Holiday Hair–In a Hurry

I knew better. Completely went against my own advice to NEVER wash ones hair when one has a packed schedule. And boy did I have one that day! Picking up the tickets for my sorority’s annual holiday party, a stop by the toy store to pick up an one of my son’s Christmas presents, a dentist appointment, and grocery shopping. Still, I ran the water for the shower, fully intending to wash, deep condition, hot oil treatment AND style my hair as though I had the whole day ahead of me when I actually only had a few short hours prior to party.

Could I pull it off?

Well, I gave it the ‘ole heave hoe. And all things considered, I think it went well.

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With exception to the hot oil treatment and not having adequate time for my hair to fully dry (in the back) I was totally ready for a night out with my sorority sisters and friends! But, for sure, it was perfectly dry for church on Sunday so there was no love lost.

After this ordeal, one thing I’m most sure of is that I MUST get more beanie hats! The only one I have–red– just happened to match the theme and my outfit (not pictured, sorry) for the party.

Between now and the New Year there’s sure to be a ton of parties to attend. Help me prepare for the next time I have to pull a rush job and still look fabulous! What are some of your favorite hurried hair style that works for those special occasions.

Post pics if you’ve got ’em!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Easy Breezy Flat Twist Style–DIY

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to style one’s own hair. I honestly sometimes feel limitless in what I’m capable of. Though I thought I was going to rock my wig for the rest of the month, I should have known that was waaayyy too many days for my hair to look the same! It’s like since becoming natural my hair craves variety.

Here’s my ‘do for this week.

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And what’s good about this style is that it’s a two for one. By the day after Thanksgiving I’ll have a perfect twistout in time for a party I’m going to.

Gotta love natural hair! Enjoy your journey.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Crochet Braids Disaster!

Sooo…about a week ago I took my son to get his hair cut at a barber/beauty shop near my home. After his cut, when I was on my way out, the owner/barber noticed that my hair was twisted underneath a hat I was wearing. Quite professionally he advised me of a natural hair stylist who worked in his shop. I took her card and held on to it for a few days before I called her. Honestly, I was more excited about the stylist’s proximity to my home than anything else! Convenience rocks, right?

WRONG! This is what “convenience” did to my crochet braids. What’s worse was that I didn’t notice what a bad job she did until the next day after work when I was able to thoroughly go through my hair.

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A neat ponytail that I managed to pull together for work the day after the appointment.

 

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Doesn’t look too bad here

 

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The truth began to come to light.

 

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My facial expression says it all. Hot mess.

 

I bare some responsibility in this matter because I ignored some pretty heavy warning signs:

1. She didn’t have a website or FB page to display her work. In this day and age, why not?

2. She offered to text me some pictures. I was like, okay, cool. Well…out of about 6 pics only one was of an actual client. I wonder if she thought I wouldn’t notice that.

3. I was clear that I didn’t want to look like Chakka Khan. At least I thought I was. Well as she was installing I was nervous about the poofiness and I kept saying, ” Now I don’t want it too thick.” I must have scared her or something because she pulled out the clippers and started cutting on the hair BEFORE she installed all the hair! What she should have done was tell me that she could thin it out at the end instead of reacting to a nervous client. Isn’t that what a professional would do??? About this time I was wondering how many “natural” hair clients she actually had.

But there is good news! Nearly 40 years old I’m finally comfortable speaking  up for myself in these situations. I remember sitting in the beautician’s chair when I was teen wanting so badly to tell her that she wasn’t doing what I asked but I couldn’t speak up. I would just fix it when I got home. Well, after debating whether I should stay silent and simply never go to her again or call her out on her shabby job I decided on the latter. I politely let her know that I was not satisfied and that it was a very big inconvenience because I had an event that night and my hair was a hot mess. In my twenties and early thirties I would have suffered in silence, keeping my real feelings to myself but not anymore! I would have preferred my money back but I agreed to go back the next morning so she could fix it.

OMG! That was an ordeal in itself. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say that it became crystal clear that she was inexperienced with “styling” the Marley hair. Her intent was only to install the hair whereas my expectation was for installation AND styling.

I’m really glad I spoke up (although she wasted 4 hrs of my Saturday morning). It felt good being a big girl and I learned a valuable lesson: “Everyone who says they’re a natural hair stylist ISN’T!”

What disastrous natural hair encounters have you had? How would you have handled this situation?

 

Naturally Yours,

L.A. 

We ALL Have Bad Hair Days

“Do you know it’s 7am?” My husband spoke into my ear.

“Uh…yes…no…uhh…not really.” I stammered as I forced my eyes to open lifting my head from the pillow that added to my comfortable slumber. As indicated by the words I spoke, I had no idea it was time for me to be leaving the house for work, NOT just getting out of bed.

Hair problem #1
I didn’t cover my hair up before climbing into bed knowing good and well I was going to sleep.

Result
Dry hair, specifically dry ends.

Hair Problem #2
I didn’t prep my hair for how I was going to wear it to work (i.e. Two strand twisting or plaits). I planned to twist it but my back was hurting and I took a muscle relaxer for relief. Then I exercised for abt 20 minutes. After all that I was pooped!

Result
No time for a full length shower, carefully choosing my clothes AND styling my hair. I was forced to choose which necessary act I would dedicate more time to. I threw on some jeans and a sweater (after a really fast shower), then stared at the reflection of my dry, curl free (not in a good way) and wondered what I could do in 5 minutes or less.

Here’s what I came up with…

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The all-too-familiar puff!

Honestly, I didn’t feel very professional on this day and I almost blamed it solely on the hairstyle. However, the truth is that it was everything from my head to toe–jeans and gym shoes–that created this feeling. If I wasn’t natural and instead wore my hair straightened today would’ve been a ponytail day or a drab wrap kind of day and I would have felt the same way.

Moral of the story–Don’t blame your “natural” hair. Everybody has bad hair days.

Big Chop Update

I did it! Unfortunately I can’t post the video of the process because, honestly, I kinda suck at video making and editing. But I’m no quitter so I’ll keep at it. The good news, however, is that I take pictures just fine :))

Here’s the hair I chopped off:

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It was quite liberating. I felt good minus this stringy ends UNTIL it was time to style my hair for work the following Monday. I wore two strand twists pinned up and I hated it–hence no picture :(( I spent the day mourning those stringy ends because they were at least something to work with.

For a short time I was discouraged. Then I logged onto YouTube, as I often do, for a dose of natural hair inspiration. It wasn’t long before I found it.

When I got home I untwisted my hair, laid my head to rest for the night at peace with the possibilities that indeed existed for my shorter hair.

This is what I came up with:

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I’m very pleased with this style. I was glad that the front of my hair was still long enough to do that little pompadour thing. During my cutting I got a little scissor happy and cut more than I’d intended in the front. But the hair still needed to go so it’s all good. And if it wasn’t quickly becoming hat-wearing weather I’d wear this style longer. After this week I’ll be going with a protective style of flat twist styles. But overall the cut was a good step in the right direction. I can’t wait to see what happens with my hair after this! Stay tuned!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

A Delayed Big Chop

Is she crazy? Is she really about to cut off ALL this hair?

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Yes! Want to know why? Well the short of it is that all of that hair is no longer on my head. This picture was taken shortly after I combed my locs out, which is about two years ago now.

What happened, you’re probably wondering or not but I have been. My hair has been through a lot since being unloc’d, mainly unstraightened and without heat. However, improper care still occurred on my part.

Coming from four years of locs I simply wasn’t accustomed to having to do something to my hair as frequently as loose natural hair needs. Delicate detangling and most of all MOISTURE! I started off good but soon became overwhelmed and I started skimping on the care. Plus, during one of the times of lengthy straightening I got bored and decided on the bright idea to add color and cut layers into my hair.

Yikes! So began the slow death of the length of my hair when added to the fact that I didn’t moisturizer enough. Now I’m at a stage that I tried to avoid–the big chop– by coming my locs out in the first place. Oh well, it’s just hair right?

Right, but I’m still nervous at the same time that I’m excited. Excited for my hair to look better with these heat damaged ends hanging on. Excited for this next step on my natural hair journey–a journey to healthy, natural hair.

How important is length to you?

Naturally Yours,

L.A.
P.S. Wish me luck. I’ll post a video of the process.

Natural Salon Visit–Part 2

Overall, I was pleased with my visit to the salon and my results. The stylist was punctual with my appointment and I was impressed with the call I received prior to the appointment ensuring that I was still coming on time. Dual consideration for myself, the stylist, and her appointments after mine. Hats off on that one.

Next it was pure pleasure to lay my head back in that sink, allowing someone else’s fingers to massage my scalp. That alone was worth $50–bump the style!

Moving on to detangling and styling.
My stylist did both, seemingly with great ease. Instantly made me wonder why I stress over it like I do. Hmmm.

Because I had an event the next day I opted to leave my flat twist in tact until the next morning. I didn’t want my sleep to be disturbed with worrying about messing up my curls.

That worked like a charm. Besides some of the straight ends in my hair–no fault to the stylist–I loved the style and I managed to maintain it for the following week, which I deemed satisfactory. Honestly, I was tired of the maintenance after a few days but I pushed through just because I paid for it.

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What I especially loved about my style was how smooth my roots were, which I attribute to the stylist use of gel as she flat twisted my hair. I’ll definitely be implementing that next time I do my own flat twist out.

While I loved the salon experience I’m not sure when I’m going again. Right now I’m leaning towards once a month. I’ll keep you posted.

Please share how often you visit the salon? If you are a primary DIY’er, is it worth the cost?

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Natural Salon Visit –Part 1

Finally made it! I’ve been passive aggressively trying to find a natural hair salon to visit.

“Whoa?” You’re saying. “I thought you naturals only did your own hair, L.A. What’s up with that?”

Honestly, many naturals are DIY’ers (do it yourselfers). However, many also frequent a salon for their hair care–whether for deep conditioning, protein treatments, or maybe styles they can’t do themselves, like weaves and other extensions.

As for myself I definitely have my times when I don’t feel like bothering with my hair. I don’t want the responsibility. Then I call around and get quoted prices like $65, $75, and $85 to do what I consider to be simple hairstyles–two strand twists and twist outs. So my money conscience self overtakes me and I push past the frustration and go at it.

But the frustration eventually returns. Usually with a vengeance.

It’s not all about the frustration. The bottom line is that today’s busy working woman needs some time when she can sit and be pampered, whether it be a massage, pedi/mani, facial, or a good hair wash and style!

So today is the beginning of my monthly pamper time. Stay tuned for the results in my next post!

Encouragement for the New Natural

Yes, sometimes you can feel like this or worse when you’re trying a new hairstyle.

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Rest assured, though, natural hair gets better with time, patience, and practice. When I combed my locs out–going on 2 years now–those first several months I promise I was going to cut my hair or re-loc my hair because I was struggling. Washing, detangling, and trying to find cute, easy styles to wear my hair for any occasion. Everything was a challenge.

Hopefully the tips I’ve compiled based on my experiences will help you along your journey. Check the out:

1. Until you become master over your hair, don’t wash your hair on a day you’ve got ten other things to do! You won’t be a happy natural.

2. Watch YouTube with caution. See a style you want to try. Practice. Practice. Practice. You’re NOT going to get it right on the first try ( usually). So you might not want to try to throw that style when you’re about to go out.

3. Wear new styles in the comfort of your home a couple times before you debut it to the world (okay, just your family, friends, coworkers). You need to get used to the new you before you’ll feel totally comfortable with it. Believe me, you’ll need that self-confidence to combat some of the rude, insulting, and UNSOLICITED comments.

Share your own tips in the comment section below. We naturals have to help each other out!

Naturally Yours,

LA

LA’s July Hair Crush

Can you say all occasion natural? Since I became line sisters of the BEST sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with this young woman I’ve been crushing extra hard on her hair.

Whereas I’ve come across plenty of times where I was completely stomped on what to do with my natural hair, especially on special occasions, this natural beauty is the epitome of natural hair for all occasions. Check out these various styles! Each time she absolutely rocked it!

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Of course when I inquired as to her styling process she says easily, “Girl, all I do is…”

Lol. Y’all know how the rest of that story goes.

Well whatever she does, it works!

Naturally Yours,

LA