I Don’t Like My Hair

As I shared in this post, I got my hair done recently. I bounced out of the salon feeling very happy. I got into the car and Mr. E (my mother’s driver) said “ You don finish?” (Have you finished?) Ah. He had waited for more than 4 hours, how could he seriously be asking me that? So I said, “Ah ah, Mr. Emmanuel. Since that time? Do I look like I never finish?” And he replied, “Ehhhn, e look like say you never start.” (It looks like you haven’t started) Sigh. Did it sting? I’m not sure, but Mr. E is my homie and he’s 58 years old anyway.

Later in the day, I bumped into some guy that looked pretty familiar. We talked for a bit… small talk, exchanged names for the first  time, and then this familiar stranger (that turned out to be a classmate from Law school) said, “Yes, I know you. You have this really tall friend and you always had this shaggy…” I blinked. He continued, “…this shaggy hair do. I’ve never seen you like this with your hair done.”

At least he acknowledged my hair was done. But pause. My ‘fro? The one I would spend all of or more than 20 minutes combing? The same combing that I didn’t realise cost me a lot of length I could have retained if I knew better? That ‘fro was what this guy was referring to as… S H A G G Y?

me and my SHAGGY fro. :) NLS, February 2014.

me and my SHAGGY fro. NLS, February 2013.

Okay, I didn’t realise I was mad yet. After this encounter, I sent the mister photos of my new hair; one of the left side, one of the right, and then he decided to make a joke. No, sir! Wrong timing! It’s usually all fun and games, but I was sensitive from all the lowkey insults and I flipped. It escalated in little time to a small fight.

After having some time to think, I realised he wasn’t insulting my hair. If I wasn’t already burnt by the comments I’d been getting, especially as I thought my hair was all that and more, I wouldn’t have been so defensive. I would have seen that he was teasing me in his usual manner.

By the next day, I was in a state of zen, Dani Alves to the hair haters. My mom saying “Is this the hair? You paid money for this thing? Is this what you travelled all the way to Dolphin to do?” did not pinch me in the slightest. Balance had been restored.

I may not be team wash-n-go, but I LOVE my kinky coily fro!! ^__^

I may not be team wash-n-go, but I LOVE my kinky coily fro!! ^__^

That first day, though, got me thinking about the time on Curly Nikki, when I posted a comment about spending time combing my hair to look perfect (read as acceptable in a formal black/white environment). I got a bunch of replies, mostly people telling me I was living for others and that I needed to do me. Message received. But that’s not exactly how they put it. In some cases, the tone was almost accusatory. I know that their scolding would go into second gear if they heard that oh, I felt offended, a little angry even, at negative comments on my hair.

In this post on NikkiSho’s blog, she went over her hair journey; the things she likes and the things she doesn’t, asking for help with her issues. Someone came out of the blue, ‘Anonymous’ of course, accusing her of the usual. Haba.

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Na wa!

Many times, in natural hair forums or discussions, I observe that there is this “All or Nothing” mentality. Probably because the greater part of the black race views natural hair as stressful (I maintain that it isn’t), naturalistas feel like we have to show that everything is peachy. Some people make it look like you aren’t allowed to complain. And I don’t get that.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to like them all the time and I think the same thing applies to hair. It’s a journey, it’s a process. I LOVE my hair, you guys know I do, but does this mean I can’t complain? NO.

I understand that hair has always been a hot topic, but it’s still a part of the body. I love my body, but it was a tough journey for me in my mid-teens to get here. And even now, I don’t like my nose all the time. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes it just spreads. I don’t like that my eyes often look very tired. I’m not interested in getting a nose job even if it’s free & painless, but if I’m selecting a profile photo, I definitely don’t want the one where my nose and eyes are looking “somehow”. This is not your cue to preach to me about latent self-hate. If you like, quote Martin Luther King. NAH.

Insecurities. We all have them. But somehow, we naturalistas make it look like hair is immune from these feelings. You can encourage someone with positive energy, without coming off like you’re scolding.

I look forward to Washdays. I enjoy the time I take to baby my hair, but when I get a real job, and start working 12 hours a day, I know days will come when I’ll resent wash day.

I’m in love with my coils. I’m in recovery from hand-in-hair syndrome (70%), but sometimes my hair can be like a crying baby. Those times, I need to protective style to give me peace. I need someone else to cater to it, lest I cut it off.

I look at pictures like this (below) sometimes- and I’m like dang. My front hair too is about the same length when stretched, but look at her volume!

3c shrinkage

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to sometimes wish you had a curlier or more kinky texture, a faster growth rate, different hair porosity or maybe thicker hair if your hair is fine, as long as you understand why your hair is the way it is, and you accept that what you’ve got is beautiful. If you don’t love it yet, just remind yourself that as with good relationships, your feelings for your hair will grow. On this journey, I’ve learnt to accept and appreciate my own hair for all it can and cannot do. This appreciation is way deeper now than it was a year ago, cannot even compare to when I was transitioning! Just because I’m in this happy place doesn’t mean I must shove it down someone else’s throat.

Would you believe me if I told you that Curly Nikki did not like her hair for many many years? O_o It took years, and plenty of support from her boyfriend (now husband), for her to see her hair through the right glasses. She has since become a great source of natural hair info and inspiration for millions of women worldwide. Her hair story is over here.

This hair thing is a very personal journey. It is mostly rewarding with many ups, but let’s not forget there are downs too. With love and gentle encouragement, you can get another person to see the beauty in her hair.

My hair is mine, I do it for me. I know who I am. I LOVE my hair, but I don’t like it ALL the time. And in those moments, I reserve the right to complain, to feel how I want to feel.

Welp. This has been a long rambling rant. I hope you get my message. If there’s anything you don’t like about your hair, anything you find or found yourself sometimes wishing you could change (right now or in the past), feel free to share in the comments. No judgment here! 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

P.S. For more hair rants, whining and D’OH moments, see the Hair Blues category 🙂

Hairspiration! : Kelli

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Hello naturalistas!!!

My name is Kelli, I’m a full time student & lifestyle blogger and Naturalista.

Traveling the world is my passion so live in a different state almost every year!

But originally I’m from Philadelphia, the land of the brotherly love <3.

When did you go natural and how did you do it?

I went natural about 3 years ago by transitioning. Then recently I did the Big Chop. I decided to big chop because at one point of my natural journey, I attempted to grow dreadlocks. This dried out my ends and made my hair very damaged. A couple months later I decided to cut my hair being that it felt damaged. Not really sure if it was or not honestly but appearance wise, I decided I really needed a change. I wanted a new look to represent a new me. New and Improved that is !

Tell us about your hair! 🙂

I refer to my hair as “She”:

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She’s truly amazing! Having 2 different textures, It’s sometimes hard for me to determine what my hair needs because the middle will be dry but the front isn’t. So sometime it’s very tricky to treat my hair, but it always works out!

Having very very very dense hair is biggest struggle but biggest benefit I have with my hair. Having dense hair makes manageability very hard at times but very beautiful at the same time! With low porosity, having 2 textures makes it difficult to moisturize my hair especially in cold climates but as of now, I have a fro-hawk keeping it moisturized and it isn’t as troubling, yet!

Texture: Front-3c, Middle:4a

How do you take care of your hair?

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I use natural hair products and oils (black castor, avocado, coconut). But I use products that are made organically as well. I read the ingredients on all the products  I use in my hair. If a product has something I can’t peruse or have never heard of, I refuse to use it. I stay far away from unnecessary chemicals. Right now I’m trying Kyra’s Shea Melodies, which is a natural skin and hair moisturizer. Most of the time I use the Rejuvenation Butter Cream after co-washing with As I Am.

Using the locking method I start by oil washing my hair with castor oil or coconut oil. After letting it sit for about 15-20 minutes I let copious amounts of water absorb into my hair. Then I apply As I Am Co-wash, letting that sit for about 5 minutes. Finally I let the water run through my hair draining it of all the excess oil and co-wash. De-tangling is never an issue for me at this stage, but i do finger comb through my hair instead of using a comb, while water is still running through my hair to insure minimal breakage.

After washing, I simply pat the left over water from my hair (I never dry with heat) I then apply a little castor oil or avocado, Hot Six oil, or Vitamin E oil in my hair to add a little more moisture to it so that when it dries it wont be super dry. I then apply As I Am Leave in conditioner or the Kyra’s Rejuvenation Butter Cream to seal in the moisture. Then I add some Eco-Styler Gel to hold my curls in place through out the day, This takes away from frizz. Being that I wear my hair naturally curly I then blow myself a kiss in the mirror and walk away for a little to let my hair air dry ! :*

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How do you wear your hair?

On a daily basis I wear my hair in a curly frohawk. I will admit that when I go to work sometimes I straighten my hair but I can’t leave it straight for more then 3 days. After 3 days she (my hair) starts to scream for water. I then go back to my frohawk.

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Honestly I do feel that the fight to change the perception of natural hair is very real in not only the the work place, but in the world. It’s the fight for natural hair equality. It’s perceived that if someone has a smoother hair texture naturally, that its accepted in the work place. Meanwhile if someone has a denser and thicker hair texture/ type then it appears as if that person “did not do their hair”. This is not the way it’s supposed to be.

If one hair texture is accepted, then all shall be accepted by the time BUE:lifesyle is done!

What’s your favourite hair style?

My favorite hair style is the Afro, I love wearing an Afro because it is natural hair in its natural form without any “taming”. the Afro is a symbol of strength, unity and nature; resembling a tree, the tree of life, especially for women.

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 Do you Protective style?

Protective styling for me would be Box braids and Senegalese twists. I feel that leaving hair alone for a while is always good, though extensions do add extra weight and can dry out some hair textures. It’s up to the person to keep their hair moisturised no matter the style.

What inspired you to go natural?

Honestly, going natural wasn’t a conscious decision for me. One random summer about 3 years ago I decided to just slow down applying relaxers to my hair. Then I started to notice that when my new growth was straightened it was just as straight as my relaxed hair. Eventually this led to me not getting relaxers at all. I decided “What was the point”?

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Being that I grew up getting monthly relaxers I figured that the texture that was growing from my head at this point was tainted by the years of relaxer chemicals in my scalp. I soon found that the hair that was growing was truly my hair texture. It was soft, curly and strong. It felt amazing eventually I found out there was a name for what I had decided to do for the health of my hair, “Transitioning” .

In the midst of transitioning over a 1 and half year period it began to get very real. My relaxed hair started to slowly shed away in addition to me cutting my ends frequently. I than started to use Eben Organic hair products to make sure that my natural hair was getting all the nutrients that it needed to stay moisturized. Living in Miami FL at the time my hair never got dry that often but while transitioning my natural hair did frizz from the humidity ( being that i live across from the beach) This made my hair look very obvious that I was “going natural”. My go to hair style was Bantu knots and twist outs. This was the easiest, fastest, and cutest way for me to disguise the two textured hair.

fro

Eventually my relaxed hair faded away and my hair was all natural ! It was a curly Afro that I loved. I often wore it out in a Afro style because I loved how easy and cute it was. I attracted loads of attention to my natural hair. especially amongst other ethnicities. But what surprised me was the most African American woman would often tell me “You need a relaxer”. This was shocking and something that honestly disgusted me because this was the way all of our hair was. It confused me as to why it was so despised upon the in African American community. This then gave me drive towards BUE:lifestyle which is all about being yourself everyday. Being who you are and accepting the world for what it is, and not what you want or think it should be!

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Do you write a blog or have a twitter or instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?

Blog: www.khaammstyle.wordpress.com

Twitter: @khaammstyles

Instagram: buelifestlye

Tumblr: www.khaamm.tumblr.com

(links on side for additional blogs, CLICK AROUND && HAVE FUN !)

http://khaammstyles.tumblr.com

Google+ Khaamm Buelifestlye

Email: kellihammond.kmh [at] gmail [dot] com

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Thanks for sharing, Kelli! Your curls are beautiful and so is your style and bubbly spirit! 🙂

If you’d like to be our hairspiration sometime, leave a comment or email thekinkandi@gmail.com, and I’ll get on it asap! All natural textures and lengths welcome!;)

I was featured by the lovely Bey on her blog last week. Please check it out here 🙂

Love,

AB

xx

Just Because A Mudwash Sounds Crazy…

Hey guys!

The Natural Nigerian Product Giveaway is over, and our 2 winners Nafisat (@__Nafisat) and Sumbo (@_datrandomchick) announced. Please email your delivery info to me ASAP! Thanks to everyone who participated, I wish I had consolation prizes to give. I heart you a lot! ❤

I remember how awkward I felt the first time I put mayo and eggs in my hair. I only convinced myself to try because my hair was breaking and I was desperate! From there I graduated to clay. This thing called a Hair Journey isn’t a small thing oh! One of the questions asked was ‘Just Because A Mudwash Sounds Crazy, What’s the Weirdest Thing You’ve Ever Put In Your Hair?’, and I really enjoyed reading your responses! So much, I knew I had to share!

I asked, and you answered…

 “a mixture of raw eggs, honey, different oils and my deep conditioner”

“Mixture of Shikakai/methi powder”

“raw eggs”

“Palm oil”

“Never been that adventurous but planning to apply henna real soon…that’s about it for me..lol”

“Edible mayonnaise when I ran out of hair mayo *shiver * “

“Weed leaves aka Igbo..lool”

“I haven’t particularly put anything weird on my hair as I’m very low on the adventure scale when it comes to my skin and hair. For me though, the weirdest thing so far is a raw egg and honey DIY mix… needless to say my hair felt very stringy afterwards…lol”

“Palm oil and Zobo juice”

“Curry leaves”

“Zobo”

“Beer”

“Ogiri ( which I learnt was castor )”

“Onions and Potatoes juice (Extracts)”

“Bentonite clay”

“Onion juice”

“Egg and Honey (read online that it would help with dandruff)”

“Half Ripe Avocado pear, egg yolk and olive oil”

“Bananas that were blended with a spoon and it got stuck”

Raw Indian hemp powder mixed with Soulmate hair cream :(“

“Beer”

“I washed it with egg, milk, honey and lime juice”

“Palmoil + eggs + mayo + some weird hausa stuff.”

“Raw eggs and mashed banana mixture”

“Okra. Cos some naturalista ( I still think she’s a witch) said it was moisturizing”

“Palm Kernel Oil”

“Banana deep condition left a residual on my hair”

“Palm oil and raw eggs and mashed bitter leaf”

“Man shanu(cow ghee)”

“Handwash liquid x_X . I was too desperate to clean the dirt in my hair and there was no shampoo in sight *covers face*”

“St Ives body cream”

“I haven’t put anything outrageously weird on my hair because my hair is like my baby. I’m pampering it and loving up on it and using only stuff I’m sure of. The weirdest thing I’ve done however is to do almost 3 different types of deep conditioning at once.”

“Raw garlic paste. HORRIBLE IDEA. Couldn’t get the smell out!”

“Palm oil”

“Bananas…. 2 years ago I’d have slapped anyone who suggested that.”

“Nothing too weird, but I’ll have to say…honey”

“Eggs, vinegar, tomatoes, oranges”

“I would have to say Indian Hemp mixed with Shea butter”

“LOL…Garlic oil capsules???”

“Lime juice”

“Avocado, mashed bananas and tea. -_-“

“Urine”

“For me, Bama mayonnaise because I hate it but my hair loves it. If I can’t eat it well my hair can have it.”

“Egg, honey and mayonnaise mixture.”

“Weed”

“Crisco shortening. I used it as a sealant!”

“Stout and Egg mix”

“It’s not weird, but in my relaxed days, i actually used a mix of honey and shea butter (with more honey than anything) on my edges and dripped honey all day long!”

“Baking Soda and then MUD”

“Fresh tomatoes”

“A mixture of Bentonite clay and avocado pear”

“A black tiny spice used for peppersoup mashed in shea butter(ori).”

Wow. The lengths we go for our hair! I say this with NO judgment whatsoever; some of you have gone places I’m not sure I want to reach! :-p I understand the struggle all too well. Everything is probably the best thing you’ve never tried. May our endeavours to keep our hair healthy and happy on our heads be crowned with success! Say Amen!

Is your own weird/crazy thing not on the list? Share with us in the comments (you can be anonymous for today LOL)

You know I love you,

Xoxo,

AB

Hairspiration! : Kennedy

Kennedy brings Hairspiration back this Friday, with a twist!

Heat styling is something that very many naturals are wary off (with good reason), but Kennedy’s curl pattern is still very much intact, and her hair looks pretty good! Healthy and bouncy and shiny and nice! 🙂

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Tell us about you!

I’m Kennedy. I honestly don’t do much since I’m waiting to start school, and I live in Chicago, IL 🙂

What inspired you to return to natural?

I’ve actually been natural my entire life. I would literally BEG my mom to give me a relaxer because most of my friends growing up were white. She inspired me to stay natural, though. She would always tell me about how relaxers broke all her hair off as a teenager.

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Tell us about your mane. Does he/she/it have a name? 

I usually refer to it as The Beast. Whenever I’m texting my friends on wash day, I’ll just say “BRB gotta go tame The Beast” and they know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m not that big on hair science, but based on the little bit that I’ve read I’d say my hair is pretty porous.

Are you a less-is-more person when it comes to your hair or do you go all out?

Definitely a less-is-more. The most I ever do is straighten it. On special occasions I like to curl it. This might sound bad, but I don’t even comb it every day. So if you ever ask me what I did today and I respond with “I combed my hair”, just know that’s a pretty big deal. I like to get it cut significantly shorter, too.

How often do you wear your hair out?

I wear my hair out pretty much every day. One time in the 2nd grade my mom let me get my hair braided with weave, and it was down to my butt. It was the best time of my 2nd grade life.

So when you wear your hair out, do you prefer to wear it straight or curly?

I prefer to wear it with a little bit of wave or curl, but usually it’s just straight because before I can curl it I wait for my hair to get a little oily first. My cousin once told me that dirty hair curls better. Sounds gross but it’s true 🙂

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Heat styling is something that many naturals are wary of, but you usually wear yours straight, and your curl pattern is still intact! How do you do it?

Once I blowdry/straighten it, that’s it. I’m lazy so I’ll go weeks without washing my hair just so I don’t have to go through that process. Before I blow dry I put oil in my hair just so it can sort of act as a protective shield. I straighten myself pretty much every time, but if my ends need to be clipped or it’s a special occasion (like graduation) I go to a salon. Even though I don’t go to a salon that often, I think it’s important to pick one person and stick with them. The woman I go to specializes in natural hair, so that’s pretty cool.

Are there any special ingredients you look for in a heat protectant?

Not really. The product I use isn’t a heat protectant specifically. It’s an oil moisturizer that just so happens to be able to act as a heat protectant.

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What are your favourite products?

My favorite product I like to use before blow drying is Creme of Nature Argan Oil Oil Moisturizer. Then my daily moisturizer is Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. 

Also, Ojon Hair Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner. It makes my hair SO easy to comb through I couldn’t even believe what was happening the first time I used it.

Wearing your hair straight, what are your challenges?

My biggest challenge is definitely trying to keep it straight for as long as I can. I wear a bonnet under my shower cap while showering. If it’s humid out, I wear a bonnet under a hat. I remember it rained on a Sunday one week, and the next day I rode the train to school with my hair wrapped up in a bonnet, and on top of the bonnet I had on a hat. I looked like a little boy but I could not care less. That humidity was not going to ruin my hard work of blow-drying and straightening!

Also, keeping people’s hands out of it can be a challenge. My mom and cousins like to run their fingers through it, and I’m not the best when it comes to daily detangling, so that’s always awkward.

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What are the DOs and DONTs of wearing your natural hair straight?

DOs: Carry a hair tie at all times. Carry a back-up hair tie for the original hair tie. Have a bonnet, a hat, and an umbrella stashed away somewhere just in case it rains.

DONTs: Flat ironing every morning. Wrapping the hair tie around too tight. Flipping it over your shoulder is a don’t for me. It brings unwanted attention. When it comes to people asking if they can feel it, touching is okay, finger-combing is not. Especially if there are some tangles in there.

Before you go, could you share a tip or trick or a remedy you’ve tried & tested in your journey so far?

Whenever I comb my hair, I’ve found that it helps to start from the ends and work your way up. Also, whenever I come across a knot, I try to untangle it with my fingers instead of tugging at it with a comb. One last thing, SECTIONS ARE YOUR FRIEND. I once went to salon with a woman who tried to blow dry my hair as a whole. No sections, no pre-combing. Nothing. Never again.

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

Beware of anything that promises to “relax” your curl pattern. Dealing with your natural hair may seem impossible at first, but it gets better. Also, white people WILL ask to touch it.

Do you have a blog, twitter, instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?

Couldn’t live without Twitter: @KittyLittuur 🙂 It’s a strange name, I know. But my friend found out that my mom calls me Kit, and she started calling me Kitty Litter.

Thanks a lot, Kennedy! 🙂

If you’d like to be our Hairspiration sometime, just leave a comment or email: thekinkandi@gmail.com 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Love,

AB

xx