Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What do I do with this hair???

Ok, as you all know, it is hot as Hades this summer in Charleston.  I've started my natural hair journey about 2 years ago this month.  I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I will tell you that I have learned a lot about my hair since my big chop in July 2011. One thing I learned (and did pretty quickly) was that the weather directly effects the condition of your hair.  When the heat, humidity, summer time elements are at its best, it is guaranteed to do a number on your hair. To be honest, it totally zaps it! Well, you are not alone.  My 4c hair was a TOTAL mess last week.  Talk about dryness, breaking, and brittle.  I needed some help ASAP.  So I turned to my Old Faithful Deep Conditioner ( I'll share what I did in a second).

So, one big question may come to mind.

1. Well Sha-Sha, a how do I know what my  hair needs?
2. What's my hair type? 

To answer your first question, Audrey Sivasothy, author of the Science of Black Hair, has a great demonstration on how to be able to tell exactly what your hair needs. To tackle that second question, here's a quick hair type reference I've found helpful

Well, right away, I knew that my hair needed some serious protein.  So I turned to my Old Faithful Deep Conditioner.  Believe this or not, I have always been interested in how things work, why they work, what happens they are combined, putting things together, and analyzing at the outcome.  I guess that explains my science background. But anyway, when I was relaxed, as a teenager I remember going into the kitchen on Saturday mornings to create different mixes and "experiment" with things we already had. This is where I learned to develop skin and hair care regimens for myself. As a result of trial and error, I came up with my Old Faithful Deep Conditioner mix. It's pretty simple. 

  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Dukes Mayonaise 
  • 1 farm fresh egg for every 2 tablespoons of mayo
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Optional 1 teaspoon Avacado Oil
That's it.  Mix until thick, but easy to spread.  If you need more mayo add a bit more, if too thick, add a bit more oil.   It doesn't have to be perfect! If you run out, just repeat the recipe for more.  

My hair literally curled up and became "bouncy" like it had a "wake up call". As I applied the mixture.  I will tell you, the smell of the mixture is, for lack of a better description, not very pleasing (to say the least).  It's quite funky to be honest, but really if you can get over the smell, your hair will get exactly what it needs.  

 The smell literally is the catalist to speed up your application process. Trust me, you'll be fine.  In about 15-20 minutes it will all be over.  This is how I did it

  • I sectioned off my hair in 4 parts
  • Apply the mixture from root to tip with an applicator brush (I had an old one from Sally Beauty Supply I used)
  • Make your way around your entire head.
  • Once complete, rinse out with luke warm water section by section
  • Shampoo with a conditioning shampoo, and finish up your normal wash routine. Apply your moisturizer, leave-in conditioner, and oils that you typically use.  

Voila! My Sha-Sha fro came right back to her old bounce and moisture. 
The best moisturizer I've found for styling my hair is Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie.  This is a must have in my bathroom.  It's an all natural product, filled with hair goodness! I absolutely love it.   I will tell you, this 4c hair, can often be a challenge to manage. But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.  

What are your staple products that work best for your hair? 
I would love to hear about them in the comments section below.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thoughts of a Fashionista: What's all the fuss about?

I was thinking...

Ok, so I’ve been thinking, and to be quite honest, we need to be more conscious about what we say.   Yes, I said we… that means, you and I both.  But before I get into all of that, I want to ask you to go on this journey with me.  I want to ask you to think about a few things today. It won’t take very long, I promise.  Think about the times when you have been ridiculed and judged to be something that you know you are not.  I want you to think about what you felt like during the times when people just would talk and talk and talk more about you, making assumptions from second hand information, appearances, or other’s opinions before even asking you what you thought.  Lastly, I want you to think about when those people literally threw you under the bus-- left you there to fend for yourself – floating like a ship without a sail…just waiting to see how you would handle things just before you cracked.   

I know that you’ve experienced all of these situations before.  In your past or present, so I’m sure it won’t take long for you to remember when that happened to you.  Didn’t you just want it all to stop? Weren’t you simply just over it already? Could you imagine that happening to you on a national platform?

The crazy thing is, believe it or not, it happens on a national platform every day! Yes, even to you. Whether you like it or not, or whether you know it or not, social media has now become the place where people get their “news”.  So friend, you literally can’t avoid being subjected to it.  When that person “tags” you on Facebook in a picture, or you post a photo on Instagram or where ever, you can trust an believe there is someone is going to have something to say about how you look, what you have on, or whatever.  If you are totally honest with yourself, we are all guilty of the doing that same thing.

So, you may ask, where is all of this coming from? Well, I’ll tell you.  I’m sure you couldn’t help but see it yourself. This actually got me to thinking.  There has been a huge storm of conversation surrounding Megan Good’s royal blue dress at the BET Awards this past Sunday. To be honest, I actually liked the dress (even without seeing the BET Awards, you couldn’t help but see it as soon as I got online the other day).  I have to also admit, if I had a reason or an event to go to where I was on a red carpet, I wouldn’t have any issues with rocking a dress just like that.  But I digress.  People weren’t feverishly talking about the Firemen that selflessly died in the Ariziona wild fire or the staggering statistics recently released regarding the numbers of children who are sold into slavery each year (which are absolutely infuriating) ..Nope! The hot topic that was all in the media after the BET Awards aired was this dress!

Megan Good at 2013 BET Awards

Why is that? There was nothing else to talk about? To be honest, I rarely heard anything about the award show in general.  Were people so chatty only because Megan Good is married to Devon Franklin (who is a successful Hollywood studio Executive and Preacher) or did they have another motive in conversation?  How was her dress misrepresenting her husband? Shouldn’t every wife represent her husband well regardless if he’s a preacher or not?  Quite frankly, he really didn’t seem to mind her dress at all.  What’s the line that is drawn or should there even be one? Is there a box that women who say they believe in God be put in?  Should we only look a “certain way” at events? Are we not supposed to dress in a way that makes us feel confident and strong just because we believe in God?

To be honest, I couldn’t imagine being the topic of a conversation where people all over the nation are throwing stones at me just because they can, just because.  I would be over that real quick! I would be over people making Facebook and Twitter posts that flood the internet about me just because it’s something to do….yeah, you could keep that. 

Like I’ve said many times before, God has a way of speaking directly to a situation if you seek him.  I started thinking about this when something similar happened to me and I was reflecting on mistakes I’ve made in the past. I started thinking about how people have made opinions about me when they don’t even know me or have let alone had a conversation with me for one second.  But I was reassured that we can actually find comfort in knowing “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets.” (Matthew 5 10-12).  So when I read that, I said…Ok, God, I’ll let ‘em talk.  I’ll let them go right ahead. 

I say this to you my friend, the facts remain… what you wear doesn’t validate, confirm, or deny your relationship with your God.  Period.  YOUR relationship with God is yours…not what people think it should be or what they think you should look like, or even what they think you should become.  Secondly, your style is also YOUR own.  Again, it is not what people think it should be, what they think you should look like, or what you should become.  If nothing else, be confident, strong, and sure in who you are and what you represent. They are going to have something to say about it regardless right? So, what do you have to lose by being who you authentically are? Be true to yourself and give them something to talk about. But when they do talk, insult you, or falsely say all kinds of evil, let them.  At the end of the day, you’ll get your reward and be blessed by it in the end.