Posts Categorized: natural hair

August 23, 2013

Hello, Weekend!


This week I realized that this here space has been lacking in a few things; #1 being an update to my current natural hair faves list, which has seen it’s cycle of rotations this summer, & will most likely be shifting once more in the coming weeks. And another is simply more good vibes like those of Nigerian born singer Temi Dollface.  There really is so much to appreciate in this; the visuals + fashion + pop culture references….all love.

& on another note – Brooklyn welcomes back to several stages this weekend the Afro Punk Festival. A must visit because, well…it’s free (with RSVP), and the collective is simply there to celebrate music, art & community (oh….and FOOD!!).

sigh…summer’s almost over ain’t it? Make it count, lovelies!

August 16, 2013

I Got This | Hair Color Take 2


It feels like a good minute since I updated you guys on my recent trials with coloring Fro. It’s been two weeks, and if you look closely, just a bit has changed. Did I mention that I was determined to get this color thing down? Well, the initial hurdle in trying to get this color thing right was having zero access to the Shea Moisture Color System. My local Target, which I would marry if I could (no, seriously – the curly girl aisle is some kind of MECCA) does not carry the line as of yet.

A small setback, but as a backup plan (we all have one, don’t we?!) I’ve had my eye on the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme in Dark Reddish Brown. I loved the avocado, olive & shea oils that come in each application. Not to mention it has a non-drip formula, making it tons easier for those like me with clumsy intentions to apply it clean sans mess.

As for the color? Well, it took – but just barely. I kept the mix in for 1 full hour (they also suggest a 30min lapse), and decided FRO was just going to have to deal. My hair does what it does, and when it comes to color, it can be stubborn. Oddly enough, I have naturally dark brown hair which quietly led me to believe this whole process would be less frustrating. Eh…


This second go-round I definitely see color! Bonus? No more standing in the light to get a glimpse of my hard work. Granted it is subtle (strong emphasis on sub-tle) – which is fine, turns out it’s just the right kind of change I needed without the heavy commitment.


So how does my hair feel after two trials of hair color in 30 days? I’ve been extremely diligent in deep conditioning after each application, which I dare say has made such a world of difference. FRO feels just as healthy post-hair color.  Both times I did reach for Subtil Elixir Intense Nutrition Shine Oil by Phyto for added conditioning benefits. Here’s a quick hi-jack description from Sephora:

This fine, lightweight, and easy-to-rinse oil effortlessly penetrates into each strand bringing damaged, dehydrated hair back to life. The formula restructures ultradry hair while leaving a discreet fragrance of banana leaf, passion flower, gardenia, and exotic musk notes. Hair feels immediately replenished and its original softness and shine are restored.

I’m pretty much a convert, and because of the steep price I’m aiming to use only when strands are in dire need of being restored back to it’s fighting glory.



I ended up buying two boxes of the Garnier Nutrisse color, only ended up using one (ha!), but would probably head to a salon to refresh the color and brighten it up a bit.

oh! & thanks, guys for sharing your coloring stories! Truly helped to know we are all on the same boat!

August 1, 2013

NEW Shea Moisture Color System (this is so not a review)


A few weeks ago while in New Orleans for the ESSENCE Festival, a few colleagues and I stumbled into one of many pop-up stores that had made their way down to the Big Easy to mingle with customers. So when I realized we’d come across the Shea Moisture store, I hightailed it inside to scout some discounts and peruse the barrage of goodies!

I can subtly feel myself getting longwinded, so if you’re ready like me to cut to the chase? – a woman took home a box of the new Shea Moisture Color System (at $10 bucks a pop!), grew giddy with excitement over the mere idea of colored curls for the summer, only to come home from a loooooong working trip, have gracious neighbor (hi neighbor!) color her curls deep into the midnight hours, only to wake up on a crisp Monday (yes, I had work that day) morning to find that, the color? Did not take. Better yet, it failed miserably to hold hands with any of my strands and brighten up my days.

(Sorry, this is not a review)


I guess you can say I’m a bit salty, though not at the new line itself. Like any good beauty writer/product junkie would do, I scoured the internets for reviews & tidbits of info on the new system. I found tons, and gorged my little eyes on many before committing to the idea of hair color again.

So what happened? Well, here’s what went wrong (and feel free to take notes as to what NOT to do when coloring your natural hair).

1.  Access how much color your will need, particularly if you’re choosing to color at home. It certainly does help to gauge (and not be cheap) how many boxes of color you will need to cover your entire head. Got shrinkage? Your hair just may need 2-3 boxes of hair color. Trust. ME. Think honestly about  a) the length of your hair & b) the thickness of it to absorb the color.

2. Do a Test Strand. Common sense, no? Well. I did not do this. I have colored FRO in the past, and knew that she took quite well to color. But after leaving the Shea Moisture Color System in my hair for 45min-1hr (I do not recommend that you do this. In fact, try to ignore that I just wrote that) my gracious neighbor laid it out for me. It ain’t working. For reference, you should typically leave color in your hair only up to 30 min.

Overall, not a complete bomb, Okay yeah, no it was. But over the past few days I’ve been fishing for compliments about my “new hair color,” only to be asked to, “stand in the light,” also known as. Girl, you need a do-over.


Which is what I intend to do. No, this is not a review – but a heeeeed that I am still a woman with a plan & the summer days have still to be played.

Wait, so what did I like about the new Shea Moisture Color System? Well, here’s what you get!

Color Creame/Developer Creme/Latex Gloves/Applicator Brush/Raw Shea Retention Shampoo (trial size)/Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner (trial size)/Raw Shea Reconstructive Elixer

I really do love how it’s a complete kit with the inclusion of the Shea Moisture Shampoo/Conditioner lines. But needless to say ( I would hope), all hair types, textures, lengths, densities are NOT the same, therefore many of us are quite liable to have results that range quite a bit from success to subpar results. Either way, I’m quite proud at the attempt.

Have you guys tried the new line? Thoughts? Longwinded or not…

June 21, 2013

Hello, Weekend + Book Talk!


I’d really be remiss if I did not come clean and explain why the latest drop by Chimamanda Adichie has me smiling inwardly (and outwardly) on my train rides to and from work lately.  I’m currently midway through & for serious…. so much in love. Between the pages, lessons on identity, culture, acceptance & class are told through the context of our hair.  Opinionated, head strong, intelligent, witty, Adichie weaves the story of  her main character, Ifemulu and her journey to becoming Americanah – but how she lays the story down is where we find the smarts.  From nearly the first few pages of chapter one, we enter an african braiding salon and head down a winding journey that begins in Nigeria, traverses to the States of the US – then back again. But the in-between? Here’s what you’ll find:

On an unremarkable day in early spring – the day was not bronzed with special light. nothing of any significance happened, and it was perhaps merely that time, as it often does, had transfigured her doubts – she looked in the mirror, sank her fingers into her hair, dense and spongy and glorious, and could not imagine it any other way. That simply, she fell in love with her own hair.

Now my list of girl crushes is quite short, but Adichie had my heart after reading these thoughtful interviews where she discusses her journey to natural & the complexities that still exist when choosing to wear your hair natural in Nigeria. Are you guys still reading along? If not, what’s the hold-up, hmmmmm….

June 18, 2013

“Love What You Got”

This is an awesome video all around, but Lady Ross hit it on the head when she implored us all to really just accept & love the hair that we already have.

That is all you must do to love. Accept all of you.

And if you’re asking that quiet question of, “well, how do I do that?!” The answer is simpler than you thought. You must choose to love.

Now it may not come right away, but it begins with the commitment to follow the journey to exploring & discovering the many facets of your hair. But you have to do the work.

& along the way, what you will discover is something so much more than hair innuendoes and compliments. Eventually, you discover a part of you that was meant to be uncovered & untwisted & revealed for not just the world to admire; but for you to cherish as wholly you. Begin to accept the grime & dirt & good as what they are, a part of you.

In it’s purest form, this is all quite relative – and depending on the conversation, we just may all agree that ‘hair is just hair,’ but over the years I’ve quietly learned to discard that argument. Since putting my heart and the care of my hands into nurturing my FRO, I know that what I have today is a relationship that is rooted in love. No doubts there. And it’s been my experience thus far that there simply is no fairness in limiting my experiences over the years to ‘just‘ moments. I can never ‘just‘ love my hair. I go in.

I do secretly have this great wish that we may, at some point or another – all come to this empathic understanding – a moment where all that our hair is to the world is something that is uniquely a part of us, belongs to us, can only be defined by a sole undeniable truth. A truth that can never falter bend or break when presented with another person’s reproach or dismay at what our hair means, sounds or looks to them.

But until then, I have chosen to love without abandon.

As of today, what I know of my Fro is this: It is ever-changing. Stubborn. Soft-hearted. Has a quiet ego. Loved.

How about you…what’s to love about your hair?

June 5, 2013

Return of the Curls

chai's fro

It’s been a few weeks since FRO’s been back to her curly kinky glory, and if I were to be honest – a large part of me breathed a huge sigh of relief after that first wash…watching & waiting as the sleek straight strands shrunk away to leave me with what I’ve sooooo grown to love. Yes, straight hair has it’s perks (ponytail central….!!), but clearly the fun for me all lies in the ebb and flow of whichever direction my curls go. I’s so happy.

I’ve been dabbling in a few new hair goodies + sticking to, I guess what you’d call an old favorite; Camille Rose really is my hair’s ish. We’re pic heavy today because we are simply loving this entire combo right here:

chai's fro2

chai's fro3

chai's fro5

chai's fro6

I guess the other giddy part of me just wanted to show off my fancy new & smooth ends! Nothing beats enjoying the ease and manageability of your hair after a trim. Nothing. Wait…well, maybe this does.