Martin’s Dream

Five Score

August 28, 1963
At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
Image Credit

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream.  He had a dream for his children, for my grandmother’s children, for me and for my children.

…A dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed,

‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream . . .

At the Lincoln Memorial, in the year of the Centennial Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the significance of the occasion was highlighted by carefully and not-so-coincidentally chosen words.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that day… Continue reading

Hair Crush: Carly Cushnie

Carly... punky funky chic!

Punky funky!
Image Credit

I’m in love with the faux-hawk, fohawk, frohawk, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve got tons of pictures of the zillion variations on this style pinned to my personal Pinterest shrine to all things nappy, and I never get bored or tired of it. Looks good dressed up for a formal occasion, or dressed down for coffee with friends.  It’s cool and edgy and chic and stylish and… oh, am I gushing?

Continue reading

How We See Us vs. How Others See Us

I came across a post by The Good Curl that spoke about the “Brown Paper” syndrome that still seems to be prevalent in the Afro Canadian/Afro Caribbean/Afro American community.  She was not impressed with India Arie’s new album cover, claiming that her skin-tone did not seem to be as dark as it naturally is and challenging India’s foothold on self-acceptance.   She was questioning how black people see each other and themselves.

Just for fun, I did a Google Image Search and found what I like to call “The Many Shades of India.”  Here is just a handful below.  How many can you count?  It’s more than fair to say that the power of lighting is astounding…

IndiaArie_Collage

The Many Shades of India
Photo Credit

My response to The Good Curl was that it is often hard for others to see you the way you see yourself. Continue reading

Pin-head!

Before Mark Zuckerberg’s entrance to the social network scene, there was Hi5, Friendster and ICQ.  MySpace even ruled the roost for a minute.  When Facebook finally eclipsed all the others, everyone I know jumped on the band-wagon.

I resisted.

Twitter came along.  Many people I know started tweeting.

Still, I resisted.

Humble Pinning Beginning

say goodbye to family and friends

I had no idea!
Image Credit

Then one day in 2011 my brother showed me the latest and greatest in social bookmarking, mood boarding, self-indulgence, vicarious living, virtual hoarding, time-wasting, or whatever you want to call it.

Bro: “You haven’t heard about Pinterest?”
Me: “Wassat?”

He laughed and fired off an invitation to the invitation-only site.  “Prepare to lose hours and hours of your time!” Continue reading

The Power of Suggestion

myNiece_cropped

My niece’s amazing hair under a birthday hat

I have a niece.

She is confident and self-assured, fearless and strong. She is a happy and beautiful child, obsessed with Christmas. She is smart and funny and speaks two languages. She is three years old and already knows everything there is to know about everything.

Her Daddy and Papa asked me what to do with her hair… which is some amazing hair, if you ask me. More than once, I have promised to shave it off and make myself a wig with it… which could still happen, by the way. But I digress. Continue reading

Hair Crush: Whitney Naptural85 White

A little while ago, I talked about one of my favorite YouTubers, Whitney (aka, Naptural85). She had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Read that here and watch a video showing off her new family. I gushed (a mini-gush) about how great she was. How smart and funny. How knowledgeable.

Well, she’s all of those things. But have you seen her hair? I mean… have you seen it?

Nap85_Collage

Napturally Beautiful Naptural85!
Photo Credit

Continue reading

G’on Brush Your Brushes Off

Shocking but true:

What’s trapped in YOUR bristles?

Your brush needs attention similar to what you give your hair. No matter what kind of brush you use, whether it be one with synthetic, metal, or boar bristles, it’s important to clean it on a regular basis.

You spend hours and hours deep conditioning your hair, co-washing it, clarifying it. You use essential oils like peppermint and tea tree to cleanse the scalp and stimulate blood flow. You understand that clean hair means growth. You do these things on a strict schedule to prevent unsightly buildup.

So why would you undo all of your effort by using a dirty brush?

Continue reading

This Is Not a New Year’s Resolution

Happy 2013!

With a new year come new aspirations, new bucket list items, new hopes, new dreams. I won’t use the word resolution, because we all know what tends to happen with those!  However, knowing about the importance of goal-setting and focus, I’m looking forward to the new challenges in store for me in the coming year. Continue reading

Hair Journal: Wash Day

So today is wash day. Well, if I’m honest, yesterday was actually wash day, but I was too lazy to do it. I don’t know why. It’s not like I have tons of thick, unruly hair or anything.

I. Am. Just. Lazy.

photo credit: l’il ol’ me!

Once the lethargy wore off, I grabbed a hair mask from Live Clean’s Exotic Nectar Argan Oil collection (stand by for an official review) and smoothed it on my dry hair. I pulled it through to the ends, making sure that all my hair was covered and detangling with my fingers. Since I’m not burdened with that thick, unruly hair I mentioned before, detangling is extremely quick and easy for me. I covered my head with a plastic cap and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Pretty standard deep conditioning routine.

Then, just before I rinsed my hair out, I mixed a few drops of peppermint oil and jojoba and massaged my scalp with it for about 5 minutes to stimulate the blood flow. It kinda perked me up too. That lethargy was still lingering a bit.

So into the shower I went. I rinsed out the mask and then applied a standard conditioner. Let that sit for about 3 minutes while I washed the rest of my body, and then partially rinsed it out with some cool water. When I say ‘partial’, I mean I didn’t rinse all of the conditioner out. Oh, and the cool water is a challenge since I don’t have a hand-held shower head. Basically, I lean forward into the water so that it is only flowing over my head and not my whole body.  Brrrrrrr…

Once my hair was rinsed, I got out of the shower and dabbed my hair with a towel to get out as much of the water as possible. Then I wrapped my head in a microfiber towel and left it to soak up the residual water while I got dressed.  After getting dressed, I removed the towel.  My hair doesn’t take long to dry (per the lack of thick, unruliness), so all I had left to do was LOC and go.

I sprayed it with a generous amount of aloe vera juice, and then followed that with some grape seed oil on my ends and finished with some leave-in conditioner.  Slapped in a puff style and voila!  That’s it.

Later tonight, I’ll put in some twists to start counteracting that pesky shrinkage!

Until then,  I’m off to do some last-minute Christmas stuff.

What’s your wash routine?

Fa La La La La

Tis the season to be natural! As the holidays approach, I’ve been thinking about what I want to see wrapped in beautiful paper under the tree, or sticking out of my stocking. Here are some of the things on my list.

Essential Oils

Oils

For the burgeoning mixtress in me, my friend Judes gave me my first set of essential oils for my birthday in April and I was in heaven!  I loved being able to add drops of peppermint or bergamot into whatever conditioner I was about to use, or to create my own pre-poo using a carrier oil as a base.  And let’s talk about the miracle these oils perform on shea butter, which (let’s face it) does NOT smell like roses.

Naturally, I’d love it if Santa’s Little Helpers restocked my essential oils (including that dreaded lavender… yup Vee, I said it!) and carrier oils, along with the coveted Jamaican Black Castor oil, which is nearly impossible to find in Canada.  And I’d really love to get a few that I haven’t tried before too.

I don’t know where Judes got the set she gave me, but I’m sure you guys are resourceful enough to use Google.

To “beef up” this gift, why not purchase some cute bottles from Ikea or Pier 1 to put the oil in?  Look around and be creative.  However, make sure to buy bottles that are tinted.  Direct light makes the oil go rancid more quickly.

Monthly Product Subscriptions

So the product junkie in me seems to be growing bigger and bigger by the day. For a reasonable monthly fee, I can feed my addiction with a subscription to a product-of-the-month club. Each delivery consists of a sampling of hair and personal care products hand-selected for curlies and naturals alike. Sometimes the offerings are full-sized!

The two I’ve had my eye on are curlBOX and CurlKit.

Each of these has its own appeal. While CurlKit seems to focus a little more on products with mainly natural/organic ingredients, I must admit that I’m quite seduced by the beautiful packaging of curlBOX. Did I mention the full-sized samples?

It’s hard to choose between the two… so why choose, right? Hint… hint…

Gift Sets

Gift and a Half!
Oyin Website

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been having a long-time love affair with Oyin Handmade products.

Ever since the first day I stumbled across their hilarious YouTube videos, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for the kooky couple (JAMYLAAAAAA BENNU… and her husband) responsible for the uber-moisturizing Juices & Berries, the deliciously scented Greg Juice, and my personal favorite – Shine & Define. So anyone who knows me, knows that I’d love love LOVE to get a box set from Oyin… Say, a Gift and a Half, maybe?  Oh, and they also have a “Black Nerds Unite” tee that I could easily add to my wardrobe.

No Frizz Fizz Cocktail

Curlmart has a gift set with six or seven products from its shopping cart. Or you can even find a nice box set from Shea Moisture called Curl & Shine Kit too.

Jamyla Bennu &
Fellow Nerds

Oyin (yes, I’m back to that) also sells sample sizes of many of their products. Perfect for my stocking, or as decorative bobbles for wrapping my bigger gifts… but no pressure…

Styling Tools & Appliances

Secura – a Reasonable Huetiful Substitute

I have a very old “bonnet dryer” that belonged to my grandmother. The bonnet is a plastic cap, similar to a shower cap, with a hose a-la-vacuum-cleaner sticking out the back, and a very loud motor. I can’t be certain, but I think it’s powered by a little tiny dinosaur… you know like on the Flintsones? When it comes to deep conditioning, it does do the job, but it would be nice to upgrade to an appliance from this century. A shiny new steamer like the Huetiful Steamer would be abfab, but a reasonable substitute would be the Secura S-192.

Gold ‘n Hot
GH3400

A heating cap would be welcome if the much preferred steamer wasn’t possible.

Curlformers

For style experimentation, a set of Flexirods or Curlformers would be nice.  One of each would be even better, since I’m not sure which would work best for my hair.

Things like ponytail clips, barettes, hair pins, and ouchless elastics are also welcome.

And I’ve been looking for a genuine Denman brush for the longest time.

Head Coverings

byEA Etsy Shop

At one point, I was known around the corridors of my workplace as “The Girl with the Hats.” Feels like the old hat fetish has come back. Along with beanies, silk scarves and silk scrunchies, I wouldn’t mind breathing some new life into my hat wardrobe with some cool, funkie new pieces. You know, for those days when I don’t have the time or the inclination to style my hair. Maybe even a few headbands or a fascinator or two.

Etsy has a ton of stores selling cute and original styles.

Books

Natural Hair Bible

I don’t have a library of hair books, though I have read one or two that people have loaned me. Here’s a list of titles that seem interesting to me:

  • The Science of Black Hair (Audrey Davis-Sivasothy)
  • Hair Care Rehab (Audrey Davis-Sivasothy)
  • Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (Ayana D. Byrd/Lori L. Tharps)
  • Better Than Good Hair (Nikki Walton)

At the top of my list is the Audrey Davis-Sivasothy book.  I have read a few excerpts from it and have heard numerous gurus refer to it.  It’s what you’d call a “bible” for hair care.

Cute for Kids!

There are a few children’s books that would be fun to read to my niece and nephew too:

  • I Love My Hair (Natasha Anastasia Tarpley)
  • I Love My Cotton Candy Hair (Nicole Updegraff)

I could go on and on and on…

Maybe I’ve inspired you with ideas for yourself or for your beloved naturalista.  What’s on your list?

Happy shopping, Santa!