It starts when we're 6 years old...

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!!! I know I ate A LOT :) and spent a lot of well-needed time with my fam!

Over the holiday weekend, I volunteered to entertain/watch some kids who were in a Cotillion/Beautillion that my little bro is in.  I watched the 1st - 3rd graders who were lil' debs and lil' beaus.  In my observations...I noticed something VERY VERY interesting about the little girls.  Out of the 8 girls in the show, only 1 of them wore their natural hair the day of the event and HALF - that means 4 - of the girls had relaxers*.

*I didn't actually ask the girls if they had relaxers, but I'm pretty sure about this as I'm pretty good at deciphering "pressed/straightened" hair from relaxed hair...Gosh, I truly digressed, so back to my point!

One little girl, had her hair in the cutest spiral curls.  One of the beaus said that he didn't like her hair.  She then was upset and did not like her hair for the REST of the evening.  Another little girl came to rehearsal in the morning with box braids.  She would not remove her hoody - she was holding the hood to be SURE her hair wouldn't show.  I asked her why, and she explained to me that her hair "wasn't done." NOOOOOW...her braids were a little fuzzy, but who's aren't when you're a 6-8 year old.  And even still, I'm a fan of fuzzy braids/twists at times ;).  I explained to her that her hair looked fine, I said, "It's just like mine, I wear my hair like that all the time!  And I'm FIERCE!"  She acquiesed and removed the hoody.

This really bothered me.  I thought, if THIS is how little girls feel at the ages of 6, 7 & 8.  What are we teaching our young children!?!?!  I truly think that black folks have yet to sincerely accept our natural kinks/coils for their true beauty.  I know some people prefer straightened over natural hair - it's a personal preference.  However, I have a problem with people THINKING/FEELING that straight hair is more acceptable or appropriate or even more beautiful than natural coils/kinks.

This situation suggests that we unknowingly ingrain these beliefs into our young daughters' minds at young ages.

Just my two cents, and FYI - I wore my hair in a half-pinned, half twist-out style that night.  Ya'll...I looked GOOD! :*)

Life Accomplishment & Updates

When I first started blogging, I mentioned that I would write about food, hair, running, etc. because I wanted this site to be about holistic living.  Recently, I've slacked off on food & running and etcetera (whatever that was).  However for those of you who have been with me from the beginning, I am pleased to announce...

I completed my first OFFICIAL race on Sunday.  I ended up running an 8K (5 miles) in 47 minutes and 23 seconds, which means I averaged about 9 minutes and 30 seconds per mile!  This was a HUGE accomplishment for me.  I'm happy to say I did this.

As for hair, I just have holidays this week, so this means I can do an "out style," however, I signed up for Leila from BGLH's Winter Growth Challenge.  Although out would be cuter, protective is better.  Thus, I'm rocking my usual twist style with it styled to a side.  I pinned it in the back (as usual).

Peace & Blessings during this holiday week,

Natural Hair & Conformity in the Business World

So...I must be having some sort of "creative blogging epiphany" because I have another great thought that I just HAVE to blog about.

Side note: I am now able to BUN MY HAIR!!! Only if it's stretched (co-wash and braid technique I discussed earlier).  Anyway, I get easily bored with not-so-cute and/or boring styles.  I took the bun down and was left with a head full of thick stretched kinks.  I pulled it to one side and thought...UBER CUTE!  Then I thought...dang, but is this ok for me to wear to WORK :/?

As a natural, I find myself often questioning if a certain natural style is or is not "work-appropriate" when the SAME EXACT hairstyle translated onto straight hair would be totally fine.

What do you do in these situations?  Do you conform to something you know is safe?  Do you "shake whatcha mama gave ya" (or wear in this case)?

As long as I have no super important conservative conference/meeting to attend, I'm going to SHAKE WHAT MY MAMA GAVE ME!!! lol :)  They'll have to get used to it eventually, right?

Natural hair & relaxed hair =? Same haircare

This weekend, one of my best soror friends came to visit.  She's relaxed, and I noticed that her hair had grown fairly significantly since I last saw her in May.  In May, she was shoulder length (SL), now she's a solid arm pit length (APL).  I asked her what she did to care for her hair and guess what her response was...CO-WASHING!!!!  She said that she co-washes 3 times a week and it helps keep her roller sets fresh :) AND it keeps her hair moisturized.

Another associate of mine grew her hair down to APL in 1 year through braids (with extensions) by co-washing her hair on a weekly basis.  She was natural underneath the braids, and stated that keeping her hair moisturized through co-washing is what helped her RETAIN length.

It's been said 1,000,000 times that black women "can't" grow our hair long, but if we need touch ups on a 4-8 week basis our hair CLEARLY GROWS, we just don't RETAIN any length.  Think about it: if every time a sista gets a touch-up, she has about 1" of new growth, but she gets a trim b/c her "ends are bad," and another 1"+ is cut off, and she's back to square one.

If relaxed heads adapted similar haircare techniques from naturals (Ex. co-washing, protective styles via bunning, sealing ends, using more natural products), would they see better retention and THUS more growth???  POSSIBILITY!!!

Hair TRAUMA!!!

Beautiful blogosphere,

I recently experienced some hair TRAUMA!  My hair was doing well, it was healthy, felt moisturized, besides a few fairy knots here and there, I was rocking and rolling with the regimen I was using.  WHY THEN MUST WE CHANGE THINGS WHEN ALL IS WELL?

I think I got a little extra excited with all of my recent success in cute styles.  Thus, I decided to try ANOTHER NEW STYLE for Halloween. This style was inspired by Corinne Baily Rae *who if you don't LOVE, you should* I did the style on a Saturday &; did not have enough time for my hair to air dry and thus went out with wet hair.  Kimmay gives a tutorial for the style on youTube here.  I didn't take pics :( but it was SUPER CUTE.  Anyway...back to the story...this "not letting my hair fully dry in twists" led to my hair being hard to handle - it kinked up.  So, I decided to box braid my hair.  After braiding, I thought the style was ok, but I really HATE box braids on me, well, I just like twists a lot better.

So...after two days of box braids I take the braids out and wear a braid-out.  Which was cute, but something was ends felt ROUGH!  I had fairy knots galore and it was TRAGIC!  I don't THINK it was too much manipulation, I think the box braids (I do mine SUPER SMALL) lead to more fairy knots.

So, feeling my rough, moisture-less hair, I clarified it the next day with ACV & water and co-washed it.  Then I did my usual two-strand twist w/ shea butter, avo oil & aloe vera gel.  My twisted style was UBER-cute BTW!  See pics below.  The pics of me in the black are the day of, the pic of me and my friend are 2 days after I did the twists - you'll notice the twists curl more.

Sofull Reflections: Awesome quote from Zora Neale Hurston

Announcing my first series: Sofull Reflections

So, I'm going to start adding a weekly " Sofull reflections" post to talk about things outside of hair. I will try to not stray too far as I am not an official writer/activist/environmentalist/realist/etc. However, I love to talk about REAL issues.  I will open the series with a quote from Zora Neale Hurston.

"Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me."

~Zora Neale Hurston

I love this quote.  For me, it says: I laugh in the face of adversity because ultimately, I am me and I'm FABULOUS!!!  I know we all face adversity whether it be at work, with our hair, with our career CHOICE and many more.  How about you all - what adversity have you faced recently and how did you overcome it?  What do you think about the quote?

More about my hair & more cute styles

Okay, this is going to be the LAST post about my actual hair texture - PROMISE *at least for now :)*  In looking at tutorials, style ideas, etc. - it really helps to understand the real hair texture.  I know I said I'm 4b, but I thought I would provide a picture of my hair wet for comparison.

Excuse the SOPPING wetness in the first pic, lol.  You may see that the back shows a slightly looser curl.  There is a CENTER PATCH (literally about 2" x 2") that is like 4a/3b.  It's crazy.  The middle is STRAIGHT 4b, and the top is a slightly less kinky 4b but still shows pretty tight coils.

Just for fun, I took some more pictures of some of the styles I've been rocking recently.  Enjoy!

First is a twist out half up-do.  I french braided the back and side to have the side-swiped bangs look.  The french braid in the back set this look OFF!  Totally swiped it from a girl on the plane on my way to ATL...I was STARING SO HARD at her hair to get a glimpse of the style.  I think I copped it pretty well.  To get the bangs, I twisted my hair towards the front and VOILA! for my pin up.  It's a little grandma to me, but it's a great "conservative" & PROTECTIVE style. I simply part and twist the hair.  I use 1,000,000 bobby pins to keep it firm and add clips for style. *I love clips*