Liberation

2015 was a year of major changes for me. Outside of finally getting my septum pierced (a thing I’d been dreaming of for years!), I finally got my first tattoo.

I also decided to finally live life as queer. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that with y’all before, but there it is.

I still tingle when I write that. When I say that. Because it is and continues to be so affirming to live freely.

New Year’s eve, I decided to do one more modification. Something I had never done because I’d gotten so much push back. So much: “OMG, but whyyyyyyyy?!” Or “Maybe you should braid it instead to get a different look!”

I heard every reason known to humankind as to why I shouldn’t cut my hair, but I only needed one reason to go for it.

Cause I’m grown and I do what I want. 😀

Honestly, my hair has been such a source of contention when it came to professional life (“You have to be marketable to future employers and make sure to adhere to a non-threatening look for work!”) and personal life (see damn near everyone I’ve ever dated that has been more attached to my hair than I am). Even when I transitioned my hair to natural, instead of doing the big chop like I wanted I just transitioned my hair. My boyfriend at the time loved my hair. And I loved him. So I kept it.

Fast forward to December 22, 2015. I’m catching up with a good friend of mine, C. She sends me a pic of her hair, shaved on one side, and I think it’s so beautiful. I didn’t think I would ever be brave enough to rock that. I mean, everyone loves my hair, so I should keep it, right? Then C shocked me.

“As much as I love your hair, this haircut has changed my life. I bet it will change yours too.”

Hmm.

She gave me the info of her barber and I made an appointment the same night. I didn’t know if I would go through with it. I didn’t really tell folks I was cutting it, either. I did warn my coworkers the day before, and my friends S and C knew.  I just didn’t want anyone to try and talk me out of it.

December 31, 2015: I did it.

I cut my hair.

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I went from this….

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To this!

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Design and all!

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Close up of the swirls. Haircut by Khane at Camera Ready Kutz.

If you would have told me I’d cut my hair (into a Mohawk, no less!) I’d have thought you’d lost your mind. When I tell you I feel free, though? As she buzzed my head every expectation attached to my hair fell away. I feel lighter.

Liberated.

Not just from what people expect when they look at a Black woman’s natural hair but from society’s rules. Yeah, it’s a bit cliche, but I look like the cool, queer, aunt. I happen to BE a cool, queer aunt. It’s awesome to be able to show outwardly the freedom I feel within.

Liberated.

Happy New Year.

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Hair Makeup Looks Positivity

Happy Birthday, Glossybox!

This month’s Glossybox brought announcement of their third birthday. With this came an awesome box of goodies (including nail polish!)

Ready? Here we go!

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What did I get? Here’s the full rundown and initial reaction:

1. Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Liner—I am pretty excited to try this. Liquid liner is my favorite liner to use because it looks so good on and it lasts a long time. Pencils confound me; I always end up stabbing myself in the eye with them, but liquid gives me the crisp lines I love. I have a fashion show to attend *checks clock* tomorrow evening, so I’d like to see how it holds up for the day. For those of you who happen to be liquid liner rookies: I recommend a liner like this one (it looks like a magic marker) because it’s easier to use. If you can draw a line on paper, you can draw a line on your eye!

2. Lamoon Beauty Precision Nail Lacquer in Trillion Dollar Red—The packaging reminds me of Orly a bit. And I love Orly polish. In my non superficial (*snicker*) opinion, I bet it’ll be awesome! I’m looking forward to working this into the rotation. Bonus: the insert tells me that it’s 4 free, cruelty free, and eco-friendly.

3. Kryolan for Glossybox Highlighter in Cashmere—I got to wear this when I was out the other day, and it’s so beautiful! It gives the most delightful glow without looking wet or greasy. I tend to have that problem because of my oily skin–as much as I love shimmer, the moment I put it on my face I look like an oil slick. Not sexy. This goes on smooth, with a powdery finish that gives a beautiful glow.

4. Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream—Since skincare is what I do best, I was excited to try this out! This product is hydrating without feeling heavy, and it did make my skin feel firmer. Bonus: it doesn’t smell perfume laden; it’s rather fresh smelling.

5 & 6. Uberliss Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner—It’s wash day this week, so I’m taking these for a test drive later on this week. The insert tells me it has royal jelly, blueberry, apple, sugarcane, green tea, lemon peel, and keratin. All of this fruit and it doesn’t smell like the fruit basket! Hooray! It’s also supposed to detangle, and that’s a great thing because I eternally have knots in my curls. I’ll report back!

And there you have it! The rundown of this month’s Glossybox. Loving everything sent; hoping everything is a winner!

Reviews

Fatshionista Vacation: I Got My Hair Done!

I am pretty lazy when it comes to my hair. Most of the time I’ll do a wash, deep condition, twist it up, pick it out.

I kept it in a high poof or a front poof, mostly because my hair was uneven.

Yep. Was. 🙂

I actually had some time on Friday to treat myself to something nice, so I made an appointment at Mirror Salon.

I had no idea that Carol’s Daughter had a salon in the back of the store, but now I do, and I will be going back!

So, before you settle into your service, you have a chat with the stylist about your hair and what goals you have for it. Do you want it to grow longer? Do you wish it were thicker? What do you love about your hair?

For me, I’d love for it to grow out, but my focus was dead ends and unevenness. With me having two different curl patterns in my head, wearing it out made for a challenge. The front of my hair has tight, coily curls, and the back of my hair is all loose curls. Now, y’all have seen me with my hair picked out, but y’all couldn’t see the back of it. I have the Fro Mullet.

Fierce in the front, wtf in the back? Yeah. Not sexy.

I told this to my stylist, Sandy, and she grinned a bit at my description. I don’t think she realized how bad the struggle was until she washed it. She sat me up and got a good look, and she seemed genuinely puzzled.

“What is going on back here?”

*giggle* “Yep, told you I had another curl pattern going on back there!”

She told me she’d probably would have to give it a considerable trim to even it out. While the back is probably always going to be longer than the front, the way she would cut it would make it look the same length all around, even if I picked it out completely.

That made me happy, because I would wear my hair out more if it didn’t look so odd in the back. So she got to work. I told her all about my upcoming Full Figured Fashion Week events, and to the Shop and Swap I would be attending Saturday.

“Ok, so I’ll do a rod set for you, and you’ll have definition throughout the weekend as you’re out doing your thing.”

Now, it was my turn to be skeptical. My hair never has done well with styles. Even when I relaxed, my hair would never hold a curl or do anything but hang there. As a natural girl, since my curl pattern varied so widely, I could really only do a couple of styles anyway.

“Don’t worry,” Sandy said. “I’ll show you how to keep it up.”

Ok then.

About an hour later, I had this:

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The part that I loved the most was that it looked as though I had baby dreads all over my head. The curls were all sproingy and happy, and I smelled so good! (Tui oil is the truth, y’all!) And Sandy gave me the good news that the Rosemary Mint Shampoo was coming back, and that just made my absolute day!

So, for upkeep I was to sleep in a satin bonnet and in the morning, take a wide toothed comb and lift the roots a bit. At my look of confusion, Sandy clarified: “Take the comb at the roots, but only comb about halfway through. This will give you lift at the crown, and still keep your definition on the ends.”

And as I sit and write this post up, my hair STILL looks amazing. I’ll probably pick it completely out tomorrow. She did an amazing job!

If you happen to be in NYC and want a great place to get your hair done, stop by! You’ll be glad you did!

Disclaimer: I paid for all services rendered, and was not compensated in any way for this review. They’re just so fabulous I had to share!

Hair Reviews

My Hair: A History

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I’ve always had a lot of it, and never could really be bothered with it the majority of the time. Mostly it was because I had no clue what in the world to do with it.

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This is me as a peanut. About 4, I think.

My mother and grandmother always kept it in braids and bows (twin beads and barrettes, anyone?)

When I got older, around 9-10 maybe, I decided I wanted to get a relaxer. I was tired of my mother burning my head with the hot comb to straighten it. After a warning of it would burn my scalp the first time, I then had it relaxed. It didn’t slow down on me being tenderheaded, but it helped the tangles a bit.

I kept up the relaxers for years after. My hair went from long, to short, to very long when I still lived in Texas (almost the center of my back), to this:

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It’s maybe an inch past my shoulders here.

I rarely wore it down, because it was HOT. Oh, good grief. Like the hand of Hades was sitting on my neck and wouldn’t move! I kept it up in a bun or ponytail most of the time, only wearing it down when I got it done (see pic above) or on special occasions. And I could guarantee I had a ponytail holder to yank it up as soon as the special occasion was over with. Typically, you’d see me like this:

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Yep. Typical. It’s in a bun here.

I got tired of never being able to wear it down (it did not hold a curl at all, and frizzed at the drop of a hat, or sweat.) So one day, randomly, I decided to transition my hair. It stayed in a bun for a while, until one day, I decided to braid it up after a wash. I let it out the next morning and picked it out, and came up with this:

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I threw a headband in it, and went to work. I didn’t know how to feel, honestly. I felt like the world was staring at me.

But natural hair will do that. Folks don’t know how to handle an afro, whether it’s out and free or in a puff. And I didn’t know how to handle the questions that resulted from my afro.

“Can I touch it?” What the hell am I, a puppy? For the most part I don’t mind, but the question is still odd to me. And please, for the love of fluffy kittens, ASK first. Everybody isn’t me.

“Is it real?” Yep. I wouldn’t know the first thing about picking out a good wig/weave.

“How long have you been transitioning?” At the point above, it had been maybe a few months, maybe 4.

“What do you think of it?” This I had a hard time answering, but I gave an honest answer. Self conscious. I was (and am) a big woman with big hair. You can’t be invisible like that. It’s a bold look, and you have to be prepared to rock it and be seen.

Slowly, I became more and more comfortable with my ‘fro, wearing it in a pouf some days:

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And pulling into a front bouffant other days:

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Because my hair isn’t even (back is longer than the front, left side longer than right), I rarely wear it completely out without a headband (it helps conceal the unevenness.) But hey, it’s all about pushing my boundaries, right? Who knows, maybe I’ll have a free fro come tomorrow morning. Anything’s possible.

Hair Stories