Saturday, January 28, 2012 staple style.

Wet set twists week 1.

Week 1

Week 2.
I wear my hair in twists 95% of the time. The pics above are of my hair in twists worn for two weeks.  After removing my twists, I wore a twist -out for a couple of days then bunned.  Today was wash day and my hair is back in two strand twists. It takes me about two hours to twist my hair. I don't have any images of my hair worn out, but I will remember to take pics of my twist-out after removing this set of twists in two weeks.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Becoming natural changed my life for good!

I absolutely adore chokers!
I was loving my new hair!  I was trying on different clothing and accessories to create a look,  "MY" look. I purchased new clothes and updated items I already had. I had a new sense of boldness and I was ready for the world.

Although I was ready for the world, the world wasn't ready for me wearing my natural hair out.  Those who knew me wanted me to go back to wearing my hair straight.  I even had my husband's friends say to him, "I liked it better when it was straight".  I've heard many negative comments during my early months, especially when wearing my hair in twists, but guess what my response was to all the drama and fuss?  This is MY hair and I wear it they way I choose to please ME.  I had my husband's full support (remember, he shaved my head for me for my second BC) and his love.  Our son loved me as I was.  It was their love and support that helped me stay on my natural journey.  Without their love and support my journey would have been difficult, and for that I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On your mark...get ready...trim!

Okay, I  mentioned yesterday that I gave myself a full blown major cut, but after searching through my photo archives, I noticed that I didn't actually give myself a major cut at this time.  What I noticed from my pics was that I gradually removed/trimmed the straight pieces from my ends in an effort to hold on to some length while my hair grew out.  In order for me to trim accurately, I straightened my hair prior to the trim.

Notice that my hair in the top pic has fullness in the top half section, but is thinner towards the bottom.  This was something I hadn't noticed when only wearing my hair straight as I always wore it in an up-do.  So, I prepared myself mentally to begin the process of obtaining the following:

1.  Having an overall fullness to my tresses
2.  Achieving number one by cutting/trimming my ends.

You'd think someone who had shaven her head twice wouldn't have to mentally prepare to do trims.   LOL!!  The reason I had to prepare myself was because I wasn't sure of what my outcome would be by my cutting/trimming my hair myself when wearing my hair in twists.  When I trim my ends, will I trim too much?  How will my twists look?  My twist-outs? 
Baby steps....I had to remember to take baby steps. 

The second image (above) was taken only a month after the top image.  Notice how the lower half looks fuller compared to the pic on top.  After viewing the second image, I immediately realized that trimming my ends was a GOOD thing.  I noticed that my hair actually retained the length from my hair's growth.  So, I trimmed a bit more hair than I did the previous month and ended up with the following new set of twists below.

Notice above that I still have some straight pieces on my top twists.  They had to go and off they went.  I performed another trim and below was my new twist-out.  I was IN LOVE!

Although it took several trims, I finally achieved my uniformed look and I was on my way! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

World Wide Web...thank you!

In 2002 it was during my search on how to style my natural hair that I decided to use the world wide web for help.  I wanted to obtain immediate knowledge that would actually be of good use to me.  I had, like many women, purchased a book on natural hair prior to surfing the Internet, but the book I purchased didn't seem to offer very much in the way of what to do with regards to actually taking care of natural hair.  The techniques and styles illustrated in the book seemed incomplete.  Some recommendations and finished looks were either not to my liking or seemed unrealistic.  I am so thankful for the WWW and to many women who were willing to "snap and share" their natural hair journeys by publishing their stories on-line.  Because of their sharing, I discovered styles such as twists, braids, afro puffs, etc.... Also, a dear friend of mine turned me on to shea butter!  I in turned began sharing my natural hair journey with others and I loved the "extended family" that was created between myself and others.  Giving each other support and encouragement to stand firm in our decision to go natural and to love every minute of it!

The first style I attempted was two strand twists!

Everyone needs support and words of encouragement to continue this journey
As you can see, from my pics above, my initial twists were not the best.  See my ends...they're straight. The style above is set of twists done on wet hair.  No matter how much I would wet my ends, they would not curl up.   It became apparent to me that this was a result from my straightening my natural tresses regularly for the past two years. Unbeknownst to me at that time, pressing my hair over time was "breaking down the hair's hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex, which cause hair to bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture."  However, my "hydrogen bonds" did not reform for my ends.  So, whenever I would set my hair in wet two-strand twists I would have to use perm rods on my ends in order to "curl" them.  Notice the top right images above.  My hair on top has a looser texture and thus suffered the most from not being able to revert.  You can see the "curled" ends created using the perm rods.

Having to deal with my straight ends was quite frustrating for me as this was not the look I was going for.  I wanted to have a uniformed look for my twists and my twist-outs.  Who doesn't... right?  But, at the time I wasn't mentally prepared to remove my straight ends (cutting) and proceeded to attempt my next style and that was wearing a twist-out.

Not sure what I was trying to attempt with this style at the time, but this is a
wet set twist-out gone bad with straight ends.
Notice the top image above.  My ends on top of my head look like antennae!  The back of my head was was even worse.  My ends were horrible and my hair had no shape.  While pressing my hair I aways worn it in an up do, so I didn't realize that I had different lengths going on all over.  So, I decided to begin shaping up my strands. I began clipping my ends gradually and then later gave myself a full blown major cut (tomorrow's post).

Twist-out with newly clipped ends.
 Now my twist-out above wasn't half bad, but I still had the problem with my straight ends (just not as bad).  At this time, I still had not removed all of the straight pieces, but I was truly enjoying the fact that I could wear my natural hair OUT.  No more wraps, scarves, hats.  These items were no longer "needed", but were only worn if I "wanted" to wear them.  Guess what?...I didn't want to.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tutorial pony up-do!

Here is a pictorial tutorial on the up-do found within my post entitled,  "In the beginning I tried..."
These are old images.  Currently my hair is in wet-set twists. 
1.  Okay, I did it again, this really should not be numbered as 1 as it is the finished look, but please know that my hair is sectioned horizontally from top ear to top ear then held in place by a medium sized bar barrette.  This is my top half.

2 and 3.  My bottom half section is divided into two smaller vertical sections.  Each held in place by a
small barrette (that has a good grip or tight closure that won't come loose easily from pressure when holding hair in place). 

4.  These barrettes are positioned up in the middle back of my head to create a
faux ponytail puff.  I loved creating the illusion of having more hair then I did at that time.  I would not have had the volume if I had actually used an elastic band to create this look.

5.  Hair is either fluffed like shown here are or smoothed down into place like in 6.

6.  To create a smoother look, I pinned down my ends (tucked under), to keep the hair from flying out
of control on windy days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hand in fro...

Well so to speak. 

Over the years, I've taken numerous images and here's another favorite of mine...  I try, with my images, to capture my love for my natural tresses....

Monday, January 16, 2012

In the beginning I tried...

to fall in love with my natural tresses worn in its natural state, but doing so proved to be at times difficult.  After my pregnancy my hair had grown much longer and trying to maintain it daily with a newborn, work, school, and maintaining a family, etc... was a bit much.  I didn't know how to get my hair to look and feel soft when dry as it did when wet.  When wetting my hair in the shower, I could and would run my fingers through my strands.   That was, at the time, the only time I  loved my hair.  It was how my hair looked and felt after it dried that I wasn't too fond of.  It would feel dry and brittle.  Forget trying to run my fingers through it.  I didn't know how to style it in this state, thus I did what I knew how to do and that was to press it straight.  Thanks Mom!  You are my rock!

Hair blowdried then straightened
I wore my hair straight for a little over two years.  Spring, fall and winter seasons were the best times of the year to wear my hair straight, however, it was during the summer months wearing my hair straight was troublesome for me.   
In the south our summers are both hot and humid!
Trying to maintain my pressed tresses worn down during the summer was brutal.  My hair would frizz something fierce and unless I had my A/C on full blast at night, I would wake up to "sweated" out edges and roots.  There were times in the morning I just didn't have time to "re-straighten" my hair before heading out to daycare and to work.  So, I created the up-do style below as my signature style to help me through the summer months.  Even with the humidity, I didn't mind a lil' frizz when sporting this style.   As long as my look was "contained" I was okay.
Staple up-do for summer months. 

Finally, it was during one hot and brutal summer with temperatures hitting in the triple digits I said
ENOUGH! No more styling with heat.  I had to learn how to take care of my natural tresses without using heat. So, I began washing my strands and applying a hair oil I found within an east indian grocery store to my wet hair.  I would apply oil to a section of hair then create single twist strands pinned elongated (as flat as I could get it) going to the back, side, front of my head.  I still didn't know how to "style" it without heat, so once my hair dried, I would wear a headwrap or my favorite cap (during fall and winter) before heading out.  I also did this because even with the oil from the indian store my hair still didn't feel quite right to the touch.
I had a colored scarf for every outfit worn.
Wearing my favorite Page Boy Hat of that time.
Although I didn't wear my  natural tresses "out", I was still on the right path for me.  I loved the sense of freedom I felt from not having to depend upon "heat" styling my hair. I now could begin to embrace and truly fall in love with my natural tresses. I truly felt free!  I loved not having to worry about the weather, especially when it rained.  Chuckle! I loved not having to wake up in the morning early to heat up my irons.  I L.O.V.E.D. IT!  However, even still with this new found freedom, I was in search  for something more.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Good things comes to those who wait....

Nothing will make me happier this winter than slipping into these chic boots!  I absolutely adore wearing boots and these little babies will become a staple immediately.  I've been looking for quite a while for a pair of black booties and I finally found them at a price I could not pass up.
B. Makowsky "Victoria" Ankle Boots
I get totally pumped up when I find a GREAT deal! It makes the hunt and the wait totally worth it.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Here's where I'm at...

A few years back I used to participate in posting on-line images and personal experiences of my natural hair journey and did so for a few years.  I no longer have my original on-line photo album, but I do have many of the images documenting my ups and downs, my successes and failures when trying to get it "right" when styling my tresses in their natural form.  I've decided that I will begin sharing with you how I wore my hair when I returned to work following my maternity leave.  During my pregnancy I was on bed rest for 6 months, thus doing anything to my hair was not my main focus.  However, it was during this time my hair grew extremely fast, thus after delivery I had a lot more hair to deal with than before.  My TWA was not so teeny weeny anymore and I did not know what to do with my hair in order to keep my curls soft and moisturized in its curly state.  I tried every product found at the local BSS and nothing worked.  So, I wore it straight until I was fed up with trying to keep it straight during the summer's hot and humid months.  This was when my "natural" journey for me truly began!

With sincere thanks to you all!
Finally, thank you all for your emails and for your wonderful comments.  Please know that I truly appreciate you making your presence known and for your love and support.  Cyber hug!  I want you all to know that I've come a long way since my early days as a natural and my plan is to share with you what I've learned along the way.  There was a time when I wanted to give up being natural and go back to the relaxer, but I'm so grateful to my Mom for telling me to hang in there.  She once said to me, "Don't give up.  You'll find that miracle product soon!"  What I discoverd over the years was that it was more to it than just finding that miracle was So Much More!

Wet set twist-out
 So, with all that being said (well that being written), please stay tuned for the "Chronicles of Love, Peace and Happy Tresses".  Also, as of today, I'm wearing my hair in small wet set twists.  This set of twists will have been in for a week tomorrow.  I've taken a few images and I will publish in my upcoming post.

Again, thank you for your love and support.  Have a very blessed weekend!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

40 Plus and loving it!

Growing up I've aways heard that a woman is to never reveal her age.  I never heeded to this advice until I hit my mid thirties.  There were those who would inquire, but I wouldn't give them a direct answer.  One day, my sister asked me, after I refused to answer an inquiry, why don't you tell people your age? I  have since realized that every year that God gives me is a blessing.  I now celebrate my added years! 

Day two of twist-out
Leggings are made by Kenar
In celebrating my added years I've come to understand (with help from my Mommy) that as long my mind is still young and my body is still holding up, then shake what your Momma gave you (OK she didn't say that last part).  What she did say was as long as you can wear fitted clothes, short skirts, etc... (within reason), then do so.  Now, it is her advice that I listen to and I am so glad that I did!

When I was in my teens and my parents told me at the time they were in their 40s I thought, wow you guys are old!  Being over 40 is not old.  Now mind you, I may not run as fast as a 20 something year old, but I certainly would like to look as good as one. LOL!!!   In the above images I am wearing my favorite pair of leggings.  I love leggings, but only the type that are thick that feel like I'm wearing tight pants without any creases. I pair them with boots...knee, calf and ankle lengths, and I've also paired them with my favorite Chuck Taylor high-tops. I also like to wear my hair in youthful styles.  Believe it or not, how I wear my hair helps to shape what I will wear on a particular day or for a particular event.  You'll see that as I continue to blog.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My twists have been in for a few days and were removed.  My driver's license was up for renewal and my opportunity to take a better image had finally arrived.  My husband drove me
to the local DPS office, so I took a few snap shots of my twist-out since my hands were free.

I always take my time when removing my twists and I start from the bottom moving upward to avoid knots forming if I start from the scalp moving downward.

Why the excitement?  My face in the picture that's part of my old license, was red from the makeup that was sold to me at that time.  I looked like a clown. When you know better, you do better.  I now check my makeup in natural light to see how different shades look on me.  I've had makeup artist in the past swear that what they caked on me was on point only to step outside and natural light proved otherwise.  I'm not into wearing a lot of makeup, but what I do wear is enough to let "me" shine and I love that type of look!

Hair is finger combed.  Although it's a winter morning, it is a bit humid outside and my dear friend "Shrinkage" will be by for a visit.  As the day progresses, my hair wil get bigger and bigger.  But I love BIG Hair!  Thanks Chica!
All smiles!  Worth the wait!
Can you tell that my hair is bigger in this picture?  Ha!  I love shrinkage!

We arrived at the DPS at 8 am and were finished by 12:15 pm.  My husband and I stood outside for 2 1/2 hours in 42 degree weather before entering the building, but for me it was so totally worth it!  I have a new image for my new license and I LOVE it!  They printed me a temporary license on paper with my new image and I couldn't be happier.   Here's to the new age in digital technology and to Happy driving!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And then... A.fro!  Well not really.  First there was skin, then there was the TWA! LOL! The thought of transitioning for a few months and then performing a big chop never crossed my mind.   Although I wish that it had, then I could have avoided the whole wig era.   I shaved my head bald during the start of my natural journey and I did not take pictures to capture the moment in stills.  I truly regret not doing so, however,  being pregnant at the time and placed on bed rest by my doctor from my fourth month until delivery at 38 weeks was an extremely difficult time for me and taking pictures wasn't anything I was remotely interested in doing.  Still, I wish I had captured images. 

Although, I don't have any images to share, I do have a few style tips to pass along that you may be interested in.  When my hair began to grow back and once it grew to about 1 1/2" long I began to roller-set my hair on perm rods.  At the time I did not know what else to do with it as it did not look the same dry as it did when wet and I did not know anything about wash-n-gos, comb coils, etc..So, I did what I knew how to do and that was a roller-set.

I used the items pictured above to create my roller-sets.  I used a rat tail comb to part my columns and rows.  The tail was used to create the parts and the fine teeth were used to help smooth out the strands prior to my adding the end papers at the bottom of the sectioned hair.  I then applied a cream to my strands.  I used end papers to keep my ends together and smooth to cut down on my ends frizzing while my hair dried.  At 1 1/2 inches I would use the gray rods (not pictured), then as my hair grew longer, I would use the next larger size rod.  When rolling each section, I was sure to hold/pull my hair taught while rolling it on the rod in an effort to help "straightened" the hair.  After completing the setting of all sectioned hair, I would sit under the hooded dryer for about an hour then let my hair air dry over night.  I was pregnant at the time, thus my hair grew like weeds, so I wore my hair this way up until my 7th month then I created a new style to sport (later post with pics).

 I was not familiar with hair care products for natural hair, so I would purchase and use cream after cream found within the black hair care aisle at the local BSS hoping for that miracle product.  Many that I tried left my hair gummy or stiff or both. Others left my strands oily and crisp.  How does that happen?  Needless to say this was not at all what I was aiming to achieve for my tresses.  My hair was coated, but was not actually moisturized.  But shopping in the black hair care aisle for products was all that I knew at that time to do and I had to make it work.

After carefully removing the rods and end papers, I would then gently finger comb my curls, or use a plastic pick similar to above to blend in the curls.  Knowing what I know now, I could have created spiral curls with these rods and would have ROCKED it!  Instead, I created a curled afro bush with my roller-sets.
My son's hair 4 years ago.

Now, if I only knew then what I know now, I would have rocked comb coils as well. Above is
a picture of my son's hair a little over 4 years ago.  I would create these coils using Mane Attraction Hair Butter and nothing else.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What did I forget to bring?

What are you leaving behind?
In the past, when preparing for a trip/vacation I would try and pack several different outfits of clothing in an effort to be prepared for whatever event that "may" come up.  I even made sure that I had all of my hair essentials with me as well because I wanted my hair to match my clothes and my mood (more on this in a later post).  I wanted to be dressed appropriately for any event I attended.  If I was to attend a special dinner, I wanted to say to myself, I'm covered.  If I was to take a stroll on the beach, I'm covered.  If I was just to go to church, I'm covered.  I would try to think of any and all possible scenarios and try to have clothing to match, because I didn't want to say, "I forgot to bring that!" 

Well, I've noticed over the years this type of thinking caused a great deal of unnecessary stress on me and my husband prior to arriving at our destination.  My husband had to carry all of my bag included and didn't understand why the need for so many clothes.  My bags were numerous and heavy.  Upon our departure homeward bound I would realize often that many of the things I packed I never wore or used (My husband realized this too ).  It took some time and several trips, but I soon began to understand that less is more!  Not only with my packing, but with life in general.

It is now 2012.  I'm preparing for virtual trip/journey.  Did I forget to bring something?  Yes...I am happy to say, yes I did!  I forgot to pack any excess baggage!  By stating excess baggage, I mean anything that I was approached with that did not promote love, peace, unity, harmony,etc..., I chose not to take the time to pack it up and carry it along with me into the new year. I don't want to be burdened by any heavy baggage.  I will no longer let negative thoughts or actions by others consume me.  I won't let other people's problems become my own.  Negativity can drain you emotionally and it can age you physically.  Sometimes, you have to let some things (and people) go, pray about the situation and be still. Let go and let God!  Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God (Job 37:14).  Now mind you, this does not mean that I will not be there for a friend who needs a listening ear or ignore wrongs being committed against me or love ones.  What I am I saying is that when dealing with negative thoughts and actions, my reaction will be that of love and peace, always.  "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,  Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

Now that I have learned not to carry in excess, I now have room to experience all the wonders that this life, that I have been blessed with, has to give and I carry this along with me instead.

Wishing you a Blessed and baggage free 2012! 

Happy New Year!
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