Debra-inspiration: of Art and Curly Halos

Hey Beauts!

It’s another Friday! How quickly did the weekend get here?! It has been a somewhat weird week over here, but I am learning, as one does in this interesting arrangement called life, that we can fully control nothing. Before I go off on a long rant and attempt some philosophical undertaking, I shall jump right into my reason for being here today! Two words, Debra. Cartwright.

I am admirer of the arts in all its forms, really. I think that the ability to express the intangible in ways that appeal to various senses is a great gift that was bestowed upon humanity. I love it, I love it!

I found out about Debra’s work from the girls over at nik-nak. It did not take much to convince me to stalk her and her illustrations. The art speaks for itself. It really does. It is with so much fan girl excitement that I give you Debra, her art, and her hair for your ogling! Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: Chi-chi Agbim

We wanna meet you! Where are you from? What is one random fact about you?

Hi! I’m from Annapolis Maryland. I learned to sail around 10 but I’m terrible at it. I do love fishing though. So much.

Let’s get right into it. Your art… how did it begin?

I’ve always drawn. Usually cartoons and paper dolls for my little sister and cousins. My mother noticed and put me in after school art class.

What do you love the most about what you do?

The ability to express myself through imagery. It’s nice to be able to get out my emotions visually.

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What do you like the least? What are your challenges?

Never thinking I am good enough. I’d say about 90% of what I post I go “well this sucks but, I want to track my progress so I’ll put it up”. I’m my biggest critic.

What are the things that inspire you?

Entrepreneurs, black women, our history.

What is the best compliment that you have received?

This lady once told me my paintings inspire her daughter to feel beautiful.  That really hit home.

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Now, your hurr! How long have you worn your hair natural?

About 2 and a half years!

Are you a less-is-more girl with your hair or do you go all out?

Less is more for sure. I’m a minimalist from my painting to my hair products.

Shrinkage- do you fight it or embrace it?

Depends on what I feel that day. I like to let my hair do whatever it wants for the most part, so shrinking doesn’t bother me, but I’ll twist it when it gets too dry.

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Photo Credit: Chi-Chi Agbim

What’s your regimen like?

On Washday
Depends on how dirty it is. I try to stay away from shampoos unless necessary. For shampoo I’ll use mixed chicks or devacurl no poo. Then I continue with my regular routine. Finger detangle in four sections with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner, add some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, then some Olive oil Eco Styler gel and out the door.

Morning routine
I do the routine above about every four days (minus the shampoo). If it looks dry I’ll spritz it with some water, my hair loves water.

Night time routine
I just sleep on a satin pillowcase and fluff in the morning

Go-to hair style?

Wash and go

Hair product or step that no woman should ever skip?

Detangling with Hello Hydration! Love that stuff

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Two absolute hair DON’TS

Comb or brush when dry (unless you’re teasing it for a music festival 😉 Blow dry from wet! (I’m so against direct heat) I really don’t do anything to my hair that feels like its straining it. I feel bad for my curls lol.

If you had one hair regret, it would be…

I didn’t go natural sooner!

Two things your hair cannot do without?

Hello Hydration and water.

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Share your favourite styling tip/secret?

A lot of times to look fancy I’ll roll the back up into a French chignon and twist the top ends into a hair sculpture with 500 bobby pins. It looks sleek but it only takes 15 minutes and is really just an organized mess.

Greatest discovery in your hair journey that totally changed your hair game.

My hair hates oils! I know they are everywhere but they start to clog my scalp and face pores and just sits on top of my hair. My hair loves butters and water though.

Any hair challenges or bad habits you’re trying to break?

I need to get up the courage to get a trim! I’m terrified of beauty salons, which is crazy because I was so dependent on them about 3 years ago. I love having control of my hair now and I don’t want to give it up.

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One of the things that drew me to your illustrations is the representation of hair. Is this something you do consciously?

Most definitely. I love fashion illustrations and noticed the majority of them never showed natural hair, same with media representation of beauty standards. My work was to combat these facts. Create the images you want to see.

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Photo Credit: Chi-Chi Agbim

Where can we follow your work? Where can we buy your work?

Facebook, Instagram, my website and my shop.

Thank you to Debra! Are you guys in love yet?! No? Ok, here’s more for you to appreciate:

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Ok. Ok. To view more of Debra’s work, visit her website. I hope this has put some sunshine into your hearts this Friday and has got you magically more excited for the promising weekend! Until next time, beauts.

 – MeeMee

xx.

 

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Hairspiration!: Jensine

Hey beauts! Happy Friyay!!! If you aren’t already, I hope today’s hairspiration will put you in the right mood for the weekend!

Hello! Tell us about you, girl!

My name is Jensine, aka Jungle Naps on Youtube. I live in California with my handsome husband and one very curious kitty. I’m a cycling instructor and I love to whip my students into shape! You can often find me yelling, “Sprint like you stole something!” during class.

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Have you always been natural?

I went natural at the age of 17. Almost by mistake really. I was going off to college in a nondiverse part of California. With no car and no motivation to keep up with a relaxer and high maintenance press and curl, I put my hair in box braids for 5 years. Looking back on it now, I’m so proud of myself. But I still had a looong way to go. I had no idea how to properly detangle or wash my hair in its natural state between braiding. Flash forward to 3 years ago, I came across natural hair tutorials online. I literally thought, “If they can do it, why am I paying all this money to braid my hair?” I wanted to embrace my natural beauty and leave behind the pressure of what society expected me to look like. I am so lucky that I had such a great support system. My friends and family embraced my wild and free hair with open arms.

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Tell us about your hair!

My hair is definitely a free spirit. A good hair day never happens the same way twice. If I had to officially categorize it though, I have 4C hair. My parents are both from Haiti, deep in the country, hence the name Jungle Naps. It has low porosity, so I usually deep condition under a hooded dryer.

How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?

I’m always switching up my regimen. Currently to effectively cleanse my hair, I use Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo. It smells divine and it’s free of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. I follow that up with a deep conditioning treatment under my hooded dryer for 3060 min. I alternate between: Giovanni Smooth as Silk, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist, and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. I like to mix my conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor oil. It literally gives my hair life! Afterwards, I apply my leave in (As I am Leave In Conditioner) and detangle with a denman brush. For styling, I love using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie for twist
outs and bantu knot outs. It gives my style hold while keeping it moisturized. Plus what’s not to like, when you smell like a tropical paradise afterwards.

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What are the things your hair cannot do without?

Water and aloe vera juice! I spray it on my hair every night before bed. Oh and shout out to my silk scarf! Can’t live without that one either.

What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?

Oh this is an easy one! My hair hates tight buns. I used to shoot for the “laid edges look,” but that left me with some balding spots around my hairline. Lesson learned.

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How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?

Twist outs and buns with a nice flat twist to frame my face are the usual for me. If I really want to get real fancy, I’ll do a curl former set.

How do you feel about shrinkage?

I love it and hate it. On the one hand, it’s part of what makes natural hair so beautiful. On the other hand, sometimes, I’d like to have a little more control over when it will happens.

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Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

Nope, no negativity allowed in my section! Haha but seriously. I went natural to make myself happy so no one can tell me how I should present myself. I find that those that feel the need to be negative are usually projecting their own insecurities on you. I just keep shining bright and come back with my hair wilder and bigger than before.

Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?

My challenge lies in developing the proper trim regimen. When I lax on trimming, my ends start breaking, but if I over trim, I don’t see much length retention. I’m experimenting to get it just right.

Do you have any hair goals short or long term?

Yes! I’m trying to grow my hair down to waist length (stretched). I’m almost at bra strap length currently.

Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?

If you’re not sure if you want to go natural, in the words of Nike, Just Do It! It will be the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself. If you’re newly natural, just know that there’s a steep learning curve. You’ll spend many wash days confused as to why a certain product hasn’t worked. You’ll even grimace after more than a few failed Youtube tutorials. Just know that you’ll find your way.

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You can connect with me on:
Youtube | Jungle Naps https://www.youtube.com/user/junglenaps
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/junglenaps
Instagram https://instagram.com/jungle_naps
Twitter https://twitter.com/JungleNaps

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

– MeeMee

xx.

Hairspiration! : Tosyn

Hey! 

My name is Tosyn Bucknor and I am a wordsmith (I love to work with words). I sing, write, and also host the morning show on Top Radio 90.9 as well as vlogs and podcasts. I stay busy! I live and work in Lagos and wow, I have done that all my life although I do love to travel!

I also love experimenting with my hair, health, face, etc. So I am one to try new diets, beauty tips, etc. I once tried the lemon water thing, the no-carbs diet, and even washed my hair with coke… Yup! You can read all about that on my blog www.tosynbucknor.blogspot.com

Have you always had locs? What inspired you to get them? 

I had my hair relaxed when I was in primary school, so no I have not always had locs although my dad and sister were born with natural locs. I hated salons, relaxing my hair, braiding etc. Like it took too much time and just stressed me out. Plus my hair was so tough that I could put relaxer on, sleep, wake up and it still would not have relaxed.

Continue reading

Hairspiration! : Glory

‘Ello baes!

Have you missed us? We have missed you!

To kick off the long Sallah weekend, Glory’s kinks are here to give life in abundance. Please, enjoy!

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Bantu knot out

Hiiiii please tell us about you!

Well hello! I’m Glory, a software developer living in Lagos. Besides software, I have a wide range of interests; from Nigerian politics to gourmet cuisine, photography to minimalist design, healthy lifestyles and so forth. But this won’t be complete without stating just how much of a natural hair enthusiast I am! I adore natural hair of all textures, densities, colors, etc. I have a keen interest in natural hair care. Continue reading

Hairspiration!: Nafisah

Hey beauts! My faves. I hope you are all having a decent week. It’s Friday!!! And it’s time to hair drool. Today, we have Nafisah!

Hey girl! Tell us about you!

Hello! My name is Nafisat. but I like feeling fancy with it by replacing the ‘t’ with ‘h’ sometimes. I’m an architecture student living and studying in Lagos.  I love reading, making new friends, trying out new things and my hair (yes, my hair is my hobby).  I tend to be very lively and cheerful. I smile a lot even when I sometimes feel like it’s unnecessary.

Have you always been natural? If not, when did you go natural? What inspired you to go natural? How did you do it (transition or BC or both)?

No. My short-lived quest for long healthy relaxed hair since September 2012 birthed my decision to go natural sometime in May 2013. It was one of those researches on ‘’how to grow long relaxed hair’’ that led me to a natural hair site in April 2013. I think the first blog I discovered was black girl long hair. I read hair features and fell in love with naturally kinky coily curly hair and from that moment, I knew I wanted to try it! As time went by, I learnt a lot from these blogs and finally did the big chop after 4 months of transitioning. I‘m glad I big chopped because I never really knew what it felt like to have really short hair (no, I wasn’t Rapunzel).

Tell us about your hair! Does she have a name? how does she feel? How would you classify her if you had to? (length, porosity, texture, density, curl pattern, if you’re into any hair science)

My hair! No she doesn’t have a name. I currently have a kinky- coily head of hair with densely and closely packed tight  and fine 4a strands. I generally have normal porosity hair with the nape area suppppper fine, supper coily and super fragile! My hair generally retains moisture well. The mid and nape sections take forever to dry. I just don’t get it. My edges (temple to ear are) retain moisture the least. Its like they just like to do their own thing! Oh well…My hair is so dense and can be challenging to work with in terms of styling and detangling. The nape area tends to be the least dense and easiest to style/manipulate (and break!)

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How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?

I like to follow the basics. Cleanse, Condition, Protect and Maintain (and rock! lol) my regimen is really simple (in terms of technique and products)  I just like to use whatever works well for my hair and whatever is available. I shampoo, deep condition and finger detangle bi-weekly with Dudu Osun black soap and Vitale Hair Mayonnaise( plus honey, olive oil and Emily millionaire’s coconut oil and herbs) I moisturize damp hair with any available creamy leave in ( Paul Mitchell/Cantu Repair cream/Shea Moisture Smoothie) and seal with shea butter or castor oil.  Then proceed to put my hair in twists. Shikena. I feel I don’t have personal knowledge of hair products so right now I’m currently experimenting with more products for the sake of ‘experimenting’

What are the things your hair cannot do without?

My hair and SHEA BUTTER are hommies for life! Lol…My hair also loves Paul Mitchell the Conditioner, Castor oil and Vitale Hair Mayonnaise….Just anything creamy and slippery!!

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What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?

Hmmn…I’m not sure but I don’t think my hair likes being sealed with coconut oil (generally light oils). It dries my hair out when used alone but gives it shine. (o_0)  So I only use it to unravel my twists/braids and add shine to my hair.

How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?

I like wearing my hair in chunky twist –outs ( well, when my hair was shorter) and puffs. Let’s just say puffs because most of the styles still end up in puffs now that my hair is longer. I’m just too afraid the huge sexy twist out might turn heads and break necks. But when I’m feeling really fancy, I just let that twist out do its thing.
I mainly do low manipulation styles because
1) I’m too in love with my hair to hide it.
2) I haven’t found a good ‘’affordable’’ hair stylist that would handle my hair with care yet.
3) I don’t have the patience to install protecting styles
4) I can’t get protective styles to last long. (That’s the point of protective styles in the first place)
When I’m getting too bored of my hair/ have some free time to spare/exams are approaching, I hide my hair under crochet braids, or box braids or weave. My favourite protective style is box braids!

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How do you feel about shrinkage? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it? Either way, tell us how

I don’t really know how I feel about shrinkage, but one thing I know is that I NEVER allow my hair to shrink….lol…no it’s not a fight. It’s just something I had to get used to doing if I want my fine curls to grow and flourish without much knots and tangles. I mostly keep my hair stretched through twists and braids, mini puffs and when I have time African threading a.k.a. Fake blowout!!! Lol

Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

I hardly get negative comments. But while hair was shorter in a twist out, a few people have criticized it. Now, Everyone I know currently admires it. Sometimes, It is mistaken for a weave or wig.

Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break? Bad habits? 

A lot. I can deliberately not moisturize my hair for a whole week just for the sake of stretching it . Now I know better..smh. Sometimes I go to bed without protection out of laziness.  Challenges? Yes o! My nape area. The hairs there are fine and fragile. They break easily and don’t retain much length because of their fragile nature. So I’m currently trying to be super gentle with it.

Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

My long term hair goals: Be a styling guru, and probably healthy waist length natural hair.

Any last words to anyone considering going natural or a new natural?

First, accept your hair, and then love your hair. As it is, like it is.. You can’t achieve healthy long hair if you don’t love your hair. It’s like feeding a pet you don’t even like. Not possible! Secondly, please don’t go natural hoping that it would be a ‘’quick fix’’ to all your hair issues. (dumbest idea) This healthy hair journey is a learning process. If you are planning on going natural and you know that  you are impatient/afraid of making mistakes/don’t like learning new things/shallow –minded, you might end up getting so frustrated so early in your journey and probably hating your hair forever.  So please do your research about black hair first and at least have a mental picture of what you will be dealing with before taking the plunge.

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Wise words, Nafisah! I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did.

P.S.: If you will be in Enugu TOMORROW June 13th, you should check out the Enugu Naturalistas hair meet up. It promises to be fun and there are prizes to be won! For more details, visit here.

Have a great weekend!

– MeeMee

xx.