Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Growing Out Your Edges




Hola, chicas!!


So, some of you know that during these sat few months, I have been able to grow my edges out to lengths that many don't think the edges can grow up to. I just thought I should share with you tips on growing out your edges because I'm sure many of you want to grow yours out.

D'accord! On y va!

  • Keep your edges detangled at all times, but don't necessarily comb through them or brush them daily because that'll cause breakage
  • When protective styling (and you know how I love my protective styles), never put your edges in them. If you braid your hair, twist it or whatever, do not put your hair in the braid, twist or whatever because our edges are more prone to breakage (especially when they're still short) so tugging them back with a braid or up with a lot of hair in a twist or box braid can lead to them being pulled out or breaking
  • Keep your edges moisturised at all times. Moisture! Moisture! Moisture! oh! did I forget to say, MOISTURE! Your hair needs moisture in general and let's just say that your edges need paying attention to. Remember to use some water and then seal it in with a light butter.
  • It is best to keep the pH value of the hair on your edges balanced. My shea butter mix has some apple cider vinegar in it to balance it out. If the pH is balanced, your hair cuticles will lie flat and therefore, retain more moisture and appear healthier.
  • Keep your edges clean. Zero buildup, tu capisci? Sulfate free shampoo, mud wash or natural/organic hair and scalp cleanser.
  • When you deep condition, try your best to make sure the plastic cap or bag covers your edges.
  • Drink a lot of water too.

Do this and you will notice a your edges growing out!

~SammyWithTheBigHair (and growing edges!)


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: Terressentials Mud Wash



I'm not even going to tell you 'hello,' I have to get straight to the point.
This product is a must-have for all curly ladies!

Ingredients (I used the Lavender Garden one):
Organic aloe vera juice°, clay minerals, organic extract° of organic linden flower°, essential oils of organic true lavender° and organic sweet orange°, extracts of organic nettle°, organic chamomile° and organic shavegrass°, essential oils of organic rose geranium°, organic ylang ylang° and organic clove bud°.

°Certified Organic


My thoughts:
I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!
Ohmigosh! This thing took off all buildup, took off all traces of the smell of the greek yogurt deep conditioner, took off the annoying feeling the Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner gave me at some parts of my hair and it left my hair feeling so soft and moisturised!
Once I saw the first ingredient in this, I knew that I'll love it. Aloe Vera, incase you didn't figure it out, is my hair's boo! I love aloe vera, it balances the pH value of hair, moisturises and just adds a lot of goodies to the hair.
I left this mud wash (hair wash) on for a little (heck, WAY) longer than I had planned and I didn't have a plastic bag on so the mud wasn't moist in my hair, it had dried up holding my hair in place. However, once the water came on, it loosened up without being touched and rinsed out thoroughly leaving my hair so clean and so nice! I couldn't believe it! My hair felt so good!

Would I recommend this product:
HECK, YEAH!


Would I try this product again:
HECK, YEAH!


How many stars would I give this product:
HECK, YEAH!
I'm sorry, I mean, 5-stars :)

Review: LUSH Cynthia Stout Beer and Cognac Shampoo and Blousey Banana Shampoo




I'm putting these two products together because I have exactly the same thing to say about both of them:

Thank God I did not use them all over my hair or on even a quarter of my hair!
These two products are super drying and stripping.
I'm just noticing that both have Ammonium Laur(yl/eth) Sulfate on their ingredients lists (Sam, why didn't you see that before). That must be why they gave this effect.
Will I be trying these again: No
Will I recommend these: No
How many stars: 1

Review: Greek Yogurt Deep Conditioner


Hey,

That's the actual yogurt in that pic above, not the deep conditioner. Hehe!
I used that greek yogurt (and yes, it has bits of desiccated coconuts in it).
I used one full pot of it mixed with a teaspoon of honey and about 3 teaspoons of olive oil to make my deep conditioner.

My thoughts:
If you read my tweet about an hour ago, I hated this DC from the moment I put on my hair, but ever since I started rinsing it out, I have loved it!

It made my hair feel so soft and moisturised and it left my hair so shiny! :)


Would I be trying this again:
*laugh* Not in the near future! The application process is way too messy, the smell of the DC is way too nasty.
However, if I need a quick fix and I can't find anything else to DC with, I just might try this out again.

Would you recommend it:
Yes, if you don't mind the smelly smell and messy mess. Oh! and you might want to run the greek yogurt through a sieve with little holes before using it to avoid the coconut bits getting in your hair (but they came out relatively easily). Using a coconut greek yogurt was just for an extra something from the coconuts.

If I was rating with stars, how many would I give this:
4 stars
(considered giving a 3 because of that rancid smell)

Review: LUSH - The Hair Doctor Hair Treatment


Hello again,

This product was given to me as a sample to try out by someone in LUSH who happened to have kinky-curly hair like mine. I don't know her name, but SHOUTOUT TO HER!

So, the ingredients in this product are:
Water, Irish Moss Powder, Fullers Earth, Cetearyl Alcohol, Perfume, Irish Moss Decoction, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil,Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Absolute, Chamomile Blue Oil, Soya Lecithin, Glycerine, Yeast, Red Henna, Lanolin, Cetrimonium Bromide, Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate,*Eugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool

*occurs naturally in essential oils

The ingredients in green are natural ingredients while those in black are said to be safe synthetics.


My thoughts:
From seeing those synthetic ingredients, you guessed right I was a little sceptical about this product, but I still tried it out on two corners (opposite sides) on the hair near the nape of my neck.

This product smells really good and if you saw my tweet a few minutes ago, the results of this product.....oh my.....they were divine!

My hair felt so moisturised after using this product and.....here's the funny thing, I had the most defined, most beautiful looking twist out from using this product! The thing is, I put deep conditioners in my hair in sections and twist my hair as I'm done with each section. I undid the twist on those sections just before rinsing out and was like, "OH.MYYY.GOSH!" The rest of my twists were nowhere near defined when I took them down plus my hair was damp from deep conditioning so, it was pretty cool that it could still hold a twist out look.

This product left my hair shiny and gorgeous looking and OHMIGOSH IT MADE MY HAIR FEEL SOOOOO GOOOOOOD!!!!

Would I use this product again:
If I get really busy at any point in time and I can't whip up a DC for myself, yes, I will buy this product and use it.

Would I recommend this product to people:
If you don't mind the few synthetic ingredients, yes, I will recommend this.

If I was rating with stars, how many stars would I give this product:
4.5 stars

Review: Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner


¡Hola!

So, as mentioned before, I am going to be reviewing the above product. So, let's get started!

The ingredients in the above conditioner are:
Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Argan Oil, Coconut Oil*, Behentrimonium Chloride, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B‐5), Avocado Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil.

My thoughts:
So, I just took down a protective style I've had for about four months now and decided to try this out on my hair to see if it's good as a shampoo replacement. Honestly, if I go on one of those 2-3 weeks things I did when I was busy last spring-summer (not washing my hair for 2-3 weeks), I wouldn't use thing product to wash my hair. I would rather use my BeeMine (sulfate-free) shampoo. This product did nothing in cleansing my hair. My scalp and hair actually felt kinda dirty and sticky-ish near the roots when I used it and it seemed not to want to rinse out of my scalp. As for the rest of my hair, yes, they felt a tad bit moisturised which was okay, I guess.

From reading about how long I protective styled, I'm sure some of you might have thought about the killer tangles I must have. Honestly, I didn't really have "killer" tangles. I did have a bit of tangles, but I could get through them. I had this product on my hair when I was trying to detangle and yes, it did give a bit of slip, but just a little more slip would've been better.

Would I recommend this product:
I might have to give it another try some other time, dunno, but right now, I'll say that I won't be all giddy-giddy recommending this product right now. It's not bad, don't get me wrong. I'm just not excited about the product.

If I had to rate it with stars, how many would I give this product:
3 stars


--

Update - 11-07-15
Hey!
So, believe it or not, I am still using this product. I do prefer it as a leave-in conditioner though. It is amazing (5 stars) as a leave-in. So, I am switching to the Coconut and Hibiscus line for a rinsing conditioner while I stick to this product as a leave-in.
~Sammy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Get the Look: Mindy McKnight

This is Mindy McKnight of Cute Girls Hairstyles. Now, I'm sure most of you have noticed that her hair's not curly. So, let me explain, I saw this do and I loved it and I know many naturally curly girls out there put their hair up buns so I thought that this would be an interesting twist instead of the regular bun.
  • Start by sectioning your hair in two by parting your hair from ear to ear.
  • Using sectioning clips, an ouchless band or something else, hold away the front section.
  • (It may be easier to flip your hair over to do this bit) French-braid your hair from the nape of your neck up to the where you sectioned your hair and braid a few inches up (off the scalp) securing the french braid with an ouchless band.
  • Untie the front section, smooth it down using a seamless comb or brush and gather the hair back and to the end of the French-braid holding it with that part in a ponytail using an ouchless band then take out the ouchless band used to secure the end of the french braid and run a comb, brush or your fingers through your pony tail.
  • Put your hair up in a bun securing it with bobby pins
  • For an even cuter twist, you could add a bow like Mindy did.
Voila! You have the look (.....only with curly hair......unless you straightened or blew it out, that is)
To spice this up a bit, a ribbon could have been added to the hair when making the french braid. For me, a shiny/glittery black or dark red ribbon would be perfect :)

Natural in Nigeria

Hello everyone,

So, I happened to stumble upon this video. I felt so happy and proud because when I left Nigeria, I wouldn't have expected to see something like this or this huge take place. I just had to put it up on here:

video

Monday, December 16, 2013

My 3rd Year Natural (COMING SOON) + Celebration Giveaway



Hey,

So, in 29 days, I will be "celebrating" my 3rd year natural! I'm sure you noticed the celebrating was in quotation marks. It's going to be a Monday, I'm going to be in school and my first class of the day is not one I'm fond of. So, this celebration is going to be on the inside and basically, after school (dancing and smiling like a crazy person to myself in the comfort of my bedroom or if I want to scare people, in the hallway). Unfortunately, I won't be able to blog on that day so, I'll blog about it in February.

Anyways, for my 3rd nanniversary, I am going to host a little giveaway. Now, now, don't get your hopes up, I'm not giving out free products. You see, this was not expected, but I wasn't able to do what I planned to with my eBooks (if you read earlier posts, you'll know what I'm talking about here). So, to celebrate my 3rd year, I am going to give free copies of my eBooks to three lovely people. All you have to do is:

  • Create a lovely new banner for this blog and send it to me using the info on the Contact page on this blog
  • Follow my twitter page and tweet to me (so I know you're in on this)
  • Comment on this post saying, 'I'm in,' or comment on any blog post with a serious comment, not an 'I'm in'
  • Advertise my blog somewhere and send me a screen shot of it using the info on the Contact page on this blog
  • Write an article for me to feature on my blog and send it to me using the info on the Contact page on this blog
You don't have to do all five, you could do one.

Okay! so, here's the thing, the person who does a banner stands a higher chance of getting the 1st prize than anyone else. The person who writes an article to be featured stands a higher chance of getting a 1st or 2nd prize than anyone else. The person who does all 4 stands a much greater chance of getting the 1st prize than anyone else who participates in this (even those who do the banner).

1st prize
All my eBooks + your blog or youtube channel advertised on my blog + an interview with you uploaded on this blog

2nd prize
All my eBooks

3rd prize (Randomly chosen winner)
One of my eBooks (randomly picked)



This is open now and will be closing on the 31st of January (I'll wait till it's the 31st in all American states before it closes because most of my readers are from the States and my time is ahead of theirs SHOUT OUT TO MY READERS IN THE STATES).

I will write a blog post with the names/usernames of the winners sometime in February. If you sent me anything using the info on the Contacts page and you are one of the winners, I'll contact you via email. If you followed me on twitter, I will follow you back and send you a direct message to know where to send the eBook. Other winners will be asked to contact me via the Contacts page on here and prove their identity by basically a screen shot showing that they are logged in to the account that commented on a post or advertised my blog.

Hope you have a lovely day and a wonderful holiday (if you get one.....I hope you get one).
~SammyWithTheBigHair



My Considerations - Gel


Hey,

So, I've been considering hair gels for about a day now. Well....yesterday, I saw my curls (just a lil bit in front - the rest of my hair is still in crochet braids) in their natural form and frizz-free too which is not usual because my hair frizzes up so fast. Anyways, I was like, okay, okay, so this is mainly 3c/4a (more 4a, though). I actually thought my hair had become 4a/4b/4c, but it hadn't. Or, maybe I have a bit of the others at other parts of my head, dunno, but my curls looked so beautiful. My cousins were here and they thought it looked amazing. So, I was like, I would love to wear my hair like this - with it's natural pattern showing so well, but my hair frizzes up before I can say my full name. I began to consider using gels. 

Now, y'all know I've had some experiences with gels. I used the Organic Root Stimulating Twist and Lock gel. It wasn't as organic as I would've wanted and right now, I pretty much hate it. I've tried the Eco Styler gel and hated how my hair felt with it on till I had rinsed off about 50% of it from my hair (and I only used really little of it in my hair). I love my homemade Aloe Vera gel, but I couldn't bring any aloe leaves with me. Also, it gives just a really light hold. I don't think it'll be strong enough to keep my curl pattern intact and frizz-free. So, I've considered flax seed gel, but I don't think I've ever seen a flax seed in my life.

So, I just looked up flaxseeds on ASDAs website 'cause I have to go shopping in a few days (got back home on Friday and there's barely any food in the house). The flaxseed there was milled so, I can't use it (it's in like a Weetabix form). However, ASDA has golden linseeds. Did you know that flaxseed and linseed are exactly the same thing? I didn't know till today. Anyways! That's a win and it's just £1.28! :) So, I'm going to try getting my hands on that and giving it a try.

Now, now, I am a tad bit nervous about gels so, I'm going to end up following a recipe (most likely Whitney's (Naptural85's)) on getting the gel from the flax/linseeds and then I'll add some coconut oil and maybe some olive oil to it. Now, I am totally about pH values of things on my hair so, I had to do a little research on the pH value of flax seed gel and it's about 6.5 which is okay, but I would've preferred it a little lower, but as long as it's not above a pH value of 7, I'm not worried.

I might add some aloe vera juice or gel to the flaxseed if I can get my hands on a 100% organic and natural one to reduce the pH a bit and because I do love my aloe vera.

Oh! and I'll add some vitamin E oil (from capsules) to it. Vitamin E capsules are £4.00 in ASDA and about £3.29 in Boots, but I'll be going to ASDA. I am yet to find a Boots that's closer to my house and not in the city centre. The Vitamin E oil is going to be used to preserve the gel. Also, I need to find a container for the gel, but I think I'm just going to recycle one. I'll have to look around this house and ask family if they have containers first, though. Then wash and "sterilise" the container before I use it.

I'll let you know when I try it and I'll make a pictorial on it.

Can't wait to try it out!!

~Sammy

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Protective Styling



Hello, Lovelies,

So....you all know that I've been protectives styling since August. I started off with the mini twists for about 2 weeks then I got crochet braids done and I've had those since late August (I'm taking them down soon, though, but after a week or so, I'm reinstalling them).

I believe that protective styling is key in achieving our desired hair length and it helps with out hair's health.

Protective styles give your hair a break from being tugged and pulled, combed and blown around, et cetera. Therefore, it aids in minimising breakage. Breakage plays a huge part in us not achieving our desired length because as our hair grows and breaks off, we don't see the growth, that's why many of us think that our hair length is at a standstill.

Between when I got my crochet braids installed and now, I have grown over an inch of hair and I see that under the crochet braids. So, I'm closer to my goal of BSL.

As you might've guessed, my favourite protective style is the crochet braids. Why?
  1. My hair is fully protected from the elements
  2. My hair can rest
  3. They look super good
  4. They can be done at home
  5. They can last for a really long time
  6. I can still have curly hair everywhere even though it's not my hair
  7. I want BSL or below BSL hair, with these things installed it's like voila! longer hair! (then they're taken down and it's like umm.....you're getting their hun')
  8. They're easy to take care of
    Et cetera

There are other protective styles like the mini twists, box braids, cornrows, roll, tuck 'n' pins, weaves and wigs. They all are good (not my favs, though).

Anyways, moving on....

Protective styles can cause damage if not done properly or you forget about your hair when you're protective styling. This damage could be
  • The breakage you are trying to prevent
  • Dandruff
  • Traction alopecia....
     Et cetera

So, in order to prevent the possible cons when protective styling, ensure you:
  1. Do not make your protective style tight
  2. Do wash and condition your hair while protective styling even if not as often
  3. Don't tug and pull at your hair in the protective style
  4. Moisturise your hair as needed
  5. Do not make your protective style too thin (like mini mini-twists or mini box braids)
  6. Do not leave your hair in protective styles like mini twists and box braids for too long (unless you want dreadlocks, that is)
  7. Do not neglect your hair
Remember, when you take down your protective style, give your hair a break from being in a protective style for a long time. This could be done by wearing your hair out for a few days before protective styling again.

I miss my hair often, but I love this protective styling journey. I'm going to continue with my crochet braids when I can, but someday, I hope to try marley/havana twists (they look so good!) and maybe a weave for the first time since I've been natural (scared of taking down weaves, though x_X).


><>


What are your favourite protective styles and which ones would you like to try some day?
How do you care for your hair while protective styling?


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Test

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Hola!!

So.......I am going to be trying out some products on my entire head of hair in a few days.....or weeks. You see, I've been in a protective style for about 4 months now and I miss my hair. Yes, I miss my hair. I'm going to take down this protective style soon and then I'm going to try out the Terressentials mud wash (I have two different ones, but I'm trying out just the lavender one), Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner, a Greek yoghurt deep conditioner and a WetBrush given to me to critique and review by TheWetBrush. Unfortunately, I don't know if the WetBrush ever arrived at my house 'cause I can't find it anywhere so I'll need to ask family later to know who received it and where's it's at.

So excited! Can't wait to try them on my bird's nest!!

Oh! and I'm going to do a length check! Can't wait to see how long my hair is now when hand stretched and when left to shrink. :)

I'm also trying out a new brand of coconut oil for the first time. From the look and smell of it, if any coconut oil is fully real, it's this one. It's 100% organic and raw, nothing added and it looks and smells divine! Like coconuts!

Hehe :)

Anyways, I'll post a review of all those products after trying them out! :)

~SammyWithTheBigHair

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My crochet braids update

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Hello Lovelies!

So, here's a lil update on my crochet braids:

  1. Yes, I still have them in
  2. I've had them in for about 8 weeks now
  3. I've washed my scalp and the crochet braids twice now and rinsed them out a couple of times after workouts (usually just after zumba sessions on Tuesday nights)
  4. Still looks pretty good
  5. Big and curly, big and curly, I love my crochet braids!
  6. I have over an inch of new growth under the braids.
  7. My crochet braids are like a muffler. They keep me warm when it's cold.
  8. It was raining some day and I held out my crochet braids with my hands under them and guess what? When we got to our destination (by foot), I was the only one who was still dry. My crochet braids are like an umbrella.
  9. From a couple of inches down my back, I have waist length hair thanks to my crochet braids. Hehe ;)
  10. I still moisturise and refresh my crochet braids like it's my actual hair.

I miss my hair, but I love this protective style. I'm going to take it down this December and get it redone. Best protective style ever!!!!

~Samantha


><>

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I invite you to....

Hello everyone!

So, I would like to invite you all to a live Natural Hair Q 'n' A session with the beautiful Alicia James on Sunday, the 3rd of November, 2013 at 2pm CST (7pm GMT). It'll be on her YouTube channel.

I'm sure you'll learn quite a bit from her and feel free to ask her whatever questions you wish to even relationship questions (the q 'n' a isn't strictly hair based). I am sure she'll give good, honest answers. (I've attended quite a number of her live Q 'n' As, they're good fun and her answers are always good).


Alicia James

So, when you get there, in the comments box, please type in, "SammyWithTheBigHair invited me to this," "Sammy invited me to this," "SammySingally invited me to this," or "@BigHairedSammy invited me to this," so, I know how many of you are on there and I can personally thank you guys for checking out my blog.

See you there!
~Sammy

(and no, my last name is not "Singally" :) )


Friday, October 25, 2013

My Favourite Hair Bloggers and Vloggers

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Hola chicas!

¿Que tal?
Beware, you might start having to read Spanish on here. Hehe. I've always been able to speak a bit of Spanish, but since i joined a Spanish class at my school, I've been inspired to speak Spanish more often so, sometimes, I switch languages. It's fun and I love the language.

Anyways, so, here are my favourite bloggers and vloggers since I started my hair journey (in no particular order):

Whitney of Naptural85.com




Nadine of GirlsLoveYourCurls







That's all for now!


Who are your favourite bloggers and vloggers?


~SammyWithTheBigHair

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Update / Letter to Readers


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Hey Readers,

I know I've been away for quite a long time. Sorry 'bout that. There are so many restrictions on the internet where I am now. Even Google is blocked! So, I'm going to post a couple of things between now and the 3rd of November (while I'm at home) and then I'll post some more in December (when I' back at home).

For about 2 or 3 weeks in August, I had mini twists in. Since then, I've had crochet braids (I've had them in for almost 2 months now) and I'm loving them. I can see loads of new growth under my cornrows. My cornrows aren't even as close to my scalp as they were on the first few weeks anymore. I'm sure there's a little over an inch of new growth under there.

I've washed my scalp once and rinsed it out once since I installed the crochet braids. The rinse was because of a workout that got me all so sweaty that I was bothered about the state of my scalp and the wash was because I hadn't washed my hair in almost a month.

Right now, the weather where I am is pretty unstable. The other day, it was 14 degrees (Celcius) then 12 degrees then 3 degrees then at night it was so warm I was sweating then it got cooler at day and got hotter at night again and now, it's about 13 degrees and expected to get to 18 degrees later today (the humidity is about 94% at the moment, too!). I noticed my scalp and parts of my hair were pretty dry last night so I added some conditioners and rosemary oil to the water in my spray bottle, shook it up a bit, spritzed my scalp and massaged in the mixture. My scalp doesn't feel so bad this morning. I'm due for a serious DC, but I'm not sure about that with the crochet braids still on, but I might give it a try during my time at home.

By the way, I'm not typing this from home. It's going to be posted when I'm at home, though. Today is the 17th of October (a new episode of Vampire Diaries S5 is out today! yay!) and i'm pretty sure this will be uploaded on the 23rd.

Anyways, so, crochet braids is my fav. protective style. If you've been following my Twitter page, you'll know that many people have thought the crochet braids are actually my real hair, people love it, I love it and it's just so……big and wonderful!

I miss my hair, though, but it drizzles and rains practically everyday and I can't be bothered to stretch my hair out more than once a day or every single day. I also haven't really mastered the wash 'n' go yet. Maybe when I do, I'll stretch out over night and if it drizzles or rains, wear a wash and go for the rest of the day, dunno.

Anyways, who's enjoying the autumn/fall?
I am!
Lemme know how your autumn's been so far.

~Sam

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Danièle Watts is Naturally Glamorous







I sooooooo couldn't wait to upload this. OHMIGOSH! OHMIGOSH! IT'S DANIÈLE! I GOT TO INTERVIEW HER! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! :) When she agreed to do the interview, I literally squealed. Oh....my.....gosh! I was so happy and excited. Anyways, Sammy, Sammy, calm down, it's just Danièle Watts. OHMIGOSH! IT'S DANIÈLE WATTS!!!!


><>



How long have you been natural?
I started growing my relaxed hair out by getting braids 4 years ago..

When did you get your first relaxer and why'd you get it?
When I was around 4 or 5 my parents got a divorce and my mom relaxed my hair so it would be easier to take care of.

What made you decide to go natural?
I was tired of feeling like I needed someone else to make me feel beautiful. I was tired of having to pay someone else to make my hair socially acceptable.

How did your family and friends react to the idea of you going natural?
Overall my black friends thought I moved to California and got all crazy hippie on them, and those who weren’t black just thought it was cool that they got to see my natural hair. My mom actually told me she didn't think I had curly hair "like the mixed girls in the magazines"... I almost believed her until I realized that all I needed was the right products to help define my curls.






What's your hair journey been like so far?
The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that all the external transformation was actually more reflecting an internal strength and a deep internal growth. The days that I felt insecure and ugly because my hair wasn’t “done” were the days that I also wasn’t remembering to breathe and allow my thoughts to flow freely. The braids were incredibly helpful during my transition because wasn’t worried about keeping my hair straight. I began doing more yoga and sweating my hair up regularly in a way I had never felt free to do before, but also putting my attention on balancing my body mind and spirit when before it had been more obsessed with the external. As I broke out of trying to please people externally, my whole self-concept opened up. I stopped being just a “black girl” and began to feel more like a free being—unbound by other’s expectations of how my hair “should” be. I went through a phase where I refused to comb it at all because I didn’t want to give myself a panic attack and start obsessing again. I found myself attracting new interesting friends who didn’t expect me to, or care whether or not I combed my hair. Finally I’m at a point where I can enjoy presenting myself however I want from moment to moment. If I work an acting job where the character wears her hair straight, I wear my hair straight and I don’t judge it. Its much more manageable considering that I’d much rather be creating fun experiences than worrying about my hair… The people who really love me, and not some idea of me with my hair looking a certain way are those who I continue to collaborate with… So I don’t have to worry about living up the expectations of fake friends. 

What has your hair journey taught you? 
The big surprise initially that it was the non-black folk who seemed to accept my hair the most. And then I realized that they weren’t bogged down with all those oppressive thoughts that many black folk have had to deal with their entire lives… Ie. Making our hair look more presentable.. Ie more mainstream so we can more easily assimilate into mainstream society. I did a lot a research and learned about the backlash to the black power movement in the 70s … people didn’t want to be thought of as revolutionary because the US government was cracking down on groups like the black panther party who carried guns, supported equal rights and wore big afros… because of this, the stigma of “revolutionary” became a threat and a fro could keep a woman from getting a job, so black women got perms... After I had braids for a while, I still didn’t feel quite confident wearing my hair natural and I had a motto: I’d rather get a weave than a “day job” … because I was frustrated that I wasn’t working and I thought it was because of my hair and sure enough.. I got the weave and booked like 5 jobs the following month… Even now I consider going back to a weave so I can work more but then I am reminded that the jobs that I really want are the one's where I'm working with a team of artists that trust that I am a powerful versatile actor and don't just judge me by my hair (which can change!) That's one of the greatest things my hair journey has taught me is that my hair is powerful, versatile, and can change whenever I want! I'm not desperate to fit in. I'm no longer afraid of missing out. That's the biggest relief: NO MORE FOMO.





People believe that dark skinned ladies should have their hair relaxed straight. My own brother has told me to get a relaxer one too many times. What are your thought about the idea that it's a must for dark skinned ladies to get relaxers?
My thought is that it’s just an idea... Ideas can be very powerful. They can feel like they have power over us. For me, this realization is a huge key to my freedom and my ability to excel creatively: ideas only have power over me if I agree to them. My feeling of freedom comes from knowing that I am the one who decides to agree to someone else’s ideas or not. I know when an idea is for me because it brings me joy. ..
 …Some people feel good about themselves when they tell others what to do...its like a surge that the ego gets when it feels like "i'm right and you're wrong" ....often times it comes from an impulse to help. Its the same kind of thinking that led European churches to colonize brown people all over the world.... This idea that they were helping to save them from their "kinky" existence.... My mom says she relaxed my hair because I would cry every time she tried to comb it, but on a deeper level it think because she didn't want me to have to suffer the embarrassment of being different.  I don’t think my mom was wrong to do that, but now that I’ve had enough experience in making my own choices, I have the wisdom to know that the ideas I agree to are my own decision.

When acting, I know there's the whole hair and make-up thing before you get on set. During the hair process, what do you usually do?
All of the above. It changes with every set, every character is different. I’ve worn weaves before and if it comes down to it, I don’t mind doing my own hair.  I like the idea that every choice I make with my physical appearance is done in the spirit of play. So I don’t take it too seriously and usually trust the hair dressers to share with me their vision of what they’re excited about doing with the role. On really big sets, like Django Unchained there are so many energies to dance with… I enjoyed surrendering to the process and allowing the hair stylist to choose. Other times, if people don’t have specific ideas, or aren’t comfortable doing natural hair I like to come in with my own ideas that protect my natural curl.





How do you avoid hair damage (breakage, heat damage....)? 
When I was straightening my hair I used to be really obsessed and disappointed when I would get split ends and breakage. Now, I enjoy my curly hair whether it gets a little damaged or not…. And when I notice its damaged, I like to treat it with something simple like washing it really good with a nice sulfate free conditioning cleanser and twisting it up overnight with olive oil like an overnight hot oil treatment…Sometimes a little damage is a great catalyst to get creative and try out a new hairstyle that doesn’t put so much strain on the hair….

What products do you use on your hair?
When I first started wearing my hair natural I swore by mixed chicks leave in conditioner and diva curl no poo conditioning cleanser. Those two together got my curls really defined and nice. Now, I’m experimenting with more natural products like pure olive oil and shea butter.




What's your hair regimen like 
I started growing my hair natural so I didn’t have to abide by a regime.. The regime was keeping me down. Now, I do what I want with my hair… when I want. It changes every day. 

What's your go-to hairstyle on days you're not acting?
When I was a little girl I dreamed about being as free as the white girls who didn’t have to have a set “hairstyle” and were allowed to go swimming everyday without getting in trouble for getting their hair wet… That being said, when I go to auditions, I usually just pull it up to the top of my head with a scarf, and when I’m just hanging out I usually just set it free. I sometimes still feel the pressure that I’m expected to create a hairstyle, or that I would be prettier if I “did something with it”….but when I’m brave enough to just let it be as it is I usually feel most free and happy about it… and I don’t give myself a headache from tying the scarf too tight lol J





There are times when people just reach out and grab my hair or suddenly gasp and are like, "is that your real hair?" or "is that hair all yours?" You're famous, like loads of people know you so I'm sure many people want to meet you someday (I know I do) and on top of all that, you have really beautiful hair, do people approach you and just grab your hair or do they like stare at your hair while talking to you?
Haha you have great hair I’m not surprised! Thank you for liking my hair! Yes people do, and its usually on the days I haven’t combed it in a couple of days and I’m feeling a little insecure about whether it looks good. After years of feeling insecure about my hair or trying really hard to have “good hair” I’m continually surprised and delighted that people of all colors seem to appreciate what my hair does naturally… even when I don’t comb it.(lol)

Do you have anything you'll like to say to the little kids with a head full of curly hair and to preteens, teens, and adults who are considering going natural, are transitioning or are already natural?
One of the hardest things about growing at any age is trusting oneself … learning to listen to our own inner voice... and ultimately trusting that the inner beauty will translate into looking and feeling beautiful.  If my journey to loving my natural hair can be any inspiration hopefully it comes from the idea that  my hair is just a reflection of an inner journey…  my inner beauty is enough for me to be happy and achieve my dreams in the world. Before I had a regular part on a TV show (WEEDS) wearing my hair natural, I was still unsure of my own natural beauty. It took someone validating me from the outside for me to realize that all that inner work I was doing (yoga, meditation etc) was translating to outer beauty and the achievement of my dreams. I’m still on that journey of trusting myself, but for me the first step was simply embracing my own vision about how I wanted my hair to be and following through with that idea… which made me appreciate myself as my own creation….ever in-process… Loving the journey, not just the destination ;)







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You can find Danièle on:
1. YOUR TV (turn it on and go watch her! :) )

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Natural in Nigeria

Written exclusively for this blog by Sandra (aka Sandeey) of Hair of Life




You know you are natural in Nigeria when you are expected to relax your hair on your wedding day.

Natural in Nigeria means that your hair is everybody's business and they can make their comments as they please.

That day when you hear "I prefer your hairstyle today to the one of yesterday", you are definitely natural in Nigeria.

I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the point. It may be the same in other countries but since my natural experience has been in Nigeria, this is a bit of what being natural in Nigeria means to me. I'm not saying those things are negative because I'm used to all that. I think people do what they do because they aren't really used to seeing ladies wearing their hair in its natural state. 

For me, there are pros and cons of being natural in Nigeria. 

Some Pros:
I feel like a superstar when my hair makes me stand out from the crowd.
I feel so proud when people big chop after seeing my kinky hair.
I don't have to go into any hair salon and battle with them about the fragile nature of kinky hair when they attempt to make the hair "manageable" by combing rigorously and using a blow drier set at a temperature that competes with molten lava.
Shea Butter and Black Soap are cheap and found everywhere!
No winter to force me into a protective styling frenzy.
Lovely humid weather keeps the moisture in my hair.
The water that runs out of my tap isn't hard!

Some Cons:
When that beautiful humid weather makes your hair swell up.
I still haven't seen a salon that caters to natural hair the way I'd like (maybe I haven't searched well). I heard there are some in Lagos...but what do I know? I'm in Abuja!
Having conversations/arguments about how black women cannot have waist length hair.
Watching YouTube and being unable to find most products used and recommended by other naturals.
Actually finding those products at triple the original price!


Well, I find it easy being natural in Nigeria, as the cons all have solutions!
When the weather is humid, protective styling is key.
When you can't find a natural hair salon, be your own hair stylist.
When you don't want conversations on length of hair, just nod and walk away.
When you can't find the products that are sold abroad, substitute with what you can find in Nigeria.

This is how I cope:
Nature's Gentle Touch Deep Conditioner and Leave in Conditioner (found almost everywhere) 
Beauty Formulas Intensive Deep Conditioning Treatment Wax (can easily be found)
Coconut oil, wonderfully made for me by a lady called Fatimah (she's a phone call away!)
Shea Butter and Black Soap from the market
Many products can be gotten through Natural Nigerian's website as well: naturalnigerian.com/ahia-natural-nigerian-marketplace/
Also, I receive hair products as gifts from friends and family abroad. Instead of asking for shoes or bags...I ask for hair products  :) 
I guess it all boils down to finding what works for your hair, whether its a popular product among naturals or not. 

If you are natural in Nigeria or want to be, keep one thing in mind: Your hair is yours and yours alone, so please yourself and not everyone else.  

I love my country! 

Always me,
Sandeey.
@hairoflife

For the Moms ;)


Written by Emily (aka Bobi) of Bobi Curls



This post is for all the Caucasian mom's who have no idea what to do with their mixed daughters hair. First of all, let's tackle the hair!

Here's a simple step by step hair routine you can follow:

Step 1. Drench hair

Step 2. Gently apply conditioner into the hair and scalp. Massage the scalp to cleanse, rinse and then reapply the conditioner and detangle with a comb or your fingers. Separate the hair in sections and start from the ends to the root when detangling.

Step 3. Rinse hair with cool water and apply a little of that same conditioner again. When you scrunch the hair you should be about to hear that squishy sound the wet hair and product makes.

Step 4. (This step is optional) Apply your styling product and scrunch the hair a little again.

Step 5. Drying: you can let the hair air dry or if you are in a hurry grab a t-shirt that you don't use anymore and scrunch the hair (starting from the ends up).

Tip: Don't do your daughter's hair everyday because it will always be damp and damp hair is not healthy. Try doing it 3-4 times a week.

Secondly, and I believe this is most important, encourage your daughter A LOT about her hair. Don't just put her hair in pigtails or ponytails! Do fun styles with it so she can really see how beautiful her hair is. If she doesn't have any friends with hair like hers show her some blogs like this so, she can see all the different kinds of curly hair and the people that are confident with their hair so she can become more confident too :)