Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fluffy hair follow up

Remember this post about bigger hair?
So the first pic kinda accurately projects how it feels 2-3 days later :-(
And the rest convey how it looks.
SO I ended up putting it in a puff after the very first day.  It felt DRY and tangled and I did not feel I could wear it down without risking a lot of single strand knots and snags.

Today I wore it like this because even the puff was rubbing my shoulders and I worried about my ends.  It looks ok but the cream of nature leave in is not so much a leave in as it is a sealant.  Great shine, but that's it.  Like for relaxed hair.

But look at my little curlies :-) I love them so. I just have to protect them and this product combo is not the way!

Rebooting with a co-wash tonight!

My Cousin on 106 & Park TONIGHT! #naturalhair in video!

Check out the video! This is the song he will be singing.  
Do you see all the Natural hair in the video?
I knooowww you seeee ittt!!
So happy and proud.

Connecticut stand up!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bigger hair with lighter product

I talked about hair texture in my last post and subsequently developed a desire to wear my hair bigger this weekend. I was headed out to watch the games and made this video before I left. I used the same smoothing and co-washing methods I usually use, and applied the gel the same way I usually do. But it's a much lighter hold gel so I get very different results.
I used Ouidad Climate Control Gel and Creame of Nature Lemongrass & Rosemary leave in.
Neither of these are favorites of mine, so I am just using what I have left! The leave-in has petroleum as the second ingredient, so I am keeping a close eye on my face/acne and tying it away from my skin at night. The Gel has great slip and gives a shiny light hold. It was expensive but I get much better results with less expensive gels.
Let's consider this operation "don't buy anything else" lol.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We have a long way to go. Convos with men.

I live in a somewhat insulated world.  In many senses.  I have a job, I have a home, I have transportation and a means to afford lots of things I don't need.

I am reminded of these privileges and freedoms quite regularly just by interacting superficially with strangers, or even just riding the city bus, which I do almost every day.  I feel proud, and blessed and sometimes even guilty.

But the insulation regarding my natural hair is much more complete and omnipresent.  Aside from side-eyes and a few snide comments- which I have built defenses for, I seldom feeeeel that I am actively doing something different any longer.  Especially now that I live in DC, and so many other women have gone natural. Only when I travel do I become self aware.  Plus who's really going to ask you in depth, challenging questions about your hair, or furthermore the hair of black women in general?? (who gon check us??)

BUT this weekend I was in an unusual set up where I was working the cash box at an event and flanked by two security guards.  We were there for 2 hours with nothing to do but entertain each other with diluted philosophic conversations. We spoke of eating pork (I do lol), Greek life (I'm not) and natural hair ( I have).

I also had a previous convo to reference as I dived in.  About 4 months ago I was giving two fellas a ride to their car, talking about my blog (again lol,) and one remarks... "how you gon blog about natural hair when you got good hair??!" I tried to explain then that its not so much about what kind of hair you have, its about accepting WHATEVER you have and learning about it.  I don't know if I got through to them but I filed the comment in my awareness file. lol

So this weekend past, the same sort of thing started floating just below the surface.  One guy was telling me why some women he knows were not embracing the natural movement (time effort difficulty) and I was doing some debunking.  But who told me to say that "much of the time we can workout or shower and still be ready to go in 20 min."

The disbelief and doubt that washed over their faces alerted me to the fact that I had just made a leap over several factors they would not easily understand.  I had also put myself in a "we" that is probably visually questionable. But I began to try my best. 

So the very first aspect of going natural that us women and the men who support us must grapple with is the radical difference between our natural texture and our chemically or heat altered texture.  The goal is to grow to love and respect WHATEVER it is.  "Kinks, napps, beadybeads, peazy-headedness"... whatever we have been badmouthing, hiding and altering has to be allowed to live. and hopefully flourish.  This change in mind-state is very difficult for some folks.  Some are not ready to see things so differently- that there is nothing WRONG with what they have.  Some go back to chemicals or heat or just constant manipulation.  So imagine, these men live in a perpetual state of having gone natural but not accepting their hair, lol. One guy said he keeps it super low because his hair is so nappy.  He was like "u will never see me with more than this much hair".  And they transfer that feeling to others.  They also mentioned a friend who had gone natural and didn't "do anything to her hair."  Just oil and life.  And they had a disdain in their voices as they explained her behavior. 

I explained that she likes her hair texture- that is the missing link.  I told him "you just don't like your hair.  There is nothing wrong with it, you just don't appreciate the way it looks."  So I was like imagine- she has no problem with the way her hair simply IS.  She accepts it and thus does not feel the need to "fix" or hide it.

(I didn't get all into the actual care aspects, like texture and length and detangling and products-  indeed quite complicated to figure out)

SO I finally pointed to my own hair. I said this is a wash and go with product being used to keep the curls defined.  This is what I got in the hair grab bag.  I like it.  Me liking my hair, and YOU liking my hair does not preclude other textures from similarly liking and accepting their own hair. And other people like their hair too, maybe not you, but hopefully the men in their life.  Nothing needs to be done to "fix" it, thus its easy to take care of in that regard.  They mulled over that - the change in mind-state.

I did also show them a picture of a friend with much tighter curls than mine who also wears her hair loose and he said- "See... that looks like it's about to dread up (distain)."  I said, no it's just her hair, she cares for it and detangles it regularly and it's healthy and long. You don't need to continuously comb the kinks out so that it loooks untangled.  It wont lock up in a few days.  It just looks different- its how u think.  And he was like "yeah, see, I just don't think that way I guess."

The convo died and 20 min passed.  Lucky for me another guy came out that we all knew and just then a beautiful woman walked by with tight, compact natural hair, full of sheen and with color dipped ends.  This third guy was randomly like "hey sister, you have beautiful hair! *smiles* go head!" (something like that lol) And I was like SEEEEE, some men appreciate it for just what it is!  And I was like damn where were you 20 min ago!!? lol.  I rehashed the convo and third guy concurred with what I was saying, and then some lol. We both spoke of how black people are still in a texture war, and people would like MY hair, but not other hair textures and it was a shame.  They SHOULD but they don't. 

Early on when starting my blog I wanted to feature girls with lots of different hair types (see You Go Curl girls in the sidebar).  My coils are fairly loose on the kinky scale and I don't often let the kinky elements of my texture shine through my gels and goops.  Thus I used to encounter women who thought my advice would ring hollow to them, or that their process going natural would vary so radically from mine that I could not offer encouraging words or advice.  Turns out that was largely not true.  My fears have proven frivolous and I have abandoned that effort at diversifying the representation here (there are a lot of OTHER things besides curl size that us naturals have in common- duh! we learn with time lol).  But the MEN....

Please tell your brothers and sons and husbands all about your hair.  Let them play with it, let them see you wash it and style it.  We need more men to accept what we have going on, and what they have going on in and on their own heads as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Curious about my adult braces? Read this and watch these

I still am, hence my continued research today lol. Thought I'd share a few of the best vids!

I find myself doing a lot of explaining because it's not clear why I needed braces so badly to get them at age 31. People ask why did I get them if my teeth were "straight."

I have a Deep Bite.

I have a complete, 100% deep bite = no bottom teeth atallll. This has gotten progressively worse over the years and as of last year my teeth have begun to chip up top, and my bottom teeth are turning completely 180°, though no one can see them lol. Every dentist I have EVER seen in my life has told me I "need braces/should have had braces/better get braces" to save my teeth.  And the new one who saw the little chips insisted I look into it before it got yet worse.  So I did!

So I have only top brackets (white ceramic) on for up to 6 months time until my bottom teeth start showing/become accessible. 

THEN I will get my bottom brackets put on and be using some sort of bite plate like below to prevent damage as seen in the animation.  This may happen Feb 1 after only 4.5 months! I'm hoping my teeth have moved enough already- she seemed optimistic last visit.

I already have a bite plate now I wear only at night.  It's crazy whack.  But guess what?  Unlike the pic here, I see bottom teeth now! and they look crazy upset lol. No one has seen them forever.

See bite plate video below.

If your dentist suggests you need braces, look into it and save your only teeth.  However, if no doctor or dental professional tells you to get braces- DON'T do it! lol  it sucks.  I thought I'd be fine because I hadn't had any chipping or jaw pain, despite dozens of advisories.  I did not want braces.  ever.
Until this year.  Chip a tooth a few times and things change lol. I also finally subscribed to an insurance plan that pays half even for adults.

Plus the technology has gotten much better over the years.   In previous consultations I was told I'd need extractions, to wear braces for 3 years, that I could only have metal brackets because of the force needed to move them so much, and that I'd need to wear a bite plate the entire time.  I walked off like no thanks- my teeth are fine.

Now that they finally are not fine, I'm on a 2 year plan, with ceramic brackets and thus far a removable bite plate...

Wish me luck!

Imma share some honest and graphic teeth picts below.  
Turn away now if you don't want to be all up in my mouth. lol

Me today... Wire chain, smoke colored bands, no braces on bottoms yet- but they show a bit now! and look a hot mess...

Bottom teeth- ugh!  They are suffering/turning/falling further in and I was warned I'd loose them in another decade or two. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First episode of The Game Season 5

Let's go talk by the water cooler for a sec...

Yes- I was a fan of The Game back in the day. Girlfriends and The Game were my favorite sitcoms on network TV for their durations. (Don't judge me lol)

I fear The Game has gone all meet the browns and made for BET on us. BUT I still watch it, and get a bit excited about it. Because I was hooked on the old story lines and wanted to see what would happen.

But we aren't getting to see what happens. We are seeing The Game on BET. sigh... New things that happened THEN that we didn't see? Old things that were significant in one way then are significant in a new way now.

The old Game would have made a whole ta-do about the hypocrisy of Derwin's abortion and Melanie's child.... I mean the other way around. right. And the old Melanie would have been like the rest of us and held that info as a chip in her pocket to hit him with when he was being ridiculous or asking too much. Granted, he had no choice in carrying out becoming a father or not, but she was riding with him all along in her heart of hearts. There could have been so much more depth behind that whole scenario. Alas, we got a few confrontations and a few real life situations to devour yesterday.

So Jason... and his divulgence that he is intimidated by black women because of his experiences as a young man... That's real. ok. I can see how that developed his character a bit. But the Stacy Dash bribe from his daughter about her barely being black, and then his subsequent admission that he was aware of relaxing his baby's hair to give her more of an option to "pass"... I really hope they get back on that complexity. The setting, sudden outpouring of personal info and the soundtrack(horrible!) can all try again though. No points.

The Malik and Tasha scenario... no comment. It's shallow and peppered with inappropriate humor thus far.

The styling on the show... meh. They stepped a little away from the uber glam thing they did last season, which was a relief. But is it just me or does Melanie still appear to be a little preg or carrying weight around her middle? I don't know when this particular episode was filmed and it seemed a bit seamless appearance wise from the last season. But Tia's flowy clothes and babydoll style shirts peek my curiosity- even on her appearances on 106 and Park a few days ago.

I think because she is about my age, and has been open about her trials and tribulations with becoming a mom, I am like- watching her now. lol.

Unlike Girlfriends the styles of the women on The Game are not unique, the weaves and hair colors seem arbitrary and random. I'm not connecting. I will say that I still much preferred Melanie with darker hair, and Tasha with her asymmetrical cut with the swooshy bang.

OK. I'm done. There is not much more there to even discuss, sadly.

What did ya'll think???

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 Products

I was sick- so pardon the sniffling and the 1000000000 "UM"s lol I wish I did product giveaways or something and I would have people count how many times I said "um" lol. I'll get better. smh  

Check out the Amazon store I made in the sidebar >>>

And I just want to really commit to sticking to my KMF gel, castor oil, and leave-ins with beeswax in them - like hairveda's almond glaze.  
I'm happy with my hair right now. It's a good length, it seems healthy and most of all- it's been LOW MAINTENANCE lol and still not breaking off. So this is my game plan for 2012!

Amazon Store