“Gone Natural”?

Lisa Brown-Hall photo by :Luxe Glam Collective

Lisa Brown-Hall
photo by :Luxe Glam Collective

First of all, I have not  “gone natural”  I simply took my weave out one day and discovered that  trimming my ends regularly between weaves and wearing my hair braided under my Spanish wavy tresses, my hair was more “natural” then relaxed.  I make this important distinction right off the bat because my hair is not some political statement.  I have no desire to begin to wear fragrances that mimic the scent of incense nor am I trading in my stilettos for Birkenstocks; I simply decided that after years of wearing a weave the hair that God blessed me with is sufficient enough.   Please understand that my incense/Birkenstock comment is not a judgment of those who favor either- however, there is a pervasive impression that natural hair is not glamorous, sexy or desirable.  The natural hair debate is a sensitive and often divisive one that can become incredibly heated- just like the dreaded team light skin or dark skin debate- who started THAT nonsense?  Natural versus relaxed hair as a conversation starter has likely broken up family gatherings.

You have to have thick skin to be natural, especially if you live outside of major metropolitan areas where the relationship with the creamy crack or the press and comb go together like peanut butter and jelly. I had a conversation with a friend who holds the opinion that in order to be natural you have to dress a certain way and thought a bohemian wardrobe would become de rigueur.  My question is why has our hair (as in black women) always been such a political debate?  The bigger question is why is this debate such a divisive issue between black women especially?   If we continue to subscribe to the theory that natural= bad what does that say about our natural complexions which many people pay top dollar to achieve?  I do not anticipate that this debate will ever end anytime soon.  As for me and my house hair is just an accessory- I am just as likely to rock my glorious ‘fro as the aforementioned Spanish wavy.  After all it’s just hair.  I had another friend inquire about how I handle having a husband and natural hair- I was completely dumbfounded by this question because my husband has locs and is probably more pro- natural then most.   If the debate among black women is heated, black men can be downright cruel when a woman is natural- I recognize that I am fortunate in this regard because my husband loves my ‘fro.

My natural hair is not an “alternative” and I have not gone anywhere- I simply returned to my kinky, coiled roots and I love it.

 

Women Crush Wednesday- Lupita Nyong’o And Her Natural Hair

Lupita Nyong'o Golden Globes Red Carper

Lupita Nyong’o Golden Globes Red Carper

I have been obsessed with Lupita Nyong’o since I first spied the gorgeous actress slaying red carpets for her role in 12 Years A Slave. Though Nyong’o did not win for her portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years, her choice of a vibrant red Ralph Lauren gown for the Golden Globes cemented her as winner of fashions newest rising star.

Much attention has been given to the actresses gown for the evening however naturalistas everywhere were most definitely checking for her hair.

I was able to get the scoop on Nyongo’s gorgeous tresses, styled by celebrity stylist Larry Sims.

First he used Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Curl-Licious Mist to freshen up her natural curls.

Smooth and shine go pro curls mist retails for 9.99

Smooth and shine go pro curls mist retails for 9.99

Then he used a rat tail comb to add a dramatic part to her hair. He polished off the look by applying Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Butter Bouncin which added both hydration and made her coif easier to mold.

 

 

 

Smooth and Shine go pro curls retails for 12.99

Smooth and Shine go pro bouncin butter retails for 12.99

Fro Fashion Week Makes NYC Debut

For many, gaining entry into New York Fashion week is a huge mystery. As a result of this elusiveness, many alternatives to Fashion Week have sprouted up- Full Figured Fashion Week pays homage to the curvy fashionista with style and right across the bridge in Brooklyn ‘Fro Fashion Week made its NYC debut . The creator of Fro Fashion week- Tarin Boone developed the concept in order to celebrate the naturalista who essentially embraces her natural hair all while being impeccably turned out in the newest, latest, hottest.
The weekend boasted a series of seminars, pop-up shops and the marquee event was a fashion show which featured emerging designers.

Of course over the course of the week I will spend some time “at the tents” and look forward to the experience of having a first-hand look at the latest trends, snapping some real style and squealing with delight when I finally meet a blogger who’s style I’ve admired on Instagram. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my time across the bridge at Fro Fashion Week with some of my natural tressed sisters delighting in the fact that I had an opportunity to attend a show where my unique beauty was reflected on the runway.

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Photo credit: Sherrie Wood, Luxe Glam Collective

“Good” Hair

I have always had hair that presented a distinct challenge for my mother. You see she grew up in an era where the hot comb ruled and when I came along with my decidedly tough to manage tresses a relaxer became a part of my routine somewhere around the age of 9. I don’t hold this against my mother because let’s face it even I don’t like combing my hair and when I was newly natural I would beg my husband to help me comb it. The month of June marks my one year natural anniversary and I’m composing this post as I sit under the dryer at the salon getting a deep conditioner post-color. I think every woman of every nationality has at some point developed a love/ hate relationship with her hair and I certainly am not exempt from this phenomenon. However as I have matured and truly developed a love for my natural hair, my “bad” hair days are few and far between and I have learned that my kinky/wavy hair in its natural state is in fact good hair.

Here’s a glimpse into my good hair journey.

good hair

The Highs and Lows of a Naturalista

This is the style that I was taking out and subsequently inspired this post!

It’s 8:45 AM on September 26th and – I am currently sitting here with tears in my eyes… not because of another sad love song, or anything quite that mushy- rather it’s because I am what our aunties and grandmothers have referred to as “tender-headed” and I am struggling to comb through two week old flat twists.   These are the moments when I clearly hear the call of the creamy crack… I have what most naturalista’s probably would consider enviable hair, but father God have his MERCY when I’m trying to comb through it!  This is the ugly side of natural hair that few people tell you about… the struggle to detangle, the inexplicable knots that form at the ends, the urge to run to straighter and dare I say, more manageable pastures.  But alas, I recognize that nothing worth having comes easily and I have learned to take the good with the bad when it comes to my hair.  After all, I spent my entire life with relaxed hair, and my natural tresses are going  to take some getting used to.  As with anything, the more I work at it, the better I will become so hopefully with each style transition the knots, and tears will be fewer.

 

Here are some tips for detangling your newly (or not so new) natural tresses:

 

Ends to Root! I realize this advice probably sounds illogical, because we have spent our entire lives coming our hair from root to ends, however when you are detangling,  it is important to comb from end to root. Otherwise, you may end up losing a lot of hair, as natural hair tends to knot on the ends.

 

Moisturize- I will often spray a leave in conditioner on when I am attempting to detangle my tresses, trust me when I tell you a little leave on can go a long way when you are combing out braids.  Sherrie Wood, Digital Brand Media VP for Luxe Glam Collective indicated: “ I saturate my hair with conditioner and finger detangle. If I have to use a comb it’s a wide tooth comb”.

 

Detangle in sections- I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to section your hair off when you are detangling.  Even when I’m taking my hair down from braids, or the up do’s that I have grown fond of, I take it out in sections and comb and detangle in small sections.   After each section is detangled, I twist it up; otherwise the already daunting task would be overwhelming.

 

The most important advice I have for my fellow naturalista’s is BE PATIENT… Natural hair can be beautiful but it does require a fair amount of trial and error and incredible patience especially when you are first transitioning.

 

 

 

Style Item of the Week- Organic Root Stimulator Edge Control

 

Because I am newly natural, I am ALWAYS on the hunt for products to tame my tresses to perfection.  I am a huge fan of protective styling in the form of a weave and my favorite style in  between weaves is a simple topknot, which is no easy feat for me.

This is where my absolute new favorite product for edge control steps in-Organic root simulator- edge control. This product offers the perfect way to ‘lay’ down my edges, which can be a challenge for my natural hair.   I will caution you to use it sparingly, preferably on clean hair as it does leave a bit of residue if over-applied- otherwise, I adore it!

 

Have you come across any products that help achieve sleek looks with natural hair?  Then PLEASE share!

 

GF

 

 

 

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