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

So, I Was Part Of A Thing…

And now I finally get to share it!

So, a while back I shared these looks on my Facebook:

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And I told y’all that I was working on a really cool project? Well, part one of that project is done, and I’m so happy to share this with y’all!

So, this project I was part of is all about natural hair and beauty, and I was so happy to participate. Most images of natural hair pretty much stick to the uniform corkscrew curls. Now, don’t get me wrong—those curls are gorgeous. But it also tends to edge out those who have fluffier, less defined curls (mine) or those with dreadlocks or those with puffs, and so on and so on.

Further, when we look at natural hair in mainstream media…well, you don’t see it. Not in all of its forms; not in all of its glory. Think about it: the last time you saw a music video, did any of the women have natural hair? Hear any songs praising those kinky curls?

Well, this video has all of that, and I got to be in it. 🙂

Without further ado, I present to you: Natural Love: A Vignette.

The song was written and produced by the same guy that directed this piece, Civil Justus. You can see his other work on his channel here, and read up on his other projects here. This is just the first part; the next part is interviews about our hair.

I had an amazing time working on this,and am so honored to be a part of it! I can’t wait to share the next part with you. 🙂

Hair Positivity YouTube

Fatshion Friday: I Wear What I Want

I wear what I want.

Even if it scares me, even if people think I shouldn’t.

I wear what I want.

Yesterday, I went to FFF Week’s trunk show, and got to meet some lovely designers (and a baker), and I wore my new shirt from Feminine Funk. This is the one I picked up at Wednesday’s event, and spoke so cryptically about yesterday.

I cannot tell you how many compliments I received. I love this shirt to itty bitty pieces.

The kicker?

It’s a crop top.

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I never in a million years thought that I would do a crop top. It’s a look that I covet but never thought I would be able to pull off. But bolder looks, like hair and makeup, take confidence to pull it off. If you think sexy, you are. Words to live by. Now, I put a vest on with the outfit because I was worried about my love handles being out–a great option if, like me, you want to take baby steps towards such a bold statement. And as I walked the New York streets, as I walked around the trunk show, everyone loved the statement.

I wear what I want.

Including wearing my hair free and lavender lippy:

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My hair is much shorter than it was before and I love it so! The lip is a combo of bright blue lipstick and pink gloss.

Anyone can wear anything. It’s all about finding a look that speaks to you and makes you happy.

So, join me. And wear what you want. 🙂

Hair Makeup Looks Positivity Shopping

Nourishing My Crowning Glory

I often get asked about what I put in my hair.

The answer to that question is as varied as this New York weather.

Seriously. Can you pick a season, Mother Nature? Please?

Ahem. Sorry.

Anyway.

Generally, what I put in my hair depends on the season and what style it happens to be in. Most of the time, I use Carol’s Daughter products (CD). I love the Black Vanilla line for my eternally thirsty hair, and the Rosemary Mint Shampoo (no link; it’s going away. 😦 )for my eternally flaky scalp.

Even though CD is available in Target these days, it’s still sometimes out of my way to go and pick it up. So, I like to mix it up and try other products when I need something new.

Ok, maybe it’s just because I love how many products are coming out for natural hair, and I want to try all of the things. Eh, tomato, tomahto.

A few faves:

Nene’s Secret: I found this randomly in a beauty supply store and fell in love with the CC (that’s Curly and Cute) Curl Creme. My hair was so soft and hydrated. Before I could try the whole line, it disappeared from the store. (Of course it did. -_-) I’ll probably have to order it online.

Optimum Care Amla Oil: I tried this after a coworker recommended it to me. I do love the hydration, but it doesn’t give me as much definition as Nene’s Secret does. Still, it smells lovely, and is normally available in your local drugstore.

As I Am: I am in LOVE with their DoubleButter Cream. I found this in the Walgreens when I went to get shampoo, and decided to give it a try. If you have desert dry hair, you are going to LOVE this.

Creme of Nature Argan Oil Line: So, this was the shampoo I purchased on the aforementioned Walgreens run. I tend to be wary of argan oil products, because of how unscented (as in, raw, 100% natural) argan oil smells. It smells like…feet. Yeah. I know. If you’re using argan oil that smells delicious, it ain’t 100% natural. Just an FYI. Now this has enough fragrance in it to keep me from thinking “ew” but not so much the benefits of the oil are drowned out. I have the Moisture and Shine Shampoo and picked up a packet of the Intensive Treatment (amazing!)

As far as care? I don’t wash my hair more than twice a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the winter.  I have dry hair and flaky scalp, and washing it all the time would make it worse. I use sulfate free shampoos when possible (not doing so makes my hair that much drier.) I always deep condition my hair, and do a leave in conditioner afterwards to keep it strong.

I braid or twist my hair up before bed (usually just 5-6 big braids) and tie up with a satin scarf.

I always use a leave in conditioning spray (try the Black Vanilla one from CD; for my DIY mavens, put leave in conditioner and water in an old spray bottle and shake. Works just as well.) before I comb it out. I put a moisturizing cream on the ends, and oil at the scalp. Rub through and pick it out. It seems like a lot, but it helps with detangling so you don’t lose as much hair when you comb.

All of this work leads me to some good hair days. Look! I have my hair completely out!

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I’m still trying to push my limits. I’m considering wearing my hair free for my birthday dinner next week. What do y’all think? I’m taking style suggestions and product recommendations!

Hair Reviews Shopping Uncategorized

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.

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