What natural hair has taught me thus far.

This natural hair journey has been fun and quite trying at times. One minute I absolutely love it, and the next minute I’m asking myself who the hell told me to do this. I love researching new products, making my own concoctions in the kitchen, and flirting with new styles. However, at times I just wish I had someone who could do it all for me. I get lazy and don’t wash my hair for days at a time and then I am a militant soldier who has their routine down. I become inspired and in awe of all of my beautiful natural hair role models and the next moment I despise how damn perfectly coiffed their hair is all the time. Some days my hair is banging!! Yeah! Others, I’m scratching my head thinking, “wth, didn’t I just do this the same way yesterday using the same products?” Let’s not even mention the amount of money spent on keeping up my product habit. I often find myself watching youtube videos and thinking to myself, “how in the hell are these heifers hair always together?” Lastly, I miss my hair. A lot. I even caught myself walking up behind my friend whose hair is the same length mine was before I cut it, and placed my head up under the back of her hair just so I could remember what it felt like. Sigh, yeah I did that.

Nonetheless, I can truly say that I am very grateful and glad that I chose to go natural. I have been exposed to a whole new culture that I never knew existed. I have met many different people who have made the choice to be natural for very different reasons and yet they still connect and relate to one another. People whom I would have never met walk up to me and say, “excuse me, what do you use in your hair?” This sparks a 30 min conversation about products and the trials of being natural and sometimes lifelong connections are made. In my personal life I love helping people and this has become another outlet that allows me to continue that work.

Being an Aries, we are labeled as being the children of Caprice. That basically means we have a tendency to start things but have trouble finishing them because we are on to the next one. I have a lot of things I have completed in life but those very personal things I’d like to do for myself tend to fall in the incomplete category. I have only been natural, well it’ll be 7mths May 18th but I have persevered. Being natural, and this blog fall into the category of the personal things I wanted to do for myself and I’m still going. That says a lot because truthfully when it comes to myself, I would have stopped in a month, 2 months tops. I suppose you can say being natural taught me to take more time for myself. Lastly, being natural is teaching me patience because the Aries in me is like hurry the hell up! I say that to my hair a lot and I’ve found that she doesn’t like when I speak to her like that. That’s usually when she does whatever the hell she wants lol. Although I do have those few days that I question why I chose to do this, I am very glad that I did because it has taught me so much about myself and I can’t wait to learn more.

What has your natural hair journey taught you?

Jiquay

The World Natural Hair Show

Ok, let me begin by saying that those lines were freaking RI-DONK-ULOUS and I will be purchasing my tickets online from now on! That being said…I had so much fun at the WNHS! I had my girls with me and you know we went in on products! These are all mine but my girls bought just as many products as I did so yeah we kinda lost our minds at the show.

Ok, so we knew that Uncle Funky’s Daughter would be a vendor at the show so as soon as I walked in the door I made a beeline for their booth. The line was out the door and it seemed as if they were the most popular booth at the time. I already knew that I wanted the Curly Magic. One of the reasons most people attend the WNHS is to take advantage of the great deals on the products they either already love or want to try. HOWEVER, Uncle Funky’s Daughter was NOT one of the vendors that offered a great deal. They did have a bundle that you could get at a discount but the gel, umm no. No deals for you lady! I was highly disappointed at this because I was ready to leave with at least 2 0r 3 of the Curly Magics but no bueno! So I only purchased 1 for regular price and some Extra Butter moisturizer and walked away slick mad. Despite that little set back I caught some really great deals from the other vendors. Here’s what I got:

Uncle Funky’s Curly Magic and Extra Butter

B.A.S.K.’s Palm Tapioca

Camille Rose Naturals’  Aloe Whipped Gel, Curl Love Moisture Milk, and Jansyn’s Moisture Max Conditioner

Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Nectar in White Tea and Sweet Ambrosia in Creamy Cocoa Mango and Pomegranate Guava

Shea Radiance Moisturizing Hair Milk, Maximum Hair Defining Cream, and Ultra Rich Shea Buttercream.

African Pride’s Bouncy Curl Pudding and Leave-in Condish

I stopped by As I Am but they were all sold out so they gave me a coupon for 20% off and free shipping. I thought that was very cool of them. I also purchased 3 t-shirts and a bunch of jewelry.

Lastly, I love to go to the WNHS to hopefully run into my favorite youtubers and I did just that. More than I expected…here are the pics.

Mlle. CafeAuLait The very first natural hair youtuber I watched and my inspiration to go natural!

Side Note: I have no idea what is going on with my eyes in this pic, nor what that spot is but this was the only pic I had and I WANT to post it! That is all.

MakeupAnBeautyJunkie (She was so sweet and very gracious)

2nd from far right CurlyKimmyStar

I can honestly say that I had a very fun and satisfying trip. I can’t wait to do it again next year and I know exactly who to take with me…

I’ll post pics of the hotel we stayed in and the outfits I wore in the next post.

Talk to you soon,

Jiquay

Natural Girls Rock Anniversary Party!

As I stated in my last post, I attended the World Natural Hair Show in the ATL. this past weekend. Prior to Natural Girls Rock had their Anniversary Party the Friday before the hair show and I couldn’t wait to attend! My friends and I purchased the VIP tickets and had an excellent view!

The party took place at the Posh and Trendy Tongue and Groove lounge.

Many beautiful naturals came out to celebrate NGR’ s anniversary.

There were 2 bars and let me just say these bartenders were great at their jobs…no seriously.

The event was hosted by the lovely BeautifulBrwnBabyDol

(L)-AlchemysChild (M)-BeautifulBrwnBabyDol (R)-Me

The entertainment consisted of Delonda Harvey singing her popular song “Good Enough,” body art, and a fabulous fashion show!

NGR models

There were contests for Best TWA and Best Twist out styles. My friends and I participated…we didn’t win lol.

I bet you can tell who won? Lol

Bestie trying for best Twistout.

Even though we didn’t win, we did get complimentary NGR t-shirts and that was just fine with me since I had my eye on a particular shirt the entire time. I had a really great time and I met some wonderful naturals and fellow bloggers (shout out to April from the Cocoa Report and Yolanda from CurlyandLovely). I definitely will keep an eye out for their next event.

NGR Staff

L-Natural Girls Rock Founder Kelly J (R)-Me

Until next next time lovelies,

Lotus Blossom Out

Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Mask

I have been waiting to get my hands on this deep conditioner! I have read numerous reviews and watched countless YouTube reviews on how moisturizing this mask was unto each individuals’ hair. Needless to say the product junkie in me began twitching to get her next fix. The day it arrived in the mail I immediately used it. Here are the ingredients…

Purified Water, Aloe Butter, Jojoba Oil, Agave, Vegetable Wax, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera Juice, Panthenol, Arnica, Calendula, Echinacea, Nettle & Horsetail Extracts, Carrot Seed Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, Arnica, Shikakai & Amla Extracts, Vitamin E & Natural Enzymes.

The consistency is kind of thin.  I expected it to be thicker and creamier but it was light and somewhat watery.  It didn’t really have much of a scent in my opinion. I first used it and sat under my steamer for 20 mins. It didn’t feel soft before I rinsed and it didn’t feel soft after I rinsed… hmm. The next time I used it under a hooded dryer with a plastic cap for 15 mins. This time it felt softer and more moisturized but as soon as I rinsed, the softness left. Again… hmm. Lastly, was my tried and true method of the hooded dryer for ten minutes then overnight DC. Again, it felt soft until I rinsed. I added oils to it, the same results. My hair does not like this mask. Strangely, my hair was moisturized but not soft. Weird, I know.  Anywho, I didn’t like it as a rinse out.  It had absolutely no slip and I did not try it as a leave since it wasn’t recommended on the website. All my life I wanted to like this product! Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. I won’t be purchasing this again.

Ta-Ta for now,

Lotus Blossom

I am NOT happy about this!

My hair has been acting very weird lately. I began noticing it about two weeks ago. I was in the shower washing my hair and it felt different. Each product I applied wasn’t feeling the way it normally does on my hair; from the shampoo to the gel it just all felt very wrong. After thinking about it I figured that I just had product build up. So I opted for a shampoo that had sulfates in it. I washed my hair once because I am still rocking a TWA and it doesn’t take much shampoo to cleanse my hair. Afterwards, I DC’d with Curl Junkie’s Deep Fix Conditioner under a hooded dryer for 15 min. I then left the conditioner in my hair for about 2 more hours. I rinsed and commenced to adding my leave in, followed by my styler, and then my gel. My hair still didn’t feel right. It began to look frizzy, poofy, and just sad. It seemed like it grew worse each day. I thought I was going crazy. The curls in the front of my hair have always been looser than the rest of my hair but now they were just laying down on my forehead. This was crazy because it’s only 3 inches! I was completely baffled by this.

Each day I became more and more confused and terrified about what was occurring with my hair. I went over it again and again in my head and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. One day as I was doing my hair I kept noticing this weird smell. I began sniffing and looking around the bathroom. The smell was of spoiled fruit. I was like, “where the heck is this coming from.” I picked up a container of gel that I was applying to my hair at the time and it was the culprit! I was like, “WTF!”  I’m thinking to myself, “I just purchased this, how the heck is it spoiled?”  I emailed the company and they told me it must have been a fluke with the fragrance and to throw it away and they will send me a new one. As I walked to the garbage can wondering what made it go bad, I had a thought. What if this was the cause of my hair issues? The next thought I had was a memory of reading Elle’s blog post about her experience with a bad product. I immediately pulled up her blog and reread it. Yep, this could be it. I ran to my bathroom and pulled out my litmus strips. It is highly possible that the bad batch of gel I had could have changed pH levels and affected my hair.  Lo and behold, the strip came out with a pH of 8. Now, I believe that for many people this may not affect their hair. However, it greatly affected MY hair. Needless to say I am having an absolute fit right now!!!

Some tidbits about pH levels…

pH is a scale used to determine the amount of acidity or alkaline properties of a solution. The pH scale runs from 0-14, with 0-6.9 being acidic and 8-14 being basic /alkaline. A pH balance of 7 is neither acidic or alkaline, it is neutral. Water falls in the neutral category. Hair has a pH balance of 4.5-5.5. pH also affects how our hair behaves or reacts to products. Products that are acidic close the cuticle of the hair sealing it while products that are alkaline lift the cuticle. As I stated earlier, the pH balance of the product that I used was 8. Based off of my research, it is safe to use products that range from 4-7 without any significant change. Although 8 is just one step up from 7, the pH scale is logarithmic. This means that this one step up from 7 to 8 is an increase of ten times more than the pH of 7. That is a significant increase. At a pH of 8 or higher the hair swells and lifts the cuticle, this causes the hair to become tangled, poofy, frizzy, and exceptionally dry.

So, my objective is to nurse my hair back to health by returning my hair to it’s normal pH balance. As of now, I’ve had a protein treatment. Next, I will deep condition my hair 2x a week and make sure I use products that are very moisturizing.  Also, I will do Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses 2x a week since ACV has pH of 4.0 when diluted with the proper amount of water.  I’ll use 4oz of ACV and 4oz of water for my rinse. I know most people say use 1-2 teaspoons in 8oz of water or 1/3 cup in 16oz of water but that doesn’t work for me. When I tested those solutions the pH was higher than 4.0 and ACV alone has a pH of 3.0. I’ll be keeping my hair in twists and wear a twist out if have to go somewhere. I’m leaving my hair alone as much as possible!

I’ll keep you guys posted on the results,

Jiquay

To big chop or not, that is the question? Part 2

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

I have been enjoying my transitioning  journey for some time now.  My new growth is coming along quite nicely. However, every once and awhile I look at my hair and wonder what my texture will be?  How will it curl?  Will it be loose or tightly coiled?  Then I imagine what I would look like if I got my big chop now? I would take a section of my hair when wet, find the line of demarcation and imagine how many inches would be left. Then I would damn near have a panic attack when thinking of chopping off my hair.  I’d shake these thoughts off with a “hmmph” and walk away.

Each day my curiosity of what my texture would become grows more and more while my fear of cutting my hair grows as well. What am I afraid of? Yes, the easy answer would be cutting my hair but I feel there is something more. Some “thing” that lies beneath the surface that I can’t quite put my finger on. Now I bet some of you are saying, “really Jiquay, it’s not that serious.” I’m telling you, IT’S THAT SERIOUS. As you continue to read my blogs you’ll realize I’m an unnecessarily complex person lol.  Any-who, after accompanying my cousin to get her bc (who btw just decided, “ok let’s do this”), and gasping after my friend showed up with her hair cut off out the blue; I knew it was time to figure out what was holding me back.

I’d like to take this time to tell the hubby and the bestie thanks so much for listening to my rants about why I need to cut my hair but not really at 3 in the morning! Hey pookie bear and Angel!!!!! Seriously, I’m taking these people through changes. I keep going back and forth. Up and down. Who knew hair could take me through so many emotions? I continued to contemplate what was holding me back and I finally realized what I was afraid of. I didn’t know who I would be without my hair. I had become so attached to my hair that I could not see myself without it. I identified with my hair. I was shocked and livid at the same time. How did I get here?  Where did I develop the belief that long hair equals beauty? It was time to find out…

Until next time… (Whatcha’ll doing 😉 )?

The qualities we admire in others are already apart of us.

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

18 was the age I began admiring the girls with the big curly hair. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. However, my hair was bone straight and I just didn’t possess those type of genes so I just admired them and moved on. I had to work with what I had. Back in Jr. High I stayed with the local trends in hair. My mom allowed me to be a little freer in that area the older i  became,which was far from where I had come. My hair regimen as a child was wash, condition, sit under a dryer until dry, hot comb with grease, and various pony tails. My grandmother was a hair stylist who prided herself on being able to grow and maintain hair. She was right to do so because she had my hair down the middle of my back.  No matter how much i begged her to relax my hair, she refused.

After my mom and dad split we moved to a different state away from my grandmother. My mom continued the hair regimen faithfully (plus a few burned ears).  Fast forward to Jr. high as we returned from summer break, things had changed. There were no more ponytails and barrettes. They were replaced with wrap styles, asymmetrical cuts, and relaxers. Here I am thinking I’m cute with my one big pony tail to the side and a big bow. Geesh, how come I didn’t get the memo? I couldn’t wait until I got home so I could reason with my mom on the necessity of getting a relaxer. After all, I was older now and needed a more mature look. Before the words perm could come out of my lips, no was declared to my dismay. I had to regroup, there had to be a way to appeal to my mom. After about a day or so of plotting on the phone with my friends, we came up with the ultimate pro-relaxer argument. Mom, if you put a relaxer in my hair, it will cut our hair routine time tremendously.  (Not bad for a bunch of 7th graders huh?)  Any who, she thought it over and decided to apply a Juust for meee (singing the commercial)! SN: Just for me was just a horrible, horrible relaxer. I mean really. Basically, I was on the creamy crack from that point on until I turned 24/25. Until then I cut my hair short, grew it  back out, wore it in hard gel styles, braids, color, highlights and whatever else the trend was at that time. Not to mention relaxing my own hair in between salon visits myself because I could get it straighter. (Yeah right LOL , I tickle myself  sometimes).

After years of hair abuse, my hair decided she couldn’t take it anymore. I was in my phase of wanting long hair and growing it back. However, I noticed that my hair in the back of my head at the top-middle section was extremely short while the rest of my hair was just past shoulder length. I decided to go to the salon and see what was going on. She told me it was a stress spot and it had damage. We came up with a treatment plan and decided to try it out for about 3 months and see if that helps. She explained that if it didn’t get better that she would have to cut my hair short and I’d have to start fresh. I DID NOT WANT THAT. So I followed the plan faithfully but to no avail. Alas, we would have to cut my hair. Needless to say I cried like a baby. I rocked the short hair for about a year and then decided it was time to grow my hair back. When I informed my stylist of this she said okay. Then she dropped a bomb on me.  I’m not going to relax your hair anymore since you are growing it out and you can’t have any color either. My mouth dropped. She explained that she felt that to keep my hair at its healthiest it is best to eliminate all chemicals whatsoever and do thermal heating instead ( just a fancy way of saying flat ironing).  After the complete shock and ranting about how nappy my hair would be, I finally relented and began my long hair journey. My hair growth was very successful. It grew back very thick and long. I’m talking past BSL long ( that includes every bra I owned).

So, it’s 2011 and my hair is long, healthy, and full. I don’t have a complaint in the world except, I’m bored. My hair is boring and blah and I’m tired of wearing the same styles over and over. So I call up my stylist and ask for color. Something to liven up my hair. I get a warm rich brown with golden brown highlights. I absolutely loved it. While at the salon I tell my stylist I am bored with my hair and wanted to perhaps get a sew in of big curly hair. She informs me that my hair is too long and thick for a sew in style. So I say what about braids? She replies, your hair is too long for braids. Ugh! Well cutting my hair is NOT an option since I worked hard to grow it. She replies, Girl i don’t blame you. Hell I took the journey with you. I then asked, why can’t I wear my hair curly, I mean when my hair gets wet it curls up. She says, you just don’t have that textured type of hair (don’t give me the side eye; when we know better, we do better). Ugh. I really like that hair I say. Frustrated and bored, I returned home. That night I went home and turned the TV to HGTV.

A new show was coming on and its host was Tanika Ray. She had the most beautiful big curly hair and she looked like me. I thought to myself, umm, is she mixed because she doesn’t look mixed but she has big curly hair!!! I immediately picked up my laptop and typed “Tanika Ray Hair. The first link I saw was Tanika Ray’s Hair Journey on curlynikki.com.” I was opened to a whole new world!!! I had no idea that this world existed!! I saw so many different women who looked like me rocking the big curly hair. I was so freaking stoked!! I read for hours and hours until my eyes were burning, only to wake up and start it all over again the next night. Oh, and when I discovered the natural hair community on youtube…that. was. all. she. wrote. I immediately announced to everyone, I’m going natural. Thus my natural hair journey began. Hmph, it turns out I could have been big haired and curly after all .

Well, those are my thoughts of the day. What cha’ll doing? 😉

Hair during relaxer days

Growing hair back post relaxer

Regrowth, no chemicals but consistent straightening

Transitioning Style (bantu knots)

Hugs and Kisses!