Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - Nisus

A little styling and a Puff

I still have enough hair to do a pretty decent puff!

So this style came to be because I co-washed my hair last night- then tried to do a braid and curl set. This morning it was still completely damp- which I suspected would happen. I ran the blow dryer over sections to try and set it a bit better before turning it loose. No success. So I had to salvage half stretched, puffy, damp hair into something I could wear to work. So I reused my braid parts to do some large flat twists and combed out in the back with my shower comb. I used one large elastic to hold the puff back (like a headband but reeeeaaaaly far back) and bobby pins to hold the twists tight. Tis cute, and I was pleasantly surprised by my puff since my hair is so short in back now. I will try a braid and curl set on my dry hair tonight again.





Monday, August 30, 2010 - Nisus

Kerrice and her "crazy hair"

Everybody meet Kerrice! She is my brother's GF and has been transitioning to what is now fully natural hair. My brother, after seeing my journey, and simply being there throughout our youth understands fully what it means to stop changing our hair. He's encouraged and celebrated her decision, and is one of the few people in her close circle who has done so. Despite all the negative feedback she has persevered and embraced her natural hair.

She is beautiful! Congrats Kerrice.
Read her story in her own words below.

Transitioning:
On why she went natural:
A: Honestly, perms were getting expensive and I didn’t feel like spending so much money getting my hair done. With encouragement from the BF and curiosity I decided to begin my natural hair journey.

When did you BC? How did you react to your natural hair?
I never did a BC, I grew my perm out and trims the ends every few weeks until all my relaxed hair was gone. I loved my hair! It was curly, thick, and most of all healthier.

How did your family and friends react?
My parents were angry at the fact that I decided to go natural. They were like, “Why, you have such long hair” they made fun of me a lot. At first my friends were like confused at to my change. They claimed that permed hair is way easier to handle. They later became very supportive and one of my friends decided to go natural also. My little sister and brother supported me a lot, but it was my BF who supported me the most. He was the one who encouraged me to go natural in the first place. When ever I felt insecure about my hair he was always there to make me feel better. He loves my hair almost as much as I do! Nia was very supportive and helpful too, and when ever I had any questions she was always willing to answer all my questions and gave me GREAT advice. (Thanks Nia )

What is your current hair routine?
I don’t have a set in stone routine yet, I'm still figuring out what works best for my hair. As of right now, I'm co-washing once a week and trying different conditioners and products to see how it works with my hair. When I find out what works best I'll be sure to update you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - Nisus

My Man- vs the masses

Guest post by my Boyfriend :-) ♥♥
I used to wonder why @Nisus seemed so obsessed with her hair. Being the supportive boyfriend I am, I just got used to it. I didn’t ask many questions about why; instead I chose to accept it as something she is in to. But this weekend I caught a glimpse into the why. I always thought it’s just hair, but this weekend I learned, maybe it’s not, maybe it’s more than just hair, maybe it’s how Nisus is perceived and representative of how all people who sit outside expected norms are perceived: with curiosity, sometimes, with amusement, and mostly, with a healthy dose of ignorance.

The first interaction was when we checked in the Bed and Breakfast. At first she was amused by Nisus hair. She loved it. In fact, this older white woman had a daughter with hair just like it, curly and everything, except her daughter’s hair always looked horrible. She wished her daughter could get her hair to behave like Nisus’ hair. Nisus suggested some products her daughter could use but, no, her daughter had tried them all and it was just a curly mess. All the time. I’m used to people checking Nisus’ hair out so I didn’t think anything of it. Plus the innkeeper seemed nice enough. But after the trip, I wonder, is it that her daughter looked a mess or was it the simple fact she had curly hair that created the disapproval? Was it the shock that curly hair could actually look good as it did on Nisus head, which led to her loving Nisus’ do? Or was it that she truly appreciated Nisus hair?

Later that evening we encountered a most obnoxious couple at the bar. The man sat down and the first thing he said was “Your hair is kick ass!”. Macho Man Randy Savage voice and everything. I kid you not. The woman co-signed. Oh, yeah, she loved it too. The man said “I love it, but really, how long does it take you. It looks great but you must spend all day on it. Like, you wouldn’t get in the water with that.” I’m thinking you’ve got to be kidding me. This man has got it all twisted. I thought about my ex girlfriends with weaves and perms etc and how they would never get in the water and might even dread walking on the beach because of the heat and wind, and water in the air, and how those girls sometimes spent hours getting it “right”. And this dude thinks Nisus’ ten minute wash and go is labor intensive. The irony of it all…

Nisus assured him she would get in the water with it. Maybe she’d twist it or put a braid in or something like that, but she’d get in, no problem. He must’ve heard somewhere black women spend hours on their hair (lots do) just for some delicate “do” quickly undone by the elements, and since Nia was black and had curly “black hair”, she must’ve spent hours too. But dude, you got it all wrong. He looked at me to co-sign. “How long does she take? Seriously?” I assured him it wasn’t long. I wanted to shake the guy. So if you are out there straightening and perming your hair, at least one white man out there thinks that’s how it comes out your head because the high maintenance “do’s” which require extra work are curly fyi.

Then there were restaurant patrons or passersby interrupting our meals or beach strolls to say how they just had to say something about Nisus’ hair; the woman who rolled her car window down to say “Oh my god I LOVE your hair”. Then, of course, there were the obnoxious teenagers which screamed “AFRO!” as they drove by.

It got really weird.

Shortly after we were looking for a bank and Nisus was rushing ahead of me because I like to take my time on vacation. I noticed people were passing her, turning around as they passed her, and then talking amongst themselves like “did you see that?” A lot of people were doing this. So much so I took to making faces at the people when they emerged from the spectacle that was Nisus’ hair by sticking my tongue out, making googly eyes, and displaying other manners of silliness.

Cool as Cape May was, it was a bit unsettling to me. And I wasn’t even the one being gawked over. I guess the reason for my discomfort is these people know very little about us—black people. If they can’t grasp our hair is different and it is indeed just hair and should not under any circumstance evoke such strong emotion, positive or otherwise, what hope is there for understanding in some of the more nuanced cultural aspects which make black people unique. I kept waiting for someone to comment on how well spoken, articulate, and clean we were a la Joe Biden. But then again, maybe I’m over-reacting. Either way, Nisus and I just wanted to enjoy the vacay and the constant commentary got tired after the—no exaggeration— 11th remark in two days. I kept track, though I wish I had counted sunsets or Seagulls.
It was his birthday weekend. And we had a great time despite the unsettling attention. We let it roll off!

Monday, August 16, 2010 - Nisus

Vacation reflection- Did I look Crazy?

I have yet to settle back in from my mini vacation BUT I just have to tell ya'll... My hair was THE hugest attention getter this weekend in Cape May, New Jersey. I'd just had a trim the day before at Fiddleheads in DC. (Pictures are littered throughout my rant- keep scrolling down!)
My BF is going to help me write a full post on the ridiculous amount of attention my hair garnered during our 3 day trip. I mean it was absurd. Mostly positive attention, but it began to get ridiculous as the 10th and 11th random people (all Caucasian) felt the need to tell me something about my hair.I get attention all the time- sure, positive attention, compliments and knowing smiles from other naturals in DC. I love that attention, and I often feel helpful and pretty when I can respond or feel truly complimented. But this attention had me beginning to wonder if I looked like a freak or some sort of mythological character. Some of it was negative (a car full of white teenage boys- one of whom yelled "AFRO!" out the window), and some of it I didn't even catch, but was informed of by my BF who had a better vantage point.
Granted, there were not many black folks, or even mixed folk there, but the environment was casual and comfy, and relaxed. I had perfect, vacation, wash-n-go, no-hassle hair- free to blow in the wind while staying off my neck and out of my eyes. I was very pleased with it myself. But even after almost 10 years of being natural, some experiences can shake you and lead you to wonder about how others perceive you. I mean I just wanted to enjoy my time off and float about with my man like any other vacationer. But I began to get the vibe that I looked veeeeery different, and was standing out amidst all the other women.And having different hair (naturally and "raw") leaves you open to socially permissible comments about what is essentially your race and ethnicity, not just styling.

I could not offer advice or any sort of styling cues for these commentators. These weren't conversations, or questions for the most part. It was just gawking and wonder, !amazement! even lol.

Which brings me to the title of my Blog. My BF's son asked me, "why do you care so much about hair" after seeing me taking pictures and chilling on twitter (talking about hair). I told him because I like mine a lot and people ask me a lot of questions about it. But really, even if I tried to just ignore it, and not even consider myself anything but a regular chick with regular hair, I'd be considered "natural," "different" or otherwise non-standard and the attention would come to me regardless. It's not just hair- it's a statement that other people hear whether you've said anything or not. The fact that I'm not doing anything to it makes people think "LOOK what she's DOING!"As frustrating as it can be at times, especially when I'm really trying to do NOTHING at all, I'll gladly help enlighten those ignorant to kinky-curly textured hair. I'll gladly offer tips and encouragement to women seeking to embrace their own hair. I'll gladly share what happens to me so that others in my situation know that they are not alone! And I hope that I can play a small part in a movement towards the general knowledge that hair is indeed just hair. And it's all good.

Friday, August 6, 2010 - Nisus

Big Chop! Congrats to my younger Cousin!

It's a great new day! My younger cousin ( I can't call her little anymore- She's 17!) finally did the BC yesterday evening. Check out the before and after pictures below. And please comment below!

What hair "type" do you think she has?
Product recommendations?
Accessories?

Here is her FB status - LOL>
"woke up. went to touch my hair. realized it was gone. almost screamed. and laughed so hard i cried. :)" - this morning

"
Im loving my new hair!!! :)" - last night
I've given her my 100 cents, but the more support the merrier! She sent these pictures to me.

Her (right) a few months before with her sister.
During the cut- stage one- cutting of the bulk of the relaxed ends!

AFTER!!! The short length looks great I think.Blurry coils.
and THIS is the part I love about going short... Look how pretty her eyes are! (now that you can see them!) You never know what the BC will reveal about your natural beauty.
I'll try to get more pictures :-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010 - Nisus

Blow out- quick update.

Blow out results below. Verdict is still out on the style options I'll take advantage of with the loose hair...

Look at that growth!

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