Thursday, September 30, 2010

DC Day!

Deep Conditioning is a big part of caring for natural hair.  I have a regimen I follow as I patiently await the day I achieve my goal hair length of bsl by November 29, 2011.  Currently, my hair length is between sl and apl when my tight curls and coils are stretched to the max.  Because my hair is recovering from heat damage from several years of flat ironing, I dust (trimming 1/4 or less from ends every 6-8wks) as I go until the heat damaged ends are gone. To avoid chopping 2 inches of heat damage from the front of my hair off I wear a twists and twist outs (unless there is an event I want to style it up for).  I wash every two weeks (co-washing in between if needed to lessen product build up from leave-ins, oils, and twist gel) and DC once per week.  Below are photos demonstrating my bi-weekly regimen and the products used to obtain the final result.

I started off with clarifying my tresses with Dr Bronners Castille Soap.  I used lavender scent.  I usually shampoo in the shower using luke warm water for my shampooing and cold water rinsing. Afterward, I apply my co-wash conditioner (usually Suave for slippage) and detangle in under running shower water, parting my hair in the middle detangling one side at a time from end to root with my Jlibre shower comb.

Once my hair is clean, I section into quads and detangle again from ends to roots on soaking wet hair.

...and I section another quad into 1/2 again.

Next, I apply the Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing conditioner in the amount shown above to each section of my hair from root to tip, lightly massaging my scalp and concentrating on the ends.

Once applied I immediately see and feel a difference in my hair texture.  My curls are softer and more defined.

I repeat the steps and twist each section as I go until ORS is applied to my entire head finger combing product thru.

Next, I baggie and sit under hooded dryer on low heat for 30-45 mins.

Next, I rinse ORS out of my hair with cold water, as cold as I can stand unitl water runs clear.  Now my hair is moisturized, my curls are soft, bouncy, and full of sheen.

I section my hair into quads again and apply the Garnier Fructis Leave-in to each section using same amount of product shown in ORS application except I do not section quads into halves again.  I keep my spray bottle of water and glycerin nearby to re-wet my hair during the twisting process as needed.

I begin with the back working my way to the front and twist my hair using Twist N' Loc gel on soaking wet hair.  Using a genorous amount I apply the gel from root to tip .  As I go i re-wet with my glycerin and water spray bottle.  This helps ensures my twists will come out well defined, so my twist outs last longer before I have to re-twist again.  If I want to wear my twist out immediately I will under the dryer medium heat for an hour or so, untwist them fro and rock my twist out.  Most of the time I allow my hair to air dry at least one full day before rocking a twist out.  Winter is approaching so I will be sitting under the hooded dryer more often, making sure I use a good heat protectant.

Wet Twists

Twist Out Day One

During the untwisting process I untwist very carefully making sure I dont not separate more than the 2 halfs twisted together to form the twist.  Once that part is done I shake it and keep it pushing! It gets no easier than that.

2nd day twist out
To maintain my twist out I use the "pineappling technique".  Please see below for demo of how to pineapple your hair. mllecafeaulait: pineappling demo

3rd Day Twistout
In addition to using the pineappling technique demonstrated in the above Youtube link, I apply Vatika coconut oil daily for softening and sheen.
With proper maintenence you can wear a twist out 3-5 days depending on your level of comfort and the amount of definition you want your hair to have.  Re-twisting during my two weeks of wearing the twist out will be done as needed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Deeply Rooted In Style

Bantu Knots 2010
Over the weekend I had the weekly task of coming up with yet another hairstyle to complete my regimen.  Usually I twist my clean, deep conditioned hair, wearing the twist for about 3 to four days then rocking a twist out for the remainder of the week.  This week however I craved something different, something not only stylish and sassy I wanted it to be African inspired.  While surfing web images for inspiration, I noticed many similarites in styles worn today and the connection to ancient African styles worn by my beautiful ancestors.  November 7th, 2010 I'll be attending my first Natural Hair Expo in the city where I live and plan on wearing an ancient African style, of course, tweaked with a 2010 modern twist.  Digging deeper into my ancestoral roots for hairstyling ideas not only provided me with historical knowledge, it aided my ability to keep mycreative juices flowing for myself and my clients.  Always remember ladies...YOU wear your hair...don't let your hair wear YOU!  Peace n' Blessings!

Bantu Knots 1950's Africa

Long Braids worn by the Egyptians
Erykah Badu

We can clearly see similarities between the long braids worn by Ms. Badu and the Braids worn by our Egyptian ancestors...simply marvelous!

1960's African Braids


Again another modern depiction of the braid hawk worn by Goaple.  I love how the braids on the side are small and have a wave like pattern  Beautiful.

African style of 1950's

Goddess Braids of the mid to late 90's

All I can say is remarkable...whom ever braided this style has mad skills.  Fishtail braiding has always been challenging for me, especially on my own head.  This stylists ability to intertwine the Goddess Braid with fishtail design is creativly genius.

African Mende Woman

Alicia Keys

Cornrows are probably the most famous historical African braiding style known.  Alicia Keys stylist created a wonderful adaptation of the Mende womans hair style shown above. 

Sankofa:  "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The "Good Hair" Myth...

This note is in response to  many women I know and meet in person and on FB who have expressed to me ( as recenlty as this morning) that my ability to wear my hair natural is due to having "good hair" and  my hair cannot be described as nappy or napptural because of the texture/hair type...moving forward  I am speaking soley from my own experiences in taking care of my hair and many others over the past 17 years since my last relaxer which have caused me to form my opinions stated below.

I want to explain why I have such a passion for natural hair care.  It is  not only to revolt against mainstream Americas twisted views of what's beautiful or acceptable, but also to EDUCATE black women who doubt their ability to obtain "good hair" in the true sense of the phrase which to me means healthy, strong hair, full of elasticity and shine.  Those who know me best know I despise the term when used as a means to divide ourselves in an inferior vs superior way.   Black women (even in 2010, smh) still use the term "good hair" to divide ourselves and define our level of comfort with who we are and our level of esteem with it.  In recent years there have been many debates about eradicating the use of the word "Nappy", equating it to be as offensive as the word "Nigger"...I strongly disagree.  "Good Hair" used in the false sense, needs to be removed from our vocabulary if anything.  Those with daughters that are feeding into the "good hair" myth are the ones I really feel for. Terms like "good hair" confuse children. They don't get it. I get more little ones 5-12 yo girls telling me they luv my hair then I get grown women and that is because God created us this way.  Its our innate desire to embrace our true selves especially as children. We brainwash ourselves and inadvertently our children into thinking less of themselves if they don't have "good hair" in the false meaning, which to me is bullshit!(pardon my french).

 I grew up chemical free getting mayonaise treatments since I was a toddler by my Mother.  I got my hair pressed out with a pressing comb every two weeks like clock work. I loathed rainy days in fear my natural texture would show and convinced my Mom to let me relax my bsl hair at age 15 and by the time I was 19 my hair was barely neck length. After transitioning back to my natural texture, which was the obvious thing to do, I have never looked back.  However I still switched between straightening w flat ironing more ofen than not and natural until 4 months ago when I decided to leave the heat alone completely. Some women can wear a relaxer and grow long healthy hair, I've seen it. However it is not the norm and 99% of the time they stretch in between relaxers (relaxing 3-4 times a year only) which if not careful will cause severe breakage where the new growth and relaxed hair meet (line of demarcation). They almost always follow an ayurvedic regimen, deep condition weekly sometimes twice a week, take vitamins, exercise, eat healthy, allow their hair to air dry to minimize heat damage and stay wearing some type of protective style. Bottom line they take their hair care and maintenance into their own hands and do not rely on a person in a beauty shop with a license to work on chemically relaxed hair or straightened hair who is cluless on healthy hair practices. Women with healthy relaxed hair take the time to EDUCATE themselves and that in my opinion is key.  Not all, but the majority of traditional salons do not practice healthy hair maintanence simply because the focus is on hair styling, not hair health.  Im not saying going to a salon is bad, Im saying become proactive when in comes to your hair, natural or relaxed. Know what your hair type is, know what products work best for moisturizing your hair, know what products are good protein builders for your hair, know when to tell the person in your head the weave tracks or braids are uncomfortably tight, and most importantly, know whats inside those unlabled bottles the beautician is squirting into your mane.  Dont be afraid to ask, if they wont tell, you dont need to be sitting in their chair.

Women of all cultures are vain by nature.  We mistakenly and unconsciously gain a sense of who we are or what we are capable of obtaining through what we  have been told by others most by men, holding on to negative comments longer then positive ones. There are so many reasons black women tell me for not wanting to wear their hair in its natural state.   From relaxed hair being easier to maintain, to not being able to find a man or their present man will not support their transition at all.   At one point in time I didnt think a man would look twice at me with my hair in its nappy natural glory because I grew up with two older brothers who would laugh at me when my hair wasnt pressed out.  Luckily for me with age came wisdom and the more I started wearing my hair natural I realized that my thinking was so far from true.  There are men that support and love black women to wear their natural hair texture and ladies if you are not embracing your true self in fear you will not be able to enter a meaningful relationship with a black man, much less even date one are either not looking at the right type of man, or you need to quit being race loyal and love those brothers that love you, the natural you.  I know there are black men who would love to meet a natural sista.  Brothas ask me questions all the time about my hair and I luv it.  I have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of, this is me, and if he wants me, he will have to love it too.  Bottom line...Alwayz, embrace your true the bible says in John 8:32, "...the Truth shall set you FREE!" Amen....Peace n Blessings!

NEA ONNIM NO SUA A, OHU: knowledge, life-long education "he who does not know can know from learning." 


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Lessons Come From the Journey, Not the Destination...

  Hello blogger's, welcome to Luv My Kynxx. Here you will find helpful support/resources if you're considering or transitioning to natural hair.  In celebrating our journey we will gain peace and love of self, together.   I'm here to support, educate, share, learn, and help you love and embrace not only your natural hair, your natural you in every aspect of your life.  This blog also is a support for my own journey towards obtaining my hair goals and accepting every part of who I am.  I have heard women express their belief that going natural is a difficult transition.  For some it may be.  In my own journey, my sole purpose was simply to transition from a relaxer to natural.  However, as my journey began there were also psychological transformations that took place within my mind first.  Those changes were required in order for me to feel comfortable wearing my hair natural.  For some this step of the process is more difficult then others.  Even when the desire to have natural hair is present. 
  In our culture, striving for "good hair" has plagued our ability for true self acceptance.  Relaxers, weaves/braids with improper tension on the scalp, and other harmful processes are being done to our hair, damaging our scalp thus making the goal for "good hair" an impossible task.  I am a natural hair care stylist and student. I intend on learning all I can from all who are willing to teach about growing healthy natural hair.  In return I will share what I know about cultivating beautiful natural hair.  By natural I mean unaltered with relaxers, hair dyes, and other harmful hair care practices that hinder us from achieving beautiful natural hair.  I will guide and show you how to take the first steps on doing so.
  I see many instances where some women cannot go in public without some kind of extension ponytail, wig, weave or some type of hair added to their own regardless of how unnatural it may look, just to feel like they are being socialy accepted, clinging on to mainstream societies distorted view of what beauty is.  These are some of the women I hope to reach, share knowledge with, and learn from.
  I my goal is to support, encouragement, and love to every black woman/man/child who desires natural hair and has not embraced their true selves by sharing my journey in learning how beautiful and unique our hair is.  By using the right hair grooming techniques and products and choosing hairstyles that protect our hair from damage, caring  and growing natural hair no longer has to seem intolerable. Our various skin tones, our highly textured curls, koils, and kynxx, our broad noses, thick lips, our hips, and overall swag is ultra sexy.  It cannot be duplicated by the masses.  Its time we show appreciation for the natural gift of outer beauty we have been given.  My goal is to create a Sisterhood/Brotherhood of strength, pride, confidence, humility, and love...and I welcome you to join me.  Peace n' Blessings.

Duafe: Symbol of feminine consideration or good feminine qualities:
patience, prudence, fondness,
love and care - things associated with women