Thursday, June 30, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 30

30 Day Blog Challenge

Day 30: One thing you're excited for

I am excited about the growth of my jewelry and hair accessories business venture. I have been making little things here and there for years for myself and for friends. I was actually nervous about creating and selling items but so far things have been going quite well. I'm no where close to quitting my job but I hope to get to the point one day when I am working hard for myself.


Detangling Shampoo

While browsing the other day, I came across this method of creating a detangling shampoo that sounds interesting. The article suggests adding oil to your shampoo to soften and condition the hair. I'm picturing a really creamy and smooth result from combing oil and shampoo.

Check out the article here.
Make Your Shampoo into a Hair Detangler

I want to give this a try soon, I am thinking that my hair will really like this.

It's that time again...'Fros on the 4th'

You may remember this event circling the natural hair community around this time last year, while it's happening again and it looks like it's becoming an annual things. If you don't recall this event don't worry, it's simple and everyone can participate. All you have to do is wear an afro on the 4th of July.

There are many different ways to wear a fro, so make it yours and have fun. If you don't know wear to start, I have that I created last year on how I make my afro.

This year I'm gonna try a curly 'fro. I will be sure to post the good or bad results.

Natural Belle: D.I.Y Goddess Braid

Check out this post on the DIY Goddess Braid over on Natural Belle. I really like this idea and it can be an option for someone that wants to wear the goddess braid look but don't have the length needed to make it work.

Natural Belle: D.I.Y Goddess Braid

Have you tried the braided headband? How did you like it?

In The News: YouTube creations win $35,000 for aspiring actress

I frequent youtube a lot so when I read this article it was really no surprise to me that I am already subscribed to the winner to this YouTube partner contest. Congrats to Chescaleigh on her win! Naturals are breaking ground!

Check out her channel here: Chescaleigh

See the article in it's entirety here:

Rachel Lindsay Odem

Rachel has a beautiful and unique look. I contacted Rachel, and ask if she share her natural hair story on my blog. Here is what she had to say:

"Before I went natural, I wore weaves (occasionally) a classic bob, etc. I decided to wear my hair natural back in 1997, I made the decision because I felt like I was hiding my true self, I didn't like feeling.  I wasn't pretty if any naps showed anywhere on my head. I felt ugly, I would run to the salon to get a touch up the minute any naps showed. I hate that feeling I wanted to love who I was without the perm. The fears I had were how would my family, friends and boyfriend would like it."

After going natural - "I use Avlon Natural Textures, Miss Jessie's and sometimes I make things at home." For people that have concerns about going natural - "I would say to them accept that not everyone will like it, but as long as you like it that is all that matters."  - Rachel

To read more about Rachel, visit her blog at or

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 29

30 Day Blog Challenge

Day 29: Five Weird Things That You Like

Of course, I don't think they are weird because I like them - but other people seem to think it's weird.

1. The Masago Roll (sushi) - once people find out that it's fish eggs they tend to be grossed out (after eating it, lol)

2. Drink water after eating ice cream
For some reason ice cream makes me extremely thirsty so I must have a glass of ice water nearby for immediate guzzling

3. I like my clothes in the closet to be color coordinated, ROY G BIV style.

4. I can't go on road trips in a dirty or cluttered vehicles

5. I can't sleep at night without a ceiling fan - any other kinda of fan makes me sick, literally but without a fan I will sweat all night

HHCB: Shampoo Basics

This post ended up long so here is the outline:
  • Don't let someone dictate when and how you clean/shampoo your hair
  • Sulfates are harsh ingredients that strip the hair of natural oils
  • Your shampoo choice should be based on your hair's needs
  • Prepooing is helpful for protecting your stranding from being stripped during shampoos
  • There are various cleansing methods for your hair's needs: shampoo, low poo, no poo
If you want more....keep reading. If not, thanks for stopping by :)

When embarking on your natural/healthy hair journey it is likely that you will come across a number of individuals that have differing views on shampooing or the types of shampoo that you should use. Some will tell you that shampoo is not good for your hair and you should not use it because it is too drying. Others may tell you that that you can use shampoo but you should be sure to only use certain kinds/brands of shampoos. I am not going to tell you what to do but I will try to instead supply you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for your hair.

One of the ways to best understand the product you are using is to understand the ingredients that are in the product. Some of the common ingredients found in shampoos and their meanings can be found here.

Before selecting a shampoo you should access your hair care needs. Is you hair oily, dry, or maybe you have a lot of product build up? Individuals with oily hair may find it beneficial to shampoo more often than someone with dry hair. Then again a person with dry hair may opt to not shampoo at all and stick with the co-washing method. Keep in mind when shopping for shampoos that not all of them will do what the bottle says that they should do.

Many naturals find it helpful to prepoo before shampooing. This is actually a method I love to do. I coat my hair from roots (not scalp) to ends with oil, the oil choice is up to you, and let the oil sit on my hair for about an hour. Then I shampoo my scalp only and the suds run down the length of my hair to cleanse the strands. See my wash regimen here: (23) Wash Day Regimen.

If you find that some shampoos are too harsh on your hair you may want to look into sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates are harsh ingredients used in shampoos that strip the natural oils from our hair. Afro-textured hair has a tendency to be dry so the need to keep our natural oils is crucial to our hair’s health.

If you find every shampoo that you have tried to be too drying for your hair there are options for cleaning your hair that do not include soap suds. Those include baking soda, Apple Cider Vinegar rinses, and/or the Deva-Curl NoPoo.

Still confused? Try this guideline:
Oily hair/scalp – try to shampoo weekly, more if needed
Dry hair – if you choose to shampoo, prepoo ahead of time or use only a low/no poo method
In-between dry and oily – shampoo when or if needed

Listen to your hair (not someone else’s) and it will tell you what it needs and when it needs it.

To see my shampoo choices, view My Regimen

What are your thoughts on the shampoo process?

See the other Healthy Hair Care Basics posts

One of each please! ♥

 Photos snagged from a fellow shoe lovers facebook page. I have no idea who the shoe designer is.   
Love love Shoes!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 28

30 Day Blog Challenge
Day 28: Somewhere you'd like to move or visit

I have been wanting to visit Ghana for years. I know of a few people that have visited and they all loved it. Then a few years ago I was reunited to a long lost (but not really) family member, an uncle, and he informed me that he traced our family's roots back to Ghana. How crazy is that?!

My uncle is the one dressed in all white. 
When I met him there was do doubt that we were related, he looks just like my grandmother.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bold Cuts - by Sylva

Bold Cuts - life experience story by Sylva

Trip to Puebla, Mexico, March 2001. I was disappointed. All the Mexicans were so, well, American. The clothes, music, college experience abroad seemed like the stateside version, only dubbed over in Spanish. 

While ruminating on alternative interpretations for ‘we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us’ it occurred to me that maybe I could benefit from some introspection. After all, who was I to judge when I was wearing shoulder length braids? I saw a golden opportunity to begin extricating myself from the obligations piled on to me by my family, race and culture.So, I cut my hair. I pulled out those braids and took to sporting the quintessential fade of black boys everywhere. Instantly, I was riveted by my face. What cheeks! My big eyes! My little ears! I didn’t have anything to hide behind. I was forced to face the world unapologetically. No more using my hair to make the appearance of my person less shocking or more palatable. 

Going natural in another country was definitely eye-opening. When I was just black, everyone assumed I was easy; when they thought I was African, their ignorance became even more outrageous. People asked my white classmates if I was their maid and if I spoke English. At drum circles, the crowds eyed me expectantly like they were waiting for me to break out into dance. My mailman called me his ‘Jamaiquena’, his sly way of calling me African. The bright spot in all this was being approached by rural women who asked me to kiss

their babies. They told me that seeing a black person was lucky.

Once back home, my Dad schooled me on how to pick out my hair. I remember sitting in my grandma’s bathroom while he shaped it up for me. His strong hands were surprisingly gentle as he turned my head and inspected his work. There was a tenderness there that I hadn’t expected. I remember feeling grateful because I knew he feared for my future - he told me when I dumped my business major that I would be a pauper - and I could sense that he was hoping this would all be a phase. (Then I got a nose ring! Poor Pop.)  

I broke so many picks trying to get my hair into a neat Afro! Even as I fought it, I was fascinated by its boisterousness. It grew in thick and kinky. It corkscrewed tightly and the kinks had this boiiing quality that was just too cute! I didn’t know my hair could do that! By fall 2002 it had started to loc up on its own. I marveled at how pieces seemed to bond together over night. My hair had a mind of its own!  

The pictures during this time period are particularly telling: my family members look at times scared of, chagrined and bewildered by my natural ‘do. I’ll take responsibility—my hair was unruly. My locs were like raging pond fronds! My grandma caught me getting out of the shower one day and just let me have it. “Oooh!” she said, scrunching up her face and shuddering, “Your hair looks terrible! Terrrrible!”.  I can forgive her only because she was a Sagittarius and they’ve been known to speak without thinking. Eventually, I did cut my hair. I didn’t know of any locticians or natural hairstylists in Seattle and I didn’t know what to do with it anymore. I took the shears to my fat, matted locs and cut. Then I dyed it Red Hot Mary.It was a cute color but it dried up my hair immediately. The little kinks I loved so much stopped boiiinging. The hair at the root became brittle. It truly hurt my heart to see. That was the first time I understood the effect of chemicals on my hair. The price for a seemingly benign pleasure was an irreplaceable quality that was uniquely mine. 

For the next two years, I let my hair grow out again—but this time with more guidance! I washed and oiled it, brushed and parted it, braided and twisted it. Bantu knots were my favorite hairstyle. I arranged them in a diamond pattern all over my scalp. I always got so many compliments when I wore my hair this way. People thought I went to a stylist but it was all DIY. After a couple days, I undid the knots and finger combed the curls into a wavy afro. Talk about hot! At the dawn of the century, I was confident and on my own. My look matched my sassy walk and reflected my willingness to try new things.

In 2006, I officially loc’ed up. My hair was about an inch and half long when I got started. I went to a new stylist in Seattle’s Central District and she twisted me right up! My hair took to the process easily. It was pretty simple: wash, roll and dry. (I maintained my hair myself because I had a weakness for shoes and purses.) When it was long enough, I braided my locs to get a wave or rolled them up to get curls. 

Ten years into nappiness, I have developed a rhythm and relationship with my natural ‘do. It feels good to feel the stubby twists as I wash them and to let my fingers discover new growth. My hair is no longer a burden to me. My roots don’t embarrass me. I don’t have to drive an hour to the next city where all the black hairstylists are. Whew! Going natural is a relief in so many ways. I have to admit that going natural also facilitated another journey. It brought me back to my people. Back in sixth grade, after moving from Washington State to North Carolina, my new black peers ostracized me for “acting white”. My highwaters could be overlooked, apparently, but my straight As were inexcusable. I refused to dumb down and took refuge in Latino culture, excelling in Spanish class and watching Siempre en Domingo on Univision.

Throughout high school and college I kept a wary distance from other blacks.Going natural gave me the courage to face the community who had rejected me in my youth. Hadn’t my hair forgiven me all those years of hotcombs and relaxers? When I took an attitude of curiosity towards myself and withheld judgment, my hair and self-esteem flourished. It wasn’t hard to see that black people responded to internalized oppression in the same way our hair responded to heat and chemicals: by becoming brittle, broken off imitations of images that didn’t sync with who we truly are. I decided to give my people the same chance my hair had given me. Over the years, I have built enduring relationships with beautiful, authentic and empowering people who have appreciated my features and valued our common histories. They understand my struggle and can encourage and nourish me because they are doing the same. All the while, my locs have matured and grown down my back.If there is one thing I’d tell black women, it would be to go natural at least once. If you chose to do chemicals again, then at least you will be making an informed decision. Whatever you choose, getting to know yourself at the root is a priceless undertaking.  -  Sylva, May 2011

To read more about Sylva, check out her blog Blackroot in Bloom.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Afro-Belly Boogie

Every single week, I look forward to my favorite exercise class: Afro-Belly Boggie.  I enjoy this class so much, that I want to share information about the class with everyone. This class is full of positive energy and beyond fun.  It never fails, every week, to remind the women in the class, that we are strong, beautiful women. And sometimes, we do need that encouragement in our lives. The instructor Angel Thacker, is always encouraging and knows how to make everyone laugh. I always leave the class, completely soaked with sweat, but feeling amazing.  And what makes the class even more fun, is that we can bring our own belly dance hip skirts to wear, which adds to our ability to embrace our feminine beauty. 

"Created by Angel Thacker, Afro-Belly Boogie
is a dance fitness program making noise across Northern California and beyond!  Since it's full launch in August 2010, the workout has gained a following of loyal participants who've enjoyed the weight loss an toning benefits that Afro-Belly Boogie brings.  Combining the cardio and toning aspects of African dance movements and toning and conditioning aspects of Bellydance, this fitness program combines the best of these worlds with a dash of club mix to bring the grove come to life. Great music, fabulous dance moves and big fun make this workout a revolution in dance fitness.  So join your local Afro-Belly Boogie workout class and "Join the Dance Revolution!"  -  

Angel's classes can be found in numerous cities in California. She also has instructors that teach the classes in various gyms. To find a class or request that the class be taught you in your area, go to class schedule.  Besides being an amazing instructor and inspiration coach in our classes, Angel is also a life coach and has a great 30 Fitness Program that she offers to any one that wants to improve their health and life. 

Thank you Angel, for offering this class, that helps us to embrace life and our beauty as woman.  

To and read more, go to -,

Styled by Thierry

 Amazing loc styles from loctician Thierry Baptist!