Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Survey Says...

I know I owe the results of the survey- but there is a hitch to tell the truth...

It was super successful! Like, we got almost 180 responses, whereas I thought shooting for 50 was a lot. But I only signed up for the FREE account thus we only get the first 100 responses :-(
At 87 we were here...

But now the tide has changed to much closer to 50/50 overall, plus we have at least 23 interesting and funny custom responses (below).  Once we decide if we want to pay the $25 to give the rest of the answers free we'll let you know!

But our conclusion is that this is definitely a conversation worth having and that we hope to weigh in on via this blog. Thanks so very much for your responses.  I am happily surprised!!!

It's art, it's an extension of yourself, it's creative expression, at times it can be a confidence booster and other times a confidence killer. Some days it's your crown and glory other days you just want to shave it all off. It's way more than just hair.
9/28/2012 3:12 PM

Hair is wrapped up in social, political, and cultural meanings. It's tied to how we have been taught to perceive beauty. Beauty has also been wrapped up in European standards which is why (in my opinion) we see so many black women rocking butt-length, stick straight, Asian hair types. Even natural hair wearers are likely to be chasing a more "acceptable" form of curly hair- perfect ringlets, no frizz, and no naps. It's so much bigger than hair!
9/28/2012 2:47 PM

its a representation of my essence
9/25/2012 1:54 AM

It's more than just hair, but not much more.
9/22/2012 11:09 PM

...and we need to accept that. It is unbelievable that we are so caught up in natural vs. "other" when it comes to our hair. No other culture has so many issues with hair. It IS gorgeous. It's been gorgeous since the beginning of time. Our hair is normal. It's perfect as it is. I am not making some sort of statment just because I'm wearing my hair in its natural state. It's just my hair - as cute, soft and curly as it is. We are blessed to have it, that's it.
9/21/2012 10:46 PM

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. (1 Corinthians 11:15) Our hair is our glory. If you have not I challenge every woman to read 1 Corinthians 11
9/21/2012 9:37 PM

it's just hair, but we're just people!LOVE your blog:)
9/21/2012 4:07 PM

hair is a form of identity. Its something that sets you apart from everyone. its a window into ones ancestry.
9/19/2012 7:16 PM

Because it carries the burden of our identity
9/19/2012 7:01 PM

It's like a set of brushes used to stroke a piece of art
9/19/2012 6:40 PM

Except when its fur
9/19/2012 5:40 PM

It's in between, half and half - both.
9/19/2012 4:35 PM

It's just hair in the sense that -why do people think one type is better than another? When you really think about it, it's not as if you chose what type of hair you were born with. It's a matter of heredity. Therefore one type is no better or worse than the other-it's just different.-it's just hair!
9/19/2012 3:57 PM

It's a way of life....sort of a rebirth for me!
9/19/2012 1:30 PM

While I have to agree on both standpoints,i do think that it's become more than hair. When you begin to take responsibility for your hair and it's well being, the situation some how morphs into a lifestyle change for most, if not for all. You begin to wonder, "Well hey, if I'm putting all this love and care into my hair, why not do the same for the rest of my body?" Which is the catalyst for it becoming more than just hair. It becomes a lifestyle change that all started with wanting to stop putting in a relaxer. Which is perfectly fine. That's why I think that it's much more than hair. Although there arealso times when it is just hair and it's not that serious. Those times are when people feel the need to police other peoples hair, their ideas/notions and just being a natural hair nazi.
9/19/2012 11:59 AM

Whatever it is it is all mine, belonging to me. Displaying my emotion in real tempo.
9/19/2012 12:31 AM

I think it's important for women in general to embrace natural beauty, but even more so for Black women who have spent years straightening their hair because a historical need to fit white society.
9/18/2012 9:18 PM

Sometimes it's just hair. Other times it's Everything.
9/18/2012 7:59 PM

It's both. Wish it were that simple but for some reason it's not. It's just hair and them some...
9/18/2012 6:54 PM

It's just hair when it comes to my personal style(growing it long or shaving it off)but @ the same time it's so much more than that(power prestige freedom
9/18/2012 6:41 PM

It can be like handlebars too!
9/18/2012 4:42 PM

It's just hair -- until you're bald. Then it's everything.
9/18/2012 4:34 PM

It's what you tell other ethnicities how you feel about your own hair. Do you cover or try To change your curls, do you embrace them?
9/18/2012 3:45 PM

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take the survey! Is it JUST hair?

I have noticed there are two VERY different schools on natural hair.  Let me know what you think. If you fall in the grey please put in your own answer. When we get 50 answers we'll post the results!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Style sNaps: Summer in the City (Boston 2012 edition)

For awhile, I just didn't notice. I didn't realize that the impact had reached my city. I failed to recognize that the natural hair movement (trend? phenomenon?) had made waves (see what I did there?) in Boston. It really only hit me earlier this summer at the Shake the City rally (a peace rally organized in the wake of the brutal fatal shooting of three young women here in Boston). As I walked around Franklin Field taking pictures, I found myself distracted from my sober and serious surroundings by sistas all around me rockin' fly styles. Who were these women? Where had they all come from? Had I been asleep only to wake up to an invasion of naturals? Again, at the Caribbean carnival in Cambridge, I was struck by the array of natural styles in the streets. As I snapped more pictures, I decided this level of loveliness should be shared. Thus, Style sNaps was born. From time to time, I'll share natural hair street style pics so that we all may be inspired by the flyness of others.
Carnival queens
Lovely lengthy locs
Natural rainbow
Masterfully mature
Tone and texture
Pretty in pink
Twist and puff
Viewing the variety
I didn't know whether to admire her locs or her abs.

So, that's it for the inaugural edition of Style sNaps. Let me know what you think and if you too have noticed an increase in the natural population in your area.

All photos copyright 2012 © Nuri Chandler-Smith. These images are NOT to be used or reproduced unless written permission has been given. To request permission please email:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Like IJH on Facebook!

We finally made the move to separate IJH from our personal FB accounts.
No need to keep inundating my co-workers and old classmates with pictures of my hair styles lol.  So please like us over there!

All the blog posts will go up on there and we'll also be posting things we are reading on other blogs and sites that we find helpful or interesting (like the "what we are reading section on the sidebar here).

We still don't have anything to hawk or sell, or endorse (makes plotting rat face as we gaze into the future). But here or there, let us know what types of info you find helpful or beneficial! We'll try to keep the product reviews and staples top of mind.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fluffy Wash&Go! Product combo I Like

It's been a rough week for me over here. One of those weeks where you spend a lot of time thinking and ruminating while physically balancing work, home life and social life yet there is nothing really even happening, but nothing... lol.

And there lies the rub. And the energy you thought you had all just goes in that hole with the nothing.
But everything still got done! And it many ways it was a great week, indicative of the changing season.

I have yet to set my hair for a roller set of any sort to kick start the fall.  But I have been doing more Bang and Buffs, and I found a conditioner I love.  Suave Professionals Black Raspberry and White Tea Color care conditioner.  It smells DIVINE, it has a ton of yummy ingredients BEFORE the fragrance and I could really feel a thickening and coating effect.  yum yum yum.

I love the smell of the V05 Blackberry and sage $1 conditioner, and this has that type of scent but the added hair yum effect for $2.50.

I did a co-wash with that and applied some Nubian Heritage Heat Protect Leave-In Conditioning Cream Honey & Black Seed. Now this stuff has a STRONG smell.  STRONG!!  Off putting at first because it's so STRONG! lol.


But it smells like a chocolaty hazel-nutty vanilla sandlewood sweet earthyness..... Not bad by any means... I was out once recently and a random girl was like wow you smell like cocoa butter, and the guy next to her was like... yeahhhhhhh... lol

But the smell has grown on me and a little goes a long way.  It's like the Shea moisture smoothie but is isn't as sticky and yet it goes a little further. It is also absent any coconut oil that I can decipher.  (oh I must tell you how definitively incompatible Coconut is to my skin!) So I used that and some castor oil and then a scant amount of my KMF gel because I wanted my hair to be big.  These picts are of day 2 hair, the morning after pinappling my big fluffy do from the night before.  (the first two picts I shot on a whim, before I put any makeup on, orrrrr took my eye makeup off from the night before lol. Excuse the morning face lol)

I really liked the way this combo of products played out!  It was soft and defined and the pinappling really stretched it out.  I'm back at APL so I get a little hang time.  PLUS, even without heavy gel, I got an additional day of "out hair" and today I have a high buff.

And if you are still with me- I promised a picture of my fancy painting job in my dining room.  I cleaned up in there and did a little decorating. voilĂ , magic. Or errrr, periwinkle....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Puff and bang. Fall styling?

This past week was, for all practical purposes, the last week of summer :-(

Labor day weekend eeked by me with nary a fun thing to report, though I did get to see Sheila E perform live at the Howard Theater on Thursday.  It went to prove that I am still a little young, compared to those in attendance who remembered not only all of her songs, but all the songs by the opening act, formerly known as "The Family" o_O  Booties were shaking lol.

But that was it for my weekend. I mowed my front and back lawns, tended my gardens, and painted my dining room a shade of periwinkle. By myself. (forever alone? lol) I spackled the holes and pits, and sanded and blue-taped and everything :-) I was afraid to replace the furniture quite yet but I will post a pic when the now-floating table can go back where it belongs.

Sooo my hair didn't really need to be done this weekend since I went nowhere.  But I guess some sort of "hope" of a fun time lurking behind the next circuit of the hour hand kept me from totally protective styling it away.  I wore my hair as seen below on Friday and just pinappled it most of the weekend.  I co-washed it late Saturday, but essentially styled it right back to how it was.

Then I got paint in my hair Monday.

Just a lil bit lol. I finger smoothed most of it out, only to find more every time I looked in the mirror.

I'm thinking, however, that when I finally do co-wash again that I want to put it in a braid and curl or twist and curl set.  I want to begin doing those for the fall and winter to retain some length.  I've been trimming my hair often to offset the SSKs resulting from my wash&go habit. I prefer it a little shorter for many reasons but I realized that if I were to press my hair right now that it would look much as it did a year ago.  I guess after several years of medium length hair I might be ready for longer hair again.  You never know when that time may come.  Or when it may go :-)  After 11-12 years with no relaxer, length goals are not so much a factor as is diversity of styles.

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