March 31, 2009

Steven Lopez: After Midnight Series

I was so excited when I first came across the artist Steven Lopez. His "After Midnight" Series is HOT! I am so happy to see one of my favourite artist of all time, Minnie Riperton. She sang like an angel, all need to do is pull out her album ... I just did ... and play Inside My Love ... I am ... I love her.




The "After Midnight" Series combines Lopez's love of art and music, with vivid colour combinations that immortalize our beauty; with huge afros to locs to straightened hair our beauty is encompassed in the collection.

The collection is of portraits featuring Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Tina Turner, India.Arie, Sade, Aretha Franklin and Minnie Riperton. Erykah Badu and Steven Lopez recently met in Dallas, Texas for 100 prints to be personally signed by her and sold online through aftermidnightsoul.com .

March 30, 2009

Shoes: Loeffler Randall Perforated Platforms

I was on eluxury and saw these beauties, love them. They are Loeffler Randall Perforated Platforms, visit eluxury for more details.

March 27, 2009

Motherland: A Film by Owen 'Alik Shahadah

video

Motherland is a breathtaking passage, which sweeps the continent of Africa. With an all-star cast, it is a vivid cinematic centrepiece washed with an African aesthetic. A bold empowering sophisticated story of Africa, which in progressive dignity reaffirming terms looks at Africa's past, present and future. Motherland is an epic and unprecedented entry into the canon of African-owned cinema, which charts the glory and majesty of the Motherland (Enat Hager). Motherland is a film that unapologetically calls for African unity, self-determination and the African rebirth.

From the acclaimed producers of the multi-award winning
500 Years Later , Motherland is Directed by Owen ‘Alik Shahadah. Motherland has been in the making since 2004 and is expected mid 2009.

To view more about this film visit Motherland.

Products for Spring and Summer

So Spring is in the air and my routine has been tweaked a bit. My hair is thickening up real nicely and really growing, I'm so happy! I just cleared my stash of alot of the chemically filled products I had laying around and the products I haven't listed below will be used up and not repurchased, here it is:


Products

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Aubrey Organic Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo & Conditioner
Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Conditioner (I want the Shampoo)
Nature's Gate Herbal Conditioning Conditioner
Nature's Gate Henna Conditioner (My Fav)
Herbal Essences Conditioners (old packaging)
Elasta QP DPR-11
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner
Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair
IC Tea Shampoo
Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream
Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Detangler & Ghee
Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade
Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Kinky Curly Knot Today
Hairobics Hair and Scalp Booster
Hairobics All-Natural Hair Scalp Leave-In Conditioner
Phytospecifics Integral Hair Care
Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic Moisturizing Jelly
Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly
Aveda Humectant Pomade
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Jojoba Oil
Jamaican Castor Oil
Neem Seed Oil
Peppermint & Rosemary EOs
Wild Flower Honey

I'm not a product junkie:) As my hair grows I know my stash will shrink!

March 26, 2009

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care@HoneyFig

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care@HoneyFig

Join us on Thursday, April 2nd from 12-3 pm, for the first in store event of our
Nurturing @HoneyFig series.

For this event we will be spotlighting the Dr. Hauschka line of natural and holistic skin care. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn why this brand is considered the “Grandfather” of natural skin care.

On hand will be a Dr. Hauschka Skin Care representative, who will meet with you one-on-one during a 20 minute consultation; in which you will learn about your skin type and how the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range can work for you. At the end of your consultation you will receive a natural skin care plan containing a list of suggested products and directions for use.

How to book your appointment:

1. Email: info@honeyfig.com; subject line: Dr. Hauschka@HoneyFig
2. In the email type: your name, skin type, phone number and best time to confirm you appointment time.

Appointment booking:
Upon receipt of your email you will be called to book your appointment, however, spaces are limited and those who email first will have first choice of available times.
Emails received after appointment spots have been filled, will be placed on a waiting list. If a client cannot make their appointment then those on the waiting list will be called in sequence.

About Dr. Hauschka

Established by the Viennese chemist, Dr. Rudolf Hauschka and Cosmetologist Elisabeth Sigmud, the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range has been advocating the use of natural ingredients in skin care for more than 40 years. With their motto of “Nature’s Treasures Transformed for You” in their products, you will find high-quality plant oils, natural waxes, nurturing medicinal plants, and natural essential oils. Mixed together in just the right quantities and using the rhythmic manufacturing process, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care supports the skin’s natural functions thus resulting in a natural healthy glow.

Looking forward, to seeing you on April 2, 2009!

The HoneyFig Team
HoneyFig
4967 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N6
416.226.2100
(HoneyFig is conveniently located at Yonge & Hollywood; 3 blocks north of Sheppard, on the east side of Yonge)

March 25, 2009

Shuantea1: How To Transition To Natural Hair

Shuantae1 posted this video to inspire all of us to keep our kynks and to embrace them if we are seriously thinking about transitioning. Thanks Shuantae1, I love this video.

March 24, 2009

Tenderheaded

Being tenderheaded can mean painful experiences when we are grooming our hair and more importantly our children's hair. I remember having my hair combed on Saturday Mornings and hating it. It was painful and my hair broke countless combs with my mom's attempts to detangle my hair, trying to comb my hair while dry was a horror. I have learned so much since than.
A tenderhead means that the scalp is sensitive to tension and to ingredients in many hair care products. Having a simple routine with minimum manipulation of the hair is best.
  • Avoid tension: Hairstyles that involve tension should be avoided or kept to a minimum (cornrows, braid extensions, weave, tight ponytails, etc).
  • Avoid tension to the hairline: This is important, just because the interior hair is not tightly style it doesn't mean that their isn't any tension to the hair line. Asking the person who's hair you are styling if it feels tight around the hairline is an excellent way to avoid hair loss and inflamed hair follicles.
  • Don't maintain the same hair style for an extended time: This can vary from person to person. For me I have to cleanse my hair every week and most of the time that means taking out my hairstyle.
  • Cleanse, condition and treat on a regular basis: I cleanse once a week, do a deep treatment every one to two weeks and do treatments (oil or protein) every month to three months
  • Use hair accessories that limit friction and damage to the hair: I love the Goody Ouchless Collection of accessories because they do not make their products with metal clamps which limits tangles, and breakage; A wide tooth comb, a boar brush for smoothing and my hair's best friends, my hands.
  • Avoid products/ingredients that cause dry scalp, flaking, bumps on the scalp and redness (sulfates and alcohol), or any products that after you use it you notice your scalp is very sensitive.
Products for Tenderheads
Water: Using water when detangling hair is a must
Condition, condition, condition: You can't get enough of this product. It should be the most common product you have (I stock pile conditioners)
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Moisturizing the hair and scalp maintains pliability to the hair.
Apple Cidar Vinegar: Brings the ph balance back to the scalp (mix with water)
Neem Seed Oil: Great for soothing the scalp and adding a natural luster to hair (hot oil treatments mixed with Peppermint and Rosemary EOs)
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil mimics the natural sebum that our scalp produces and is a good lubricant for the scalp

Tenderheaded: A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair Stories (Paperback) by Pamela Johnson

Product Review: Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade

I tried the Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade for one week and I have to say I really like it. The scent is delicious and the consistency of the pomade is just what I like, thick and rich. I was afraid that my hair would knot on itself after doing my Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey and Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade face off but it didn't. These two products work differently. The Mimosa smooths the hair and reduces frizz while the Burnt Sugar adds moisture and managability to the hair.
My hair stayed moisturized along with using my Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream and I noticed that the Burnt Sugar thickened my hair. This is a product I can keep in rotation and the ingredients are all natural and organic.

Performance: Not a bad hair day insight! My hair stayed lush and moisturized. This is a great sealant after applying my moisturizer especially for buns and puffs. 2/2

Price: 18.00 CAD for 4 oz jar. This is a thick pomade that will last, you only need a little for each use also Oyin Handmade uses all natural organic ingredients and the scent is YUMMY! 2/2

Ingredients: Castor Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Mango Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Unrefined Hempseed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Broccoli Seed Oil, Fragrance & Love! 1/1

Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade 5/5

March 22, 2009

Valana Minerals

I have been hearing amazing things about Valana Minerals. Valerie created Valana Minerals because of the frustration with having negative reactions to beauty products filled with unhealthy chemicals and synthetic ingredients. I am so ready to try her products. I have never tried minerals before and have researched many mineral cosmetics companies. Valana Minerals seems to be winning! Have any of you tried mineral make up, how do you like it and what brands do you use? To visit Valana Minerals click here.

No More Coconut Oil

So as most of you have already read I have sensitive scalp along with dermatitis so I am always particular about what I put on my hair because I know eventually it will be on my scalp. My products need to compliment my hair as well as my scalp so even if I get great results on my hair but my scalp itches than it gets the boot. I have been monitoring my scalp when I apply coconut oil and I've noticed for the last 4 to 5 months that everytime I apply coconut oil to my hair my scalp becomes really sensitive to the point where it is tender and painful. You all know where I'm going with this one ... after I use up my coconut oil on my skin I wont be purchasing it any more. I already have my extra virgin olive oil, Kariderm Organic Shea Butter and Jamaican Black Castor Oil, the only thing I will miss is the scent (boo).

March 19, 2009

Model Moment: Teiko Dornor

Teiko Dornor a Ghanaian-British model has been modelling since 2006. She is a talented young woman that earned her B.As in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Reading in London. She has been featured in Clutch Magazine, MiMi both in September 2006 and September 2008, Jamati Online and has continued to work to change the stereotypes of plus sized models within the fashion industry. Her non-profit organization Miss Plus Africa is dedicated to bringing our beauty to the forefront, and she also has a blog, click here to visit her.

March 18, 2009

Alice Waters: Mother Of The Slow Food Movement


Alice Waters' was featured on 60 Minutes this past Sunday and I related so much to her approach to food and her lifestyle. She is touted as the mother of the Slow Food Movement which basically means only eaten seasonal foods, eating only fresh organic food free of pesticides and not freezing or pickling foods and the best of all she doesn't own a microwave, Love Her!

March 17, 2009

March 16, 2009

Keri Hilson: In A Perfect World ... MARCH 24th, 2009

Keri Hilson's debut album In A Perfect World ... drops March 24th, 2009. Its official, get your copy! Turn My Swag is the latest promo single released, I loaded it into the audio section to the right>>> It's crazy.

March 15, 2009

Product Review: Dr. Bronner's Unscented Pure-Castille Soap

I just finished using Dr. Bronner's Unscented Pure-Castille Soap. First I mixed 1 ounce castille soap with 3 ounces water and shook lightly in an applicator bottle, than I applied it to my hair as I usual do my cleansers/shampoos. This is my second time using castille soap, my first time was about 2 years ago when I first went natural and I didn't like it, I decided to try it again. I should have stuck with my first experience and left it alone. My hair felt okay while the soap was in but after rinsing it out my hair felt a little hard and my scalp didn't feel "clean" the way I'm use to it feeling, it left a weird film that I didn't like.

Performance: My hair felt dry and brittle. I got a weird film on my hands and on my hair and scalp that I didn't like. 0/2

Price: 2 oz for 2.49 CAD. The price is reasonable but not worth the results I got. 1/2

Ingredients: Water, Saponfied Organic Coconut Oil*, Saponified Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Glycerin, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vit. E), * Certified Fair Trade by IMO 1/1


Dr. Bronner's Un-Scented Pure-Castille Soap 2/5

March 13, 2009

Chic Fashionistas in '09 (Part One)

Being a chic fashionista doesn't mean that we have to pay an arm and a leg for hair and beauty products. Simple things in our kitchen and home can deliver the same results as commercial products or better! Also, multiple uses of beauty products really give us a bang for our buck. LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
I Need to Exfoliate my Skin:

This mixture has never let me down. Mix 1 1/2 cups sea salt with a 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, you can add a TBSP of vitamin E cream or your favourite lotion for a smoother consistency. Just scrub away all over your body in the bath after you have cleansed and skin is still damp.
(measurements are approximate)
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

I Need a Multi-Purpose Beauty Product:
ALBA Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly is made with a castor seed oil base and is great to use as a lip balm, hair sealant and skin moisturizer, it really gives a glow to your skin, especially if you want to replace your baby oil with something natural, this is it!
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
I Need Cosmetics That Are Affordable and Good Quality:
Sephora Brand Color Play Palette (Limited Edition), 22.00 USD
This set contains:
- 36 eyeshadows
- 12 lip glosses
- 3 blushes
- bronzer
- 3 applicators

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL


The Vanity Limited Edition Palette (Limited Edition) 52.00 USD
The set contains:
- 16 brand-new eyeshadows

- 16 brand-new lipglosses
- Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara
- Deluxe Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
- Deluxe luminizer
- Four powder blushes
- Deluxe eyeshadow
- Eyelining brushes
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
What Five Products You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen to Keep Your Hair and Skin in Tip Top Shape:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (hot oil treatments, hair oil, cuticle oil, skin lubricant/moisturizer, used with sea salt it is a great scrub) * I know I talk about shea butter and coconut oil, but this is by far the BEST oil I have ever used, I always have to have this in my home and it has never failed, especially when I'm cooking:)

Honey, not just a natural sweetener this is packed with humectants for our thirsty hair, (can be mixed in hot oil treatments for extra moisturized results, you can mix this in your favourite conditioner and apply heat, and you have a great deep conditioner.

Mayonnaise, "Hair Mayonnaise" sold in beauty supply stores is an attempt to duplicate the real thing, and it doesn't come close. Mayonnaise is packed with protein, cholesterol and humectants that are nourishing to our hair (try mixing with EVOO and honey/blackstrap molasses for a deep conditioner).

Sea Salt (fine), as mentioned above I use sea salt for exfoliating. Exfoliating a few days before waxing or shaving greatly minimizes ingrown hairs and that is a huge plus for keeping this inexpensive product around. *I also use sea salt for cooking, I will never use table salt again.

Greens (spinach, broccoli, rapini etc.) and Garlic, any vegetable that is leafy and green is packed with iron. Iron is essential in maintaining good health and does wonders for your hair and skin when eaten on a regular basis. *steam, stir fry, mix in salads or enjoy raw!
Garlic boost our immune system to resist viruses. I ALWAYS cook with garlic and I am rarely sick, I didn't catch a flu this winter and the cold that I had disappeared within less than a week. I use about 10 to 15 cloves each time I cook. When I tell people this they think my breath stinks (lol) but its doesn't, trust me my mama and my friends would have told me by now!

Last but not least drink PLENTY of water.

Sheacocoaluv: My Big Chop!!!

Sheacocoaluv did her big chop December 30, 2008, welcome to the natural family! Her hair is fierce, enjoy the video!

March 11, 2009

Esther Fleurival: Naturally Me ... My Natural Hair Journey

This short documentary of Esther Fleurival's experiences as a young natural woman is an honest account of some of the obstacles we navigate when embracing our natural tresses, enjoy.

Shuantae1: My Big Chop!!!

Shuantae1 decided to do her big chop a month ago, welcome to the natural family! Her hair is gorgeous, enjoy the video. Click here to view more of her videos.

March 8, 2009

Vegetable Glycerine ... No Thanks

I always emphasize that what may good for my hair may not be good for your hair and vice versa. Vegetable glycerine is one of the products that has been heavily favoured by many naturals to add and retain moisture. Most use it in their spritzes and others apply it straight from the bottle. I bought vegetable glycerine when I was around one year natural because of all the hype surrounding it. I added it to my scalp tonic/spritz and at first it felt like it was moisturizing my hair. First, I want to state that I was already using Qhemet Biologics as a moisturizer so I thought this would be a 'refresher' for my hair throughout the week and second, I thought it would soothe my scalp. Both reasons were unfounded, less is better for my hair. Vegetable glycerine over the past few months gave my hair a coated feeling that I DID NOT like. At first I thought I was using too much moisturizer, and than I realized it was my spritz and the only thing in my spritz that would give it a soft coated feeling was the vegetable glycerine. I no longer use my spritz or vegetable glycerine. The interesting thing is that if it is in moisturizers, gels, and conditioners my hair reacts good to it, but adding it to mixtures myself isn't a good idea for me. My main products for moisturizing and maintaining my hair and scalp is Qhemet Biologics and Hairobics, that's all I need. Have any of you experienced this?

March 6, 2009

Product Review: Hair Therapy Wrap

The Hair Therapy Wrap was given to me by the wonderful ladies Marlene and Courtney of HoneyFig to try out. I wasn't sure if it would be as effective as the electrical conditioning caps but I followed the instructions and hoped for the best. The Hair Therapy Wrap is made out of 100 % cotton and is machine washable, it should be air dried to main the fit of the wrap. The wrap contains 3 gel packs that are removed and either placed in the microwave for up to a minute and a half or you can place them in 3 qts of water that has reached a rolling boil for no more than 5 minutes. I boiled my gel packs and placed them back in the wrap, put on a plastic conditioning cap and put the wrap on. The wrap was a little tricky to secure on my head because of the Velcro strips so I randomly "velcroed" the hanging piece of material to the top of the wrap. The heat can be intense and stayed that way for about 20 to 30 minutes, which was great! I have to admit I was surprised at how long the wrap maintained its heat. Overall this is a great conditioning tool especially if you are running around your home getting chores done. Visit hairtherapywrap.com for more info.
Performance: Consistent supply of the heat and great intensity of heat. 2/2
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Price: $26.00 CAD, if you are investing in a conditioning cap this is reasonably priced when compared to other electrical conditioning caps on the market. 1.5/2
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Materials: 100 % cotton, this is very comfortable to wear, the fit was a little funny to figure out because of the Velcro strips, I'm still trying to figure it out. .5/1
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Hair Therapy Wrap 4/5

Fabness: First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah

First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah are on the cover of O Magazine this April. These two women represent what you can achieve by refusing to set limitations on ourselves, Fab!

March 5, 2009

Fabness: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama


President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted their Wednesday White House Dinner on March 4th, pure Fabness...

Animal Protein in Conditioners

I was intrigued at how well the Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair works in my hair at stopping breakage that I decided to take a look at the ingredients, I don't know why I didn't before. Their was one ingredient that surprised me and that was Animal Protein. Now I am not a vegan or vegetarian but I seldom eat red meat and have cut my consumption of chicken down over the past year. I mostly consume fish and seafood, a lot of vegetables and fruits, and I'm working on some lentil recipes to add more protein to my diet. The way I looked at it is if a product doesn't have to use an ingredient or can replace it with a natural source than why not? Animal protein is prominent in many protein based conditioners. Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner contains Glycoprotein (protein derived from oyster shells) & Lactalbumin (milk protein), which makes it a non - vegan product. My curiosity concerning animal protein in conditioners taught me that most conditioners on the market whether they be commercial or natural and organically produced have some form or animal protein in it. Animal protein is effective in stopping breakage and relatively easy for a beauty/hair company to purchase when producing products.
* I use protein treatments as needed which is usually about once every 3 to 6 months.

March 3, 2009

Wraps

Head wraps can be a classic way for us to wear our hair when we want minimal manipulation and still want to be chic. Head wraps are deeply rooted in our history no matter what part of the African diaspora we are from. Try to use fabrics that produce less friction to our hair like satin.
Spring is coming soon so bright colours, pastels and whites are a great way to enhance our natural beauty.


Product Review: Qhemet Biologics Olive and Honey Hydrating Balm

I was not very surprised at how this product worked. Qhemet Biologics Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm is suppose to soften and hydrate very dry hair. I already know that my hair loves creams as moisturizers so a balm was a little new to me. I had been visiting the qhemetbiologics.com site for about two years contemplating ordering it but each time I went with the Amla & Olive Heavy Cream and more recently the Burdock Root Butter Cream which is better suited to my hair type in warmer weather. The balm was sticky and a little hard to work with because of its honey like consistency. It has a faint scent that reminded me of lemon and honey tea which I liked. As a moisturizer it didn't add the moisture I wanted and was difficult for my hair to absorb. This product is more suited as a styling aide or sealant for my hair. Will I repurchase? Probably not, it is a great quality product but I have all the styling aides I need and as a moisturizer my hair doesn't agree with it.

Performance: The product did not adversely affect my hair, my hair just couldn't absorb it, I would use this as a styling aide or sealant but I don't need it for that purpose. 1/2

Pricing: 16.00 USD for 16 oz, worth the money if your hair flourishes with balms since it has superior ingredients to most products on the market. 2/2

Ingredients: Pure Olive (Olea Europa) Oil, Virgin Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Oil, Pure Grapeseed (Vitis Vinifera) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Emulsifier, Pure Wildflower Honey, MSM (Methysulfonylmethane), Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols), Fragrance.

* Nourishing, all natural ingredients. 1/1

Qhemet Biologics Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm 4/5

My Denmans ...

I bought my Denmans a year ago because of all the rave reviews I read of how it is fantastic at smoothing, detangling and stretching our hair. I have the D3 and D4 and I don't know what to do with them. I use water pressure along with conditioner in the bath/shower to detangle my hair. I use a wide tooth comb sometimes but rarely nowadays, my fingers do most of the work. By the time I moisturize my hair and comb and style with my Comare comb I have little if any breakage. I have tried the conditioner and Denman technique but all I got was a brush tangled in my hair that if I continued to pull the brush through would result in me ripping my hair out, no thanks. Is it only me that has a Denman laying around?

March 2, 2009

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month and of course we can all think of women in our lives and on the public stage that are fierce and worth noting. From politics, to music, to business, to hair care women have pushed against the status quo, their's more pushing to do ...

March 1, 2009

Naturally Loved: Part Five

It has taken years for me to get to the place I am now. I first tried to go natural when I was eighteen but had no idea what products to use. My hair was always dry and because of my irritated scalp I was constantly washing and rinsing my hair and scalp to soothe the pain and itching I experienced. My natural hair care routine at that time incorporated extra virgin olive oil and sweet almond oil, I didn't know about anything else. I relaxed my hair a few times over a five year period always to go back natural. My last relaxer was July 2006 and I did my big chop September 2006 and haven't looked back!
The last relaxer I did was out of frustration after visiting a so called 'natural salon' in Toronto. I was natural at this point and had about 6 months of new growth. My scalp condition was awful which I later found out was seborrheic dermatitis, but later on that. I walked into the salon in the Yorkville area to have a wash and treatment. First, they knew little if any thing of how to care for natural hair. I was brave enough to go to the salon hoping to get help concerning my scalp. In the middle of my head the hair grows coarser and my scalp would be in so much pain that sometimes I felt I had to pull hairs out to stop it. It was so much pain at some points I thought I had an open wound on my head. My hair was much more shorter in the middle and in some spots it was nearly bald. I do think this is a result of years of relaxing beginning at age eleven which caused my hair follicles to become damaged and accelerate the development of my seborrheic dermatitis.
When the stylist saw the damage in the middle of my head he just was like "wow" and didn't give any counselling as to a plan to regenerate that section of hair or even ask questions as to what happened. I felt so bad but I stayed in the chair. At this point I knew it was all business and that they just wanted to get paid. What made it worse is that after my wash and treatment one of the stylist, a woman, asked me what I wanted to do for a style and I told her 'I don't know just do whatever you think will look nice.' She didn't do box braids, cornrows or cornrows with twist in a cute style, instead she did like 5 to 7 dooky braids for my entire head! I just wanted to leave, I couldn't even go outside with the jacked up 'hair style' she gave me, luckily I had my scarf with me that I covered it up ... crazy. Then when I got to the cashier to pay he started talking about how I have natural hair and natural hair is more money, *blank stare*. I told him I was quoted $25.00 and that's all I have to pay instead of the $35.00 he wanted to charge me. I paid the $25.00 went home and complained to my mom for like 2 hours. Within that week I relaxed my hair out of frustration. Now I was determined to know how to treat my hair. Relaxing my hair was done out of frustration and anger not at my hair but at the ignorance I dealt with concerning our hair. I thought if I conform than it will be okay but within a month all the relaxed hair in the middle of my head began to snap off just by merely touching it. My kynks wanted to take over and insisted on letting me know. I let every relaxed hair that wanted to snap off do so and in the mean time I went on the Internet and immersed my self in knowledge about caring for natural hair. I visited motowngirl.com (I discovered co-washing), roshini.net (hair styling and inspiration) which is now glamazini.com, curlmart (I discovered Qhemet Biologics! Yeah, yeah), Naturally You!, nappturality.com, naturalhaircareguide.com (in depth info on ingredients to avoid), I found all these sites by searching under natural hair, natural kinky hair, African American hair etc.
Within that same summer of 2006 I went to my dermatologist and finally got diagnosed as having seborrheic dermatitis. He prescribed me a steroid cream that worked wonders but again I re-evaluated using a steroid cream on my scalp, any form of dermatitis is a treatable condition that last for life and I couldn't picture myself using a steroid cream on my scalp for the rest of my life. I decided to take preventative steps by monitoring any products I used on my hair and scalp, anything that irritated my scalp went into the trash. I got rid of A LOT of shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and oils. Sulfates will irritate a sensitive scalp so can ingredients found in many hair care products that we may over look. Even some organic products got thrown out or given away. I do a lot of product reviews but trust me when I say I do a lot of research concerning ingredients. As I say its all about trial and error and oh I haven't used my steroid cream for almost a year. My scalp is still sensitive in that area but is doing much better from two years ago.
Knowledge is our power, educate yourself on hair and scalp care. Be dedicated to this change and you will reap the results.

Happy Growing,
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Natalie