Monday, November 28, 2011

The Word of the Day

Today's word is panegyrize.
Pronounced PAN-i-juh-rahyz.
A verb.
Definition: 1. To eulogize; to deliver or write a panegyric about.
A noun.
Definition: 2. To indulge in panegyric; bestow praises.

I try not to panegyrize about natural hair whenever someone asks me about it, but I'm ever moved by its glory. :)

Resisting the Flat Iron

Today I am 9 months natural.  Ever since beginning this journey all I've been able to do is picture what my hair will look like when it finally touches my waist.  Having never been able to achieve long hair before, this is a very lofty goal for me and I am truly anxious to have hair that is the envy of all my friends and relatives.  Maybe that's shallow or materialistic, but I don't care.  I just know I want to keep growing my hair until I feel the need to cut it.  I've never had that problem before so hey.  It seems like a good problem to have to me.

Part of my regimen dictates that I air dry my hair whenever possible.  Since fully embracing my natural hair texture, I've learned about all the damage high temperatures can do to delicate hair strands and I know I need to avoid as much damage as I possibly can in order to grow my hair as long as I want to...  But my flat iron has been calling me!  Lately it seems like I've been hearing it whispering to me, begging me to turn it on, telling me how much I miss standing in front of the mirror, watching my hair transform.  It's very seductive.

But then, after listening to all the sweet nothings my flat iron says to me, I remind myself why I haven't used it in over six months.  In no particular order, this is what I tell myself every time I get tempted to crank up the heat just to see the little bit of length I've gained since this whole thing started:

  1. My hair is unique.  There's no need to change it. We all know there is no other race of people on the planet with hair like Black people.  Why should I subject my delicate strands to 300+ temperatures, just for a temporary look that replicates the hair shared by just about every other race of people on the planet?  In short, why should I damage my hair to look like everyone else?
  2. How many more times am I going to be tempted before I reach my goal?  I'm not even a full year natural yet.  According to my prediction, I won't reach my goal for at least another two years.  If I'm tempted to straighten my hair at 9 months, just imagine how bad the temptation will be at twelve, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty four months natural, when my hair is even longer than it is now!  If I start damaging my hair this early on, making it to my goal will be that much more difficult.
  3. Straight hair would probably be foreign to me.  I'm so used to grabbing individual curls, twirling them around my fingers, stretching them out and watching them spring back, that I don't know how I would feel about straight hair.  It would feel and look funny to me.  I don't know how long I could even stand to keep my hair in that state.  And if I get tired of straight hair after a few days, was the damage worth it?
  4. I would instantly lose the thickness and body that I've come to love about my natural hair.  When I had a relaxer, my hair was always thin and short.  Taking care of my natural hair has finally given me thicker, longer hair that I always wanted.  I know if I flat iron my hair, it will look almost just like it did when relaxed as far at density goes.  I think the look of thicker, fuller hair suits me much better.
  5. I would have to avoid using my normal products.  Natural hair loves water and that's one of the things I personally love about it.  It was so cool finally being able to soak my hair whenever I wanted when I first went natural.  And with that in mind, I started using mostly water based products, in conjunction with heavy oils and butters.  Water based products would cause my hair to revert, and heavier products would just weigh my flat ironed hair down.  I don't like the idea of having to figure out what new products to use on my hair just to maintain a style that I would only wear for a week max.
All in all, even though I get tempted to straighten my hair, just to see how much progress I've made, I know it will be better for my hair in the long run if I just leave the heat alone.  At least until I reach my goal. :)  How do you resist the flat ironing temptation?  If you do flat iron your hair, occasionally or regularly, what would you like to add to the conversation? Leave your comments below. ^__^

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Very First Braid Out

So, last night I was twisting my hair up for work today and in the middle of doing my hair I decided to try something different and do a braid out instead.  I used Cantu Shea Butter Leave in and Blue Magic Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner to put a total of about 12 braids in my hair and took them out this morning.  Here's how I'm feeling about braid outs so far:

Compared to twist outs, braid outs take a long time to do and to take down. Because there are three strands instead of two, there's more work for your hands to do.  I don't like that aspect.  On the other hand, braids can't spring up the way twists can, so I get maximum stretch on my hair with braid outs, and that shows maximum length.  I do like that aspect.  As far as the pattern the two hair styles create, twist outs give me curls, while braid outs give me waves.  Both are nice, but I think I like the uniformity of the twist out look a little bit better.

All in all, I do like braid outs, but I think I'll save them for when my hair is a little bit longer and just stick with the trusty twist out for now. What do you think?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Word of the Day

Today's word is appetence.
Pronounced AP-i-tuhns.
A noun.
Definition: 1. Intense desire; strong natural craving; appetite. 2. Instinctive inclination or natural tendency.
A verb.
Definition: 3. Material or chemical attraction or affinity.

Upon entering the kitchen I immediately scanned my surroundings looking for it. I spotted the pie sitting on a counter, its fresh-from-the-oven steam causing my eyes to widen.  My appetence for sweet potato pie was magnified three fold once the scent reached my nose. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BOV Number 3: Hair Grease Experiment

Here's the pictures of the day post that shows the twist out results using just the hair grease.  Let me know what you think. :)

The Word of the Day

Today's word is crepitate.
Pronounced [KREP-i-teyt].
A verb.
Definition: to make a crackling sound; crackle.

When the wick burned down too low it began to crepitate.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pictures of the Day

More crappy webcam pics.  But at least there's slightly better lighting than the last set had.
You'll never believe what I used to set my hair last night. Coming in a later post.
8 months, 3 weeks, 4 days natural. :)

The Word of the Day

Today's word is poltroon.
Pronounced pol-TROON.
A noun.
Defined as: 1. A wretched coward; craven. 2. Marked by utter cowardice.

Are there any poltroons in your life?  For the sake of your personal and emotional betterment, let them go. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

My New Favorite Word

This is a non hair related post. But i felt like doing a little life update. Recent events in personal life have caused me to really consider the kind of people I surround myself with. If you've heard the phrase "Show me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are," you know that people should surround themselves with people who can help them advance in life, have similar goals, and places in life. Without having certain things in common, some friendships will just be doomed to failure from the start.  That doesnt necessarily mean your friends should be just like you in every way.  If that's the case, how can you expect to grow and evolve if you only surround yourself with more of the same?

Its always hard to think about letting go of a friend or someone you care about.  But sometimes that's whats necessary for the betterment of your mental, physical, and emotional health. So from now on, my new favorite word is "betterment." Constantly ask yourself if the decisions you're making and the actions you're taking are serving to help you better yourself. If letting go of a friend is for the betterment of your life in any way, let them go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pictures of the Day

Sitting in the break room at work. You can see my nametag. Lol
8 months, 3 weeks, 2 days natural. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pictures of the Day

Taken on my crappy laptop webcam.
My guest's name is Squooshy Bear. :)
8 months, 3 weeks natural.

I Think I Know How Long This Will Take...

So, I was looking in the mirror the other day and thinking about what I will look like when I finally reach my goal and my hair touches my waist when stretched.  Going into this journey, I was convinced reaching waist length would take me forever and I was just going to have to be super patient.  I didn't know about average growth rates back then, or all the many tips and tricks women employ to speed up their rate of growth.  But once I did, I figured my hair probably grew slower than average (don't ask me why, because I can't tell you lol) and that it would probably take me twice as long as it takes most women to reach waist length hair.

When asked by a friend how long I thought it would take to get my hair that long, I foolishly said seven years... Can you believe that?  SEVEN?  There is no reason for my hair to take that long to reach my waist.  Now that I'm a little further along in my hair journey, I know that my hair does grow at about the average rate and I know where to measure from to determine how long my hair would have to be in inches to be about waist length, and therefore, how long it should take to get there.

From the back of head, at the lowest point of my hairline, down to my waist is about 18 1/2 inches.  some of you might be thinking, "That's it?" And yes, that's it.  Most women have hair somewhere around the 22 or 24 inch mark when it touches their waists.  But I'm not most women.  I stand at a whopping 4 feet, 9 inches tall, so the distance from my head to my waist is significantly shorter than average.  If my hair grows at a rate of about 1/2 inch a month, it would take 3 years and 1 month of continuous growth for my hair strands to reach 18 1/2 inches, if I'm able to retain all of the length my scalp puts out.
Right now I am 8 months and 3 weeks natural, after a 9 month transition. That makes the hair on my head almost 18 months old.  Logically speaking, my hair should be about 9 inches long all around, but it's not.  This is due to a messy Big Chop (which we'll discuss another time) and several trims since going all natural.  I would say the hair at the back/bottom of my head is about 5 or 6 inches long. If we go with the conservative estimate, my hair has about 13 1/2 or 14 more inches to grow before it will be at my waist when stretched.  So that puts me at about 2 years and 2 months from my goal. What do you think? Either way, I know I will reach my goal by the time I am 3 years natural! Not bad, huh? :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pictures of the Day

Normally, I don't like rocking my twists as a hairstyle. I much prefer the look of the twist out. But these are still a little damp and I don't have the time to let them dry fully for work. Plus, I'm working a closing shift tonight and don't really see the point in taking these bad boys out just so I can wear a twist out for five hours and then twist them right back up for bed when I get home. So, this will be my style for the day. You like?

8 months, 2 weeks, 6 days natural. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To Give Me A Meaningless Compliment

An easy way to give me a compliment that means absolutely nothing to me is to give the same one, over and over again, no matter what.  I appreciate honesty much more than flattery.  In fact, flattery quite annoys me when over done.  If all I hear from a person Monday through Sunday is how beautiful, gorgeous, adorable, etc I am, it kind of takes away from the genuineness of it. If I get forty-five minutes of sleep Thursday night, and have to struggle to stay upbeat, positive, and awake all day Friday, chances are I don't look as good that day as I may have on all the others.  But if that's all I hear from you, it sounds like bull shit.

A compliment should never become a standard response.  Every woman on this planet has her good days as well as her bad days.  No one looks perfect 24/7.  Now I'm not saying a woman has to be completely done up and dressed to the 9's to look good.  As Drake said, "Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin with no makeup on: That's when you're the prettiest."  I totally agree.  There's something about a relaxed female in her own element that is very attractive.  But no one looks good all the time.  And to try to convince me I do will just make me not want to hear anything you have to say regarding my appearance.  Just keep it real.  If I look good, tell me so.  If not, don't lie.

...I'm done.  Just thought I would put that out there for anyone who might care.  That is all...

Pictures of the Day

One of the few days that I actually decided to wear makeup.  I don't like to look overdone, so you may not even be able to tell. But this is the same Maybelline Fit Me Foundation that I didn't like at first. I think it looks nice here. :)

Conditioner and whipped shea butter twist out.

8 months, 2 weeks, 5 days natural. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Get Your Edges In Check Before You Try To Look Like You Know Som'n About Hair

As always, leave your comments and follow the blog. Thanks, loves. ^_^

Pictures of the Day

Now playing: "What You Want" by Evanescence.
Hair: Twist out with Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Conditioner, and whipped shea butter.
8 months, 2 weeks, 4 days natural. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Is TOO Funny!!

I found this video while browsing YT to see if there were any videos on a topic I'm considering vlogging about. Whether this man's hair is real or not, he had my cracking up!  Just thought I would share. :) 

Please click "Follow" in the upper left hand corner. Later, loves. :-*

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hair Ramblings

Just a simple vlog expressing some thoughts and feelings. I hope you enjoy and subscribe and follow. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Price Cut!

Remember this pretty little gadget I talked about a couple weeks ago?  Remember how I said it was $140?  It has now been dropped down to $99!!  I'm thinking I may treat myself to this little thing in a couple weeks. :)

Just thought I'd share that little tidbit. :)  Don't forget to follow the blog!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"I'm Getting Off This Natural Hair Bandwagon" - My Thoughts

Ok..., I take several issues with this video, as you all might expect.  It's not that I'm bashing her for choosing to relax her hair.  It's more so because of her reasons for it.  They just don't make any sense.  But the main one that rubs me the wrong way is "Natural hair isn't for everybody."  I'm sorry, but I just don't understand how that makes any logical sense. How is your hair as it grows from your scalp not for you?  Did God design your hair that way because he intended you to alter it?  This is just my opinion, but I don't think so.  I think the hair texture you were born with is "for" you.

Now that we have the most pressing issue out of the way, let's tackle some of the other ones.  She argues that going natural made her scalp dry.  This is another nonsensical statement.  I don't see how not chemically altering your hair would make your scalp drier than what it was when it was relaxed.  Does relaxing your hair give you an overabundance of sebum?  Not likely, but it's her hair so everything I'm saying is just conjecture.

She complains about not being able to wear her weaves the way she likes because her hair won't lay down and frizzes in the humidity despite all her efforts to combat it.  I guess I can understand this point but on the other hand, if your own hair was long or thick enough you probably wouldn't feel the need to wear a weave in the first place.  If you've been unable to achieve hair that doesn't require a weave with relaxers thus far, it's not likely that you will be able to do so now.  I don't think it's fair to penalize our natural hair for not behaving the way your relaxed hair does.  Natural hair isn't designed to "lay down" and will almost always frizz in humidity.  So to list these as reasons why you fell like natural hair isn't "for" you, just shows that your mindset is still "relaxed."  Natural hair and relaxed hair mindsets don't go together.

"Ever since going natural I can't use any synthetic hair in my hair." ...What?  So you're trying to tell me that relaxing your hair strands made your scalp able to take synthetic hair?  And allowing your hair to grow naturally made your scalp sensitive to synthetic weave?  I'm sorry, that just doesn't make any sense to me.  You're essentially blaming your hair texture/curl pattern for a bad reaction your scalp had.  I don't see the connection.  At all.

I'm sorry.  Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I love natural hair.  And to see someone bash natural hair and say it's not for everyone when it's obvious she didn't really give it a chance and went into it with the wrong mindset makes me give a side eye.  I know videos like this can be influential in someone's decision on whether to go natural or not.  And it's just not fair.  You don't have to agree with me, and in fact I welcome comments from the other side of the fence. Just thought I would share my thoughts.

What I Want For Christmas

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been in love with the guitar.  I just think it's one of the most fascinating musical instruments in the world.  I can remember asking for a guitar for Christmas probably three times when I was younger.  But I never got one. :(  I don't know if I didn't ask for it with enough gusto, or if my family just thought I wouldn't stick with it if I was actually given one.  Either way, after I entered my teenage years, I thought I was probably too old to learn how to play guitar.

About two months ago I decided that if I never learn how to play guitar, I will always regret it.  I'm only 20 years old now, so I can still learn how to play.  Obviously, it won't be as easy as it might have been if I started trying to learn as a child, but I'm completely dedicated to accomplishing this goal.  And I've already picked the guitar I want to get.

The blue Kona Thin Body Acoustic Electric guitar pictured above caught my eye while I was browsing the internet for potential guitars and I've decided I have to have it.  Not only is it absolutely beautiful, it's only 3/4 the thickness of standard acoustic guitars, has electric capabilities (which will make it compatible with Rocksmith, which I'll talk about later), and a nice cut out on the right side to make reaching the bottom frets easier.

I don't know if I'll get this as a gift or if I'm going to buy it for myself.  Either way, I WILL have it!  So you guys can look forward to videos showing my practicing on my new guitar. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

And Now I Remember Why I Prefer My Paddle Brush

This is going to be a little rant, which I may follow up with a vlog.  I just finished trying to use my denman brush to detangle my hair with and I FREAKING HATED IT!!! I don't care what anyone else has to say about this, denmans are not for me.  They just don't have the same amount of give as most paddle brushes, which means I have to pull my denman through my hair harder than I have to pull my paddle brush.  That puts more stress on my hair and causes more breakage.  After I got through one section of my hair with the paddle brush there was so much hair in it I just couldn't bring myself to finish the rest of my head.  It's just not worth it to me.  I would rather deal with the balls on the ends of my paddle brush's bristles than the pitiful amount of give the denman has...  Just typing this is getting me mad all over again.  Right now I'm sitting underneath my bonnet dryer, so once my hair is done, I'll record a vlog so I can go into greater detail.

Please don't forget to support me by following the blog. Later, loves.

Friday, November 4, 2011

So, I Think I'll Be Going Back To The Denman

I've been using a plain paddle brush by Goody to do all of my detangling for a few months now.  I love the amount of give the bristles have, the size of the base, and its visual appeal.  In the world of natural black hair, plain paddle brushes tend to get a bad rep because of the little balls found on the ends of the bristles and their potential to snag on your hair and cause breakage.  I've always believed that problem can be avoided so long as one is careful when detangling their hair and being cognizant of the potential damage the tool can cause.

This has worked for me in the past, but I was rushing through my hair in the shower recently and I could feel strands of my hair getting caught on the balls on the tips of the bristles and I know I broke way more hair than normal that day.  I am not about to give that a pass just because it was "just one time."  Imagine how many broken hairs that could potentially add up to over time if I have one rushed detangling session a month.  Twelve times a year, I'll be ripping through my hair unnecessarily, causing breakage and slowing down my hair's progress.  I can't make it to my ultimate goal of waist length hair like that. 

So, in an effort to make sure I'm doing everything in my power to ensure that my hair is treated as gently as possible at all times, I've decided to go back to using my denman brush to detangle (and possibly style) my hair for the time being.  The whole reason I stopped using it in the first place was because I felt like the give on my paddle brush was greater than my denman and I liked the larger base and number of bristles.  But if all that comes with a greater possibility for breakage of my strands, it's not worth it. 

I'm out to prove to myself and everyone who has ever known me that Black girls can grow their hair healthy and long without repeated application of harmful chemicals.  I want to prove that you don't have to have the typical "good hair" to accomplish these goals.  Having patience, gentle handling, keeping your hair moisturized, and detangling properly will allow your hair to thrive and flourish.  But without these things, your hair will just continue to break off and seem as if it won't grow.

In order to reach my goal, I have to practice what I preach.  That goes for the tools I use, as well as everything else I mentioned.  So, goodbye for now, Paddle Brush.  Maybe we'll meet again.  Maybe we won't.  If not, it was nice knowing you and I thank you for allowing me to learn from you on my hair journey.

If you like what you see here, please follow Gemini Curls by clicking "Follow" in the upper left corner of the page or "Join This Site" in the side bar. Happy hair growing!! ^_^