Thursday, August 13, 2015

How I Learned to Love My Shrinkage

"Shrinkage is real"  I've posted a few IG pics with this caption.  It's a statement of fact.  My hair shrinks.  Natural black hair shrinks...but shrinkage isn't a bad thing.  A lot of naturalistas (and natural brothas) would disagree with me.  Me from 2 years ago would disagree with me.  I had to do a lot of soul searching and questioning before I got to where I am.  Here's how it went...

Question #1:  Why do I hate shrinkage?
Answer #1:  Because it hides the true length of my hair.

Question #2: Hides it from whom?
Answer #2: Well...everyone!

Question #3: Why do you care how long other people think your hair is?
Answer #3: *Blushing*  I don't?  I shouldn't anyway.

Question #4:  What does long hair indicate?
Answer #4: Beauty, femininity, health

Question #5:  Isn't your face beautiful?  What's more feminine than your curves?  How is shrinkage unhealthy?
Answer #5:  My husband seems to find my face beautiful and I do have some womanly curves.  And shrinkage...well shrinkage actually shows how healthy my hair is.  If it didn't shrink I would know my hair was damaged.

Question #6:  Why do you hate shrinkage?
Answer #6:  I don't.  I love my shrinkage.

Can you love your shrinkage, too?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Natural Hair Updo: Protective Styling or Camouflage

Which is it for you?  Are you a protective styler or does your hair go up to hide a bad twist out?  I am generally not a protective styler.  I feel like I have a pretty good routine that by and large keeps my hair protected...and I like my hair to match my mood. 

I haven't decided if natural hair videos are something that I plan to do regularly, but here's one showing how I do my camouflage updos.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

You got that "good hair" though

I hear it a lot and I know it's meant to be an excuse, but lately it's been sounding more and more like an accusation. Here's a sample conversation:

She said: Oooh!  Your hair is so pretty.  What do you use?
I said: Well I co-wash with TRESemme Naturals Conditioner, seal with grapeseed oil and use Shea Moisture Smoothie to style.
She said: Then what?  How do you style it?
I said: After I co-wash and seal I divide my hair into sections, detangle and two-strand twist each section.  In the morning when it's dry I un-twist, separate and fluff.
She said: (looking at me doubtfully) Is it hard to do?
I said: No, not really.  It just takes practice.
She said: It would be impossible for me.  You got that good hair though.

What the flip?!

So I used to get into the whole "there's no such thing as good/bad hair, all hair that's cared for is good, we all need to accept and love our hair the way it is" argument.  I gave that up, because to be honest, it's a moot point in this conversation.  I know what she means by "good hair".  And she knows that I know what she means by "good hair."  And I know that she knows that I know... and on and on and on....

Nowadays my answer to this excuse/accusation is, "No, I don't."

It's amazing!  Once upon a time I'd have been flattered beyond belief if someone said that to me.  Now I get upset.

I don't like the implication that:

1.  I've told her something that isn't true (It's not hard, it just takes practice.)
2.  That any work I've put into my hair is insignificant because my hair doesn't take work.
3.  That she knows someone's hair struggles/victories/story just because she thinks she knows their hair texture.

But mostly I don't like that defeatist attitude that she has been conquered (or expects to be conquered) by her hair and therefore has given up before even starting.  I shouldn't have to prove my nappy status just so she starts believing in the possibilities of what her hair could do and be.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Are you a goo hoarder???

I don't know if goo hoarders are better or worse than product junkies, but we probably take up just as much room.  For a really humorous discussion of goo hoarding please see the first 5 minutes of this Jenna Marbles video:

I feel like my goo hoarding is based on the cheapness that keeps me from being a product junkie.  I won't buy a lot of different products, but I will hold on to every last teaspoon of product in a tub regardless of whether or not it's a useful amount.  I'm spring cleaning today and finally talked myself into tossing two tubs of hair product that had so little product in that there was hardly enough for a section of hair let alone an entire head.  However...there is still is a small crate of half filled bottles and (even worse) foil paks of products that I haven't used in the last year and a half but CANNOT throw away because I don't have time to have a panic attack today.

So...are you a goo hoarder, too?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It's a miracle there aren't more car wrecks.  So many of the decisions we make on the road are based on anticipating the behaviour of other drivers based on experience (for some of us, years and years of experience) but very little real-time data.  I almost plowed into the back of a car this morning because it stopped about 10 feet short of where I anticipated it would.  The data I was missing was the drivers desire to switch lanes behind a car that would have been right next to him had he stopped where I thought he would.  When you turn on your blinker you anticipate that someone in the next lane will slow down and make room for you to change lanes. (This is generally true, unless you drive in Manhattan, Atlanta, Mumbai or on I-70 past the St. Louis airport during evening rush hour.  In these cases experience has taught you that your blinkers are flashy ornamentation and essentially useless.)

So because I am me, I decided to see how far I could stretch this little lesson.  Where else in my life do I see wrecks?  Make-up application.  I have, more than once, anticipated that a color or a product would look fabulous on me...and I was wrong.  Fashion.  See make-up explanation above.  Relationships.  Yes, relationships....

In relationships, we do an awful lot of anticipating.  If we're not communicating often and effectively with our loved ones, we anticipate without real-time data.  If the loved one does what we anticipated, we nod and smile smugly and forget to say thank you.  Our loved one feels unappreciated and taken for granted.  If the loved one doesn't do what we anticipated, we feel thrown for a loop, and possibly even deceived.  Anticipation is more likely between loved ones with a lot of history...we base so much on our experience of that other person, without allowing for the normal changes and growth that happen to us all over time.

Bottomline: Keep the lines of communication open so you don't wreck your relationships.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Twist-out Evolution

1st day, 2nd day, 3rd day hair.  Some people like doing their hair everyday.  I'm not one of those people.  I like to do a style and have it last a day or two.  The thing with natural hair is that it changes from day to day...sometimes from hour to hour.  I've had a wash 'n go look one way in the morning and completely different by lunch and then different again by the time I get home in the evening.  Since the cold set in, I've been doing up-do's, buns, braid-outs and twist-outs and I try to make them last.  Here's the evolution of my last twist-out:

1st day hair:
This was the result of a 3-strand twist out that was supposed to result in ringlets.  I didn't get ringlets and I'm not sure if it was my product choice, application or twisting technique, but I still loved the results.  I pineappled* my hair that night and got this the next morning:
2nd day hair:

Look at that stretch!  It's starting to loose definition now, but I was happy.  I pineappled again this night and the next and got this:

4th day hair:

More stretch, but very little definition left.  It's fuller and softer than the 1st day look though.  It'll be re-twisted tonight, but there's no telling what it'll look like tomorrow.
*Pineappleing: Pulling all the hair gently to the top of the head and securing with a scarf, scuncii or hair tie before going to bed for the night.  This stretches the hair and somewhat preserves curl/definition.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Confession: I've been a bad, bad girl...

I've been careless with my delicate hair. I kept going from style to style without washing or conditioning for about a week and a half. I started with a wash 'n go, then I went to a twist out, then some up-dos.  When I finally sat down to detangle it was bad...really bad.

I was in the last week of a 30-day finger detangling challenge (no combs allowed).  I soaked my hair with water and used a ton of conditioner, but I still lost a lot of hair.  My ends were so raggedy and rough I ended up trimming a full 1/2 inch off the ends. *shakes head* I basically lost a month's worth of growth. 

As sad as that makes me, I also gained some styling experience. I'm still trying to decide whether or not it was worth it, but I'm determined to view every learning experience on this journey as a positive.