by Naptural85. You can see her video for the mixture here.

Do you have your own mixture that you use? Share your kitchen-made miracles in the comments below. And if you try this recipe, let me know how you like it.

Feb 17, 2014

Candice's Hair Diary: Return of the Mini Twists

Happy Monday!

Let me preface this by saying that these mini-twists were not my idea.  I was forced coerced nudged to revisit this style by Melissa. I had been considering the style prior to the suggestion, but I decided against it. My hair has gotten longer, and I thought that it would take entirely too long to install mini-twists.

The top right is the beginning. The top left is the finish line.
In short: I was wrong. It took nearly the same amount of time that it did the last time I did mini-twists. If I exclude the breaks I took during the install (to eat, talk on the phone, and choose movies on Netflix), I spent between 6.5-7 hours on my hair. BUT... I've had them in for 3 weeks. I still have about a week left before I take them out. I've curled them and I've washed them; even the wash and set process only took about 15-20 minutes. Hair in this protective style is very low maintenance, but even a protective style needs a little TLC to stay in tip top shape. I used water and aloe vera gel to moisturize. I followed that with coconut oil or shea butter to seal in the moisture.
Straightening my twists after curls was as easy as 1. wash, 2. condition, 3. pin
and set

My twists are definitely coming down this week. I've seen what can happen when you leave mini-twists in too long. I don't want to have to deal with the tangles and knots that come with twists that try to become locs. It's been a good ride so far. Also, my urge to cut my hair has been quenched. I've been wearing my twists either curled or slightly shrunken. I LOVE rocking shorter hair. Especially since I've been craving a cut and my face is slightly more "short hair compatible" lately.

Short hair and loving it. Results of a flexi-rod set on mini-twists

I've already said that I'd never do mini-twists again because 1.) They are so time consuming to install. 2.) My arms get tired. 3.) They are so time consuming. But truth be told, I spent 6.5 hours on my hair. Before it's done, I will have gotten a whole month of super low maintenance styling. I think that it's a fair trade. Actually I come out on top doing mini twists. So... yes. I wouldn't have done this style again without some urging from a friend. But I may do them again I might do them again before the length of my hair makes them a little less worth the time of the install. Plus... PLUS I got to rock hats during the winter. Big-haired naturals are all too familiar with the hat struggle. It seems small, but sometimes it's the little things that make it all worth while.

I'd say this is protective style is a win in the winter or summer. What's your favorite protective style?

Nov 26, 2013

DISCUSSION: Naturals Cracking the (Dress) Code

In the wake of so many KNOWN instances of employers and schools creating rules that unfairly forbid natural hair and natural hairstyles, it is easy to become an unofficial member of the Liberty and Defense of Natural Hair Association. (Since I just created this association 2 seconds ago, I voted myself founder and CEO.) However, I've noticed recently that some naturals can tend to take the natural hair liberties too far. When you work in a corporate office, there are usually dress codes and rules regarding your appearance. In case no one has ever mentioned it: THIS INCLUDES YOUR HAIR.

And by "your hair", I mean your naturally kinky, coily, curly hair. Yes, even you have to abide by certain rules. I'm not referring to the school who told the 7 year old Tiana Parker that her dreadlocks were a problem. Nor am I referring to Farryn Johnson, the Hooter's waitress who was fired because she colored a streak of her hair blond. Ashley Davis' situation is also excluded. She worked at a bank in Missouri, and was told 2 months after she was hired that she needed to cut off her 10+ year old locs to keep her job. That's not the same as being professional when the job calls for it. This discussion is about how you choose to wear your hair when companies request that while you are at your desk or cubicle, you maintain a corporate or business casual appearance. Having textured hair doesn't exclude your hair from needing to be business casual as well.

If you are in the number of naturals that love to experiment with their hair, that's fabulous. I'm all for it. I personally haven't had time for much experimenting since I've begun working again. But I have big plans to do something new to my hair.... eventually. I don't, however, plan on testing the rules at my new job with a hairstyle that is definitely not work appropriate.

Being natural can allow you to express your free spirit just as much as it fits your out-of-the-box personality. However, when you are in a work environment the focus should be on your work, NOT on your hair. I know there are those who will say "Well my work should speak for itself, and they shouldn't judge me for my hair". It's no different from coming to the office with super messy, tousled beach wave style hair. Or showing up on Tuesday in a club dress and high heels. The texture of our hair is not a reason to bypass dress codes. Besides, if you are just LOOKING for a reason to rouse the people who provide your income, there are several more creative and entertaining ways to do so. Try spilling a drink on your computer... and then maybe another 2 or 3 colleagues' computers. Bring a bottle of merlot and chocolate for a day of Netflix on company time. Flip your manager's desk all the way over. Go out with a bang!

But wearing styles that were made for photoshoots and hairshows are not appropriate. They do not add to your company value, and they can distract you and others from work. I do not ever agree with companies firing or having different standards of appearance for those with textured hair versus straight hair. There are enough battles to fight without creating unnecessary ones. This is not about adhering to Western beauty standards. It's about adhering to company policies. Natural hair is versatile enough to be funky and professional. Enjoy the freedom of your natural hair. There is so much you can do with it and still manage to stay within the lines of professionalism.

Do you test your limit with hair in the workplace? Where do you draw the line on work appropriate hairstyles?

Nov 19, 2013

Candice's Hair Diary: Dear Big Hair, I Care

Yes. Yes I do care about my big hair. I've been rocking a legitimate afro lately. I wouldn't be honest if I said I haven't enjoyed walking around with an eye-catching fro. I went a few weeks where I wore my afro every which way. I wore it to the side, in a high puff, in a low puff, and free as a bird. It was so much fun... until the single strand knots started coming. Single strand knots are like the loud, annoying drunk person that comes in the party and starts accidentally knocking things over. And I have a bad habit of snapping them off with my fingers. I know I'm not supposed to do that, but they are so annoying. I soon figured that it would be best for my hair and I if I put the afro away for a while. So all I have done lately is reminisce on the fun times I had as I let my fro frolic in the wind.

Since single strand knots had to rain on my parade... I had to do what's best for Khani (Yes. My hair has a name. Doesn't yours?) and put her away. So that's what I did. I tucked her away and let her get some rest. Because wearing a fro for that long takes work. I thoroughly detangled my hair nearly every day. I moisturized every day. Did I mention that I detangled every day?! That takes commitment. Oh the ladies in the 70s must have been all about that detangling life. I miss my big afro hair, but I've been wearing stretched and protective styles the past few weeks. I appreciate the break from detangling, and the minimizing of single-strand knots. Also the moisture retention, ease of manipulation, and time saving--- okay. So protective styling has its own benefits. Get into this totally accidental chunky twist style. I was preparing to take these down when our editor Melissa coerced suggested that I keep them in as a protective style. 

Talk about THICK hair...  

Besides giving my hair a break, I've also gone back to my kitchen mixologist ways. I've been making everything from face masks to shea butter mixes. My life has seen a rise in stress lately. Everything was getting out of whack... my skin, hair, diet... EVERYTHING. I really had to make an effort to find some time to decompress and get some rest and relaxation. Thanks to the recent holiday, I succeeded. And if you're wondering what r&r looks like:

My day of conditioning. I gave my hair and skin some much needed attention.
I don't mind showing the crazy side of my conditioning routine. It had been way too long since I paid attention to my skin. But neglect always shows itself eventually. I started to develop a gross breakout, so I knew it was necessary. My hair and skin benefited so much from the attention. I almost felt bad for forgetting to pay attention to myself. I came out on the other side looking like a normal human being. I came out on the other side looking like a normal human being and feeling like a shiny new penny. That's how I feel once I buffed away the stress and put some moisture back into my face and hair. I'm thinking of setting an appointment with myself so that I remember when it's time to do a deep condition and/or a facial. 

What's your favorite protective style? And how do you remember to make time for yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

DISCUSSION: Is Natural Hair Too Much Work?

If I had a dollar for every time someone said "Natural hair is too much work," I'd be able to buy myself something nice. (Not brand new car, but a really good Groupon or two.) Conversations usually start off with a hair compliment, and (if I'm sporting a nice twistout) talks about "good grades" of hair. You should see the looks on their faces when I tell them that I am not a "silky" natural. I usually show them pictures of my untamed hair and they can't believe I'm a nappy, kinky, coily natural... just like them. They usually end with someone explaining their return to relaxers by saying natural hair is too much work.

Properly caring for your natural hair may seem like a lot of work, but we at Natural in Nashville have found a solution. It's a genius solution that we're about to present to you. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Here goes: When you feel like taking care of your hair is a lot of work you should--


Now that you've gathered yourself, we should elaborate. Many of us go through a stage in our natural hair journey known as the "product junkie phase". It's the stage where we try any and everything to get the Tia and Tamera hair. During this stage, your bathroom hair cabinet will be nearly impossible to navigate. And you will become convinced that you need to use 3 or more of these products regularly. No wonder people tend to think that caring for natural hair is a chore. When your wash day has 17 steps and 12 product applications for completion, OF COURSE you'll be overwhelmed. Hair should be cleansed, conditioned, moisturized, and protected. That's the short version of what your hair needs.

  • Clean your hair so that it can breathe and not be weighted down with layers upon layers of products.
  • Condition your hair so that it is optimal for styling and manipulation. Deep conditioning should be done regularly.
  • Moisturize your hair whenever it is dry. The best moisturizer: Water. Aloe Vera is an excellent moisturizer as well.
  • Protect your hair. Water evaporates from hair because it is exposed to the elements. Seal your hair with an oil or cream based product. This is especially important if your hair is prone to dryness.

Do you see how simple that is. Unless you are doing mini-twists or another time-consuming style, this should cut a lot of time from your hair routine. There is an option to include styling products, but that's a world of its own. One of my best twist-outs happened when I used all of the above steps, protecting AND styling my hair with a mix of shea butter and coconut oil. I'm not suggesting that you forsake all styling products. Everyone isn't meant to be a kitchen mixologist. But simplifying your hair routine really isn't hard. You don't need 12 products for 4 steps. You can keep your hair looking fabulous and have a life that isn't confined to your bathroom mirror.

Remember that you are not your hair. Life is not hair. It's pretty common to want to experiment. It took mos of us a while before we learned that there is no 'miracle product' that you can put on your hair once and it maintains your hair's moisture, condition, and shine until your next wash day. However, if hair becomes more of a chore than it is a joy, it's time simplify change. Delegate some the dreaded, excess time spent on your hair to things that actually make you happy. Read a book. Learn a new language. Sing in the rain (in your newly learned language). Go pet caterpillars. Simplify your hair care routine so that you can spend more time in your happy place and less time focusing on your hair.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by your hair care routine? What did you do to simplify it?

Sep 23, 2013

Candice's Hair Diary: Style Fails and Lessons Learned

I've been trying new things with my hair lately. I've been bored and thought that I would switch things up and revisit some older styles that I either couldn't get quite right or that were amazing. Over the past few weeks I've tried several styles on my hair. Some of them have failed (by "some", I mean most). But there's always a workaround to a failed style.

First success... I was able to get a banana clip on my hair. If you have really dense hair, then you know the struggle of using non-elastic hair accessories. To be fair, this was after I flat-ironed my hair. But even then, I count this as a win. My hair is particularly unresponsive to my flat iron. Even on high heat, I don't get straight results unless I pull it straight. And I learned to keep my hands out of my hair for a day. Every time I tried to fuss with it, the banana clip would give up and snap apart.

So the banana clip isn't as visible as I initially thought.
But it certainly held this fuzzy bun in place.

And now a fail: I blow dried and flat ironed my hair. It wasn't even straight enough for me to take a picture. For some reason beyond my comprehension, my hair doesn't respond to my flat iron. My flat iron gives my hair the look of a blow out. I think that For visual reference, think Rudy Huxtable. It looked like the picture below, only not nearly as long, and not as smooth.

Also, since I failed at the flat iron style, I decided to try heatless curl formers. They were REALLY CUTE... for about an hour. I ended up putting my hair in a high bun shortly after I made it to work. My hair went from smooth and shiny curls, to a fuzzy high bun. That's the natural hair struggle. My hair doesn't care about the amount of effort or time I put into a style.I spent 1.5 hours preparing my hair in order to get 1 hour worth of curls! Sometimes I just think about not trying any extra styles at all. 

Finally, I'll end with a success: I wore my hair in an afro for a couple of days. I was really excited to rock my humongous hair. It was a humid day so I didn't have to worry too much about dryness. Check it out. This was definitely the highlight of my hair trials. My afro received plenty of compliments... and I even got nods of approval from a hair stylist. Color me pleased. Also, I learned this month that my hair still loves natural products more than anything. The best twistout ever came from a homemade shea butter mixture. I try to buy products, but more than anything, my hair behaves best with natural products. It's a shame that I've been so lazy in making them.

Again, I don't know what it is with this hair of mine nowadays. Unless I'm preparing to wear my hair in medium - small twists for a couple of days, it's almost useless to spend any major time prepping for a style. Even when heat styled, my unruly hair acts best when it's in an afro. I have legions of rebellious kinks growing from my scalp. My hair has changed so much from when I first started my hair journey. I'm just waiting to see if it's just a phase... or if it will eventually change again. In the meantime, I'm learning to enjoy the now phase of my hair. 

Does your hair still look and behave the same from when you first started your natural journey?

Sep 11, 2013

Discussion: Can Social Networking help your natural hair journey?

We ALWAYS seek out people who share our interests; everyone does it. It happens in person and it happens online. It's normal to "clique" with people to whom you can relate. Whether it's for the love of hair, Toni Braxton, or the Tennessee Titans (Titan Up!), we gravitate to people with whom we have something in common.

Today's discussion is about the refreshing reality of interacting with other women who wear their hair natural -especially via social networks. Surrounding yourself with people who see natural hair as normal (and not a fad) is just... refreshing.

Man, if you could see my Instagram! The kinks and coils would make any fan of natural hair squeal with delight. I have a Pinterest board. Natural in Nashville has a Pinterest Board. I've got Facebook friends specifically for hair questions. And don't even get me started on Twitter. I've made so many "curl friends" through social networking. It's really quite amazing. The picture below shows curly haired gurus, bloggers, and developers who connect via social media ALL THE TIME!

Do any of these ladies look familiar? Name your fave naturalista
in the comment section below.
Never be afraid to use social media for information; especially hair information. The natural hair clique isn't like a high school clique. We aren't mean girls who make it a point of being exclusive. It's like a treasure trove of information. If you don't live in a city that has all the meet-ups and gathering, join a natural hair ONLINE community - you'll make more friends than you can imagine.

I've learned natural skin care rules, the rules of moisturizing hair, natural products... the list goes on and on. Knowing that regular oatmeal works wonders for my skin changed my life. The cleansing properties of honey amazed me. Once you get through all of the acronyms, you can find some amazing information via social networking. It doesn't take long to learn how to spot and avoid the natural extremists. Then you'll find people who are just like you, except completely different: different experiences, different styles, different natural hair. This makes a great opportunity for learning and sharing new things.

The best thing I learned from social networking is: Hair does not define me... nor does it define most normal people. We are just naturals who decided that we would rather not chemically process our hair to look like something that it isn't. And we see the beauty of our hair for what it is. Why sit in frustration with your hair when you can connect to a world of naturals who are filled with information? It doesn't take much to click that link and engage with another curly girl. The action can make a world of difference.

Which social networking platforms do you use to connect to the natural hair community? Have you met any of your online hair friends? What's the most essential thing you've learned from social networking?

P.S. Connect with us. We're everywhere! Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

Aug 28, 2013

CELEB STYLE: Michelle Obama get highlights and ombre!

First, Mrs. Obama got bangs, and the world was rocked! Well not really, but it was quite the newstory. Today I learned that FLOTUS has went and got some highlights and ombre treatment! It's so very fly! I love that our First Lady always keeps her look new and bright.

Aug 20, 2013

Candice's Hair Diary: One Step Backward, Two Steps Forward

Yes. I took one step backward. I had the rest of my hair cut. Technically, it is a step backward from reaching my hair goals. Amber removed the rest of my colored ends. She said they didn't look too damaged, but they were dry. And that's the part that I just could not get jiggy with. The constant dryness was so annoying. (Not all color is bad or really drying. If you are new to my hair story, you can see what happened, then come back.)

I have tried several different deep conditioning methods. I've used condiments, oils, natural store-bought products, unnatural chemical products, and I've done them with and without heat. I've done the most I could for my hair and I was still hard pressed to get the bottom of my twists to hold together. My colored ends just refused to not be brittle and dry. They had to go. My hair works a lot better now. When I make a twist and try to seal the ends, they actually twist together!! And I could never get my hair to be all the way shiny and moisturized anymore before this final cut. But check out this shot.

I can't remember the last time my hair had so much shine.
This was the 2nd day wearing my bun, with no additional product.
So I'm back to my natural color now. I was a red head and then I rocked the "ombre" black and brown (The red color faded to a nice brown. I liked it so I kept it.) and I haven't had colorless hair for almost 3 years. It felt weird to realize that my hair color wasn't my real color. Completely dark hair has taken some getting used to. Besides, anyone who really knows me will tell you that I'm a much more "colorful" personality than I am dark. I'm already planning on getting color in my hair sometime in the future. And not because I hate my hair or have any self-esteem or self-loathing issues*. I just think color fits my personality a lot more.
My boyfriend and I... being colorful.
Love this twist-out. It happened after keeping my hair in twists for 4 days.

But you know what doesn't fit my personality? This bald spot in my head. Yes, it's still there. I'm going to pray that it's not permanent. I was made aware of it again this week when I put my hair in a bun and literally had to manipulate my hair to cover up the shiny scalp in the front left side of my head. *sigh* I just want my edges back.
In the front is a middle part. But on the side... there used to be hair there.

And finally, I made a wig!!! I'm not going to get too detailed because this post has already been so long. I'm going to put the details in a separate post. But it was SO EASY! I just watched a few YouTube videos and got the gist of the wig-making process. I already had the hair for vacation. The additional products only cost $10. I still have some adjustments to make on it, but I've already worn it in public and I got more compliments.  But here is the wig after it was sewn, but before I cut it. You'll just have to come back to see the final product, along with instructions the steps I followed and photos of the process.

So that's it. I've had quite a month of hair fun. I'm back to the point of loving experimenting with my hair and actually enjoying it. I think we all go through hair phases, and I just needed some space. But absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I'm loving my hair lately. How about you?

*Is is weird that in 2013 it's still necessary to put a disclaimer on your self-awareness because of a hair choice? Let me know when this ends.
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