Posts Categorized: natural hair

May 2, 2013

That Spring Feeling

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Cutie pie desktop wallpaper via Jess

We’re only one day into the month of May and already there’s a strong sense of anticipation in the air as to what the rest of the year will bring. The hippie few seem to always refer to this ‘feeeeling’ as Spring fever because it does feel as if a few tidal waves are mowing you down with each peek of the sun. I LIVE for this.

& whist in the spirit of diving in, yesterday I made an appointment for a LONG overdue trim/cut and breathed a huge sigh of relief in the process. Why had I waited so long?! Foolishness on my part. That, and fear. The big proponent for me starting this blog a few years ago was a dreaded run in with a stylist who wielded her blow dryer/flatiron combo to torture my kinks. It’s taken me quite a while to overcome said trauma. Last documented trim visit to the salon? Circa Summer 2011. Now, if we do the math I’d venture a guess and say that’s a pretty sad period of time to let on neglecting your hair. I’s don’t care whether you’re natural or not, there is no excuse. The care and health of our hair begins with us. The split ends, single strand knots & the increasing difficulty detangling FRO each week had finally pushed up against a wall.

I’m unsure if this unsettling feeling will quietly go away…but the executive decision was made to push through. The growth of FRO has stunted since her ends have been frayed and giving me the sad eye, so onward. Updates TK on the good, the bad….the inevitable.

May 1, 2013

A Ruby then a Woo

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Well, hi there! My name is Chai (Chatel if you’re fancy, my Mum or reading my byline) and there’s this small confession I have to make. I am addicted to challenges. Yes! You too?! Okay, so here’s the thing. I embark on them, tear apart their meaning and evangelize the fact that everyone should partake because you will always and forever be the better person for having completed…said….challenge. But get this! I secretly never finish. No need to doubt, this blog  cannot hide certain discretions.  But I say all that to say, that while I may never complete a’challenge’ 100%, the one ‘thing’ that I opt not to do, is give up. Most days, the most fun you can have is taking that first leap, embarking and seeing where you land.  And well, perhaps learning a few things along the way.Thus, here’s today’s first post in Blog Every Day In May. (<—-not a typo)

So, what’s with the above photo. Simply? A recent pic that I’m most proud of. Taken and posted on Instagram a few weeks ago, it took guts because Ruby Woo made her debut and I was nervous. Growing up as a woman of color I had a hard time believing that I could wear red. My mum made it a staple in her daily beauty routine for eons upon years, but for reasons unbeknownst to my own common sense I decided that rouge, the color of a confident woman… meanders no where near my precious pout. I believed this until only a few weeks ago while chatting with my editor, that maybe….or rather, undoubtedly – any woman can wear red lipstick. And feel damn good about it. Now, you may say, “silly”…but I say, victory. The things we carry, the ideas we believe. As aesthetically daft as they may seem, carry weight and eventually reveal their purpose. In this case, tiny whispers showing me that there’s always more sense in never giving up.

Have you guys faced a challenge recently? How did you overcome?

April 19, 2013

Favorite New Things

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I’ve never had much love for the hair spray. Even circa relaxer wearing days, the tacky, sticky feel was never worth the wear. Lest we not confuse hair spray with ‘sheen spray.’ Now, sheen spray…I got down with. The right sheen spray saved many a blow-out/hot comb session. But the folks behind Ojon have delivered a hair spray, a Damage Reverse Restorative Finishing Spray, that’s loaded with goodies like Jojoba and Babassu oils, that won’t leave behind residue, a tacky mess or oil slicks. I’m all for it.

Even more reason I salute this spray? Perfect for those twist-outs, braid outs & set styles that you want to preserve sans the frizz. I sprayed this lovely potion on day 1 of a twist-out, experienced zero crunch, but maintained the softness FRO so adores. Yes, the skeptic wheel is turning mighty fast if you’ve always steered clear of sprays and curly hair. But the fun in this? You get that salon fresh smell (y’all know what I’m talking about!) while allowing your precious coils to live another day. Frizz free at that, with the hold you need to keep your twists looking their best.

April 9, 2013

Self Defined Natural | Addicted to Cyn

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It’s been a while since I introduced you guys to a gal that is self defined, amazing, inspiring and smart to boot! I’ve been a loyal reader for what seems like eons, and was thrilled to include her in this month’s Natural Hair section of ESSENCE Magazine. So this week we’re sailing on new wings and saying hello to new hair + style crush, Cynthia of Simply Cyn.

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Congrats on the success of your blog! When did you realize you had such loyal readers?

Its funny in the beginning, you wonder if they’ll keep coming back, you wonder if anyone is really reading, but there’s been so much love and support, also a lot of mutual admiration with other bloggers. Sometimes I’ll get the sweetest comments and messages or maybe even get recognized on the train and then it hits me. It’s all been a very enriching experience.

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 Where did your love for handmade and all things Etsy stem from?

Etsy was like a drug during my wedding (hence my blogname), I was on that site so much. So many lovely things, handmade to boot. I don’t have one crafty bone in my body- maybe I have a little craft but it only occupies my pinky, that’s how little. So it was really about my admiration for these artists and truly thinking they needed more exposure and that I would do what little I could to give them some additional shine.

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It takes some women a few years to hit their “style stride.” Where did inspiration spring up for you? 

I would say it started on the streets of NYC. I’d watch and be so envious of the style I would see and how some girls could really put things together. It moved online to bloggers and easy access to tons of cool street style pics. I also love magazines …so today, its a combination of everything I see. I pick and choose what I like, until I create something I like, something I’m comfortable in, something that’s more me.

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How would you describe your style aesthetic today?

Most of the time its pretty laidback, chill. I have never been able to put a label on it. I almost think someone from the outside looking in might be able to describe it better. For me, it’s simply what works.

Any similarities from your day job to your blogging ‘job’?

Not in the least. I’m an attorney. I’m in court on anything from trusts and estates litigation to medical malpractice etc. There is absolutely no overlap between both worlds. When I’m not in court, if I’m just in my office, I can jazz my style up more to be less stuffy.

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Where do you source inspiration for your outfit posts?

First my closet.  I just stare at what I have and see how it can come together. Other bloggers, their instagram feeds, (beg, borrow, steal ideas haha). Magazines: they help me know whats in stores, whats coming soon.

How does being natural fit into your overall sense of style?

Being natural for me has been about acceptance. Accepting who I am as I am. I know that its not that deep for everyone and it doesn’t have to be. But for me, I became much more confident and it shows and I think it all started with me saying, stop trying so hard to change who you are. It used to be so frustrating for me because my natural hair’s texture would fight back so hard when I used relaxers. There was a point where I needed a relaxer every few weeks, then my hair would fall out and I was miserable and I just hated everything. Style has a lot to do with being happy, comfortable and confident. There’s a reason why two people can wear the exact same outfit and you get two different outcomes.

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Current covet list? 

BEAUTY: I keep makeup simple but I really just got into skin care, like proper skin care, moisturizing, serums, exfoliating etc.  I am in love with TARTE products and splurged on their Maracuja Oil which I love. A little goes a long way, that bottle is probably gonna last me forever. But now I wanna try all the other Face Oils. The Marula Oil and Fresh Seaberry Oil. Someone told me you can find some less expensive and just as great brands on Amazon, havent been able to check that out yet.

HAIR: I’m probably the last person on this but  I intend to finally try Oyins Juice and Berries. Also while I liked Shea Moisture hair color I just used, I’m also tempted to try Garnier’s new Olia (60% Olive Oil) hair color. Reviews have been mixed and color is always scary but its only hair- right??

FASHION: I love designer collaborations and hope they keep them coming. Not every item or collaboration is going to be a success but usually you can find one or two really great items. I’m due to swing by Kohls (never thought I’d say that) to check out Derek Lams line.

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 Can you share your idea of the self-defined woman today?

She’s like a guided missile, not distracted or detracted by those around her. She is comfortable in her choices whether they bring good or bad. She accepts her faults and works her pluses.  She may not know exactly what she wants but she tries. I don’t think the self-defined woman is about being perfect or right or even successful in the eyes of others. It’s the woman who can say without worrying about judgment (cos we as women tend to care a little too much about what everyone else thinks), this is my path, this is what I’m doing, this is what I’m about.

Favorite quote you’d take with you anywhere. 

There’s so many, but one I try to hold on to each day, especially on tough days : “Live, Laugh, Love”

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Make sure to check out this month’s issue of ESSENCE Magazine to catch more of Cynthia and her favorite natural hair picks!

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March 26, 2013

Hair Loves: Camille Rose Naturals

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A few weeks ago I hightailed it to new fav respite & home away from home, Tarjay, to canoodle with all the new hair goodies stockpiled in the recently revamped hair care aisles. It is currently the equivalent of MECCA. I lie not. For the 1st time, elbows and conversations were flying left and right as women vied for the newest, latest and best for their hair. The question now being, what do you choose?

I’m still shamelessly giddy over the amount of choices we have these days when it comes to choosing products for our hair, yet I still find myself in the same pool when it comes to figuring out what really works for my hair texture. I haven’t a clue who the current buyer of Target is for this particular market, but I’d reaaaalllly like to give them a well deserved pat on the back. For a little over a month I’ve been digging into a yummy Almond Jai Twisting Butter along with the sweet smelling Algae Deep Conditioner from Camille Rose Naturals.

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1. Almond Jai Twisting Butter ($16.99, 8oz) Major win? Blended with Pumpkin Seed Oil, Honey, Marshmallow Root & Almond Milk – this is one of the few ‘butters’ great for all hair types and textures. Now, a wee bit goes a long way in keeping hair moisturized, particularly if you’re keen on wearing twists & braid-outs. I’ve been faithful to using the Jai to twist, then rock a mean twist-out for 3-4 days. Hair has been remarkably soft, frizz free and full of body.

2. Algae Deep Conditioner  ($20, 8oz) Initially on the fence on this, FRO called my bluff after we rinsed, and hair felt soft & well conditioned. Short on slip (consistency is pretty darn thick!), you’ll want to apply, then leave on for 10 minutes before detangling. This will help with separating hair with ease. For added benefit, sit under a heating cap for 20 minutes, and once dry hair will be moisturized.

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Best hair days of FRO’s life? Pretty much. I haven’t ventured out into new product land for some time, and stumbling on this gem has sort of reinvigorated my love.  Camille Rose, created in 2009 by a mother of five, Janell Stephens keeps me encouraged that products made for us by us can have star quality and made readily available at stores like Target. I’ll be trying a few other items from the line and sharing with you guys as I go along, but the overall consensus is total love. Love for the ingredients and for it’s versatility (even my co-workers have hopped on the love train!)

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Have you guys tried the line? Let me know your thoughts!

March 18, 2013

[On A Positive Note]

It’s Monday, and a thought came to mind a while back to, rather than antagonize the hell out of it’s existence (because let’s face it, most of us do) opt instead to celebrate the fact that many of us have come full circle again. This is me saying, bring it. Be it a crazy, hectic, life altering, doozy inducing kind of week, mixed in with a good dose of awesome; the fact that we are here to do it all again, is continually amazing.

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Don’t worry about how slowly you feel you’re heading to your dreams, or how many roadblocks you find, or detours you need to take, you’re still cruising far ahead of everyone who’s too afraid to even try. - Karen Salmansohn

Make it a good one…