Thursday, 10 March 2016

That Natural Life: The Basics (Pt.1)

Despite the Natural Hair Movement being in full swing and helpful information and tips being on every form of social media imaginable, navigating through the onslaught of tutorials, product reviews, and IG Q&A days of every natural hair page ever, can be quite tedious and overwhelming. So until you get the hang of it and find your footing in this stampede back to the natural life, Let me help you out with a few basics every naturalista needs on her journey to healthy happy hair.




1. A Spray Bottle: whether you will be putting plain old water in there, or getting fancy and making up your own cocktail of leave-ins and oils, a spray bottle is your best bet when it comes to keeping those tressess moisturized daily.






2. A Wide Tooth Comb: detangling can be a nightmare, I admit it, but it would absolutely suck if you went through all that stress AND lost a ton of your beautiful strands. Combs with wide teeth can save you much length with getting your to behave, or at least try to behave.






3. A Satin Bonnet/Head Scarf: pillows may be soft and squishy, but don't underestimmate the dammage most of your pillow cases can do. The harsh fabrics cause so much friction with hair that leads to breakage, and that is the absolute last thing we want. Satin bonnets protect our hair from the mean pillows. If you're feeling luxurious feel free to purchase satin sheets.



These things come in different colors, sizes, patterns, for braids, and even for the kiddies.


4. Hair Pins/Clips: if you have not already come to the realization, you will soon; our attempts to duplicate Youtube/IG/Pinterest inspired styles does not always end with the most satisfactory results. Even the ones we invent in our wonderfully creative minds somehow don't materialize as we imagined, despite our most valiant efforts. My dears, here is where the pins/clips save the day. These little bad boys can hold down, push up, restructure, and basically salvage any style you do not have time to or frankly want to take down and start all over. But be careful, they are slippery and often lose themselves. They are a precious commodity. Hold on to them for dear life.








5. Head Wraps/Scarves: these are for when the job just may be too big for the pins, or today was wash day, or I was not in the mood to battle with my hair, or I'm just tryna look fabulous.











** All items can be found in Pennywise (and/or on Charlotte St. POS)**

Monday, 14 December 2015

Snip! Snip! Chop! Chop!

Lord have mercy...it has been a while, but if there was ever a time to resume...it is now. Let me just say...a lot has changed since the last time. The biggest...well most visible: I Cut My Hair!! (well it's been cut for a month now, but the pics are from then). What the masses do not know is that this has actually been a long time coming. So many people have lamented over the big chop, so here is the why:

Although I have been natural most of my life, I've only been deep conditioning, finger detangling, and including phrases like 'the LOC method' in my vocabulary, now haircabulary, for about three years now. By the time I became aware of all of this the damage was already done. My hair was split up and down...and sideways. Miraculously it never actually looked damaged...which is why no one believes me when I tell them this.

I tried to press forward without cutting it, but as I came to know in time, no amount of coconut oil could get rid of split ends. the only solution: a good pair of scissors. So while I came to terms with the decision I had made, I decided to try everything I dared to on my hair since it was all coming off soon anyway. I coloured, I got a blowout, and I texturized (basically a permanent blowout...I'm not a fan). Even though I had already decided to cut, it was still difficult to commit the actual deed, but the two textures I had now acquired as a result of the new growth coming in after texturizing was making styling increasingly burdensome.

One wash day, after longingly staring at my kinks at the roots and the vast difference that were my straggly ends, I made up my mind that the hair was going...that very day. It wasn't difficult to distinguish the healthy hair from the unhealthy hair, so I decided a home job would suffice, and so I solicited my mother's help. At first she refused...she could not comprehend why I wanted to cut off all my 'good hair'. After much persuasion she finally gave in, although she quarrelled the entire time before stopping mid cut and announcing, "I'm not cutting anymore! I don't know why you doing this..."

Needless to say, I had to struggle with the scissors and the bathroom mirror to complete the job, but all in all I feel like I did ok. Words cannot describe the freedom that I have experienced since then, wash day is a breeze! Although I am completely loving my new hair, and I'm definitely tempted to keep it short forever, I do miss throwing my hair up into a top bun, or my favourite two flat twists. But until it grows back out I'll be enjoying this big chop!


Apologies for the poor quality, but it is literally the only pic I have showing the length after the blowout. It was slightly above armpit length.








When coping with two/multiple textures I strongly suggest curls...they camouflage the inconsistencies.



The chop! My hair is about two inches long...just hitting the bridge of my nose.





Monday, 4 May 2015

Colour Me Red...ish!

For years I have wanted to play with colour in my hair, but was so afraid of the damage that would be wrought. My hair can be compared to a desert most times, and so I have to put in extra time, effort and moisturizer to ensure it stays hydrated. This prone to dry-ness syndrome that is the natural state of my hair, coupled with dye, did not seem like it would be one of my better plans. So I shelved it.

But HALLEGLORY! I took it off the shelf!!!

After a year of protective styling and avidly caring for my tresses, I decided that my hair was strong enough to handle the blast of colour. Although the decision was made I was still quite nervous about the process as well as the results, so I consulted with some natural hair gurus I have in my friend circle. I was advised to look for semi-permanent as well as ammonia free dye. For weeks I searched for the perfect color combinations that would give me my desired look (bright deep red...I know it sounds strange but I could picture it in my mind). In the end I ended up with Copper Penny, Bright Red and Burgundy from a brand called Via. Well to say the results were below expectations were an understatement. There was more dye on my clothes than in my hair! The only times you could catch a glimpse of the colour was in the sunlight, and I had to give up on white/light coloured clothing, because once it came into contact with my hair...it was all over. Unfortunately my job requires me to wear a WHITE lab coat at all times, so the collar and  upper back of my lab coat were constantly stained in a light shade of pink.

First attempt...barely there

After the long wait for colour I decided I would not settle for half-way. Go big or go home...right? So I did some more investigating and was informed by a co-worker that the brand Textures and Tones works well for natural hair. I became excited all over again  because I actually saw the results in her hair. However, for the sake of my hair I waited about two months to try out the Textures and Tones. This was perfect timing since that time frame fell in line with my BIRTHDAY!!! So the plan was red hair for b-day. Again I had to hunt for just the right colour combinations, which in the end did not matter anyway, because although I bought Bright Burgundy and Ruby Rage, I mixed two bottles of Ruby Rage accidentally (mixed while I was not wearing my glasses...and now you all know I'm as blind as a bat). I realised too late and had no choice but to go with it. In the end it turned out amaze-balls!! I'm super excited about my red hair and can't stop checking it out in mirrors or any reflective surface really...vain much! LOL!

The Red Hair!


Monday, 2 February 2015

Toco Weekends

I do believe after this weekend I am seriously considering moving to the country...Toco to be exact. The air is so fresh and clean, every time I inhaled it was like a spa day for my nostrils and lungs. The people are extra friendly, and hop into any taxi before 8 a.m. and I can almost guarantee you will hear gospel in some form or fashion. It's like, despite personal beliefs and religion, everyone just respects that the first thing I want to hear in the morning is most certainly not profanities or anything concerning 'bending bumpas' or the like.

Where I stayed was 5 minutes walking distance from the beach which was the proverbial cherry on top of an already awesome cake. Needless to say a beach adventure was had, unfortunately my bathing suit did not accompany me that weekend, so I climbed trees and played in the sand. 

I don't consider myself a city/country girl, but I do work in the city and frequent it a lot otherwise, so this mini get away was quite welcomed. Isn't it refreshing to know that you dont even have to go to tobago to get those R&R vibes going? So how about you switch off those data plans, take a break from Shonda Land and head on up to toco. I promise you, you will begin considering the country lifestyle as well.







More Toco weekends need to be had.

Friday, 19 December 2014

It's Christmas!!!

I tried very hard to hold off on a Christmas post, because I do not like to rush Christmas in. I feel like if the festivites start too soon the whole 'Christmasy-ness' of Christmas will fade by the time it actually rolls around. However, its exactly one week until Christmas day and I cannot contain my excitement any longer...ITS CHRISTMAS!!! Definitely my favorite holiday/season of the year. There are so many things to enjoy, so here is my Christmas list of favorites:

1. The Cleaning. Ok, let me be honest, I may not like the process. If you have Caribbean parents like I do, this process includes; washing walls...inside and out, washing chair cushions...burr???, gutting the living room and giving the tiles UNDER the vinyl a very thourough scrubbing and basically any task hinting at the slavery days (I wonder if they know its been abolished??) However, I most certainly love the outcome. Everything and everywhere looks and smells so clean, its almost as if the house is brand new! In all of this cleaning of house though we must remember to clean our hearts (my new favorite Christmas song courtesy Rizon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1-gxZsK2Mo ). Speaking of music, next on my list...

2. The Christmas Music. If you don't like in Trinidad and Tobago and you're not as blessed as I am to hear live parang in all its forms (soca, Chinee, etc.), I am sympathetic towards you. If you have no idea what parang is then you definitely need to plan to spend your next Christmas vacation here. Parang so sweet! and you definitely can't sit quietly and listen to it...there must be dancing! When that cuatro and the maracas and the tock tock start up, you start singing along in espa├▒ol (whether you can speak and/or understand it or not).

3. The Lights. Won't you agree there's something simply magical about Christmas lights? I know some of them can be quite gaudy, but the ones that are elegantly done have this ability to transport you to a wonderland. I love the lights.

4. The Tree. I love to put up our tree on Christmas eve. I feel like once the tree is up Christmas is officially 'in the building'. I also love the presents, not only in the receiving way, but also in the giving way. My family does a secret santa/gift exchange thingie and its so much fun playing Sherlock Holmes trying to uncover out who has whose name and also trying to figure out the perfect present for the peron's name you receive. Needless to say, its all quite exciting.

5. The Christmas Movies. My Christmas cannot be complete without at least one viewing of each of the Home Alone movies. Sitting with my family and watching A Charlie Brown Christmas or Jack Frost...what could be better? And I can't forget Lifetime, with its endless stream of Christmas/Romance (I had to create a genre just for them), it's the only time I can tolerate the network.

6. The FOOD!!! If you tell me food isn't on your list I may call you a fibber. Pastelle, sorrel, turkey, pepperpot!!! (please contact your Guyanese associates for a tasting of this delicious delicacy). I love my belly too much, but while we enjoy our feasts, let us remember those less fortunate than we are and share with them from the abundance we are blessed with.


NOTE TO CARNIVAL: Try don't rush Christmas out...give us a chance to enjoy it please.


What are your favourite things about the Christmas season?


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Weave Believe...Or Not

The title may be slightly misleading. I was told it was not a weave that I had, but crotchet braids. However, it was close enough. Too close in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, crotchet braids are amazeballs...in theory...all of your hair tucked away, getting it's growth on, not having to comb/style your hair everyday, what could be better? I even like them on other people. That's the reason I decided to put them in in the first place, a couple friends of mine rocking the supercalifragilisticexpealidocious-ness out of those crochet braids. I also thought they would look quite real, and although some people did get the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes, I did not fall into that category. I had big plans for these crotchet braids; they would remain in my hair for one month (all in the name of length retention), but when I saw the finished product I knew immediately I could not keep all of that hair in for an entire month, so the time frame was cut down by one week. All I had to do was survive three weeks, but even that I could not do. That thing was out exactly two weeks and two days after it was installed. I've been told I'm the 'anti-weave-ist' and I made the hair worse than it actually was in my mind. I cannot say that I disagree. In my opinion it simply doesn't matter if everyone thinks your new hair (I use the words 'your' and 'hair' loosely) looks gorg! as long its not 'you' you won't be comfortable. And that was the case with me. If anyone asks I would definitely recommend crotchet braids...once they believe in their weave.

So Much Hair!!!

All curled up


The last day...thought I'd style it up






Thursday, 16 October 2014

Yarn Locs: The Guidelines

Yarn locs had to be sent from heaven, because these things are too amazing! The versatility, the easiness/care free-ness, the look ( some day I want real locs)! I'm in love with it all! However, in order for them to accomplish the task I put them in for (growth), there are a few 'tricks of the trade' I had to implement, sometimes on a daily basis. Allow me to give you the run down on how to benefit maximally from yarn locs.

THE BEFORE:

- Your hair is going to be tucked away for a nice long, possibly much needed, vacation and you want to give it a nice send off, so do a protein treatment, pre-poo, a good washing and thorough moisturizing.

- Ensure the person doing the installation appreciates the health of you hair, especially your edges. If they are put in too tightly you run the risk of damaging your precious edges.

- Grab a good book or a season of your favorite series and prepare your rear end for the long haul because installing yarn locs takes a while (mine took ten hours!).

THE DURING:

- Yarn is quite an absorbant material and would basically be leeching your hair of its natural moisture. This can be counteracted with external moisturizing. Your spray bottle, which some classify as their best friend, will now also become your vitamins. At least once a day you will need to spritz your 'locs' with water and sometimes even twice a day, depending on the weather. You also need to apply moisturizer and oils to your roots and scalp often ( I tried to do this 2-3 times a week).

- When you have had these things in for as long as I have, a few washes are definitely required. 
CAUTION: When washing handle with care. To avoid the locs themselves becoming overly frizzy wash them gently. Careful 'squeezing-like' motions down the length of the locs should be sufficient. The roots, howver, you can go all in on those. They can get very heavy when wet and take some time to completely dry. If you would like to speed up the process a hair dryer can be used.

Side note: These things have a very special relationship with lint. I do not advise using a towl to dry. An old t-shirt or two will work just fine.

THE AFTER:

- To remove the locs the ends must be cut. However, your hair may be a little longer than you remember, so be very careful with the cutting. You don't want to undo all that wonderful growth you just acquired.

- Despite your best efforts your hair may still be a little dry and prone to breakage if you handle too roughly. Finger detangle, section and oil that baby up for a couple hours ( I use warm coconut oil and place it under several plastic shower caps and keep overnight). 

- To minimize the loss of hair during washing I suggest washing in sections and the use of your favorite conditioner to detangle. Remember to moisturize and seal after your wash!


THE FRO IS BACK!!!