What I Learned From: “Going Natural” (And Why I’m Back on the Creamy Crack)

I don’t regret “going natural” 4 years ago. I mainly did so to teach my daughter to love herself as she is.

She’s worn her natural hair all her life. I started “relaxing” since about age 13 for manageability, independent styling (Mom was no longer braiding me as a teen), and to fit in.  20+ years later, I bravely did the big chop.

When I took my daughter to the airport to visit other family members for the summer of ’13, she sternly told me not to cut my hair while she was gone. “You should let it grow back and get long the way it used to be,” she said.

She missed my long straight hair, and honestly, I did too.

Continue reading “What I Learned From: “Going Natural” (And Why I’m Back on the Creamy Crack)”

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Catching Up: My Life in October 2012

I’m so happy to see November again… it’s the best month of the year!  I’m thankful that October 2012 was the least emotionally traumatic month for me, probably in over a year. There are still so many things I want to do, but something I am learning to do right now is allow God’s grace to flow in my life and just be patient with myself.

I Refuse To Give Up On Myself
Continue reading “Catching Up: My Life in October 2012”

Happy Nappyversary to Me

Me, Jan. 2010

Do you know what today is?

It’s my “nappyversary.” It was one year ago today that I let go of a whole lot when I chopped all my hair off.

I found two pieces of my straight relaxed hair in one of my Bibles, among all places. That old hair was a symbol of a part of me who always felt self-conscious unless her hair was “done” professionally. I’ve come a long way since then.

Fear of the Unknown

Many Black women are afraid to do the big chop for fear of:

a) what their face will look like without hair framing it

b) what their natural texture looks like

c) what others comments (especially significant others and close family members)

d) learning to care for their natural hair without chemicals

e) any combination of the above

Me and mini-me, Aug. 2010

But not me. Continue reading “Happy Nappyversary to Me”

The Pursuit of Nappyness: Oh My Nappy Hair!

I’m starting what I hope to be a series entitled “The Pursuit of Nappyness,” where I profile people that will enlighten you about natural hair salons, events, and just all-around fly people to watch in the natural hair community. This is my first “natural hair interview,” courtesy of Elaine M. Truesdale, VP of Business Development for Atlanta Natural Hair Care in Atlanta, GA. I have not written many posts about natural hair, but being new to Atlanta and new to the natural hair world (I big chopped last summer), I felt this interview was a great opportunity to learn more about the subject, as well as explore a different part of town!

I talked with Erica Blevins, who manages one of three “Oh My Nappy Hair” (OMNH) salons (they’re in L.A., Oakland, and Atlanta) and founder, Rosario Schuler (her mom). They’ve been in business for 22 years–the first exclusively-natural hair salon on the West Coast! Erica has styled celebrities such as Stevie Wonder and Halle Berry, and took some time from her management duties (and her June wedding planning!) to talk with me about:

  • How the business got started, and feelings about the word “nappy”
  • Why she wears her hair natural
  • The lack of natural hair curriculum in beauty schools
  • Fear of natural hair acceptance from others
  • Natural hair “nazis”

Continue reading “The Pursuit of Nappyness: Oh My Nappy Hair!”

Curls, Cupcakes, and Conversation

One of my meetup groups attended the Curls, Cupcakes, and Conversation event in Atlanta the other day. There, I saw a demo of a new product line for curly-haired tresses, had some yummy cupcakes from Whole Foods, and learned about common foods and dietary supplements that can negatively impact our health and well-being.

Rhian “Rhee” Sharpe says she spent a great chunk of her life wearing weaves. She would faithfully relax her hair, braid it, and re-weave it like clockwork for 18 years. When she had children, the thought occurred to her, “How can I teach my children to embrace and love their natural hair texture when I’m not?” I can totally relate.

She also mentioned that she liked the Kinky Curly products, except for the synthetic preservatives in them. To that end, she developed her own line of products called Curls of the World, using all natural ingredients and preservatives and is free of parabens, silicone, petroleum, plastics, mineral oils, alcohol wax, carbomers, and acrylics. Currently, Curls of the World is comprised of four styling products, but a shampoo and conditioner are in the works, and Rhian said they would be available later this year.

Three hair models demonstrated using the Curls of the World (each with different hair textures of 2, 3, and 4).   I recorded a portion of one model’s twist/twist-out regime with Rhee (see below).

Curls of the World is based in Stockbridge, GA and all orders ship free in the month of April 2011.

After the demos, two natural health experts from Bee Well Life Corporation from Roswell, GA gave us information and answered questions about common mistakes we make when it comes to our diet, vitamins, and supplements. I was familiar with some, but not all of the advice they gave. You can peruse their variety of tips on Twitter by searching the hashtag #curlscupcakesconvo (my Twitter name is @DareeAllen).

**Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this post, and I was not asked to write this post by anyone, nor compensated in any way for writing this post. I just like to support good people.**

Respect the Architect

http://ilovemyhair.bigcartel.com/contact
"Self-Love" Art by Andrea Pippins

Wearing my hair natural continues to be something I get questions and comments on. In the natural hair documentary entitled, Natural Beauty: Happy to be Nappy, I explained why I “went natural” (around the 2:20 mark). HINT: see the artwork to the left. The video is linked below and courtesy of Shakethia Robertson of Respect My Crown Productions.

Several of my friends that are a part of the Atlanta Naturally Fierce meetup group are also featured in this video, who proudly, fearlessly, and FIERCELY rock their hair in a natural state, the way that God made us.

I’ve gone back and forth about whether to grow out my TWA or head back to my barber for a fresh cut like one in this video, but either way, I feel so free. Enjoy and comment!

Natural Beauty: Happy to be Nappy from Respect My Crown on Vimeo

 

The Cosmetics Cover-Up: Paying the Price of Beauty (and Ignorance)

A result of “going natural” (not relaxing my hair with chemicals) that I haven’t mentioned before is a greater awareness of all the chemicals in commercial products, especially in the health and beauty industry. I’ve learned about some things that affect all of us who use toiletries–men included. But first I’ll talk about something we use every day: water straight from the tap–whether it’s in our shower, or at the sink. Continue reading “The Cosmetics Cover-Up: Paying the Price of Beauty (and Ignorance)”