Proverbs 16:33

“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.” – tweeted by @GodPleasingLife

 

 

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Ron Burgundy: It’s so damn hot… milk was a bad choice.

Nothing else I can say.

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America’s Most Scenic Roads

For someone who doesn’t drive, I really, really, REALLY love road trips. It doesn’t matter how short or how long. I love the freedom of just going and stopping whenever the  mood strikes. Not to mention the people I meet on those stops. Oooh lawdy.

As such, I was excited to see Yahoo!’s America’s Most Scenic Roads article today. Enjoy!


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‘Going Natural’ Requires Lots of Help

I was pleasantly surprised to see today’s New York Times article on the Team Natural Hair movement. To quote Florence the maid, from the first episode of The Jeffersons as she notices how wealthy Louise and Helen are, “How come we overcame and no one told me?” HI-LARIOUS!

Anyway, since I’m on that natural train, I could relate to the ladies profiled in the article and can co-sign on a number of the difficulties they’ve noted.

Also nice is seeing one of my favorite sites, CurlyNikki.com, featured.

The article for your enjoyment.

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Natural Hair Regimen

Thank you so much to Dominique at All Things O’Natural for the template to create a formalized regimen for my hair. Please feel free to use mine and link back to this page.

Daily (Every Other Day) Regimen:

  • DRINK LOTS OF WATER: It makes sense that you should hydrate your insides as well as your outside. I try to drink the recommended 64 ounces (8 cups) a day. I usually do 48 ounces (6 cups. I’m pretty sure. Don’t rely on my math.) of plain water and the rest (actually I do more than that) as unsweetened decaf green tea.
  • Scalp Massage for Hair Growth: I found a specific concoction on livecurly.com. They don’t say it guarantees hair growth, but it’s worth a try. I’ll adjust as needed.
  • Moisturize: I use a spray bottle with a water/oil concoction to keep my hair moisturize. I only spritz when I’m re-braiding/twisting so I don’t lose my defined curls and end up with frizzy hair. I made up this recipe based on numerous posts that I saw on different natural/curly hair boards. I’m starting out with it but I’ll switch it up once a month to see what works best for my hair. I’ll probably keep the aloe vera gel or juice as a constant. Details below.
  • Moisturize 2: I’ll be using Alaffia Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream for Curly to Kinky Hair until the bottle finishes. I’m putting a rule in place that I won’t buy any new products until I’m finished with the old ones. Self-restraint don’t fail me now!
  • Twist: I’ve been flat twisting my hair – usually 8-10 braids.
  • Wrap: I wrap my hair with a satin scarf before I go to sleep.

Weekly Regimen:

  • Steps noted above: See the steps noted above.
  • Co Wash: Since I’m new to the co wash world, I’m choosing to do it only once a week to start with. I’ll monitor it and then decide if to increase the frequency. *Crap! Now I have “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” running through my head. Thanks a lot. Thanks.* Anyway, I’ll co wash using the Aubrey Organics Jojoba & Aloe Desert Herb Revitalizing Conditioner. I like it more than the shampoo, but not enough to buy it again when it’s done.
  • Detangler: I have ZERO patience and need all the help I can to make it easy to detangle my hair. I’ll be using a homemade recipe from livecurly.com. Details below.
  • Seal: I seal in my moisture using grape seed oil since it’s supposed to be lightweight. I don’t want anything too heavy weighing down my fine hair.
  • Style: I usually rock a protective style such as the two strand twist out. Because this style is so versatile, it is one of my favorite go to styles. I add a dime sized amount of the Alaffia Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream for Curly to Kinky Hair, and twist it up.
  • Moisture: Whenever I take my twists down, I usually didn’t use anything in it. Now I think I’ll use the Alaffia Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream for Curly to Kinky Hair to untwist my hair.

Twice a Month Regimen:

  • See Daily (Every Other Day) and most of Weekly Steps
  • Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment (Pre-pooing): It’s a pre-treatment designed to moisturize the hair. It’s basically a deep treatment. See below for specifics.
  • Shampoo: Right now I’m using Aubrey Organics J.A.Y. Desert Herb Revitalizing Shampoo. I don’t personally like the way it makes my hair feel – stiff – but I’m going to keep using it until the bottle is finished. Hey, I’m not going to waste money. I’m hoping the pre-pooing will make a difference.
  • Protein Pack Deep Conditioning Treatment: My hair is ridiculously fragile. You just look at it sideways and it breaks. According to livecurly.com, some girls with curls, especially those with fine hair, have a tendency to become too over-moisturized with emollients and need additional protein treatments to restore the health of their hair. Specifics noted below.
  • Regular Conditioning: Like a dog in heat, I’ve been feening to try the Organix  Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner. Can’t wait to make that happen.
  • Rinse: I read that you should rinse with warm water first to open the pores. I’ll see if it works. I’ll do a final rinse using cool water and ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar).

Monthly Regimen:

  • Deep Condition: My hair is ridiculously dry and damaged. I’m not sure which homemade recipe to use but I think I’ll do a Raw Honey treatment.
  • Trimming: I’ll go to a professional (bad idea to let me loose on my hair with scissors) to get rid of split ends. I’m too scared to do the big chop.

Other Methods I Hope to Use:

  • Ayurvedic: I’ll let the pros explain it. Click Ayurvedic  to learn more.
  • Henna: I’ll let the pros explain it. Click Henna  to learn more.

Recipes and Steps:

Essential Oil Blend for Hair Growth
Please note there is no guarantee this oil will stimulate hair growth in every individual. However, researchers from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland published a study of 86 individuals who used this oil for seven months and reported 44% of people in the treatment group had new hair growth compared to only 15% in the control group.

Combine:

3 drops cedarwood essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil
3 drops thyme essential oil
1/8 cup grapeseed oil
1/8 cup jojoba oil

Apply several drops of the mixture to areas of hair loss each night, massaging gently into the scalp for 3-5 minutes. Store oil tightly covered and keep away from heat and light.
Contraindications: avoid rosemary essential oil when pregnant. Cautions: citrus oils are photosensitive and should not be applied prior to sun exposure.

  • Spray Bottle Mix

Combine:

1.5 cups Organic aloe vera gel or juice
1 cup purified water
6 drops grape seed oil
10 drop sweet almond oil

  • Detangler
    Well-moisturized curly hair is virtually tangle-free, but this recipe can help with the tangles while you are in your re-hydration process. You can keep this in a spray bottle and spray it on in the shower to help detangle your hair while cleansing and conditioning:

Combine:

1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
1/2 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract
2 drops grapefruit essential oil
2 drops glycerin
8 ounces purified water

Mix together in a spray bottle and keep in the shower. Spray lightly to help detangle hair.
Cautions: citrus oils are photosensitive and should not be applied prior to sun exposure.

Step 1: Using your fingers, divide your hair into 4-6 sections.

Step 2: Apply a heavy coating of pure coconut, olive, or avocado oil throughout each section. Make sure to put oil on every layer of your hair. Use 4-6 tablespoons depending on your hair length and strand thickness.

Step 3: Cover your hair with a plastic cap to keep the oil from dripping down your face and neck.

Step 4: Leave the oil on your hair for 1 hour. Some say it’s better to keep the oil on longer (even overnight), but you’ll have to decide for yourself. You can try different lengths of time to see if your hair feels better after longer treatments.

Step 5: Before you shower, comb your hair out with your fingers to remove tangles or knots.

Step 6: Wash and condition your hair according to these instructions.

Step 7: Be consistent. Do a Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment before every shampoo.

Some girls with curls, especially those with fine hair, have a tendency to become too over-moisturized with emollients and need additional protein treatments to restore the health of their hair. This is also helpful for lightened (bleached) hair that has not been properly reconstructed after the chemical service:

Combine:

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (the full fat kind, not the reduced fat)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Massage well into hair from scalp to ends, then cover with a plastic processing cap. Process for one hour at room temperature, then cleanse hair with a non-sulfate cleanser. For added penetration, sit under a warm (not hot) dryer for 30 minutes.

Combine:

The ratio is 3 TSP of ACV to 2 cups of water.

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Rep. Anthony Weiner admits lying about lewd photo.

If you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, Rep. Anthony Weiner repeatedly denied sending a lewd photo of his underwear-clad crotch to a young woman over Twitter. He claimed that his account was hacked.

I’m jaded and don’t trust a word out of any politician’s mouth, but I wanted to believe him. I really, truly did. As someone who works with teens, it’s getting more and more difficult to talk to them about responsibility, moral decency, and appropriate behavior when “respected” adults in the public eye violate all those principles.

Sickening.

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Some Days I Am My Hair

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

Some days I am indeed my hair. Sorry India.

When it comes to hair, sometimes it’s a pain in the donkey being a black woman. There. I’ve said it. Crucify me.

As a pre-teen I begged and pleaded with my mother to allow me to relax my hair – she caved, and what a mistake that was. My hair is naturally fine (I was not blessed with the coarse, thick long hair that is my sister’s trademark) so the relaxer did more damage than good. It wasn’t until college I decided to break the cycle by going back to my hair’s virgin state —something I learned that you can never actually do. Duh! Once that virginity is gone, it’s gone.

I was hoping to at least get my hair as close to its original makeup as possible. I spent the next few years natural, but mainly rocking micro braids or curly weaves. It was that way until April 2009 when I waved the white flag because I could not find a natural style to uphold the vision I had for my wedding. With a heavy heart, I allowed my maid of honor to relax my hair a few nights prior to the wedding.

Fast forward to a little over two years later and I am free of the creamy crack because I chose not to ‘touch up’ at the six week mark. I wanted to once again find my way back to my roots. To say that my hair is better off without the relaxer is not something I can pronounce with 100% confidence. This is most likely because I know very little about maintaining my hair in its natural state (or any other state, really) and it pays the consequence for my ignorance.

I recently spent a number of days removing braids from my hair and worrying about how to style it now that I wanted to take a braid/weave-break. A worry made worse by the fact that my hair is short, very fine and easily breakable. I had an anxiety attack over my fear that I would look Celie-Color-Purple-You-Sho’-Is-Ugly with my hair in its natural state. No chemicals. No hot combs. No extensions. Nope. Not a thing. Just me. As I am. With the change in my hair, the focus would now be on my face. How would I distract from the flesh moles that are my enemies? How was I to hide (or at least divert attention away from) the chickenpox mark taking prime real estate on the bridge of my nose since the age of seven? How would I keep people from noticing that my eyebrows are so thin at the end that it looks like someone shaved them off halfway? All my physical insecurities would take center stage now that I had to rely on my own beauty.

Despite the nauseating thoughts, I made the decision to move forward with this change. My household budget was demanding it. I no longer wanted to contribute to the $507 billion (Yep. Scratch out the m in million, replace it with a b and add a ridiculous amount of zeroes.) African Americans (hello women!) spent in 2009 on hair care and personal grooming items. This is at least according to an annual report published by Target Market News. I was stunned silent when I heard that number. How can that be when the Census reports that we make up only 12 or so percent of the American population? For the sake of all things sensible, I had to take fewer rides on this crazy bus.

I headed to the hair salon (knowing this would now become a special occasion trip) with a boulder heavy on my heart. Was I doing the right thing? Seriously? On most days I am a love-myself-unconditionally type of chick. Where was that girl today? Not even replaying India’s Video in my head could give me the confidence I needed. By the time I reached the salon, I had chickened out of my resolve to be a more spending-conscious black woman. At that point I just wanted to be one of the perfectly coiffed girls that sat next to me on the subway and walked alongside me from the train to the salon. I just wanted to fit in.

In an effort to fool myself into thinking I was saving money, I decided on the least expensive weave style available – $325. Add to this the cost of the hair, a deep conditioner and tip; I was looking at dropping $500 in one sitting. This literally made me sick. My stomach did not settle down until I told the stylist I had changed my mind. I just wanted to wash, deep condition, and cut and style MY hair. $500 – $145 = $355 that I almost wasted because of some false sense of beauty that I let dominate my mind.

The woman who walked out of that salon more closely resembled me on most days – one who understands and embraces the true meaning of 1 Samuel 16:7 – The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

It was with that thought that I put my headphones in, searched for I Am Not My Hair on Slacker radio, gave myself a mental high five that it came up right away and walked down the streets of Brooklyn as if someone had thrown rose petals down for me to step on. While I was indeed my hair for most of the previous week, today I was choosing not to be.

Please share your thoughts on those days when you are your hair. How did you deal with it?

WEDDING HAIR. Relaxer. Weave.

NATURAL HAIR. No Relaxer. No Weave.

NATURAL HAIR UP CLOSE. No Relaxer. No Weave.

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