Friday, April 29, 2011

Finger Detangling

My new found love is finger detangling. I find that when I finger detangle I have a lot less shed hair...I mean a lot! The only draw back is that you must be patient when finger detangling. If you ain't in the mood to be mess'in with your head DO NOT...I repeat DO NOT attempt to finger detangle your hair...either put detangling off another day or use a wide tooth comb.

How do you do it?
Finger detangling is really quite easy and all you need are your fingers. When you are ready to detangle your hair, separate your hair in parts and detangle each section separately. When you are ready to detangle a particular section, only take part of that section and start from there; do not attempt to do the whole section at once! To begin the process, gently run your fingers through your strands in a vertical manner as if your fingers are the teeth of a comb. When you encounter a knot, or tangle, stop and take time to untangle that particular section. Once you are done, run your fingers through your strands again and continue this process until you can freely run your fingers through (without stopping to work through a tangle).

When do you do it?
It depends on your hair routine. Use the finger detangling method whenever you are ready to detangle your hair.

What should you avoid doing?
- Avoid pulling your hair and/or running your fingers through it rapidly

- Avoid working with a lot of hair at a time : The truth of the matter is, the smaller the number of strands you work with at a time, the faster it is and the better the results and let's not forget the less chances you have of causing any damage.

- Avoid broken nails : if you have a broken nail, avoid detangling before cutting it off because strands can attach to the broken nail and you can pull these strands out while working through your hair without even knowing it

- Avoid using anything else in your hair but conditioner while finger detangling
:this means, the only thing you should have in your hair is a good conditioner. This is because, the conditioner coats your hair and makes detangling easier, while keeping your hair from any damage, in fact, a conditioner is a sort of shock absorber to our hair during our detangling sessions. Do not try finger detangling under the shower because the water will wash the conditioner away and do not do it on your hair alone, no matter how wet your hair is.
:I add a mixture of conditioner and water to a spray bottle and mist my entire head first. Then I work in small sections and mist those individual sections again and add a nickel size amount of conditioner to the section if needed.

- I have noticed that, when I wear protective styles in between washes, finger detangling becomes a breeze. This is easy to understand though, because protective styles such as twists help stretch the hair and stretching the hair minimizes tangles. If wearing twists or any other protective styles is not an active part of your hair regimen then do no worry, you can braid/twist your hair in large sections before going to bed on the night before wash day to stretch your hair a bit.

- Being gentle is key. Even if you are not using a comb, finger detangling can still be harsh when done without enough care. Be gentle and patient and you'll reap the results.

- Take time. Do not try rushing through a detangling process because you might end up causing more damage than good and later find out, while styling, that your hair has some terrible knots you might not be able to undo.

Natural Hair Music Video

A little something for the "naturals" to groove to!

Dead Prez "The Beauty Within" from kinetikcinematix on Vimeo.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Swimming and Natural Hair

So this twist out is the result of the two strand twist in the post below. I rocked the two strand twist in various styles for a week, which included going swimming twice this week. each time I went swimming I rinsed my hair out with a mixture of olive oil and VO5's Kiwi clarifying conditioner. On Thursday I unraveled the twist and this is what I got...not bad and my hair felt nice and moisturised.
Notice how my ends arent frizzy...I'm really happy with the results.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Something New....

I think I'm going to try something a little least for the next 2 months. I'm going to try and keep my hair in protected style during the week, and set if free on the weekend. Plus I'm adding swimming to my exercise routine 2 times a week and we know that chlorine can kill a FRO! this is how I'm currently rock'in my hair...two stand twist rolled around my You get the idea ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding Hair

Was at a friends wedding on Saturday and it was the first time I've worn my hair out since beginning my winter hair care challenge and wearing protective styles since November 2010. I was feeling my kinks and curls and decided to share a few pictures with you even though I look at hot mess in one of them. CONGRATS Donna & Hank...the wedding was a blast.

Friday, April 8, 2011

10 Things They Don't Tell You About Natural Hair

Going natural. If you’ve made the journey yourself read these revelations and see if you agree, if you’re thinking about it, heed these warnings and if you love your bone straight tresses read what your fellow sisters are going through out here.
People will judge you, based on your hairWhether it’s your grandmother who’s practically disowned you because she thinks you don’t get your “hair did” anymore, or an associate eyeing with a look of sympathy, it will take time for the people in your life to accept your hair. Not only them, people you don’t even know will prejudge you based on what they think your hair is saying. A few months after I had undergone the “big chop,” I started my freshman year of college. A girl, a black girl I might add, who later became one of my good friends, told me that she thought I was mean when she first saw me. When I asked her why, she said because of your hair. Even though she couldn’t pinpoint why my hair made her think I was mean it influenced her opinion about me before we ever had a discussion.

It’s not easier than having a relaxer
Remember those days, pre relaxer when you had to sit in between your mother’s (or father’s) legs while they combed your hair? For some of us, this time was torture. There was squirming, yelping, and crying on those special occasion days. That’s what I liken the maintenance of natural hair to. Taking care of your natural hair can be like styling a thick haired, tender headed little girl the night before Easter Sunday. And you’re not the child anymore, your hair is. It kicks, screams and rebels against what you want it to do. When I first started wearing my twist-out afro, people would say, “ooh so you just wake up and go?” Uhhh…no. Not that natural hair is harder to manage than relaxed hair, it just presents its own challenges.

You’ll hear from different men on the streetLike it or not, for a lot of us what we do with our hair is a least influenced partially by what we think a man, whether he’s our father, husband, boyfriend or stranger, is going to say about it. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard women say “I want to go natural, but I’m scared he won’t like it.” That opinion is potentially important; but that’s not my point. What I’m saying is while some men prefer the silky, straight don’t-care-why-it’s-long type of hair, you’d be surprised at the number of men who have a preference for natural hair and will go out of their way to compliment you on it.

Your hair is not going to act like hers (No, not even your momma’s)
One of the biggest shocks in the natural transition can be the fact that your hair won’t do what someone else’s will. It’s a tough concept to grasp as we have hair inspirations. (You know you’ve gone into a salon requesting to rock Halle’s pixie.) We would like our hair to do and look a certain way, but you’ll soon realize that your hair has a mind of its own and while you may be able to ask it (nicely) what you would like it to do, it will tell you what time it is. You’ll just have to adjust to its patterns.

You might go through an ‘am I still cute?’ phase
Whether it happens when the beautician spins you around to the mirror for the first time, when you wake up to a matted mess or when you’re just having an off day, you might wonder if your new natural do has affected your attractiveness. You’ll wonder if you’ve made the right decision and may find yourself wandering the black hair care section of Wal-Mart longing for a perm. Sure your transition has affected your look and sometimes certain hairstyles look better on certain facial structures etc. Some women can’t handle this phase. Some feel the solution is waiting until it grows out, others revert back to the relaxer and others, experiment with other, more flattering styles. Either way it’s about accepting the new way you look or doing something to put you at peace with your appearance.

It will take you a while to get used to the way your hair looks in the sink
Unless your hair is naturally straight, you’ll notice the little curly ques that come out of your head and how much they resemble some hair elsewhere on your body. You know, the hair down there. It’s not so much you; you know that hair came from your head, you just don’t want house guests or non-natural folks to think you just let your pubes run loose like that.

You might find yourself saddling your natural high horse; but get down, quick!
Once you get your hair looking right, you’ve found a style that works, you’re receiving compliments and your mane makes you feel powerful, you’ll want your other sisters to have this same feeling. And that’s great and really admirable of you. But in your quest to empower other black women don’t forget that some women simply don’t want or don’t like natural hair! And it doesn’t mean they don’t love themselves either. It’s a preference. I’ve seen women so ready to convert a “straight hair” they don’t realize that they’re being offensive and counterproductive. If your intent is to empower another woman, attacking her based on the way she wears her hair, especially a black woman, is not the way to go about it.

It might not be as healthy as you thought it would
Ooo don’t let these online tutorials fool you, if you don’t take care of your hair, relaxed or natural, it will look a hot mess. I’m a witness. There’s this assumption that your hair will immediately take on lioness power once you do away with the perm. Not so. Your hair might even become weaker in some ways. It will require more moisture, will tangle easily etc.

You won’t hate relaxed hair
When a family member, friend or associate would go natural and then two weeks later go back to perming their hair, I’d be appalled. It took me a minute to learn that it doesn’t have to be and isn’t an “either-or” for some people. For some people it’s a “both-and.” I know sisters who are technically natural but will wear a weave/wig in a minute to switch the style up. It doesn’t mean she’s conflicted in her soul; it means, she likes variety.

You’ll want somebody to touch it, just the right somebody
We have a thing about people touching our hair. Definitely no strangers and even our most intimates don’t get the privilege under the right circumstances. But this might change along with the texture of your hair. As I said, you’ll take pride in your hair. And maybe, just maybe you’ll want to share it with others. So if that means letting a genuinely curious person explore the jungle that is your hair and scalp then so be it. And if it’s a lover, then let him experience first hand how magnificent it is in there.
-Courtsey of Madame Noire

Monday, April 4, 2011

Questions/Reactions Every Natural Haired Girl Gets

Those of us who choose to go sans hair-straightening chemicals (no shade to the relaxed homies) get some very interesting questions and reactions about our hair. The most comical questions usually come from those who are completely unfamiliar with the nuances of black hair outside of Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” and that one black girl in their dorm in college.
Here are just a few of the situations every natural haired black girl will encounter at one time or another.

Can I touch it?Le sigh. The knee-jerk response is to say “No,” but it kinda depends on who’s asking. If it’s some wide-eyed individual looking like she’s on a zoological expedition, then absolutely not. You can even be kinda mean about it if you want! Just give her “the look” and keep it movin’. If it’s a woman next to you in the beauty supply aisle, maybe. It’s good to help a sista out. If it’s some sexy brotha on that “I love women with natural hair” tip– probably not. That’s a little intimate to be running your hands through a stranger’s hair, right?

Is it real?I have a big glamorous afro (yep, glamorous) and over the past year or so, an interesting thing has started to happen. So many people are wearing “natural hair” wigs, that people think my big ebony cloud of cotton candy is fake too. The killer part is when they get really close hoping to spy some glue or something. No glue here, buddy. Best response to such tomfoolery? Bat your eyelashes, smile, say “Yes, it’s all mine” and don’t break your stride. #gottaloveit

How does it do that?When you have the type of hair that loves you so much it tries to be as close to you as possible (it’s tightly coiled), any hair straightening leads to very dramatic results. I go from hair that is a foot wide on either side to hair down my back when I get fancy with the flat iron. Co-workers are always most interested in this transformation. Sometimes even other black women are shocked by the results. How to respond to the “how does your hair do that” question? Smile (always smile) and be honest about however you achieved your look. Any further interrogating need not be answered.

You would look so fine with straight hair.Dudes are straight clueless sometimes. Some men really and truly can not find beauty in any hair that is not long and bone straight. If you’re a gal who embraces her naturally voluptuous, hell-raising curls, you will catch shade from some of these men from time to time. If it’s a stranger, just give him the stink-eye, suck your teeth and keep it movin’. If it’s a man you’re dating, just bounce, girl. It’s not that hair is soooo important, but it’s just some stupid ish to say and who needs that? If it’s not serious, just move on to the next one. You want a straight haired chick, get you one, sucka!

Your hair looks amazing.Awwwww, our favorite type of reaction! So nice to know that you’re not the only one who likes your hair as it grows out your head. A genuine smile and a “thank you” are definitely in order.

Stank faceGenerally, it’s all love for the natural hair mesdames, but every once in a while, you’ll get the stank face from a woman who feels some type of way about seeing nappy hair in her midst. Ignore this woman. She is not worth your breath, energy or even a thought really.

Look of sheer horrorThat is the description of the receptionist’s face at one of those super white hair salons that don’t know jack about black hair. If you have a big fro or locs or any hairstyle that is really really black, you MUST at some point go into this type of salon and ask for service. The facial expressions and terror are priceless. You can just giggle and walk away afterwards. No need to prolong the torture and for goodness sake, don’t actually let them touch your head!

What have been some of your more interesting encounters as a natural haired madame?
-Courtsey of Madame Noire

Friday, April 1, 2011

Winter Hair Challenge...the Final Streach

The take down is complete! I just twisted my own hair and will rock it like this for most of the month of April...come May I will be busting this FRO OUT!! For the record my hair feels GREAT! There are no fairy knots/single strands knots on the ends of my hair and it is thick from root to tip. I'll do my final length check complete with a full winter hair care challenge roundup the next time I wash but so far it looks like I gained about 1 and 1/2 inches of growth of the winter. FYI, I actually did a light trim in late January in between protective styles. Overall I have to say I'm pleased!