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July 15, 2018

Hairy Decisions

I mentioned a hair setback last post and I'm happy to report that it seems like the hair is saying chick I ain't going no where.  It will slowly grow back out and in the mean time I've been debating what to do next with my hair.  I think I mentioned it before that I got frustrated with my braid shop because the last install I either lost braids around the edges or kept having them just totally untwist around the edges as well.  My hair is at least two different textures.  The vast majority of my hair is wiry and coarse so it hangs out with braids relatively well.  The back of my hair, the kitchen as my grandmother would call it, isn't as coarse and so there's a 50/50 shot that the weight of a braid is going to slide off of it not matter what I do.  That's why I would go back to the shop about a month after the installation and get them redone and by the time I was ready to take them out it would have slipped back to the redo point.  So yeah the braids weren't going to be a permanent option to help my hair grow especially since I wasn't retaining as much hair I wanted to each time.

Leaving my hair out is fine but limiting at the moment because I am not going to put my hair into a puff ball as much while the damage grows out.  I can attempt to make it defined and curly but that only works for a finite time frame.  That is leading me to what is totally a permanent solution but allows my hair to be in its natural state but in a style that is flexible.  I'd lose the giant fro option and I'm trying to decide if I'm okay with that.  I've been debating getting dreadlocs or Sisterlocks.  One would be more expensive but look better to me and the other would be more cost effective but may not be as manageable as I might like.  I'm going to include a slide show here for you to see what I'm thinking about.  Locs, if I got them would need to be on the smaller side which I think is like slide three here.  The Sisterlocks are smaller and the ones here are maybe a bit smaller than I might like but I like the look of them.




What are your thoughts?  If you have locs or Sisterlocks would you recommend them? 


June 26, 2018

Let's Get Caught Up

It's basically been a month since I posted and that is because the simple surgery that my mother was supposed to have on the first has turned into another weeks long odyssey.  On the very good upside she's back in town and on the mend instead of in a hospital an hour away from me.  On the down side we're looking at least another week before she's headed home.  Considering where I was two weeks ago though I'm glad that she's getting healthy and I'm not in the middle of making less optimistic plans.  I still haven't put my hair back up in a protective style and there are a few reasons for that.

I need to get used to my hair just being out.  I don't want to have to wig or bun or twist forever.  So far it's meant paying more attention to my hair and figuring how to keep it stretched.  When I just tie down my fro the ends get tangled up more and end up causing some breakage.  Since I got more mindful about what to do with it before bed there has been less of that.  I looked at lots of options and if my curl pattern wasn't supercalifragilisticexpialidotious then those would work.  I also saw the hair threading and yeah I just don't have that patience for that plus I don't really want it straight just not so shrunken in the morning.  I finally stumbled on someone with similar texture who said they just did two strand twists overnight and then fluffed it back out with water and product in the morning.  That has been working surprisingly well when I stick to it.  Gotta be consistent if I want the gray mane to keep it pushing.

And I did notice some damaged spots where my band sat in the back of my head.  I'm sure there are some protective styles that wouldn't put stress on those spots but for now I'd rather be able to get to them easily to nurse them back to help with whatever potion or product or scalp massage I like.  I have been using As I Am Long and Luxe Scalp Serum mostly.  I had some castor oil elixir but let me tell you about how my hair like legit rejected it.  My scalp was angry so I just skipped that.  I also briefly thought the damage might be related to the DevaCurl products but I haven't noticed any other major issues and the damage is on both sides in the same position so I'm going to go with the bands.  Thankfully the serum is soothing and so far my hair likes it. 

Classes are good and now done ha.  Now it's just take care of me.  I haven't gained any weight but I'm stuck at my loss point so back to the gym as well.  What's up with you guys?

May 27, 2018

Blessed but still quite stressed

I'm two weeks into summer classes which isn't horrible in terms of workload and what I need to do.  It also means only four more weeks of me actually having to be on campus and then yeah time off for the kid.  Some of you may remember I'm also in the middle of the four week span of suckage that is my life between the anniversary of my father's death and Father's Day.  In the middle of there I graduated from my MA program, my brother's birthday hits, my dad's birthday hits and this year for an extra added dose of well that's fucked up, one of my sorority sisters died this week.  She wasn't forty and she wasn't ill.  I haven't been really able to process her loss and it is for the best because I could come up with about eighteen thousand people that should be gone instead of her but that's not cool either.  I'll miss her and while we as a line were blessed not to lose anyone in fourteen years this hurts in ways I can't really articulate. 

Add into that stress that I'm tired because of the mom care taking duties that are underway and I have made about a million excuses not to go to the gym.  Thursday and Friday I said no more of that.  I wasn't there more than 45 minutes, at least 30 though, working out but it felt good to clear my head.  Ate too much over the ensuing bad news days but have doubled down on the diet plan.  I have to take care of myself for a variety of reason but if for none other than to honor my 6.  Gotta experience life fully and that means getting my health fully under control. 

I also splurged on some DevaCurl bundle set and leave in conditioner.  My hair really does like it and seems to look healthy after I use it.  Depending on how this new set works I may scrap some of the older stuff that I've just been working through and may or may not be helping my hair.  I also gotta figure out how to take care of my hair more when it's out cause I'm not really up for twists right now.  I'm tired man.  Hope all of you are doing well.

May 13, 2018

Trying Again

After my trim last month I swore I'd try another twist out or wash and go and see how it went.  I've mentioned before that I don't think I use enough product when I want to do a defined set because every youtube video I watch seems to have product seeping out of all twists.  Heck even when I went to get the trip there was a lot of product there to define my hair that did disappear as it dried.  After my last wash day I did layer in more product and had a few good days of wash and go that I didn't try to do anything to.  It was cute.  Today I said meh let's try the twist out again.  I looked at more two strand twist videos and flat twist videos but y'all when I tell you that my hands hate my hair--cramps cause it's thick no matter how long it is--I looked hard at the flat twists and said not today ma'am.  Maybe if I do it on a Saturday so I can take my time but I literally never do my hair on a Saturday like I should.  I need to work on that.  My hair ended up in five sections and about 13 twists.  Instead of letting them go all willy nilly under my bonnet I got a scarf and tied them down and now it's a waiting game to see how it will look in the morning and if it's try.  If all else fails a puff or Afro will do. 

Speaking of puffs.  I ordered the Puff Cuff because it looked like it would be easier on my hair than random bands are.  And some day in the future that will be true.  I've also said before I have a big head which is what makes my Afro look shorter than it is sometimes.  In both the junior and regular puff cuff my hair slides in easily, feels good, blends in with my hair and it should be good.  Nope, my hair isn't long enough to be a frilly puff out of the cuff.  It's basically a tiny baby poof and then my head looks even more giant.  I'll have to stash them for now.

Hope everyone is well.

April 29, 2018

It's Wash Day Again

This post may mostly be photos as I haven't shared any visual hair updates in a while.  I just washed my hair after a few weeks of stress and worry because my mother was ill.  I did a quick wash after Chicago but nothing close to the normal wash and deep conditioning routine.  So this first photo is just me fresh out the shower with a little finger shaping.  I have some interesting stuff happening at my hairline.  It almost feels like a reveres widows peak cause the hair all around the nape is like we just gonna do our own thing, hope you like it.



So this photo is post deep condition, with leave ins added and just styling products pulled through my hair with my fingers.  I'll get back to why I did that in a second.






For the most part I just pulled product through my hair and down to weigh down my hair and hopefully keep it stretched a bit more than normal but I'm okay if it scrunches up a bit.  Still glad it's still growing.  Now this last photo I may need to go crop to get to the point.  So you see the wavy tight curly hair all around except the very nape of my neck is like nah we doing our own thing back here too.  Not sure why but it develops a curl patter totally unlike the rest of my head at all times. 


So earlier I mentioned that I pulled the product through my hair for a reason and yes I had one.  I used DevaCurl's Wash Day Wonder today instead of prepooing.  I lost a few knots but in general my hair was like come through.  It mostly loosened up and detangled with just my fingers moving through it.  I didn't want to stress it or me out anymore than I had to so I just kept up that process throughout the rest of my wash day.  At this moment my hair feels great and smells good so I'm happy.  I'm not sure how it will hold up after I go to bed tonight.  Going to attempt a pineapple but meh that is hit or miss for me.  And if all else fails I'm going to try the puff cuff I just bought.  Hoping my giant head works with the junior at least lol.  Hope you all have a good week.

April 12, 2018

Who is Massively Sleep Deprived with a Fresh Haircut

If you guessed me you are totally and completely correct.  This week is normally hectic for me because I take students to a different state for a conference.  That means 50 million store runs and stockpiling food for mom so that she doesn't have to cook for the count em THREE WHOLE DAYS I'm not there.  This week to add insult to injury mom gets freakishly sick the night before I need to leave.  So sick that during the wee hours of the day I need to leave we end up at the ER.  As ERs go they worked super fast.  From admission time to keeping her three hours passed.  The problem is those three hours led me into work time.  I had to shower, go back to the hospital, go to work and then decide about taking 11 students on a trip that no one else is prepped for except me.  After consulting with the doctors and seeing her in the morning I decided to go for it and at the worst I would crash when we got to the hotel.  As usual, there was some confusion upon getting to the hotel but we got settled in, went out for dinner and then I eventually crashed 20 hours after I was woken up to start my adventurous day. 

Before the great medical caper occurred I looked to see if there was a natural hair shop near the hotel because I was in desperate need of a trim.  Like my hair was healthy and felt good but the ends were like ma'am please quit playing.  It's been at least a year since I had a trim because my hair has mostly been in twists.  And when I was ready to stop twisting for a bit I looked up and my stylist has left the shop.  This matters cause I live in an area where there is very little option of getting my hair done in town by someone who actually understands African American hair.  If you remember that's part of why I quit relaxing it several years ago now because there was no one around that could be relied on after people got fed up with their shops and just moved to different shops without notice.  So instead of hacking my own hair off cause I would totally be focused on maintaining length more than health I figured it was time to find a professional.  Not surprisingly because of where our hotel is located but the search I did for natural hair salons near X came up with 20 results.  About five of those results were reasonably walkable from the hotel and two of them seemed to actually focus on textured hair not just be a hair salon using "natural" products.  I went with the one that had the most extensive site, reviews and seemed to be focused on hair health more than just providing a style of choice.  Heck I didn't even want a style I just wanted a trim.  Now due to the exhaustion of yesterday I had no idea if I would even make it to this appointment and was prepared to forgo the deposit if sleep said girl naw sit down.

I was in a good session until it wasn't and then I ran up and dropped off some stuff I knew I wouldn't need and headed out because I can get lost faster walking than I can driving.  It wasn't a huge detour but I made it there super early so I wandered around after making sure I was at the right spot.  Side note, the donuts were disappointing and I'm mad they are in my calorie count for the day.  I needed the hair cut like I thought.  And it was about how much hair I thought needed to go after looking at a few youtube videos, thanks ladies, about looking at the areas where our hair starts to then as an indication of health.  Depending on the area of my blown out fro I lost between and inch to two all over and it looked balanced after she was done so that's good.  She wet my hair again and then added a little bit of product to what I thought was scrunch it but it was more of a defining of my curls and put me under the dryer for maybe 15 minutes.  Let's just say I was surprised my hair was behaving and felt full and healthy with no weird knots at the end where it was tangling on itself.  Yeah for hydration, steamers and a good cut.  No photo cause I'm hella tired.  Maybe in a few days when I get home. 

Hope all is well.

March 3, 2018

Preemptive fail?

I took my twist down yesterday because I was tired of them and my scalp was super itchy.  But as I'm home alone for a bit there was no need to rush through the process of washing them out and what not.  Instead I lathered in some oils and leave ins so I could do a long term deep condition.  When I do that it loosens up more of the dirt and makes the detangling easier later.  I planned on washing my hair before bed and then doing an overnight deep condition before styling but that didn't happen. I'm home alone because I got up at 2:30 to make sure my mother was ready to get on plane at 6:30 so she could make it to Dallas in time for the family roll out to a funeral in another state.  So we're clear that is AM.  I still had to run to work, have a meeting and eat some food and then take down said twists.  By the time I was done with that and putting in the leave ins I was hanging on by a thread.  At 9PM I gave it up and slept all the way through till the next morning. 

I took my time today and watched more YouTube videos about what to do with my hair.  I was fully prepared to attempt a horse shoe method twist out.  I went through my routine, all was good, and my hair was like ma'am stop it.  I tried it with a few different lengths and thicknesses of flexi-rods but it was still like give up the ghost ma'am.  Now I didn't really have a plan B so I got frustrated and was about to say eff it let it just dry and I'll put in something to make it curly on Monday and we'll rock the fro with my new wraps.  But instead I went back to my old short flex-rods, hard to find them that length anymore which is neither here nor there, and did a normal flexi set using one rod per pull of hair.  I used Curl Manetenance from Aunt Jackie's and Wrap and Roll lotion from Jane Carter Solution and then set my hair.  I rolled it from the root for a change and I can't say it took longer than normal but I was taking my time.  Everything is rolled now and I don't have to take this down for over 24 hours so if it's not dry then my hair is just being evil.  I will try to take a photo when it's all loose and see if we have achieved cute curls or if I really need to learn hot to braid my own hair.

February 24, 2018

How Black Panther Made My Month

This is still going to be a hair post but it will take a random journey to get to me.  So unless you've been sleeping under a rock you know that Black Panther was released.  In FOUR FLIPPING DAYS it made over 400 million worldwide and appears to have picked up another 200 million over the last week.  It's a good movie.  It's a good superhero movie.  There are themes that I'm willing to unpack beginning March 1st but right now I just have to say after living with a shitty president, racism on steroids, white men convinced they are being discriminated against, enablers of all the aforementioned things and folks at work you can't back hand slap but who really really need that let's just say I was tired.  I was so tired that if someone had given me an express pass to what white folks THOUGHT Wakanda was I would have taken it just to be enveloped in blackness for a bit.  I bought my tickets to the movie weeks ahead of time.  I took mom and rocked my Wakanda Panthers gear (thanks inclusiverandomness.com) and then my I'm rooting for everybody black shirt.  It was glorious EACH OF THE THREE TIMES I saw it.  It gave me my mojo back, a new girl crush, someone to inspire my nieces with, and a great idea for a work thing that other folks loved too and boom now we're doing that.

Black beauty and excellence, especially in the post Obama moments, was much needed.  I don't think I was aware how much I needed it but I'll be damned if I didn't.  My petty has made all manner of things possible after Black Panther and I don't think folks will fully understand what this means now or for the future.  We'll see.  Now you're probably still wondering how this connects to hair.  Well every fierce melanin infused woman in the movie was rocking her natural hair.  No one was trying to assimilate into anything other than the follicles coming out of her head.  Some may argue about Shuri wearing braids but hell we do that to protect our natural hair so eff that argument.  Again this movie gave me life when I wasn't sure that's what I was even looking for.  If you haven't seen it go do so please and thank you then on March 1st we can talk.

I'm still deciding what to do with my hair.  This latest twist install has not gone well and the shop owner is making me think its time to figure out how to suffer deal with this ever growing mass of tendrils on my own.  Nope I won't have a stylist on tap but there's got to be a better way to do this without paying an arm and leg to someone who doesn't seem as invested in my scalp as I do.  And there's gotta be a way to work with this level of gray without it making me angry that the styles don't blend as easily as I liked. I'm committing again to figuring out the products and the styles that will make this curly cuteness pop.  First step up is hair wraps.  Let's see how that goes.

For now enjoy your journeys and your tendrils and oh yeah Wakanda Forever!