Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm on TV! My Wash-and-Go at Yahzarah's show on Centric

LOL- My cousins have informed me that they show me all up close and personal twice during Yazarah's set :-) on Lyric Cafe. This aired on Centric, though when recorded it was for BET J. Yahzarah- aka Purple St James is a dope singer rocking a near-bald head with grace and pure hotness... and I need to go work out, she's killing the dress too.

Me at 57 seconds in. They show me again at about 4:02.

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Old Comfort Style, Twist on the Knot

Here I am during the latter half of the week. I used to do this style week after week when I lived in colder weather years ago. I'd make the knot in the middle, or slightly to the left or right, and at varying heights, with one or two twists in front and all my uncombed hair in a "knot" in back. I make the knot by beginning to make a ponytail, but on the last pull through, only pulling my hair half-way through the elastic. I usually slather uncombed, 3 day old wash and go hair with shea butter or Kemi she butter pomade. In front I use a small bristle brush, and some Kemi shea butter pomade, along with some Fructise Curl enhancing spray gel or Fiber gum putty. These "freeze" the brushed-slick hair and make it really shiny, buuuut don't work on my loose hair for any purpose. I do a huge flat twist on the smoothed hair, on one side or both sides (just one side below). At night, I remove the elastic and tie it down. Then in the morning, I recreate the knot and all I have to do is spritz and re-smooth the flat twist with my hands or the brush. Very lazy, but the bump in front makes it kinda sleek. I usually pull a few of the best formed curls out from the bottom corner of the puff for some texture, length and feminine aloofness :-*

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti's Beautiful People

The 7.0 magnitude Earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday afternoon is a thing made of nightmares. A thing I would expect to read about in one of my science fiction novels, apocalyptic fantasy taking place in 3010 on an island nation yet to be born. But it's on my TV now, it's in the pile of bodies on the cover of my morning newspaper, it's on the social networking statuses of my closest friends; a living nightmare. A grim reaper with long fingers which poke at the conscience of mothers who know where their children are, and couples snuggled under their pillow top California king comforters, and people like me, who blog about hair.

I want to cry. But I can't. I just keep thinking about how unfair it is, and how so many people don't even know any Haitians, and how those people will watch the news and read the paper and think this is a sort of science fiction. I feel anger and some form of a pulling guilt, that I can go about living my normal life too. Because I do read and consume so much science fiction, particularly apocalyptic sci fi, I have a vivid "mind's eye". I can see- perhaps a little girls legs sticking out from under a slab of concrete- right now. I can split off from myself here at the computer and go there to her. And I want to cry.

So back in my little world, our world of computers and social media, I have found a few bright spots during this tragedy in my close circle. Fellow blogger and natural DC diva "Noemi" has kept up her impeccable blog with the latest in news and resources for us here to help those in Haiti, or those playing a more active role in supporting the relief efforts.

She is one of the people I know who has family in Haiti and is doing all that she can to get general support and aid where it is needed most. Please, please, check out and subscribe to her blog, A Style Muse. FYI- She also recommended the awesome stylist who was able to cut my curls and has some of the most interesting posts on culture, style and Facebook :-)

When I went to college in Boston, I quickly surrounded myself with the other minority students, many Haitian, Cape verdian, Bajan, Trinidadian, and just- from every country I ever even heard of, (or hadn't heard of). Two of my very closest friends are Haitian, and I've befriended their friends. My roommate of four years, and friend for over 10 years now, introduced me to Haitian food, and music, and men lol. I even jumped at the chance to go on a cruise that stopped in Labadee, Haiti (only to find out we were in some fenced in area, blocked off from the rest of the country by mountains and even fences). I found my self learning a tiny bit of creole and cooking and respecting the work ethic and pride of the culture. Partaking in seasonings that take a day to prepare, and some of the most elaborate celebrations I've ever been to, and also some of the most strict parenting I've helped circumvent (:-P), allude to the resilient spirit of the nation- despite all else.

One of my friends has been educating her friends and peers about her culture and the History of Haiti on Facebook. She is helping me to get together a list of facts that we all should know about Haiti, which will be an upcoming post. She is also a beautiful woman, wearing her hair naturally. So stay tuned for more about what is good and beautiful in the world, and please do what you can to help restore a bare minimum functioning world to as many people in Haiti as you can reach.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pictures! Before, during and after the hair cut.

So I've lived with my new cut for a week and I am so happy with the decision to cut the front into a bang, of sorts. The font of my hair points relentlessly forward and I can never see through it or keep it out of my face without setting the front straighter or frizzier as it dries(see pictures to right = my hair shape and front section before). So solution for lifestyle = get it cut. I got it cut on Dec 30th at Salon Revive on U st in DC. Once I washed it afterward, I saw a few straggling longer strands, and roughened curls, which I corrected myself with some professional sheers I have. Overall, however, my hairdresser Yodit, did an excellent job. There is so much to say about it but I'll try to sum it up:

I only waited for about 20 minutes, and I was 10 min early! Good service time!
She came and looked at my hair, which I had freshly shingled that morning with Eco styler gel, and was still damp inside. She seemed either impressed or appalled, evidenced by an initial "wow" that I could not decipher. I showed her pictures I brought in of when my hair was shorter over all, explaining how I would like to wear the shape in front.

I went off for a shampoo. Now this was a worrisome point. The shampoo girl was Caucasian with straight hair. She shampooed my hair thoroughly, but also thoroughly tangled it up into one large mass in the process. She applied a meager amount of conditioner afterward, then I think she tried to finger separate it. She applied more conditioner and then began with a paddle brush in attempt to detangle the top section. It hurt and she struggled. So I stopped her and told her to try a big comb. She showed me the brush but I was like- a comb would work better. At this point Yodit came over and intervened. She asked if the girl used a certain conditioner, the girl said "yes, but it's still napping up". (I wanted to laugh but didn't) Yodit took over, sectioned a bit more and began on the ends of the hair while holding on to the root. She showed me the brush again and said it's best for detangling (I disagree) . She also commented that my hair was actually quite long, to which I replied- YES- it shrinks up to 75%. She was able to get through the rest of my hair and then I was rinsed and sent for cutting. With no leave in. Just naked hair.

She trimmed my hair all over about .5 inch, and then went in on the front area, section by section. As she combed it out to cut it, my shrunken fro emerged! The proud beast! People in the salon were looking at me/it. It was great. I know they were like how the heck did she come in with a curly bob and end up like this... lol!

She went to mix some gel and some cream, which is the same thing I do, with different products. She used a Paul Mitchel pomade, a soupy white cream, and she mixed that with Aveda's liquidy gel (disliked both- rinsed out the next day). She went through section by section on the dry hair and applied it from root to end combing though with her fingers. After she was done she went back over it with the shears to trim out a few more wayward pieces. It seemed to thin a few areas out, and also render a straight style impossible. Which is fine with me. I did tell her that I hate heat, but heat never came up as anything she wanted to do.

She put a lil net over it to lay it down a bit while drying, and then sat me under a dryer for about 30 min. It was freezing outside so I was glad to have it dry a bit. She took off the net and fluffed. I paid and left- total time about 1.75 hours. One of the other stylists gave me a compliment as I left. And I got another compliment from an unknown man on the train platform. I was very happy :-) and I could SEE.

Here are the rest of the pictures!

Under the dryer:

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a new decade, new resolve. BSL is dead.

Happy new year! I was so ready to part with 2009. There was just so much transition, including several family members leaving this life. But over all, I have my health, my relationships are still flourishing, personally and professionally, and I still look good! (if I do say so myself about to hit all of 30 yrs old next month lol.)

So one kind of personal thing I am tackling this year is my face, the skin on my face. Adult acne is the most esteem sapping thing I have dealt with. I mean I've gained weight, changed my hair, been unemployed, been cheated on even, but this- this is the one thing that has put a slouch in my shoulders. I wont talk much about it here on the blog, but it is something that you may notice changing about me if I have my way.

So for my hair. I got a hair cut on Dec 30th. I'll post the picts for my next post! I decided that the length that I was seeking, and had achieved to a great extent, was a mirage. I don't wear my hair straight. I don't plan on wearing my hair straight. I don't even like the way I look with straight hair. So why was I pursuing invisible length? My natural hair shrinks to only 25% of its actual length. It looks the same fully shrunken, and even stretched out now, as it did almost 2 years ago- even though it's about 6 inches longer. That is 6 inches of more detangling, more product and more styling. Hours more twisting and braiding. I'm not saying that I wanted to cut it off, or that I'll be going back to my length from a few years ago, but rather that I just don't care anymore. The Bra-Strap-Length goal is dead. I cut a "bang" back into the front, so that I can see again, and had about another inch taken off all over. My desire is to wear it out, or style it with much less effort and concentration on length that I never even display. Thus, if I need to cut or trim it, I will.

I will also be deep conditioning every 2 weeks by sitting under my new hooded dryer (thanks mom!) with conditioner and oil (either coconut, avocado, or safflower/e) for an hour. The hairdresser I went to mentioned my hair was dry, and she had just shampooed it, which I seldom do. I also have been noticing bubbles and tears high up into my hair strands- not a good look. So I want to banish all that. I want stronger, more manageable hair that can withstand a single shampoo (smh...)

I'm also willing to spend a little more, on less products. I want to build up my staples to include what works, and not just what will do for the money. So far, my list for the year includes:
  • Paul Mitchel (the generic version they sell at Sally's is perfectly the same and saves me some money) I use The Conditioner and will explore some of their more oily creams. I also use The Detangler in a pinch and it does what it says, though it smells like... um... a nasty nothing... ha ha.
  • Jason Green Rootine Silkening Creme. My hair just loves this stuff. LOVES it. I get good smelling, silky curls when I mix this with Ecostyler or IC gel. On its own I get very well moisturized and resilient texture. It's expensive and hard to find. But I will just have to find it. I may try the whole line.
  • Joico K-Pak Reconstructor (again- GVP from Sally's saves some bucks...) this stuff changes hair. immediately. I sucked the life out of my sample bottle and my hair is calling out for it.
  • And I have to renege on previous statements about C is for Conditioner Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner. This stuff has saved many an awry co-wash session. It started off as just an OK filler conditioner for me, after I disliked it's slip quotient and found myself left with a large bottle. However, in subsequent washing sessions, I have found it has better slip, and what's better-STAYING power, than most of the cheap conditioners I use. I now have only a small amount left in the large bottle, and am saddened to think of running out. I will fix this... by getting more.
  • This last one is not expensive, but it is rare. The PINK Ecostyler gel. I got the green olive oil version, and it is too stiff. The ingredients are also lack luster compared to the pink which has tea tree oil and other comparative lusciousness. I must find the pink again.
So that is my aesthetic 2010 change of heart. Blessings!

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